»»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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»»Egencia Unveils 2012 Global Corporate Travel Forecast

Egencia, the travel management company owned by Expedia, Inc., unveiled its Corporate Travel Forecast and Hotel Negotiability Index for 2012.
Based on Egencia´s 2012 Global Corporate Travel Forecast, airline average ticket prices (ATPs) and hotel average daily rates (ADRs) for top corporate travel destinations are expected to slightly increase overall in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific next year.

ATPs to top business travel destinations are expected to be:
– Slightly up (4%) for European points-of-sale
– Slightly up (4%) for North American points-of-sale
– Slightly to moderately up (6%) for Asia-Pacific points-of-sale

ADRs in top business travel destinations are expected to be:
– Europe (up 2%)
– North America (up 5%)
– Asia-Pacific (up 7%)

Also Egencia´s 2012 Corporate Travel Forecast shows, through the Advance Purchase Advisory — index that gives an indication of the best booking timeframe and possible savings for advance air ticket purchases — that business travelers should book 22 days or more in advance for the majority of key business destinations to realise maximum savings. It suggests that booking in advance to Frankfurt and Stockholm, for example, can save as much as 47 percent compared to last-minute bookings.

About travel spend, the survey shows a continued rise in overall travel demand, with 43 percent of European travel buyers (versus 23 percent last year) and 42 percent of North American travel buyers (percentage is flat year-over-year) who have slightly or significantly increased travel over the last six months.

About other travel trends, the study shows that mobile devices are becoming increasingly important to today´s travel managers. 80 percent of European respondents said that mobile devices are moderately important to very important to their travel programmes. According to survey respondents, the most important uses for mobile technology during business travel include:
– Online check-in (77%)
– Check flight status (68%)
– Urgent destination/flight alerts (56%)
– Paperless boarding (56%).

The full Egencia’s report is available here.

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»»Expedia To Relist American Airlines Fares

Expedia will relist American Airlines‘ fares and schedule information on its website, American Airlines and Expedia announced yesterday.

Expedia removed AA’s fares last year after the carrier stopped selling tickets on Orbitz.

American Airlines is trying to lower its commission costs by forcing travel agents to access the carriers’ fares directly from its distribution channel called Direct Connect, through whom the carrier can bypass third-party global distribution system companies. (source)

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»»Best Practices To Reduce Business Travel Costs – Egencia Study

Travel management company Egencia — an Expedia, Inc. company — released its 2011 Global Cost Avoidance Study. The study, a global survey of 348 travel executives, revealed that 95 percent of respondents view travelers compliance as important to protect against growing corporate travel costs.

Failure to book air travel far enough in advance was identified by the respondents as the number one area where travelers tend not to comply. The survey shows that other areas where travelers mostly fail to comply include:
– Not booking preferred carriers or lowest logical fares (42 percent);
– Booking more expensive hotel rooms (32 percent);
– Not booking hotel rooms with preferred hotel partners (30 percent).

Yet a recent joint Egencia/NBTA Foundation study showed that a consistently enforced corporate travel policy allowed companies to reduce annual travel spend by at least 45 percent or more, 2011 Global Cost Avoidance Study reveals that 77 percent of respondents do not use incentives to keep their travellers compliant with their corporate travel policy.

Among the cost avoidance tactics and best practices corporations are utilising to reduce costs, “insisting that travelers use lowest logical fares” was identified as the most effective one — 55 percent of respondents saying that.
Other tactics used to avoid costs identified by respondents include: requiring pre-trip approval (51 percent), using hotels that offer discounted/included amenities (47 percent), using independent hotels (25 percent), and utilising a last room availability clause (17 percent).

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»»Business Travel From U.S. To Increase 5 Percent in 2011 – NTBA Study

According to a study by the National Business Travel Association (NBTA), business travel spending in the U.S. will increase 5 percent in 2011. The predicted 5 percent surge for 2011 follows an estimated 2.3 percent rise in the amount spent in business travel in 2010.

The NBTA Foundation said an improving economy and stronger profits will encourage group trips and face-to-face meetings with customers, prospects and partners.

The study — NBTA’s Business Travel Quarterly Outlook for the U.S., sponsored by Visa Inc. — also reveals International business travel spending increased an estimated 16.9 percent in 2010 to $29.1 billion, compared with a 32 percent decline in 2009.

International travel from the U.S. should remain strong through 2012 driven by a weakening dollar and stronger exports.
International spending is estimated to increase by a moderate 3.2 percent this year to $30 billion. (source)

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