Corporate travelers can stay connected, track performance, and monitor belongings while on the road by using smartwatches and RFID tags.

FREMONT, CA: Technological advances and a fluctuating global economy are driving the corporate travel industry to evolve at a frightening pace every year. Small and large businesses alike are affected by these changes.

Following is a list of the major trends affecting the Corporate Travel Industry:

Risk Management and Duty of Care: International travel, in particular, carries a certain level of risk. Companies are clearly focusing on risk management procedures following disasters such as the German wings plane crash in the French Alps and the terrorist attacks in Brussels. Implementing tracking and communication tools will reduce any potential risks for employers.

Taking care of businesses and pleasure: Once upon a time, corporate travelers wanted to spend no more time away from the office than necessary. In recent years, business travelers have been using the opportunity to explore the local area, experience the culture and even bring their families along with them.

In addition to getting work done, business and leisure travel allows employees to relax and recharge their batteries. An international survey of business travelers found that 83 percent enjoy getting out and exploring while on business trips, and 78 percent believe that personal days, in the end, reduce stress and improve employee satisfaction.

Technology investment: At every level of the corporate travel industry, technology is advancing at unprecedented rates. Among the possibilities are the following:

Wearable technology: Corporate travelers can stay connected, track performance, and monitor belongings while on the road by using smartwatches and RFID tags (Radio Frequency Identification).

Apps, smartphones, and tablets: There are more searches performed on tablets and smartphones than on computers, so it is expected to see travel-related services, e.g., hotels, restaurants, car rental, etc., invest heavily in app development.

Digital wallets: There are just a few companies launching technology that allows credit card payments to be made via smartphones, e.g., American Express and Apple Pay. Travel-related services are likely to adopt this technology sooner rather than later.

Reduction of travel expenditures: It is always a priority for companies to reduce costs. Most companies are tightening their belts, but that doesn't necessarily mean less travel. As a result, companies are getting smarter about reducing corporate travel costs. The following are some cost-cutting measures:

• Using budget airlines or moving from business to economy class.
• Choosing a lower-star accommodation.
• Instead of traveling for meetings, using video conferencing is necessary.