Business travel changed during the pandemic, but as the industry recovers, many are questioning what changes may be permanent.
While digitalization accelerated as consumers were driven online, expectations of technology and the booking process have increased in parallel.
Creating a leisure travel booking experience for business travel has been the goal for some time, but it remains elusive.
The development of a consumer-grade experience for business travelers was up for discussion by executives from Egencia and TripActions during the Phocuswright Europe 2022 conference.
Chevawn Blum, senior product marketing manager for TripActions, says the industry will know when it has achieved that consumer grade experience through the level of adoption of the technology.
"You need to look at whether your travelers are using the platform. Do I have full visibility? Is everyone booking on the platform? Something that TripActions prides itself on is the adoption of the platform. If you’ve got a great experience, if you’ve got a mobile device that works well and if you can book, change, cancel flights, hotels, car - all on the go on your phone, without having to boot up your laptop, you have a really good indication that you have consumer level experience."
Alongside Ronan Bergez, head of worldwide SME sales for Egencia, Blum also discusses how the voice of the consumer, or traveler, is becoming louder in the decision-making process.
Both also see opportunity for the role of travel managers to evolve further with many already seeing themselves as people, experience or wellbeing managers.
Bergez says: "There's a great opportunity for travel manager to now operate as a chief journey officer and at the same time it’s another opportunity for travel managers to have more impact and connect travel with all of a company's goals - whether sustainability, happiness, sales, retention or innovation - there’s now a clear correlation and we believe travel managers who manage to implement a strong travel culture will manage to unlock their company’s culture and success."
Watch the full session with Egencia's Ronan Bergez and TripAction's Chevawn Blum, moderated by Phocuswright senior vice president of research and product strategy Charuta Fadnis below:
Executive Roundtable: Breaking Barriers, not Promises - Egencia & TripActions - Phocuswright Europe