Business travel is a necessity of the modern workforce, but being on the road can be exhausting and time-consuming.
It’s no surprise then that organisations are looking to simplify corporate travel processes. Technology is emerging as a critical enabler to reduce stress and create a seamless experience – which is vital not only for travellers but also the travel managers responsible for the wellbeing of the employee.
Organisations need to focus on leveraging agile and responsive technology to empower travel managers and improve the overall travel experience.
By leveraging mobile technology, organisations can alleviate some of the pain points that come with travel. Using a mobile corporate travel management platform can allow business travellers to search, book, view and edit their itinerary while on the go; and even stay engaged with their travel consultant, all within a single app.
Research from Travelport Digital revealed that 77 per cent of business travellers rely on their smartphone to alert them to flight changes and disruptions. Having instant access to this information helped travellers to feel less stressed. This technology is not only improving experiences, it’s also helping organisations meet duty of care obligations by making it easier to locate and communication with employees in case of an emergency.
The advent of technology has brought major change to the travel industry, creating new ways for companies to interact with travellers. Mobile has transformed the way we travel, and the next wave of innovation is driven by the likes of artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies.
Mobile is just one small part of the digital transformation of corporate travel. Technology such as AI is playing a bigger role in the travel industry. Machine learning technology allows chatbots to send booking confirmations, check-in notifications, boarding passes and flight status updates. AI also enables travellers to use voice-based services to check itineraries, book and pay for their trips.
Skyscanner, for example, has been working with voice-enabled technology, compatible to Amazon Alexato suggest flights based on a simple conversation about upcoming travel plans. Travellers can ask Alexa to search for flights and the best options will then be provided by Alexa.
Another example is easyJet which launched a new search function in its app that can be fed with an Instagram picture of a location. Users upload a screengrab from Instagram and the app uses image-recognition techniques to identify the location and then auto-completes the booking fields.
These technologies are taking travel experiences to a new level and reducing the stress of managing the different elements of travel. By using AI, travel managers and travellers can be assured that only relevant search options are provided hence eliminating complexity, improving efficiency and reducing travel management stress.
Business travellers are evolving, and the travel tools that organisations provide them need to meet the demands of a digital workforce. A new generation accustomed to seamless experiences expect the same convenience, choice and flexibility from their business travel tools.
Companies need to embrace dynamic solutions that improve employee adoption rates by offering more personalised experiences and better support on the road, saving both time and money for the company.
Kris Miller, Corporate Sales and Account Director APAC, Travelport