Business travel is a broad term that consists of all the activities executed to achieve a business goal or objective. This objective could be increasing sales, building business relationships, client support, business operations, training, and learning & development among many others. Business Travel is a critical function in any organization and travel managers sees it as an opportunity for revenue generation. For governments also, business travel generates jobs, increases income and tax revenues. Business Travel is affected by factors such as size of the economy, GDP growth, travel infrastructure development, population, industry mix, business dispersion, technology adoption, exports, oil prices, tax, security, and regulatory policies.
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Growing Adoption of Technologies such as AI and IoT in Global Travel Ecosystem
Increasing innovations in advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), could result in multiple benefits for both business travelers and companies operating in the global Business Travel market. Companies can offer personalized services tailored to the needs of today’s tech-savvy business travelers with the integration of AI in their applications. A typical mobile assistant is a perfect example of AI in the business travel market, that helps travelers during their journey by delivering required information instantly. Saved customer profiles with important information such as passport numbers, payment cards, flight details, business itinerary, and frequent flyer details are just some parts of this process that led to contextual and custom customer experience. There are various areas in a business travel ecosystem which are integrating technology innovations into their services, for instance, ‘smart’ airline seats, luggage mapping & tracking, temperature controls in hotels.
Bleisure – A Fast Growing Trend Among Business Travelers
Bleisure is defined as a practice of combining both business and leisure on a business trip. The popularity of bleisure travel is growing among corporate travelers worldwide, as it allows frequent travelers to take some time off from the hectic schedule of travelling and business meetings during a trip.More than half of of Business Travelers prefers to take bleisure trips. These trips help travelers in increasing their work productivity by reducing the stress associated with business trips. With increasing connected generation and young millennial business professionals, the demand for bleisure services is anticipated to grow at a fast pace during the forecast period. According to the latest survey conducted by Expedia Group Media Solutions on ‘Unpacking Bleisure Traveler Trends’, more than 60% of business trips converted into bleisure trips across five countries in the year 2017. This survey was conducted with more than 2500 business travelers from China, Germany, India, the UK and the U.S. There was a 40% increase since last years’ study when only 43% business trips were bleisure in the U.S. With this growing trend of mixing leisure with business and each traveler taking an average of more than 6 trips in one year, bleisure travel present a huge opportunity for market players operating in the global business travel market during the forecast period of 2019 to 2027.
The market players present in Business Travel market are mainly focusing on service enhancements through the integration of technology in their existing offerings and as well as on new product innovations. The companies are also adopting acquisition and collaboration strategy to enhance their capabilities and expand their footprint in different geographies. This type of strategy allows companies to strengthen their footprint in the market. Few of the recent merger and acquisition activities in the global Business Travel market are listed below:
2019: Travel Leaders Group acquired UK-Based Your Event Solutions, which is an event management company with offices in Europe, US and UAE.
2019: Booking Holding, Inc. entered in to an agreement to acquire Venga, which is a guest management platform for restaurants and other businesses. With this acquisition OpenTable and Venga would work together to improve the restaurant hospitality.
2019: American Express Global Business Travel completed the acquisition of Hogg Robinson Group, which is a B2B company with expertise in travel management. This acquisition is expected to help the company in offering its clients a wider range of products and services.
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