Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) announced results of its new study that researches the impact of mobile in the managed travel space.
The study suggests that mobile bookings are set to climb steeply over the next decade and will influence not only the entire traveler experience but will shift how travel managers control their travel programs, using the latest mobile technology to help support and connect to their travelers.
Both travelers and travel managers expect mobile booking to increase significantly, reaching 25 percent of online transactions by 2017.
In addition, CWT's research predicts that mobile bookings will more than double in the next two years.
CWT research also shows that it took up to eight years for online booking tools to reach the same level of activity that mobile is expected to achieve in the next three years. The study highlights the high expectations that both travelers and travel managers have for mobile travel services and their awareness of the advantages and benefits it will bring.
Supporting the idea that traveler experience is key, the study highlights that neither travelers nor travel managers expect mobile to significantly drive down travel costs; instead ease of doing business, productivity and traveler wellbeing all rank higher as key benefits of mobile. As a result, managed travel apps are becoming more sophisticated, and companies who act now will reap the most benefit, as they steer travelers towards the apps that support the travel program.
The study also highlighted that an estimated average of 62 percent of travelers already carry company smartphones and 56 percent of companies surveyed already, or plan to, have a 'Bring your own device' policy. Globally, travel managers also consider the potential impact of mobile on the travel program to be high, rating it 6.8 overall on a scale of 1 to 10.
Travelers in Asia Pacific, along with those in Latin America, place more importance on mobile booking on-the-go (62 percent consider it important or critical), compared with North America (55 percent) and EMEA (45 percent).
European travel managers and travelers consider well-being, productivity and compliance with travel policy (in that order) the most important aspects of mobile features, in contrast with their colleagues in North America, who emphasize ease of doing business, followed by productivity and well-being.
Travelers in EMEA consider mobile booking on-the-go less important than their counterparts in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, with 45 percent considering it important or critical, versus 62 percent in the other regions.
CWT's research shows travelers in Latin America, along with those in Asia-Pacific, place more importance on mobile booking on-the-go (62 percent consider it important or critical), compared with North America (55 percent) and EMEA (45 percent).
Travelers in North America consider mobile booking on-the-go less important than their counterparts in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, with 55 percent considering it important or critical, versus 62 percent in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
While North American travel managers and travelers consider ease of doing business, productivity and well-being (in that order) the most important aspects of mobile features, European travel managers emphasize well-being, followed by productivity and compliance with travel policy.