How New Technology is Changing Business TravelJanuary 25th, 2019 by Holly Godbey | Comments Off on How New Technology is Changing Business Travel
Business travel is part of every single industry. The World Travel and Tourism Council shows that business travel accounts for $1.3 trillion of global travel spending annually, and that amount is projected to rise nearly 4 percent per year over the next decade. More businesspeople are jetting across the globe to get things done, and it’s a part of the job tmany up-and-coming businesspeople seek out when planning their next career move.
As business travel grows, it is likewise changing, especially as technology becomes more ubiquitous in every part of our lives. The business-travel landscape might seem unfamiliar if you’ve been out of the game for a while, or perhaps you’ve seen it changing around you, but never stopped to see exactly how.
“Technology has made business travel easier, more enjoyable and more productive,” says Jason Hartman, founder of Hartman Media and host of the JetSetter Show. “However, not everyone feels positive about jumping on the latest tech trends when it comes to doing business and being on the road. In order to stay ahead in business, the way we travel must evolve.”
Here’s how new technology is changing business travel.
1. Access to technology isn’t a want, it’s a need.
With millennials continuing to flood the business travel market, more and more travelers expect to have technology at their fingertips. Many business travelers today simply can’t be productive without it. This sometimes causes friction for both employees and employers alike, but it’s certainly not going to change. More than three-fourths of travelers feel technology is required to keep up with work demands. They require amenities like WiFi, apps, smartphones, digital wallets and more.
2. Artificial intelligence replaces human interaction…for better or worse.
AI is a big trend in all kinds of technology nowadays, but can it really match human intelligence? Apps, chatbots, websites and more are taking the place of humans when travelers need help, whether they’re asking for a dinner recommendation or need to file a complaint. While some AI solutions are so good you’d never know you’re not talking to another human being, others still miss the mark. Additionally, it remains to be seen whether AI really can replace a personalized, human interaction. Can the AI chatbot really recommend the perfect local restaurant for a business dinner with an important potential client? It’s a chance you might have to take.
3. The Internet of Things gives us more data than ever.
The Internet of Things is present in every industry. You have tech wearables that track your heart rate, sleep patterns and body temperature. You have “smart” luggage. You have hotel amenities that respond to your movements and track your patterns during the course of your stay. It provides you (and brands, and possibly even your boss) with data on your behavior, so you can adjust your routine for your own needs. But these nosy “smart” amenities could also send your data to commercial brands (to help it target you for advertising), or to your employer, so they can see what you’re actually up to. On one hand, this could mean better efficiency and a better brand experience. On the other hand, well, it’s downright intrusive.
4. Business connections are easier to make and maintain.
One positive result of increasing travel and technology is the growth of a global economy enabling everyone to make money anywhere, anytime, with anyone. Remote office technology makes it easy to chime in on business matters at your Los Angeles office via Slack while you’re eating breakfast in Tokyo. Also, you can talk to consumers on the ground in Germany with the help of language apps that make instant interpretation possible.
Whatever of your viewpoint on technology’s impact on travel, the call to action is clear: you either get on board or fall behind the younger, more tech-savvy competition already out in force. Business adaptability is more crucial now than ever. The old ways of doing business are just that; the “old” ways.
“While the changing landscape of business travel is somewhat intimidating to some, the myriad benefits that occur when you embrace this change can impact your business for the better,” says Hartman. “Regardless of your industry or your role in your current company, you can employ business travel technology that increases your efficiency, enhances your results and, ultimately, improves your chances of greater profitability and power.”