Travel businesses have become more popular as a new generation of travellers and travel buyers enter the market.
According to World Travel and Tourism Council and Travelport, $1.3 trillion was spent on the travel business globally in 2017. Technology adoption has played a key role in this growth.
The travel industry has a plethora of technology providers, making it difficult to pick the best one. As a result, selecting a travel technology for a company should be a tiresome task.
With developing technologies, and market changes your travel technology partner should be able to always meet your demands with experience.
Technology partnerships have enabled travel companies to generate new revenue streams and leverage powerful IT solutions, and brand influence. It has enabled companies to gain access to professional business tools that would have otherwise been out of reach.
The following are a few factors to consider when hunting for the best travel technology partners:
Industry expertise and strategy for leading the travel technology evolution
Your preferred travel partner should have enterprise-wide systems and automated customizations. This will enable travellers to plan, shop, and book within policy guidelines.
The technology partners should have the capabilities to help you achieve the right balance of individualization and travel spend management.
Travel technology partners not only build solutions but also deliver next-generation solutions that improve travel management and experience.
A Connected Partner
A technology partnership is much more than a tool or service. It is a dedicated team of industry experts who help you achieve your travel program goals.
A well-established, working partnership with TMCs, suppliers and third-party technology partners becomes a critical factor for successful travel programs.
This program may leverage different agencies, carriers, expense systems, or other third-party providers.
Select technology partners who can lead business travel innovation, deliver tangible value, and strive to provide a frictionless traveller experience.
You should evaluate travel technology providers who demonstrate strategic alliances to lead the industry’s evolution towards New Distribution Capability (NDC), next-generation retailing, distribution, and fulfilment.
Over the next few years, this will become an increasingly crucial factor in managing business travel.
Overall, you should look for a technology partner who understands your business. They must have a vast network of partners that can maximize your technology investments.
A commitment to helping you achieve your travel program goals
A travel policy is the foundation of effective travel management.
Your travel technology partner should fully understand the challenges travel managers have to face.
As modern technologies and channels disrupt traditional travel policies, travel managers today face a more variable role.
Business travel is an essential business-building activity, but it can be costly and strenuous for the traveller.
Travel technology partners should be capable of providing solutions managing business travel, from booking to expense management to a duty of care, with the consumer-like user experience, consumers expect, which is crucial to ensuring higher compliance and traveller satisfaction.
Additionally, the solution they offer needs to be scalable, flexible, and adaptable to the changing needs of travellers.
Also, their solutions should seamlessly integrate with booking, itinerary, messaging, virtual payments, expense reporting, and travel risk management.
It is not enough that your travel technology partner offers a comprehensive travel policy engine with sophisticated controls, custom rules, and parameters to ensure policy compliance; you also need a solution that is easy to navigate and guides the traveller on the right choices with messaging that communicate your travel program throughout the entire experience.
Advance corporate booking solutions should do more than just enable your travellers to shop and book travel—they should also provide access to comprehensive travel options and negotiated offers, automate processes, improve supplier, and contract management, clearly identify in-policy and preferred options, and maximize policy compliance and savings.
One size does not fit all when it comes to corporate travel programs. You need the right technology partner who can help you configure your travel technology for today’s unique travel program requirements with the flexibility and scalability to evolve as your business grows.
A trusted advisor and advocate
Every travel technology partner on your shortlist should ensure their solutions are tailored to your unique travel program and traveller experience requirements.
Whether it is migration or product implementation, each team should have highly experienced, dedicated, and accessible professionals who can share best practices and provide onsite support and online training to help you realize greater results.
The travel technology partners you select should understand the pressures of meeting business goals while staying on top of industry trends and changing market dynamics.
They need to provide insightful analysis, advice, and technical expertise at every step, introducing innovative ideas to streamline processes and reduce costs.
In addition, you should choose a technology partner that is customer-centric, engaged, and listening to you through customer advisory boards, customer engagements, and industry events.
And not just stopping there but elevating the voice of the customer through all channels within their partner ecosystem to make sure your priorities and needs are taken into consideration.
Choosing a travel technology partner is a big decision. Before you proceed, consider these crucial factors to ensure you choose the right one for your business.
A successful partnership is one where the partner has the expertise to help you achieve your goals.