Business Travelers are Transforming Business Travel
Who’s to say one cannot mingle business with leisure? Not Millennials, at least. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), by 2020, Millennials will take over half of the global workforce and account for 50% of all business travel expenditure.
The latest survey reports also advocate that Millennials do not have the same travel habits as Baby Boomers. While on their business trips, they tend to use more organizational money as compared to their Gen X colleagues. It is no hush-hush that Millennials love to spend on food, room service, transportation, and other leisure activities, especially when they are not footing their bills.
Fundamentally tech-savvy and socially minded people, Millennials, according to the GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index report, are likely to travel twice as much for business purposes as compared to their Gen X counterparts.
Therefore, understanding the present day wants, expectations, and lifestyles of the next generation workforce has become central to the organization’s future success. So, how exactly are Millennials transforming the business travel?
Combining Business with Leisure
Millennials prefer rich lifestyle experiences, and they carry this behavioral pattern forward to business travel as well. As per a report by Pew Research Center, only 26% of Millennials are married, while at the same age, 36% Gen X and 48% Baby Boomers were respectively married. Thus, as compared to Baby Boomers and Gen X business travelers, Millennials are less likely to have responsibilities and can consider business travel as a lifestyle experience.
With organizations increasingly adopting ‘work from home’ policies and flexible working hours, the thin line between personal and professional lives of employees is now fogging. Millennials have taken this freedom and flexibility, particularly concerning travel and have repeatedly extended their business trips to include leisure days.According to GBTA, 92% of Indian Millennials keenly look forward to their next business trip, and it is the most sought-after business perk in India. To make sure, Bleisure has a positive impression, both employee and organizations need to convey their respective responsibilities concerning insurance and company policy. They are offering such potential downtime to employees, that it results in them being more productive, engaged, and loyal in the longer run.
Seeking Value for Money
From the corporate outlook, offering employees the flexibility and freedom to make their own business travel choices can prove to be valuable. Millennials are fond of unique experiences and are often not bound to conventional transportation and accommodation options; therefore, they prefer to pre-negotiate rates with hotels and other service providers to be able to choose what best suits their requirements whilst following the company policy. With the ever-changing travel hospitality landscape, options beyond the standard have caught the attention of companies and travelers.
According to a recent survey, quite a lot of business travelers make informed decisions about their business trips; with 91% making use of review sites while 85% using price comparison websites. This emphasizes the fact that business travelers not only want unique experiences but also are looking for ‘value for money.’ Hence, exploring sharing-economy services fascinates them.
Tech-fancy Business Travelers
Millennials are the very first generation of true digital natives –many of them cannot even remember a world without mobile phones, laptops, or the internet. Paradoxically, despite all the technologies available at their fingertips, Millennials prefer face-to-face meetings to close business deals, according to GBTA’s Business Traveler Sentiment Index report. This shows that business travel will continue to be a chief enabler of connectivity in the coming years. By 2020, the overall Indian travel market is predicted to reach USD 48 billion. Online bookings are foreseen to occupy around 40%-50% of total transactions by 2020. With the rise in smartphone penetration and digital payments, India’s online hotel market is predicted to rise at a CAGR of 25% to touch USD 4 billion by 2020.
By 2020, one in three hotel bookings would be done online. This is a secure sign of the rising number of digital touch points in the numerous phases of a business traveler’s journey. A business traveler on an average spends 50 minutes, visiting as many as 16 distinct online touchpoints to plan, research, and make a booking. Indian travelers browse through 20 separate categories of mobile apps throughout their business trip. Millennials favor researching and booking flights, stay, and ground transportation on their smartphones with 60% of Indians making online bookings via their desktops/laptops and 47% of them via their smartphones. Millennials primarily are dependent on technology for their entire business travel booking process – from online bookings to reviews, and from check-ins to staying connected with family and colleagues.
A substantial chunk of business travelers prefers a thorough online research before making their bookings as it provides significant information and competitive deals. Thus, feeding a smooth and mobile-friendly travel experience in a business ecosystem can help enhance an employee’s overall corporate travel experience and provide an exceptional omnichannel support throughout their journey. The Indian Business Travel Industry is ever evolving and continuously adapting with relevant, prompt and responsive services to aid travelers enhance their experience.
The Future of Business Travel
The ‘Bleisure’ trend is securing itself to be the future of Business Travel as Millennials are eager to make the most of their time spent on business trips by adding a couple of leisure days to their travel. The face of business travel is evolving as the line between business and leisure is becoming increasingly blurred.
The enhanced flexibility in the business travel policy has increased the employee productivity and well being, eventually taking a well rounded and tactical approach towards better employee management which in turn will produce efficient employees and bring in stronger results.
Thus, Millennials are arising as a dominant force in the business travel consumption, and companies’ need to stir up their attitude with the constantly evolving face of the business travel industry.