Getting Down to Business… Travel

Business travel is going even more digital than ever. That’s the message received loud and clear at this year’s ITB Berlin Business Travel Forum at the ITB Berlin Convention.

Held yesterday in Hall 7.1, “Business Travel 4.0: Dynamic, Digital, Disruptive” was all about digitalisation, globalisation, shorter and shorter innovation cycles and disruptive technologies. The forum underlined the fact that business mobility is subject to powerful dynamic influences from the economy and society; which is why know-how and concepts for Business Travel 4.0 are important components for modern travel management. The ITB Business Travel Forum, organised by the German Business Travel Association (VDR), this year has provided insight into the working world of tomorrow, showing how the new generation will travel in the future – completely mobile, online & flexible. Attendees learned about Amazon’s Alexa managing rental car bookings, as well as how disruptive business models and digital attackers have discovered business travel. The ITB Business Travel Forum also hosted a session entitled “Business Travel: Completely Digital”. Employees who are completely mobile and online expect a level of flexibility, which goes well beyond travel policy and company-car hierarchies. Practical examples showed how TMC and customers can face these challenges together. In the session, Florian Storp, Vice President Central Europe, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), explored the effects of digitalisation on travel management − together with American Express GBT customer Nils Neuenhüsges, Head of Sourcing of Indirect Materials at Jungheinrich AG. At the core of this message was: “look at what the young people are doing now, and you can see how digitalisation needs to perform on a business trip”. Completely mobile and connected employees expect a level of flexibility that goes far beyond travel policies and company car hierarchies, says Storp, adding “It’s not an exaggeration to say that today’s travel management is digital travel management. Booking has been digital since the 1970s, but since the introduction of smartphones and mobile apps, digitalisation has reached the travellers. Travel documents , itineraries, room keys all have become electronic, and nowadays travellers are empowered to do their own rebooking and re-scheduling while on the road – I regularly see this happening in those few minutes between the landing of a plane and the doors opening.”
The “Home of Business Travel by ITB & VDR”, in hall 7.1a, booth 100, is a place where one is able to meet the leading providers of Business Travel in a Networking Lounge. For the sixth time the “Home of Business Travel by ITB & VDR” – initiated by Messe Berlin and the German Business Travel Association VDR e.V. – is presented at ITB Berlin from March 07 to 09, 2018. The joint booth in hall 7.1a provides travel and mobility managers, buyers, office and young professionals from Germany and abroad a unique platform to learn more about offers and opportunities to optimise their businesses. Co- Partners are showing their latest solutions for professional planning of business trips. It’s a great chance for professional networking on more than 270 square metres.