Mobile offerings, specifically targeted at business travellers and the corporate travel segment, have evolved considerably over the last few of years, helped by a few strategic alliances along the way.
As mobile travel technology continues to improve on-the-go services and optimise travel spend and expense management processes, the sector has also witnessed some important strategic alliances.
Only a few days ago Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) acquired WorldMate, a company headquartered in San Francisco with operations in Israel. Late last year, travel management company Egencia acquired Traveldoo, a provider of web and mobile platforms for business travel management.
“Over the past decade, the migration from a voice-based to web-based service model has been disruptive to the travel industry,” says Nabih El Aroussi, president & chief executive, Traveldoo, “and within the next five years, the rise of mobile Internet as the primary channel for information and bookings will be equally challenging for TMCs.”
On the recent deal between CWT and WorldMate, El Aroussi says: “We would certainly need to hear more from CWT regarding the strategy they are pursuing and how they will deal with existing Worldmate customers and partners.”
For its part, France-based Traveldoo, after opening a new office in central London in late October, is planning to expand its operations in Germany in 2013.
EyeforTravel’s Ritesh Gupta talks to El Aroussi about recent developments in the category.
EFT: How has mobile travel technology improved itinerary management systems and on-the-road services for travellers?
NEA: We developed itinerary management apps targeted to corporate travellers. In doing so we had to take into account the mobile devices primarily used in a corporate environment (composed of a mix of various generations of business mobile devices, including type devices such as Blackberry and the latest-generation touch devices). We also had to consolidate multi-channel booking data and deliver content specific to managed business travel – travel policy compliance, approval status, negotiated fares and rates, click-to call and click-to-email customer service. To improve the mobile traveller experience, the app helps locate hotels, car hire agencies, rail stations and airports, provides in-app emailing to share selected itinerary information with colleagues and family - eg. messaging rail seating to a colleague.