Egencia has added new features to its global business travel platform designed to “enhance customer experiences, business value and employee care”.

The first update is Hotel Conversations, a feature that enables two-way communication between business travellers and their hotel. Users can ask questions, confirm details and share updated travel plans throughout their journey through the Egencia app.

Michael Gulmann, chief product officer at Egencia, said: “Egencia Hotel Conversations will revolutionise the way hoteliers and business travellers interact with each other from the moment a booking is made. We’ve seen conversations double over the last few months, clearly indicating that this was a previously untapped value proposition in business travel.”

Other new features include Egencia Air and Hotel packages powered by Expedia Group’s relationship with hoteliers. The TMC says that by selecting a packaged air and hotel deal, companies can benefit from a lower overall trip cost, while travellers gain access to top-rated hotels that may previously have been out of policy. Once employees book their flight, they will see recommended special hotel rates available to book immediately or within ten days.

Meanwhile, Egencia Traveller Tracker allows organisations to instantly see where their employees are and support them during emergencies. The latest update includes the option to search a larger geographic area through region search, which allows travel managers to draw a circle or square over the online map to see if any of their travellers are in an area showing a weather event, for example.

BBT sat down with Egencia COO Mark Hollyhead at this week’s Business Travel Show for a demo of the new features. He said the decision to create packaged deals for corporate customers came from the growing preference for travellers to book in this way for leisure trips.

He added: “We have the ability to go to our hotel partners and show them the data they need to be able to offer special rates when travellers are booking trips in their area. We’re targeting customer success for both the corporate and the hotel.”

Commenting on the usefulness of the new features for travel managers, Hollyhead said: “We want to solve a common problem and put travel managers in control of the situation. The Egencia platform puts the technology and data they need into their hands to prove the value of a managed programme.”

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