Global Travel Media » Blog Archive » Convergence of Forces Shaping Travel Management

Home » Business News » Currently Reading:

Convergence of Forces Shaping Travel Management

August 2, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

The corporate travel market is witnessing a convergence of forces which are driving significant change in the industry as new technologies and digital disruption change the face of travel management.

Corporate travel management companies that are best able to adapt and implement these technologies for the benefit of their clients and in particular enhance the traveller experience will emerge the strongest.

That is the key message just delivered by Global Business Travel Association’s key participants in their 2017 annual convention held in Boston, USA.

“Travel management for organisations is no longer just about getting the best deals and ensuring compliance,” said FCM Travel Solutions General Manager James Kavanagh.

“The experience of the traveller has been elevated and along with that the provision of relevant and timely information for them to make better decisions.

“Mobile platforms and mobility will continue to grow and redefine the experience and user engagement.”

Mr Kavanagh said the impact of Blockchain technology may have far reaching benefits for the travel industry besides its value on a payments and operational level. Potential benefits include security features which may be vital for customer satisfaction and retention.

The rise of internet gatekeepers in the travel industry was seen as a game changer as they amass data which translates into marketplace power. Sites such as Expedia, and trivago are determining what information travellers are seeing and how they are seeing it. This aggregation can lead to fragmentation in booking processes for corporates with a resulting effect on adhering to travel policies. Industry players will need to consider how to collaborate with them due to their rising power.

The impact of distribution disruption was analysed in the form of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) which is designed to modernise the way air products are retailed to travel agents, corporations and travellers. The expected impacts were varied with opinions divided between it just creating a new group of consolidations through to it being a new breed of GDS potentially lowering costs of distribution.

FCM noted that seven of the top technology trends for 2017 include enhancing the traveller experience; power of big data/business intelligence; virtual reality advances; rise of artificial intelligence; the future of payments; corporate booking tools; incentive alignment/behavioural economics and gamification.

The onset of artificial intelligence and enhancing the traveller experience rank most highly in importance amongst current technology trends.

“Voice recognition technologies are changing the way that people interact with various channels and will change how they book and manage travel,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“Data analytics and machine learning will become more commonplace and be used widely in the industry to improve experiences and the quality of travel programs.

“We’re seeing the impact that Generation X and Z are having with a continued shift to more user-friendly and open programs. Companies like FCM are responding to that.”

Some of the biggest shifts are occurring through artificial intelligence and use of chatbots to anticipate travellers’ needs and provide real-time updates — such as traffic and departure information — and assistance on their mobile device.

At the GBTA convention FCM Travel Solutions unveiled an updated version of its travel-intelligent chatbot Sam. Sam is short for Smart Assistant for Mobile and now has updated functionality that provides city guides, departure gate and baggage claim information, and improved geo-location directions to help guide travellers on the move.  Sam is being rolled out progressively in FCM markets.

Comment on this Article:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership


Elite Partnership Sponsors


Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global Travel media endorses the following travel publication