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Business people like to travel – but on their own terms

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In the current climate of companies having to work hard to attract – and retain – talent, they’d do well to keep them happy when they’re on the road.

And a new poll of corporate travellers has again highlighted the trend for travellers to demand convenience and comfort over frills.

The poll by business travel group Egencia found that 90pc of respondents enjoy travelling for work – but direct flights, convenient travel times and good hotel locations are more important than flying business class or earning card loyalty points. The one business class perk they do want, however, is fast-track security at airports – again revealing how this part of the trip is the one giving the most grief.

On a list of priorities, around one in three want to be able to travel direct while another 22pc want their travel management team to select convenient travel times and 30pc want to be able to select travel times that suit them as individuals.

Hotel-wise, business travellers want convenience and safety in terms of locations – and it’s one area where they (one in three surveyed) complain about penny-pinching by their companies’ travel managers.

And, in a continuing trend, travellers – who are used to booking and amending their own holiday travel plans on apps – want the same power when it comes to heading away for work, with almost half wanting some control over the planning process, or alterations to their trips.

“While travel managers are still expected to deliver savings, the stakes are now much higher,” argues Wendy White, Egencia’s VP of marketing. “The modern travel manager knows that and will set the travel programme to play a determining role in shaping the company culture.”

The latest research follows another study, by the Global Business Travel Association, which also shows how millennial travellers don’t see luxury as a key factor when out of the country.

It found that they’re more likely to avoid ordering extras such as room service (66pc) or coffee and snacks (70pc) compared to their Generation X or Baby Boomer colleagues – even when their travel policy allows it. And far from being fussy, they’re more likely to dine on the cheap, using restaurant delivery services to their hotel, than older colleagues, who prefer to push the boat out, in highly-rated restaurants in their destination.

The tech giants believe that augmented reality – which can overlay virtual objects in the real world in real time – could be a game-changer in the travel sector. Already Google Maps is preparing an option for logged-in users that will spotlight recommendations for restaurants and hotels based on the user’s past likes and reviews.

And Apple believes that with its latest chips it can make augmented reality more mainstream, and is looking to developers to come up with uses.

In the travel sector, for instance, it highlights a prototype being developed by American Airlines which will overlay flight information and directions to your gate through airports as you look through your phone.

Other uses would be a virtual walkaround of your hotel room and surroundings, to see if its fits the bill, and TripAdvisor, for one, has been looking at such uses.

And Dutch airline KLM – which tends to pioneer phone-based tech and robotics – has found a use for augmented reality.

Back in September, it introduced the technology to its phone app, pictured, and you can check if your hand baggage is the right size for the overhead compartment on your flight by using its digital sizer (a transparent, virtual suitcase) and placing it on top of your real-life luggage through your phone camera’s lens.

Now, the airline has gone one step further, and the process has been added to Apple’s iMessenger service, for Apple users with iPhone 6 models and above. Messenger has proved successful with passengers, who sign up to it via the airline’s main website, and are already using it to receive boarding passes and flight boarding updates.