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New Research Identifies Disconnects in Travel Program Goals, Policy and Traveler Behavior

GBTA ·15 November 2018
Alexandria, VA - Nearly 70 percent of travel buyers say that enforcing policy compliance is among the most challenging aspects of their job, according to new research out today from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with RoomIt by CWT. While travelers may book out-of-policy for preferred properties or amenities, there is also a large gap in traveler knowledge of company policy."Travel program goals can be difficult to reach when travel buyers and business travelers are not on the same page," said Jessica Collison, GBTA director of research. "The research identifies where disconnects exist between hotel policy and traveler behavior and provides buyers with areas they can focus on to drive increased cost-savings without necessarily compromising on traveler satisfaction. Ongoing communication to keep travelers informed on policy can go a long way toward achieving program goals.""Business travelers want to find the right room in the right place with the right amenities - and stay within the rules set by their hotel program," said David Falter, President of RoomIt by CWT. "At the end of the day both the travel manager and traveler ultimately have similar goals to save money. Travel buyers can do so by offering travelers more choice and increasing compliance."Property Levels & AmenitiesReducing program costs, increasing policy compliance and traveler satisfaction top the list of goals travel buyers have for their travel programs in 2019. Travel buyers typically negotiate with a variety of suppliers to provide their travelers with the best possible rates. While the vast majority (78 percent) of business travelers say they are satisfied with their rate allowances for booking hotels, two-thirds (66 percent) also say they would like a higher rate allowance to stay at preferred properties that may better meet their needs.In fact, U.S. business travelers are more likely book luxury properties, potentially out of policy, according to the research. Only 7 percent of European buyers say they allow luxury properties in their hotel programs compared to 16 percent in the United States, yet on average only 8 percent of UK travelers and 7 percent of French travelers book luxury properties versus 30 percent of U.S.-based travelers. The trend of U.S. travelers booking luxury out of policy may be related to higher dissatisfaction with rate allowance.Travelers want to use amenities that are not always included in their travel policy, leaving room for increased satisfaction. Over three-quarters of business travelers would prefer to book bundled rates including multiple amenities, even if the rate is slightly higher, however, very few (11 percent) travel programs always allow booking bundled rates. Travelers often book bundled rates with the belief that doing so ultimately contributes to cost-savings goals, although that may not necessarily be the case.When travelers were asked which amenities they would purchase on business travel if they had no limits within their company policy, they cited several, including premium WiFi, gym passes and food delivery services.Loyalty's Role in Booking & SatisfactionThe inability to earn loyalty points could drive traveler dissatisfaction. Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of travelers believe that if they give up their time to travel, they should have the ability to earn loyalty points and over half (51 percent) would risk being reprimanded for booking out-of-policy if it meant they could book a hotel where they could earn loyalty points.Loyalty plays a significantly bigger role in the United States as 25 percent of U.S. business travelers say the ability to earn loyalty points is a factor in choosing where to book, and over half (52 percent) say they would never consider booking a hotel where they could not earn loyalty points. This compares to 37 percent in France and 31 percent in the UK.MethodologyAn online survey of 265 travel buyers in the United States (131) and Europe (134) was fielded between September 19 and October 12, 2018. Additionally, a survey was conducted of 750 business travelers in the United States (247), United Kingdom (254), and France (249) using an online panel. This survey was fielded between October 5 and October 15, 2018 with respondents qualifying if they (1) were employed full-time or part-time, and (2) traveled for business more than once in the past year.More InformationDownload an infographic here with key highlights from the research. A summary of findings for the report, Improving Hotel Programs in 2019, is available exclusively to GBTA members here and RoomIt clients here.Experts from GBTA's research team and RoomIt by CWT will present study highlights and insights during an education session on November 28 at 5PM CET at the upcoming GBTA Conference 2018 Berlin in Partnership with VDR: The Complete Guide to Improving 2019 Hotel Programmes. Both will be on-hand throughout the conference for interview requests on the study as well. A webinar featuring the results and what the study means for travel programs will also take place on January 17, 2019 at 9AM ET. Register today.

Business Travelers Say Loyalty Matters in Hotel Booking

GBTA ·29 October 2018
On average, business travelers consider three hotels before booking and 82 percent say loyalty programs matter when making that decision, according to new research out today from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts. Additionally, the study reveals nine in 10 business travelers view rewards points and perks as a motivating factor in selecting a hotel and 81 percent believe being a loyalty member results in better service.Business travelers are split when it comes to using loyalty rewards on business travel (49 percent) versus use during future leisure stays (43 percent). For road warriors, the top five rewards of a loyalty membership include earning free nights, room upgrades, reward redemption flexibility, express check-in and service perks.Make it PersonalA vast majority (84 percent) of business travelers feel having a personalized guest experience is important - and most believe that experience should differ from that of a leisure trip with 64 percent purchasing different amenities on a business trip than they would otherwise. So, what do business travelers want from a personalized experience?Business travelers show a very high comfort level with both their companies and hotels using shared information to provide a personalized hotel shopping and guest experience. When it comes to what information they are willing to share, preferred hotel amenities (55 percent), travel itinerary details (42 percent) and favorite types of restaurants or entertainment (39 percent) top the list."From booking to check-out, our research confirms personalization is highly valuable to business travelers, with many seeking customized hotel experiences that are tailored to fit their business travel needs," said Jessica Collison, GBTA director of research. "Both travel buyers and suppliers should evaluate how personalization factors into hotel booking and the guest experience when it comes to building their travel and loyalty programs.""The importance of personalization is one of the recurring themes we hear directly from our Select Guest loyalty program members," said Chad Gaither, vice president of customer relationship management (CRM) and loyalty for Omni Hotels & Resorts. "We aim to keep it at the forefront of our messaging as we evaluate and design the overall customer experience. There are many ways to do this, but email messaging, for example, should recognize guests' past activity and show appreciation for their loyalty."MethodologyAn online survey of 500 U.S. business travelers took place between May 22, 2018 and June 1, 2018. Respondents qualified if they were employed full-time or part-time, if they traveled for business at least once in the past year and if they stayed at a hotel during their last business trip.

83 Percent of Female Business Travelers Report Safety Concern or Incident in Past Year

GBTA ·18 October 2018
More than 8 in 10 (83 percent) women say they have experienced one or more safety-related concerns or incidents while traveling for business in the past year, according to new research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with AIG Travel.83 percent of women say they have experienced one or more safety-related concerns or incidents while traveling for business in the past year, according to new research from GBTA in partnership with AIG Travel.Key findings from the survey of women travelers show that:90 percent say concern about safety has an effect on activities pursued during personal time while on business travel86 percent report an impact on booking behavior, such as booking only daytime flights or a central lodging location84 percent cite an impact on where they travel for business81 percent indicate their travel frequency for business has been impacted by safety concerns80 percent say safety concerns have impacted their productivity on business trips"High levels of concern have a tangible impact on business travel for women," said Amanda Cecil, senior vice president of professional development and research for GBTA. "Previous GBTA research has shown the immense impact travel experience can have on productivity and business results while on the road. Ultimately all travelers want to be productive and get business done, so understanding the specific risks female travelers face on the road can allow travel buyers to play a critical role in addressing these concerns.""As a travel safety advocate and as part of our organization's commitment to educate travelers, AIG Travel feels it is important to shine a light on the unique travel considerations faced by women," said Rhonda Sloan, Head of Marketing and Industry Relations, AIG Travel. "The research findings show that many female business travelers are aware of and concerned about the challenges they may face while traveling for work, while employers still have plenty of room to provide more guidance and resources to help women minimize those risks and experience safer travels."Taking PrecautionsWomen take precautions in many facets of their life due to safety concerns, and business travel is no different. While traveling for business, over half of women regularly communicate with the office, family or friends (58 percent), only stay at trusted hotel accommodations (56 percent) or share their itinerary with family and friends (51 percent), among other safety measures.This comes as no surprise given 71 percent of female business travelers believe they face greater risk on the road than their male counterparts. Their top concerns include general safety (78 percent), sexual harassment and assault (72 percent), travel to certain countries and cities (68 percent) and assault or kidnapping risk (65 percent).While many women stick to booking a traditional hotel for business travel (70 percent), shared housing such as Airbnb or HomeAway is a sizeable portion of the market (24 percent), and female business travelers take special safety precautions when booking both forms of lodging. When booking a traditional hotel, women who travel often look to book at trusted hotel chains (74 percent), consider the safety of the neighborhood (67 percent) and look for hotels close to their work site (64 percent). When booking shared housing, over half say they book highly rated properties (57 percent) or book full house/apartment listings (51 percent) as security measures.When it comes to ground transportation, 81 percent of women travelers feel that rental cars are safe, while just over half (53 percent) feel the same about ride-sharing services. For those that use ride-sharing, 49 percent confirm the driver's name and license plate before entering the vehicle.Gaps in Managed Travel ProgramsWomen travelers are generally confident in their organization's risk management programs, as 83 percent believe their organization cares about their safety on business trips, and 87 percent report they feel comfortable expressing their safety concerns to their travel buyers. However, they feel more can be done for female business travelers. Over two-thirds (68 percent) of women who travel for work think their company should have polices that specifically address the needs of female business travelers, yet a recent survey of travel buyers revealed only 18 percent report having these gender-specific policies in place.Female business travelers value the safety resources their organizations already offer, but also desire additional resources including having an emergency contact or hotline and traveler training on issues such as sexual harassment, assault and kidnapping.MethodologyAn online survey of 503 U.S. business travelers took place between April 18, 2018 and April 27, 2018. Respondents qualified if they self-identified as female, were employed full-time or part-time and went on four or more business trips in the past year.More InformationDownload an infographic here with key highlights from the research. A summary of findings, Perceptions of Safety for Female Business Travelers, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here.To request an interview with a GBTA or AIG expert for a deeper dive and to learn more about how managed travel programs can address women's safety, please contact Colleen Gallagher.

Companies Increasingly Exposed to Financial Loss and Duty of Care Violations as the Number of Meetings Grow

GBTA ·18 July 2018
Globally, half of company-held meetings are simple meetings, yet roughly half of survey respondents report their organizations do not use a "managed" meetings channel for simple meetings, according to new research released today by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with HRS.This first-of-its-kind study focuses exclusively on simple meetings management, which are small meetings with basic, replicable requirements. For the first time, both GBTA and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) members were surveyed for the same study to provide perspectives from both travel buyers and meeting planners.Highlights of the research include:50 percent of corporate meetings globally (49 percent in the U.S., 58 percent in Europe) are simple meetings52 percent of companies book their simple meetings outside of "managed" meetings channels70 percent of respondents don't follow a required bidding process for shopping/booking simple meetingsWhen companies don't use a simple meetings solution, 77 percent search for hotels or venues exclusively through consumer channelsWhen companies have a solution, 72 percent of planners prefer to use it to plan/book simple meetings52 percent of companies don't have an e-RFP technology for simple meetings, with no plans to acquire oneOnly 4 percent of U.S.-based travel buyers have corporate KPIs attached to the value created by small meetings, while nearly one-third (31 percent) of meeting planners have KPIs"This research puts numbers to something the industry has long suspected," said Jessica Collison, GBTA director of research. "Simple meetings account for significant expenditures within companies - yet they are very loosely managed, potentially costing companies when it comes to the bottom line, meetings satisfaction and duty of care compliance."Booking Simple MeetingsWhen booking simple meetings, a majority of U.S.-based respondents (84 percent of travel buyers, 73 percent of meetings planners) report using consumer channels, such as calling a hotel, or visiting a venue's website and/or a consumer travel website. Many rely exclusively on consumer channels (38 percent of travel buyers and 39 percent of meetings planners). Only 30 percent of respondents say their company has a required bidding process for simple meetings.When using consumer channels or following informal polices, it can be difficult to use negotiated group rates, make like-for-like comparisons, vet the safety of venues and ensure compliance with internal policies. Consumer channel usage also essentially eliminates the possibility of getting lower rates and/or other amenities that could be gained via leverage of a company's transient hotel volume."Meeting planners anticipate nearly four percent growth in the next year, so the harsh reality this survey reveals underscores the urgency companies should have when it comes to enhancing simple meeting management," said Abbie Michaelson, vice president of meetings & groups for HRS. "The out-of-process metrics for shopping, booking and venue comparison would set off alarm bells in other areas of corporate procurement. With these findings, those responsible for meetings now have the ammunition to implement measurable changes in this category."Processes & MeasurementOnly one out of five (22 percent) respondents use an e-RFP platform for simple meetings. These platforms allow companies to solicit and compare bids for their meetings. In the United States, meeting planners (35 percent) are more likely than travel buyers (19 percent) to use an e-RFP tool for simple meetings.Only one-quarter (28 percent) of respondents have KPIs in place when it comes to measuring simple meetings and the value they create - although that number is much higher for Latin America (38 percent) than North America (20 percent) or Europe (21 percent). In the United States, meeting planners (31 percent) are much more likely than travel buyers (4 percent) to have KPIs in place.Respondents ranked finding the right room/venue (73 percent), maximizing budget/savings (64 percent) and company policy compliance (40 percent) as the most important factors when booking and managing simple meetings."For a category representing millions in corporate spend every year, simple meetings typically escape the level of scrutiny given to other expenditures," said Bernie Schraer, senior vice president of MPI. "This report, with its depth of metrics and process insight, offers procurement managers, event planners and other influencers a true picture of today's reality. It also shines a light on priorities planners should consider as they enhance their respective simple meetings programs."MethodologyAn online survey was conducted of corporate Travel Managers and Meeting Planners. The survey fielded between April 24 and June 7, 2018. An email invitation was sent to GBTA members and contacts globally, and MPI members in the U.S. Five hundred and sixty-two recipients completed at least one question. Of these, 408 qualified given (1) they are at least somewhat involved "with planning, organizing, or overseeing meetings and events at their company" and (2) they are a travel or meetings professional. Of those who qualified, 260 completed the entire survey, which included: 123 GBTA members, 66 MPI members, 15 members of both organizations and 56 members of neither organization.More InformationDownload an infographic here with key highlights from the research. The report, How Do Companies Approach Simple Meetings, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through GBTA by emailing Paul Yachnes.About HRSHRS simplifies business travel. Corporate travel managers and business travelers around the world trust HRS to find the best hotel accommodation and simplify all processes related to their business travel. In addition to hotel sourcing and the negotiation of corporate rates with hotels, HRS optimizes paperless payment of hotel accommodation and meetings as well as automated invoice processing. More than 3,000 multinational corporations rely on HRS; customers include multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Google, Siemens, Alibaba, China Mobile and Volkswagen. Founded in Germany in 1972, HRS has more than 1,500 employees in 34 offices worldwide. Further information at corporate.hrs.com.

U.S. Project-Based Business Travel Spend Topped $45 Billion in 2017

GBTA ·20 June 2018
"Demand for project-based business travel will continue to rise with top project-intense sectors forecasted to grow faster than the broader economy in the coming years," said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. "While project-based business travel is extremely diverse, there are key underlying trends revealed in this study that marketers, suppliers and travel buyers can use to increase revenue, cut costs and improve traveler satisfaction.""This study clearly demonstrates the breadth and depth of the project-based segment," said Derek DeCross, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, IHG. "Based upon the learnings from this study, the industry has an opportunity to develop more effective strategies to engage this segment of travelers to best serve their unique needs moving forward."The average spend per business trip was significantly higher for trips taken for project-based purposes ($679) than for other business trips ($533) taken over the same period. The higher spending is driven by longer average stays and higher trip budgets. Project -based business travelers spent a total of $15.9 billion on lodging, $14.6 billion on air transportation, $7.0 billion on food & beverage, $1.8 billion on entertainment, $4.2 billion on ground transportation and $1.9 billion on retail.Project-Based Business Travel Widely Distributed Across United StatesProject-based business travel mainly reflects the distribution of broader-based business travel activity with Los Angeles (7 percent of all project trips), New York (5 percent), Las Vegas (4 percent), Chicago (4 percent) and San Francisco (4 percent) coming in as the top project-based markets. There are also a handful of states noted in the graphic that have a higher proportion of project-based business travel relative to all business travel activity.Breaking Down Project-Based Business TravelWhile the rate at which firms invest in project-based business travel differs significantly across industries, the top three industries include manufacturing, real estate and professional services - with $10 billion alone spent on the manufacturing project-based market. The most project-travel-intense sector by a wide margin is the construction industry, with project travel comprising 20 percent of total business travel spending.A significantly higher proportion of project-based trip budgets get allocated towards accommodations with the average amount spent per trip on lodging coming in 142 percent higher for project-based trips than non-project based trips. When it comes to choosing a hotel property, location by far trumps all other attributes driving the lodging choice. Project-based business travelers are also significantly less likely to book lodging on their own directly through a hotel. Project travelers' top three amenities when choosing lodging include WiFi access, having breakfast included in the rate and being able to secure additional loyalty points.The study also delves further into the profile and trip behavior of project-based business travelers.More InformationThe report, Project-Based Business Travel in the United States, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through GBTA by emailing Paul Yachnes.For reporters interested in a copy of the full study, which includes the methodology, please contact Colleen Gallagher.

GBTA Announces Successful Women Leading in Business Travel Panel at GBTA Convention 2018

GBTA ·31 May 2018
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry, today unveiled its first Center Stage panel for the 50th edition of GBTA Convention, held August 11-15, 2018 in San Diego.Successful Women Leading in Business Travel will feature three senior leaders in business travel as they give their unique perspectives on the opportunities and challenges facing the industry today. These executives will highlight success factors and obstacles they experienced throughout their careers, as well as address the challenges they faced as women to get to the level they are at today. This session is made possible by TripActions.The panel will be moderated by Dorothy Dowling, SVP & CMO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts on Monday, August 13. Panelists include:Jodi Allen, CMO, HertzMelissa Maher, SVP, Global Partners, ExpediaTraci Mercer, SVP, Lodging, Ground & Sea, Sabre"Having a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential to the success of any organization," said Christle Johnson, GBTA President. "We look forward to these women leaders sharing their experiences along their pathway to success and the problems they faced along the way."Held at the San Diego Convention Center, GBTA Convention 2018 will bring together over 7,000 business travel professionals from more than 50 countries across the globe. It will feature world-class keynote speakers, more than 100 industry-leading education sessions, the largest business travel expo floor, a wide selection of professional development opportunities and much more, providing attendees the opportunity for professional development and to get business done.Attendee registration is open now. Register by May 31 for special savings. More info on programs and speakers will be unveiled throughout 2018. For the latest developments and more information, please visit gbta.org/convention.Media registration is complimentary and available online. GBTA's fourth annual Media Day on August 12, 2018 will feature back-to-back news announcements throughout the morning from top travel companies around the world, giving media an exclusive pass to the latest travel industry news.

Business Travel Responsible for $40.1 Billion in Canadian GDP, Creates Over 573,000 Jobs

GBTA ·18 April 2018
TORONTO -- A new report issued today at GBTA Conference 2018 - Toronto reveals the high potential of business travel to drive economic development and business success. The report, produced by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with BCD Travel and Air Canada, also reveals the risk to the nation's economy from a downturn in travel.The study, titled 'The Canadian Business Travel Industry: Business Travel's Impact on Jobs and the Canadian Economy,' shows that business travel was responsible for about 2.6 percent ($40.1 billion) of Canadian GDP in 2016.The economic impact study found that Canadian business travellers took a total of 35.1 million trips, up 5.7 percent from the previous year, and spent $29.4 billion on travel goods and services in Canada, up 7.3 percent. Total expenditures to support Canadian business travel reached $35.8 billion when factoring in the $6.4 billion spent on meetings operations.The business travel industry supports 573,000 jobs and generated $10.7 billion in federal, provincial and local taxes. Much of business travel's contribution to the economy accrues directly to industries that serve business travellers, but their supply chain beneficiaries received an additional indirect contribution of $10 billion."Business travel is the fuel that powers the engine of many corporations around the Canadian marketplace and is a critical driver of the economy," said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO. "This study clearly demonstrates the importance both face-to-face interactions and enacting pro-travel polices can have on an economy's bottom line.""We already knew from previous studies--and intuitively--that business travel was critical to the economic and business success; after all, how many companies can grow their business without expanding into new markets through travel?" said Kathy Bedell, BCD Travel SVP and Canada General Manager. "Sometimes it's important to establish key drivers using data so that everyone interested in economic development and business success understands its potential to provide a return on investment.""Air linkages are a crucial driver of economic activity, allowing the movement of people and goods. At Air Canada we are intensely focused on expanding our network, especially internationally, and improving connectivity at our major hubs to facilitate traffic flows. This report underscores that we all benefit from an air transport system that is efficient and cost competitive in terms of taxes and fees for the airlines that operate this vital service," said Duncan Bureau, Vice President, Global Sales, at Air Canada.Breaking Down the Business Trip In 2016, the average amount spent per business trip reached $838, including $342 on transportation, $215 on lodging and accommodations, $159 on food and beverages, $105 on retail purchases and $17 on recreation. These averages include both domestic and international inbound trips, as well as both day and overnight trips. Group business travellers on average spent $1,191 per trip, compared with $628 per trip spent by their transient counterparts. Group business travel was a key driver in the overall growth in Canadian business travel activity in 2016 with gains of 14 percent in total spending over 2015 levels.Over three-quarters (77 percent) of Canadian business trips were taken for transient purposes (sales trips, client services, government and military travel and travel for construction or repair), while 23 percent were taken for group travel purposes. On average, business trips lasted only 2 days in 2016 and over two-thirds of domestic business trips were day trips while only 4 percent included a stay greater than 5 nights.The full study also examines the most popular mode of transportation among Canadian business travellers, the most popular business destinations for domestic and international inbound trips and the demographics of Canadian business travellers.More InformationThe report, The Canadian Business Travel Industry: Business Travel's Impact on Jobs and the Canadian Economy, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through GBTA by emailing pyachnes@gbtafoundation.org.Those interested in learning more details about the impact of business travel may join a presentation about the new findings during GBTA Conference 2018 - Toronto, on Centre Stage on Wednesday, April 18. They may also join an education session shortly after focused on how business travel impacts the Canadian economy featuring study highlights. The session will take place at 11:30am EDTin Room 801A. Experts from GBTA, BCD Travel and Air Canada will also be featured on an upcoming episode of The Business of Travel, GBTA's official podcast on June 27, 2018.MethodologyThe economic impacts described in this study are based on domestic traveller spending as measured by StatsCan's Travel Survey of Residents of Canada (TSR), international spending from StatsCan's International Travel Survey (ITS), and meeting spending derived from The Economic Contribution of Meeting Activities in Canada. All figures are reported in Canadian Dollars ($ CAD) unless otherwise specified. The most recent full year data (2016) for all inputs was analyzed and compared to other economic data for the same period. This data is fully consistent with the travel spending estimates released annually in the GBTA BTI Global Outlook.About BCD Travel BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travellers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it's how we maintain the industry's most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.About Air CanadaAir Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2017 served close to 48 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 64 airports in Canada, 60 in the United States and 98 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,300 airports in 191 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2017 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: www.aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook

AI, Risk and Traveller Centricity Were the Hot Topics of GBTA Conference 2017 Frankfurt in Partnership with VDR

GBTA ·13 December 2017
Convergence was the prevailing theme of the Conference. The business travel industry has seen a great deal of disruption in recent years as we face the convergence of various elements like risk, mobility and personalization, presenting new hurdles and opportunities for the business travel professional.Through-provoking industry panels highlighted Centre Stage. Festive Road's Caroline Strachan moderated a panel called The Post-Procurement Practitioner - Beyond the Price Point to The Leadership Radar focused on a more strategic approach. Panelists Andrew Owen of UBS, Dirk Gerdom of SAP and VDR, and Jackie Taylor of Genpact discussed moving beyond pricing to understand what value really means and how travel program goals can translate into business goals as well. Strachan summed up the panelists advice to travel buyers saying, "Know your stuff, be ready to challenge and reimagine a different outcome.""Technology is evolving rapidly, but so are our ever-increasing expectations as to how that technology will serve us," said Catherine McGavock, GBTA EMEA Regional Vice President as she opened a panel on artificial intelligence. Panelists Karen Hutchings of EY, Alex Kaluzny of Egencia, and Serdar Gurbuz of Turkish Airlines took the stage to share their thoughts on the current state of AI and robotics in business travel and where the industry is headed.GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick hosted John P. Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Centre Stage to discuss not only increasing security, but also providing more efficiency and speed as travelers move through the airport ecosystem. Wagner addressed current threats to air travel, the balance between privacy and the need for information, and what biometric exit will look like once fully implemented.Steve Dunne of Digital Drums led panelists Hank Benedetti of American Airlines, Rita Visser of Oracle, Roxana Bressy of KDS and Tobias Ragge of HRS Group in a discussion on shifting business models. The panel talked about how in the past the business travel industry has been reluctant to embrace change and technology, but in today's world those who do not embrace it will be left behind. It is all about simplification, panelists said. At the end of the day, people want simple solutions and a great user experience at a low cost.World-renowned inspirational speaker and business author Ramon Vullings was the featured networking lunch speaker on Wednesday where he explored the emerging world of cross industry innovation. Vullings challenged attendees to use augmented reality to strip reality of the mess and ask how can we use technology to make things simpler for people? "For cross industry innovation, don't copy what others are doing but copy the thinking behind the ideas," he said.Attendees were also treated to high-level education sessions covering everything from AI, robotics and duty of care to GDPR, data protection, the consumerization of business travel, adapting travel policies to meet traveller needs and more to help buyers better understand their roles in an ever-changing business travel market.The event once again brought together over 900 attendees from 30+ countries for networking, education and top-notch speakers. The sold-out expo floor featured over 50 exhibitors showcasing the industry's latest products and services and a dozen suppliers shared breaking industry news at a media cocktail hour to kick-off the opening reception.Next year's Conference will come to Berlin 27-29 November 2018.

Survey: Consolidation of Event Programs Leads to Future Success for Travel Managers, Event Planners

GBTA ·12 December 2017
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Travel, meeting and event program consolidation -- when organizations connect internal structures that overlap in function, but have not historically communicated with each other -- has grown 62 percent since 2015. If this trend continues at this rate, two-thirds (68 percent) of programs will be fully consolidated by 2019, according to new research released today by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with Cvent, Inc., the leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology company."Organizations can increase efficiencies, reduce redundancies and ultimately save time and money by bringing together travel, events and even marketing programs," said Patrick Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Cvent. "These programs should work hand in hand with each other, instead of operating in silos. We are seeing more travel and events programs come together at a faster rate than ever before, pointing to growing industry recognition that all of these functions support and reinforce each other - and generate better business outcomes.""Patience is key when it comes to consolidation," said Kate Vasiloff, GBTA Research Director. "Consolidated programs have enjoyed incredible successes, but the benefits may not come immediately. Travel managers and event planners with consolidated programs report greater success now than they did two years ago, making the value of consolidation well worth the time and investment it takes to implement, troubleshoot, and streamline a unified program."This research is the second edition of a survey of travel managers and event planners in North America, aiming to discover what portion of the market includes consolidated programs, what factors drove the move to consolidation, and what successes, if any, companies have experienced as a result. Nearly all respondents with consolidated programs reported great success, more so than two years ago - a sign that the full benefits and value of consolidation may not be realized immediately after implementation.Key findingsOver the past two years, the trend to collapse meetings, events, and/or travel program management has nearly doubled.Nearly all (97 percent) of those with fully consolidated programs report great success in achieving their consolidation goals, marking a 14 percent increase in reported success from two years ago.Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of meetings, events and/or travel programs are either fully consolidated or in the process of consolidating.Since 2015, the proportion of travel managers saying they are currently considering consolidation dropped by nearly one-half (46 percent), with many more adopting consolidation than not.When looking at specific consolidation goals, improving transparency (83 percent), leveraging spend/maximizing spending (79 percent) and increasing efficiencies (77 percent) remain the top drivers, with many citing improvements in these areas as significant benefits to consolidation.Challenges to consolidation are changingIn 2015, securing leadership buy-in for consolidation and using management technology were the greatest challenges for travel managers. A lot has changed in two years, however, as reported challenges to securing leadership support have dropped (47 percent in 2017 versus 56 percent in 2015). This is likely due in part to the growing use of technology, with the number of travel managers using meetings, event, and travel management technology nearly doubling over the same period (60 percent in 2017 versus 34 percent in 2015). Even though more programs are consolidating at a faster rate, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of travel managers and event planners do not have a consolidated meetings, events, or travel program, with no plans to implement one, while just one in seven (14 percent) are considering consolidation.Motivations for consolidationOver the past two years, consolidation has become increasingly attractive to organizations as they begin to recognize its benefits. Seventy-five percent of travel managers and event planners expressed interest in improving visibility and transparency of overall travel, meetings, and event costs via consolidation. Other factors for moving towards consolidation included obtaining better negotiated rates and dynamic pricing (69 percent) -- which increased 35 percent since 2015 -- and better leveraging of spend and maximized spending (66 percent).More InformationThe report, Consolidation Two Years Later: Shifts, Trends, and Status Quo, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking hereand non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing pyachnes@gbtafoundation.org.The GBTA Foundation will host a webinar in partnership with Cvent on December 14, 2017 at 11am ET to discuss the findings of the study and understand how the landscape of meetings, events, and/or travel program consolidation continues to evolve. Register today.Methodology: The GBTA Foundation conducted an online survey of 124 travel managers and event planners in North America. To qualify, participants must have been self-reportedly at least "somewhat involved" in meetings, events and travel at their organization.About Cvent, Inc.Cvent, Inc. is a leading cloud-based enterprise event management company, with tens of thousands of customers and more than 2,700 employees worldwide. Cvent offers software solutions to event planners for online event registration, venue selection, event management, mobile apps for events, email marketing, and web surveys. Cvent provides hoteliers with an integrated platform, enabling properties to increase group business demand through targeted advertising and improve conversion through proprietary demand management and business intelligence solutions. Cvent solutions optimize the entire event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage hundreds of thousands of meetings and events. For more information, please visit Cvent.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

What Happens After Something Happens?

GBTA ·11 December 2017
The coordination of response and recovery efforts is one of the most complex situations an organization can face and reiterates the critical importance of being prepared and having a plan in place. GBTA Risk Committee Chair Erin Wilk was recently joined by iJET International's George Taylor and Carnival Corporation & plc's Nina Markowitz, two industry leaders who were involved in response and evacuation efforts during the recent hurricanes.After Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria hit, destruction was evident everywhere. Homes were destroyed, airports ceased to function, communications were restricted, and finite government resources were quickly depleted. Navigating to impacted areas for relief efforts always proves to be a challenge because of the damaged infrastructure, but this time, Carnival stepped in to help. Since Carnival is a private company, they were one of the first independent vessels to enter and aid with relief efforts.Nina explained that because they were adept at handling the storm and their operations were minimally impacted, they were in a position to help others. Carnival worked with Fortune 500 companies to identify impacted employees and safely extract them from precarious situations.During the same time frame, iJET International had close to 900 client personnel affected by the natural disasters. Most organizations had developed tailored plans to mitigate risk (thanks to iJET's help), but like many things, not all plans are foolproof. Due to the magnitude and life cycle of the hurricanes, some plans were simply unsustainable. As George put it, "In some cases, plans are built to identify the problem, solve the problem and then recover" over a one- to two-day period. In this case, three hurricanes hit various regions over a nearly 35-day period, rendering some plans useless.That's why George says it's always best to prepare for the worst-case scenario and build plans suited for the long haul. In addition, he stressed the importance of rehearsing plans well ahead of time, fully training employees, and designating a leader who is authorized to take action when disaster strikes. Erin suggested working with an integrated risk provider because they have built the relationships needed to navigate the aftermath of these occurrences. As she said, "Making a phone call to a stranger isn't going to get your employees the support they need when a crisis is actually happening."When these events happen and these disasters strike, more than often, your employees are likely experiencing other things in other parts of the world related to crime, political instability, terrorism or civil unrest. But your employees probably also lost their glasses on a domestic trip or need a prescription refilled...The rest of the world continues to happen too, and our teams and our plans need to be able to withstand that. - Erin WilkGBTA members may view the webinar in full through the Hub. These sessions are just around the corner:Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience- Europe Region (Monday, November 6 - 9:00 AM ET)Total Cost of Ownership - Payment Solutions (Tuesday, November 7 - 2:00 PM ET)Sustainability: From Add-on to Imperative (Thursday, November 9 - 2:00 PM ET)Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience- Asia Pacific Region (Wednesday, November 15 - 2:00 PM ET)The full schedule of webinars is available here.

GBTA Unveils All-New Digital Platform at gbta.org

GBTA · 8 December 2017
Alexandria, VA -- The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)--the voice of the global business travel industry, today announces an all-new gbta.org. The new digital platform is easy to use, mobile-friendly, streamlined and most importantly makes searching for information simple."In today's world, there are an increasing number of factors that influence the global business travel industry," said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. "As always, but especially in today's landscape, GBTA remains the go-to source for information, trends, and news in the global business travel industry. Whether it is to connect and network with other business travel professionals from around the world, to access business travel research or reports, to discover best practices and tools to improve your career, or to stay up to date on the latest travel industry trends, the GBTA website is the hub of relevant information."The new gbta.org will improve the online user experience by providing:Access to GBTA content from any device anywhereA powerful search tool will let you access the content you want across all GBTA properties with ease and speedEasy to follow navigation that will lead you to the information you want in just one clickQuick access to tools and research that make you better at your job including RFPs, Benchmarking tools and the latest industry trendsMore visible ways for travel suppliers to feature your brand in front of travel buyers and decision makersGBTA is excited to launch this true team effort that relied heavily on the input of members to ensure the best possible user experience. With its new features, gbta.org is now an even stronger support system for our members and visitors to the site alike.

Access to Risk Management Services Still Far From Universal

GBTA ·29 November 2017
FRANKFURT -- The vast majority of business travellers feel their companies take duty of care seriously, yet access to various risk management services is far from universal, according to new research released today from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association. Roughly one-third of German, French and UK business travellers say their organisation does not provide an assistance hotline to call in an emergency or unexpected event - one of the most basic services available.The study, Travel Booking Behaviour Impacts on Safety, conducted in partnership with Concur, also revealed that about one-half of business travellers agree that not booking through company channels can impact their safety by making it more difficult for their company to locate or contact them in an emergency. Despite this, more than three in five travellers have booked outside of their company channels at least once in the past year even when they had access to an Online Book Tool (OBT).Additionally, fewer than two in five travellers say their organization has a system in place to capture their travel plans when they book directly with a supplier and many business travellers say that the only way for their organisation to know where they travelled is through their expense reports."Booking data plays a key role in duty of care - enabling virtually every risk management function that companies perform," said Monica Sanchez, director of research for the GBTA Foundation. "Many companies use booking data to send travellers alerts about their destination, to locate them in an emergency, to brief first-time or infrequent travellers about assistance resources available and to flag high-risk trips to ensure proper vetting. Missing or incomplete data can greatly hinder a travel manager or TMC from meeting their duty of care responsibilities.""During these times of global uncertainty, business leaders have a responsibility to know where employees are and keep them safe and informed," said Scott Torrey, Chief Revenue Officer, Concur. "One of the most surprising results of the study is that half of business travellers know that not booking through company channels can affect their safety but a majority still book outside. This means that companies need to put a stronger focus on safety and I firmly believe duty of care is one of the most important things a business can do for its employees."In Case of an EmergencyA small majority of business travellers say their company provides travel advisories/notifications while a similar share say it provides travel health advisories. Travellers expect their companies to use a range of information to quickly locate them during an emergency or security event including travel itineraries (53 percent), GPS information from employer-provided smartphone apps (44 percent) and expense report information (32 percent). Fewer than three in five business travellers say their company provides SMS (text message) alerts when they are on the road.At least two-thirds of travellers in each country would expect their company to proactively contact themwithin two hours of an emergency. While SMS and mobile apps can help companies reach larger numbers of travellers quickly, these are only useful when companies know where their travellers are and have up-to-date contact information.Customised Safety TrainingMore than one-third of travellers believe they would have benefited from customised safety training or resources, based on personal characteristics such as gender, sexual orientation or religion in the past year. Similarly, almost half of business travellers would have benefitted from training tailored to their destination.More InformationThe report, Travel Booking Behaviour Impacts on Safety, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing pyachnes@gbtafoundation.org.The GBTA Foundation and Concur will also share the findings and discuss how traveller booking behaviours affect what travellers expect for duty of care versus the technologies, policies and practices actually being delivered by companies and travel managers during an education session at GBTA Conference 2017 Frankfurt in partnership with VDR. The session will take place on November 30 at 9am UTC.MethodologyThe GBTA Foundation conducted an online survey of 735 business travellers in Germany (245), the United Kingdom (247) and France (243). Fielding took place from September 26 through October 3, 2017.About ConcurFor more than two decades, Concur, an SAP company, has taken companies of all sizes and stages beyond automation to a completely connected spend management solution encompassing travel, expense, invoice, compliance and risk. Concur's global expertise and industry-leading innovation keep its customers a step ahead with time-saving tools, leading-edge technology and connected data, in a dynamic ecosystem of diverse partners and applications. User-friendly and business-ready, Concur unlocks powerful insights that help businesses reduce complexity and see spending clearly, so they can manage it proactively. Learn more at concur.com or the Concur blog.

Access to Risk Management Services Still Far From Universal

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·28 November 2017
The vast majority of business travellers feel their companies take duty of care seriously, yet access to various risk management services is far from universal, according to new research released today from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association. Roughly one-third of German, French and UK business travellers say their organisation does not provide an assistance hotline to call in an emergency or unexpected event – one of the most basic services available.
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DOT Launches Forces to Flyers Initiative

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·16 November 2017
Today, the Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, announced a new initiative to support military veterans as they prepare for careers as airline pilots. Forces to Flyers is a three-year program aimed at helping our veterans receive the training they need to become certified as new commercial pilots, preserving and increasing air service to rural and small communities, and assisting veterans in finding employment.

Active Shooter Situation: A Look at How to Respond

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·14 November 2017
The recent Las Vegas attack, where at least 59 people died and more than 500 others were injured by an active gunman on the 32nd floor of a hotel, has re-ignited the thought in everyone’s mind around active shooter preparedness and the best way to respond in emergency situations. The definition of an active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.

What Happens After Something Happens?

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA· 3 November 2017
As recent events have shown us, emergency preparedness can often be the difference between life and death. Over the past few months alone, we have witnessed the utter devastation caused by multiple natural disasters in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas and California. The question that comes to mind is: what happens to your employees who are traveling for business when an incident occurs? The coordination of response and recovery efforts is one of the most complex situations an organization can face and reiterates the critical importance of being prepared and having a plan in place. GBTA Risk Committee Chair Erin Wilk was recently joined by iJET International’s George Taylor and Carnival Corporation & plc’s Nina Markowitz, two industry leaders who were involved in response and evacuation efforts during the recent hurricanes.
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Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience - Part 2

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·25 October 2017
Last week on the blog, I wrote about how managed travel programs and organizations as a whole can work to improve the business travel experience for their travelers. While common sense says this is an important thing to do, our stats also back it up. Check out this earlier post on why the business travel experience is so important. Hint: It has to do with employee retention, recruitment and results.

TMCs Support Companies in Improving Traveller Experience

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·24 October 2017
The GBTA Foundation recently released a study in partnership with Sabre Corporation on creating a frictionless travel experience. The study explored traveller friction around the globe from the business traveller perspective as well as through the lens of managed travel and human resource professionals.
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TMCs 101 - If, Why, and How to Use TMCs

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·23 October 2017
What value can a travel management company (TMC) bring to your program? How do you find a TMC that fits your programmatic and organizational needs? What’s a reasonable agreement? These are just some of the many questions that individuals in the managed travel space may have. Regardless of size or spend, bringing on a TMC can be an arduous process. To assist with the process, the GBTA Foundation recently partnered with U.S. Bank to outline the “Top 5 TMC Questions Asked and Answered.” The one-pager outlines useful tips for professionals just starting out in travel management, like how to decide when to bring on a TMC or how much savings to expect.
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The Convergence of First-Time Exhibitors

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·20 October 2017
Nearly three months ago marked the final day of our 49th annual Convention in Boston. GBTA Convention 2017 featured over 400 exhibitors, including nearly 100 first-time exhibitors, giving both buyers and suppliers the unique opportunity to establish new relationships as well as fortify existing ones.
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Wisconsin BTA Hosts Travel Talk Roundtable with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·19 October 2017
This past August, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and the Wisconsin Business Travel Association hosted our first ever, “Travel Talk Roundtable” with U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Senator Johnson’s Committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security, the principal department responsible for immigration, counterterrorism, and border security. Many of the issues before Senator Johnson’s Committee are key priorities for the business travel community. We were joined by GBTA Executive Director Mike McCormick and Vice President for Government Relations Andrew Meehan.

Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience - Part 1

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·19 October 2017
The GBTA Foundation, in partnership with Sabre Corporation, set out to explore the topic of traveler friction around the world. The recently released study looked at traveler friction from both the business traveler perspective and also from the perspective of the managed travel and human resource professional. The objective was to identify the main challenges business travelers face during their travel experience while learning what managed travel programs and organizations as a whole can do to make this experience a better one.
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World Travellers and Companies as Global Citizens

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·18 October 2017
The business sector and the way companies operate have a major impact on the future of the Earth. We can’t simply focus on minimising the impacts of our operations — instead, we must find opportunities for developing our operations, growing responsibly and benefiting society. Companies and individuals who operate in a sustainable manner can thus change the world for the better. A company may not directly be able to influence things such as national legislation, but a sustainably operating company will introduce new practices and approaches into the social environment it operates in. Likewise, an individual citizen and consumer can make choices that help steer the product offering towards better sustainability.

Tough Travels: Business Travelers Tell Us Their Top Pain Points on the Road

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·17 October 2017
Through the lifecycle of a trip, the business traveler will encounter different challenges that can impact their travel experience. Last week, the GBTA Foundation released a new study, in partnership with Sabre Corporation, identifying the most challenging aspects of business travel. While there are many similarities among business travelers around the globe, there are also a few differences. The following is an overview of each of the regions we surveyed and how they measure up when it comes to different facets of the business traveler experience.

Compensation for Travel Buyers Up 5.5 Percent Year-Over-Year

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·17 October 2017
Average compensation for U.S. travel buyers saw a 5.5 percent year-over-year increase in 2017, reaching an average of $107,000, according to new findings released today. Median salaries are also up, increasing 7.5 percent to $98,000. The GBTA Foundation’s 2017 Compensation and Benefits study delves into salaries, bonuses and benefits for U.S. travel buyers and reveals differences in compensation based on a variety of factors including experience, region, position, company travel spend, and gender.
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ACU Says ATC Reform Isn't Privatization, but That's Probably a Good Thing

The Business of Travel - The official blog of GBTA·16 October 2017
When reading the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) recent op-ed in The Hill, “’Conservative’ air traffic control bill fails to privatize industry”, I couldn’t decide if ACU’s opposition is a good thing. ACU’s support hinges on its “Seven Principles of Privatization,” essentially a guide for lawmakers to privatize for the sake of privatizing. Broad-brush principles seldom make for good policy, and as much as we would like to boil complex problems down to seven words or principles, it simply doesn’t work. But the ACU makes a good point – the 21st Century AIRR Act is not privatization. It’s a detailed prescription for a larger goal: improving our nation’s air traffic control.

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