Online booking tools create buzz

DDP Group organised the ‘Travel M!CE & Corporate Show’ at Novotel Jaipur Convention Centre in Jaipur recently. The event, which saw over 1,600 meetings, provided a platform for the industry titans and corporate leaders to discuss important issues, with focus on the utility of Online Booking Tools (OBTs).

Janice Alyosius

Corporate travel management has become a complex web of choices and challenges in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven business landscape. Travel M!CE & Corporate Show, held recently in Jaipur, facilitated an exchange of ideas and laid the groundwork for implementing innovative strategies and solutions in the corporate travel management. The event provided a platform to discuss various topics in the industry, including the adoption of Online Booking Tools (OBTs), which have risen to prominence as a necessity rather than a luxury. Industry leaders, including Rajdev Bhattacharya, Global Head-Travel & Hospitality, Wipro; Dr Sanjay Pai, Vice President & Head-Corporate Travel, Aviation, and Facility Management, Larsen & Toubro; Rikant Pittie, Co-founder, EaseMyTrip.com, and Devendra Saraiya, Director, Deloitte, shed light on whether OBTs are merely a marketing strategy or genuinely create value for businesses.

The imperative of integration
Bhattacharya emphasized on the need for a unified platform. “We need to get into a platform where everything comes together, right from the user to all the other stakeholders that we have. That may be the CHRO, who would be looking for compliance, employee experience, that can be the CFO who’s looking for saving reports and sustainability,” he said.

Tech evolution & adaptation
Dr Pai thinks Online Booking Tools are an evolution from traditional booking methods. Highlighting the significance of technology in the wake of COVID-19, he said, “People are talking about voice technology, AI, blockchain management, or non-fungible technology. It’s an evolution; some have incorporated it, while others are yet to get on the bandwagon. People are adopting the technologies based on their needs and gaps.”

Customer experience
Pittie shifted the focus from marketing to technology’s role in enhancing customer experience. He stresses on the importance of leveraging technology beyond marketing strategies. “In today’s technology-driven world, the travel industry is undergoing rapid changes, especially in corporate travel management,” he said.

Empowering employees
Saraiya underlined the use of technology. “When it comes to technology, undoubtedly, there is no choice but to incorporate both technology and Self-Booking Tools (SBT) into the system,” he said.

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