Earlier this year the New York Times published an article about coming changes in corporate travel plans, "Business Travelers Want to be Left to Their Own Devices", wherein the position was established that leisure travel trends are pushing major changes in business travel.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, both Corporate and Leisure Travel was largely frozen
The financial setbacks and anxieties experienced across the globe helped open up new spaces for inexpensive and mutually beneficial travel related transactions through websites like Couchsurfing and its adult cousin, Airbnb.
This grey market disruption, widely called “the sharing economy”, has impacted the service industry at all levels because of its ability to easily connect people who want to travel for less money with people who could stand to supplement their own rental costs. Under the guise of this sort of open marketplace, people began to feel that they were not just making shrewd consumer decisions for themselves, but also performing a social good by helping other people effected by the tough financial times.
Of course, some of the companies that facilitate these transactions have accrued profit by taking a slice of these transactions without taking responsibility for service or security, and as a result, much criticism and pushback has arisen; but even with this pushback the impact of inexpensive user-to-user markets is both lasting and undeniable.
So what can traditional service programs do in the face of these market changes?
For one, they can embrace the new cross-platform research tendencies of their client base. During the past few years of economic recovery, corporate travel has opened back up, but has been forced to adapt to the newfound independence of app-savvy employees who have come to enjoy the freedom of researching and booking their own travel arrangements. This means that formerly sprawling corporate travel policies have become thinner, more streamlined to embrace the new travelers, and are now viewed as part of the benefit of working for a company. Of course, companies are unable to credit employees for paying Airbnb, but they can still adapt to new economy trends like reimbursing Uber trips and self-selected hotel stays.
This “traveler-centric” approach accepts that tech-enabled business travelers can catch up on work from any location, at any free moment and allows them to choose a hotel for themselves, to suit their own individual needs.
This change opens up a whole new market of travelers to smaller hotels that can establish a cross-platform presence
This means having an booking app that can be easily loaded onto the client’s phone from an OTA booking confirmation, an app that integrates well with the hotels booking and confirmation systems for ease of use, and one that potentially enables direct communication between the hotel and the guest. Communication and ease of use are the primary expectations these potential guests bring with them from the sharing economy into their business travels, and hotels that can step into the cross platform market stand the best chance of attracting these new business travelers. And for hotels that offer a mobile guest journey these travelers will tell others about their experience. In short: because corporate travel policies are opening up, the market for attracting business travel is opening up as well.
10 Tips which will help you to handle Negative Reviews
Negative Reviews don’t have to ruin your day
Adam Gandy was born and raised in North America but now lives and works in Europe. A technical writer, artist and writer for Arts publications and Galleries, he has spent the past eight years working and traveling in the Arts and Cultural sector.