The question of what corporate travellers want has had many TMCs and travel managers baffled over the years.
Although there is obviously not one specific answer to this question, one trend has emerged over the past few years that will undoubtedly gain momentum in the years to come: freedom of choice! Corporates have started resisting the ‘one-size-fits-all’ travel policy and are looking for a policy that will take into account ideas such as work-life balance.
Amadeus decided to investigate to gain a better understanding of what different corporate travellers expect from their travels in its recent study, Future Traveller Tribes 2030: Beyond Air Travel.
Simplicity Searchers want booking their time on the road to be straightforward; the trip itself to be without delays and disruptions; and for any expense claims to be as automated as possible.
TMCs or travel managers who are dealing with simplicity searchers need to ensure that they provide 24/7 support through whichever medium the traveller prefers. This traveller wants to be able to self-service while on a trip and have automated expense reports.
Although we don’t find a great number of cultural purists amongst the corporate travellers, they still exist in every or organisation. These travellers love the shared economy options and will opt for a local independent hotel over a four-star chain property.
Travel managers or TMCs that want to cater to the needs of the cultural purist, should suggest a bleisure trip. A little bit of culture will also go a long way with these travellers.
Social Capital Seekers
Work-life balance is very important for the Social Capital Seekers. They will enjoy experiencing destinations on business they may not otherwise have visited.
Travel buyers should encourage these travellers to contribute to internal communication channels – such as the intranet, company blog about their travels. Use their desire to share experiences to find out which suppliers are delivering on their corporate commitments and which are falling short.
These high earners are often the frequent business travellers. They want to stay in the best hotels and fly in Busines Class. Travel managers will need to ensure that they handle any disruptions quickly and efficiently, and integrate rewards mechanisms into the programme. A good idea for example is to accept savings in air which can then be used as a means to upgrade on hotel or destination services via gamification techniques.
Obligation Meeters are, by definition, travelling because they have to rather than because they want to. For these travellers, the trip needs to be functional, hassle-free but also comfortable, both in terms of the actual experience as well as the booking process. Travel managers and TMCs need to ensure that all the basic needs of this traveller are met. Reliability needs to be factored in to preferred supplier negotiations.
Is the hotel the travel manager or TMC has chosen environment-friendly? Did you opt for paper-free travel? These are all good ways to help the ethical traveller feel happier and more comfortable. Integrating suppliers who have a strong ethical programme in place should convince Ethical Travellers that their preferences matter
Although there is definitely not one-size-fits-all approach to what the corporate traveller wants, by identifying which traveller tribe the corporate traveller belongs to, travel buyers and TMCs can go a long way in meeting their clients’ expectations.
This column was originally posted in Travel Buyer.