Business Traveler Advice From Strangers

Researching a business trip once involved guidebooks and the advice of a handful of friends and co-workers. But if corporate travel companies have their way, executives will soon be consulting new social networking sites and an endless stream of strangers for the secrets of the road.

Word of mouse is the latest trend in online travel planning, and a variety of corporate travel companies are setting up networking sites in hopes of becoming the Facebook of corporate travel. >>Full Story

Thoughts// Ah, social networking for business travelers. An interesting article from the New York Times discusses the beginnings of this ‘new’ social traveling segment. Naturally, major business travel organizations Expedia and American Express are launching (or announcing) corporate travel networking sites. And Expedia has taken the extra step of creating the nearly impossible to pronounce or understand brand name for there corporate travel arm…Egencia. Oy.

The article also touches upon the OrbitzTLC Traveler Network, which we have discussed on the Travel 2.0 blog, however much of the focus is on creating that business traveler social network.

Of course, how much use a business traveler social network would receive is debatable. Unlike personal travel, I would assume that many business travelers simply depend on a corporate travel department or assistant to book travel, rather than actually doing the research themselves.

Add onto that the already existing social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, do business travelers really need a separate social network? Probably not.

However, the article failed to mention, aside from Orbitz, the numerous niche applications that could prove to be very useful to business travelers. Rather than a complete social network, many of these applications simply provide the business traveler with a useful and needed service. Such as airport updates and parking info from OrbitzTLC.

Sites such as Dopplr, which allows travelers to connect with friends who are traveling to the same destination and TripLife, which encourages travelers to connect with potential business contacts during the downtime that comes with air travel…if you are sitting in LAX for 3 hours, why not find a possible peer to have a business discussion with?

Additionally, technology such as Trip Sync allows travel planners to schedule and book via Outlook.

(Author’s Note: One of our readers, Paula, has correctly pointed out that Trip Sync went out of business on July 1, a few days before we finished this post.)

So, who is still interested in joining a business traveler social network?

Image from member MK30.

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