New Generation of Business Travelers Means a New Generation of Tech

Travel technology has tremendously changed the way we travel. As people all over the world travel more and more for leisure, business travelers expect the same level of tech innovation and engagement to enhance the ease and efficiency of their corporate trip.

As a result, travel managers and business travel agents are having to take on new roles and learn new skills. Employees expect them to be up-to-date with the latest leisure travel tech trends and to find a way to bring these into the corporate domain.

The hotel industry is exposed to the new demands from corporate travelers. Hotels will need to provide these customers with a personalized experience while factoring in the need of the corporate as well as the traveler.

The car rental business is another field of business travel which is undergoing major change is the rental car business. Companies such as Europcar and Sixt are well advanced in their use of voice search while car manufacturers such as BMW are strong on integrating voice commands into their vehicles.

Autonomous cars could likely become a major alternative to airport taxis. Tomorrow’s business travel innovations are not be limited to self-driving cars. Drone-taxis, ordered by app, could be the future of autonomous transportation. Business customers, experienced frequent travelers with tight schedules, could be the early adopters of this future tech.

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The Future of Transportation

After years of development and innovation around the world, we are reaching a point where robo cars and 700 mph trains do not seem too far out of reach. What will travel look like in tomorrow’s world?

Author Jenny Southan writes that she rode in a driverless car for the first time in 2012, in Abu Dhabi’s futuristic Masdar City – a planned eco-hub with restaurants, offices, apartments and university buildings. In the quiet campus in the desert, she was greeted by a series of glass doors, beyond which were parking bays for a fleet of sleek little solar-powered pods that were summoned at the touch of a button. There was no driver in the car, just a computer monitor that allowed you to select your destination. The doors closed and the pod zoomed off, following magnets embedded in the road.

There is the promise of increased road safety, which is good news for the travel manager but relies on a consensus that the technology will not fail. According to US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 per cent of vehicle crashes in the US can be traced back to a human choice or error. Hard to believe? Since launching in 2010, running 18 hours a day and carrying two million people, the Masdar City Personal Rapid Transit system has not had one single accident.

Robo-taxis, flying cars, jet packs, 700 mph trains – is this how we’ll travel in tomorrow’s world? An interesting read! See more here.

Google Flights Will Now Predict Airline Delays

Google is rolling out a few new features to its Google Flights search engine to help travelers deal with some of the more frustrating aspects of air travel! Regarding delays, Google Flights won’t just be pulling in information from the airlines directly, however – it will take advantage of its understanding of historical data and its machine learning algorithms to predict delays that haven’t yet been flagged by airlines themselves.

Google says the combination of data and A.I. technologies allows it to predict some delays in advance of any sort of official confirmation. However, Google says that it won’t actually flag these in the app until it’s at least 80 percent confident in the prediction. It will also provide a reason for the delay, whether it be weather related or a late arrival.

The other new feature aims to help travelers make sense of what Basic Economy fares include and exclude with their ticket price. Google Flights will now display the restrictions associated with these fares – like restrictions on using overhead space or the ability to select a seat, as well as the fare’s additional baggage fees.

See more from TechCrunch.com here.

New York is the most expensive city in the world for business travel

The Washington Post takes a look at the most expensive cities for business travel. The Global Business Travel Association, a travel industry trade group, predicts business in the corporate travel sector will have increased between six and seven percent by 2019 and 2020.

Using data compiled from Business Travel News’ Corporate Travel Index, Expert Market, a business-to-business office equipment marketer, has concluded that three American cities take the top spots. New York City wins the crown. The typical business traveler spends about $549 per day in New York, compared to $534 in San Francisco and $511 in Boston. Tokyo and Zurich round out the top five. Washington and Chicago are also in the top 10.

So what’s the cheapest American city for business travel? At only $241 per day, less than half of New York, that would be Bakersfield, Calif.–a two-hour drive north of Los Angeles.

See more from the Washington Post here.

Business Travel Habits by Generation

Travel Pulse takes us through details of the generational divide in how road warriors approach business travel. Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s recent Connected Traveler Study reveals the difference in millennial travel with the habits of other generations.

Millennials are far more likely to travel in groups than their Generation X or baby boomer counterparts. Nearly six out of 10 millennials travel with others while on a business trip while more than 70 percent of baby boomers travel alone. Gen-Xers are less likely to travel alone (58 percent) but also less likely than millennials to travel with a colleague or family member on business. 

Travelers between the ages of 24 and 34 are also more likely to contact family, friends, co-workers and clients when they travel. Nearly half of millennials reach out to friends or family more than once per day while our for work, compared to just 38 percent of Gen-Xers and 29 percent of baby boomers.

The trend is reflected in how the three generations interact with clients and colleagues, with millennials 20 percent more likely to connect during travel compared to baby boomers. When they do connect to family and friends from the road, older generations are more likely to pick up the phone than millennials. Millennials tend to turn to Skype at a much higher rate than Gen-Xers and baby boomers. Yet, all three generations prefer email when communicating with colleagues.

See more here

25 Corporate Event Ideas

Whether it’s corporate retreats and galas or awards ceremonies and team building, make sure your corporate event is successful by incorporating some of these ideas.

Corporate Branding

  • Glass lecterns
  • Food
  • Branded floors
  • Stationary
  • LED bars
  • Stair wraps

Corporate Sponsorship 

  • Off-site activities
  • Photographer
  • Giveaways
  • Custom cocktails

Meeting Design

  • Games
  • Rooftops
  • Fidget pens
  • Water/refreshments

Aesthetics

  • Themes/props
  • Lighting
  • Centerpieces

Additional

  • Overnight stay
  • Networking Lounge
  • Charging Stations

See more details here.

How Millennials Are Redefining Business Travel

Millennials are reinforcing the fact that business and pleasure blend beautifully and effectively.

Apparently, business is pleasure — especially when there’s cake — as 81% of millennials associate business travel with happiness and job satisfaction, according to last year’s MMGY Global survey on American travelers. Millennials are also taking the most trips out of all age groups — 7.7 annually.

Increasing technology and staying at preferred hotels with updated tech means that millennials can stay in touch with co-workers, friends and family with the tap of a finger. More hotels and airlines are offering services focused on the traveler’s pleasure. According to the same survey, 73% of millennials rate leisure time on business travel as important, more so than to boomers at 46% or gen Xers at 56%. As the biggest generation in business, millennials are making waves in how a business trip is typically defined.

For more, click here.

Detroit Named Best US City For Business Travel

Detroit has been named the best US city for business travel. With a bevy of companies—including four Fortune 500 firms—and a modern, sophisticated airport, Detroit is the best place in the country to do business, according to a new survey.

The report by On Call International evaluates the 20 largest U.S markets, ranking them on business travel efficiency. This was based on several key factors, including on-time flights, average hotel prices, reliability of 4G LTE mobile networks, traffic congestion and emergency room efficiency.

Click here for more from Travel Pulse.

Detroit Named Best US City For Business Travel

How Facial Recognition Is Shaping the Future of Conferences

High-tech software companies and event production firms are rolling out new technologies, including facial recognition and emotional measurement software, to improve event security, streamline the check-in process, and measure the attendee experience. The goal is to do all these things while putting attendees’ minds at ease when it comes to privacy concerns.

President and CEO Panos Moutafis said his facial recognition software, which launched earlier this year, speeds up the check-in process, prevents registration fraud, and adds an extra level of security to an event or conference by ensuring that the person who registered for the event is actually the person attending. It can also be helpful when managing or restricting access in areas that event planners want to keep private.

See more from Skift here.