How do travel managers view online booking tools (OBTs)?
Well, that’s the question posed by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and Deem in a new study that examines how US. and Canada-based travel managers view corporate booking technology and how the pandemic has impacted business travel, including the changes to travel policies and booking channels.
The study asked travel managers about their key priorities when selecting an OBT, how travel managers feel about booking-related innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), automated chat, and IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC), and whether their travel programs offer a satisfactory mobile booking experience either through their OBT’s app or a travel management company’s (TMC) app.
The study’s key findings Include:
- The coronavirus has made some companies revisit booking-related policies; some changes are here to stay. Of the travel programs that have adopted a stricter requirement to book through an OBT/TMC as a result of the pandemic, three-quarters (75%) expect this change will remain in effect permanently.
- Travel Managers identify strengths and pain points with the primary OBT their company uses.
- Seven in 10 (69%) rank configuration as one of the three greatest strengths of their company’s OBT. Other top strengths include integration and end user/ traveler experience.
- Almost half of travel managers (48%) say innovation is one of the three greatest pain points with their primary OBT. Richness of data and a consistent experience across multiple devices are also viewed as pain points.
- Mobile bookings still not available for all. Approximately one in five do not offer mobile corporate booking solutions for flights (20%) or hotels (17%). One-quarter (27%) do not offer mobile booking of rental cars.
- Even when travel programs offer mobile booking, satisfaction is mixed. While almost two-thirds of travel managers (64%) are satisfied with their mobile booking solution when it comes to an end user/traveler experience, only about half (54%) are satisfied when it comes to consistency with other formats (e.g. desktop or travel agent).
Deem president, David Grace observed: “The pandemic has given many travel managers the opportunity to review their company travel policies and identify how evolving technology can help to solve any shortcomings in their travel program.”
And Grace continued: “With business travel solutions, like Deem, becoming more powerful and enjoyable experiences, travelers are going to stay on platform and travel managers will become even more empowered to add value to their companies,”
GBTA and Deem will be hosting a webinar to discuss the findings in more detail. The webinar will take place on May 4 at 11am (ET).
To register please go to www.GBTA.org.