The Generation Effect

Female traveller at airport
White Papers 08 Nov 2016

Making sense of employees, how they view travel and their preferences.

With the steady increase of choice in corporate travel programs, travel managers have noted a rising ‘voice of the traveller’ within their organisations. Indeed, Travel Management Companies (TMCs) have cited greater levels of interest from procurement in sourcing and offering employees who are travelling for business more choice for their air, hotel and ground transportation.

Technology has opened the door, enabling disruptors such as sharing economy providers and travel content aggregators to become a major catalyst for this change – however another major influence on this is the movement of “generational travellers” through organisations.

This whitepaper explores the three generations most typically seen within organisations today (Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y) and outlines some frequently seen trends within these groups that can be useful for organisations when making decisions around travel policy and preferred supplier arrangements.

Generations – a brief background

The study and analysis of generations is not a new phenomenon, with such research having been undertaken by universities and organisations for decades since the early nineteenth century. Such research is based on the premise that people born around the same time and raised in the same place (or places that share similar cultures) will exhibit similar characteristics, preferences and values.

It is difficult to find any two pieces of research which agree exactly on the years of birth which define a generation, however for the purposes of this whitepaper the following periods have been used:

BOOMERS 1945 - 1960 
GEN X - 1961 - 1980
GEN Y - 1981 - 1995

Today, we are witnessing a transition period where many Boomers are moving toward retirement age whilst the youngest working Generation Y are leaving university and commencing their professional careers. With this progression, driven by technology, there are transformations occurring within organisations at all levels.

Understanding these groups, how large each cohort is within your organisation and their preferences can be key to effective travel management and improving employee satisfaction.