Travel Webcast

Getting their priorities straight

Carlson Wagonlit Travel has just released its CWT Travel Management Priorities report, featuring the results of an international survey of nearly 800 travel managers. The scope of the survey includes companies with mid-sized national programs and an annual travel spend in the range of US$2 million as well as companies with large, international travel programs with an annual travel spend of more than US$100 million. In terms of the overall ranking of priorities for travel managers in 2013, CWT reports that they remain very similar to the order of priorities for 2012. Travel buyers intend to focus on areas representing the greatest savings opportunities rather than those associated with the traveller experience. This finding is true regardless of the size of the company, the industry type, the budget spent on travel or the scope of the travel program. Christophe Renard, CWT vice-president marketing, communications and business intelligence, observed that: “The challenging economic climate means that there is continued pressure on buyers to both reduce costs and manage travel in a more cost-effective way.” Renard noted that: “As air and ground travel represents the majority of spend within a travel program, it is not surprising that it is the number one priority for most travel buyers, even though it is an area that is already well advanced in terms of optimization.” The measures that travel managers plan to take to achieve these objectives vary according to region. While North American travel buyers are aiming to further consolidate their programs and standardize processes, their counterparts in Asia-Pacific are intending to focus more on improving travel compliance and mandating preferred booking channels; Latin American travel buyers are concentrating on implementing advanced booking rules and strengthening car rental policies, whereas travel buyers from Europe, the Middle East and Africa are tightening air and rail policies to drive down air and ground costs. Business travel trends for 2013 are covered in the second part of the report. From a pricing perspective it is likely that global inflation will hit travel prices modestly overall, with increases of under 5%; in addition, travel managers will need to monitor programs and suppliers closely, paying particular attention to areas such as rising ancillary fees and fuel surcharges. As well, changes in technology will affect the travel process with consumer-influenced technology increasingly finding its way into corporate travel through services such as travel review sites and mobile apps specifically designed for business travellers. Go to http://www.carlsonwagonlit.com for more.

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