Millennial jet set steer the future of travel
20 November 2013
Millennial jet set steer the future of travel - expect control, personalisation, rewards
Expedia and Egencia Future of Travel study reveals the rise of the millennials
· Smartphones and tablets integral
to millennial traveller experience
· Business travellers splurge company funds on room service and expensive meals – feel entitled to claim loyalty points
Millennial travellers – those aged 34 years and younger – are driving evolution in the travel industry as they travel more, spend more, and embrace mobile technology to plan and book travel, according to the Future of Travel study released today by Expedia and Egencia, Expedia Inc’s corporate travel company.
The global study polled 8,534 adults in 24 countries on their business and leisure travel habits, exploring how millennials are shaping the future travel landscape as they gain decision-making power at work and purchase power in their personal lives.
Local findings reveal New Zealand millennials travel for business an average of two times each year, on par with their older Kiwi counterparts (35 and older). However, this average is behind the global norm of five business trips per year for millenials and an average of four for over 35s.
When it comes to leisure trips, both New Zealand millennials and over 35s take an average of three leisure trips per year, close to the global average of four and three respectively. However, millennials are taking full advantage of travel opportunities presented to them by their employer by mixing business with pleasure. Close to half (46%) of Kiwi millennials have extended business trips into personal holidays in the past year, compared to only 36% of over 35s.
The study also found that younger travellers are freer with their company’s money when travelling. New Zealand millennial business travellers are more likely to spend additional company money on flight upgrades, room service and high-end meals than their older counterparts, a trend that is consistent globally. It’s not all play and no work for Kiwi millennials though as 77% say they work the same, if not more, when travelling for business than when in the office.
Georg Ruebensal, Managing Director, Expedia New Zealand, comments: “Globally, millennials are reinventing travel. They are taking advantage of every opportunity to see the world, to explore a destination, have a unique travel experience and share it with their friends.”
The majority (82%) of New Zealand millennials feel entitled to claim travel reward points, in line with the global average of 85%. As far as keeping loyalty points for themselves versus employers claiming them, 59% of New Zealand millennials keep the rewards for themselves, exceeding the global average of 53%.
Millennials crave convenience and, for many, a mobile is now considered a personal assistant, an essential tool to make their busy lives easier. One in five Kiwi millennial business travellers (21%) embrace smartphones and tablets to plan, book and share their travels and a further 33% use mobile devices for leisure travel activity. Whereas, 18% of Kiwis over 35 book business travel, and a further 14% leisure travel, through mobile devices, highlighting there is a greater divide between millennials and over 35s when it comes to booking leisure travel through a mobile device. Global averages show 46% of millennials and 29% of over 35s book business via mobile devices. Almost half (43%) of millennials and 20% of over 35s globally use mobile devices for leisure travel purposes.
In addition, millennials are more likely to save personal details such as their mobile phone number, email address and passport number online in order to streamline the travel booking process.
of New Zealand respondents who say they save personal data
online to streamline the travel booking
Mr Ruebensal believes these shifts in consumer behaviour have a huge impact on the travel industry and force companies to evolve and adapt to meet consumer demands.
“Younger travellers place a much higher value on mobile and interactive technology. At Expedia, we understand the varied needs of our customers and use technology to deliver experiences across all platforms, at all points of the travel process, that delight our customers with simplicity and intuition.
‘While providing choice at the best possible price is essential, I believe consumers will increasingly be drawn to travel websites that provide inspiration with intelligent, personalised recommendations and offers.”