Key Insights from Steve Singh’s Podcast with GBTA

Artificial Intelligence can revolutionize how we plan and book business travel. Here are highlights from Steve Singh’s conversation on the GBTA podcast.

It is a transformative time for the business travel industry, spurred by massive changes like technological advances and AI-supported travel planning. In the latest episode of GBTA’s quarterly podcast, The Business of Travel, Direct Travel Executive Chairman Steve Singh addresses these developments and more.

Below we explore three major takeaways from “AI and the Quest for the Perfect Trip: A Conversation with Steve Singh.” We also encourage those interested to listen to the episode in full, which is linked again at the end of this post.

Keep the Traveler Top of Mind

Steve-Singh_Headshot-DT-REDIn furthering explaining his concept of the perfect trip, Steve explores why the travel industry’s overarching goal should be to make the process of travel just as delightful as the reasons why we travel. This is easier to accomplish when all of those involved in the travel process – from travel managers to travel suppliers – understand the traveler and can anticipate their needs.

Start by imagining the way a travel scenario should work for the end customer: Are there opportunities to make their trip easier, more streamlined, and even delightful?

As Artificial Intelligence solutions continue to advance, expect to see more instances of AI making the experience of travel (and how we interact with it) more pleasant. With AI acting as a technology assistant, both travel buyers and suppliers can more effectively serve their customers.

An “Open” Mindset is Critical

Delighting the traveler is important, but it can only happen if there is a clear line of sight with all parties involved into who is traveling and why they are traveling. This means as new technological solutions are built, providers and innovators have a responsibility to open their platforms and allow anyone to consume that set of services.

At Direct Travel, the new tech stack we are building with our partners at Spotnana, Troop, and Center does exactly this. The platforms are open, extensible, and anyone can innovate on top of them. When innovation from one company can connect with innovation from another company, it is a benefit for everyone – especially the traveler.

AI Will Transform Travel Services

The way we interact with travel is going to fundamentally change, and for travel managers, the nature of their job will transform along with it. This does not need to be a cause for concern. Rather than seeing AI as a job disruptor, travel managers can consider it a copilot that elevates their role.

“Anyone who thinks AI is going to take their job isn’t giving themselves enough credit. The reality is that there are incredible opportunities for us as human beings… Our capacity to serve our customers is going to increase. We’re going to be able to provide better services to our clients than we could ever do before. That to me is the real beauty of AI.”

– Steve Singh, Executive Chairman, Direct Travel

Customer needs are evolving, and our capacity to serve them is going to increase thanks in part to Artificial Intelligence. It can accomplish the legwork and streamline tasks, allowing employees to more effectively perform the actions they want to take.

Ultimately, the nature of how we interact with travel services will continue to change radically.

Business Travel Reimagined

The business travel landscape is at the precipice of an immense transformation. Artificial Intelligence is here to stay – not just as a tool, but as a means toward more efficient, enjoyable, and productive travel experiences.

As Steve Singh shares, AI has the potential to revolutionize the way we plan, book, and delight in business travel, moving us closer to the perfect trip.

To learn more from Steve about Artificial Intelligence’s connection to travel, listen to the podcast episode in its entirety.

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