Research conducted by American Express Global Business Travel and ACTE (Association of Corporate Travel Executives) has identified the main trends that, at a global level, are setting policy in the business travel sector: cost optimization and traveller service.
According to ‘The Evolution of Travel Policy: A Global View on the Future’, a study conducted by American Express Global Business Travel and the ACTE, with the participation of more than 350 Corporate Travel Managers, cost optimization and traveller service are the main issues in companies’ travel policy.
Analysing the evolution of the sector and asking the professionals surveyed about the primary objective of their programmes over the last two years, 52% of the travel managers stated that cost savings has been the main drive of their corporate travel programme management, followed by their policy on responsibility and the safety of travellers (at 23%) and traveller service (with 16%).
Nevertheless, looking towards emerging trends, the balance shifts considerably and the surveyed professional predict a significant change in this order of priorities. The Managers understand that the behaviour of their travellers and compliance with their policies can have a decisive impact on cost reduction and, as such, on achieving the company’s goals.
However, despite those surveyed grasping their importance, 44% of them admitted that their company does not have formal mechanisms in place to obtain feedback from their travellers.
The research reveals that only 21% of the companies surveyed track indicators to analyse the impact of improving traveller service on corporate travellers’ performance, 9% use indicators related to work-life balance and only 5% measure the reduction in their corporate travellers’ level of stress. It should also be highlighted, however, that over the next two years, 12% of the travel managers expect to be equipped with parameters that will enable them to calculate the impact of good traveller service in terms of an improvement in their professional and personal lives.
Improving traveller service
The professionals surveyed agree that improving traveller service is achieved by establishing adequate communication with the corporate traveller before their trip, implementing reservation tools accessed on their smartphones and offering mobile applications designed to provide service and manage changes during the trip.