Millennial1 business travellers in India are driving an evolution in corporate travel by demanding both cutting-edge digital support throughout their trips and on-demand advice from human consultants, according to an independent global study commissioned by Travelport, the leading Travel Commerce Platform.
The research, which surveyed 11,000 travellers in 19 countries who took at least one return flight in the last year, revealed that:
Half (47%) of India’s millennial business travellers now count being unable to access booking information across their devices 24/7 as one of their biggest gripes, compared to two fifths (40%) of Gen X2 travellers and one third (35%) baby boomers3.
Three fifths (56%) say they get frustrated when companies don’t use data analytics to provide highly personalized travel recommendations based on their past preferences, compared to two fifths of both Gen X (43%) and baby boomer (41%) travellers.
Two fifths (43%) say not being able to get expert advice from human consultants during the booking process is a major pain point.
Millennials escalating thirst for ‘bleisure’ – itineraries combining both business and leisure – is also driving change. Three quarters (72%), for example, now regularly extend their business trips by a few days so they can see local attractions, almost twice as many as baby boomers (44%).
To satisfy their ‘bleisure’ needs, most of India’s millennial business travellers are now doing their own research before finalizing their travel plans. Among the most common tools used to build their perfect itinerary are review sites (used by 95%) and general travel advice sites (used by 92%). Looking through videos and photos posted by travel brands on social media (83%) is also typical for India’s digitally-advanced millennials, as is using voice search technology (76%).
If required to book a trip themselves, the majority of India’s millennial business travellers do so online through their desktop or laptop (59%). However, half say they now book business travel online through their smartphone (47%), twice as many as baby boomers (20%), and one third say they do so using their tablet (32%).
While on business trips, on average, India’s millennial business travellers use 20 different categories of apps. Of these, map and banking apps are among the most popular (used by 93% of India’s millennial business travelers), along with instant messaging and video tools (both 91%). High results for social media (92%), destination guide (86%) and travel review (84%) apps further support that it is not all business for the India-based business traveller.
Matthew Powell, Managing Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, at Travelport, commented: “Millennials in India are the most digitally savvy in the world. The demand we are seeing today from this age group for omni-channel support throughout their travel experience, whether it’s for business or leisure, is remarkable. This presents a significant opportunity for travel management companies, as well as other businesses that support corporate travel booking, especially as the travel agent sector globally is behind where it really should be when it comes to digital support.”
“As Travelport has spent many years investing in areas such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and developing mobile applications for both travel agents and airlines, we feel uniquely positioned to help our customers stay ahead of the curve,” he added.
Adding on the same, Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer, InterGlobe Technology Quotient, said, “The findings demonstrate the digital shift among Indian business travellers before and during their journeys. And the necessity of $7.6 trillion global travel and hospitality industry to adapt continually to provide responsive, relevant and timely services for customers.”
“More importantly, in an age where Gen X and Millennials are increasingly becoming tech savvy, they want relevant and timely content at their fingertips, at the very moment, from the time they search to their return from the trip. As a technology company and a world leader in digital and mobile capabilities, we aim to make the experience of selling, buying and managing travel continually better,” he added.