Here at Good Travel Management we talk a lot in our blog posts about the ever-changing nature of the business travel industry; technology innovations, sustainability and duty of care are all trends which are key factors in the coming years.
Another thing to consider, is the changing nature of a Modern Business Traveller and what’s important to them within your own travel programme and when dealing with a Travel Management Company.
According to the Institute of Leadership & Management, this year Millennials (the generation born between 1980 and 2000) will make up more than 50% of the UK workforce, and also 50% of companies business travel spends, so a company’s Travel Programme has to be geared towards catering to this new type of Business Traveller who’s requirements are much different to the Generation X and Baby Boomer’s before them.
According to a Hilton Hotels & Resorts survey 75% of today’s new road warriors see business travel as a major work perk (a big improvement from the previous generation) and 65% consider it a status symbol, especially when combining their business trip with leisure, known as ‘bleisure’ – a sure fire way to capture those must see Instagram posts!
First of all, it’s worth remembering Millennials are super adapt at taking in new technology advances, and for non-complex trips would much rather book their business trips through a self-booking tool or App, so it’s vital your Travel Programme accommodates emerging trends and innovations and you can offer an end-to-end online booking experience.
Another thing to consider with this new generation of business traveller is your travel policy and whether it could be updated to better suit their booking habits.
When considering what a travel policy for the modern business traveller will look like, flexibility is key.
Millennials are most often happy to travel for business, and when taking into account only 26% are married, less responsibility means more opportunities to extend their business trip and take some time to actually enjoy the destination they have travelled to (#worktrip, #Bleisure!)
According to most research, millennials will seek out the what they perceive to be the best value and experience as opposed to just the best price, but are also more open to the ‘sharing economy’, so will be happy to book cheaper alternatives to hotels and transfers, such as Airbnb and Uber.
Rather than a long policy that limits rather than empowers, advances in booking tools means it’s now much easier to build policies into the tool to make it seem much less restrictive.
By allowing this flexibility in your travel policy and keeping it simple and fair, you are much more likely to have happy travellers and a lower staff turnover.
As well as the fun aspects of travelling, it’s a sad fact that the world is a much less safe place than it used to be, and with Millennials growing up in the wake of 9/11 and other atrocities, safety will be a big factor to consider, and it will be expected your organisation has a robust Duty of Care Compliance programme, incorporating things such as traveller tracking and crisis management plans.
Whilst some may think the rise of technology would mean less business travel and more video conferencing, it’s actually the opposite as Millennials see great value in face to face meetings rather that video conferencing. Business Travel will continue to happen, it will just look a lot different to how it is now.