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Concur: Millennial Business Travelers Are Pretty Thrifty

By / Aug 22, 2017 (FatCamera/Getty Images Plus)

A report from the business travel management firm Concur finds that while younger employees might have slightly higher hotel expenses, this is offset by far lower amounts spent on dining and entertainment overall—a trend that holds up globally.

If you think younger business travelers have a tendency to be more frivolous with their business travel spending, you might be surprised by what Concur has to say.

The travel management firm has some new data out that suggests that conventional thinking on this issue might be way off base. The company—which analyzed $36 billion in dining, entertainment, and hotel expenses over more than two years—notes that 80 percent of these transactions come from employees between ages 36 and 65, with average expenses per employee in that age range totaling $8,596, compared to $5,188 per employee for those ages 22 to 35.

By transaction, the stats are even more telling, with young adults spending $44 per transaction on dining and entertainment, versus $52 per transaction for older employees. When traveling, the amount per meal is slightly lower—$33 for millennials, $39 for older workers. In addition, millennials  spend slightly more on hotel-related expenses than their more senior colleagues ($114 per transaction, versus $111), something Skift reporter Andrew Sheivachman speculates might be related to younger travelers being more likely to pay for wireless access.

The modest increase in hotel spending, however, is more than made up for by lower spending on food and entertainment overall—a trend that holds up globally but is most pronounced outside of the Americas. Older European and Middle Eastern travelers, in particular, spend significantly more on dining and entertainment than their younger counterparts, as well as other employees globally.

“By and large, millennials spend less on dining, entertainment, and hotel expenses than older generations globally,” the company’s Tim MacDonald states. “By region, we see the biggest difference between what senior colleagues and millennials spend in Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.”

Concur adds that these differing employee spending patterns are a major factor in reconsidering policies, to ensure it’s clear to employees what’s OK and what isn’t.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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