With the emergence of AI in the last few decades, technology-first companies are finding new ways to utilize the power. Manual processes have been reduced to the bare minimum and are being replaced by automation. The travel industry is no exception. Be it small, medium, or large-scale organizations, they are exploring new ways to include AI in their day-to-day travel requirements. Today, computers and AI combined together are a force to be reckoned with. One can not only book the travel but manage and also analyze their trip expenses. AI is giving systems the power to project corporate travel trends and plan their budgets accordingly. The evolution of corporate travel online booking tools is an intriguing story that goes down to the pre-computer Era. Let us discuss how technology has come into the playfield and how it has evolved over the years.

Corporate travel online booking tools evolution

1. Manual Processes (Pre-Computer Era)

Before computers were invented and found in every household, corporate travel management was a huge manual process. Companies relied on the rates set by travel agencies and delegated their travel to them. The challenge was that handling bulk travel requirements would require planning for months. They have to ask the travel agents to handle the bookings, collect receipts of every expense, manual expense filing and reporting, and much more. This would induce the inevitable errors that could reduce the overall ROI of the travel.

2. Computer Reservation Systems (CRS) – 1970s

In the 1970s, the computer reservation system brought a revolution in the travel industry. With the help of these booking systems, travel agents and companies were able to browse through real-time inventories and their pricing and book as per the requirements. They were able to get information on flights, hotels, car rentals, and other services.

3. Introduction of Global Distribution Systems (GDS) – 1980s

The 1980s further simplified the booking process with the introduction of Global distribution systems or GDS. These systems worked as a centralized platform offering pricing and availability information on various travel inventories. They were accessible through CRSs making the planning and booking process simpler both both corporates and travel agents.

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4. Online Booking Tools (1990s – 2000s)

It would not be wrong to call the Internet the big game changer. With the rise in popularity of the internet in the 1990s and 2000s, numerous technology startups started to crop up from nowhere. By unleashing the potential of the internet they were able to offer flights, hotels, and transfers from web-based interfaces to the customers and clients. Everyone was able to book online for themselves without requiring third-party interferences.

5. Expense management and Mobile Accessibility (Late 2000s – 2010s)

As the world started to pace ahead with the technology, expense management of corporate travel became a considerable obstacle. It was easy to use expense management platforms. However, the process of taking the information from online booking tools and feeding it to the expense management software doubled the work. The process was automated by integrating booking engines in popular expense management software. In the late 2000s corporate travel management tools started offering mobile applications, allowing travelers to manage bookings, receive real-time updates, and submit expenses on the go.

5. Policy Enforcement and Compliance (2010s)

Corporate travel tools evolved to incorporate more robust policy enforcement features. Automated approval workflows, alerts for policy violations, and customization options became standard, ensuring that travel activities aligned with company policies.

6. Advanced Analytics and Reporting (2010s – Present)

Business travel online booking tools

The latest generation of corporate travel management tools places a strong emphasis on analytics and reporting. Advanced reporting features provide organizations with valuable insights into travel patterns, expenses, and opportunities for cost savings. Travel admins and agents can predict the trend in the travel industry to remove unwanted process costs and enhance their profits and ROIs.

7. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Present)

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is a current trend in corporate travel tools. These technologies enable predictive analytics, personalized recommendations, fraud detection, and dynamic policy adjustments, making travel management more intelligent and efficient.

8. Enhanced Safety and Risk Management (Present)

In response to global events and increased focus on traveler safety, modern travel tools incorporate features for real-time risk assessment, emergency response, and communication during crises. These tools help organizations prioritize the well-being of their employees.

10. Integration with HR and CRM Systems (Present)

The latest corporate travel management tools aim for seamless integration with other business systems, such as human resources (HR) and customer relationship management (CRM). This integration enhances data accuracy, provides a holistic view of employee information, and facilitates a more connected organizational approach.

Paxes is one such self-booking corporate travel online booking tool equipped with modern tools and technology. The platform ensures seamless booking, expense management, and analysis of corporate travel.

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Corporate Travel Online Booking Tools FAQs

Why is AI integration crucial in corporate travel management tools?

AI integration in corporate travel tools enables predictive analytics, personalized recommendations, fraud detection, and dynamic policy adjustments.

How do the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) impact corporate travel management?

GDS provides a centralized platform for pricing and availability information on various travel inventories. GDSs were accessible through CRSs, streamlining planning and booking for both corporates and travel agents.

What role did the Internet play in the evolution of corporate travel tools?

The rise of the Internet in the 1990s and 2000s led to the development of online booking tools. These web-based interfaces allowed users to directly book flights, hotels, and transfers without relying on third-party intermediaries.



Pratyush is a traveling enthusiast who always looks for innovations in business travel management. He has 5 years of experience writing content on corporate travel management and working closely with expert business travel facilitators.