How The Concept of Bleisure is Changing the Travel IndustryMillennials have become the most frequent business travelers, not only because they make up a large part of the workforce but also because they genuinely enjoy travel — whether it’s personal or professional. However, millennials also have a habit of “disrupting” everything they touch, and the travel industry is no different. Both employers and industry experts need to be aware of how this demographic is changing travel and why these changes are being made. Here’s what you need to know about millennial employees and how they are changing business travel.
The Rise of Millennials and Buying Business TravelBefore you can understand how the travel industry is changing, you have to look at the people who are changing it and what they value. Millennials are traveling for business more than previous generations (even with increased digital communication) and ensuring the travel industry caters to their needs. “A new group of frequent flyers and business travellers has surfaced among 26-35 year olds, who are demonstrating distinctive travel and spending habits,” the team at Buying Business Travel writes. “This group are very well-traveled, making an average of 24 round trips per year and nine business class flights. They are keen to show they are ‘making it,’ take an average of seven gadgets while they fly, and spend money on additional business travel benefits that offer convenience and comfort.” Primarily, there are three things the travel industry needs to know about millennials business travelers.
Young People Care About ValuePrice is just one factor young people care about. They also care about value and long-term benefits. “Millennials who travel for work are more interested in loyalty programs that give them opportunities to get free or discounted travel rather than upgrades,” Lauren Anzaldua writes at 30 Seconds to Fly. “[They’re] quick to change to a different loyalty program with a new company if they believe they will be getting a better deal that offers them more value. They don’t necessarily seek out the cheapest option, but rather the biggest bang for their buck.”
They are Ambitious in Their CareersYoung people don’t want to commute back and forth endlessly. They want their travel meetings to have a greater purpose and be part of the big picture. “[Millennial employees] expect their employers to offer opportunities for personal development, a clear career path, stimulating challenges and a work-life balance,” Katarzyna Fabianska writes at Travelport. “They have more clearly defined ambitions than previous generations and aim high when it comes to their salary. … Corporate trips also need to be ‘developmental’ in nature, and millennials certainly fly more for conferences, training, recruiting and other one-off reasons related to career development.”
They Value Experiences More Than SalaryThis information is actually beneficial to companies, some of which promote travel as a recruitment tactic. A company might be able to recruit top talent — even if it’s unable to pay them well — if it’s able to offer unique travel opportunities and professional growth. “They are more interested in traveling internationally, for both business and leisure, than the generations before them, and they are more interested in global cultural experiences,” writes Katharine Williams at Goldspring Consulting. “The high value placed on these experiences carries over into other aspects of life, including income (millennials would rather make $40,000 at a job they find interesting than $100,000 at a job they found boring) and travel preferences.” By understanding these spending habits, it’s easier to understand why the travel industry is evolving the way it is. The changes industry leaders are seeing all reflect millennial values and career goals.