How Technology is Reshaping Business Travel


This is a viewpoint by Lisa Fugere, mobility editor at Lyft.

Many business travellers’ preferences are shifting as a result of new technology solutions and ridesharing services are one of many new travel solutions that operate at the intersection of personal and work life.

The collision of business and personal travel is nothing new; travellers have been using the loyalty rewards points they earn on business trips to pay for personal vacations for decades. But there’s something different about the way today’s travellers bring work-life balance to their travel solutions: technology.

Traveler expectations are shifting as a result of new technology

Today’s employers now manage the most diverse, global, and connected workforce that has ever existed, and today’s employees have adapted to the new demands that come with it. We’re all more likely to respond to work emails after dinner or take calls during our commute.

For most Americans, the lines between work life and home life have blurred – a trend that is even more apparent amongst the most rapidly growing demographic in the workforce: millennials. At PwC, where millennials make up eighty percent of the workforce, seventy-one percent of millennials say their work demands interfere with their personal lives.

As the lines between work and personal life blur, employees increasingly opt for technology solutions that can serve them in every area of their lives. Employees do not use separate technology for work and home life; they simply use technology. And the way they travel is no exception.

In a world where travellers can respond to emails during the ride to the airport, check into a flight with a smartphone, and book a hotel room at the last minute from an app, travelers have come to expect the same technology experience whenever they travel, whether for work or personal trips.

Modern travelers demand convenience above all else

As technology evolves to meet the needs of a mobile and connected workforce, convenience is becoming the most important factor in the way travellers decide which solutions to use. A 2015 GBTA survey found that 49 percent of business travelers cite convenience as a top priority in selecting travel services.

Increasingly, convenience not only means selecting services that are flexible and easy to book but also services that offer a seamless consumer experience for travelers across both personal and business trips.

New technology is driving change across the corporate travel policy

Travel managers are no strangers to shifting traveller behavior. A Tnooz survey found that most members of the traveler community believe “disruption is the new normal.”

As travellers become increasingly dependent on technology, travel managers are adapting the corporate policy to include new solutions. And new solutions come with new challenges.

Today’s travel managers are finding themselves at the centre of a conversation around the structure of the travel policy: how do you build a traveller-centric program that includes the apps travellers love and optimises traveler safety across dozens of new technology solutions?

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About Author

Founded by two travel and technology professionals with years of experience in Asia, Representasia specialises in sales & marketing representation throughout Southeast Asia for travel/hospitality technology providers and travel-related startups, as well as providing marketing consultancy services for hotels and travel businesses in the region.

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