Research by the DCC Forum shows more than half (55 per cent) of business travellers expect many popular destinations to be completely cashless within the next decade, while 51 per cent said they predict all payments to be made via mobile.

The survey also found 73 per cent of travellers predict they’ll be using driverless shuttle services between the airport and their accommodation. Furthermore, 82 per cent believe smartphones will be used as hotel room keys by 2027.

It would appear business travellers expect technology to eliminate the need for human interaction, as 81 per cent think hotels will make use of virtual, reception-free check-in. While pictures are commonplace in hotel marketing, 79 per cent of those surveyed predict that virtual reality previews will be the new norm within the next ten years. Clearly paying attention to popular science fiction, 63 per cent believe they’ll be using in-ear translators and nearly half think their passport will be replaced by an implanted microchip.

This belief in technology spreads to transportation as well, with 68 per cent saying they think supersonic planes will be in regular operation, and 63 per cent predicting that ride-sharing apps will replace car rental companies altogether by 2027.

Despite previous research that shows 71 per cent of employees believe face-to-face meetings are essential to their success, the DCC Forum study shows one in five of those surveyed are taking fewer trips abroad due to movements in the value of the pound, but more than half said economic uncertainty has not affected their business travel plans.

Jennifer Conneely, board member of the DCC Forum, comments: “As the pace of technological progress accelerates, particularly in areas of payments and transport, business trips abroad will begin to feel much more like science fiction. Most of these will address the key pain points for business travellers, and help to make trips abroad a more efficient and enjoyable experience. However, as an increasing number of destinations become virtually cashless, understanding the different options for debit and credit card payments will be more important than ever to avoid any potential frustration or confusion.”

Subscribe to the BBT Newsletter

Join the Buying Business Travel newsletter for the latest business travel news.

Thank you for signing up!