The pandemic brought a lot of questions around health – individual, social and even planetary – to the fore.
The result? As business travel gains momentum, travel bookers are turning to tools which enable them to remove pain points which have traditionally affected travellers physically or mentally by causing fatigue and stress.
“This has become a significant issue for the travel industry, since we have come to recognise that addressing these challenges actually saves money in the long term.
Simply put, the smoother and more efficient the journey, the more productive your employee,” said Bonnie Smith, GM of FCM Travel.
Smith adds that the new technologies available are making it possible to entrench steps that promote well-being at every step of the travel booking journey.
The aim behind new technologies is to remove any hassles regarding travelling. Innovative tools make it possible to streamline and automate processes by auto-approving any booking that meets policy requirements – and sounding an alert when one doesn’t.
Travel regulations are one of the headaches travellers have to deal with. Of course, it’s easy to keep track of these when you have access to information regarding these regulations – but that means keeping tabs on dozens of apps and platforms as they post updates.
This is where the value of a single app that offers a full, omni-channel experience is apparent, Smith says.
“This makes it possible for travel bookers to alert travellers to any changes regarding boarding procedures, hygiene requirements or border restrictions as they happen – with no effort required on the part of the employee.
“There is a marked difference between these new tools and those previously in use,” she continues. “For a start, we have done away with the notion of features for their own sake. What matters now is not the bells and whistles, but the user-friendliness, intuitiveness and ability to customise tools to suit individual needs.”
Today’s tools take this into account, customising user experiences so that if you’re booking travel, you’ll be apprised of all details related to client travellers who are making their way around the world.
In addition, travel managers,are able to access data that may inform their decisions around the company’s travel strategy. And for the travellers themselves, it’s all about changes to itineraries and schedules or cancellations, all made available as soon as they log into their platforms or apps.
One of the positive effects which Smith notes is that these new tools allow travel managers a view of all related expenses, such as the number of seats booked by the company, and informs them of whether this is in line with budgets, or placing them under strain. Making you aware of whether it’s cost friendly or not.
Also useful is the ability to create recommendations around lowering costs, so that companies are able to create a greater return on investment. In return presenting the ability to create recommendations around lowering costs, so that companies are able to create a greater return on investment.
It’s important for travel technology to be universal so that no matter where users are in the world, they will have the same experience – a useful feature for multinationals trying to co-ordinate a global travel programme.
Less stress means greater productivity
The role of tech here is to identify travellers who may be overburdened by these factors, and to provide the support they need.
The pandemic made many of us aware that it’s not only travellers who need support – the environment could do with a lot more love, too. Enter a new accent on sustainability, which is made possible through tech which helps to identify routes with the lowest carbon footprint, as well as hotels that have embraced green practices.
Travel alerts mean that tech facilitates more than simply taking care of travellers’ comfort. They are ensured they are informed of key changes; tech is able to keep them safe, too. And because each notification is tailored to their trip, they are able to access this critical information without being bogged down by news about what’s happening elsewhere.