BT4Europe, the new European network of business travel associations, is calling for the “full digitisation of business travel” to improve efficiencies – and uptake – of multimodal travel across European borders.
The group of 13 business travel associations, which was formed in February, has produced its second «position paper» on digital transformation in business travel, including a series of recommendations to the EU ahead of new legislation to boost cross-border train travel in the region.
“BT4Europe is urging for nothing short of a full digital transformation of business travel to facilitate seamless, paper-free, cross-border business travel,” said chair, Patrick Diemer.
The paper’s release comes ahead of the European Commission’s Multimodal Digital Mobility Services (MDMS) proposal, which closed for consultation in February and is due to be adopted in Q1 2023.
Dominic Short, chair of BT4Europe’s Digital Transformation Working Group, said the EU’s forthcoming initiatives represent a “timely opportunity to make sustainable, connected and automated multimodal cross-border journeys”.
“All stakeholders – business, citizens and the EU – must work together to seize the benefits of full digital transformation in the upcoming EU proposals to unlock efficiency and sustainability gains, to benefit business travellers, the economy and the environment,” he added.
The paper highlights how smarter mobility will strengthen passenger rights and promote sustainable travel options, but only if the correct infrastructure is in place to support it.
BT4Europe’s main recommendations for action include:
• Abandoning the A1 form for all business trips under 14 days and to digitally automate all others;
• The full multimodal integration for bookings, payments, door-to-door and cross-border travel;
• Passenger rights fully protected door-to-door, cross-border, and it to be made digitaly automated;
• Travel service providers operating in the EU need to be “encouraged” to deliver standardised CO2 data at point of decision;
• The EU should widen the scope of the “CountEmissionsEU” initiative to include business travellers staying at hotels and other forms of accommodation.
The organisation said the response to its first position paper on sustainability was “overwhelmingly positive” and that BT4Europe was “very encouraged that our push for greener business travel is supported throughout industry and legislators alike.”