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Transforming business travel landscape

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So far, the online self-booking tool for corporate clientele is the travel industry’s most comprehensive and innovative online corporate travel booking tool, delivering the broadest selection of travel content through an intuitive and easy-to-use online experience. This tool gives users total control of their corporate travel programme, by delivering travel content business travellers need while providing them with policy enforcement and robust global capabilities. Phoenix, the online Self-Booking Tool by FCM is one such tool.

Further to this, ‘Smart Assistant for Mobile’ or SAM, the first-of-its-kind ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is going to be introduced by FCM Travel Solutions India soon.

SAM, is a highly interactive, travel-savvy and anticipatory that supports business travellers with all aspects of travel via a conversational interface to answer questions, make recommendations and perform actions.

It is dedicated to making life easier for the business traveller during and post trip, pro-actively providing advice and support with everything from itinerary management, air and hotel bookings, flight updates, local city and country information, local weather and restaurant suggestions, to security notifications, ground transportation, driving directions, visa and vaccination advice and support.

“Digital Technology is the most underrated component of travel. While Artificial Intelligence-based travel is still at inception stage; given its potential for time and cost savings, user data analysis and “standard customisation”, SBT (Self Booking Tool) + AI can be a disruptive tool for corporate travel management, according to Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia.

“With the ever-growing business travel, the millennial workforce wants to take charge of not just their leisure trips but work-related as well. With blurring lines between work and leisure, inducing Bleisure (Business + Leisure), we at FCM, want to bring in the bliss of hassle-free travel, irrespective of one travelling or at the workplace,” added Desai.

Said Jaideep Ghosh, Partner and Head, Transport, Leisure and Sports, KPMG in India, “While the current adoption rate of SBT is sluggish at a mere 2 per cent in India, it is primarily due to diverse travel management standards in India. At the same time, consumer-type preferences are creeping into business travel segment as well. Furthermore, the smartphone era is transitioning towards the conversation era, meaning the way consumers communicate with apps is moving to a message-based approach.” “In fact by 2020, we think consumers will start feeling app fatigue and text or voice-based interfaces will be the new norm for communicating with the web,” Ghose explained.

Although Phoenix has been launched in India and is currently catering to a lot of business travellers, SAM will be launched in 2018 for both iOS and Android. This AI based Chatbot will be a 24-hour travel assistant designed to simplify life for corporate travellers by blending artificial intelligence with the expertise of a real travel consultant.

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