Travel agents looking to sell to Millennials take heed: new research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and D.K. Shifflet and Associates released this week offered new insights into the buying habits of Millennial travelers.
Millennials Twice as Likely to Want More Business Travel
The GBTA's new Business Traveler Sentiment Index, developed by the GBTA Foundation in partnership with American Express, showed that Millennials are nearly twice as likely to want to travel more for business as Baby Boomers (45 percent to 26 percent, respectively), and a strong majority of Millennials (57 percent) believe technology can never replace face-to-face meetings to get business done.
Additionally, Millennials are far more likely to rely upon social media to meet up with friends when traveling than Baby Boomers (46 percent to 17 percent) and are far less likely to want to use their personal credit cards to float business expenses (53 percent to 69 percent). In terms of travel amenities, if only one could be selected, Baby Boomers would strongly prefer to pay no fee to check bags (47 percent compared to 34 percent of Millennials), while Millennials want free Wi-Fi (30 percent compared to 17 percent of Baby Boomers).
The study also found that overall business traveler satisfaction with getting through airport security declined significantly in the past three months (from 55 percent in Q2 to 45 percent in Q3). Despite this drop, overall satisfaction levels with the business travel experience remain high (73 percent). But with airplane travel as a driving force in overall satisfaction, a continued downward trend could have an increasingly negative impact.
Millennials Lead Short-Term Rental Bookings
Another study by D.K Shifflet and Associates took a closer look at Millennial travelers and short-term rental bookings. According to the study ten percent of all overnight leisure travelers have booked a short term rental in the past 12 months. Although Millennials took the lead, travelers of all generations booked these types of accommodations and most are considering or planning to book a similar property within the next 12 months.
The most popular type of property was an entire residence where the owner was not present (67%), while 15 percent chose a room in an owner occupied property.
"Price is the overwhelming driver for selecting a short term rental," said Cheryl Schutz, vice president at D.K. Shifflet & Associates. Conveniences, such as location, being able to accommodate an entire travel party and the ability to cook are also important reasons leisure travelers choose a short term rental, Schutz said.
Travel Lead Times Shrink as Holidays Approach
Elsewhere in the industry, researchers were gearing up for the holiday travel booking season. According to Sojern's new Q3 Global Travel Insights report, travelers are booking closer to their departure date as the holidays approach.
According to the report, September was the most popular month for booking trips, with 37 percent of all the quarter’s booking taking place that month. Globally, the most searched destinations during the third quarter of the year were: the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey, Thailand, Portugal and Russia. Thailand re-entered the list after a quarter’s hiatus, replacing Greece.
Miami Tourism Hits 15.1 Million Overnight Visitors
Finally, this week saw some good news for Miami: the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) announced that the destination experienced a 5.4 percent increase in overnight visitors to Miami and the Beaches during the last twelve months (September 2014 – August 2015), setting a new tourism record.
During that time the destination welcomed 15.1 million overnight visitors up from 14.2 million over the same period for the previous year bringing the economic impact to $25.1 billion to the destination, up from $23.5 billion, a 7 percent increase.
The news comes as the destination is unveiling plans for the new Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC), which will see the current facility undergo a $615 million renovation to expand the facility, as well as gain LEED certification. A headquarter hotel adjacent to the MBCC has also been proposed. Developed by Portman Property Group, the 800-room, Art Deco inspired hotel will be directly linked to the MBCC via sky bridge.
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