2020 – another year of big changes at Hotailors
The COVID-19 epidemiological situation has frozen business travel and much of the global economy. Hotailors used this time to create technological solutions tailored to the requirements of the new reality.
The first vaccines have appeared, and many countries are reopening their borders. This means that business trips are slowly resuming.
We know how important the safety of travelers is, which is why we have prepared a free e-book in which we present a list of 11 ways to deal with the biggest challenges that await you and your employees when planning business trips during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can download it here.
December and the upcoming end of the year are also the time for summarizing.
Our goal remains the same from year to year. We want our clients to have access to an easy-to-use, intuitive business trip planning system.
We want all travelers with us to be 100% sure that the solution we offer is right for them.
What will companies whose employees travel on the business look for in the coming year?
The safety of travelers and the current knowledge about changes in restrictions on the rules for traveling to a given country will certainly be important. In response to customer needs, we have introduced innovative solutions. Below we have prepared a list of the most important changes made to our system in 2020:
Integration with SAP.
This year, we were invited to a 3-month acceleration program of SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco, which we successfully completed. We have integrated our business travel tool for part-time employees with SAP Concur and SAP Fieldglass. From July, the Hotailors application is available in the SAP Concur App Center.
Increasing the safety of travelers.
We strengthened the so-called “Duty of care” in our technology. Our solution is built with the safety by design assumption – built-in safety of travelers. We’ve added COVID-19 incidence statistics to our system. Already at the travel planning stage, you will be informed about the current number of cases in the region you are going to. The system has also been enriched with the “Traveler Tracker” function, ie locating employees in real time. In a potentially dangerous situation, the manager may ask you to share your current location via GPS. At the same time, we are constantly improving the options for setting the travel policy, e.g. the possibility of choosing a hotel with a higher sanitary regime.
Integration with Amadeus GDS Air.
As a result, our clients have access to a full network of connections, in various tariffs: Basic, Standard and Flex. And there is also a greater number of flexible transport offers with the possibility of returning tickets or re-booking. There is a new option to use filters when selecting a transport, such as adding luggage.
Possibility to book a trip for up to 9 people at the same time.
You don’t have to worry about the availability of the same offer for a selected group of travelers in a given hotel and in a given tariff. It is checked for all travelers simultaneously. One person can book a trip for himself and his colleagues with whom he/she is going on a business trip.
Mobile app for travelers and approvers.
From now on, our users have unlimited access to tickets, boarding passes, and vouchers even in offline mode (especially useful at the airport or abroad).
Very useful functionality is the support of our agents who are available in the chat for travelers 24/7. In the application, you can make instant reservations, and in crisis situations, share the GPS location with the manager to guide the traveler to a safe place. For people approving the trip, push notifications are the most important, thanks to which they can quickly make decisions to approve submitted delegation requests.
We constantly raise the competencies of our Customer Service team, which is invariably available 24/7.
Contact with us is possible in Polish and English via chat, e-mail, and telephone. We offer real, physical assistance at every stage of the journey, from planning to billing. All our employees are experienced in the travel industry, and most of them are certified as an airline cashier.
We have expanded the AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) modules.
The algorithms embedded in our system take into account a number of different parameters, then analyze them and, as a result, provide the best-suited hotel offers. This allows the user to find the accommodation facility corresponding to his preferences much faster and more accurately. To implement our innovation, we decided to choose the Oracle cloud, the world’s leader in this field. A number of modifications implemented in order to improve the user experience:
- The algorithms embedded in our system take into account a number of different parameters, then analyze them and, as a result, provide the best-suited hotel offers. This allows the user to find the accommodation facility corresponding to him much faster and more accurately
- Convenient search – more filtering options (meal types, refundable offers, search within a set policy, etc.).
- Bleisure – the possibility of paying with a private card to extend the trip for recreational purposes or upgrade the service at your own request.
- We have increased hotel content both in large cities and in smaller towns.
- We have added an option to hold the ticket (so-called Hold ticket), which enables delayed booking. Very useful when we need to confirm an appointment with the other party.
- We designed a completely new, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface for managers – from now on it takes minutes to accept journeys!
- Possibility of mass import of users – you can add up to 500 people with a few clicks.
- We have improved the flow of information in our back office system – your applications are handled expressly, you receive travel documents immediately, and you can order additional services such as insurance or car rental.
We are proud that during this difficult time for the industry, we were able to secure Hotailors from the financial side. We closed the investment round, which allowed us to continue operating during the pandemic and allow us to focus on innovation and technology. As a result, the system was adapted to the needs of various customers. In order to be able to further develop our business and take full advantage of the current situation, we plan to conduct Round A in 2021.
Happy New Year from Hotailors Team