Technology is making huge changes in how people book flights and hotels and these are coming just as the number of people who travel is set to soar. This prediction came from Peter Dennis, CEO of the Time Communications Group, speaking at the recent annual conference of ITP – International Travel Partnership – in Lisbon.
Dennis, who moderated the three day event in the Dom Pedro Palace Hotel, said that as the travel policy and the duty of care to employees remained important, data was becoming more and more crucial.
Travel was still “all about the trip” with corporate clients trying to identify the end-to-end costs including the price of taxis and meals. In this area, new mobile and card payment solutions were emerging.
But other factors were also playing a part. Young people who had grown up with mobile technology were coming into the workforce. These were people with “info-lust” – the need to get a full range of information which they then shared with friends on the social media.
“They are likely to know more than you do about cheap flights. If they think you are no good, they will not come back to you. If they think you are poor, they will tell the world through the social media and you will go out of business,” Dennis said.
He said that 62% of bookings were now done on the strength of reviews posted on the Internet. While only 2% of business travel was booked through mobiles in 2013, this will rise to 20% by 2020.
New players were also coming in and shaking up the market, including accommodation providers aimed specifically at on-line and mobile technologies together with new ways of providing mobile access to chauffeur/taxi operator around the world.
Dennis told the delegates that currently there are about 3.4bn people around the world who fly by air. This would rise to 6.4bn by 2030. “More than likely these people will come from Asia. Are you geared up to accept them? Many will not speak English and that in itself is an opportunity. You will need to gear up culturally to support these people,” he said.
Technology and data would play a role with data remaining the subject of the day, Dennis said.
Global Mobile Data Traffic was set to expand rapidly, with the 4.7 exabytes per month in 2015 rising to a vast 11.2 per month by 2017.
He said there would be touchless payment systems by mobiles when phones are linked to biometric profiles. This will make payments more secure and help change how information is moved around.
– Stanley Slaughter, October 2014
About ITP- International Travel Partnership
ITP is one of the world’s fastest growing networked alliances of independent travel management companies with a strong portfolio of multinational corporate clients. It is a consortium in which most travel management companies are locally owned and managed and each is a market leader. Each ITP partner is able to combine the care and attentive service required on a local basis with a full travel management service for multinational clients. For more information about ITP please visit the ITP website: www.itptravel.com or call +44 (0) 1753 832033
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