For years, people have enjoyed a flexible booking and leisure travel experience thanks to mobile technology – and now they expect the same at work. According to eMarketer, the number of smartphone users worldwide surpassed 1 billion in 2012 and should reach 1.75 billion in 2014. However, it is vital to remember that corporate travel is a very different entity. Giving employees mobile access to corporate travel services means putting buying power directly into their hands. This must be done with care in order to control costs and ensure staff work within the company travel policy. The adoption rate of mobile bookings is projected to be 25% of corporate online travel bookings by 2015, a study by PhocusWright, American-based travel industry research authority revealed.
With mobile app trends ever evolving, so are the needs of the consumer. The business ‘traveller’ today is more focused on the experience and service, especially with the travel market trends becoming more developed – it has become a consumer’s haven. The ‘travel booker’ is heavily focussed on ensuring compliance with the travel program, providing safety and security for the traveller, meeting the traveller needs, and this all has to be carried out in a cost-effective manner.
What are the top 4 features of a mobile travel app customers find useful?
- Flight Status Updates
- Itinerary Info
- Travel Alerts
- Point to Point trips
What does the mobile booking trend mean for travel management companies (TMC)?
While adaptation to new technology has subjected TMC to growing pains, the industry is still sound. Primary focus for most TMC’s has been directed to online sales, allowing clients the ability to book their trips without the constraints of office hours or worrying about their own schedules.
Engaging with a TMC gives you access to knowledge and information you might not find online. Especially in areas such as airline ticketing, assembling customer or multi-stop international trips that the Online Travel Agent (OTA) systems can't incorporate. Agents can help solve problems more efficiently, if your flight is cancelled or you face some other problem, an agent can probably find a better solution, more quickly, than you could on your own. Best of all, engaging with a TMC saves you time. It’s hard to figuratively measure your time, but if you take into account the average time it takes to make just a single point to point booking through a mobile app or online vs your day to day tasks, the time and productivity you gain by using a TMC is worth the value.