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Nov 1, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

How artificial intelligence is set to revolutionise business travel

Technology and devices are gaining traction when it comes to managing, preparing and carrying out business travel. A recent study involving business travellers would seem to indicate that this is merely the beginning, with artificial intelligence set to become more prevalent. Those who travel for work still prefer the human touch, however.

Technology is already at the forefront of the daily lives of business travellers looking for simplicity and speed and to be kept informed. In the future, technologies – and in particular artificial intelligence – are set to play an even greater role in the organisation and execution of trips of this kind.


Business travellers glued to their mobile phones


This is what has emerged from the data in a study on the subject carried out last summer and published on 4 October. French website Déplacements Pros and the FCM Travel Solutions agency, who commissioned the study, tell us that as things stand, over half of the 1,002 business travellers surveyed say that they would not survive without their smartphones.

Mobile phones are one thing, but apps designed for regular business travellers are quite another, and much less popular with those surveyed, only a third of whom say that they have downloaded up to five of them, although 58% do have one or two on their phones. Of these various platforms, those offered by airlines, hotel booking services and weather information sites are the most popular with users.


Easier management and access to information


People who travel for work generally favour the use of technology, for two main reasons, namely managing the administrative side of trips (reservations of different kinds and keeping track of expenses) for 46% of those who replied, and getting information for 24%. When carried out using advanced technologies and devices, these two aspects tend to reduce both stress caused and time taken.

Among the innovations made possible by high-tech, there is an ever-increasing number of services and devices which use artificial intelligence (AI). Business travel is no different from other fields, in that the future would appear set to rely heavily on AI if we are to believe those who have to travel for work. 69% of them believe that this particular technology will quite simply revolutionise the sector.

19% of employees who travel describe AI as interesting, whilst still finding current usage of it as barely relevant, with 14% of those surveyed saying that they would prefer the focus to be on technologies that are already available. This particular result is prompting decision-makers at travel agencies to re-think their companies’ priorities.


Technology creating new demand for services


The growing presence of technology in processes and the rise of artificial intelligence is indeed bringing about a change in the needs being expressed by business travellers, the majority of whom expect travel agencies to provide more personalised services in the future. French website TourMag believes that concierge-type services will be what is required.

These new demands will not necessarily mean the replacement of actual human faces as far as these companies are concerned, however. 71% of those consulted as part of the survey believed that it was unlikely that new technologies would take the place of travel agents.



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