It’s that time of year…time for predictions, prognostications, forecasts and maybe a little divination. It’s also time for those resolutions and changes in behavior, which makes you better.
As a Marketing Professional in the Spend Management Sector, including the Travel and Expense Management space, we build and design campaigns using as much historical data and business intelligence to “hedge” our bets and build successful programs. Leveraging the resources available to me, here are some predictions for 2016.
Slow and steady growth
Thanks to plummeting oil prices, the cost of air travel, ground transportation, and rental cars will moderate with only a small rise of around 2% in North America before returning to more normal levels mid-2016. Due to continued uncertainty in the global economy, business travelers should expect continued volatility in international outbound travel throughout 2016.
Focus on duty of care
Risk management is a major emphasis for corporations. Corporate customers are incorporating new policies and technology like Apptricity Travel and Expense Management (TEM) to help monitor employees’ location in case of an emergency, especially when they travel abroad. Leverage technology to send text messages directly to travelers regarding travel alerts and alternative travel arrangements.
Investing in technology
Mobile and big data are still where the most significant investments will be in 2016. Apptricity has a proprietary mobile platform and we’re investing in ways we can use it to make travelers’ lives easier and more appealing to use.
One example of Apptricity’s TEM mobile solution is Travel Approval–obtain and track approvals from booking to traveler to manager, with the ability to integrate with your travel partner of choice. There is always more in the works in the areas of: hotel spend management, travel manager actionable intelligence and traveler engagement by incorporating technologies in mobile, SMS messaging, tracking, and duty of care.
Meetings are a growing sector for Travel and Transport. On-site meetings beats two-way interactive video any day! There will be a steady increase in travel for meetings due to continued decrease in oil prices. Meetings and group travel typically makes up about 15% of a travel agencies business.
The rise of “Bleisure” travel
Mixing business and pleasure (as well as the words) has never been more popular. Technological advances have provided an environment for people looking to gain a better work-life balance; because what’s the point in typing on a laptop in an office when you could be doing it on a beach? Conferences in Orlando, Chicago, Vegas, San Francisco, Geneva, Dubai and London…nice places to visit with family too. Have laptop, cell phone, and internet access— go!
Travel is made for mobile
There are (many) times when travelers want nothing more than to escape technology, but staying connected is imperative to keeping travelers happy. Everything from flight details and city maps to Uber access and social media sharing requires some form of internet connection. To avoid leaving your clients in the lurch it’s wise to research and provide information on destinations so you can inform your clients about spots with patchy signal. Apptricity solutions are made to be used anywhere, anytime and mobile. We’ve also accounted for areas of patchy internet service with off-line capabilities that syncs the next time you’re online without loss of productivity.
It’s all seamless
The entire travel experience can be planned and managed in advance. Each stage of the journey can be neatly organized – flights, cars, restaurants, shows, meetings with locals, unmissable viewing points, unique experiences – so people who feel like ‘time is money’ won’t waste one moment on mediocrity. The common denominator is access to the internet via a mobile device. It’s what makes the whole process seamless, portable and organized with the right tools like Apptricity Travel and Expense Management to help separate your business and personal expenses and keep it all neat, tidy and organized.
It’s important to remember how challenging this travel landscape is. It’s never-ending and continually changing. And, a prediction is only that…a prediction. How you use the information intelligently—that’s how I “hedge” my bets towards travel success.