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What the Rise of the Silent Traveler Means for Travel Buyers

Aug 15, 2014 6:30 am

Skift Take

The silent traveler is the travel consumer who turns to their mobile devices first, seeking solution to in-trip challenges that used to be the primary domain of customer- service staff. We look at the important opportunities they now present to TMCs and travel buyers that can adapt to their dynamic and evolving expectations.

— Rafat Ali

Free Report: The Changing Business of Extended-Stay Hotels

Interior of Frankfurt's international airport.


Last month, we released our seminal new report, The Rise of the Silent Traveler: Reaching Out to the Mobile-First Travel Consumer on the new generation of mobile first consumers, and how travel brands need to understand their needs.

Below is a short extract. Get the full report to understand this new trend.

The lines between consumer and business experiences are blurring and the mobile-first mentality is increasingly common on the business trip. What can Travel Management Professionals do to address these new trends and opportunities? Here are a few suggestions:

Be Relevant

Gone are the days of sending a company memo with your 18-page company travel policy and expecting travelers to read it. Attention spans are limited to 140 characters (give or take) and we have become accustomed to targeted messages while searching the web or shop- ping online. To get your travelers’ attention, your message needs to be extremely personalized.

  • Is your travel policy woven into your travelers’ booking experience to help guide them to the right choices?
  • Do you have a solution that allows your travelers to book on mobile and still be in policy?
  • Do you have the right data to be able to reach out to your travelers in a targeted way to help drive compliance (e.g. “Bob, we noticed you called an agent Tuesday to book a trip to Denver. Is there a reason you didn’t book online?”)?

Get Social

Chances are your travelers are using social media daily. According to a June 2014 Skift survey, nearly 40% of individuals between the ages of 25-34 prefer to leverage social channels to resolve a travel problem. At Egencia, we field several inquiries a week from travelers.

Here are a few considerations for travel buyers on the topic of social media:

  • Are you able to leverage social media to reach your travelers? Some of our clients have had success with blogging or opening a Twitter account exclusively for their travelers.
  • Are you paying attention to how your travelers are interacting with your travel partners via social, like your Travel Management Company, Air, Car, Hotel and Rail partners?
  • How should you advise your travelers to leverage social media to resolve travel challenges in a way that aligns with your corporate social policy?

Be Vocal

The proliferation of mobile and social clearly brings both opportunities and challenges. It is so important to work closely with your key travel partners to ensure your travel program is keeping pace. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • How would you like for your key travel partners to handle social outreach from your stranded travelers?
  • Your travelers will not accept a poor enterprise solution when they have come to expect the best consumer products and user experiences. How are your corporate travel partners evolving to meet the new demands of the silent traveler?
  • What can your travel partners do to ensure your travels are productive and compliant on the road?

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