Categories: Special ReportManaging Travel Programs

Great Expectations - Buyers manage traveler choices

Buyers manage traveler choices and corporate goals in the midst of changing times
Changes in business travel are occurring at light speed, and not just in one or two aspects, but seemingly across the board, from security and duty of care concerns to policies and technologies, like NDC, booking tools, travel apps and beyond. Much of it is designed to enhance the users’ acceptance and their experience. But the speed of traveler expectations is changing so fast, it’s taking the whole industry by surprise.

“It’s not just what the traveler can get right now but also the advancements they know are coming down the line like AI and personalization, which shape that expectation,” says Paul Tilstone, managing partner of Festive Road. “Essentially, things like the talent gap and a focus on wellbeing in corporate life all result in the traveler wanting to experience a sense of their value to the company in their travel program experience right alongside efficiency, and these two things will shape travel programs in the future.”

Will Tate, a partner in Goldspring Consulting, agrees things are changing super-fast with suppliers utilizing newer and more personalized technology to gain a closeness to the customer. As a consequence corporate travel buyers are constantly challenged with creating technological responses that rival what’s in the consumer space. “That creates a friction between the consumer experience of a traveler and the corporate experience,” he says.

Today’s business travelers are relying more on technology and social media forums to find quick answers and solutions, adds Albert Taras, president of TCG Consulting. Therefore, quick response, easy workflow and simplification are absolute musts for companies that want to encourage travelers to “buy-in” to the corporate program.

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