“The days of mindless cost cutting out of a travel program are now gone,” said Wendy White, vice president of marketing at Egencia brand. “While travel managers are still expected to deliver savings, the stakes are now much higher. Company culture, employer brand, capacity to attract and retain talent – these are key to the growth and success of companies. The modern travel manager knows that and will set the travel program to play a determining role in shaping the company culture.”
Traveler Convenience Rules
Travelers are motivated to book convenient options, which allow them to save time and show up rested. Nearly one-third (29 percent) want the ability to fly direct and 22 percent favor convenient flight times. Overall, respondents want to select times that work best for their schedule (30 percent).
Business travelers favor hotel options in convenient and safe locations (31 percent). Corporate diligence is also front of mind, with 23 percent stating that their top priority is booking a hotel that is in policy, followed by getting a good deal or price, at 14 percent.
Empowering Business Travelers
Respondents say the most important element of a travel program is the ability to control bookings themselves (48 percent) – from initial bookings, to any needed changes – speaking to the importance of empowering travelers and providing travel management tools built for ease-of-use. A distant second was specialized customer support (15 percent).
Most business travelers want to do the right thing, with 82 percent always booking in policy. France, Germany, and Sweden are among the most diligent, with an 87 percent compliance claim, while the U.S. is the least likely at 62 percent compliant. The most common reason for booking out of policy is that travelers can’t book far enough in advance to meet policy, with 49 percent globally and 52 percent in the U.S. making this claim.
The biggest complaint with corporate travel programs is price constraints and its impact on the quality of the lodging (31 percent), followed by limited upgrade options (15 percent.) Not being able to add perks such as lounge access or expedited security line programs also ranks in the top three factors affecting in-policy booking in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Sweden.
The survey polled 5,545 Egencia users across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific in May 2018.