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Business Travel Programme Simplification Relies on Improved Prioritisation

A new study published by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in collaboration with HRS, “Simplifying Managed Travel 2.0,” finds that travel programme leaders are committed to simplifying the business travel experience yet face multiple obstacles as they prioritise the initiative.

Today’s business travellers are accustomed to the intuitive experience of booking personal travel, which has been streamlined by single-stop platforms like apps and websites. Akin to the 2017 study, “Simplifying Managed Travel,” the 2019 study illustrates that travel buyers remain committed to the idea of streamlining the business travel experience. In 2017, 72% of travel buyers indicated that initiatives to improve the effectiveness of their business travel programmes support the overall goals of their companies. In the 2019 study, that number rose to a nearly universal 97%.

Programme leaders generally express three core objectives for simplification: cost savings for the organisation, enhancing duty of care and boosting employee productivity. Each of these can be improved, to varying degrees, by streamlining the travel programme.

“Programme leaders can see a real opportunity in these results,” said Greeley Koch, vice president of marketing for HRS. “The procurement and risk management groups have a mature grasp of the importance of travel, and they are engaged to help programmes improve. And when you get the travellers on board, they can help expedite achievement of the highest goals. It’s noteworthy that HR and executive sponsorship – while always important to have aligned – do not rank among the top four.”

“These findings point to an opportunity for travel buyers as leaders at their organisations,” said Leigh Bochicchio, executive director, ACTE. “Buyers know the benefits of simplification and have compelling arguments in its favour – being able to channel their expertise will help them secure leadership buy-in for prioritising simplification and demonstrate the great value they bring to their businesses.”

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