Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
Managed travel policy is not dead but needs to take the freedoms offered by social media into account, a Business Travel Show seminar was told.
A debate at the show heard that there were still significant savings to be made by limiting the number of suppliers but that there were cases when staff could be trusted to use their own devices.
Michael Hill, Coca Cola’s European travel manager, told the audience: “Travel policy is not dead”, adding that in 2010 before he joined the company, 60% of hotel stays had been non-compliant.
“Now it’s 69% in preferred properties,” he added. “We had a target of $1m-3m in cost savings and avoidance. We hit $3.4m just in cost savings. It certainly works for us.”
Carlson Wagonlit’s Andrew Winterton, president of suppliers, products and technology, added that consolidation of airlines and hotels meant it was incumbent on travel managers to “add value” to buying decisions, particularly following the social media revolution.
“When you give them the right information and the right guidance they tend to make the right decision,” he said.
Rob Hughes, travel and expense programme manager at Salesforce.com, added that social media meant travel policies “were in need of an overhaul” and that mobile applications were used more than web browsers, with the biggest take-up among older, more affluent age groups.
“The social enterprise is pushing us to where travel policies are going to move towards,’ he said, but added that the question of duty of care was a big headache for companies.
“There must be applications out there to ensure that duty of care. Does it really matter where you are making your purchase if you have that duty of care and an opportunity for cost saving?” he asked.