According to DCS+, a travel technology company, business is becoming the primary reason for travel rather than for leisure.
Last year alone, the growth rate of business travel was into double figures over those who were travelling with friends or loved ones and this is happening all over the world.
The reality is that it is now much cheaper for people to travel, which means that it’s much more affordable for companies to send their employees on business trips. Some of these might only be to a nearby city via a train journey, but others can be as far afield as America or Australia, which is a long journey to be travelling for business.
What a lot of millennial travellers are doing now is combining corporate and leisure travel into one trip. In this way, they are getting a lot of work done but are also reaping the benefits for their own adventures.
But what exactly is it that corporate travellers need from a travel agency? And what do they expect from hotels or the transport that they need to get from place to place?
There are several things that a modern traveller in particular will need, as opposed to people who went on corporate journeys in previous years. This is largely because they have different expectations and access to more things in their daily life than corporate travelers before them.
We’ve outlined what just a few of these might be, but this is by no means a conclusive list.
When talking about mobility in our modern age we are more than likely referring to mobile technology and all the things that it can help us with.
Smartphones are particularly good at helping corporate travellers to plan their itineraries by making it much easier to search for accommodation and forms of transport. For most, the first thing they do when they have to take a trip now is to turn to an app that they have installed on their phone. Why? Because it’s much quicker than having to search through your laptop, if you’ve already got your phone in your hand.
Travel companies, airlines and trainlines have to ensure that they have an app that functions well at all times and also one that updates its software often to keep up with the frequency of new phone launches.
It’s really important that these apps function well and – as far as possible – that they include things like travel updates, such as late departures or arrival. Many travel apps will now send push notifications with this sort of information and it can be extremely useful for corporate travellers, particularly if they have a flight/train connection to catch or a meeting that they can’t be late for.
For corporate travellers, mobile capability is at the top of the list of things that they look for, not least for the fact that it keeps them updated at each stage of the purchasing journey.
Millennials expect to be able to get in touch with anyone at just about any time of day, whether this is over a call, message or email – they like travel companies and hotels to be reachable all the time.
Digital payments are closely linked to mobile technology because they are becoming an increasingly important way for millennials to conduct their transactions.
This is because most millennials are used to working in completely digital environments, such as delivering and signing contracts that are all online. These days, when people talk about a paper trail, they don’t mean physical paper, instead they will be referring to emails. As such, digital payments and electronic invoicing are a big part of the office environment and are therefore part of the corporate travel environment.
Apart from being accustomed to using digital payments, they also give travelers the flexibility of varying payment methods. They’re also useful for travel companies and hotels, as digital spending provides a report on how traveller’s spend their money. This can be extremely detailed and it will show a millennial’s habits, therefore making it easier for companies to appeal to the corporate travel market.
Advanced search encompasses anything that makes the life of the corporate traveller easier. This includes the likes of auto-fill searches, past search history and advanced search criteria.
By allowing people to carry out more specific searches, they are much more likely to be able to find flights, trains and accommodation that suits their needs. This is an important service for travel agents and third party websites or companies to provide, to help ensure that people reuse their services.
It’s good for companies to do this, as it helps to boost the level of conversions and can help reduce the amount of abandoned bookings that occur.
All a corporate millennial traveller wants is to be able to search and book travel and accommodation as quickly and easily as possible, and advanced search is a really good way to make this happen.
If something changes to the corporate traveller’s itinerary and they need to change a booking or rebook something for a later date then a travel company has to be able to facilitate this as quickly and efficiently as possible.
People who are travelling for work are often on tight deadlines and they are working to very specific budgets, so travel companies and hotel booking systems need to use advanced technology that is easy to use.
By ensuring that technology is of the highest degree, the corporate traveller will be able to change their plans accordingly, but it will also give them a good experience of your service – which is ultimately what you want.
Corporate travellers will also be looking for hotel staff that are extremely competent and able to make recommendations or provide things at a moment’s notice. This is because people who are travelling for business aren’t usually working to their own timetable, but those of the people above them or on behalf of clients. You might see a stressed millennial dashing up to the reception desk asking for help and at this point you’re going to want to make sure that you can do everything you can to help them.
As we mentioned earlier, millennials are now seeing business trips as a good way to turn a stressful trip into a relaxing one, by having a holiday after their meetings and conferences are over.
This is particularly true if the millennial’s business trip has taken them to somewhere incredibly far afield.
However, sometimes events and conferences are in a city that is easy to get to via train but this can still be stressful and the millennial may want to find a way to relax after two or three long days of work. If this is the case – and it most likely will be – you should make sure that you have advertised the very best of the facilities in your hotel.
For example, if you have a great cocktail bar then you should point it out to them as a way to unwind after a hectic day. Millennials particularly love spa days, which is why the one in M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City hotel is so popular – being a common corporate stop-off for many.
To book a room or ask about the spa facilities we have at our hotels, contact M by Montcalm now.