Why AI Is Important for Automating Travel Policy Compliance

AI and automation in travel industry
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a trending topic commonly spoken about globally. It has come to a point where all the repetitive work that we have to do manually is taken care of by the AI. 37% of businesses and organizations employ AI, and about 15% claim to use its capabilities. 

So, the real question is how can AI help businesses in travel? 

Well, as far as many businesses are concerned, AI has many advanced capabilities in managing expenses, optimizing travel programs, and improving the overall travel experience for employees when on the road. Moreover, AI is a lifesaver in reducing time consumption as it doesn’t require much administrative intervention. 

Well, let’s get on with it and find out exactly why AI is so important for automating travel policy compliances. 

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What is the whole idea of travel compliance? 

In short, business travel compliances mean employees agreeing to corporate travel policies for any business trip that is going to be made. However, when on a trip, there is lots of administrative work that has to be done before employees can go on the road. 

Furthermore, some of these important activities include:

  • Hotel bookings 
  • Expense management 
  • Flight management 
  • Booking car rentals upon traveler arrival, and more 

Why is AI necessary for travel policy compliance?

In other words, Artificial intelligence can serve as an intelligent travel assistant for businesses & corporations. They have the ability to learn about each traveler’s personal preferences and try to operate in a personalized way; as long as the trips comply with the travel policy, of course! 

Furthermore, here are a few ways in which AI helps corporate travel teams automate their travel policy compliance.

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Personalized experiences while traveling

Travel managers are most of the time busy dealing with many activities such as travel management, negotiating deals, managing travel expenses, and many other tasks. Additionally, travel managers have to ensure that employees going on business travel have a good experience and not a stressful one. You can read to learn more about how they operate. 

Overall, statistics show that 90% of business travelers say that they would continue to travel in different areas for the rest of their life. However, it’s essential that corporate travel managers take good care of travelers and that they are in compliance with the travel policies offered to them along with the accommodations. 

As a result, if the travelers aren’t happy with the travel policies, they might start searching for booking tools on their own, which greatly affects the company’s vision and status. 

So, how can this be solved?

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Well, AI technology firmly focuses on personalizing experiences, and this way, it gathers information resonating around employee preferences. 

These personalized experiences are used mainly by machine learning algorithms that suggest travel options to employee travelers and simplify the traveling process for everyone in the business.  

In short, using AI recommendation features makes everything easier and the booking process much more straightforward for you and allows corporate travel managers to identify what works best for employees and learn their booking patterns. 

Enhanced policy compliance

The margin for error in human beings is higher than in AI. According to a study, the margin of error in human beings was at 5%, while for AI, it’s only 3%. Knowing that, we can conclude that travel managers can make mistakes while categorizing expenses and much more other tasks. 

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Moreover, it’s easy for human beings to make mistakes, it’s in our nature, and that’s normal. However, AI is there to complete these repetitive tasks for us. AI is great in automating policy violations and errors in expense management that are made. Even if an employee makes a breach, the AI can detect it instantly. 

With the AI being able to identify any fraudulent activities and errors made, your financial management team can work together with the AI to spot them easier. Manual intervention can be limited until clarifications need to be made to resolve any errors made.

Furthermore, this is excellent since these minor errors can later accumulate into more issues that can arise if not addressed earlier. 

Policies are adjusted automatically

AI has the ability to automatically adjust travel policies that complies with the company’s expense management data that is collected.

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Let’s take an example: let’s suppose a travel company has a limit of allowing travel expenses to be at the maximum level of $5,000. If someone exceeds this limit, the AI will not allow it and inform you of any policy violations.

However, suppose there is no available booking for hotels, flights, and more. In that case, the AI will start recommending how much the total costs can sum up and automatically regulate expense management. This way, nobody is going against the travel policy, and there is no need for manual interventions. 

Data-driven bookings

Because of the oil sunk occurring this past year, airfare expenses are rising and are predicted to rise even more in the upcoming months. Only in 2021, flight expenses rose by $300 and somewhat have caused issues for corporate travel companies. 

AI tools inform you with total accuracy on how you can avoid excessive costs regarding these unexpected price rises. 

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Now, all you have to do is gather your travel team and pick the date and destination for your business trip. After every booking from you and your team, the AI will become even more accurate in price predictions and fulfilling corporate traveling needs. 

Enhanced support

Especially after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, surprises can occur at all times, and the most common restrictions are associated with traveling. 

Only at the beginning of the pandemic, were occupied, one of the lowest rates in history. Maybe your team is traveling, and some flight delay may occur, or the borders may close; anything can really happen during a pandemic. 

However, it’s not that common for this to occur, and rarely will employees find themselves in these situations. Moreover, if these situations occur, your travel manager should be ready to act. 

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Well, when you have the help of AI, even if the travel manager doesn’t know what to do, full support is given from the AI. Here is the enhanced support that it gives you:

  • Travel managers can get alerted as soon as an emergency occurs. This happens through an email or SMS. Alerts are continuous before travelers are onboard with their business trip. 
  • AI allows travel managers to have a real-time overview of their employees while traveling. Machine learning is an AI subcategory and provides continuous insights on real-time traveler locations and other important information. 
  • Furthermore, you can establish AI along with a travel and expense management mobile application which allows both employees and travel managers to set up a plan B in case of any risks that arise throughout the trip. 

In-depth analytics

Corporate travel companies are always concerned about reducing travel expenses. In order to do this, they need to stay updated with the areas they book in and establish partnerships they have with foreign booking companies. 

Additionally, this will mean collecting information from other travel agencies, booking tools, and more. Even though it’s an excellent way of gathering data, there are some downsides to it. Sometimes, the data you gather might already be outdated, and that’s not something you want. 

AI can complete this process much quicker than human beings would. You may ask why? It’s the fact that AI gathers data from all sources and analyzes it in the most effective way possible, offering the more cost-efficient options to travel managers. 

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In short, you have a complete overview of what to expect when your employees are on the road. 

Wrapping it up

Well, that’s all about this article. Hopefully, now, you understand how important AI actually is for your travel business. While many may not even know how helpful AI might be, it should be mandatory to ensure flexibility and promote productivity in your business. 

After all, no one can know what might happen tomorrow, and while traveling in a pandemic era, nothing is guaranteed. However, AI does do an excellent job of ensuring maximum flexibility and giving you total support whenever you are in emergencies. Who knew that we would come in an era where machines would be able to help us big time. 

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As we mentioned before, most employees like to travel, so you must ensure they are safe when on the road and, with the help of AI, help them make it an unforgettable experience! 

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Annie Qureshi
Annie is a passionate writer and serial entrepreneur. She embraces ecommerce opportunities that go beyond profit, giving back to non-profits with a portion of the revenue she generates. She is significantly more productive when she has a cause that reaches beyond her pocketbook.