Study says corporate travel policies effective as-is

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Study says corporate travel policies effective as-is

In today's challenging financial climate, many companies are examining the ways in which their executives travel. Everything from the price of a rental vehicle to the cost of accommodations is subject to intense scrutiny in an attempt to save precious dollars on business travel. While many budget-conscious travel management professionals are turning to serviced apartments and corporate housing as an alternative to lavish suites in chain hotels, most corporate travel managers feel their existing policies are working adequately.

If it isn't broken...
Business Travel News reports that, according to the results of a recent study conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and AirPlus, most travel managers feel existing policies are effective and will continue to be so for at least the next two years. Approximately 350 ACTE members were polled as part of the survey. Contrary to predictions within the business travel sector, the growing influence of technology and social media will actually cause many travel managers to implement additional restrictions on where executives can stay and who they fly with.

"It has been suggested that in the future, the only policy rule will be that spend per trip must be within a set budget," reads the report, as quoted by the news source. "While 43 percent believe the proposal would push up overall costs, 34 percent think it would make no difference, while 23 percent expect overall costs would fall."

Based on the results of the ACTE survey, it would seem that executives who wish to stay in corporate apartments while traveling will have to seek the permission of their travel managers before booking, rather than making their own arrangements.

A cautious outlook
The measures outlined by the ACTE report are likely to become increasingly common in the business travel sector moving into 2013. According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), earlier forecasts for spending in the sector may not be as accurate as previously thought.

Paul Tilstone, managing director of the GBTA's European branch, recently said that initial projections for growth in business travel spending would be revised based on lingering economic uncertainty across the continent. Spain, Italy and France are expected to reduce overall spending on business travel in 2013, with drops of 7.8, 6.9 and 2.2 percent predicted respectively.

No matter that the future holds for the executive travel sector, the superior service and cost-effectiveness of corporate suites and managed properties could be seen as a tempting investment for frugal travel management professionals in the year ahead.