European travel buyers lack mandatory business travel policies

22 December 2010
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22 December 2010 | Angeline Albert

Nearly half of European travel buyers lack a mandatory business travel policy or have no written guidelines for employees.

A survey of 383 travel buyers by Egencia, partnering with the National Business Travel Association, showed 10 per cent of respondents do not have written travel policies, and a further 39 per cent use their written policy as a guideline for staff, rather than an enforceable rule. Only 51 per cent said their travel policy is mandatory.

Buyers who report directly to executive management were less likely to describe travel policies as mandates than finance, HR or purchasing managers.

The study found that policies are more often viewed as mandatory at financial services organisations and technology companies, rather than at professional services or manufacturing firms.

A higher percentage of German buyers (19 per cent) reported having no written travel policy than respondents from France (8 per cent) or the UK (8 per cent).

The report said: “In the interviews conducted with travel managers before the survey was released, several expressed concerns that travel policies are not enforced as consistently or as rigorously as other corporate rules and policies. Their concerns were borne out by the survey results.

“These attitudes about the seriousness of travel policy unfortunately correspond to relatively lax enforcement,” the report said.

The corporate travel report found that 60 per cent of respondents said there were only limited consequences for policy non-compliance. If there were any punitive measures, reprimands from the line manager were the most common consequence. A fifth said there were no consequences from buying outside policy.

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