8 Ways Corporate Travel is Becoming More Complex
Every day, the world of corporate travel is changing.
Factors such as extreme weather and political disruption are making it increasingly difficult to plan corporate travel. Advances in blockchain technology, travel apps, augmented reality and more are offering more options as a response to this increase in complexity.
Many of the major brands in the corporate travel space are working towards developing solutions that will allow them to better serve their customers in a comprehensive, personalized way. They are often using Big Data as a tool to understand their customers better, so that they can offer better service and solutions.
Let’s take a look into how corporate travel is becoming more complex and examine some of the trends that may affect how your organization travels.
1. Expense Tracking
These days, it is more complicated than ever to keep track of what a traveler spends on a business trip. There are so many other products sold alongside airfare, not to mention the addition of ride sharing apps and services like Air BnB.
Many apps have been developed to combat these changes and streamline corporate travel expense tracking. Their goal is to make it easier for corporate travelers to log these expenses on their phones, from anywhere.
2. Corporate Security
As corporate travel to international destinations becomes more common in the global economy, the complexity of corporate security increases. Many companies are now appointing Chief Security Officers to account for the security needs of their organization in this changing world.
This was not even a thought five or ten years ago. Now it’s becoming a must.
3. Extreme Weather
In recent times, there has been an increase in extreme weather – from high temperatures to wildfires, hurricanes, floods and more. According to scientists, as the planet continues to get warmer, climate change will lead to even more frequent incidents of extreme weather. We are already seeing this in many locations around the world.
Of course, the more extreme the weather, the more complications arise for corporate travelers. These natural disasters and extreme weather conditions often require trips to be canceled or rerouted and can leave corporate travelers stranded. Companies will need to keep these risks in mind and be more prepared for these last minute changes.
4. Travel Apps
We already mentioned some apps that are becoming popular for corporate travel. There are many more that now provide a way for travelers to make bookings, research travel and interact with travel brands. After all, the aim of technology is to create efficiencies where they did not exist before.
As travel research and booking apps continue to disrupt the market, corporate travelers will start to view them as more of a personal concierge than a piece of software. This may be more complex to start, but eventually it will simplify corporate travel for the better.
5. Political Disruption
Political disruption is another factor that affects the complexity of corporate travel. For example, when President Trump made his travel ban in January of 2017, it led to turmoil at airports and added to the uncertainty of travelers. This was not an isolated incident, either. All around the world, there is political disruption that changes corporate travel every day.
Let’s face it. Corporate travel has always been affected by global events. Whether it is a terrorist attack, an unstable government or other disruption, corporate travel is simply becoming more complex all around.
6. Augmented Reality
It might sound like something out of a science fiction film, but augmented reality has the potential to re-shape the corporate travel industry. Here are some of the ways that it could impact your organization:
- Travelers will have the ability to do virtual walkthroughs of hotels, conference centers and other spaces from anywhere
- Travel agencies can “preview” destinations so corporate travelers can get a first-hand look at where they are going before they travel
- Virtual reality smartphone integration will allow corporate travelers to have immersive travel research at their fingertips
- VR headsets are now expected to replace iPads as sales tools at travel industry events and conferences worldwide
According to a recent article from Entrepreneur, VR conference rooms could also become a possibility, allowing companies to send their employees to events and meetings virtually. (Of course, this will likely never fully replace physical travel.)
7. Blockchain Technology
You’ve heard about the important role of blockchain technology in the travel industry, and it also applies to the corporate travel industry. Blockchain technology allows for transactions to be made without a middleman, verified by the entire community rather than one single centralized authority.
This flexibility has huge implications for the corporate travel industry. There are already companies openly planning to use blockchain to create a completely decentralized repository of travel offerings. This alternative distribution system for corporate travel could be huge. It may even decrease commission fees and disrupt the current model, offering serious savings for companies booking travel.
The option for corporate travelers to fully customize their trip, down to the smallest detail, is the way of the future (talk about added complexity!). As we mentioned in a recent blog post, this interest in custom travel reveals that the corporate travel world is starting to mirror the trends of the leisure travel industry.
Corporate travel companies are starting use Big Data to gather information about their customers to provide more of these personalized services. They are also offering more booking options than ever before, allowing their customers to craft their ideal corporate travel experience.
Looking Toward the Future
In many ways, corporate travel is becoming more complex. What does the future hold for corporate travel? How will these increasing levels of complexity change the way our corporate travel policies operate? Only time will tell, but we are excited and prepared for the future!
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