Excerpt from PhocusWire

Global business travel spending is expected to reach over $1.7 trillion by 2020, according to the Global Business Travel Association.

Now is a good time to look ahead and see what’s in store for the business travel sector in 2020 and beyond, both as a way to optimise processes and improve cost efficiency. 

If the previous decade is anything to go by, then we could be looking at a continuation of the pace by which technology is reshaping the industry.

Automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence have made it faster and easier than ever for business travellers to plan and book trips. Think of how 10 years ago, you couldn’t ask Siri or Alexa for directions to a hotel. 

Meanwhile, for the decision-makers overseeing corporate travel policy and spending decisions, new technologies promise to improve compliance while improving the overall travel experience.

With all that being said, we look at five key trends that will shape the business travel sector in 2020.

1. Comprehensive selection for enterprise travellers

For many enterprises, flight and accommodation options are limited to full-service carriers and chain hotels, especially those that partner with travel management companies (TMCs). This is quickly changing, especially as modern business travel platforms like Travelstop continue to improve their business travel offerings.

We expect options to become more comprehensive in 2020 and beyond. Think of it as a shift towards a super app tailored for business travel – one that benefits both companies and employees.

For example, business travellers can be given the option to book flights on both low-cost and full-service carriers, as well as accommodations on preferred hotels, home-sharing platforms, or entry-level lodging options like OYO or RedDoorz. 

TMCs are also driving this trend. Last year, for instance, New Zealand’s largest TMC teamed up with Airbnb for Work to offer its clients savings on properties that have been rated as highly conducive to business trips.

We can also see a rise in corporate travel platforms that include services like travel insurance, ground transportation, data roaming, to name a few. This shift reflects new modes of travel that technology has made possible in recent years.

Providing an assortment of options will help curb travellers’ practice of making bookings outside of the policy – something that 32% of Singapore business travellers are likely to do.

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