In the past five years the travel technology landscape has developed at a rapid pace, with meaningful new tools emerging to modernise and enhance almost every step of the travel management process. From integrated mobile phone apps to customised travel portals, this advanced and agile technology can factor in individual corporate travel program objectives, guidelines and policies.
These powerful, AI-enabled tools can deliver tangible benefits including streamlined travel, enhanced traveller and travel booker productivity, increased savings, automated reporting, efficient expense management, improved traveller duty of care and increased compliance. For program administrators, this technology captures valuable data for better overall program visibility while also building an end-to-end reporting trail.
The key essentials of a modern travel program are –
Personalised Online Portal
At the centre of most modern travel programs is a portal or hub. This agile travel management tool provides a secure online location for all of a company’s travel information. Apart from being available 24/7, for both travellers and bookers, an experienced TMC can customise this portal to meet a company’s unique needs and objectives. This customisation creates a complete travel resource that incorporates traveller profiles, online booking tools, pre-trip approvals, traveller risk management, travel policies, expense management, program analytics and reporting.
In addition to increased transparency and visibility across a company’s entire program, both domestically and globally, harnessing technology enables employees and program managers to spend more time on other business tasks, such as customer service.
Online Booking Tool
While there’s a range of booking tools in the market, it’s important for corporates to have a scalable, integrated solution to control their travel program. When customised to a company’s specific travel program requirements, policy compliance becomes automatic while bookers and travellers have access to unparalleled content in one easy-to-use consolidated tool.
In addition to fast seamless booking, an OBT can manage individual traveller profiles, direct bookings to preferred suppliers and negotiated company rates, flag non-compliant bookings, automate pre trip approval, manage unused tickets, integrate with expense management systems and access management information reporting. All while replacing time consuming manual processes, and a cumbersome paper and email trail, with a seamless online process.
Technology savvy travellers are increasing turning to apps that can be accessed through their mobile device anywhere in the world and 24/7. Apps transforming the travel experience include FCM’s Sam (Smart Assistant for Mobile) – a powerful chatbot travel assistant that blends artificial intelligence and integrated travel consultant support. Sam can track a traveller’s location, provide real-time information on traffic and flight delays, and features interactive city guides, weather updates, gate change information, the ability to upload expenses on the go and it even allows travellers to book an Uber within the app.
Sam integrates seamlessly with FCM’s technology suite and can be tailored to allow approved travellers to book airlines, hotels, cars and transfers on the go. While enhanced functionality is designed to support travel arrangers by providing approval, traveller safety, expense management and reporting solutions.