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Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers: Business Travel Edition

Global business travel is impacting companies all around the world. As it rapidly increases, employers are under pressure to ensure corporate travel policies are enforced throughout their organisation. In order to enforce a strong travel policy, employers must have a complete understanding of their employee demographics, and their different needs, wants and habits. A complete view on how each demographic want to consume business travel is vital to the future of your business and travel policy success.

Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers

Today’s workforce mainly encompasses three generations – Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996), Gen X (1965 – 1980) and Baby Boomers (1955 – 1964).

Millennials are more inclined to mix their personal and professional lives, making them more likely to extend business trips to explore a new city. As more and more Millennials enter the workforce, terms like Bleisure are being used a lot more.

It’s been predicted that by 2020, Millennials will make up more than half of the global workforce. As a direct result, employees will demand more flexibility, with more tendencies to travel and seek work on a global basis (resulting in more mobile workers).

It looks like this generation’s view on business travel is entirely different to that of their Baby Boomer predecessors.

Baby Boomers, are quite different. They still make up a strong percentage of the workforce today, having more experience and occupying more senior roles in organisations. They tend to have more commitments at home, resulting in less time to travel, and a more restricted time-frame for when they can travel. Business and leisure tend to be consumed separately, keeping leisure trips for family and friends – professional and personal lives are separate.

Even down to how they spend money on business trips varies. A study carried out by the Global Business Travel Association looked into the dining habits of different generations while on business travel trips. Millennials were more likely to grab food on the go and seem to have more reservations about spending on additional costs on trips. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, seem to spend more, coming out as the most likely to spend on a “wine and dine” approach.


Why is this important for business?

Knowing how your employees’ travel gives you an insight into how to communicate with them, as well as creating a good relationship. With Baby Boomers, you take into consideration their family obligations, their need for structure and must have a plan in place for all business trips.

With Millennials, they may love technology and adore socializing, but they are most concerned about their own personal safety. Millennials will need a solid risk management policy in place to feel safe on business trips. It is also key to include a guide on your company’s approach to Bleisure, making it easier for Millennials to extend trips, (within policy) when they want to!

It is important to know what makes your employees tick, giving you a deeper insight into how they behave on business trips. A “one-size-fits-all” approach isn’t always the answer when implementing a travel policy.

Business travel is increasing, which means so is your business travel expenses. Reclaim up to 27% back on these expenses and increase cashflow into your business!

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