The stereotypical business traveler—a buttoned-up, middle-age, male—is changing with the rise of the newest generation of employees. By the time 2020 rolls around, half of all business flights are expected to be booked by members of the diverse, spontaneous, tech-savvy millennial generation.
What does this mean for the travel industry and business travel in general?
- Spontaneity will rule. “This is the generation that is more likely to change travel plans at the last minute, and they want to be connected 24/7,” says Lee McCabe, head of travel at Facebook. To meet these often-abrupt needs, hotels and airlines are offering more last-minute booking options.
- Hotels will redesign to foster connection. “This generation is collaborative. They are part of a social community, and they like sharing things, whether it’s about a cocktail they’re out having or what they’re planning to do the coming weekend,” says Brian McGuinness of Aloft Hotels. Hotels are tapping into this mindset with designs that allow millennials to make public spaces all their own.
Some hotels have even moved the traditional check-in desk from against a wall to the center of the room—“sort of like a DJ booth,” McGuinness says.
— Adapted from “‘Millennials:’ the new face of business travel,” Daisy Carrington, CNN.