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Travel management company Egencia has set itself an ambitious five-year target at the Business Travel and Meetings Show in London.
Recently appointed managing director for the UK, Jonny Shingles, told ABTN the company wants 50% of all customer transactions to be made on mobile devices by 2016.
He said his company had a competitive advantage in being able to hit the target because it owns and develops its own technology.
“You have to have a good online tool, and we are in a strong position because we own our own,” he said.
“People expect that of us. Customers get a real benefit from working with a TMC that owns its own tool. There is real flexibility. The traditional consultant on the end of the phone to deal with complex booking, but with online it becomes a real blended service.”
Shingles said there were a lot of good TMCs and a lot of good technology, but he said working with two separate suppliers could be problematic.
“Whom do you call if there is a problem?” he asked. “It’s simpler to have the answers in the one place.
“The fact is it is much cheaper to service online bookings, so it is in the interests of our clients. It’s an ambitious target, but we want to be in a position in five years time where 50% of our customers’ transactions are made on mobile devices.
“You have to have an intuitive tool and your account managers have to be proactive in educating both travellers and buyers about booking online. Much of what we do is change management in that respect. We are in the business of empowering travellers.”
Shingles said that technology is in his company’s DNA, given that it is owned by one of the world’s biggest online travel agencies, Expedia, and is linked to user-generated content review site, Tripadvisor.