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From Chaos to Convenience: How Tech Changed Corporate Travel Bookings

From Chaos to Convenience: How Tech Changed Corporate Travel Bookings

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Samantha Shankman

6 Sep 2023
6 minute read
Corporate travel booking companies are leveraging tech to solve travel inefficiencies.

As the global business landscape evolves, so does the need for a more efficient and streamlined approach to corporate travel. Fortunately, modern booking companies are leveraging technology to usher in a new era where corporate travel is more efficient, cost-effective, safer, and more satisfying for employees. It’s been an essential transformation in an increasingly competitive global market.

The Tech-Powered Evolution of Corporate Travel

In the past, businesses have faced many challenges associated with the traditional approach to business travel management, including inefficiency, lack of real-time data, and limited options for cost savings. Today, modern corporate travel booking companies are revolutionizing the travel industry by offering online booking tools, real-time travel inventory, and travel management software for a seamless travel experience.

The Old Way and Its Challenges

Booking business travel in the past looked like this: A manager has a crucial business meeting in another city. She starts by contacting the company’s travel agency to book her flight, hotel, and car rental. After several back-and-forths, the travel is finally secured, but she’s unsure if she got the best deal. Then, after her trip, she spends hours filling out expense reports and attaching receipts, only to wait weeks for reimbursement. 

This outdated approach to corporate travel was fraught with challenges and inefficiencies. Outsourcing to travel agencies or employing in-house travel managers were expensive propositions. Additionally, manual filing of employee expense reports was error-prone and resulted in reimbursement delays.

The domino effect of these outdated methods was huge:

  • Time Wastage: Manual booking processes and expense reports wasted valuable time.
  • Financial Costs: The inability to compare travel options in real time led to higher travel costs.
  • Productivity Loss: Employees spent more time on travel arrangements than their actual work.
  • Lower Employee Satisfaction: Tedious booking processes and delays in reimbursement negatively affected employee satisfaction.
  • Compliance Issues: Manual processes made enforcing company and travel policy compliance difficult.

How Technology Improves Corporate Travel Bookings

Technology has transformed the landscape of modern business travel management. Corporate travel management companies have leveraged technology to develop solutions that streamline the booking process, enhance traveler safety, optimize travel spend, and improve policy compliance.

Here’s how technology plays a crucial role in addressing the challenges of managing business trips.

Booking Tools

Corporate travel management companies provide online booking tools that enable employees to book flights, accommodations, and car rentals in real time, ensuring the best prices and options. For example, Navan is a user-friendly mobile app that provides a seamless booking travel experience and frees up time for employees to focus on their work.

Expense Management

In addition to booking travel, some business travel management platforms streamline the expense management process by automatically capturing receipts, categorizing expenses, and submitting reports for approval.

This automation eliminates the manual work associated with expense reports and reduces the chances of errors and delays in reimbursement. As a result, companies can manage travel expenses more efficiently, contributing to higher employee satisfaction and compliance with company policies.

Traveler Safety

Duty of care is a top priority for businesses, and corporate travel management companies recognize the importance of traveler safety. Modern travel management solutions can offer real-time travel risk assessments and provide travel support to ensure traveler safety.

What is duty of care?

Duty of care is an organization’s moral and legal obligation to ensure the safety of traveling employees while on business trips.

These services, essential for effective risk management, help companies fulfill their duty of care responsibilities by informing managers about potential travel risks and providing necessary communications during emergencies.

Data Analysis

By leveraging technology, modern business travel solutions can provide real-time travel data that helps businesses analyze travel spend, identify cost savings, and improve policy compliance. By analyzing data, companies can gain insights into their travel expenses, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their travel program. This practice results in cost savings and helps align the travel program with the company’s overall business objectives.

Technology has revolutionized how businesses manage travel needs, making it more efficient, safe, and cost-effective. By leveraging the proper travel management solutions, companies can address corporate travel challenges and create a more satisfying and productive experience for their employees.

It’s worth noting that while global business travel management tools are evolving, many companies like Egencia, for Business, BCD Travel, Expedia, SAP Concur, CWT, CTM, TravelBank, and AMEX GBT are often stitching together separate solutions and pretending to offer the perks of a genuine one-stop shop for modern corporate travel programs.

The Future of Corporate Travel

The future of corporate travel is bright, with technology playing a pivotal role in shaping its trajectory. Travel management companies (TMCs) are leveraging cutting-edge technologies to offer a range of travel services that cater to the evolving needs of businesses.

Here are some key trends that will define the future of corporate travel:


Personalization will become increasingly important as businesses seek to provide a better travel experience for their employees. TMCs and corporate travel agencies will use advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to offer personalized travel options based on individual preferences, past behavior, and company travel policy. The result will be a more tailored and satisfying travel experience for employees.

Mobile Technology

Mobile technology will continue to grow, with mobile apps becoming the central hub for managing all aspects of business travel. From booking flights and accommodations to receiving real-time travel updates and accessing customer support, mobile apps will offer a one-stop solution for managing travel needs.


As sustainability becomes a top priority for businesses, TMCs will offer more eco-friendly travel options. From booking flights with airlines with a lower carbon footprint to choosing environmentally friendly accommodations, companies will have increased opportunities to make their travel programs more sustainable.

Enhanced Customer Support

With TMCs using AI and chatbots to provide real-time assistance and support, customer support will become more proactive and personalized. Whether it’s addressing travel disruptions, answering queries, or providing recommendations, enhanced customer support will ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing models will become more prevalent, with airfare and other travel costs fluctuating based on demand, time of booking, and other factors. Businesses gain more flexibility and options to optimize their travel spend.

The Navan Difference

In the competitive landscape of corporate travel management, Navan stands out by seamlessly integrating technology to address traditional challenges businesses face. Ranked as the No.1 travel management software by end users, Navan offers a comprehensive platform that merges business travel, corporate cards, and expense management software. 

This integrated approach enables administrators to create customized expense policies, guiding employees on covered expenses and preventing out-of-policy spending before it happens.

Key features of Navan include:

  • A seamless journey from travel booking to expense management.
  • Built-in policy and approval flows.
  • Loyalty points and rewards for travelers who make cost-effective choices.
  • Assistance for meetings and events.
  • Dashboards that update in real time, providing a panoramic view of company spend.
  • 24/7 traveler support.
  • Ava, the AI-powered virtuoso of real-time spend analysis and insights.
The booking experience on Navan.

Navan leverages technology to create a comprehensive solution that addresses all traditional challenges of corporate travel management. From integrated travel and expense management, policy and approval flow, traveler incentives, real-time dashboards, 24/7 support, and an AI-powered personal assistant to a rewarding incentive program, Navan has revolutionized how companies manage their corporate travel. The result: cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved employee satisfaction.

Future Proof Your T&E Program

The future of corporate travel is exciting and full of possibilities. Thanks to Navan’s continuous innovation and focus on personalization, sustainability, and customer support, businesses can look forward to a more efficient, satisfying, and responsible way of managing their travel needs.

Ready to transform your corporate travel program? Schedule a demo today or get up and running with Navan in only five minutes to start implementing cost-effective travel solutions for your business.

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