02 20 Friday Five TripCase

Colin Temple — Vice President & General Manager at American Express Global Business Travel

Colin Temple, Vice President and General Manager at American Express Global Business Travel

Even with new technologies, Canadians are travelling for business more than ever. For this edition of Friday 5, Colin Temple, Vice President & General Manager at American Express Global Business Travel, offers insights from GBT’s 2015 Business Travel Forecast and talks about the gold mine of Big Data.

1. Is business travel out of Canada on the rise?

Temple: Across our customer base, we have seen many Canadian companies increasing travel outside of Canada as they look for opportunities to expand globally, and our 2015 Business Travel Forecast predicts a strong year for Canadian business travel with Canada benefitting from an improved U.S. economy.

Canada’s air and hotel suppliers are expected to benefit from predicted pricing increases resulting from the reality of supply and demand, which will place great emphasis on companies and travel managers to find ways of evolving their travel programs to improve the returns on their travel expenditures.

2. How has technology impacted business travel and how is GBT keeping its clients at the forefront with its suite of e-tools and apps?

Temple: In-person interaction is still as important as ever. Many growing industries, such as Mining & Energy, will always be dependent on getting their employees to and from work sites. However we recognize the evolving expectations and behaviors of today’s business travellers.

Central to GBT’s priorities is a focus on interacting with business travellers when and how they want to be reached, ensuring a seamless experience from trip planning and booking to traveler care in the case of a disruption.

Investing in technologies for our customers – such as our integration with TripCase (a mobile app that manages traveller itineraries) – makes business travel more efficient and fosters stronger connections and smarter communications. New tools help us drive communications that are succinct, highly relevant, proactive and immediately accessible – crucial aspects of on-the-go interaction with today’s connected business traveller.

Our meeting planners are also focused on the latest technology and incorporating more virtual and hybrid meetings in their programs. Hybrid solutions can enhance and expand the value of in-person meetings by connecting with new audiences online giving them a taste of what the on-site event is like, while organizations can complement their face-to-face, on-site, physical meeting with simultaneous online viewing over the web, and on-demand post-event.

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3. What trends does GBT see for business travel in 2015?

Temple: As business becomes increasingly global and corporations make investments in corporate travel to drive growth, employee care continues to be top-of-mind and new technologies and innovative solutions continue to be prominent as new consumerization and globalization trends emerge.

Big Data is a major theme in the industry and the key for corporate travel managers is finding valuable and deeper insights from that data.  Not only do we have the breadth and depth of data, but we are capitalized to make the most of it to create data-driven insights that translate into more travel at the same or lesser cost – from corporate policies and traveller preferences to pricing, travel policy compliance, and meetings risk mitigation.

4. Is the business travel sector seeing an impact from the falling Canadian dollar?

Temple: We have yet to see any trends that can be attributed to the performance of the dollar. But we are seeing the impact of the decline in oil prices, with clients focusing more on how they evolve their travel programs to ensure positive ROIs.

5. How does GBT personalize business travel for its clients?

Temple: Technology and innovation march forward, but people will always be the most mission-critical asset for our company. In our unpredictable world plans often change at a moment’s notice – and that’s why we have thousands of highly trained professionals around the world ready to respond and react.

We enable our people with technology, giving them the tools they need to provide the best customer experience. We address our customers’ Duty of Care responsibilities through our 24/7-support service, traveller location and tracking and emergency response groups