#Biztrips and #Bleisure – Millennial Business Travelers Embracing Freedom and Choice
By Hugh Fisher, Marketing Data Analyst at Sabre Corporation
What sets Millennial business travelers apart from the 'hot briefcase' travelers of other generations? When younger travelers have a chance to get out of the office, it's usually not drudgery, those trips offer frugal young travelers an opportunity to get away from the office, often mixing business with pleasure in the process.
Millennials whose jobs require them to travel are taking full advantage of the "Bleisure" trend, mixing business and pleasure whenever the opportunity presents.
Our recent survey of business travelers 18 to 35 found that 65 percent had traveled on business at least once during the previous year, with an average length-of-stay of three nights.
What's more, those travelers said they were able to work in some leisure time on 53 percent of those business trips. Also, younger business travelers have a lot of freedom of choice, with 62 percent of those we surveyed saying they were able to choose their room type.
But when it comes to business travel, Millennials aren't just spending their own money for a good time. A recent Expedia study reported that 42 percent of business travelers ages 18 to 30 would spend company money on high-end meals rather than their own funds, compared to only 26 percent of business travelers ages 46 to 65.
WHAT MILLENNIALS NOTICE: PRICE, RATING, EXPERIENCE
When we asked Millennial business and leisure travelers to rank the factors they consider most important when selecting a hotel, an overwhelming 53 percent said price was the deciding factor, followed by location within a city (10 percent) and review scores (10 percent). And almost all of those who didn't choose price as their #1 factor picked it as their #2 choice.
The good news is that hoteliers can create excellent programs for reaching Millennial business travelers by ensuring that their rates and content are the right fit for the market. There are also plenty of other opportunities to capitalize on younger travelers who value the experiences they have on business trips:
Make getting around easier: Millennials love ride-sharing services like Uber, but if your hotel offers a shuttle service or is convenient to inexpensive transportation options, make sure travelers know about it – "free" is almost always better than "cheap."
Be an ambassador of awesome: Unique local landmarks, cultural experiences, concerts and events near your properties can all draw younger business travelers who want to be entertained when the workday is done. Also, make sure your website shows potential guests what they'll be able to experience on-property when they stay with you, such as an invitation to relax in your lounge area with one of those cold drinks after a long day of meetings.
Keep Millennials coming back: Younger travelers are loyal to brands whose ideas and personalities match their own. If you provide a personalized, enjoyable experience that makes Millennial travelers feel like more than just "customers," they are more likely to book with your brand again.
HELP MILLENNIALS FIND YOU
While many Millennial business travelers have some flexibility in choosing how and where they want to stay when traveling, hotels need to be visible and competitive in order to win the chance to impress those travelers at all.
That's why it is vital to have a corporate business travel strategy that opens doors and allows your hotel to access this lucrative, and competitive, marketplace. Because many Millennials are just entering the corporate world, business travel will allow them to experience new brands at the same time that they're discovering potential future leisure destinations. The more Millennial business travelers you welcome through your doors, the more loyal customers you have a chance to win for the future.
Get started today by visiting Sabre's Business Travel Services site and discover how you can increase your hotel's visibility and win a greater share of high-value business travel. And for more data and insights on Millennial business and leisure travelers, download our Millennials De-Mystified e-book here.
As data storyteller for Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Hugh analyzes industry data and researches trends impacting hotel revenue, bookings and guest experience. He has an MBA with concentrations in Marketing Management and Decision Analytics from the Jenkins Graduate School of Management, NC State University.More from Hugh Fisher
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre's software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of global travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.