Business travelers are continuing to adopt new tools and apps inspired by the leisure travel and retail sectors, while catching on to widespread trends such as the sharing economy. Key innovations such as Big Data, virtual credit cards and social media are all paving the way for further “markets of one” customization – a term coined for a level of personal preferences and service which makes customers feel they are being treated exclusively.
But while travelers still express concerns about items such as data security, they appear willing to accept these changes where it makes their lives easier and better, especially as providers continue to find ways to address these issues with their offerings.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT)’s latest report, Faster, smarter, better? tackles the five key trends that are transforming the world of business travel: customization; mobile technology; the sharing economy; new booking methods; and new payment solutions. The report was created following a survey of over 127 travel managers and 1,080 travelers who fed back for the study.
The study also indicates that 35% of travel managers are planning to incorporate these technologies and trends they ranked as important into their travel programs and another 38% are actively considering them. For those looking to incorporate these trends, 56% are planning to do so within the next year.
David Moran, executive vice president, Global Enterprise Strategy, CWT, said: “As the pace of technological change is accelerating, so is market readiness for new ways of buying, managing and experiencing travel. In this increasingly connected world, the role of the TMC is also continuing to change – we’re helping clients to navigate these changes, providing new technology as well as ensuring they see all the benefits from the data that these new technologies provide.”
One travel procurement and policy manager interviewed for the study concluded, “TMCs are able to collect massive amounts of data and are in a position to build travel services that precisely match travelers’ wishes.”