Author: David Newington
From globalisation to big data, here are five trends that will influence corporate travel management now and into the future…
Globalisation will mean demand for travel will remain strong
With business becoming globalised and surpassing national lines more than ever before, the need to bring geographically disparate teams, customers and stakeholders together is on the rise.
The AirPlus International Travel Management Study (ITMS) 2016 revealed that globalisation is one of the major trends affecting corporate travel. 52 percent of travel managers surveyed identified globalisation as a key influence over their travel programme, with more trips expected throughout the year.
It is important to note that other factors like price, the flattening Chinese economy, falls in commodity prices and concerns about carbon emissions, may offset the impacts of globalisation, leading to mixed expectations for the travel market.
Higher travel costs are expected, making finding efficiencies even more important
A total of 41 per cent of travel managers surveyed in the 2016 ITMS believe the costs of travel will rise this year. In some of the largest Western economies, such as the USA, Germany and UK, the ratio of those expecting to pay more versus those expecting to pay less is around 5:1.
Rising costs will mean a greater focus on finding cost efficiencies. We expect that travel managers will look at total trip costs to find savings, rather than focusing on individual trip segments. So for example if a room has a lower rate, but its location means higher ground transportation costs, any savings will be lost. By looking at the costs of travel holistically, travel managers can gain greater transparency on costs and maximise savings. Additionally, the availability of new travel management tools and centralised payment solutions are assisting both travel managers and treasurers to reduce processing time and gain efficiencies.
Big data will give travel managers more information about their travellers than ever before
26 per cent of travel managers surveyed in the 2016 ITMS felt that big data was becoming a key influence in the travel market. What impact will big data have?
For travel managers, having access to large datasets on their travellers gives them unparalleled access to information about traveller preferences and behaviour, and travel costs, helping shape their decisions. However this data only becomes a benefit to travel managers, if they have the necessary tools to integrate data into their own systems. Only then can they use the data to report, coordinate and even negotiate with suppliers.
On the flipside, however, suppliers selling to travellers directly have access to similar information. This creates a potential data privacy issue for travellers and companies.
Data security concerns on the rise
For travel managers, the fastest-growing major trend is data security. A total of 54 percent surveyed through the 2016 ITMS identified data security as a key concern.
With high profile data breaches, and concerns over corporate espionage and state sponsored surveillance, data security has become a high priority.
Travel managers are mindful that confidential company data carried by business travellers must remain secure while traveling, that there are risks associated with travelers’ personal data being handled by service providers and that any data at their disposal must also be kept safe and secure.
Eco-friendly travel is a growing priority
With a growing awareness of environmental and sustainability concerns, eco-travel has become a priority. The 2016 ITMS revealed that 29 per cent of travel managers identified eco-travel as a concern. Companies are under increasing pressure to reduce emissions and subsequently may opt to reduce air travel or select carbon neutral options.
David Newington is Country Manager Australia, AirPlus International
About AirPlus International
AirPlus is a leading international provider of solutions for the day-to-day management of business travel. Established more than 25 years ago, AirPlus is the number one corporate payment provider in Europe, serving over 46,500 corporations and 600,000 cardholders across 60+ countries. With over 1,200 employees, they handle approximately 154 million travel-related transactions a year.
AirPlus has helped organisations save costs, streamline processes and provide a higher level of traveller satisfaction by providing a complete, accurate picture of their travel spend.
Read more here: www.airplus.com/au/en