Can technology address the concerns of business travellers?


The Association of Corporate Travel Executives and American Express Global Business Travel have released a study of traveller trends including security and the so-called sharing economy.

The ‘Checking In: Servicing the Multifaceted Modern Business Traveller‘ report looks at the greatest concerns and stress for business travellers as well as the digital trends employed to address these.

Security

Among the security concerns expressed, is the risk of corporate data breach. This is a concern which becomes even more relevant as the electronics ban in some markets separates corporate travellers from their electronic devices.

According to the ACTE- GBT survey 31% of buyers say they’ve seen traveller enquiries about data security increase over the past three months, but few companies have “coherent policies in place” to manage these questions.

  • 58% percent of companies say employees can use their personal devices for business communications.
  • 64% say travellers can access public WiFi with their business devices
  • 47% percent allow the use of non-purged laptops and devices while on the road.

Security worries stretch to changing travel conditions around the world, highlighting a need for consistency in the application of technology at security checkpoints.

More than half (54%) of passengers also expressed concerns about the US border and immigration process, and 44% expressed concerns about the security of air travel in general.

Keen to apply

Business travellers surveyed seem eager to use travel technology to simplify the journey and keep them up-to-date as the trip evolves.

  • 63% are using booking apps.
  • 66% rely on trip information apps
  • 58% use travel and expense management apps.

Non-traditional travel options

Business travellers are also interested in taking advantage of the sharing economy for ground transport.

The use of ride sharing services has increased by 44% over the past six months while traditional car rentals and premium black cars are down 18% and 32% respectively.

However, their interest in shared accommodation has softened somewhat or reached a ceiling. Only 16% of buyers say that they saw an increase in usage of services like Airbnb over the past six months.

Keep it simple

The most important priority for business travellers is the application of technology which addresses the stress felt during the journey and eliminates uncertainty.

ACTE executive director Greeley Koch says:

“More than anything else, business travellers want certainty. They want to arrive to their destination on time, have a reliable in-flight experience, have comfortable accommodations, and perhaps most importantly, have the flexibility to adapt to conditions on the ground.

“The task for buyers will be to leverage the right tools and resources to meet these demands and alleviate the stresses of travel without breaking the bank.”

Amex GBT vice president, digital traveler, Evan Konwiser adds:

“Business travel can be stressful, and it is no surprise that work-life balance remains a critical priority as travellers face an increasingly complex and frustrating global travel environment.

“How businesses manage this and address the needs of their employees on the road has become a key factor in motivating and retaining talented personnel.”



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