»»Why Use Travel Management Services

Professionally managed business travel can bring considerable cost savings, experts state. However, about 59% of businesses don’t consolidate their corporate travel with meetings and events policies, according to a recent study by business travel and event management company ATP Event Experts conducted during the 2013 Business Travel Show in London.

courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/23065375@N05/2246559149

The same survey has shown that 56% of companies are going to combine these policies. As reported by ATP specialists, businesses think it’s beneficial to consolidate corporate travel and meetings and events policies because it may help lower travel costs and increase business efficiency.

Getting started with a travel manager

Cleverly organised corporate travel management can bring considerable business benefits. Head of UK event operations for ATP Event Experts Neil Pace explains that it can help companies “take advantage of better rates due to the large network of hotel and venue contacts” available to their travel and event management agencies. Additionally, this allows more effective bookings as well as internal staff support.

Improved financial control

Improved financial control is one of the primary reasons for using services of corporate travel managers. As the whole travel and expense process is monitored by gathering data such as credit card spend, e-receipts, travel bookings and other details, businesses are able not only to reduce expenses but also reduce time spent on managing expenses.

Advanced standards of service

Business travellers can benefit from a quick and easy booking process, personal needs attendance, ready trip itineraries that can be shared with colleagues, friends and family as well as easy to submit expenses. Proper management also ensures that “the standard of service is consistent across the board, whether it’s a meeting in Aberdeen or an event in Madrid”, Neil Pace explains.

Things to consider

As stated by ATP, a company having 60 offices around the globe, it’s still worth considering an audit for business meetings and events held both nationally and internationally in order to make sure that nothing is overlooked and the money is spent properly by every department.

In case of an emergency, companies can rely on traveller alerts and tracking systems that help keep in touch with your travellers should any breaking events happen. Tracking systems and mobile apps for travellers are designed to be used on the go and available even on the other side of the world providing assistance 24/7.

There are lots of reasons for using services of reputable travel managers in 2013. Increased expense control and business efficiency are among them.

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»»Premium Air Traffic Stats for January 2013

Premium Air Traffic Stats for January 2013
International premium air travel slowed in January 2013, decreasing by 4.5% when compared to December 2012, IATA reported.
Seasonal trend — with even Economy class passenger showing a slowdown of 4.2% when compared to December 2012 — is responsible for the January decline in part.

However the growth weakness and the decline for European markets are other causes that weakened the January’s premium air traffic figures.

Among the other key findings released by IATA:
– Premium air traffic in January 2013 was up 3.3% year-over-year;

– Economy class passengers increased 2.9% in January 2013 year-on-year;
– Economy class and premium passengers have been increasing at just 2-3% over the past 6 months;
– Premium travel within Europe was down 0.5% in January 2013 year-over-year while the North Atlantic market remained flat.

Even if the growth weakness is limited just to European markets, A longer-term view shows a moderate growth for air travel demand in the months ahead.
IATA figures also show markets linked to Asia, particularly to Middle East, are a driver of business air travel growth. Premium travel on Africa-Middle East routes was up 10.9% in January 2013, year-over-year, while overall global growth was up just 3.3% over the same period.

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»»Number of Trips Down, Business Travel Spend Up – GBTA’s Study

Business travel in the U.S. is expected to suffer a 1.6 percent reduction in the number of trips for 2012, according to data released by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The trade association predicts the number of business trips will slip to 438.1 million from 445 million of 2011.

Despite the reduction of number of business trips, business travel spend is expected to record a 2.6 percent increase, due to the rising cost of travel.
While companies aren’t cutting their business travel spend, they are cautious about the trips they are planning.

Europe’s economic troubles, slowing growth in China and high unemployment in the U.S. are expected to impact negatively on international business travel for the rest of 2012 and 2013.

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»»Airline Passengers Increasingly Looking for More Self-Service Options – SITA Survey

Self-service is becoming increasingly popular with airline passengers, according to a survey released this week. The study, the seventh annual SITA/ATW Passenger Self-Service Survey, reveals that the percentage of passengers carrying a smartphone increased over the past year from 54 to 70.
Also, the survey shows the demand for self-service options from mobile devices is continuously increasing.

Mobile check-in increased by one third over the previous year. 21% of passengers have now used a mobile boarding pass.

90% of respondents said self-boarding and flight status updates were their top self-service technologies.

Two thirds of respondents said they used a self-service channel to check-in, up from the previous year’s 50%. Websites were the most used platform for check-in, with 79% of respondents using them regularly or occasionally.
However, 77% of those said they are also using airport kiosks for check-in.

Among the other key findings: 62% of passengers use social media; just over 50% of passengers are willing to receive retail offers or advertising on their mobile phones.
However this percentage would increase to 61, if they were given a chance to get personalized offers and control their delivery.

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»»Business Travelers Rate the Best Airlines and Hotels – 2012 Condé Nast Traveler Survey

Virgin America is the top U.S. airline for Premium Class in 2012, according to Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll, an annual survey — rating hotels, hotel brands and airlines — conducted among business travelers.
The survey also ranked Singapore Airlines the best airline in Asia for Premium Class.
Virgin Atlantic and Emirates took the top honors for the same category in Europe and in Africa/Middle East respectively.

– How Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll works.

An independent firm — Global Market Insite, Inc, asked over 46,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers identified as business travelers to rate hotels, hotel brands, and airlines on a variety of criteria. Final scores (out of 100) represent the percentage of readers who rated a hotel, hotel brand, or airline excellent or very good — other rating options include good, fair, or poor.

Below is a summary of ranking — including final scores — of Airlines for Premium Class by region.
North America: Virgin America, 87.9; Hawaiian Airlines, 81.2; Sun Country Airlines, 72.5.
Asia: Singapore Airlines, 91.4; Cathay Pacific, 90.5: Air New Zealand, 89.1.
Europe: Virgin Atlantic, 86.9; Swiss International Air Lines, 84.0; Lufthansa, 81.6.
Africa/Middle East: Emirates, 91.0; Etihad Airways, 87.0; El Al Israel Airlines, 85.1.

Below is the Condé Nast Traveler’s Hotel Brands ranking:
Auberge Resorts, 94.4; Montage Hotels & Resorts, 93.7; Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, 93.3; Peninsula Hotels, 92.9; Four Seasons, 92.4; Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, 91.6; Trump Hotel Collection, 91.6; Ritz-Carlton, 91.1; St. Regis, 90.8; Mandarin Oriental, 89.1; Raffles Hotels & Resorts, 89.1; Wynn Resorts, 89.1; One&Only, 88.6; Shangri-La, 87.4; Regent, 87.1.

Full ratings of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll can be found here.

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