How is economic uncertainty impacting corporate travel
Rising costs, supply chain issues, staff shortages, and global economic instability are heavily impacting the travel industry. Around the world, the average cost of travel will continue to rise in the remaining months of 2022 and throughout 2023. However, cutting back on your travel budget isn’t always an option. Your ability to establish a connected workforce, maintain the loyalty of customers, and increase opportunities to connect with potential prospects depends on a thriving corporate travel program.
Check out the infographic below and learn how to mitigate high travel costs.
As you navigate the uncertainty of corporate travel there are tools available to reduce the chaos and cost. Check out a deeper dive on four ways to mitigate the high cost of travel.
Centralize your booking
Travel is one of the most difficult of all expense categories to budget. It’s especially difficult to monitor airfare, rental cars, and accommodation costs if you don’t have visibility of how your employees book travel. Centralizing your travel program improves all areas of business – including risk management, trip cost control, and the ability to stay nimble during changing times.
Partnering with a travel management company (TMC) makes it easy to configure travel policy and approval workflows as they evolve. Defining transparent processes and incorporating travel automation tools will reduce manual steps. No more emailing itineraries, finding receipts, and emailing back and forth for approval. You can track travel expenses while gaining insights on preferred suppliers and savings opportunities
Consolidate your spend
Take advantage of negotiated rates! TMCs provide value by offering you exclusive negotiated rates and additional amenities on airfare, hotels, trains, and car rentals. TMCs increase your buying power and negotiate on your company’s behalf year after year.
With a corporate booking tool you can leverage bigger travel volumes and spending to negotiate lower rates with suppliers to reduce transportation costs.
Act on your data
When you book travel through one centralized platform, you can see the full impact of your travel management program. But of course, it isn’t just about having access to data - it’s about the quality of data and what you do with it.
Data and associated reporting allow you to track and analyze employee booking behavior, identify opportunities to improve compliance, and where savings can increase. Reporting at the touch of a button lets you see the adoption rate of your travel management company’s technology. There is also the added benefit of being able to find and support your travelers on the road quickly in an emergency. You can enjoy cost savings while simultaneously increasing traveler well-being.
Some corporate travel platforms apply machine learning technology to automatically track price variations and rebook tickets without any action from the business traveler or arranger. When the tool identifies a lower rate within an average of the first seven days of booking, it automatically rebooks the reservation with the same amenities and ticket class. This is especially useful for higher cost travel destinations like hotel rooms in New York City and round-trip plane tickets for international trips.
Tracking cancellations with technology is another perk. In a recent Egencia survey, nearly three quarters (74%) of business travelers are more likely to use digital tools like apps and virtual agents to get disrupted trips back on track since the pandemic. Gaining access to real-time updates was selected as the greatest benefit of using digital tools to manage changes to travel plans by 43% of all respondents.
Save with built-in policy guidance.
Low policy compliance is one of the biggest factors behind the high cost of corporate travel. Built-in policy guidance is critical for cost savings. Visual flags alert both travelers and travel arrangers when a booking is made that is above the cost limit for that specific traveler. You can achieve increased flexibility by setting different types of policies and cost limits for different types of travelers.
Navigating corporate travel is not all doom and gloom.
Alongside these challenges are emerging new trends and ways of adapting. Using the data and research available, industry leaders are seizing opportunities to reshape corporate travel.