How tech has transformed the travel landscape

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Planning business travel has never been easier. We can instantly transport ourselves anywhere through the medium of Google Maps; we can book hotels, flights and ground travel with the click of a button – there’s no doubt that technology has made travel more accessible than ever before.

And with the recent global events, technology has played a critical role in business travel. Being able to update travelling employees as soon as government restrictions hit is crucial to keeping employees safe when travelling. Being able to quickly and safely transport yourself across the global is game-changing for companies which heavily rely on business travel through the pandemic.

No longer do we need to visit travel agents or depend on travel experts to help us navigate internationally – technology has empowered us to become our own travel agents, deciding which accommodation best suits our budget and business needs.

Consumers are in charge, now more than ever

Every stay, every experience is dictated by online reviews and led by customer experience. Word of mouth is still a powerful selling channel, but it can also spread bad news fast, which can be damaging to organisations. If a customer has a negative experience, they’ll go on to tell between nine and 15 people about it, and who knows how many they’ll tell.

Online review platforms like TripAdvisor are instrumental in scouting reasonable accommodation, restaurants and local attractions for both leisure and business trips. Four out of five people say TripAdvisor makes them feel more confident in their booking decisions, and 89% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation.

The power is firmly in your hands – you can book travel your way.

Travel disruptors are making the industry evolve quicker

Travel disruptors, including Airbnb, make the travel industry a lot more interesting. It’s organisations like these who are pushing the boundaries and daring to encourage different travel. They’ve made the customer experience even easier and more personalised; app-based disruptors, including ride-hailing companies, are also paving a new way for consumers and businesses to build travel into their routine effortlessly. The customer is always at the core of what they offer.

Travel managers aren’t restricted to chain hotel pricing any more, with the Airbnb example, they can choose from treetops cabins in Asia to penthouse suites in London. Hosts become small hoteliers overnight, so pricing is competitive, and the choice for the customer is varied.

A home from home is comforting for the travelling employee; you can save money on eating out and cook in your ‘home from home’ kitchen area. Self-contained accommodation like these are already proving to be particularly game-changing amid COVID. With restrictions still being tightened internationally, particularly in Europe, app-based booking is flexible, and the vast choice means you’ll probably find accommodation last minute if required. You’re the sole occupier; you don’t even need to meet your host, it’s a relatively contact-free travel experience.

The travel industry has shifted and caters to the ‘right now’ generation. You don’t have to schedule time to book anything, getting about has never been easier. Tap a button, and a driver arrives at your accommodation to take you anywhere, tap a button and book flights in an instant.

Tech is at our fingertips, and with the introduction of contactless card technology, the game changed further for organisations. Contactless technology has been around since the 1990s, but almost every retailer, outlet or service provider now adopt it. It’s fast; it’s useful – even churches are using it for quick donation stations, and street musicians can gather tips quicker with a quick tap of a credit card.

It’s technology solutions like this that can transform every facet of the business, regardless of the industry. In travel taxis, buses, trains, privately hired drivers all accept contactless. If we stay open to tech opportunities, there’s no limit to how great the customer experience becomes.

Ground travel providers have adapted

Traditional industries have shifted into agile and digitally refreshed; better versions of themselves, and it’s brilliant to see. Take ground travel as an example. Historically you’d have to stand on a crowded street with your arm outstretched to flag a passing taxi to hurry you across town to your meeting.

That’s not the case anymore. No longer do travel managers have to ring around to find the best travel provider in a particular location or expect their employees to stand amongst the crowds trying to hail a ride. Ground travel providers are offering organisations a joined-up ground travel service internationally through intuitive platforms.

Ground travel providers offer a safer and more convenient way to travel between business meetings wherever you are in the world. A familiar and user-friendly travel app can mean you have one less thing to book and worry about as you travel. Just tap the app, select a ride and view the driver. Arriving safely and quickly and your destination.

We understand how important travel is for business; it keeps the economy going, it helps you increase revenue and, most importantly, it helps build intimate business relationships. Travel has become more enjoyable with the help of technology, and we’re excited to see the next significant shift in travel technology.

Read next: Staying safe and healthy on the road: a guide for the business traveller