This is the third part in our three-part series this week about how innovations will help business travelers. Earlier we wrote about how continuing growth of digital interaction would benefit the traveler before they leave on their trip and while they are on the road. Now let’s take a look at how the innovations coming down the road will help a traveler after their trip is complete.
Business travelers will expect more aspects of their lives to be linked and available at all times, from baggage location and cloud-stored documents to up-to-the-minute status updates on their home or apartment. This expectation will give rise to connected ecosystems of information available at the tap of a button – including things such as movies, games and other entertainment. Beyond media and entertainment, we will also see the facilitation of human connection, with features that enable travelers to stay connected to their families while away from home.
Purchases will be overwhelmingly digital, via smartphone rather than credit card or cash. These purchases will be automatically logged and categorized, making it simple for travelers to compile (and edit) expense reports for their business travel. These transactions will then feed into algorithms that formulate personal profiles, which learn about each person’s behavior to better personalize recommendations and bookings in the future. Centralized hubs for all travel information will minimize the hassle of post-trip paperwork.
Strategic loyalty alliances
Travelers returning from trips will be able to immediately reap the rewards of loyalty points earned, rather than waiting for their next trip. Centralized loyalty brokerages will allow customers to use points more easily and across a number of brands. Thanks to mobile technology and digital wallets, these points will be easy to spend at will on small ticket items like beverages and books, as well as on traditional point expenditures like hotels and tickets. In essence, branded loyalty systems will become an alternative currency for business travelers, before, during and after their journeys.