It’s an exciting time to be a traveler. Coming from a history of lugging manila folders and paper receipts with me on the road, I know other travelers are just as amped as I am that there are smarter and easier digital alternatives.
As those of us in the travel industry pow-wow in Denver for the annual Global Business Travel Association convention to discuss future innovation, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what’s happening right now:
1) Proliferation of smartphones: We recently shared that 96% of TripIt users carry at least one smartphone. It’s no wonder. Travelers can now research, book, organize, and expense their trips all from the palm of their hand.
2) What about tablets? We’ve only scratched the surface as an industry (a much larger surface, at that). A cool mapping feature on TripIt’s new iPad app was just the beginning. If restaurant patrons can order from a menu through the popular device, imagine what the airlines could do with passengers.
3) Apps FTW: Some argue that apps are so 2007, but I disagree. Everyday there’s a round-up of “Favorite Apps for Travel” or “Best Travel Apps for Business.” And it’s not just hotels or travel that make the cut; we’re seeing apps like Yelp and FoodSpotting make the list too.
4) Dynamic data: It's TripIt’s mission to reduce the number of places where you have to enter or keep track of travel details. We have some exciting announcements coming on this front, but it’s what ultimately drove Concur and TripIt to leverage itineraries for easier expense reporting this summer.
5) Personalized travel: The more we know (and remember) about your preferences as a traveler, the better and more personalized the experience can be. Tell us where and when you’re going, and we’ll help you remember when to check in and where to pick up your bags. The more you put in, the more you get out.
The travel industry will continue to evolve; but for now, my goal is to help get the latest innovations into the hands of travelers everywhere. Chances are, there’s an easier and faster way than what you’re doing now.