Saudi millennial business travelers have high tech needs


Saudi Gazette report

Millennial business travelers between the ages of 18 and 34 in Saudi Arabia are driving an evolution in corporate travel by demanding both cutting-edge digital support throughout their trips and on-demand advice from human consultants, according to an independent global study commissioned by Travelport, leading Travel Commerce Platform.

The research, which surveyed 11,000 travelers in 19 countries who took at least one return flight in the last year, revealed that:

Two fifths (41%) of Saudi millennial business travelers now count being unable to access booking information across their devices 24/7 as one of their biggest gripes

Two fifths (40%) say they get frustrated when companies don’t use data analytics to provide highly personalized travel recommendations based on their past preferences

One third (33%) say not being able to get expert advice from human consultants during the booking process is a major pain point

Millennials in Saudi Arabia are among the most digitally savvy in the world, says Mohammed Khair, Travelport’s Country Manager in Saudi Arabia. “The demand we’re seeing today from this age group for omni-channel support throughout their travel experience, whether it’s for business or leisure, is remarkable,” he says. “This presents a significant opportunity for travel management companies, as well as other businesses that support corporate travel booking, especially as the travel agent sector globally is behind where it really should be when it comes to digital support. As Travelport has spent many years investing in areas such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and developing mobile applications like Trip Assist, we feel uniquely positioned to help our customers stay ahead of the curve.”

Millennials’ escalating thirst for ‘bleisure’ - itineraries combining both business and leisure – is also driving change. Over half, 56 percent, now regularly extend their business trips by a few days so they can see local attractions.

To satisfy their ‘bleisure’ needs, most Saudi millennial business travelers are now doing their own research before finalizing their travel plans. Among the most common tools used to build their perfect itinerary are general travel advice sites (used by 81%) and review sites (used by 75%). Looking through videos and photos posted by travel brands on social media (77%) is also typical for digitally-advanced Saudi millennials, as is using voice search technology (58%).

If required to book a trip themselves, the majority of Saudi millennials do so online through a corporate booking tool (73%). However, nearly half (45%) say they now book business travel online through their smartphone, making it a more popular tool to use than a desktop or laptop (40%).

On average, Saudi-based millennial business travelers use 18 different categories of apps. Of these, ground transportation and translation apps (both used by 83% of KSA millennial business travelers) are the most popular, closely followed by map apps (82%). High results for travel review and destination guide apps (both 75%) further support that it’s not all business for the KSA business traveler.