Categories: Special ReportTechnology Data Management

The Big Story: Future Tense — A Brave New World

Artificial Intelligence and big data are dragging the travel industry into the 21st century
The pace of progress in smartphone technology alone is dizzying. But if you haven’t noticed, take a minute to consider the 2019 BMW 5 Series. New York City’s cramped garages are no match for this wonder, which squeezes itself into any 9-foot wide space – while its driver stands outside to watch.

But if self-driving cars are within sight, where’s the innovation in travel? Corporate travel buyers still spend much of their time on the same manual processes they used 30 years ago, while busy travelers are still booking the same, well worn trip as if it were the first time.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine a world where travel managers’ time and mental space are freed for strategic thinking about higher-level problems, like how to maximize their budget while giving travelers the kind of personalized experience currently enjoyed only by those with “status.”

This transition isn’t just possible; it’s necessary. According to Johnny Thorsen, vice president, global strategy and partnerships at Mezi, “travel managers must be capable of deploying and managing solutions driven by artificial intelligence” in order to survive. In fact, he predicts at least 50 percent of corporate travel buyers will use AI and machine learning in three to five years (though less than 5 percent do today).

Data Management

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