Time to tear up 
the travel policy?

8 May 2012
A contributor to a recent study into the future of corporate travel suggested one of the major sources of stress exists because providers “are not incentivised to make life any easier for passengers”. The same criticism could levelled at some business travel processes and policies. They are in place for the company’s benefit, not the employee’s. The growth of “consumerisation” in corporate travel suggests this could be about to change. Due to the rapid development of technology and shifting demographics, travel managers may soon have to consider travellers, rather than the organisation, as their primary customer. Compliance may ultimately become less important than overall value for money, but it remains a hot topic in the public sector. The government expects its new framework agreements 
to boost it. The influence of consumer travel trends is apparent in the adoption of online booking tools. As our beginner’s guide explains, resistance is less likely to come from the switch to online – because people are used to it in their personal lives – but you will still face obstacles elsewhere and have to deal with them. The traditional approach to travel management may also be in retreat in other areas. The trend for consolidation in the airline industry is making it harder for buyers to negotiate rates, requiring new tactics to secure value. Avoiding shocks is the theme of the remaining two features. If you are not sufficiently surprised by the tactics some travel management companies use to inflate their fees, the cautionary tale offered by the meetings manager in the piece on risk management of events will send a shiver down your spine.
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