60 seconds with Business Travel Show advisory board member, Liz Emmott, general manager, Amadeus


What’s keeping you awake at night? 

The pace of change is happening at breakneck speed. As the industry moves to embrace today’s digital-first travellers, greater consolidation and new approaches to technology standards, I’m focused on how we can make the biggest commercial impact for our customers. For our TMC and corporate customers this will be achieved as we move away from being a GDS to becoming a live travel space. One of our major developments that we’re concentrating on in the coming year is the continued evolution of the Amadeus Travel Platform, the technological backbone of the live travel space. This will provide even greater scope for personalisation along with access to airline, hotel, alternative lodging, rail, ground transport and in-destination content all in one place, through any channel.


What innovation will make the biggest impact on travel management in the next 12 months? 

2019 will be the year that artificial intelligence in business travel goes mainstream. Applications will create value throughout the whole traveller journey; from selection of relevant flight options based on travellers’ preferences and habits to dynamic policy rules.

It will also drastically impact the way travel is currently managed. Thanks to machine learning, travel managers will be able to infer the effects of a policy rule modification before implementing. In addition, smart modules will provide them with smarter insight to better achieve their objectives.


How will business travel look in 2022? 

In 2022, business travel will be a whole lot less stressful for the traveller.  At the booking stage, thee will be no need to scroll through countless results to find the most suitable and in policy options. The most relevant one, based on habits and preferences, will be proposed to the users. In addition, the content will be enriched with comments and tips from other colleagues knowledgeable about the destination.

Secondly, before the trip, applications will guide you through the preparation, from suggestions about what to pack (should I take my umbrella?) to help with visa applications and passport renewals. 

Thirdly, during the trip, relevant information will be sent to travellers about their destination. When you land, applications can suggest directions and currency advice to first time visitors. In addition, the hassle of expenses will be over. Thanks to innovative payment solutions, travellers will be able to focus on the business outputs on their trips, and not on admin tasks.


How will managing business travel look in 2022?

Thanks to artificial intelligence, travel managers will have a better view of their travellers’ behaviours, and how policies can help them achieve their objectives. Using dynamic rules, recommendations will be automatically generated and sent to the travel managers, who can then decide to apply them or not. Thanks to machine learning, travel managers will be able to set objectives in the tools (budget, number of bookings per airline etc.) and be able to adapt the policies in real time.

Travel managers will have more time to focus on additional criteria, like the well-being of their travellers. New indicators will enter the scene so travel managers can monitor the level of stress levels of their travellers at all stages of their trips.


How will the business traveller look in 2022? 

Thanks to innovations like these, we believe that business travellers will be less stressed and empowered with a lot more confidence. They can focus on the business reason of their trip, which would result in greater ROI for the corporations for each trip performed.


How will we, as an industry, best survive the next three years? 

We can no longer expect to continue providing a one-size-fits all experience to our travellers.  Whether you’re an airline, hotel, travel agent or travel manager, understanding how to better extract customer insights from data will remain key for success in 2019. Providing a personalised experience is something that is now expected by every hotel guest, airline passenger, and traveller. Travel managers and their TMCs must anticipate their travellers’ needs, understand previous challenges, and proactively address these challenges using data, analytics and business intelligence.


Why do you attend the Business Travel Show? 

After 25 years, it’s still the most important event in our sector to network, learn and do business.  Amadeus is an organisation that works across the entire travel ecosystem, that’s constantly innovating, so the BT Show is vital for us to show how we’re powering business travel at every level.


What are you hoping to see on the conference programme this year? 

Education is a key part of the Business Travel Show experience and the conference programme has always delivered regardless of your experience levels.  I encourage my teams to think about what’s important to their customers and plan their visits to get a deeper understanding about what will drive their future success.