SuperBreak gets Superfestive in new agent campaign

SuperBreak gets Superfestive in new agent campaign

Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:00

Agents boo...

EVA Air offers autumn savings on its Kangaroo Route

EVA Air offers autumn savings on its Kan…

Thursday, 27 October 2016 08:00

EVA Air is celebrating an increased service on its ‘Kangaroo Route’ by unveiling autumn offerings on flights from Heathrow to Brisbane, Australia with return fares from £642 per person.

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First …

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:00

Thomson and First Choice have announced the introduction of Vietnam to the winter 2017 programme.

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch for next year

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 11:00

Keen to expand on its portfolio of authentic US ranches, Ranch Rider will be introducing Arizona’s Hideout Working Ranch in its 2017 brochure, which is situated near Portal near the...

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles flights

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:00

Qatar Airways will provide UK holidaymakers with greater access to the Seychelles from December 12 when it launches daily flights via Doha.

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holidays is promoting a selection of winter getaway including a Christmas Craft Weekend at Dovedale in the Derbyshire Dales, Festive Walking At Dovedale, A Seasonal Stay at Malhamdale in...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Five years ago today, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II officially opened Heathrow Terminal 5, praising the new building as a "bright, airy space [with a] clean, efficient layout". For regular business travellers in particular, the intelligently designed, eco-friendly new terminal complete with state-of-the-art technology represented an important step forward in the quality, speed and comfort of air travel. Five years on, to what extent has flying on business changed? And more importantly, is its future bright?

The stratospheric growth of smartphones has had a huge and generally positive impact on the business travel experience. According to analyst house Gartner in 2008 global smartphone shipments were just shy of 140 million units. In contrast, Gartner expects this figure to be close to one billion by the end of 2013. A recent Concur study of more than 1,000 UK business travellers revealed that for 58% of those surveyed, the smartphone was their most important tool while travelling. Equally, 61% confirmed they used smartphone apps to improve the business travel experience. These applications include maps like Google and Bing (used by 90% of travellers), hotel apps (35%), airport apps (32%) and airline apps (40%).
Digitization of travel
Linked to the above, the ‘digitization’ of traditionally paper-based parts of the air travel process has had a significant impact on the travel experience too. For example back in 2008, the majority of travellers were still reliant on printing out their travel documentation before turning up at the airport. However, today there are a growing number of travellers – particularly seasoned ‘road warriors’ – turning to itinerary management applications like TripIt. These services collate all of a traveller’s digital material – email confirmations, seating preferences, frequent flyer data – in one place, keeping them up to date on changes to their trip via email, and offering a one-stop view of all information required during a trip from seat number to a map from the airport back to a hotel.

The power of prediction
Five years ago, Big Data didn’t mean much to anyone. Today, it’s become common parlance in the technology, and increasingly the wider business world. Travel companies are starting to understand the different ways data can be packaged up and used to help and support travellers on the road, and it has already started to change how we fly on business. Today, using a tool like TripIt for example, rather than searching around for a hotel in an unknown town, a business traveller is served personalised hotel recommendations – in accordance with company policy - based on his or her past trips. No need to call a friend in the local town or ask the office PA to ring around for recommendations, it’s all there on a plate. Powerful stuff, especially when you consider we have just scratched the surface of what Big Data can do in our industry.
Pursuing perfection
So where are we going next?  In one word; perfection. I’m not for a minute suggesting the business trip will be without incident, worry or stress in five years’ time. What I am predicting though, is that technology will have brought what we at Concur call, ‘The Perfect Trip’ closer to reality than ever before. The bringing together of a range of existing – and ‘yet-to-be-created’ – apps that serve a wide range of business travel needs will have redefined what it means to fly on business.

Take our partners GateGuru, an app that updates you on restaurants, shops and services near your gate or Ridecharge’s Taxi Magic which offers real time booking and tracking of taxi travel. Imagine all of this functionality at your fingertips, tied together in a constantly-accessible ‘T&E Cloud’. That’s our vision for the next five years of the industry. So much so, that at the turn of 2013 we announced the launch of ‘The Perfect Trip Fund’, $150million in capital allocated specifically to invest in creating a vibrant community of companies in the travel & expense sector, and accelerating their growth through strategic investment and partnership.
Five years ago today, Heathrow Terminal 5 reinvigorated excitement about the future of our industry. I’m just as excited about the next five!

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