Corporate Group Travel
Have you ever traveled for work? Did you organize your trip yourself? How did you do that? If you compare private travel with corporate travel, there are a lot of differences in tools you use in your planning and booking process. We want to discuss today a bit important considerations when planning corporate group travel.
Corporate travel is ages behind private travel
Looking at the travel tech tools available out there, there are plenty of tools looking at the individual traveler. You need inspiration? Use for example Tripaya. You want to fly to a specific location and want to know when the best time is to travel? Use Hopper. There are plenty of planning, booking, inspiration and analytical tools out there to satisfy all needs you may have as an individual travel.
Looking at corporate travel, the availability of tools have only started to increase recently. Corporate travel is light years behind the efficiency of private travel. Many corporate (especially big ones) work with internal and external travel managers. The in-house travel manager is the focal point for getting all information on the need of the trip together, while the external travel manager sources the flights and accommodation options. While private travel is almost 100% automatized (who still uses a local travel agency for your private travel?), corporate travel is still very much manual.
Corporate group travel planning is totally inefficient
If we compare now corporate group travel with private group travel, the differences in efficiency becomes actually less. Group travel in general is a bigger task to organize. It might actually be more complicated for a private group than for a corporate group since the dates in a corporate setting can most probably be fixed easier. In the private setting, it already takes quite some coordination to find a common date. In the corporate world, the travel is more seen as a necessity than a nice-to-have. Since travel budgets are continuously under pressure, nice-to-have travel should hardly exist in the corporate world. For private groups, in the end most travel are nice to haves. Except, we talk about the obligation meeters travel group which are coming together for a special duty (wedding, funeral, anniversary, etc.).
The corporate group travel currently, is actually better catered for than private group travel. There are tools and channels to negotiate special rates with service providers and to get the whole logistics organized. This is a service which comes at a high cost. Thus, only few private groups will be ready to spend the premium for reducing the pain of the travel organization.
Corporate group travel and tech
Over the last few years, travel tech in the corporate world becomes more present. Today, it is actually one of the most disrupted segments in the travel industry. There is a huge demand to increase the efficiency and user friendliness for business travelers. Big travel service providers are acquiring more and more tech companies to improve their service offering.
The top requirements of corporate travel managers are policy compliance, data collection, global consistency, global supplier relations, and geographic coverage. Everything goes into one platform which handles the planning and booking with taking into considerations the travel policies, corporate rates and high customer service levels.
The raising of artificial intelligence (AI) is important for corporate group travel tech because you want to have ONE system which give you tailor-made recommendations based on your individual needs. AI will help those systems to learn from the travelers behavior and improve the results and service offerings over time.