Technology has taken a growing role in travel management over the past two decades and it is a rare company that does not have at least some form of traveller-facing technology, whether that is an online booking tool or an itinerary management app on their smartphones.
Our charts this week look at the perceptions of travellers and travel managers towards technology and come from the survey Balancing Business Travel Tools & Policy for the Traveller Experience, carried out by ACTE between 13 and 30 March 2018. A total of 200 corporate travel managers worldwide (North America, 54 percent; EMEA, 30 percent; APAC, 11 percent) responded to the survey.
The first shows the growing demand for better technology from travellers.
Despite this desire for new tech, only just over a third of travel managers have plans to upgrade what they offer to travellers.
Technology also promises to give companies access to a wider range of content.
A surprisingly large proportion of travel managers (see below) believe their programmes have limited content. However, almost a half of respondents worry that greater content will erode control of their programme.
The study also found that 37% of travel managers surveyed report an increase in enquiries about work-life balance, a slight increase from the October 2017 research, when the figure was 31%.
Greeley Koch, executive director, ACTE Global, said: "Business travel can be exhausting and stressful, but pursuing a collaborative process can go a long way towards supporting healthy, rested and productive employees. You never want to lock your travellers into strenuous itineraries and overly-strict policies. A two-way dialogue that addresses both employee and employer requirements, however, can actually help all parties meet their objectives. In this case, compromise need not leave both sides unhappy."
Evan Konwiser, vice president, digital traveller at American Express Global Business Travel, added: "The entire business travel experience inherently takes people outside of their comfort zones by forcing travellers to relinquish some control, especially when compared to how people travel for leisure. This research reinforces the importance of travel managers having frequent interaction and communication with travellers to address company expectations and tools available, mitigating the risk of poor experiences and out-of-policy bookings."