Editor’s note: This post is part of a series that looks at key trends in business travel in different parts of the world, as uncovered by local and regional studies that Amadeus participated in. How does this match up with your own experience with business travel?
Do you happen to own a smartphone (maybe two) and have a strong preference for some particular hardware brand, operating system or travel app? Are you used to organizing your holidays online and – regretfully – the last time you were on a business trip did you only get to see the airport, the meeting place and your hotel room? Do you enjoy searching for online recommendations about the place where you’re staying or the restaurant where you’ll have supper?
If your answers to all of these questions is a “yes”, then you are the average business traveller: one among millions of people whose travelling habits have changed radically in the past few years, although so smoothly that we’ve hardly noticed it happening.
In fact, these changes seem so natural for us travellers that sometimes it is easy to forget the implications that our new demands and requirements have on corporations and travel management companies. But they do have a strong impact, and the report 10+1 Faces of the Techy Business Traveller, published by Amadeus España and Forum Business Travel, takes into consideration those trends that are already shaping the future (and present!) of business travel.
- From the travel manager to the “traveller manager”
Travel managers are travellers themselves. Many of them are already using their own experience to enhance travel policies and to better guarantee the security and comfort of their travelling colleagues. The best travel manager is the one who puts him or herself in the shoes of the traveller.
- Always online
According to GSMA Intelligence’s recent report, in the next six years mobile phone lines will increase to 6 billion, and in two years’ time 50% of mobile phones will be smartphones. Business travellers are always connected, and that is an enormous opportunity for corporations and travel management companies who want to provide their clients with the best possible service.
- Barriers become smaller
Business travellers’ previous experiences during their leisure trips, and the access of all kinds of people (varying in age and seniority in the company) to technology are key in allowing the improvement of business travel management.
- One-stop shop
Travel management solutions tend to integrate services in one single platform or to operate in an integrated manner that also makes cross-channel interaction with users possible.
- No stress
The aim of innovation is to provide business travellers with positive and seamless travel experiences that increase their security, satisfaction and productivity. Innovation is there to make things better, safer, more comfortable … If it doesn’t diminish stress, it isn’t innovation.
- Travel intelligence
Thanks to data intelligence, services will be automatically adapted to the needs and demands of travellers. The consequence is a more personalized (and better) travel experience.
- No money, no documents
Digitalization secures documents and facilitates payments. The travel experience improves when everything you may need is protected from loss or theft.
- Move your body
Wearable technologies are the next step: new devices will be able to interact with travellers on new sensorial levels, enhancing their travel experience to an extent we are yet to see.
- All for one
Applying the new principles of the “sharing economy” to corporate travel as well as the application of end-to-end solutions opens new opportunities to optimize resources. Most millennial travellers are ready for it but … are corporations?
- Business and leisure
Apps that help business travellers to take better advantage of their leisure time when they are at their business destinations, and those which enable them to be better connected with home, enhance the travel experience.
+1 Epilogue. Digital Detox
Don’t get overwhelmed by technology. Hyperconnection is great but make sure that every day you get a few minutes of digital detox!