60 seconds with Louise Miller

 

When it comes to business travel, what keeps you awake at night?

Nothing – I sleep well because I need rest after dealing with all the change and excitement!

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

More traveller experience is via mobile than ever before and will surpass the web in many countries. This makes for less traveller friction and more value. Travellers use 4-10 mobile apps on each business trip but still rely on the web for much of the approval process and initial booking. That’s changing. A more personalised experience that’s aligned also with policy is a big shift. Today those two things are at odds (think about airline mobile app offers have nothing to do with policy, booking tools and TMCs deal with far more air than anything else and its primarily policy driven) - they will shift and come together and mobile will make it easy.

How will business travel look in 2022?

Personalisation (aided by AI and other tech) along with NDC and other changes in distribution will ensure business travel stays on par with leisure shopping and booking experiences. Suppliers will be able to stabilise revenues by reducing wasted attempts to sell to people who will not buy. Reducing waste means more funding for value to customers. Technology reduces this waste. There will be two divergent approaches - buy as much as you can from as few providers as possible on one end. Combine the most innovative combination of suppliers in your value chain even if it means using more.  

How will managing business travel look in 2022? 

The trajectory is significant for…

  • Leveraging more spend (capture the spend not visible in your program today)
  • Duty of care – new ways to care for employees on the road
  • Loyalty programs, personalisation and policy will come together
  • Mobile and digital – 100% in many markets
  • Business Intelligence – on demand high quality data from multiple source at your fingertips
  • Supplier discounts will require more significant commitments
  • Artificial intelligence will become the norm in managed travel
  • There will still be service experts (agents) and a new generation of them is emerging

 

How will the business traveller look in 2022? 

  • Many don’t recall a world without smart devices let alone computers
  • Most don’t want to talk to a human unless they have a significant problem
  • Typing will start to be antiquated
  • Personalisation is expected and appreciated

 

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

Through communication. Being open to new ideas. Being bold and fearless and taking more risks.

 

What will buyers learn from your session?

How to assess the managed travel value chain and prepare for the continuing changes to come, how fragmentation and simplification can co-exist, and how to welcome new entrants and challengers while still acknowledging market leaders.

 

What drives you mad about corporate travel? What would you put in Room 101?

The acronyms.

 

What is an agile travel platform and how does it benefit buyers and travellers?

Just the right number of choices but not so many that it’s inefficient. Balancing standardisation in the supply chain and service overall with innovation is a challenge. How can you create an open program, able to incorporate innovation, without disrupting the anchor suppliers you rely on? How much creativity is too much? How to look at diminishing returns. Agile platforms are not total chaos – just enough disruption to ensure they thrive.

 

Louise Miller is managing partner Americas, Areka Consulting. She is presenting on a panel -Fit for the future – Creating an agile travel platform – at the Business Travel Show hosted buyer conference, 19 February at 13:45 - 15:00. To register for a free ticket to Business Travel Show, please visit www.businesstravelshow.com/register

 

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