The future of corporate travel will see
artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning pave the way for
frictionless travel as AI and automation anticipate and meet
That was one of the key messages
to emerge from corporate travel experts at FCM Travel Solutions’
Sydney education event where industry figures discussed the future
of corporate travel.
More than 100 corporate travel
buyers were welcomed to FCM’s national flagship education event,
FCM Illuminate, which showcased the future of corporate travel
through innovation and technology as customer experience becomes
the ‘new battlefield’.
“Customers are wanting a
similar experience and engagement to their leisure bookings, and
this will be powered by technology and innovation,” said James
Kavanagh, FCM Travel Solutions’ General Manager Australia. “They are demanding a new experience and we will see
more use of smart data and machines continuing to understand
humans, which will shape our interactions as voice search usage
begins to accelerate. The experience of the
traveller has been elevated and along with that the provision of
relevant and timely information for them to make better decisions
– especially as mobile functionality continues to redefine travel. Generation Y and Z travellers are continually
shifting to more user-friendly and open programs. The industry is
responding to that and introducing chatbot technology to interact
with travellers in a more meaningful and anticipatory way.”
Discussion was held in regard to trends and the future
in procurement, bookings, payments and reconciliation and the role
that the sharing economy — with operators like Airbnb —will play
as these options become requested by travellers.
Mr Kavanagh said that physical travel changes are around the
corner for many travellers particularly with the evolution of the
smart hotel room which can be voice-controlled by a single device
with keyless entry through a swipe of your smartphone.
An overview of FCM’s forthcoming chatbot Sam (short for
Smart Assistant for Mobile) was also presented. “Sam is
a combination of AI-augmented chat functionality and a team of
expert consultants to deliver the best of both technology and the
human experience,” Mr Kavanagh said.
panel discussion was an executive perspective on the future of
air, land, agency and distribution with panel members Andrew
Flannery, Head of Corporate, Flight Centre Travel Group, Jason Toothman, Vice President, Sabre, Rachel Argaman CEO, TFE Hotels
and Rob Sharp, Acting Group Executive, Virgin Australia.
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