Some interesting nuggets in the latest corporate travel study from Airplus International with "new technologies" (social media, mobile payments and apps) not yet seen as playing a major role.
This is the second part of the study (first here), with global travel managers asked to classify 14 micro-trends according to their impact on the corporate travel landscape:
- Are they already established within the business
- Will they become relevant
- They will not become relevant.
The trends are split into three categories: safety, security and sustainability, procurement and technology and for example, only 36% of travel managers say mobile apps are established in their companies and 35% say travellers use mobile payment systems.
However, clearly travel managers are thinking of the bigger picture with 68% viewing data security already having an impact with a further 20% saying it will become increasingly relevant. In part one of the study, released in April, only 18% said the data era would not impact corporate travel management.
The study says businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about the data their travellers carry with them as well as the issues around access to the data by third party service providers.
After data security, traveller safety and comfort emerged as the next most established trend by 66%.
A further interesting element is that although corporate travel booking tools have been around for some time, they are not much more established than the three digital trends mentioned above.
Only 43% say they use a corporate booking tool although this varies according to the travel spend with only 39% of low spenders using a booking tool, 43% of medium spenders and rising to 59% for the high spenders.
The report attributes this partly to smaller companies allowing travellers to book their own trips using consumer sites but points out the lack of data capture as an issue.
This feeds into ongoing developments to make corporate travel systems more consumer-like in look and feel from a number of corporate travel players, including KDS and Expedia-owned Egencia.
When it comes to virtual meetings, 43% say replacing some travel with virtual alternatives is already established and a further 30% say it will become relevant.
The question on what trends would become relevant that are not yet viewed as established produced the following results:
- 35% said travel management mobile apps (itinerary sharing, expense reporting etc.)
- 31% mobile payment
- 30% less travel because of virtual alternatives
- 28% use of social media by travellers
- 28% global/regional consolidation of travel programs
Finally, on social media, 39% of travel managers say it is already established and the exchanging of views has become a standard part of the trip process.
The Airplus International Global Travel Management Survey, can be downloaded here, was conducted between September and November last year with the participation of 958 managers in 24 countries.
NB: Business travel image via Shutterstock.