Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, April 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
Research conducted by Amadeus and Cranfield University”s Business Travel Centre, has revealed corporations have a lot to learn about implementing self-booking tools (SBTs) in their business.
The survey investigated the level of SBT adoption in 424 organisations worldwide, many of whom are ACTE (Association of Corporate Travel Executive) members.
Research focused on air travel bookings alone, as they account for the majority of SBT use (53%), and results are based on the total number of actual, rather than eligible, bookings made. The companies that took part have an average annual air travel spend of $35m and 66% used an SBT.
A number of factors influence SBT”s adoption, the survey revealed, including the structure of the organisation, the industry sector and the size of the company. Surprisingly, geography does not play much of a part, with only a 7% fluctuation over Europe, the US, Asia-Pacific and other parts of the world.
Amadeus e-Travel commercial director, Jerome Destors, seemed surprised by the results, as he expected a higher level of adoption in the US than the current 55% and a lower figure than the ”other” category, although as he explained: ”ACTE has high membership numbers in Japan, Singapore and Australia, which all fall into the ”other” segment.
”These countries are hardly lagging in terms of technology, though perhaps that explains such a high percentage in this sector.”
Companies with the least amount of hierarchy and bureaucracy in their organisations, have the highest levels of SBT use at 72%. These tend to be smaller businesses with a lower annual travel spend (up to $2.5m). Larger organisations that spend between $30m and $50m or more, have 54% of their staff using the SBT, while medium-sized spenders ($5m-$10m), are the lowest at 39%.
These companies, Destors explained, ”are perhaps large enough to have more hierarchy and therefore lower level of communication between staff, but too small to have the means to introduce proper tools and training for their employees as the larger organisations do.”
Managers and directors have a significant effect on how well SBTs are adopted within their companies. Those booking travel through the system themselves have 70% of their staff using it too, as opposed to just 36% if they do not.
Amadeus emphasises two factors that would greatly enhance the effectiveness of using SBTs. The first of these is making the SBT mandatory and the second is integrating the SBT with travel and expense management systems. The vast majority (70%) do not currently integrate their SBTs, although Destors is confident that significant development in this area will soon occur.