Today, Millennials account for around a third of passengers flying out on business trips, and are expected to exceed 50% in 2020
. Millennials*, the generation aged from 18 to 35 now infiltrating the world of business, no longer have the same priorities as their baby-boomer parents**.
With their primary focuses on new experiences and meeting people, complete with a pervasive use of social media, this generation is mapping out a new way of conceiving business travel.
Significantly more home-loving than generations before them, Millennials are born perceiving the world as one big network. Many will have been on a university exchange programme, most see travel as a way of life
and flying abroad is no longer considered out of the ordinary, but rather a priority!
Quite accustomed to flying back and forth around the globe and establishing international contacts, Millennials most definitely place more importance on experience than comfort. In other words, a successful business trip is one that is enriching and rewarding. Their goals? To engage with their peers, learn about local life and get something out of the trip itself. Unsurprisingly, they are quite happy with less traditional forms of accommodation like flat sharing or apartment swapping.
Despite all this, Millennials are not indifferent to the value of a business trip. This doesn’t mean that they’re drawn to luxury; rather it suggests that they are driven by what they will get out of the trip for their money. Born into an era of comparers, generation Y will check a number of different sources before booking accommodation to make sure they choose the best offer available. It's all about optimising value, invariably prioritising experience over material goods. So, what are Millennials' top priorities? A good Wi-Fi connection and a nice workspace, but also areas where they can spend their free time, meet people and unwind. Their priority is to strike a work/life balance.
As a new generation, they have their own way of doing things; being spontaneous and staying connected are the primary instincts of any Millennial on a business trip. They would never be without their smartphone: almost a third book travel directly from their phone. They're also much more inclined to use mobile devices to improve their travel experience on location with the help of applications. The trip becomes an experience that they can engineer at their fingertips with a touchscreen. Therefore, winning over the Millennials usually requires offering them services through applications.
When planning a trip, most young business travellers (80%)
rely on comments posted online. Given that Millennials take good reviews seriously, they are just as likely to leave a bad review of their experience in hotels and restaurants, and on transport (flights, public transport, taxis or rental cars) when justified; this is what is known as the ‘age of collaboration’.
When it comes down to it, Millennials no longer want to draw a distinction between leisure and business. On the contrary, they are actually willing to extend their business trip to enjoy a few more days of sightseeing, relaxing or finding out more about the country or city in which they’re staying. This is what is known as 'bleisure' and, far from being a decision made on a whim, Millennials leverage this concept as a means to work in a new and improved environment.