Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000, are changing the corporate travel industry. Raised in a burgeoning world of technology, they will comprise half of the global workforce by 2020. So what does this mean for travel brands?
Most millennials don’t remember a world without smart phones, laptops or the Internet. They don’t remember the days of paper plane tickets and calling to book a hotel. Therefore, electronic travel organisation isn’t just easy for them, it is second nature. From App developments to new software programs, travel brands need to embrace all technological advances to remain relevant.
Millennials tend to be adventurous and curious, they want to see the world and experience all it has to offer. This, not surprisingly, extends into their corporate travel habits as well. Business trips tend to be viewed by this generation of business travellers as a chance for professional development. An avenue to see the world, whilst enhancing their careers at the same time. This means that in the office, millennials are more likely to put their hands up for travel assignments. Accordingly, travel brands will need to tailor their products and branding towards that generation.
“Bleisure” (Business + Leisure)
Millennials often extend business trips to include leisure days or experiences. This trend, known as “bleisure”, is seen as a way to achieve work/life balance. This often results in more productive, engaged and loyal employees, although employers are still coming to terms with the concept. However, research indicates millennials will continue to push the trend regardless. Therefore, products and services need to shift towards making employers and employees both happy.
The “share” economy
Millennials don’t tend to limit themselves to traditional transport and accommodation options. They commonly use share services such as Uber and Airbnb. Consequently, travel brands should ensure they provide this generation of travellers with options beyond traditional ones. Pre-negotiated rates with a variety of providers will give millennials the ability to select the ones best suited to them.
The habits and expectations of the millennial generation will shape the corporate travel industry for many years to come. Understanding the needs, expectations and habits of this generation of workers, is essential to the future success of travel brands.