The future of business travel

Artificial intelligence and adaptive systems, data security and responsible travel – these are the technological trends of business travel in the future.

Imagine you have to go to Düsseldorf on business. You enter the place, date and time, and an app takes care of everything else: The virtual assistant automatically books a train trip, because the app knows that the train is your preferred way of traveling for this destination. Once you arrive, your phone will guide you to a rental car that will take you to your preferred hotel or temporary apartment, where your favorite meal is already waiting for you – without you having to make a booking, payment or request yourself. This way of traveling probably won’t be possible tomorrow, but the business travel industry is already moving in this direction. Business travel providers are increasingly relying on digitization to make life easier for travelers.

The business travel industry is undergoing lasting change: sensors at airports, mobile check-in at hotels, orientation using artificial intelligence at transport hubs – the future is just around the corner. Especially with regard to business travel, everything is becoming highly individualized.

While private travelers usually have contact with a travel agency once or twice a year, the mobile business traveler has very frequent, intensive contact with his business travel agency or the travel planning office in his company.

Many efforts are therefore going into personalizing the travel experience. This involves, for example, travel planning solutions with more relevant booking options or those that anticipate travelers’ needs earlier and more accurately. Efficiency and relevance are key. Business travelers don’t want to have to choose from a hundred options, but from the best few, based on their booking history and the current market situation.

Virtualization and the Internet of Things also offer many opportunities to simplify business travel. For example, the number of bookings made with virtual credit cards is doubling year over year. Uber usage can be paid for virtually; thanks to automatic check-in, travelers no longer need to go to the front desk to get room keys or pay their bill. Technology integrated into our immediate personal environment is becoming smarter and more connected. This plays a particularly important role in transit, travel and logistics. Sensors and signaling devices at key transportation hubs like train stations and airports are simplifying navigation and speeding up the flow of travelers. Suitcases are becoming smart, can be tracked. More and more opportunities for digitization are being identified and exploited.

Experts also predict the following sustainable technology trends:

  • Virtual payment and virtual meetings are becoming more prevalent.
  • Work continues during the flight: WiFi & networking on board are becoming common practice.
  • The distinction between personal and business travel is gradually disappearing: ultimately, we are all consumers.
  • Business travelers expect the same booking options, accommodation options and service for both personal and business travel.
  • Smart apps can help companies save money and engage their travelers more so they make policy-compliant booking decisions.