Travel professionals gaining clout over corporate travel policy

A STUDY by GBTA Foundation and Egencia, the corporate travel arm of Expedia, has found that travel professionals are having a bigger say in business travel policy, aided by online booking tools and a growing focus on cost-saving efforts.

Titled Travel Policy Trends: Control – What Does it Mean and Who Has It, the study surveyed almost 1,500 travel professionals across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America to determine their definition of travel policy control and how respondents were adapting to new and evolving business travel requirements.

The majority of travel professionals – 60 per cent – indicated that they now have more control over travel policy compared to a few years ago.

Most respondents – 61 per cent – also indicated that driving savings and controlling costs were important definitions of travel policy control. Setting policies and procedures and driving compliance followed with 41 per cent and 35 per cent of the votes, respectively.

In addition, the study found that travel professionals were increasingly using mobile phones and social media to communicate with their travellers and to improve travel experience. Some 65 per cent of respondents said they maintained contact with travellers “to let them know they’re watching out for them”. However, only 18 per cent of respondents had integrated travel policy information into mobile booking tools used by travellers.

As well, 72 per cent of respondents agreed that they now have more travel spend data and improved reporting tools compared to a few years ago, which help to provide more information to find gaps in compliance and bolster their ability to negotiate with suppliers.

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