We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
Global Head of Corporation Sales, Amadeus
As someone who spends roughly 8 weeks a year ‘on the road’ for business, I sometimes get the feeling that only the corporate side of me gets to travel. And travel could be only 40 km away from home…
I will use the example of our customer event in Monaco this week, Amadeus Travel Leaders Connect, to explain what Managed Travel 3.0 could mean for the corporate traveller. Think of being at the Hotel Hermitage after a full day at the conference. It’s a place to sleep, but other than that it is at this stage, just another bed in another city (sorry Monaco!). Now imagine that this wonderful hotel is being equipped with your favourite yoga video at the ready, or some free weights and a choice of workout on your widescreen, or a local hotel app suggesting a visit of the Oceanographic museum. Imagine getting a list of the type of restaurant you enjoy, within walking distance, or a link with a special offer to attend the ballet showing at the Garnier Opera House in Monte Carlo, as well as alternative offers in the vicinity for you to enjoy on your ‘down time’.
Where does all of this fit into Managed Travel? Unfortunately, it doesn’t yet. But the reality is that there is so much more to business travel than who foots the bill. Yet many players are not seeing the opportunity to provide these services to travellers.
Now that corporate citizens are more empowered than ever, with services only a swipe away, change is upon us. New entrants are disrupting the norm, creating the opportunity for the established players to significantly innovate and create heightened differentiation to remain ‘in the game’.
The space is wide-open when it comes to satisfying business travellers on the road. If all the players in the travel ecosystem, including TMCs, airports, technology providers, hospitality players, and even restaurants and destination services, were to focus a little bit more on what the traveller wants, or is likely to want, I suspect we may be able to put the fun back in business travel, and create happier corporate citizens.
It is actually during a light-hearted lively debate this afternoon at our event that leaders in the space have discussed the changes at stake. One topic that was highlighted by Gadi Bashvitz, CEO OLSET, was the ubiquity of data, whilst Philippe Chereque, Chief Commercial and Technology Officer, American Express GBT, commented on the importance of giving the full experience to travellers. Decius Valmorbida, VP Distribution Marketing at Amadeus, reflected on the need for travel agencies, as well as airlines, to move into the merchandising space.
All in all, the jury is out on the role we need to take, however we are all clear on the role we WANT to take, that is, placing the corporate citizen at the centre of Managed Travel 3.0 with technology creating a more connected ecosystem, with more interaction, personalisation, and a better on the road experience, while respecting the needs of the corporation. What Managed Travel 3.0 implies is that the professional and personal can co-exist even in business travel.
Check out Amadeus’ latest whitepaper Managed Travel 3.0 and stay tuned to this blog for updates.