Advantage 2012 Conference Highlights Changes in Corporate Travel Policy

Social media may be driving corporate travel product suppliers to change their ways of marketing and connecting with their customers, and companies to control their travel expenses.

At the recent 2012 Advantage Conference that took place in Malta, a senior travel buyer has highlighted that companies’ travel policies are currently undergoing several transformations, and will change even faster in the next two years, influenced by the Internet, mobile applications and other social media.


Carel Aucamp, the global sourcing manager for procurement network organisation, Agrega, said, ‘There will be one billion smart phones in use by 2015, and the apps industry will be worth $55 billion by then. Controlling the use of apps by our travellers in 135 countries is impossible. But you still need duty of care.’

Companies’ new travel policies are set to offer incentives to travellers for compliance, by offering discounts, like the insurance industry; as well as by offering loyalty points and a level up, like the airline industry; to nudge them in the right direction. Social media will allow the companies to assess the travel preferences of the employees, and to formulate policies accordingly.

Aucamp said, ‘Awarding travellers points, in competition with each other, for using preferred suppliers and booking within policy, creates a different conversation around the water cooler. You can regularly publish the top 10 travellers, and small rewards – maybe they get five minutes with the CEO. You’re asking travellers to be intelligent, and they’re choosing to take responsibility and do the right thing.’

Airplus Reports Increase in Corporate Travel in 2011

Corporate flight bookings are set to increase in 2012, as the travel industry experiences a growth phase.

AirPlus International Inc, a US-based company that provides a suite of business travel payment solutions, has reported an 11 percent increase in flight bookings for corporate travel in the first three months of 2012.

The company has announced that it is expects the upward trend to continue in the next few months of 2012.

Patrick Diemer, the company managing director, said, ‘These figures are proof of the confidence most businesses have that travelling is relevant to their development, especially in view of the ongoing crisis in the Euro zone. The answers promote the assumption that the business sector has recognised the need to invest in travelling even in bad times to tap new business opportunities in a broader market.

On a global scale, the business flight volume in 2011 was 6 percent higher than in the previous year, and our corporate customers spent 18 percent more money on business travel in total than in 2010.’

The company reports that its research has indicated 54 percent of companies, using its cards, anticipate travel volumes to be showing a growth of around 30 percent in 2012, compared to the preceding year.

The company had previously reported a first quarter operational sales revenue of €284 million, an increase of round 6 percent from €269 million reported in 2010 to last year. The company has also reported an increase in customers from 35,000 in the 2010 first quarter, to 38,000 over the same period in 2011.