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December 6, 2019

Better, Faster, Easier: How Business Travel will Transform by 2025

Approaching 2020, we’ve seen some incredible transformation in what’s possible when combining the latest machine learning-driven personalization with extensive flight, train, lodging and rental car choice, plus proactive, global 24/7 live travel agent support.

But there’s been an absence of collaboration and alignment among the three main stakeholders in business travel. A combination of new technology and elevated standards will create the ultimate win-win-win, allowing suppliers, corporate travel managers and business travelers to work together towards unprecedented efficiencies and transparency. It will herald in high traveler adoption and satisfaction, complete travel visibility and control for policy makers, and full alignment with and for suppliers.

I’ve watched this market change in every way possible for the past 15 years, and I’ve never been as excited or optimistic about the changes that lie ahead than I am right now.

Here are five massive ways that business travel will get better, faster, and easier by 2025:

1. NDC and NGS will pave the way for a dramatically better booking experience.

The full scope of New Distribution Capabilities (NDC) and how inventory gets displayed in the Next Generation Storefront (NGS) will play out over the next five years, providing travelers with unique, differentiated options.

Both NDC and NGS offer suppliers a way to showcase their offerings, and if we consider how potentially personalized this shopping experience can be with machine learning, we’ll surely see very satisfied travelers and suppliers.

In crafting a more relevant booking experience for today’s business traveler, corporate travel managers can be confident in their travelers’ choices.

2. Personalization will simplify, tailor, and expedite the travel experience from booking through checkout.

The future of corporate travel could be as simple as machines generating a unique itinerary for each user. Technology-supported personalization gives precious time back to the business traveler by surfacing the right inventory at the right time, but also creates the ability to form dynamic offers based on the individual user.

This benefits organizations by encouraging increased traveler adoption and helps suppliers ensure that their most relevant content gets in front of the right customers at the right time.

3. Seamless supply integrations will transform the traveler experience.

It is exciting to think about technology’s ability to create the best trip door-to-door, including any combination of train, ground transfers and flights and based on a host of factors including traffic, delays and preferences.

Through partnerships and technology, TMCs will be able to seamlessly pair all travel information together to help hoteliers better serve guests with access to up-to-date data.

As business travelers access more specific information, travel managers have better insight into their choices and can better edit policies.

4. A mobile-first approach will be actualized

The smartphone will take its rightful place at the center of the corporate travel experience by 2025. Travel is often booked on a desktop because of the complexity, but factors like personalization and an improved UX drive mobile adoption.

Mobile can make or break travel programs, so it is necessary to successfully integrate a mobile strategy to empower travelers and drive adoption.

5. Customer service supported by AI and live agents is available at travelers’ fingertips 24/7/365.

Today, machine learning technology can catch travel disruptions as soon as they occur, proactively surface alternative options and bring in 24/7 365 live human support.

By 2025, this new standard for proactive support will create widespread efficiencies for travel managers and suppliers.

Conclusion

Technology will radically shift the business travel experience, creating a win-win-win for suppliers, travel managers, and business travelers.

It will ultimately drive revenue for suppliers while reducing costs for companies, improve efficiencies for suppliers while lowering friction for travel managers and boost traveler satisfaction while driving adoption for corporate travel policies. All in all, adding value for each player.

Business travelers will receive the benefits of the most innovative and evolving technologies available and the same — or better — experience as consumer services.

By 2025, managing and booking business travel will be as easy as signing a document with DocuSign or ordering a meal through DoorDash.

These seismic shifts in the consumer market are coming to business travel and will radically transform the experience and achieve the goals of suppliers, travel managers, and business travelers in the process.

A more cohesive, collaborative, and efficient future is on the horizon. Let’s go.

This article was originally published on Phocuswire.

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