Corporate travel

A recent survey of corporate travellers in the US by Travelport has revealed standard corporate travel practices might be falling short of travellers’ expectations concerning convenience and customisable experiences, no matter the market, and is why mobile solutions are crucial to improving life on the road.

The majority of corporates who participated in Travelport’s Business Traveller & Travel Policy 2018 survey said they would be willing to spend their own money to pay for non-travel policy conveniences, such as upgraded hotels, faster hotel Wi-Fi and airline seat upgrades.

Travelport said travellers were “deeply divided” as to whether companies should be allowed to use GPS tracking solutions to monitor their movements and location while on business trips (55 per cent agreed, while 45 per cent did not approve the idea).

Meanwhile, 70 per cent of respondents were willing to share personal data in return for personalised ads “that are relevant to them when booking business travel online”.

The results showed convenience is the motivating factor when choosing an airline for business travel. “Time is money,” said Travelport. “Forty-eight per cent of respondents prioritised factors like flight departure and arrival times, as well as direct flights, while only 12 per cent cited company cost-savings and keeping a work/life balance.”

However, booking flexibility could also improve. Travelport revealed: “While almost 100 per cent of travellers comply with their company’s travel policies, more than 80 per cent agree they would like to work for an organisation that allows them to book travel directly and which allows automated, digital expense reporting.”

Corporate budgets in the US have increased this year (57 per cent said their budgets were more substantial this year compared to 2017) and many respondents said they regard travel as a perk. 40 per cent agreed they would like to work for an organisation that asks them to travel frequently and almost 90 per cent are allowed to keep for themselves loyalty points accrued during business travel.

While continental and intra-African travel is up in many major African markets this year, based on stats by the UN World Tourism Organisation (the UN estimates approximately four out of every 10 international tourists in Africa are from the continent) Travelport has encouraged TMCs to adopt and leverage mobile tools that could also enhance the Afri-can corporate customer experience.

“Convenience and a familiar consumer experience are important to business travellers when planning and managing their journeys. That’s why our mobile solutions… along with our agency tools, are so relevant to the needs of today’s corporate travel managers and their clients,” remarked Erika Moore, Travelport’s Vice President and General Manager of Sales in the US.