Millennial1 business travelers in the UK are driving an evolution in corporate travel by demanding cutting-edge digital support throughout their trips and ‘bleisure’ advice, according to an independent global study commissioned by Travelport, the leading Travel Commerce Platform.
The research, which surveyed 11,000 travelers in 19 countries who took at least one return flight in the last year, revealed that:
Nearly half (44%) of British millennial business travelers now count being unable to access booking information across their devices 24/7 as one of their biggest gripes, compared to one third (32%) of Gen X2 travelers and just one in ten (12%) baby boomers3, and
Two fifths (38%) say they get frustrated when companies don’t use data analytics to provide highly personalized travel recommendations based on their past preferences, twice as many as baby boomers (18%).
Two fifths (42%) of Britain’s millennial business travelers also say a common pain point is being unable to get advice from human consultants during the booking process, suggesting many are eyeing solutions that offer the best of both the physical and digital worlds.
Millennials escalating thirst for ‘bleisure’ – itineraries combining both business and leisure – is also driving change. Two thirds (62%), for example, now regularly extend their business trips by a few days so they can see local attractions, compared to just one quarter (27%) of baby boomers.
To satisfy their ‘bleisure’ needs, most British millennial business travelers are now doing their own research before finalizing their travel plans. Among the most common tools used to build their perfect itinerary are review sites (used by 88%) and general travel advice sites (used by 84%). Looking through friends’ travel videos and pictures on social media is also typical for digitally-advanced millennials (82%). More than half (56%) now use voice search technology, compared to two fifths (38%) of Gen X business travelers and one fifth of baby boomers (18%).
If required to book a trip themselves, the majority of millennial business travelers still do so online through their desktop or laptop (51%), or a corporate booking tool (42%). One quarter, however, say they now book business travel online through their smartphone (27%) or tablet (23%), twice as many as Gen X business travelers (11% smartphone and 12% tablet) and four times more than baby boomers (6% in both cases).
While on their business trips, on average, UK-based millennial business travelers use 18 different categories of apps, nearly twice as many as baby boomers (10).
Of these, social media apps are the most popular (used by 87% of UK millennial travelers), closely followed by weather, banking and instant messaging apps (86%). High results for ground transportation like Uber (81%), destination guide (81%), travel review and translation (78%) apps further support that it’s not all business for the UK business travelers.
Simon Ferguson, Vice President and Managing Director, Northern Europe, Travelport, commented: “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. Travelport stands ready to support businesses as they respond to the rapid changes in customer behavior. Having spent many years investing in areas such as mobile, data analytics and artificial intelligence, we feel uniquely positioned to help our customers stay ahead of the curve.”