It would be a mistake to distinguish a traveller as having separate personal and corporate travel profiles when digitisation has ensured that the travel expectations and decision-making, whether travelling for business or pleasure, are largely one and the same.
Digital access has altered all aspects of our work and personal lives. From shopping to social interaction, entertainment, banking and fitness, connectivity drives the way we act, choose and spend, explains Nicole Adonis, FCM Travel Solutions South Africa GM.
“We talk about a connected consumer being the same as a connected traveller. Consumers who use travel technology in their personal lives, expect the same convenience in their work lives, which places corporate travel stakeholders under pressure to deliver new technologies that simplify the travel process,” says Adonis.
An example of this, says Adonis, is the increasing dependency on voice-activated digital assistants for basic search and query response functionality.
Research has also shown that Millennials and Generation X, in particular, have a keen interest in Artificial Intelligence and are comfortable using digital assistants on a regular basis. “When it comes to travel booking, we’ve seen our own chatbot, Sam, commonly fulfilling this need using a simple and intuitive chatbot-based interface, much the same as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and speeding up processes.”
Adonis and her team of travel experts will be placing continued focus in 2019 on the connected traveller and his or her demands, as well as the negative impact of travel friction, which occurs when business people are travelling too much or have poor travel experiences, and role of Behavioural Ecomics on travel decision making.
Combining insights from psychology, judgement, decision making and economics, the field of Behavioural Economics considers why individuals make purchasing decisions, what they will buy and how much they are willing to spend.
“We’ve spent some time researching the connected traveller, travel friction and some of the other corporate travel trends we anticipate will be key trends in 2019. Corporates who are interested in these can visit our website and read our research paper for additional insights,” concludes Adonis.