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17 June 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Safety, security and sustainability are the top concern for travel managers worldwide, ahead of procurement and technology.
This year’s AirPlus International Global Travel Management Study found that data security is the top priority for 68 per cent of respondents; while 66 per cent placed a high emphasis on both traveller safety and traveller comfort.
AirPlus asked respondents about a number of 'micro-trends' with regard to their impact on the travel industry. The micro-trends were divided into three categories: safety, security, sustainability; procurement; and technology. The study interviewed 958 travel managers in 24 countries.
In terms of procurement – made up of consolidating additional costs, benchmarking costs, tightening travel policies and global/regional consolidation of travel management – approximately half of travel managers noted these were already underway in their organisations.
Under the technology micro-trend, only 36 per cent of travel managers have established the use of apps in their organisations and just 35 per cent stated their staff members deploy mobile payment technologies.
The study also found the UK is “consistently and significantly” ahead of Western Europe in terms of maturity. “There are also four micro-trends for which the UK records the highest score in Western Europe,” the report said. “For three of these trends (CSR, benchmarking and policy), the UK is nearly 20 per cent above average – a very large margin.
“Overall, the figures tell a story that the UK is at the forefront of travel management in Western Europe – and that UK companies manage travel in a rounded and strategic way. The higher procurement figures confirm cost control is essential; but the even higher figures for the three 'Ss' prove financial savings are not the be-all and end-all for UK travel managers.”