Business travel agents will be left behind if they donâ€™t keep up with mobile technology, according to a biannual mobile survey of 800 international corporate travellers by Sabre Travel Network.
Sabre said the results confirm that the explosion of mobile travel services over the past several years has single-handedly â€œconsumerisedâ€ business travel.
â€œTomorrowâ€™s travellers will expect even more convenience and functionality from their mobile devices, and corporations and travel management companies must meet those needs, or risk being left behind,â€ warned Chris Kroeger, senior vice president of Sabre Travel Network.
â€œOur survey shows that business travel today is personal. Travellers want the same functionality and convenience from their business travel tools that they have in their daily lives. People use travel services on their smart phones everyday and for every trip â€“ before, during and after they travel.
â€œThe corporate travel industry needs to keep pace with the services and apps that travelers can access in their personal life and incorporate those into the world of managed business travel.â€
According to the Sabreâ€™s survey:
63% of business travellers want to receive destination specific offers from local businesses, an 85% increase from 2009.
47% use their smartphone daily to view or receive advertisements, a 95% increase from 2009.
72% are interested in ability to view hotels on a map, an increase of 26% from 2009.
43% reported daily use of their smart phone to access navigation services
71% want to receive driving directions to a specific location via their smart phone.
â€œOne of the biggest trends we see in the survey data is travellersâ€™ desire for local business information and offerings based on their location via their smartphone or tablet,â€ said Kroeger.
â€œTravellers will look for this information from suppliers, travel management companies and technology resources such as online booking tools like GetThere. Smart and savvy TMCs will use technology as a way to fill this need and improve customer support and solidify customer loyalty. â€
Sabreâ€™s survey also showed that nearly 75% of business travellers are interested in shopping and booking air options.
More than two-thirds want to shop for and make hotel reservations via mobile devices and 66% reported interest in the ability to add a hotel reservation to an existing itinerary.
However, the highest growth was seen in the ground category, with 62% of respondents saying they are interested in booking rental cars via their smart phone, a 32% increase from 2009, and 60% of respondents want to shop for car rentals via their smartphone, a 33% increase.
Kroeger added: â€œTomorrowâ€™s business travellers will move from physical passports, wallets and credit cards and will expect their mobile device to fill those needs as continued advancements in mobile payment, commerce and banking make it easier to electronically transact via mobile devices.â€
by Bev Fearis
Thursday, August 25, 2011