Business travel is slowly but surely returning to 2019 levels, with professionals estimating a full return by 2024 or 2025. And, it looks like we have a certain generation to thank for this. Gen Z professionals name business travel as one of their top priorities in 2023, as reported by CTV News, and since January 2022, they have “traveled between one and five times for business reasons”. The CTV News article cites American Express Canada’s recent Global Travel Trends report, but don’t worry, you don’t have to read the whole thing – we’ve captured the highlights for you here.
Who is Gen Z anyway?
Well, by definition, Gen Z is the generation of people born between 1997 and 2012. For the purposes of this article, we’re looking at Gen Z professionals, so that means that we’re talking about the older half of this group – young people in their early to mid 20’s.
Leading the future of business travel
According to the survey, 64% of Gen Z professionals stated that “business travel will be a ‘top’ or ‘high’ priority for them in 2023”, which is significantly higher than their Millennial counterparts, as only 39% of which felt the same way. This is a huge spike, and something for travel managers and employers to take note of. It seems that in general, Gen Z professionals are much more likely to be open to travelling for work, which can be a great bonus for employers.
What do they care about?
The three major concerns Gen Z professionals have with travel right now are:
- Cost of travel (43%)
- Airport delays (36%)
- Environmental impact (29%)
We are continually proven that this generation not only cares deeply about important issues, they are also more willing to take action on these issues than older generations (and for that, we applaud them). This is important for travel managers to note when creating travel guidelines and programs for an age group that will grow into being a significant part of their workforce. We already know that travelers’ distrust of airlines is at an all-time high (or if you didn’t know that, check out the overwhelming stats here), so the fact that airline delays and the rising cost of travel is noted as their top two concerns does not surprise us.
When it comes to environmental impact, this is increasingly crucial to include in travel programs. Things like flights with lower carbon emissions, hotels with environmentally friendly practices, and even eco-friendly company swag like reusable water bottles can really make a difference for the environment and job satisfaction amongst Gen Z employees.
Let’s look at you
Does your business employee many Gen Z professionals, and are they in roles where they have the opportunity to travel?