At the EPSA conference organised by EPSA at the IFTM 2017 entitled “Purchasing, threat or opportunity in the world of business travel?”, Damien Morthomas was able to speak with Christophe Luard, responsible for indirect purchases at Louis Vuitton, Sebastien Guyot of Air France, Valerie Sasset, DG France of BCD Travel and Dimitri Tsygalnitzky, Saber’s France Sales Director. Below are the 5 reasons why to incorporate innovation into your travel policy, given by Damien:

1. Adoption: cornerstone of a respected travel policy

This is obvious, the traveller is an ambassador for innovation. In addition, all editors, TMC, Indirect Buyers and Travel Managers recognize that the key to an effective and respected travel policy is first and foremost the adoption of their tool, commonly called Self-booking tools (KDS, Maya, Amadeus Cytric, Saber Gethere). The adoption of the tool chosen by the company resides in the satisfaction of the traveller while using it; it is essential that the latter perceive an added value to its use rather than to see it purely and simply as an imposed tool … For this, its user experience must:

  • Akin to the one he lives in his personal life, mobile and seamless, especially on key stages such as the booking process, to discourage him from using his favorite leisure tools in a professional setting.
  • Adding value, exclusive to its professional status, rewarding and responding to his new needs, in order to motivate him to use it more.

2. Limiting open-bookings for more security

According to a recent EPSA study, + 56% of travelers would have made an open-booking at least once in their careers. One of the main concerns related to the phenomenon of Open-Bookings is the safety of the traveller. Indeed, when the latter comes out of the tool chosen by the company, the entire security chain is broken. Hence, all the technological deployed to locate the traveller in case of problems and to inform him of the potential risks related to its destinations is…useless. Nevertheless, It is the legal responsibility of the employer to ensure the safety of its employees, the Mobility Manager must then put all the necessary means to make sure this security chain isn’t broken.

3. Less open-bookings for more savings

Another concern related to the phenomenon of Open-Bookings lies in its cost. Indeed, when your traveller chooses to book his hotel via an OTA instead of your SBT for example, he often thinks to be doing a favor to the company, as the prices of the rooms seem lower at first glance. However, even if this room price is lower than that the one in your hotel program, this open-booking will in itself generate an indirect cost of at least 35 € for the company. This cost is the result of the time spent by your collaborator in creating and forwarding his expense report to his management, who then must validate it and forward it to the accounting department etc. This cost also includes not taking advantage of the rates and other services that you have negotiated in your hotel program for that same room. Thus, it is obvious that limiting open-booking by making your SBT more attractive will generate indirect savings, indirect, but quite real.

4. The new needs of Millennials: your most frequent travellers!

The millennials, this Y generation born between the 1980s and 2000s, are already the most frequent travellers in your company. Before 2020, they will represent more than half of the workforce! It is therefore necessary to understand their new needs and expectations, very different from those of the previous generation. The Millennials want a personalised service and a high added value during each of their journeys via real experiences, culturally enriching and personally and, if possible, collaborative. These digital natives gave birth to the phenomenon of Bleisure, which combines work with leisure, relaxing and, if possible, memorable experiences. Understanding and knowing how to meet the new expectations of your travellers is a necessity.

5. Innovate to retain your talents

According to one of CWT’s latest studies, 80% of your travellers say they are more likely to leave you for another employer, and travel just as much, if their travel policy was more attractive”. Given the difficulty of recruiting your talents and retaining them, your corporate culture must be attractive, including in terms of mobility. Therefore, it is clear that indirect purchases related to mobility should no longer be considered as a commodity which cost is to be only optimized. In the traditional hierarchy of priorities for a buyer, we first optimise purchasing prices and processes, then strengthen our travellers safety, and then make sure of their satisfaction, comfort, and well-being, which often remains the third priority, increasingly supported by HRDs. The companies that are the most open to innovation, SMEs or large companies, have realized that while the search for savings in managing their travel remains a priority in this global environment, traveller satisfaction becomes a priority of the same level. In 2017, in this all-online travel industry, governed by mobile and disintermediation of travel, the new Mobility Manager must put the traveller satisfaction in the top of their priorities to convince them to be part of their travel policy project. The best mobility managers therefore remain constantly on a technological watch to select and offer their travellers the best travel innovations.

About Hotelub

HOTELUB is the new SBT option for travellers for each accomodation bookings, enhancing their comfort and boosting your SBT adoption for a more respected travel policy. The service meets the new expectations of the traveller by offering, for each reservation of accommodation, a connected, personalized and collaborative experience via 3 levels of connexion:

  • Level 1: connects the traveller to his hotel front desk. He enjoys a personalized experience (preferences taken into account by the hotelier, live chat, notifications of services & events available)
  • Level 2 : connects him to his colleagues who will stay in its accommodation or nearby (corporate culture, intra-company networking, sharing of travel)
  • Level 3 : connects him to all the professionals who will stay in its accommodation or nearby (New business opportunities, networking, less loneliness, shared convivial moments)
    Thus, Hotelub allows your travellers to benefit from the personalized experience they expect before and during their stay, by transmitting their preferences to their hotelier, by accessing a corporate e-conciergerie and being notified of services and events available for their stay. Hotelub also allows a collaborative experience at the hotel and replace loneliness by intra or inter-company networking and shared convivial moments around a drink or a dinner among professionals. Each stay is automatically synchronized on your travellers’ application without having no extra manipulation to make for a great experience. Check out the Hotelub Entreprise brochure here.

About Hotelub Events

With Hotelub Events, you offer a connected and dematerialized experience to your participants for each one of your corporate events (seminar, meeting, reception, training, convention, etc.)! Create your event in less than a minute and invite your participants; they will access your event network, discover the profiles of their fellow participants, speakers, coordinators, and will connect with the hotel front desk. They access instant messaging, a chat room and your online program right from your event creation. They can answer surveys, share photos etc. More info here 

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