Traveler centricity is a powerful new concept that recognizes business travel as the primary source of corporate revenue—through sales of products and services—and establishes the business traveler as a key player in the corporate earnings equation. It also opens the door for a new partnership between the corporate travel department and the business traveler.

Converting control

According to Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, traveler centricity converts the decades-old “command and control” focus of the business travel department into one that “supports and sustains” the traveler objective: increased corporate sales.

"Eighty-one percent of companies not only allow downloading travel apps—they recommend a few to save time and enhance the travel experience."

“It’s a new collection of streamlined travel policies, advanced travel apps and unique processes designed to assist business travelers in doing what they do best: make money for the company.”

Hands-on

Many business travelers now have the option of carrying fewer devices and the pleasure of working more efficiently on the ones they like. For companies, this change is a win-win situation.

There are dozens of apps that monitor flights and delays, detail the best routes and current traffic situations around airports. They give passengers in transit every advantage. Until recently, most companies prohibited downloading apps like these. A current survey indicates that 81 percent of companies not only allow downloading travel apps—they recommend a few to save time and enhance the travel experience.

Context is key

For companies considering non-traditional service offerings like Uber and Airbnb, the major hurdle is a reconciliation of services with corporate insurance requirements. Traveler safety—or duty of care—remains paramount.  

“The traditional approach to managed travel has a heavy emphasis on cost savings,” says Koch. “Everything is subject to context. A traveler who has a day in meetings following a trans-Atlantic flight needs a better seat on the plane. A traveler dealing with tough negotiations, in two languages, doesn’t need a long cab ride at the end of the day and sketchy internet.”