GBTA Foundation Whitepaper explores use of technology to improve business travel

Published on : Tuesday, July 28, 2015

GBTA Final Logo_origBusiness travelers are generally open to new technological advancements that will improve their hotel booking and staying experience, however there are some concerns around adoption rates among older travelers, according to a new whitepaper from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).  As the hotel industry moves down this road of newer and more advanced technology, it is also critical that hotels do not lose sight of the importance of customer service.



The whitepaper, Harnessing Technology to Improve Business Traveler Hotel Experiences, sponsored by AccorHotels, presents results from a qualitative study intended to understand the technology currently being used by business travelers when they book, arrive and stay at hotels; to determine what gaps exist in a business traveler’s hotel experience; and to identify potential technology solutions to close said gaps.



“With the cries for Wi-Fi heard and answered, hotels can and should turn their attention and resources to addressing a number of areas where technology can play an innovative role in providing business travelers with the tools and amenities they crave,” said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation vice president of research.



Areas of Excitement for Tech to Improve the Business Traveler Experience at Hotels



• Seamless online check-in and room entry
• Developing a text or app-based concierge service
• Integrating e-folios into expense reporting software



Areas of Improvement for Tech and the Business Traveler Experience at Hotels



• Improving technology around the use of airport shuttle services
• Pre-trip communications – tailoring both email or text based communications to the business traveler as opposed to the leisure traveler
• Improve the information exchange between hotels and the GDS



“Innovation is at the heart of the AccorHotels digital strategy, and we aim to satisfy consumer demand by embracing technology and providing guests with value-added services throughout the entire customer journey – before, during and after their stay,” said Romain Roulleau, Senior Vice President of E-Commerce & Digital Services for AccorHotels. “It is important to pay close attention to consumers’ needs, habits and requests and integrate new technologies that address these demands at every touchpoint to better serve them.”

No matter what type of new technology is implemented, tending to the needs and wants of guests is vital and that includes carefully explaining new technology. A foundation of education and experience has the potential to convert even the most traditional traveler to new practices if presented appropriately. The execution and support of any new technology must also be flawless because if a new tool fails to deliver once, it will be difficult to convince those new to the technology to give it another chance.

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