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5 travel tech trends to expect in 2022

FCM general manager Bonnie Smith believes that as business travel recovers, more and more companies are embracing technology. Picture: Pexels.

FCM general manager Bonnie Smith believes that as business travel recovers, more and more companies are embracing technology. Picture: Pexels.

Published Dec 23, 2021

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As business travel recovers, more and more companies are embracing technology to help them get back on the road with confidence, says FCM general manager Bonnie Smith.

This includes easy access to information; instant alerts and travel updates; always-on communication channels; and AI-enhanced booking platforms.

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Smith’s 5 travel tech trends to expect in 2022:

The exchange and sharing of information

Access to accurate, up-to-the-minute information has never been more important. Smith says the travel management booking platforms need to provide updated information on destination and origin information around Covid testing, quarantine regulations or specific travel documents for entry.

“Booking platforms, like the FCM hub, need to make it easy for travel bookers and travellers to access the latest information. We need to move away from having to trawl the internet for the latest restrictions and regulations – and introduce increased productivity for the entire travel management team.

Real-time traveller tracking

Smith says duty of care will remain top of mind in 2022. Travellers can expect significant advancements in real-time traveller tracking, including integrated risk management tools and customised safety dashboards.

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Touchless tech and contactless check-in

Thanks to Covid-19, many of the latest tech advancements are around contactless check-in (airlines and hotels), contactless checkout and contactless payments. Not only does it eliminate unwanted contact and frustrating queues but it’s also quick and easy – a big tick in terms of productivity. Biometrics like fingerprint recognition, facial recognition and retina scanning will also be introduced in airports to facilitate the flow of passengers.

Chatbots and 24-hour support

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Smith says the best apps combine proactive alerts with conversational chatbots and 24-hour, human support.

“Ultimately, a travel app needs to be an indispensable tool for those on the road. This means instant alerts if flight times, boarding gates and even baggage collection details change. The ability to confirm information through a handy chatbot – and the ability to be connected to a human being, any time of day or night, should you want to talk to a consultant."

UX and end-to-end booking platforms

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The latest online booking tools use AI-enhanced technology, making them intuitive and hyper personal. Smith says UX (user experience) is more important than ever.

“I know ‘UX’ has been a buzzword in the industry for a while, but the latest tech is game-changing. Not only does new AI technology add to the user experience by making quick recommendations based on your booking history, but new plug-and-play tech means we can create a universal FCM booking experience no matter where your offices are in the world.

“Whether you’re booking travel from Asia or South Africa, using Concur or Cytric, your entire team can do the same things, access a wide range of travel content and information, and work in the same way.”

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