Corporate travel is ever-evolving. A mobile world has transformed the expectations of an always-connected traveler, who demands super convenience, personalization and speed of use in every aspect of their travel booking. With travel becoming more and more accessible for leisure travelers, and more regularly necessary for the corporate traveler, these boundaries of expectation have started to merge.
Consumer habits shouldn’t be ignored in today’s corporate travel industry. Businesses and travel managers alike should look to trends in the leisure space, and create alignments and similarities in the experience they provide to the travelers they look after. With this, better working relationships between employees and their need to travel can be created.
These leisure habits and expectations developed through advances in technology and leisure operators globally, can be a nightmare for companies that want to keep a tight grip on their travel programs. Typically, two main reasons drive business travelers to book ‘out of policy’: choice and a booking experience that is adapted to their own personal preferences.
Leisure travel shapes corporate travel
Travelers want freedom of choice, and there’s no other sector in travel with a large selection of options than hospitality. It is also the most personal choice in travel; it’s where we sleep, wake up, wash, iron, relax, work – and often call home for days at a time. Therefore, it’s not surprising that a large percentage of travelers do not book their business hotels through a company approved booking channel. With many other alternatives just a few clicks away, travelers find it easy to look and book somewhere else when they can’t find their favorite hotels. Some, may not even try to look.
To encourage the adoption of the approved hotel booking channels, travel programs must be flexible to curate more properties and increase the hotel inventory. At Hotelzon, if your team’s favorite hotels are missing from our booking tool, we can add them, so travelers do not book offline or somewhere else.
Embracing mobile apps for travel management is increasingly becoming essential for a fulfilling travel experience. Travelers want to be able to change their bookings anywhere they are or, even plan their next business trip while commuting, in a taxi from the airport, waiting for take-off, or on the way to their next connect.
Consumer habits are transforming the way people travel for business and putting the traveler at the center of concern and control. Companies must face the need to offer a more traveler focused user experience, in order to implement successful travel programs. And that’s looking to the leisure leaders for inspiration, who are carving the shape of expectation within the travel industry, isn’t such a bad idea!