16 October, etc.venues Monument
30 October, JW Marriott Grosvenor House
1st November 2023, etc.venues County Hall
Travel buyers are spending too much time negotiating with hotel companies to concentrate on offering a better service to their travellers.
This was one of the main findings of a survey of more than 300 buyers carried out by ACTE and hotel specialist HRS, which was released at the ACTE conference in Dallas.
The study found that travel managers spent the “majority” of their time in supplier negotiations and this meant there was a “lesser focus” on travellers’ needs.
Some 25 per cent of buyers still conduct negotiations over hotel rates internally using manual processes, while 35 per cent admitted that hotels were “slow to respond to RFPs or do not respond at all”.
ACTE executive director Greeley Koch said: “This survey clearly indicates that the second largest line item in most companies travel spend is occupying more than its fair share of the travel managers talent and attention.
“The purpose of this survey was two-fold: to define the extent of the problems and to explore solutions."
The survey also found that the next growth area in the corporate travel business would be monitoring traveller satisfaction for key processes such as booking and expense reporting.
Duty of care is also becoming more important when looking at the security of rooms and apartments – 9 per cent of buyers said they had added new restrictions to the use of shared accommodation over the last two years with another 9 per cent saying they planned to do so.
Tobias Ragge, CEO of HRS, added: “Travel managers agree that traveller centricity is key to reaching their savings goals.
“Savvy travel managers who consider outsourcing optimise processes, reduce cost and win back precious time to focus on their travellers and duty of care.”