Millennials, who now account for roughly a third of the U.S. workforce, represent a growing share of business travelers. Unlike the road warriors of previous generations, however, millennials are demanding a new type of business travel experience, and hotels are moving quickly to accommodate them.
In a recent survey of business professionals ages 25 to 35 released by Hilton Hotels & Resorts, nearly 70% of respondents expressed a desire to extend their work trips for leisure.
Wes Bergstrom, vice president for hotel value and revenue management at American Express Global Business Travel, said, “The behaviors and priorities of today’s modern business traveler are evolving. They are looking for work-life balance. Because of these shifts, companies are beginning to adapt their travel policies to enable both personal and professional growth.”
Players in the hospitality space have also taken note. In recent years, hotel brands have revamped their rooms, public spaces and marketing approaches to better appeal to younger business travelers.
Emily Drees, a travel adviser for Christopherson Business Travel, said, “Our millennial clients tend to ask more questions about their hotel, like asking about which hotel might be great for exploring a cool area. They also appreciate things like quick and easy food and coffee options, walkability or a shuttle service to a downtown district. Hotels have responded by trying to give their properties a hip, modern and young vibe.”
This year, Hilton began targeting millennials with its New Business Traveler Initiative. Featuring work travel tips from ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia and Milk Makeup co-founder Zanna Roberts Rassi, the marketing platform aims to help new business travelers maximize their time on the road.
Armand LeVasseur, senior director of global brand marketing for Hilton Hotels & Resorts, said, “We want to let these travelers know that if you come stay with us, we can ensure you’ll have a great work trip, both from the primary business standpoint but also from the leisure standpoint. None of us enjoy having the laptop out at 8 p.m., and we want to reassure that new business traveler that it’s OK to put it away.”
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