I was lucky enough to attend the press launch of the Oxford Economics and Amadeus report ‘Shaping the Future of Travel’ this month.
I was delighted to be there to speak on behalf of Carlson Wagonlit Travel and represent the role of the Travel Management Company. The report shows the huge potential for business travel and highlights just how much our ecosystem is evolving. In the last decade the business travel industry has seen huge change especially in the areas of mobility and digital.
At the core of travel business are two main areas of focus – the first being infrastructure – so the behind the scenes set-up, the human connection, the local on-the-ground information and support – and the second is technology.
CWT already has a global physical footprint, in around 150 countries and territories. But in the hyper-connected world we live in, technology is key.
Online travel planning, searching using multiple criteria, sharing information with peers, micro-payment, getting information on the go, using video conferencing; all these digital services provides value to the traveler. This is especially true if you consider that a third of travelers fly only once a year. CWT is committed to inventing new and integrating existing best in-class digital services for its travelers.
With this in mind the section of the report which resonated with me the most was the door-to-door concept. Not only is the concept about being there at the beginning of the journey – it’s about a fully integrated and mobile service, which offers real-time intelligence and compliance knowledge at every stage of the trip.
The rise of consumerization has created traveler expectations for immediate and constant access to information in all parts of their lives – business travel included. We understand that we need to be with the traveler at every moment of their trip.
For CWT our focus is on developing a mobile platform that will accompany the traveler throughout their journey door-to-door. The ultimate goal is to provide an app which not only gives relevant and real-time information to travelers as they leave the office, catch a flight or hail a taxi, but also suggests and offers bespoke and customized information – from important issues around safety and security, weather or flight status’s through to relevant entertainment and geo-specific restaurant offers. Our award winning app CWT To Go is at the centre of that focus.
The elements that will be crucial to CWT To Go’s success are the constant update of door-to-door options, the ease of booking everything on the go and finally, all that travel expenditure information being stored and reported back to the travel manager or company, so an even more complete picture of his/her travel is created.
This report highlights the great opportunities for our industry and the mobile technology that CWT is creating and I, for one, can’t wait to be part of that bright future!