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Categories: Special ReportManaging Travel ProgramsLodging

Room for Improvement

Technology is creating the hotel programs of the future – but the past is still present
Travel managers responsible for corporate hotel programs are working toward a more efficient and productive future while in many ways maintaining a status quo that is ripe for change. That future is one powered by technologies like machine learning and blockchain. Meanwhile, traditional ways of handling business travel remain stubbornly in place.  

Result: Travel managers are boldly trying to incorporate changes where they can while continuing to operate within long-held practices.

In a recent paper on how technologies might affect business travel, BCD Travel offered many examples of how machine learning could impact business travel. In one model, if travelers like an alternative hotel, machine learning alerts travel managers that travelers are regularly using the alternative. Using “sentiment analysis,” the technology works out why they dislike the preferred hotel. Managers make travelers happy (and more productive as a result) and save money by negotiating a rate with the alternative hotel.

Similarly, according to BCD Travel, much-vaunted blockchain technology can help create self-regulating “smart” contracts where both parties are truly accountable. Clients will only get discounted rates once they’ve booked enough room nights and discounts will automatically be removed if not enough rooms are booked. Hotels will be automatically penalized for missing corporate rate availability targets.

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