Turkish Airlines and Skif today launched the 2018 Global Business Traveler Report.
Based on industry feedback and interviews from U.S.-based corporate travel managers and international business travelers, the report examines how factors ranging from disruptive new technologies to personal preferences continue to impact the rapidly-evolving world of corporate travel planning and policy.
The report aims to show ways that corporate travel managers and business travelers can find balance in their common purpose and mutual mission despite the gaps and differences in their objectives, expectations, priorities and realities.
M. Ilker Aycı, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, said the 2018 Global Business Traveler Report was an important part of their research and development process to continually improve the quality of the airline’s services.
“We regularly monitor existing and future aviation trends, and consumer demands, to develop and evolve our products and services,” he said. “The results from this business traveler research provide an invaluable glimpse into the important motivations in the corporate travel space that will contribute to our growth in the years ahead.”
“Changing traveler habits and disruptive technologies are impacting all aspects of today’s business travel experience,” said Skift President Carolyn Kremins. “This new report that we conducted with Turkish Airlines provides data-driven insights to help travel suppliers and corporate travel managers evolve their corporate travel offerings for this new environment.”
Key corporate travel trends for 2018 identified by the Global Business Traveler Report include:
- Employees are taking control over their business travel: Increasingly self-reliant on mobile technology and personalized tools in planning and managing personal travel, corporate travelers increasingly want the same freedom and flexibility for their professional trips. Showing no signs of slowing, this macro trend of consumerized business travel is irresistibly shifting travel management trends and policy.
- There is a new partnership model for managers and travelers: Disruptive new technologies and other resources are emboldening employees to be more assertive in their travel planning and decisions, including stepping outside of company policy. Rather than looking to fit this new reality into existing policy norms, travel managers have the opportunity to architect flexible new frameworks that protect company objectives while providing employees with the freedom they desire.
- The frontiers for technology-supported travel are expanding: Corporate travelers are not quite ready to go full-tech. While embracing automated and digital solutions for basics like checking travel details and checking in for flights and hotels, they still want live, real-time human support for more advanced or urgent needs and concerns. As use and acceptance of improving chatbot, artificial intelligence, and other next-generation technologies grows, however, greater traveler dependence on tech is foreseeable.
- The sharing economy is heading into the mainstream: The disruptive power of the “sharing economy” cannot be ignored, as business travelers increasingly embrace the alternative transportation and lodging options offered by leading players like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb. With major corporations and travel management companies beginning to formalize their relationships with these operators, CTMs, along with the taxi and rental car industries, will face a mix of new opportunities and challenges.
- A deeper understanding of loyalty is emerging: Business travelers are rethinking and reassessing why they should be loyal to travel industry suppliers and brands. Among the ties that bind: a deeper understanding of their priorities and preferences, and personalized, customized rewards. For brands, it’s a prime opportunity to listen to the corporate customer and evolve new ways to strengthen and further relationships in this important segment.
The 2018 Global Business Traveler Report presented by Turkish Airlines and Skift can be viewed here.
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