From contactless check in/out methods and payments to virtual tours, more than ever the pandemic has created a dire need for technology. While it was a huge adjustment for some, it has made things simpler for both employees and companies; so much so that many companies made the decision to allow employees to work remotely indefinitely. But what does remote work mean for business travel? Will business travel still be a thing?
Why, of course! Business travel will never not be a thing, but how the cost of business travel evolves is yet to be determined. It can depend on several factors such as: the lack of human
employees due to AI and the increase in costs associated with new technologies. This could affect the cost of other items like airline tickets, hotel rooms, experiences, etc. Technology software is highly expensive and so installing advancements such as check in facial recognition can come with a hefty price tag. If there is already a decrease in the demand for travel, the cost of expenses like transportation
could decrease because many companies are still remote and there isn’t a need for in person meetings or conventions.
Besides cost being a major change, so can planning. Many companies are still on the fence about returning to the office or staying fully remote. With health being a major risk at this time, there are many considerations when planning business travel, such as: social distancing regulations, determining the mode of transportation (ride shares, flights, or taxis), mask mandates and group gatherings. How are companies going to distinguish planned events and/or activities based on vaccination status and the capacity of people per space? The changes of business travel are inevitable, but you may question what else should you expect for business travel in the upcoming year? With an increasingly digital era, plenty of things will change and develop such as:
Very useful when assisting people with questions they may have about flight information, hotel amenities, fees, luggage, etc. during uncommon business hours. This is also a resourceful tool for helping to assist a high volume of people with pre-programmed answers to common questions. Some AI has even been programmed to help you book your reservation without the assistance of a human; they also make for a great travel assistant during business travel. So while finding your way around a new town may have caused a slight headache, you can feel more at ease during your business trip having an assistant at your fingertips.
What started as a method for spreading fewer germs, turned out to be a lifesaver when you forget your wallet. We now have the luxury of paying for items and experiences using mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Just tap your mobile device to submit payment.
It has even been used to help increase the flow of commuter traffic in densely populated areas like New York City. New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has installed contactless payment methods at subway turnstiles for faster processing and if you forget your MetroCard, you won’t miss your train. This is ideal for business professionals who use public transportation as their primary means of travel, bouncing from meeting to meeting across town.
Maybe your company is holding a convention, but those in charge of planning need to see the venue and the rooms, to determine whether or not they should book the reservation. VR makes things like virtual tours possible so that you have access to the space before you even book! This same method has been used for prospective tenants to view apartments and properties before applying.
Cyber Security Measures
With corporate travel being a prime target for cyber security attacks, those who manage travel for their company are paying close attention to ways to prevent these attacks. This could be by setting up employees with a VPN, personal WiFi device, or both, before traveling. If an employee needs a personal hotspot device temporarily for their trip, companies may want to invest in a hotspot like Solis which provides them with personal WiFi and the added security of a VPN. It is a simple setup and Solis provides information on how to get started as well as a responsive customer support team to help you if you need assistance.
Internet of Things
How convenient is it to be able to control a variety of controls in your hotel room, such as the thermostat, lights, or even the door lock all from your phone? IoT technology allows customers to do just this when traveling. This same technology is used in airports to scan luggage passed through sensors when passengers walk by.