Travel managers stepping up on travel policies

June 26, 2014 |

A new survey by AirPlus International revealed that 49 percent of travel managers are working to tighten travel policies to lower costs within their companies. According to Business Travel News, another 24 percent of travel managers believe that policy-tightening will become more important down the road.

Travel managers from 24 countries responded to the survey and 55 percent of them said they are working on managing additional travel costs, including taxis and dining through consolidation, the source reported. However, the reason that monitoring these costs is due to unconsolidated supplier bases, inconsistent payment methods and a lack of centralized booking systems.

According to the source 42 percent of travel managers have already consolidated their travel programs using a regional or worldwide structure. The managers also said that more consistent processes and economies of scale have provided benefits and reasons to turn to consolidation.

More than half of the travel managers surveyed practice benchmarking so they can learn more about how it compares with similar travel patterns at other companies. According to Business Travel News, nearly 21 of those surveyed expect benchmarking to be more relevant in the future.

Corporate booking tools
The results of the survey by AirPlus showed that corporate booking tools are used by 43 percent of travel managers, which turned out to be a surprise for many as booking tools claim to save companies money on travel.

Larger companies were more likely to use corporate booking tools as 59 percent were considered “high spenders.” According to the source, the survey found that only 39 percent of smaller-sized companies and 43 percent of medium-sized companies were using these types of tools.

“Smaller companies also book online, but [allow] travelers to use public websites of their choice instead of a managed booking tool,” the report’s analysis stated.

Mobile payment technology is becoming increasingly popular, and according to the survey, 35 percent of travel managers said the technology is used at their company and 31 percent believe it will become more relevant in the future.

Another big technological development for travel managers is mobile applications that allow them to complete expense reporting or share itineraries. Business Travel News said that 36 percent of travel managers are currently using mobile application technology.

Social media and the technologies associated with it are also growing and leading to increased adoption as 36 percent of those who responded to the survey said it has become a platform for travelers to express their views, the source reported.