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30 November 2012 | Anna Reynolds
Business travellers want to be able to manage their trips more easily and are increasingly using instant services such as mobile apps and travel review sites according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT).
According to CWT’s Business Travel Trends outlook for 2013, companies are focusing on how technology can better meet travellers’ needs. Consumer-influenced technology including smart phones, tablets and the web, are becoming important tools for booking corporate travel, with mobile apps and travel review sites specifically designed for business travellers.
Patrice Simon, CWT’s head of innovation said: “Our travellers want to plan, book and manage their business travel as easily as they do their leisure travel. For them, 2013 will be about developing instant, relevant and bookable services. For companies, it will be about gaining access to large amounts of data from multiple sources via real-time dashboards.
“The more data that companies have about their travellers, the more visibility they gain over travel spend and behaviour. This will allow companies to design better safety and security strategies and give travellers more personalised and relevant information.”
CWT also forecasts that hotel reviews by corporate travellers will boost negotiations with hotel companies and travel buyers are expected be more aware of ancillary fees on top of fares and hotel rates when negotiating deals.
Other business travel trends for the year ahead include increased use of rail travel – as the number of countries operating high-speed rail lines will increase – and the introduction of more low-cost air carriers particularly in Latin America and Asia Pacific.
The outlook was based on feedback from CWT's global customer base and data gathered by IHS Global Insight, the International Monetary Fund Research Department and the United Nations.