8 top trends in corporate travel
By Nina Hendy
Corporate travelers are demanding an increasingly savvy service on the back of constant technology improvements. Here’s what we can expect in the future.
1. MORE MEANINGFUL TRAVEL EXPERIENCES
Social media has created a heightened awareness of the experience we can expect when traveling for business. News about friends and strangers traveling the globe fill our social media news feeds, inspiring us to make our next trip one worth writing home about.
This social awareness fuels our desire for authentic and more meaningful experiences even on business trips, according to a recent report by travel platform Locomote, which reveals big insights in the travel industry.
2. DIY TRAVEL
The modern corporate traveler has a number of apps and digital tools at their disposal once they arrive. This includes apps like Trippy, which allows you to integrate your Facebook account, tell it where you want to go and scan your connections to see if anyone lives or previously lived in the area or visited in the past. Trippy also enables users to ask advice based on what you want to do during your trip.
3. ACCOMMODATION WITH PERSONALITY
Corporate travelers are looking for personalized accommodation with a 'home away from home' feel when traveling for work. Hotels with those added personal touches and creature comforts are high on the list. With rewards for frequent and loyal guests also proving popular. But the rise of the share economy is changing the way travelers look for accommodation, giving them the ability to connect with locals willing to open their homes. With just over 16,000 AirBnB listings in Sydney alone according to data, traditional accommodation providers are finding their own way to offer a genuine and localized experience with top notch service to boot.
4. MORE FLEXIBLE TRAVEL
Locking in your travel plans and not being able to shift them without a hefty price will be a thing of the past, according to predictions made by leading travel services company Stage and Screen.
The company’s general manager Tiziano Galipo says: “Travel companies and airlines are realizing that flexibility is an important commodity, so they’re making it easier for corporate travelers to alter their travel itinerary.”
5. END-TO-END SERVICES
Services that cater to the corporate traveler from the time they leave their front door to the time they check-in at the other end are on the way, Galipo predicts.
“We believe that services that offer a VIP solution for high flying executives that take care of everything are on the way. These will be services that will take care of everything from travel bookings, restaurant bookings, transfers, dry cleaning services and everything else a busy corporate traveler could possibly want during a trip away,” he says.
6. AIRPORTS WITHOUT QUEUES
Greater convenience is a big focus for airports and airlines around the world in 2016. The Locomote report lists the UK’s Gatwick Airport, which is on a mission to be the world’s most efficient two runway airport, with a new design aiming to slash transit time and eliminate queues altogether.
Geneva Airport, meanwhile, is doubling the amount of self-service luggage drop systems. And Helsinki Airport has introduced new sensor tracking technology that gives the airport reliable real-time data on how people are moving around the terminal to reduce bottlenecks.
7. SELF-SERVE CHECK-IN
First the airlines bought us self-serve check-in. But you can expect to see it in plenty more places in the future. Yotel Hotels, for one, accommodates the modern corporate traveler with digital check-in stations, robotic luggage concierge, free WiFi, techno walls and digital breakout areas, according to Locomote.
8. SKY-HIGH DIGITAL ACCESS
Switching to flight mode will be a thing of the past for corporate travelers, opening up lots of additional time to get on top of that mountain of work before landing. Qantas announced a trial period of free WiFi in the sky earlier this year.
Galipo says access to WiFi in the sky for domestic routes will have a big impact on time-poor corporate travelers.