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The GTMC has published a whitepaper focusing on why suppliers don’t understand the true value of the indirect or B2B sales channel.
In the whitepaper, published for its annual conference held in Monaco, the organisation outlines 10 predictions for the future of business travel:
1. Suppliers will continue to invest time and resources in direct selling because of the perceived benefits and the scalability of the available technology solutions, especially mobile. Although airlines will grow their direct share from 33 per cent in 2016 to 45 per cent in 2021, TMCs will grow their market share by 66 per cent in the same period.
2. Corporate buyers will continue to prefer end-to-end managed travel programmes that provide visibility on total trip cost by individual suppliers.
3. Corporates will specify programmes that track every traveller as well as their policy compliance and measure ROI per trip.
4. Travel management systems will measure supplier performance on real-time across the supply chain. They will power dynamic travel policies that allow travellers to make choices within agreed parameters, satisfying both CSR and duty-of-care requirements.
5. Self-made bookings will be funnelled through a live tool capable of making best-value supplier decisions and mode choices based on hard business intelligence.
6. Airlines, hotels, rail operators and car rental firms will not have a single channel to market but will sell through both direct and indirect channels based on market penetration, brand recognition and geography. What may be ideal in a “home” market will be impractical in a new or developing market.
7. TMC market share will be governed by quality of service compared to the quality of the service offered by the end supplier.
8. Technology will continue to enhance the customer experience and the direct channel will continually evolve and improve.
9. TMCs will continue to innovate but the customer will decide which channel best serves their need – not the supplier.
10. Travel management delivers real value to the corporate, the traveller and the supplier. The trouble is that the latter doesn’t realise it yet.