New research from Travelport reveals the ways in which millennials are changing corporate travel by demanding 24/7 digital support and the ability to add days onto their business trips for ‘bleisure’ opportunities.
The survey of 11,000 travellers in 19 countries who took at least one flight in the last year found that nearly half (44 per cent) of British millennials count being unable to access booking information across their devices 24/7 as one of their biggest travel bugbears. This is compared to just one in ten (12 per cent) baby boomers and a third of Generation X travellers.
In a world where travel managers increasingly want to collect data on their travellers, two fifths (38 per cent) of millennials say they get frustrated when their companies don’t use data analytics to provide more personalised recommendations based on their past preferences (compared to 18 per cent of baby boomers).
Although device access is a key requirement for millennials, 42 per cent find frustration in being unable to get travel advice from human consultants during the booking process, suggesting younger travellers prefer a mix of both physical and digital support.
Millennials are also seeking more ‘bleisure’ opportunities to combine leisure and business travel, with 62 per cent extending business trips by up to a few days to see local attractions, compared to 27 per cent of baby boomers.
To build their ideal bleisure trip, travellers do their own research using review sites (88 per cent) and general travel advice sites (84 per cent), along with social media (82 per cent) and voice search (56 per cent).
Although millennials do use their smartphones and tablets to book business travel online (27 and 23 per cent), the majority still prefer to book online through their desktop or laptop (51 per cent) or a corporate booking tool (42 per cent).
During trips, millennials use up to 18 different categories of apps (compared to the ten used by baby boomers). Social media apps are the most popular (87 per cent), followed by weather, banking and instant messaging apps (86 per cent). High results for ground transportation such as Uber (81 per cent), destination guide (81 per cent), travel review and translation (78 per cent) apps further support that it’s not all business for the UK business travellers.
Simon Ferguson, vice president and managing director of Northern Europe at Travelport, said: “Millennials’ demand for always-on, omni-channel engagement and personalized recommendations keeps rising. Travel management companies, as well as other businesses that support corporate travel booking and management, need to rapidly evolve to ensure these needs are met or risk losing relevance.”