If you’re feeling Managed Travel is becoming a little less ‘managed’ these days, you’d be right. With Sharing Economy players… well, sharing themselves around in the corporate travel space and corporates keen to make use of their services whether or not corporate policy allows it, the travel industry has finally begun to sit up and pay attention. “Don’t you know? Talkin’ ‘bout a revolution, uhuh.”
Although the use of these disruptors raise a number of questions around security, duty of care, and payment and regulation, the fact that over 500 companies had signed up to Airbnb’s business first programme within 24 hours of its launch is telling. Sharing economy players like Airbnb and Uber are here to stay.
For many travellers, a quick tap or two on their smartphone screen to order an Uber has become second nature; an ‘Instant Book’ on Airbnb a two-minute process. And they want more. They want to be inspired by new apps and new experiences. Forget about boring corporate hotels, the new traveller wants to ‘live like a local’. And love it or hate it, the sharing economy is perceived to provide these experiences.
In Managed Travel 3.0, the suggestion is made that TMCs wanting to remain relevant in such an environment work with early adopters and share their experiences with industry peers to help find the balance between flexibility and control. Integrating services such as Airbnb and Uber will be vital even though some caution remains around duty of care and travel policy compliance.
Disruption might not be easy to handle, but it pays off to see how this challenge could become an opportunity for TMCs seeking to excel in a Managed Travel 3.0 environment.
Learn more about Managed Travel 3.0 in the eyes of Amadeus here.