Editorial March 2017 : Does business travel define you as a human ?

Does business travel define you as a human or is there the opportunity to humanise the travel experience?

I have travelled the world for more than 25 years and have had the opportunity to experience working in this exciting industry. Given the recent discussions around the next generation, travel technology and artificial intelligence – I asked myself this question: has travelling made me more human? I am one of those “business travellers” who have become addicted to new technologies and the kind who is “never without my smartphone”. But how did I travel before the arrival of this technology? To be quite frank, I don’t know.

The way we travel has transformed over the last two decades with the emergence, of new technologies that have changed the way we “travel.” Wi-Fi, 3 / 4G networks, smartphones with integrated cameras, geolocation, e-ticket, e-boarding, social networks and applications of the sharing economy to name but a few.  A world of artificial intelligence, robotics and next generation bring further change, but how do we use this to humanise our experience?
Over the years, I have learnt that travel does not have to be limited to point to point guided travel. For me, it remains above all, a unique experience and an opportunity to explore and share new experiences. The technologies available today enable us to personalise our travel experience to suit our individual needs and preferences.

We can humanise the technology to an extent, to help us analyse and make decisions based on our needs, behaviours, preferences and reactions. We can now learn from others experiences’ through the sharing of advice and best practices, to optimize our time and to enhance our stay

Throughout this precious time when we are often away from family and friends, technology keeps us connected to life back at home and in the office. As a result, we are now seeing the convergence of leisure and business travel practices. Travelling for business is above all useful and justified and for the traveller we must work hard as an industry to ensure it remains a unique and rewarding experience. Technology lies at the heart of this challenge.
To answer this first question, I would say that travel has certainly made me more human and traveling has now become a more “human” experience …

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