Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
The majority of business travel buyers have little say in what technology their travellers use, new research from the Institute of Travel and Meetings (ITM) has revealed.
The study, carried out by Argate, showed that less than 10% of travel buyers have any direct input into mobile technology decisions, despite travellers’ high use of smartphones.
Some two-thirds of buyers said that their travellers’ use of smart phones is “relatively high”, with travellers spending more time away from the office than three years ago.
The majority of buyers (77%) also said their company policies restrict the use of technology and applications to those that have been approved by the company.
According to Paul Tilstone, ITM’s CEO, the figures are worrying: “These results would seem to support the view that without greater travel manager input into technology and applications, the approved choice to travellers will be severely limited by inflexible company policies.”
As the use of mobile solutions is expected to grow – 37% of respondents to the survey said they plan to provide mobile self-booking , while 27% said they already do – mobile technology is something buyers should be more involved with, said Tilstone.
“With so much growth expected in mobile solutions, there is a real opportunity here for those managing travel to engage with IT departments and create stronger links with their travellers’ needs,” he said.
Colin Goldney, Argate’s managing director, goes as far as to say that mobile technology “will ultimately change travel management the same way the internet did in the nineties and noughties”.
He said: "Traveller mobility is increasing and the smart suppliers recognised some time ago that technology would develop to create more robust platforms for mobile solutions.
“It is the technology itself which appears to be creating the demand through the travellers themselves.”