Road warrior is a decades-old phrase used to describe the frequent business traveler. It relates to a time when business travel was arduous and often lonely, experience. The notion of warrior reflected a seemingly perpetual battle with the stress and mundanity of life on the road. However, over recent years, its relevance has declined. To use it now is, at best, a failure to understand the nuance of modern business travel; at worst it’s tantamount to cliché.
The modern business traveler lives in an age of powerful, cost-effective and accessible technology. It is the era of multi-channel hyper-connectivity, personalization, customization, and consumerization. They are plugged into personal social channels and work platforms simultaneously. Travel suppliers and retailers invest heavily in giving travelers what they want, when they want and where they want. All of which equates to a far more comfortable, enjoyable and productive travel experience. With each passing quarter, business travelers are more empowered and increasingly knowledgeable – these are not road warriors.
The modern business traveler also lives in a world wracked with an unprecedented level of geopolitical uncertainty. Though it is statistically unlikely to be caught up in a terrorist incident, the perceived threat is real and present – a fact that can’t be ignored by the global travel management community. Business travelers can no longer be treated as one homogenous group. They are not commodities. Even the axiom people are a company’s most important asset serves to dehumanize the contemporary employee.
With all this in mind, it seems crucial, therefore, that the travel supply chain recognizes business travelers as individuals. Each person has a unique profile and should be engaged on a personal and emotional level. A contemporary managed travel policy and program can only really be effective if traveler emotions, desires and habits are understood and appreciated.
I invite you to learn more about the modern business traveler in the following report published by Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and GBT.
Philip Haxne, Regional Director EMEA – Global Business Consulting
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