Business TravelBUSINESS TRAVEL

By John Burroughes, Uniglobe Travel remains dynamic and ever changing, with the emergence of the multi-screen generation impacting on Travel Management as never before. Travel Management Companies, Travel Managers and individual Stakeholders are constantly under pressure by the digital body language of their travellers. This signals a new dawn where the attitude of travellers has shifted. The landscape with respect to the old concept of B2B and B2C with the blurred lines has now finally disappeared, which is down to travellers now having access to multiple channels of purchase. This simply means that there is a greater demand on purchasing departments, resulting in Travel Management Companies needing to find innovative means of generating real savings by promoting sustainable measurable travel programmes. Some of these savings and value-adds will come in the form of driving online adoption, redesigning the existing travel policy to achieve greater cost avoidance, providing better place utility with effective mobile strategies and improving approval processes by favouring automation. Along with reinforcing more sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility, ensuring that this also forms a part of the vendor selection process, including end-to-end optimisation of the travel process and big data. Whilst big data isn’t a new thing, there is a massive buzz around it at the moment. Big data seems to be the new oil; however, it’s usually how the data is used which will determine whether you reap the most benefits. Business Intelligence has emerged and has a role to play in aiding organisations to take advantage of the masses of data available to them and learn more about the unique nuances of their travellers, adapting their travel programme and policies accordingly. We cannot make informed decisions without numbers, and as such we need not be blinded by big data but move to further understand information discovery, where model data and unstructured data is merged. Most companies do not know what their travellers think of the travel programme for two main reasons. Profiles are limited and do not understand the personal journey of the multi-screen generation and hence are unable to recognise the digital body language. Most Travel Management Companies, and even some Travel Manager’s, share the view that open booking is one to fear, however, if we are to understand the journey of our travellers we must start by collecting all possible data relating to the travellers digital footprint.

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