28/01/2013 Statistics and MICE researches

Carlson Wagonlit Travel: cost control will continue to be a priority for travel mangers in 2013

This was revealed by CWT Travel Management Priorities, a report based on an international survey conducted by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, which shows that the main objective of  buyers, regardless of the size of the company, the sector in which it operates and travel spend volumes, is to contain costs.

The report is based on an international survey  of nearly 800 travel managers, and includes companies with mid-sized national programs and an annual travel spend in the range of US$2 million as well as companies with large, international travel programs with an annual travel spend of more than US$ 100 million. In any event, the purchase trend remains more or less the same: the number one priority being cost control.

"The challenging economic climate means that there is continued pressure on buyers to both reduce costs, on the one hand, and to manage travel in a more cost-effective way, on the other. Given that air and ground travel represent the majority of spend for travellers, it is not surprising that it is the number one priority for most buyers, even though it is an area that is already well advanced in terms of optimization,” commented Christophe Renard, CWT vice president marketing, communications and business intelligence.

The measures adopted by travel managers to achieve this objective vary according to geographic area: in North America there is a bid to focus on further consolidating travel management and the standardization of processes; in Asia-Pacific, more emphasis is being placed on improving travel policies and the use of preferential booking channels; in Latin America, travel buyers are concentrating on implementing advanced booking rules and strengthening car-hire policies whereas in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, policies on air and rail transport are becoming more restrictive in a bid to further cut back on costs.

In particular, travel managers with global responsibility are focusing on offering mobile technology services to travelers, implementing a social media tool or apps and providing co-workers with a customized web-based portal, while those having responsibility on a regional level are focusing on more traditional methods including communication and training on policy.  

The second part of the report highlights Business Travel Trends for  2013 and analyses the changes and challenges that buyers will find themselves facing in view of the current economic climate and the continuous evolution of the business travel market.  

In particular, travel managers will need to come to terms with rate increases, above all ancillary fees and fuel surcharges; with technological changes; with travel management 2.0 and risk management.


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