Tuesday 17 February 2015

GUEST BLOG: The mobile invasion: connected travellers are productive travellers

Gone are the days when OOF - the ‘Out Of Facility’ abbreviation - meant that a co-worker was out of reach, and possibly not even working. Today, practically every business traveller brings along at least one type of mobile device to stay connected and productive. The latest Expedia/Egencia 2014 Mobile Index shows that 97 per cent of business travellers bring some sort of mobile device on a trip. In fact, more travellers bring along a mobile device than a laptop - in the UK, 64 per cent travel with a laptop, while 82 per cent won’t leave home without a smartphone.  And while nearly half bring a tablet now, this number is growing fast.

So, mobile devices are critical to business travellers, but what do they use those devices for? Not just to check email. Mobile devices have also become real travel companions:  while on the road, business travellers most commonly use smartphones and tablets to manage itineraries (37 per cent and 32 per cent) and research destinations (35 per cent and 32 per cent). They are also used to plan travel:  78 per cent have used their smartphone and 71 per cent use tablets for trip planning.*

Business travellers get more done with tablets
Tablets are more portable than laptops, but more versatile than smartphones. This makes them an especially good fit for business travellers: reading notes, preparing a presentation and working on a budget are all more comfortable on a tablet. PhoCusWright’s European Traveller Technology Study 2014 shows that tablets will be as prevalent as laptops in Europe by the end of this year and consumers prefer tablets over smartphones for planning travel. With larger screens and sleek new apps for tablets, these devices are better suited for more complex activities like planning and booking a business trip. Nearly six in 10 European travellers with multiple devices prefer to shop using a tablet, and a little over one third complete the purchase.

So get ready, travel managers. The message of the mobile invasion is clear: travellers are gaining in efficiency using mobile devices and sleek apps in their personal and professional lives; now they will also expect to achieve the same productivity with the solutions they use for business travel.

How is this working in the real world of corporate travel? Egencia UK managing director, Graham Kingsmill, will speak with experienced travel managers and procurement specialists about the challenges and rewards of providing mobile tools to business travellers at the Business Travel Show main stage panel discussion on Wednesday, February 25 from 3-4 pm.

Post by Sophie Krishnan, vice president Global Marketing and Product at Egencia. Get more information about Egencia at www.egencia.co.uk or come to the Business Travel Show Booth B#435. For more information on mobile trends see the Expedia/Egencia 2014 Mobile Index. Register for the Business Travel Show at http://businesstravelshow.com/register 

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