Like an airport terminal, the day-to-day business life of a travel manager is hectic. As one task is taking flight, they’re on to the next, while shepherding and extinguishing other emergencies.
With this reality, staying abreast of industry trends is a luxury - they honestly don’t have the time.
For this very reason, I’ve compiled three disruptive trends that every travel manager should be aware of:
Disruptive Trend 1: Mobile
Yes, no brainer. Mobile has indeed transformed every sphere of our lives - travel management is no exception.
The continued effect that mobile technology, specifically, smartphone applications has had on the travel process is profound.
From trip planning applications (like Hema Explorer - a GPS navigation app for touring, 4WD and camping adventure) to crowdsourcing apps (like Fuel Map - a crowd-sourced app that has a database of petrol stations and fuel prices from all across Australia), the list of interactive software tools and services is endless.
The advancements in mobile technology have empowered and put consumers in the driving seat. They’re armed with a flexibility and control that was previously elusive to previous globetrotters.
Travelers can now search, compare, book and manage their travel details with a couple of swipes and taps while still tucked under the duvets.
Travel companies are aware of this trend and continue to infuse the learnings into the development of other tools and services that add continued value to their customers.
Disruptive Trend 2: Indoor Location-based Services
Another significant progression in the travel industry is the growing popularity of indoor location-based services.
Airports across the world are now investing in trackers and sensors that keep tabs on the movement of travellers (going to and fro), and that also pinpoints traffic hurdles between the entrance and exit gate.
Furthermore, these devices act as communication conduits, whereby travel companies - and other providers alike - can seamlessly convey information (either via instant messages, software apps, or good “old” fashion emails) with the travellers keeping them abreast on flight delays, cancellations, etc.
Disruptive Trend 3: Virtual Payment Solutions
Virtual payment solutions have so many benefits, especially for the business traveler. For travel managers, as we mentioned, it takes the sting out of corporate trips.
The security, transparency and flexibility that solutions like virtual cards provide are key reasons why businesses of all sizes are abandoning paper-based solutions for online measures.
Hopefully, these tips serve as eye-openers (or at the very least, reminders) of the fascinating direction that travel is going with technology.
Join me on this exciting ride, and let’s see where next we end up! You can be rest assured that more changes, updates and advancements are underway - it’s just a matter of time.
For more information on the trends that are redefining business travel, download your free eGuide, '5 Corporate Travel Trends to Watch in 2017' below: