< PrevNext > Business Travel Tech Will Strike Envy in Leisure Travelers in 2020 By TripActions Co-founder & CTO Ilan Twig / January 24, 2020 Share Leisure travel long been has considered better than work travel, but 2020 is the year that business travel will become the envy of leisure travel, thanks to technology advances—particularly machine learning—that will deliver a superior business travel experience. The tech has advanced in tandem with businesses’ desire to build processes that drive a better employee experience. Likewise, employees’ personal tech has advanced such that an outdated travel management solution reflects poorly on the company.I’ve built my career by using the power of machine learning to transform and simplify complex systems for end users. Machine learning, a subset of AI, analyzes big data, looks for patterns and then makes decisions based on those patterns—with minimal human intervention. The very traits that make business travel ripe for disruption—frequent travelers, repetition of travel, detailed traveler profiles, and known office locations—make it an ideal use case for tech. In 2020, machine learning will transform business travel to beat leisure travel on convenience, personalization and experience: Convenience & Choice. One of the top reasons business travel sites frustrated users in the past was a lack of inventory—specifically, not having the right inventory at the right price, especially compared to consumer sites. In 2020, corporate travel platforms will offer a broader selection of inventory that ensures business travelers have access to everything, including negotiated and direct rates, within a single platform. Through Next Generation Storefront, business travel inventory (e.g. seat pitch, on-time stats, photos of the room, etc.) will be presented in a way that is more complete, transparent and easier for bookers to compare in detail. Add New Distribution Capability, and that content will be provided with bundled ancillaries, further simplifying and improving the booking experience. Personalization. In the same way that Netflix uses data to present what you might like to watch next, machine learning leverages data from an individual’s profile combined with data from past bookings to present the most relevant search results. As the platform learns with more data, that content becomes ever more relevant. This is where business travel platforms have the advantage over leisure. Business travelers travel more frequently, which means more data for algorithms to ingest. In addition, their travel behavior tends to be more consistent. That large amount of consistent data makes it easier and faster for algorithms to learn and predict behavior. A Better End-to-End Experience. Today, consumers might receive notifications on a delay, gate change, or room availability, but must fend for themselves when something goes wrong. If they aren’t a frequent traveler, they may find themselves standing in a long line waiting to get rebooked or on hold over the phone. Machine learning has completely changed this for business travelers. As soon as the data shows that a business traveler will miss a connection, the platform can automatically book them on the next available flight, sending an alert notification. The most advanced business travel apps have also enabled users with options to chat, email or call—whichever is most convenient. And machine learning steps in again for the win, equipping the travel agent with all the details of who the traveler is, their preferences, their current trip and their booking behavior so they are immediately able to solve the business travelers’ needs. We’ve reached an inflection point in business travel empowered by machine learning tech that’s been developed, tested and proven in the market. In 2020, leisure travel may take some notes from the business travel experience lest we start hearing about the “businessization of consumer travel” just as we’ve long heard of the “consumerization” of just about everything, including business travel.