Travel Industry Travel News

Christopherson Sponsors Rocky Mountain Business Travel Association Luncheon

This past week, Christopherson Business Travel sponsored a luncheon hosted the Rocky Mountain Business Travel Association. An affiliate of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA),  they are committed to connecting business travel professionals and enhancing education and partnerships in the West. It was hosted in the conference room of the beautiful new Hyatt Regency Aurora Hotel.

The hotel itself was updated and modern, with many elegant touches.  Before entering conference room, the we socialized with 80 other travel industry professionals. The conference room was set up beautifully and ready with our deconstructed cobb salad, bread, drinks, and chocolates.

Following member news and update was the presentation by Tim Hines, an entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and consultant. His highly entertaining presentation defined the millennial generation and how they are affecting business travel.

Here are a few defining characteristics about millennials:

  • Members of the millennial generation were born between 1980 – 2000. They are the largest generation we have ever had, even out numbering baby boomers!
  • Growing up amid new technology such as computers, internet, and mp3s, they can easily adjust to change and are quick learners.
  • Most were affected by ‘the great recession’, often resulting in them being thrifty but also willing to spend additional money for something of value.
  • They desire a greater work/life balance than past generations. Technology has made work achievable from any time or place, and they typically enjoy this flexibility.
  • Experiences are more important to them than past generations. For example, 71% of millennials would live in another country if the opportunity presented itself.

Tim Hines offered valuable and insightful information on the generation as a whole and their impact on the business travel industry. Keep your eye out for a blog post further detailing this trend, including how travel managers can engage with millennials to improve compliance.

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Big Data in the Travel Industry: Driving Revenue vs Building Customer Loyalty

jetblueI recently had the pleasure of attending the Rocky Mountain Business Travel Association’s Education Day. One class, in particular, left the entire room thinking. It was taught by Ron DiLeo, President of Partnership Travel Consulting, who led a discussion on travel technology and applications, with a focus on big data.

It seems everyone is talking about “big data” these days. There are companies, such as Amazon and Target, that are extremely good at increasing their revenue by proactively suggesting items to consumers based on their purchase history. But there are also less intrusive, or perhaps less “in-your-face” companies that are also collecting our data. Most travel industry companies fall into this second category.

You may or may not have noticed that travel vendors use your travel history to know when to advertise to you. For example, if you went to Aruba with your family last fall, you may see advertisements from the airline you flew for fares to Aruba this fall.

Vendors also use purchase history data to predict in advance what fares and rates to sell during certain times. The rule that a better deal can be had by booking in advance is no longer correct, as airlines, hotels, and car companies are all basing rates off history.

With all this data available, it is important to point out that the majority of companies are still using the information to benefit the traveler in some way. The larger hotel chains in particular are great at tracking traveler preferences (king bed, non-smoking room, high floor, etc.) and using these preferences to create loyalty amongst their travelers.

And at the end of the day, isn’t loyalty what this whole thing is all about?