How Online Behaviors Are Transforming Business Travel

Say bye-bye to paper boarding passes and hello to a more personalized business travel experience from start to finish. We are more connected than ever before, whether from a mobile device, tablet or one of countless apps that make interaction more instantaneous. And the travel industry is responding to the needs of travelers by offering faster, easier, more mobile and paper-free ways to travel smoothly.

A recent study by SITA listed the trends that will transform business travel as we know it, including:

  • The way we buy: Airlines and airports expect online and mobile to be the top two sales methods by 2015.
  • The way we check-in: 50% of airlines currently offer mobile check-in. By 2015, an estimated 90% will. Paper boarding passes will be obsolete within five years.
  • The way we track flights:By 2015, 90% of airlines and airports will provide flight status and tracking applications for mobile devices.
  • The way we travel: Better technology will mean better business intelligence, resulting in a more personalized experience from start to finish.

More than 83% of leisure travelers and 76% of business travelers plan online, according to The Traveler’s Road to Decision 2011, a study conducted by Google and Ipsos OTX MediaCT. And these numbers are increasing; hotels and airlines are creating new personalization features every day to capture these tech savvy business travelers, including perks like premium lounge passes or free room or airline upgrades.

Travelers want what they know online and mobile access can give them: visibility and flexibility. In a few clicks they can compare and get the best prices for their preferred flight times or ideal hotel. They can use countless social media channels to read reviews and get insider information, see photos and more.

What does this mean for the travel managers who are trying to keep T&E on budget? Turns out, they want the same thing: visibility and flexibility. And when managers work with the online trends, everybody wins.

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