New Technologies that will Transform the Business Travel Industry
Although the travel and tourism industry took a major hit in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, it was quick to recover. By 2013, the industry made a total contribution to GDP of 1.35 trillion U.S. dollars. Business travel makes up a sizeable portion of this industry. Experts predict that domestic business trips will reach 483 million by 2020 – and it doesn’t look like these numbers will be slowing down anytime soon.
Even the younger generations –millennials – are embracing business travel. The generation known for chasing experiences not material goods, eighty-one percent of millennial business travelers say that “business travel has a positive impact on their job satisfaction.” Technology is also playing a huge role in the growth of this industry and will for many years to come.
The following technologies are expected to have an impact on powering smarter business travel:
For travel agents and travelers alike, mobile is a vital tool. Instant messaging platforms – like Slack, Skype, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp – have become a main touch point for travelers throughout their journey. In 2017 alone, there were more than 5 billion users on messaging apps. Now is the time for Travel Management Companies (TMCs) to take advantage of these platforms to integrate travel expenses, service and interact with individuals as they travel and offer a more personalized experience.
Using artificial intelligence will help TMCs organize the massive amount of data (user location, past activities, preferences, etc.) they handle to build predictive analysis and benchmarks. In addition, AI will allow for further automation of the self-booking and expense management experience. Overall, AI will increase productivity and make the traveler’s trip even more enjoyable.
VR and AR
More and more TMC’s are considering the potential and the advantages of incorporating virtual and augmented reality. VR is expected to reach as much as $70 billion by 2020. Industry experts predict that VR will be the next generation of advanced user interface with incredible content that enhances the corporate traveler’s experience.
Despite the growth and success of this industry, it is often categorized as high-risk by providers. Why? The nature of the industry involves a lot of chargebacks. Travelers change their minds last minute or have other plans comes up, so they cancel their trip. Other travelers may book the wrong room or the wrong flight and need to make a quick change. If your business is struggling with this exact problem, consider working with a high-risk specialist. They understand the obstacles you face and are happy to offer a travel merchant account that fits your unique needs.
Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas co-founded eMerchantBroker, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants. His passions include producing music, and traveling.