Senior corporate travel and procurement managers shared their tips and insights on the future of the industry at the 2019 Business Travel Show in London.
Give terrific experiences
Take advantage of the apps being developed by travel management companies (TMCs) providing simple ways for travellers to contact hotels for last-minute changes. “The way you’re going to drive compliance is by making the user experience terrific,” said Mark Hollyhead, COO of Egencia.
Real-time data is the future
Look at the data offering when selecting a TMC, said Egencia’s Andrew Dyer: “Part of being a travel manager or procurement professional in travel is understanding the travel programme, and the behaviour of your travellers that you get in real-time. That’s where this is going.”
Dr Christian Spieker, head of corporate services at global financial consultant ZEB, added that switching to a consolidated supplier to streamline information through one platform helped to cut down on travel costs and improve end-to-end solutions, making the process simpler for travellers to use.
Duty of care
New technology also helps travel managers protect their travellers, said Hollyhead, pointing to Egencia’s tracker that is integrated into the app: “A core need of any travel programme is ensuring you know where your travellers are. These tools can facilitate supporting anybody in case of a crisis or drama… and put the travel manager in control of their programme.”
Accommodating the needs of different types of travellers is important, as every business requires varying travel arrangements. Dr Christian Spieker said: “Ensure the travel programme reflects the type and age of travellers – for example, young travellers like the option of Ubers.” Don’t be afraid to have some flexibility, and use trial and error to get the experience just right, he added.