It may not be a secret that remote and virtual services have become a significant sector of the business world, and business travel management is no exception. While some companies rely on personal contacts, others place huge importance on mobile solutions. I mean, I live in the cloud
Here’s a short overview of the latest corporate travel management trends and findings.
Companies like Travel Counsellors rely solely on personal contacts with clients. Their travel management specialists don’t make online bookings and prefer to deal with customers personally. They believe that “the future of the industry lies in personal customer service” while the Internet plays a supporting role. According to the company’s managing director Steve Byrne, this helps build a strong relationship with the customer and provide a truly personal approach to every client. Due to this policy, Travel Counsellors’ sales increased by 40% in February 2013 in comparison with the last year.
While social media may be the key decision making factor for some clients, the majority of corporate travellers prefer other sources of travel information. A recent study from the World Tourism Forum has shown that online travel bookers in the most important markets consider social media “less important than so far believed”. Thus, only 15% of UK online bookers and 20% of German online bookers think that social media is important. Lucerne University e-tourism specialist Andreas Liebrich explains that social media oriented bookers are more active Internet users who like comparing bargains and offers.
State-of-the-art mobile solutions developed by a range of travel management providers are irreplaceable in business trips, experts believe. Managed by travel management agencies, modern mobile apps are designed to ensure the client receives all the necessary information in real time including travel itineraries, airport and flight information, travel news, arrangements and cancellations, parking, currency, weather and other relevant data.
Cutting-edge apps are available for both Androids and iPhones eliminating the need to monitor the business traveller and constantly send itinerary changes and updates. Gray Dawes Travel chief executive Suzanne Cockburn explains, “We have recognised that the immediacy of information is very important to our client and this app will help keep our corporate travellers informed of any changes to their travel plans and enable them to independently plan ahead for their journey while they are on the move”.
These are the major trends that influence business travel today. While online and mobile solutions are here to stay, some travel management providers don’t underestimate the power of personal contacts. It’s up to the traveller to decide which approach to choose.