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It’s no secret that we are increasingly reliant on digital devices – in fact, for the first time this past January, mobile apps and browsers accounted for more internet traffic (55%) in the United States than PCs.
Not surprisingly, the mobile population of business travelers figures prominently in this trend, with 95% owning a smartphone while 64% own a tablet – and they take an average of three to four devices with them when they travel. Clearly they’re hungry for digital and mobile solutions to facilitate their lives on the road.
As a whole, however, the corporate travel space has yet to be able to satisfy their needs.
Whereas 89% of corporate travel buyers/managers feel that mobile is having an impact on their corporate travel program, it seems that at least for now, most are still watching from the sidelines.
For instance, only 24% of companies are actively encouraging the use of mobile travel apps. With ever more business travelers relying on their smartphones to fuel their personal and professional lives, companies are going to have to get in sync with mobile habits if they want to keep their travelers in compliance, and within their duty of care.
Keeping Up With the Curve
Because the corporate space’s attention has largely been focused elsewhere over the years, it hasn’t been as successful in developing technology that meets all of the needs that mobile users have come to expect: user-friendliness, operational and aesthetic appeal, and the overall ability to make life easier.
But that’s ok, because there are great tools already out there – and more popping up all the time – that businesses can utilize while still maintaining the security and controls they require. Products from the consumer space are more often inherently built to have these qualities that business travelers crave, and many of them are already being used by this exact demographic.
The solution, therefore, is simple: strategic partnerships with existing tools that are presently meeting the market demand.
Let’s take itinerary management apps as an example. Over the past year, Ultramar has fully implemented Sabre’s TripCase as our itinerary delivery and management tool, customizing the product to follow our single sign-on model as an exclusive feature in our partnership with Sabre. Travelers receive their itineraries via TripCase and can download the mobile app to have them automatically streamed to their smartphones as well. It’s been fully integrated into the offering for all customers, providing everything from trip alert notifications, to direct access to each customer’s dedicated agent team, and more.
In just the first six months since Ultramar has rolled out TripCase to its entire customer base, there has already been a 64% adoption rate among top travelers. Many of these road warriors have traveled on 50+ segments in the first half of the year alone, and have used TripCase exclusively 100% of the time.
What the future will hold for managed business travel? Adopting the best solutions that appeal to the new generation of travelers and customizing them to offer companies the access and control they need. More and more, we’ll see these products coming from the consumer space, so make sure you’re working with a travel management company who is dedicated to developing and managing custom-tailored, innovative business travel programs that focus on what’s best for your company and your travelers.
This content is created collaboratively in partnership with our sponsor, Ultramar.