It might feel like it’s been a blink-and-you-missed-it year for business travel, but that’s largely due to the speed of change that we’ve seen in the industry.

And things show no sign of slowing down in 2018.

In keeping with the last fast-paced 12 months, here are some quick-fire predictions for the year ahead from Click’s experts, who have binned the crystal ball and instead consulted their years of industry experience:

1. Artificial Intelligence
With more and more travel suppliers now understanding the immense scope of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and implementing accordingly, we’re going to see it become much more prevalent in business travel. With the widespread adoption of Alexa and GoogleHome, AI has, for many people, become firmly embedded in their personal lives and so it’s only logical that this will move into business travel, especially when combined with personalisation.

2. NDC & Direct Connect
Despite scepticism, direct connects have really taken off over the last 12 months and look set to continue in 2018, with Air France/KLM the next large supplier to introduce their direct connect.

Travel management companies (TMCs) that rely solely on GDS content will not be able to offer such competitive prices or cost reductions as they might have previously. In turn, this should lead to increased adoption of NDC, with airlines working on developing their own direct connect retail solutions and innovative TMCs developing global aggregation systems that are fit for the future.

3. Cost Increases
Western Europe expect to see a 5.5% rise in air fares, and 6.3% rise in hotel rates – these are higher than wider global predictions partly due to political issues (Brexit, etc). This hike in prices will force many organisations to look for more innovative ways to control their train spend. One way in which they could do this effectively is to implement a dynamic travel policy.

A dynamic travel policy really can provide organisations with the best of both worlds in the sense that it affords the person booking a certain amount of choice, but concurrently controls costs, delivering the best value whilst providing a great user experience – which is why Click have pioneered the use of a dynamic policy for some time now.

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