The travel industry is under pressure to find new ways to improve the traveller experience. That is being achieved through personalisation and convenient booking options tailored to the needs of the individual traveller and their company.
As a result, ensuring equal focus on the practicality of a travel policy that suits the needs of the corporate and its travellers has become a delicate balancing act for company travel buyers.
To this end, more companies (particularly in the US) are establishing traveller satisfaction prorammes, according to research by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and HRS.
The study found that although practicality is key for business travellers, they view travel as an experience. Delivering on this ‘experience’ has become the new challenge for travel buyers and travel management companies which also have to deliver on their corporate customers’ KPIs.
But, that’s difficult when travellers increasingly demand to control their own travel experiences – ones that take into consideration quality of life and autonomy during travels.
These modern travellers want to take back control because they believe that outdated travel policies and strict corporate policies not only have a negative impact on their wellbeing, but also inhibit the success of a business trip. For them, good business travel is not just ‘good’ for them, but it also has to be ‘good’ for the company – a win-win.
To strike the right balance, travel buyers and TMCs must offer a balance between a retail experience to travellers and a robust business travel framework that is easy, appealing and rewarding to follow.
It’s not impossible to achieve, but it takes continuous communication between the organisation and its travellers to find that win-win scenario.
This is just one element of corporate travel demand that is being explored in the review of the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) 21st Century Travel Agent Study. The study, to be released in the coming months, will also identify the role our TMC members play in achieving a travel policy that balances the demands of the business traveller and the organisation on whose behalf they travel.