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MILLENNIALS


policies,” contends Cousins, “and, to date, we aren’t seeing an increase in Airbnb for business purposes. However, they expect that the policy will be seamlessly applied to the booking and approval process.” Cousins acknowledges that a company’s travel policy can help entice millennials to work for them – and can also be used as a possible recruitment tool. “It’s a hot topic,” he says. “Millennial business travellers are more likely to want to combine business travel and leisure, for example, and it’s therefore important the travel policy covers this. The millennial ‘expects’ a greater work-life balance and this includes combining business and leisure time. If a company can develop a travel policy that encourages the personal and professional growth of an individual, it will be easier to retain talent.” Stevenson concurs, explaining, “Research we’ve conducted with ACTE found travel managers are seeing an increase in enquiries from prospective job candidates about the company travel policy, so it appears to play a part in talent acquisition and retention.” Amadeus points out that 90 per cent of millennials


see travel as a work perk, with 39 per cent saying they wouldn’t take a job that didn’t offer travel opportunities. Amadeus says such figures spell out the “importance of corporate travel policies in today’s climate”.


WORK-LIFE BALANCE However, “only offering increased travel will not be enough to satisfy the needs of millennial employees”. According to recent Amadeus research, millennials place an increased emphasis on a healthy work-life balance in comparison to their older colleagues. As traveller wellbeing emerges as a central pillar of travel policy, corporations must show a duty-of-care towards their travellers if they expect to retain their newest recruits. Such measures can include granting airport lounge access, trip recovery time and disruption management. Amadeus also found that with “travel-centric” millen- nials one size no longer fits all and that millennials hold a greater desire to be recognised as individuals. “When it comes to travel this is no different,” maintains Amadeus, “leading this generation to crave a flexible booking process that gives them the control to create a personalised travel experience. “Millennials are thereby


raising the stakes of corporate travel, wanting more accommodation options, fast-track, priority boarding, standby options and onboard wifi. Through investment in technology, travel providers can deliver meaningful customer journeys tailored to the needs of these individuals,” says Amadeus. However, as Amex GBT’s Stevenson points out, it’s not all about the millennials; another generation needs to be taken into account. “Millennials are an important demographic, and understanding their habits and pref- erences can help drive an effective travel programme,” he says. “But TMCs need to consider the mindset of the generation that comes after them.” Generation Z, the age group born between the mid- 1990s and mid-2000s, is beginning to enter the job market. This most digitally switched-on cohort ever, no doubt, will shake up business travel all over again.


102 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 buyingbusinesstravel.com


WHAT MILLENNIALS REALLY THINK


BARBAROS INANC “I travel a fair amount for business,” says frequent business traveller and 20-something Barbaros Inanc, owner of the HOL Group, which produces mannequins, shop fits and clothes hangers. “I spend a lot of the year travelling to the likes of Beijing, Paris, Istanbul and Hanoi and I always make sure I spend a day or two having some downtime. I tend to go off the beaten track, and try and truly appreciate the city I’m visiting. Sometimes I’ll even catch a concert. “My PA books my accommodation – which is sometimes


an Airbnb, but more often an inexpensive hotel through Booking.com. I rely heavily on my Uber app when I reach a city, such as New York.” Does he also spend quite a bit when abroad? “Yes, I have no


problem buying unique gifts for my family and friends when I’m visiting a city I’ve never been to before.”


CERYS BARBOUR Fellow millennial, Cerys Barbour, who works for electrical equipment supplier Radic8 and uses Travel Counsellors for Business for her travel, says: “Combining leisure with business trips is a great incentive, and I’m able to work flexibly after the trip which is an added bonus.” She adds: “Staying online can be difficult on


the move, but luckily most places have wifi. The term ‘millennial’ is often associated with something negative, so some people don’t like it, but I don’t mind it at all.”


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