Back to the future of travel

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‘Analogue is the new digital’. That’s the expression trend analysts use to describe today’s general shift away from impersonal technology and services to those with a (real) human touch. But we see a more blended scenario when it comes to professional corporate travel services.

We know that the corporate traveller of today demands real-time updates and fast, online booking channels and support services, preferably managed via a personal device. Employees are also cost-conscious and there is evidence to suggest poor adoption of company booking tools and breaking from company travel policy boils down to a lack of knowledge through company ranks.

Travel management companies (TMCs) have evolved with the times, investing in technology that meets the demands of modern road warriors. However, a blended approach means customers still enjoy human encounters when and where it counts.

Via smart booking apps, employee travel bookings are customised, while Artificial Intelligence is beginning to fulfil more automated functions, freeing up consultants to perform other, hands-on tasks. Rather than a regression back to the ‘analogue’ era, digital solutions combined with personal consulting are driving employee satisfaction and productivity levels.

Based on a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, in partnership with Egencia and published by Skift, tight travel budgets and overly strict travel policies don’t make for happy or productive employees.

The report surveyed 587 business leaders, mostly in Europe and the US, and highlighted the benefits of working with a single TMC. The findings underlined the need to educate staff about TMC booking tools and services, which will encourage compliance and maximise travel management benefits for corporations of any size.

ASATA members are seeing an uptick in corporate travel now that the general elections are behind us. But, to realise the benefits and maintain personal business relationships, companies need to travel.

By booking with an ASATA-accredited TMC, companies across the region can assure travelling employees of expert, personalised service and the best price through a careful mix of personal consulting and smart digital solutions.