What Makes for Success in the Increasingly Competitive Travel Tech Space?

By Mark Williams, Partner

Recently, we sent out a survey to get your views on the use of technology within your managed travel programs. Thank you to the many respondents who participated. The managed travel space has been criticized for many years as lagging behind the leisure market in terms of innovation and adaption to change. Recently, however, the managed travel tech space has seen more and more new entrants, in turn creating more competition and spurring innovation. In light of this increase, what makes for a successful offering? What do travel category managers and their travelers truly desire? Below are the highlights from our recent survey:

  • Quality Over Quantity
    Almost all organizations have approved ten or fewer apps for use in their program, giving credence to the “less is more” philosophy.
  • Recipe for Success: Good UX, Traveler Approved & Savings Generating
    Travel technology buyers are looking for apps which are easy to use and provide a good user experience (UX) for their travelers. They are also listening to feedback from their road warriors, taking to heart recommendations by their travelers for different technologies they appreciate while on the road. Unsurprisingly, travel managers are overwhelmingly more likely to adopt technologies that generate savings for their travel program.
  • Not Another App!
    We’ve talked about “app fatigue” among travelers extensively on our team, and our recent survey results seem to support the claim that travelers and travel managers (and I’d argue, consumers as a whole) are burned out on apps. Five out of six buyers surveyed said they would prefer travel apps which integrate into existing channels and operate in the background.
  • Focus on Travel Strategy
    Survey participants indicated a desire for future travel technology which will assist with travel management strategy first, followed by travel management companies (TMCs). No category was a runaway winner.

Overall, the question our team has is how many more apps will be approved for use without eliminating some of those that are currently approved. As more providers enter the space, competition for screen space may be one of the biggest challenges to overcome for new entrants. What new travel technologies would you like to see in the market? We’d love to hear from your thoughts in the comments below.

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