New Travel Management trends – Part 2

More travel trends set to define 2019

28 November 2018
In our last report we covered that ‘Female traveller’s safety will become a major agenda point’, in this report we will look at two other trends we feel will define travel management in 2019.

1.  Evolving online business tools will be a major requirement within corporate travel.

We are almost coming full circle, in the past the majority of business travel was either self-booked by the individual or by the company travel manager, this was followed by TMC’s taking over and easing the pressure of those time consuming booking processes, offering more choice and better pricing, whilst providing knowledge and expertise. Now its technologies turn in the shape of the online booking tool (OBT) allowing companies once again to take control of their travel, only this time with all the bells and whistles they received from their TMC’s account manager.

The online business tool has many features:

    •    Traveller Profiles
    •    Lower transaction fees
    •    Embedded company travel policy
    •    Built in negotiated rates
    •    Preferred suppliers
    •    Out of Policy notifications
    •    Instant reporting suite
    •    Secure payment through account and VCC
    •    Traveller ownership and policy responsibility
    •    Duty of Care
    •    Aggregators and API integration – providing a complete content offering

As the OBT evolves, more powerful enhancements will start to be introduced, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, pre-empting what the user may require when they next login.

With new content being continuously added, such as NDC (New Distribution Channels), the OBT will become a ‘One Stop Shop’ for everything travel, no searching, no waiting however some people will still require, and prefer the personal touch, so being able to provide a blended offering will be very much sort after in the future.

2.  Data privacy

GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation has been around since May 2018 and it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, it needs to be addressed because it’s here to stay, even if we leave the EU.

GDPR has changed how companies are able to work with data, this has been evident within the travel industry due to the continuing development and usage of technology, especially the online booking tool (OBT). The OBT’s efficiency depends on the input of client data and now with the arrival of machine learning this data will be key to enhancing the users experience and will make it possible for the desired results to be delivered.

Corporate clients are very aware that their data is being collected, every website visited now asks for permissions, so making them aware of the robust procedures and systems in place to protect their colleagues will help build client confidence.

One question that will also need answering is what’s happening with the flow of data shared with suppliers and are they complying with GDPR? Reviewing and discussing all third-party supplier contracts will ensure you are able to answer this as the controller of the data will still be liable. The safety of sharing gathered data has been greatly emphasised in the new law and with fines being up to €20 million, it pays to check.

So, what’s required; personal data records will need to be saved, along with proven consent, especially if you intend to use that information for marketing purposes, details of how the data is used, how it’s protected and the length of time it will need to be kept will also be a requirement.
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