Just a few days away from the Corporate Lodging Forum on 20 March at the UniCredit Pavilion in Milan.
The CLF18 is the landmark event of business travel in 13 countries around the world. world and involving the whole business ecosystem. Traveling a 'rich agenda on stage will share their experiences of business travel professionals belonging to different business areas and keynote speaker of excellence among which Beppe Severgnini, who will treat the world of business travel from a different point of view
In the round table " Technology is the key to simplifying the life of travelers? " will be the protagonist Gigi Beltrame Director Responsible of www.businesscommunity.it .
We recorded it to have its first point of view:
What are the new technologies you see a practical application in the near future?
There are many technologies, but if we had to chase them we would never be able to stop and we would risk losing time! Focusing on tourism, I believe that the first fundamental element is the development of artificial intelligence, which will allow us to create new opportunities that we can not even imagine today, both in terms of demand management and in terms of creating the offer. Secondly, but if we want to be linked to the first one, the diffusion of chatbots, that is, of interfaces that interact autonomously with customers. The concepts of loyalty and service will be completely wiped out if we can not grasp the changes . In any case, it is never a technology that only makes revolutions, because engineers think of solutions while we, who are human and curious, find other ways and paths to exploit it. The exploitation of technology always surprises us, in fact there has been an incredible revolution in recent years but we never talk about it enough: the smartphone economy. Steam engines are also born for other purposes, just to cite an example. The difference between a chatbot and a communication with a human is that element of advice that makes the difference. He did it in the past, he will do it in the future.
What are the benefits that technology can give to the business travel world?
Companies today have incredibly sophisticated tools, perhaps too much, and it is difficult to move. If we think of the business travel market, for example, technology seemed like an enemy until a few years ago! How many have speculated that the spread of high quality video communications would have wiped out a market such as business travel? Of course, there has been an impact, but it concerns the range of trips with lower added value, those that are not perceived in the best way by users and suppliers. Technology, on the other hand, makes it possible to meet the needs of business customers better and better, with precise answers and anticipating their needs . It might seem like a paradox, but knowing the type of customer actually allows you to add or create more personalized services, speed up bookings, change them. Who provides services in the field of tourism must adapt to this change. So much has been done in the past, not everything happens naturally and the example of the reviews is there for all to see. The final choice of the offer is mainly due, but fortunately not always, from a single voice, that of the last line. The quality / price ratio is determined by the services and the technology is of great help, both to formulate the offer and for those who have to evaluate it.
How technology changes the global business scenarios?
The saying "the whole world is a country" in the light of modern opportunities is ever more current. There is a very strong standardization of products and services and this has happened only thanks to the diffusion of technology. If, for some time ago, for example, the average customer demanded an internet connection, today they demand it fast and, even before that, secure. Think of the booking process, here the changes taking place, often silent because almost transparent, have been enormous and unthinkable. The diffusion of digital platforms makes the competition more and more pushed, but it also offers a series of opportunities for differentiation if one is able to communicate the peculiarities
Technology has allowed, in fact, to make everything measurable whether it is technically (a trivial comparison of price) or emotionally (the quality of a service depends on mood and expectations) and is an incredible wealth of information available to the entire supply chain.  In the book "People are media" by Aldo Agostinelli and Silvio Meazza it is said that the cache of our internet browsers knows the intimacy of the people, knows for example that we wanted to go to the Maldives because for days we did research on that place and then instead we went to Riccione (with all due respect). The hotel manager of Riccione could exploit this knowledge, for example, to offer different experiences, perhaps unique and therefore new business opportunities.
The need for an Italian business traveler, then, is not very far from that of a traveler foreign and standardization of services is spreading everywhere. The success of some global chains was based on the need of travelers to find familiar and reassuring elements, but this competitive advantage is decreasing
I conclude with two considerations: customer loyalty was an important element, the customer today it is less faithful but in fact it is possible to obtain information about the client even before he goes to a hotel for the first time. But then, what is the difference compared to the past? Who knows the customer has a wealth of information on which he can do two operations: bring it back to be chosen again or develop services in addition to the usual ones (eating habits, sports, extras, etc.). The information becomes a stimulus, but let's remember that the competition has only little information available and we must use the ingenuity which, fortunately, is still not technological. The second is this: in a world where in a second it is possible to compare anything, to inquire about everything, how is it possible to emerge? Communication and knowledge of the mechanisms of the Internet first and then social media are a good starting point. If we ask the questions with the voice of a voice assistant, we will no longer have a slew of answers to choose from, some of those preferred by the users and others sponsored as it happens today, but it will be the system, the algorithm to respond. An abysmal difference, a paradigm shift that is practically already here, with a disruptive force perhaps higher than the one we experienced with the spread of smartphones
The appointment is March 20 at the Corporate Lodging Forum!
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