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Millennials travel in groups: research

The 24-to-34-year-old crowd is also the most security-conscious, says a CWT report


January 10, 2018
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AMSTERDAM—Millennials are much more sociable than older business travellers, and are also most concerned about their personal safety, according to data released today from the CWT Connected Traveler Study, a multi-generational survey of more than 1,900 travelers from 16 countries.

A full 58 percent of millennials travel with others, 43 percent travel with colleagues, and 15 percent with friends or family. In stark contrast, nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of baby boomers travel alone. Sometimes, they travel with colleagues (23 percent) but they rarely bring along friends or family (6 percent). Generation X travellers are somewhere in the middle, with 58 percent travelling alone, 31 percent with a colleague and 11 percent with friends or family.

“We see a massive generational shift among the habits of younger travelers—the much-vaunted millennials,” said Julian Walker, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s head of external communications. “Millennials are far more sociable when they travel, love technology and are most concerned about their own personal safety.”

The study found that millennials—defined here as those between the ages of 24 and 34—are most likely to cancel a trip over security concerns. Nearly one-third (29 percent) of millennials have done so, compared to 20 percent of generation X (ages 35-51) and only 12 percent of baby boomers. Similarly, almost half (49 percent) of millennials buy trip insurance, compared with only 36 percent of generation X and 31 percent of boomers (ages 52-65).

Nearly half of millennials (45 percent) contact friends or family while travelling more than once per day, compared to 38 percent of generation X and 29 percent of baby boomers. Millennials connect more with clients while traveling (55 percent) than generation X (44 percent) and boomers (35 percent)—and with co-workers (41 percent) versus 28 percent of generation X and only 19 percent of boomers.

The use of technology also varies dramatically between generations. When it comes to connecting with family, boomers prefer to use their phone (51 percent), compared to barely half of generation X (44 percent) and only 39 percent of millennials. Conversely, a full 31 percent of millennials use Skype, compared to 24 percent of generation X, and only 17 percent of boomers.

When it comes to staying in contact with colleagues, email is everyone’s preferred method. However, here too, the generations differed markedly. More than half (52 percent) of boomer’s use email, compared to 46 percent of generation X and only 34 percent of millennials. When it comes to using the phone, 30 percent of millennials and 22 percent of both boomers and generation X prefer to pick up the phone and call colleagues.

The CWT Connected Traveler Study was conducted between 30 March and 24 April, 2017. Survey data was collected from more than 1,900 business travellers between the ages of 25-65 from the Americas (Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the US), Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK) and APAC (Australia, China, India, Japan and Singapore).