Business travel and meeting news, analysis and research site, Business Travel News (BTN) released its annual Travel Happiness Index last week.
This year’s report noted that the trend is towards a greater emphasis on the value of service levels provided for better travel experience. The report shared some tips of pretences of corporate clients – how much travellers appreciate door-to-door itineraries in their travel program and travel managers’ desire for predictive and personalized recommendations, seamless integrations and mobile travel experiences that will allow them to support their travellers on the go.
The current trend has sure evolved from half a decade ago, when buyers expected their travel management company to identify savings opportunities, put the squeeze on suppliers and implement restrictive policies and approval processes that often resulted in a less enjoyable business travel experience. In other words, our travellers now are much happier than they were 5 years ago.
The report also highlighted travel buyers and suppliers concerns with an emerging group of travellers from the Millennial generation, dub as “digital natives”, as this group is viewed as noncompliance to otherwise stable travel programs. However a research conducted by BTN actually revealed that managed travellers across all age groups were regularly noncompliant with their travel programs. Reasons include shopping for better rates themselves via booking paths that they use on personal trips.
As quoted on BTN, the industry has arrived in an era of odd bedfellows in which many travel buyers have concluded that compliance must rely less upon rules and mandates and more on an ecosystem of intuitive tools, meaningful added-value benefits, possibly a choice of booking channels, and policies that don’t make business travellers feel penalized for participating in their managed travel programs. In short, program compliance—and even the last frontier of procurement—relies on traveller happiness. The happier managed business travellers are with the tools, processes and right-time support systems their companies provide, the more they will engage with the programs.