It’s no secret that the topic of automation is on the minds of many in the business travel
industry. As someone who has spent years in this field, I understand there is concern about
how this will impact our roles. However, I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts
on why I believe travel automation will actually benefit us rather than being a cause for
First off, let’s talk about the facts. A recent report by McKinsey & Company said, the travel
industry is ripe for automation. They predict that travel technology will significantly impact up
to 60% of all travel industry jobs. While this may sound intimidating, it’s important to note that
automation isn’t just about replacing jobs with machines. Take the banking industry, for
example. When online banking first became a thing, people predicted that it would eliminate
bank teller jobs. And while it’s true that some jobs have been displaced, automation has also
created new positions in areas like cybersecurity and customer experience. In fact, a report
by Deloitte estimates that automation could create over 2 million new jobs in the banking
industry by 2030.
So the next time you hear someone say that robots are coming to take your job, remember
that the reality is much more nuanced. It’s about simplifying processes, reducing costs, and
enhancing the customer experience. With the help of end-to-end travel management
software, we can automate many of the processes we currently manage manually, freeing
up time for more strategic tasks that will allow us to provide better service to our clients.
Managing complex itineraries for multiple travelers, often with last-minute changes, can be
challenging in the business travel industry. With travel automation, we can streamline many
of these processes, such as booking flights, hotels, and rental cars and even managing
travel expenses. This will save us time and allow us to focus on more critical tasks, such as
analyzing travel data to identify cost-saving opportunities and negotiating better deals with
suppliers. We can attract new business and increase our revenue by providing more
personalized service to our clients.
Another advantage of travel automation is that it helps us stay on top of the latest travel
trends and regulations. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, travel restrictions can
change quickly, and keeping up with the latest information can be tough. By using travel
management software that integrates with reliable sources of information, such as the World
Health Organization (WHO) or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we can
stay up-to-date with the latest travel advisories, quarantine rules, and other regulations, and
make more informed decisions about our client’s travel plans.
In addition, automation can also help us reduce costs and increase our revenue. By
automating expense tracking and reporting, we can ensure that all travel expenses are
accounted for and reimbursed promptly, reducing the risk of fraud and errors. We can also
analyze travel data to identify cost-saving opportunities, such as negotiating better rates with
suppliers or shifting travel patterns to take advantage of off-peak pricing. By providing a
better travel experience for our clients, we can attract new business and increase our
Now, it’s crucial to remember that automation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. While some
travel processes may be fully automated, there will always be a need for human expertise
and judgement in certain situations.
Complex travel itineraries or travel emergencies may require a human touch to resolve. As
travel automation becomes more prevalent, our roles may shift from merely managing travel
logistics to providing more strategic guidance to our clients. This means we must develop
new skills, such as data analysis, strategic thinking, and relationship management, to stay
competitive in the industry.
In conclusion, the rise of travel automation should not be seen as a threat to our jobs as
business travel managers/admins. Instead, it’s an opportunity to improve our efficiency,
reduce costs, and provide better service to our clients. While it may require some
adjustments to our roles and responsibilities, the benefits of travel automation are clear. By
embracing this change and investing in new skills and technologies, we can position
ourselves for success in the future of travel.
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