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Travel buyers have been urged to help create a more personalised travel experience for their employees.
Former Astra Zeneca travel buyer Caroline Strachan said that buyers had a key part to play in “making personalisation happen” within corporate travel.
“Those that step up and realise the opportunity will be the initial winners – the travel manager has to make that happen,” said Strachan, who is currently managing partner at the Festive Road consultancy.
Personalisation was the subject of a debate moderated by BBT editor Paul Revel at the Business Show Travel in London.
Strachan also argued that personalised business travel could improve a company’s “employee value proposition” and make it easier for them to recruit and retain staff.
“We are working with a tech company that has challenges keeping employees and we’re looking at how a personalised travel policy and experience can engage them and keep them inside the company,” she added.
Donna Miller, vice president, global customer operations for Egencia, added: “We want to be really traveller-centric. We would love more of our clients and buyers to be pushing in that direction, which would create a better overall experience.
“It’s also about contextual learning – we look at millions of bits of data every day and that gives us a very good opportunity to predict what you want to see. Nobody wants to be wading through lots of things that you don’t need.”
Travel buyer Imperia Trausch, from Powertrain, called for TMCs to improve the technology they offer to their clients to improve personalisation.
“You need to make your traveller happy and pleased,” she said. “If you have everything on one platform, you gain the confidence from the traveller.”
Sabre’s Florian Tinnus, who heads up the technology firm’s Traveller Experience division, said that using data was crucial to personalisation.
“If you try and understand the traveller experience it becomes a digital experience managed by data and it needs to be seamless,” he added.