It’s all about “convergence”

Traveldoo were delighted to attend the GBTA European Conference 2017 last week in Frankfurt. The theme “Convergence” encouraged some lively debate and challenged our industry to “re-imagine a different outcome.”
One of the highlights was ideaDJ, Ramon Vullings, the keynote speaker on day one. Ramon set the tone for the conference inspiring us all to explore the opportunities looking at alternative industry sectors.

In an insightful presentation, Ramon shared his experiences in creativity and innovation counselling, mixing humour with personal anecdotes, to share how new business models and the convergence of industries can help us all to evolve. He encouraged us to all take the best bits from other industries, adapt them and apply them to our own. Successful examples to illustrate this are, airplane landing gear being the inspiration behind the first foldable Maclaren baby pram or the Formula 1 pit stop, driving the design behind fast food drive throughs.

So how does this apply to business travel?

Convergence of elements in business travel extends beyond geopolitical factors, new technology and the evolution of the travel manager. Different segments within the industry themselves are coming together to form new practices, processes and guidelines to benefit the traveller, travel manager and corporate.

One example of this is Uber who are well known for its ride sharing app, which burst into the market as part of the shared economy evolution some years go. Uber have now rolled out its technology to other areas such as food delivery through UberEats.
Another examples is Easyjet who took the lost cost concept from the airline industry and lauched Easyjet car, cruise, hotel and even Easygym ,EasyPizza and EasyCinema, and the list goes on.

So, what’s next?

A.I, chatbots and block-chain featured heavily across subsequent educational sessions as the business travel industry looks for ways to improve current processes and practices, taking ideas from cross industry.  Rethinking consumer innovation in the corporate world was widely discussed as business travellers needs converge with customer focused interfaces, and their own personalised experience. Mobile continues to be key and Tnooz in particular are investing heavily to ensure our mobile experience mirrors that of leisure orientated applications. Our journey is not yet complete and as per this well know quote “you are only limited by your own fear and inaction,” we will continue to be creative, challenge the norm and collaborate to see how we can help drive your business forward.

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