conichi @ GBTA: new challenges in business travel

Our conichi rockets were in the US last week attending GBTA in Boston from the 15th-19th July. 

Our conichi rockets were in the US last week attending GBTA in Boston from the 15th-19th July. GBTA is THE place to be for all things travel management and business travel - everyone was there, from industry leaders to newbies, learning about the latest innovations in business travel. It was a chance to make some great new connections and enjoy learning from others in the travel industry. This year, conichi had its own GBTA booth for the very first time. We had a lot of great discussions with travel managers about the challenges they face and GBTA was the perfect place to demonstrate our technology and solutions to them. We also met with many existing partners and clients in addition to forming new relationships. It was interesting to discuss broadening our horizons and how we can help our customers meet the needs of their travelers and corporate clients in the future.

The theme for the conference was ‘convergence’, discussing the rise of the sharing economy and how travel tech companies link together. The Tech Trends 2017 panel was especially interesting for us, with the audience picking the topics and the panellists, including our friends at Roadmap, leading thought-provoking discussion and predicting the future travel tech trends beyond 2017.

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The future of travel apps

Even frequent travelers might only stay at a particular hotel chain a few times a year, and that’s if it’s a big brand with hotels and services everywhere - for the majority of hotels and chains it gets even less than that. It makes little sense, therefore, to expect travelers to download and repeatedly use apps for a specific brand or even a specific hotel. GBTA predicts with its theme of convergence that the future lies in integration. Having an app for boarding passes, a separate app for a map of the city and yet another app for your hotel means that users are constantly having to switch between them, making them hesitant to download and not so hesitant to delete after the first use. The future is apps that are all encompassing - that can take you right from boarding pass of you flight to check-out in your hotel. This will appeal to those seeking to take the stress and effort out of travel - many people now rely exclusively on their smartphones to keep them updated with problems and delays with their flights, so extending this experience to the entire trip will be a way of meeting the consumer where they are. Hotels can work on integrating apps that provide additional services to their guests, such as city maps. We’ve worked on making conichi easy to integrate into existing hotel apps as well as into the hotel itself, and it covers the guest from pre- check in all the way to check-out, including payment and invoicing expenses. Who knows what future developments might hold?

 GBTA showed how apps could possibly group themselves together to create a seamless experience for business travelers. There are 2.2 million apps in Apple’s app store and 2.8 million for Android users to choose from. For users to download, keep and use an app it should offer them something indispensable and integrated into their daily experiences - who hasn’t gone through their phone deleting unnecessary apps as soon as the ‘storage low’ notification comes up? This won’t be a problem when everything can be found in one place!