September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Now in its 27th year, the Business Travel Awards
Demand management taking hold
The reason for a business travel trip is now crucial as to whether it is approved, Jason Geall, GetThere's EMEA director, said.
"Travel managers are now looking for a better understanding of why people are travelling. This is the key now," he said.
Mr Geall said visual guilt was also playing a bigger role in decisions on trips as travel managers sought to drive more compliance.
Companies in America are now increasingly asking from the start why a trip is necessary, Michael Brophy, GetThere's senior public relations manager, said.
"It used to be something that was asked at the end of the application. Now a drop down box appears at the front asking why the trip is needed and whether there are any alternatives like Webex or other scenarios.
"Demand management is now increasingly part of the language in America and it is also happening here," he said.
Mr Geall said that understanding why people travelled was one example of how the role of a travel manager was changing.
"It is not a drastic change, more of an evolution," he said.
Travel managers were now picking up on procurement values and had far more technological tools to help them than in the past.
"This is now all working in their favour. Travel managers are in a good position because of all the work they have put in in recent years with procurement.
"This is enabling them to cut costs as they are required," he said.
Mr Geall said travellers were also acting with more responsibility. With boardrooms backing cuts in budgets, there was a momentum for travel managers, a window of opportunity for them to drive through the changes the economic downturn was bringing about.
"My guess is that when the economy picks up, a lot of the change, a lot of the new values will stay in place," he said.