GBTA and Egencia Study Examines Global Travel Programs and the Role of Travel Management Companies

More than 1,400 travel managers around the world report on their top challenges and solutions

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and BELLEVUE, Wash., July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study by the GBTA Foundation, the research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, and Egencia®, the business travel company of Expedia, Inc., found that travel management companies (TMCs) are working directly with corporate travel managers to play an increasingly important role in implementing, improving and successfully operating global travel programs.

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GBTA surveyed 1,429 travel managers in Asia, North America, Latin America and Europe, finding that travel managers around the globe say key capabilities offered by travel management companies are vital to their programs, such as TMCs' industry knowledge (96%), access to local rates (93%), and combined global coverage and local footprints (89%). The report also examined the decision-making process behind global policies and how these policies are managed.   

"As multinational corporations operate across the world, they are enlisting the help of travel management companies to bolster their programs by leveraging TMCs' regional expertise and technology offerings to help them manage travel spend more strategically," said GBTA Vice President of Research Joseph Bates. "Global travel programs help control costs, manage risk and can function across any number of regions to support the business traveler."

TMCs Helping Companies Improve Global Policy:

Almost half of respondents (46%) stated their companies have global travel programs in place to ensure consistent policy enforcement (67%), manage risk (67%), compile program data (61%), and negotiate with suppliers at a global level (60%). More than half of those surveyed worldwide (54%) said TMCs have increased their knowledge of local issues around the world.

  • Most travel managers worldwide (60%) feel that TMCs can now provide their companies with global service and support in extending their travel programs' reach and capabilities.
  • Travel managers in the developing and fast-growing markets of Latin America (70%) and Asia (68%) said that the number of travel management tools available to them, such as online booking tools and expense data reports, have increased greatly.

Policy Challenges Where TMCs and Technology Can Evolve:

According to the travel managers surveyed, global travel programs help strengthen relationships with preferred vendors (75%), improve adherence to approved booking channels (68%), and communicate travel policy to employees (67%). 

To improve global programs in the future, the majority of travel managers worldwide (76%) reported that they will look to TMCs to help with cost containment strategies (74%), integrate data (73%), and integrate new mobile technologies (65%). Most respondents worldwide (70%) noted that mobile devices are crucial to their global travel programs.

The greatest challenges to global travel policies revolve around cost savings and reporting technology, and vary by region. Safety and visa issues also ranked highly as an area of improvement for global travel programs in select regions.

  • North America: Airline ancillary fees present the biggest challenge for more than half (57%) of North American travel managers.
  • Asia: Hotel costs (49%) and a lack of GDS information on ancillary services (49%) were the top challenges reported by travel managers in this region.
  • Latin America: Traveler safety and visa permits are key areas for improvement among more than half (51%) of travel managers.                     
  • Europe: Hotel costs (46%) and GDS information on ancillary services (41%) were reported as the largest areas of concern for travel managers.

"As more organizations think and act like global businesses, there are higher expectations for the managed travel industry to deliver faster and better solutions that remove complexity for the company and the traveler," said Mark Hollyhead, Egencia's senior vice president, Americas. "Companies will increasingly look to improve their global travel programs to further seek best value, control spending and ensure diligence in their duty of care. There will also be a rapidly growing interest in global programs demanding the best technology and service solutions for users."

Egencia and two travel professionals from global organizations will be participating in an education session titled "Travel Buyers Only: Going Global: What Does a Global Travel Program Look Like?" at the 2013 GBTA Convention on Sunday August 4 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm (Room 6C). For more information on the event, visit gbta.org/convention.

The Global Travel Management Study 2013 full report will be available exclusively to GBTA members by August 6, 2013 by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing research@gbtafoundation.org.

About the GBTA Foundation
The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world's premier business travel and corporate meetings organization.  Collectively, GBTA's 5,700-plus members manage over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its network of 21,000 business and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers, with networking events, news, education & professional development, research, and advocacy. The foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA's members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see gbta.org and gbta.org/foundation.

About Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. company
Egencia® is a leading full-service travel management company delivering innovative corporate travel solutions and expert local service to more than 10,000 clients in nearly 60 countries around the world. As part of Expedia, Inc., the world's largest travel company, Egencia provides forward-looking companies with the ability to drive compliance and cost savings in their travel programs, while meeting the needs and requirements of the modern business traveler. For more information, please visit www.egencia.com or follow us on Twitter @Egencia.

Egencia and the Egencia logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.  © 2013 Egencia, LLC.  All rights reserved.  CST # 2029030-50; CST # 2083922-50.

SOURCE Global Business Travel Association



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