Business travel is ripe for a shake-up already with low-cost carriers and short-term rentals muscling in.

Business travel has the potential to become highly automated, more so than leisure travel, because it is a more frequent activity, whereby brands can deliver and improve on the product and service thanks to big data and artificial intelligence (AI).

Euromonitor International’s new report, AI to Z of Business Travel, looks at how all travel brands need to consider business travel through a digital, consumer-centric lens to avoid losing out to disruptive forces.

Workplace in Flux

The global workplace is experiencing the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, with many jobs, especially in travel, susceptible to automation, which is disrupting the workplace and, by extension, changing the needs of business travellers.

Changing Face of Business Travelers

Business travelers will be more diversified in terms of nationality, age and gender and, combined with the greater flexibility of the gig economy, many norms will fall by the wayside. Generation Y will pave the way for ubiquitous digital connectivity.

Job Incubator

The travel industry is an important job creator, and also has been an important incubator for the gig economy and the self-employed. The future of work will be virtual and mobile, highly connected but uncertain, and jobs will be integrated more into corporate social responsibility.

Is Business Travel Broken?

Corporate business travel has been slower to modernize, held back by legacy issues over compliance. Yet threats are multiplying as leisure brands offering “for business” solutions muscle in.

How to Play in a Connected World

The future fight for business travel will take place at the intersection of search, booking, and real-time services plus payments and loyalty, moving towards singular integration, as exemplified by trip planning apps from software as a service companies like Concur and GDS players.

Up Close and Personal

There is a myriad of new technologies, such as voice-enabled AI, emotion recognition software and biometrics, that brands can leverage. The danger is not to lose sight of providing a seamless, enhanced user experience at each touchpoint.

The Future is What You Make It

Business travel will be increasingly automated, but conversely the service will become personalized — tailored offerings based on stored preferences and even DNA profiling, with custom website browsing, unique pricing and payments.

Euromonitor International is a leading provider of global strategic intelligence on consumer markets, with offices in London, Chicago, Singapore, Shanghai, Vilnius, Santiago, Dubai, Cape Town, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Sydney and Bangalore and a network of 800 in-country analysts worldwide. Euromonitor International’s analysis of the global travel industry covers a wide range of categories, including tourist flows and expenditure, lodging, transportation, car rental, cruise, tourist activities, travel intermediaries, online and mobile travel.

Photo Credit: Lola's message-based travel booking app combines chat with artificial intelligence and service from travel agents. A new Euromonitor International report says more automation is coming to business travel. Skift