Max Keegan, a 17 year old ‘digital native’ took to the stage this morning to share his experiences of booking travel in a bid to help buyers understand how they will need to evolve to cater for future travellers. In short, it’s all about digital, and his message to corporate travel buyers is that they need to adapt now to deal with social hungry travellers like him.
It seems the new generation of business travellers is feeling rebellious. They don’t want to be reined in by regimented booking policies and procedures. They want the freedom to be able to book corporate travel using the types of booking tools – and with the same level of ease – they experience when booking leisure travel.
What’s behind this urge for rebellion? Technology. Technology has enabled business travellers to pick and choose rather than be directed. It allows them to be flexible. And, according to this morning’s speakers, flexibility is one of the most important messages that buyers should take away from this conference. Closed, structured, mandated and managed policies are dinosaurs. The future is about open travel booking.
Instead of forcing travellers to stick to very strict procedures, buyers are now being encouraged to allow travellers to book whatever, however as long as they stay within more general parameters of policy, whether that’s financially set or otherwise. By giving travellers this freedom and access to the booking experiences they are used to, it’s more likely they will stay within set parameters and everyone’s a winner.
David Chapple is in Budapest for the GBTA Europe Conference 2012 (#gbtaeurope2012). If you’re there, too, say hi. If not, say hi on Twitter – www.twitter.com/btshowlondon