Inflight Wifi, Cryptocurrency or Airbnb…Collaborative housing, payment and meetings virtualization or Bleisure: a look at the main trends of the coming months in a business travel sector that is moving towards more personalization.
Automation, machine-learning, bots, AI, voice search ... What will tomorrow's business trips look like?
Several phenomena will mark the business travel sphere this year. As an example: the establishment of Wi-Fi connections in aircrafts, the virtual reality applied to the hotel industry, the virtualization of payments but also meetings in order to reduce costs. Another trend is the border between tourism and business travel that continues to fade.
"The merger between work and leisure will lead to multi-purpose trips that will influence the choice of hotels and flights," confirms Jean-Noel Lau Keng Lun, senior director of marketing product at Egencia.
In the longer term, observers of the sector also evoke the arrival of machine-learning, and the appearance of crypto-currencies in the world of business travel.
More collaborative business trips
Another trend detected by major travel agencies: the increasing openness of business travel to the collaborative economy. According to an Egencia study in 2017, 29% of business travelers have used an Airbnb type hosting service, but above all, 44% are considering it. "The hosting services of the sharing economy is a trend that may have taken some time to start in the business travel sector, but will continue," analyzes Jean-Noël Lau Keng Lun. And for good reason, at the global level, Airbnb has passed in 2017 the bar of the 250,000 companies that use its services. In 2015, when the "Airbnb for business" offer was launched, the same figure was 250.
More globalized services
More generally, the trend among travel agencies specializing in corporate travel is the development of global and transversal platforms, providing solutions that go far beyond the personal assistant Like TripCase and TripIT, our mobile apps that organize all your travel plans; find alternative flights, send real-time alerts, snags the best seat in addition to managing flight itineraries, hotel bookings, and rental car reservations all in one place.
Always more customization
The industry players respond unanimously: all these technological innovations can be summed up in two words: Offer’s personalization! The one and only challenge most of travel management companies want to strive for is how to make business travel even more personalized. Messaging, bots and voice search, powered by AI, will lead to new search and booking habits, and voice command technologies should play a big role in this, hence, the intention of APPLE to implement a professional version of Siri.
Talk to one of our specialized business travel agents and learn how your company can stay proactive with the 2018 corporate travel trends.