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The mobile-addicted millennial has become an overplayed cliché. Yet, it is grounded in truth and transforming travel habits. Disruptive businesses like Airbnb and Uber have changed the game, entrenching new expectations of convenience and rapidity among millennials.
Translating this into travel, we are faced in 2019 with a generation demanding a highly streamlined experience powered by technology. According to predictions by Boston Consulting Group, millennials will account for almost 50% of travel spending by 2020. Such figures underscore the necessity for travel industry players to learn how to accommodate the unique travel needs of millennials in order to harness this pool of potential profit.
While embracing new technology is crucial in catering for digitally-savvy millennials, a deeper understanding of what drives this often-misunderstood generation is critical to remaining relevant in this disruptive environment.
Perks of the job
According to Tripactions, 90% of millennials see travel as a work perk, with 39% saying they wouldn’t take a job that didn’t offer travel opportunities. Such figures spell the importance of corporate travel policies in today’s climate. Yet, only offering increased travel will not be enough to satisfy the needs of millennial employees.
According to some recent Amadeus research, millennials place an increased emphasis on a healthy work-life balance compare to their older colleagues. As traveler wellbeing emerges as a central pillar of meaningful travel policy, corporations must show a duty of care towards their travelers if they expect to retain their newest recruits. Such measures can include granting airport lounge access, trip recovery time, and disruption management.
One size no longer fits all
Growing up in a world of digital empowerment, millennials hold a greater desire to be recognized as individuals. When it comes to travel this is no different. It’s leading this generation to crave a flexible booking process that gives them the control to create a personalized travel experience. Millennials are thereby raising the stakes of corporate travel, wanting more accommodation options, fast track, priority boarding, stand-by options and on-board Wi-Fi. There is a desire and also demand for a high-touch digital experience like they are used to in other industries. Through investment in technology, travel providers can deliver meaningful customer journeys tailored to the needs of these individuals.
Mix business with pleasure
The trend of ‘bleisure’ is anchoring itself within this climate of individualized travel experience. In line with their eagerness to travel, millennials are keen to capitalize on their time spent abroad by adding a couple of leisure days to their trip. The face of corporate travel is changing as this line between business and leisure becomes increasingly blurred. In granting this heightened flexibility in travel policy, businesses can expect an enhanced level of employee wellbeing as stress levels decrease and trip satisfaction increases. Ultimately, taking a well-rounded and strategic attitude towards managing traveler wellbeing will create better employees and bring stronger results.
So, as millennials emerge as a pre-eminent force in travel consumption, the industry must wake up to their new attitudes that are changing the face of the industry.
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