Business Travel Innovation: Where Is It?

By Greg Abbott

Greg Abbott, SVP at DataArt, explores the current state of technology and opportunities for innovation in the business travel sector for Hospitality Net.

“Strides have been made, no doubt, but business travel technology is far behind the leisure industry. Managed programs are in need of more than updated compliance policies to recapture corporate travelers, they are in need of the technology that allows them to offer travelers flexibility and mobility—and this is the baseline, this is playing catch up. Going above and beyond this is where innovation happens… Companies that are innovating are seeing the company and the traveler have needs. These companies are creating models that merge and meet these needs.

…Clearly, the industry is ripe for transformative technology that will not only change the way corporate travelers get from point A to point B but will also change the way they do business. A technology that integrates a business travel itinerary with the company CRM could mean that a sales person who is visiting a client in Cleveland receives a notification that, according to the CRM, he has hot leads in Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Then the system would ask if he would like to add one or both of these stops to his itinerary, saving on travel costs with one trip instead of two or three, and increasing the potential ROI of the trip.

…Technology that supports data integration from disparate systems, specifically integration that doesn't require the employee to forward confirmation emails, can and will usher in a new phase in business travel. Creating a robust, supportive, and mobile-friendly system for open booking is the natural next evolution.”

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