The Future of (the) Business Travel (ler)

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by: Kurt Knackstedt, President, Association of Corporate Travel Executives.

We’ve spent a lot of time recently at ACTE events, here on ACTEChatter, and in discussions with travel professionals around the world, talking about Traveller Centricity and what it means for the future of our industry. And we are not alone!

Amadeus has recently released a very intriguing and insightful white paper entitled “Future Traveller Tribes 2030”  and it’s a great read for any travel professional.

In short, the white paper outlines what it sees as a future where travellers fall into very unique categories and demonstrate certain tendencies around how they book, manage, and experience their travels. Included as one of the tribes are a group called the “Obligation Meeters” which is where your traditional business traveller aligns – given business travel is arguably a type of obligated journey dictated by the job required and/or the company paying for the trip.

Within all the traveller tribes, Obligation Meeters included, there is a clear argument that the needs of these individuals are of paramount importance for the industry to recognise and adapt to – be it the booking channels they prefer, the way in which they go about planning their journey, the types of suppliers they prefer to use, and the definition of what “value” means to them.

All this focus on the traveller is clearly applicable across all segments and the full spectrum of travel, regardless of whether the purpose of the trip is leisure, business, “bleisure” or what I like to call “holibiz” which is where a business need is tacked onto the back of an already planned holiday. This blending of requirements is going to challenge our industry in unprecedented ways, changing the norms on how to book, pay for and capture data all along the travel chain.

Therefore, the more our industry focuses on the reality that the future of the business travel industry will be very much about what the future of the business traveller will look like, then the future will be very bright indeed!

A final word and “plug” – I’m pleased to welcome Tony Carter, Managing Director of Amadeus Australia and New Zealand, to ACTE’s Sydney Education Forum this coming Friday June 12. Tony will be sharing more insights on the Traveller Tribes concept and I’ll then be hosting a panel discussion with Tony as well as several industry leaders to discuss in more detail what all this could mean for the future of business travel. If you’re in the neighbourhood, please join us!

Thanks for chattering.

Kurt Knackstedt, President, Association of Corporate Travel Executives

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