Getting to grips with the modern traveller

Travel managers must take a more traveller-considerate approach to developing travel policies and programmes, according to research from Amex GBT and ACTE debated at ACTE’s global conference in London this week.

“The profile of business travellers is changing and so must the business travel manager,” said Philip Haxne, Regional Director EMEA, Global Business Consulting at Amex GBT.

“The modern business traveller is hyper-connected, has a consumer mindset, expects personalisation, demands flexibility, and is age and gender agnostic,” he said.

“It’s easier for business travellers to be pulled out of programme than ever before,” he said, advising travel managers to inform and educate their travellers about policy and use psychology - such as visual guilt – to win them over.

“Corporate social platforms [such as Yammer] enable stronger, more personalised engagement,” said Haxne. “Online booking tools remain vital for influencing traveller behaviour but need to deliver a consumer-like experience.”

Travel manager Anne Barlow, meanwhile, said the variety of her company’s regular travellers was among her biggest challenge.

“We have such a diverse spectrum of travellers and they all have opinions. Listening to them is the biggest thing for us,” she said.

“We ask, we listen, we act – then we have to put the right information, in the right hands, at the right time.”