As the new year opens a world of possibilities, UNIGLOBE experts toy with the possibilities with technology in the not so distant future of business travel.
The assertion that the world is becoming a smaller place has never been more apt. Thanks to technology travel the world is becoming more seamless, more connected and more efficient for anyone who travels it. In this article, UNIGLOBE experts explore with you the implications of pervasive technology and hyperconnectivity on your complete journey as a business traveller.
With the projected millions of active mobile connections by 2020, ubiquitous, ‘hyper’ connectivity will be the norm. As a result, digital interactions will dominate. Devices will become extensions of the self, and people will come to expect customized, personally tailored offerings and services.
Industry research and projections from Microsoft indicate expanding capabilities of digital which are about to change business travel as you know it forever. Here’s how.
Contextual Service Design
From purchase to post-trip, you will be continuously connected to your UNIGLOBE experts via mobile devices and ubiquitous Wi-Fi. Small pain points in your journey will be solved in real time – if not pre-emptively. Services become responsive; specifically geared for precise points in your journey. You will never hit an unexpected traffic jam en route to the airport or miss a last-minute gate change.
The line between commerce, e-commerce and m-commerce will dissolve, enabling you to move from one platform to another without any disruption. Seamless, mobile-first experiences will allow you to connect with UNIGLOBE experts at any given moment, moving from phone conversations to online booking to mobile confirmation without missing a beat.
Businesses will be able to opt in to eco-friendly options, furthering the advance of the travel industry toward a smaller carbon footprint. Alternative fuel flights and less resource-intensive travel options like trains, and increasingly high-speed rail, will become comparatively more affordable as fuel prices rise, making it a more attractive option for sustainable journeys.
Virtual and augmented reality can now create new destinations, new experiences and open up a totally new segment of virtual travel. With virtual tours and more honest photos and reviews available online, gone are the days of your destination or hotel not living up to its image in the brochure. So you’re not in any unpleasant surprises.
Biotechnology and biometric identification will become commonplace and increasingly biological authentication will take the place of passwords and passports. Fast, long-range retinal and fingerprint scanners, along with vein-matching hand scanners, will start to take the place of photographic IDs, allowing for fast and easy identification, as well as rapid personalisation.
Smart, Digital Wallets
As banks, stores and transit become increasingly digital-friendly, payments – and wallets – will follow. Digital money transfers will become the norm. You will also be able to track, log, and sync transactions across various devices, making budgeting and expense tracking easier than ever.
Connected systems and smart algorithms will make on-the-go decision making easier. Pain points like missed connections, cancelled flights and delays will be easily handled, with your UNIGLOBE expert able to quickly re-route and re-book travel. Contextual and consumer data together will allow UNIGLOBE experts to pre-empt and solve problems even before they happen.
Smart Cities and First Stage Travel
As cities expand and urban centres become more complete, itineraries will be crafted with first-stage, door-to-door, travel in mind, creating the best end-to-end travel experience possible for you. This includes smart city transportation and increasingly available high-speed train transit between regional hubs as well as off-peak travel and improved commuting logistics.
Universally available Wi-Fi and wireless connectivity, and near-100% smart device penetration, will enable you to reach out to your UNIGLOBE experts round-the-clock. Instant access will make support services the go-to source for information and assistance.
Purchases will be overwhelmingly digital, via smartphone rather than credit card or cash. These purchases will be automatically logged and categorised, making it simple for travellers to compile (and edit) expense reports for their business travel. Centralised hubs for all travel information will minimize the hassle of post-trip paperwork.
Strategic Loyalty Alliances
Branded loyalty systems will become an your alternative currency before, during and after their journeys.
Centralized loyalty brokerages will allow you to use loyalty points more easily and across a number of brands. Thanks to mobile technology and digital wallets, these points will be easy to spend at will on small ticket items like beverages and books, as well as on traditional point expenditures like hotels and tickets.
“Technology in travel today is not about the advancement of technology itself but the ease of use. The expanding capabilities of technology with the personalised counsel of UNIGLOBE experts is set to lead you closer to the future of travel – travel simplified,” concludes a UNIGLOBE expert.
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