I attended CES in Las Vegas this week, and couldn’t help but think about what corporate travel should learn as big travel management companies transform into technology-focused service organizations.
As smartphones become connected to smart speakers and devices around the home, via digital voice-powered assistant technology, travelers will want to access their travel information and even place bookings regardless of what device they use. Even toothbrushes and showers are going to incorporate artificial intelligence soon. It’s only a matter of time until a business traveler asks their toaster what time their flight is and expects the right answer.
It will take a few years for the Internet of Things to really saturate the commercial market, but it’s going to happen. I muse on the takeaways for corporate travel, and the travel industry at large, in a pair of stories below.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor
Business of Buying
Corporate Travel Can’t Afford to Miss the Next Wave of Consumer Technology: Consumer technology is undergoing a transformation, powered by artificial intelligence and voice commands. Corporations should pay attention to how their travelers’ behavior shifts in order to stay in front of upcoming trends.
The Airport of the Future May Evolve From Transport Hub to Attraction: Airport architects are busy rethinking the terminal experience, and that’s a good thing. But don’t expect any major changes, at least not soon. Instead, travelers will get incremental improvements.
Airlines Turn to Private Messaging to Avoid Social Media Blowups: Airlines and their passengers are embracing private messaging to resolve issues. That’s good for customers, who don’t need to wait on hold for an agent. And it’s helpful for airlines too, because agents can respond to more than one message at a time.
Disruption + Innovation
Chrome River Raises $35 Million for Expense Software: It would be bad if Chrome River spent all of its newfound money on travel and entertainment. But at least it would be able to expense it efficiently if it did.
TripAdvisor Reorganizes Business Units in Attempt to Revive Its Prospects: It is widely acknowledged that TripAdvisor needed to reinvigorate its business and product lines after a difficult transition to hotel metasearch and instant booking. The company believes the new internal structure will give its units that enhanced focus.
A New Data Era Will Reshape the Travel Industry: Consumer behavior will shift in drastic ways in coming years, powered by a new generation of devices with ridiculously fast data connections and the mainstreaming of gadgets that have been niche products until now.
Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.