Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
Buyers are not finding it more difficult to control their travellers’ behaviour despite fears about an increase in “rogue” bookings.
A survey of 183 - mostly UK-based - buyers by the Business Travel Show found that only 22 per cent said it had been more difficult to drive compliance in 2013 compared to previous years, with 42 per cent saying compliance had improved year-on-year and another 34 per cent claiming it was unchanged.
The majority of buyers (60 per cent) also said they did not want to give their travellers more freedom to book and manage their own business trips. Only 34 per cent were positive about allowing them more latitude in organising their travel.
Most buyers (63 per cent) also agreed that mobile devices were a “friend rather than a foe” when it came to ensuring compliance with travel policies. Only 13 per cent of respondents said mobile was a “foe”.
As for the best methods for driving compliance, buyers said the number one was using preferred suppliers (52 per cent) followed by online tools (31 per cent), offering fewer choices (9 per cent) and payment method (5 per cent).
Handing out penalties to travellers who strayed from policy was only used by 1 per cent of buyers to increase compliance.
David Chapple, event director for the Business Travel Show, said: “Technology, in particular the internet and mobile apps, is cited as the main driver behind an increasing number of buyers being tempted to book outside policy, and yet nearly two-thirds of buyers believe mobile is still their friend.”
Buyers however were divided over the true impact of mobile booking tools on managed corporate travel.
Jef Robinson, global category manager for technology firm Citrix Systems, said: “If mobile technology is not embraced by the TMC then it is more than likely to reduce traveller compliance – to be able to manage your travel from where you want, when you want and with whichever device you want is a major driver for busy travellers.”
But Continental AG’s global category manager Ruediger Bruss believes that “mobile technology is very much over-hyped”.
There is still no ‘killer-app’ in the travel industry, but rather only piecemeal innovation,” said Bruss.