AI and machine learning: How travel tech companies are facilitating corporate travel for customers
And how Egencia can help streamline your travel programme
When it comes to corporate travel, there are many moving pieces. Whether it’s getting to New York, San Francisco, Barcelona or anywhere in between, coordinating travel can be a large undertaking on a personal level alone—but mix in business and it adds another layer of complexity. Travel tech companies like Egencia can help you establish and adhere to travel policies by finding, booking and managing flights, hotels, transportation and other business travel-related expenses for your employees.
Through artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and detailed insights, booking tools developed by travel tech companies provide employees with options that are policy compliant. Prices are also consistently lower than found when working independently using an online travel booking tool or even a travel agency. In turn, your business can have a clear insight into employee travel spending to make informed business decisions that meet your bottom line.
What is artificial intelligence and machine learning?
A branch of computer science, AI focuses on building machines capable of performing tasks only humans would be able to complete. It’s capable of processing very large quantities of data and identifying patterns to make decisions based on that data. A primary way that AI is being used by travel tech companies—and one of Egencia’s strong points—is helping cut down the time and effort it takes employees to book flights, hotels, etc., while also providing optimised pricing and predicting traveller behaviour and preferences.
Machine learning (ML) falls under the AI umbrella, and it’s the data-driven approach that uses algorithms and statistical models to identify patterns and relationships between that data. For instance, Egencia Smart Mix for Air uses ML to deliver the most relevant flight search results to travellers, enabling them to book quickly. To put that in perspective, 90% of flights booked using this tool are chosen from the top 10 flight results worldwide.
By analysing traveller behaviour like booking history, travel patterns and loyalty programme activity, travel tech companies can provide business travellers with personalised recommendations tailored to their own preferences.
How travel tech companies use AI and ML to enable corporate travel
So, how do tech travel companies like Egencia integrate all these aspects of AI to further improve business travel for both your business and your employees? Travel technology helps companies automate and optimise the travel process, providing significant savings for both your company and employees while also improving efficiency in finding compliant and relevant search results.
Using detailed reporting to improve decision-making
A critical component that travel technology companies provide is the detailed reporting that AI systems can supply through the data it collects. This data gives insights into travel expenses and can even identify areas for potential savings. These sophisticated reporting tools can present your business with thorough information about how much spending has gone to airfare, hotel bookings, car rentals, and other travel expenses. All of this information can then be analysed to help identify different ways to optimise travel policies and booking strategies.
Detailed reporting also enables businesses to track and monitor their spending. The Egencia Analytics Studio, for example, helps you to explore expense data visually, discover hidden insights, and identify new sources of savings. This provides a fast, rich view of data, enabling you to quickly share important travel data and results with internal teams or executives. By using detailed reporting, travel tech companies provide businesses with personalised, cost-effective, and efficient travel solutions.
Enabling business travel with configurable business solutions using AI and ML
As a leader in the corporate travel industry, we provide our customers with a streamlined business travel experience with configurable solutions that use AI, machine learning and detailed reporting to enable corporate travel. Below, we’ll break down how we elevate our customers’ travel experience and increase profitability for their business.
1. Booking management automation
From flights to hotels and car rental reservations, to everything in between, automating the travel booking process is one of the key ways AI can help businesses, and their business travellers. For instance, our algorithms process travellers’ preferences based on previous bookings and other data points to suggest more relevant and cost-effective options and reduce the time and effort required to book a hotel.
Additionally, our API integration enables you to create reports in your expense management tool, making it easier for employees to submit their expense reports. Your business can then use this information to track and analyse travel spend. Automating the booking process also helps businesses reduce the risk of human error or fraud while enhancing the user experience.
2. Personalised hotel recommendations
AI and machine learning can analyse travellers’ booking history, travel preferences and other information to provide more personalised hotel recommendations when they’re ready to book. For instance, if a traveller typically books hotels in a certain price range or location, our booking tool will suggest similar options for them to consider. While this provides a more personalised experience for clients, it also offers more cost-effective options that can help save your business money.
3. Data analysis and insights
By analysing vast amounts of travel data, our analytics tool can provide insights into things such as travel spend patterns and trends, as well as key metrics like average ticket prices and booking lead times. Our technology also offers visibility into traveller behaviour that can help your business identify areas of improvement and make data-driven decisions to help your business save money and improve your bottom line.
Our metrics can even give you insights into how travel can affect your employees’ well-being, providing you with an overview of things like trip length and amount of travel, and how they contribute to employee stress and fatigue. This functionality gives you the ability to create a health-conscious travel policy that is also cost-effective for your employees and your business.
4. Enhanced duty of care
We also help your business fulfil its duty of care obligations by providing updates and alerts about potential travel risks. These may concern severe weather alerts, natural disasters, or political unrest.
Egencia goes the distance with you
One of the biggest benefits of our end-to-end travel management platform is that it’s designed to provide a superior customer experience from the time of booking all the way to the conclusion of the trip. From personalised booking options—and real-time alerts during travel—to expense reimbursement, Egencia’s mission is to create a seamless travel experience from beginning to end that also provides your business with the technology and insights to make cost-effective, data-driven business decisions to meet your bottom line.
To learn more, download the white paper, “Reinventing the business travel experience with data and AI” here.