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Millennial jet set steer the future of travel – expect control, personalisation, rewards

November 21, 2013 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email
  • Under 34s travelling more for business and leisure
  • 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

Expedia_Future of Travel_2Millennial 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 Aussie millennials travel more often for business than their older counterparts (35 and older), taking an average of five business trips per year, compared to two. Globally, millennials are taking an average of five business trips per year whereas over 35s take an average of four.

When it comes to leisure trips both Australian 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. Well over half (59%) of Aussie millennials have extended business trips into personal holidays in the past year, compared to only 45% of over 35s.

Expedia_Future of Travel_1

The study also found that younger travellers are freer with their company’s money when travelling. Australian 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 millennials though as 73% say they work the same, if not more, when travelling for business than when in the office.

Georg Ruebensal, Managing Director, Expedia Australia and New Zealand, comments: “Australian 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.”

Kyle Davis, Managing Director at Egencia Asia Pacific, adds: “Keeping pace with millennial business travellers, who increasingly want a more personalised travel experience, demands a significant focus on mobile to ensure they are given the information they want and need throughout the planning, booking and travelling process.”

The majority (86%) of Australian 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, 61% of Australian 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. Nearly half of millennial business travellers (48%) embrace smartphones and tablets to plan, book and share their travels and a further 53% use mobile devices for leisure travel activity. Whereas, only one in five (20%) Australians over 35 book business travel, and a further 10% leisure travel, through mobile devices. These figures are marginally different to global averages where 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.

Expedia is witnessing a surge in Australian travellers using its app on mobile and tablet devices with visits increasing 300% since the start of the 2013.

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.

Percentage of Australian respondents who say they save personal data online to streamline the travel booking process:

  Millennials Over 35s
Email 57% 42%
Mobile phone 46% 27%
Passport # 21% 9%

Expedia Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Georg 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.”

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