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Business Travel 2019

Why is business travel tech lagging behind?

Sue Chapman

Commercial Director, Clarity

In a world filled with technology, where you can ask a virtual home assistant to order a takeaway from your favourite restaurant to be delivered via an app-based taxi service, why is business travel so behind the curve?

The technology is there; the demand is there. But historically, business travellers have had to use clunky, cumbersome tools, confined to their desktops, which have been designed with the business’ objectives in mind and not the end user. But we can change the game; it doesn’t have to be like this. Travel tools shouldn’t be designed for the business or the traveller. They can, and should, work for both.

Technology improves travel efficiency

As we all become more demanding for (or dependent on?!) technology, businesses need to keep up with that demand, or run the risk of being left behind.

When travelling, people want speed, ease and reassurance. The right technology can give you this. Just imagine: your traveller can book their trip, receive alerts during their journey with information such as departure gates or platform numbers, check in to let you know their location, have local knowledge and information – all contained within an app on their phone.

No longer do they have to carry a ream of paper, run the risk of missing their flight because the departure gate is further than they thought or have to struggle to find where their hotel is. All these worries, pitfalls and problems can be removed.

Giving the user control over their privacy

But what about those who rally against technology? It is a contentious issue. Traveller tracking tools are vital for a number of clients who visit high risk areas. We often hear, however, that people feel like ‘Big Brother is watching’. These concerns in tech must be addressed by including options for business travellers to opt in to – and out of – tracking. It is their choice and allows them complete control. After all, sometimes we could all do with a big brother or sister to look out for us, but we need to have the choice.

The freedom of choice

And this is one of most important things to consider when it comes to travel technology: choice. Let’s harness the power of technology and give our travellers the freedom to choose. The choice to lean in to tech, alongside the choice to opt out if they want to. We’re no longer in a ‘business to business’ world, but a people to people world. Let’s make the move, place the traveller at the centre of technology and change the game.

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