Corporate Travel Trends
Andy Jack, general manager of FCm Travel Solutions New Zealand, says that one of the biggest corporate travel trends for 2014 is catering for the technology savvy business traveller.
We are finding that business travellers are increasingly focused on technology and want to be up-to-date with the latest information, wherever you are in the world. The appetite from travellers for smart device apps is growing rapidly - it’s all about enabling you while you’re travelling so you have all of the information that you need.
There are some great local apps with local carriers to keep you up to date with your travel plans, for example, the Air New Zealand app. These apps are great at consolidating your flight details so your travel information is stored in one place. The only limitation to be aware of is that they only account for tickets that are booked with that particular airline.
If your company partners with a Travel Management Company (TMC), they will likely have an app that shows all of your trip details over multiple carriers, local travel advice, alert functions to advise you about delays and alternative options if your travel plans are disrupted – a great way to be up to date while you’re travelling.
In addition to this, companies that have a large number of employees travelling are putting a strong focus on both return on investment for the company and its duty of care policy.
Travel is often the third biggest cost for a business and if a company is facing difficult times, this is usually the first cost that can be controlled. Companies are relying heavily on detailed reporting and the management of travel policies and purchasing, in order to drive savings for their business.
We had one client recently who reduced the cost of their domestic travel by 23 percent within six months and achieved a 16 percent reduction in the average booking cost in the last quarter. This was achieved by putting a firm travel policy in place and reviewing the types of airfares and airline carriers that they were purchasing and making sure that going forward, they were booking the best fares to suit their business.
A growing number of businesses are also focusing on corporate responsibility. Whether you operate domestically or internationally, there is a definite need for support and visibility for your employees who travel. This also includes policy management and the policies that a company has in place for travelling employees.
This can be anything from flying economy, premium economy or business class, depending on the length of the flight and the amount of rest time put in place between arrival and business meetings.
For example, an employee shouldn’t be expected to do a 12 hour long-haul flight in economy class, and then attend an important meeting as soon as they arrive. If that’s the case, they should be seated in a higher class or have a rest period upon arrival.
These policies are unique to the company and vital to the relationship between an employer and employee. Essentially it’s a trade-off that a company has to make when determining what it is, you’re trying to achieve when your employees travel for business.