More Travel Managers Acquiring Control of Travel Plans

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), a US-based company focusing on the business travel industry, is reporting that travel managers across the world are being given more control of the travel decisions of corporate companies.

A survey of around 1,500 travel professionals worldwide revealed that around 60 percent of travel managers reported having more control over policy than previously. Around 64 percent of European travel managers reported an increase in control, far more than their counterparts in the rest of the world. Around 36 percent of European travel managers have reported setting travel policy, while 31 percent have reported being involved in driving compliance, and 38 percent reported the use of corporate tools.

Around half of the European managers, or 51 percent, are providing more information to online booking tools to drive the use of approved corporate booking channels to 80 percent.

Paul Tilstone, the managing director of GBTA Europe, said, ‘Travel professionals play a vital role in balancing the need to get travellers on the road to make the face-to-face connections that strengthen business ties while also spending corporate dollars wisely.

This study shows travel managers are gaining more control over budgets to help contain costs and ensure that road warriors can be as effective as possible.’

The study shows that 62 percent of travel managers in Europe are using mobile phones and social media more to stay in touch with their business travellers when they are on the road, while 34 percent of travellers use their smartphones and apps to stay in touch with their business colleagues.

The research has been conducted in collaboration with Egencia, a US-based online travel company and a subsidiary of Expedia. Christophe Peymirat, the senior vice president of EMEA and APAC at Egencia, said, ‘Our study shows that the impact of technology, such as mobile devices, is reshaping both the travellers’ experience and travel manager’s role in simultaneously supporting traveller needs and corporate objectives.’