The number of business trips is significantly increasing across all generations of travelers according to the first Portrait of Business Travelers® (POBT) survey released by MMGY Global, the leading integrated travel and hospitality marketing firm in the U.S. As Millennials advance in their careers, they take the most business trips of any generation (7.7 over the past 12 months, compared to 7.4 on average) and expect to take more than any other generation (8.6 in the next 12 months, which is an 11% increase). Business travelers are also redefining business trips with increased use of ride-sharing and “bleisure” trips.
The POBT includes responses from 1,007 U.S. adults who have taken one overnight business trip and plan to take at least one more during the next 12 months. The following are top line results from the first POBT study:
Millennials represent the highest increase in business travel
- Millennials took 7.7 trips in the past year and expect to take 8.6 (an increase of 11%). Over half of them want to take even more.
The number of business trips is increasing among all generations of travelers, primarily because companies have increased travel budgets and perceive that travel is important to maintain and grow customer relationships. This has a positive effect for both travelers and companies, because three quarters of survey respondents indicate that such travel has a positive impact on their job satisfaction.
With more business travel comes a struggle for work-life balance
While members of all generations appear to embrace business travel, surprisingly, Millennials who are seeing the greatest increase in business trips and express a desire to take more, are significantly more likely to perceive that it has a negative effect on family life.
Business travelers prioritize tech over tradition
Business travelers make choices that prioritize technology, such as selecting hotels that have free internet access over hotels with a better location, using ride sharing instead of taxis, and preferring to use their phones as a room key over going to the front desk. While Airbnb and HomeAway still haven’t approached the interest levels of branded hotels for business travelers, we’ve seen an increased usage of sharing economy among leisure travelers in the MMGY Global 2016 Portrait of American Travelers and expect to see an increase in interest among business travelers.
Quality of service reigns supreme for business travelers
When choosing an airline, quality of service is the most important reason for business travelers across all generations. The quality of service of airlines and hotels matter more to Millennials than to members of other generations.
“Bleisure” travel leads to vacations
Having time for leisure on business trips is important to six out of 10 business travelers. This combination of business and leisure, or “bleisure,” is significantly more important to Millennials (73%) than to Gen Xers (56%) and Boomers (46%). Many business travelers engage in “bleisure,” with nearly nine in 10 business travelers extending a business trip for leisure in the past and 59% expecting to do so during the next 12 months.
“With the influx of a younger generation of business travelers comes a wave of change to what we typically define as a business trip. We know that bleisure travel is here to stay and we predict that business travelers will embrace the sharing economy,” said Steve Cohen, vice president of insights for MMGY Global.