By temperament and worldview the millennial generation are “natural travellers,” but as a group they have not yet become a dominant presence in business travel. That will change in the next decade, however, predicts a new report from the Boston Consulting Group’s Center for Consumer and Customer Insight.

“Our survey revealed that although millennials travel less for business overall, they spend about the same amount as non-millennial business fliers on total business flights per year,” according to the report, Traveling with Millennials. “And millennial spending will grow sharply in the next several years, reaching nearly 50 percent of total spending on business flights by 2020 or so. “

Currently, millennials — ages 18-to-34 — account for about one-third of all spending on business travel, the report estimated, with most of that (90 per cent) attributable to older (ages 24-34) travellers.

“Although members of the millennial generation are not yet the core customers of airlines, hotels, and travel companies, they will be in five to 10 years, when they enter their peak earning, spending, and traveling years,” the report noted. “By comparison, as the baby boomers age, their spending will likely drop to only about 16 percent of total reported spending on business flights by 2020 and to 11 percent by 2025.”

The report also found that millennial business travellers:

  • take an average of 4.9 business trips year, slightly below average for business travellers as a whole
  • take the second-highest number of international trips of any age group
  • spend 13 per cent more per ticket than other business travellers
  • are more likely to be female and ethnically diverse than older business travellers: “Millennial business fliers include 60 per cent more Hispanics than, twice as many Asian Americans as, and 40 per cent more women than non-Millennial business fliers.”