Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) today released Tap into mobile: managed travel in the digital economy, an investigation into the impact of mobile in the managed travel space.
The free-to-download study suggests that mobile bookings are set to climb steeply over the next decade and will influence not only the entire traveller experience but will shift how travel managers control their travel programmes, using the latest mobile technology to help support and connect to their travellers. Both travellers and travel managers expect mobile booking to increase significantly, reaching 25 per cent of online transactions by 2017.
In addition, CWT’s research predicts that mobile bookings will more than double in the next two years.
CWT research also shows that it took up to eight years for online booking tools to reach the same level of activity that mobile is expected to achieve in the next three years. The study highlights the high expectations that both travellers and travel managers have for mobile travel services and their awareness of the advantages and benefits it will bring.
Supporting the idea that traveller experience is key, the study highlights that neither travellers nor travel managers expect mobile to significantly drive down travel costs; instead ease of doing business, productivity and traveller wellbeing all rank higher as key benefits of mobile. As a result, managed travel apps are becoming more sophisticated, and companies who act now will reap the most benefit, as they steer travellers towards the apps that support the travel programme.
The study also highlighted that an estimated average of 62 per cent of travellers already carry company smartphones and 56 per cent of companies surveyed already, or plan to, have a ‘Bring your own device’ policy. Globally, travel managers also consider the potential impact of mobile on the travel programme to be high, rating it 6.8 overall on a scale of 1 to 10.
David Moran, CWT executive vice president, Global Marketing & Enterprise Strategy, said, “We have been planning for this shift for some time and are getting ready to launch new mobile services, such as mobile booking through CWT To Go later this year. While 80 per cent of travellers and travel managers told us they want a one-stop-shop app so they don’t have to juggle between best-of-breed consumer apps, there isn’t an app on the market today that answers all their needs, and that’s what we’re excited about – building on CWT To Go to create the corporate travel app that appeals to both travel managers and travellers.”
Looking to the EMEA region, CWT’s research shows:
• European travel managers and travellers consider well-being, productivity and compliance with travel policy (in that order) the most important aspects of mobile features, in contrast with their colleagues in North America, who emphasise ease of doing business, followed by productivity and well-being.
• Travellers in EMEA consider mobile booking on-the-go less important than their counterparts in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, with 45 per cent considering it important or critical, versus 62 per cent in the other regions.
CWT To Go, CWT’s award-winning app, currently counts itinerary management, flight status updates and mobile check-in among its features, with hotel booking through mobile to be added this year.