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Have you ever been given an ear full by your travel manager for booking a flight upgrade or a better hotel room during a business trip? More than ever before corporations are scrutinizing their business travel processes, not only from a cost perspective, but also from a safety perspective. These challenges and more were discussed in depth at the CAPA-ACTE Global Summit held in Amsterdam.
This year’s event was unique in that for the first time the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) partnered with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), to explore future travel industry ‘game-changers’ as well as the continued importance of business travel and understating its real ROI.
How corporations are reacting to the trends and challenges they foresee made up most of the panel discussions. A special focus was also placed on taking a realistic look at the added conveniences as well as the risks for established players. Naturally, the sharing economy, including Uber, Airbnb, and the likes, dominated these discussions, with many suggesting that these players should be embraced rather than shunned.
Implementation of new technology sparked talk about the need for travel managers and IT players to work more closely together to have success in this respect. A challenge, that was often cited, was the gap between the language used by technology professionals and travel managers. Attendees agreed that it is very important for travel managers to bridge this gap so they can ask the right questions. By making sure everything is understood before undertaking the implementation process, both parties can save money, time, and avoid a lot of misunderstanding and frustration.
I had a chance to talk to many corporations in attendance and many were intrigued by the peace of mind that can be achieved through full integration across different stages of travel programmes and how this can help ensure their travellers of a smooth and hassle free travel experience.
Corporations also expressed their interest in technology that was customisable to their needs, designed with business travellers in minds, and emulated the ease of a B2C shopping experience. I often found myself talking about Amadeus cytric Travel & Expense, which addresses many key concerns for corporations, including cost reductions, improved user experience, and automation.