I recently met with a San Francisco startup that wants to change business travel – from bookings through the actual trip – and go head-tohead in competition with established providers. So far, it’s attracted more than US$50 million in funding. Will it succeed? Maybe. Will it pivot elsewhere? Possibly.
The point is that business travel can be cumbersome and someone will always be trying to improve it. Their thoughts about simplification resonate. Recent ACTE research found 72% of travel buyers would like to simplify their travel programmes.
Unburdened by legacy systems or thinking, startups are a formidable challenger. Once they get a bead on regulations and the intricacies of the industry, they could get traction.
Most existing travel companies already support tech groups and startups. That’s smart. They understand the industry. Unfortunately, corporate structures sometimes hamstring their ability to attract talent.
To ignore innovation or traveller pleas for simplicity is a recipe for disaster – for your company, for your travellers and for your careers. Everything is hard until it’s obvious.