The vast majority of corporate travel managers expect travel volumes to increase in the coming years, driven by new IT solutions, a new study has found.
A joint white paper by RADIUS and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), released this week at the ACTE Global Conference in Rome, found that 55% of the travel managers expect that there will be more corporate travel in 2017 than in 2012, with 71% saying they believe that travel spend will increase.
This increase however, is unlikely to be driven by any greater resources. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they will have the same in-house travel management resources as are available today, while 14% believe they will have even less. Only 27% said they will have more resource available in five years’ time.
Instead, the growth is expected to be driven by the introduction of new technology. Forty-three percent of travel buyers surveyed said IT will be more important to travel management in 2017 than today, with IT ranking as the most important company function. Sixty-five percent said they believe end-to-end solutions will increase in importance, followed by 60% each for data consolidation and social media and mobile accessibility. Fifty-one percent said travel technology companies will be more important to travel management in 2017.
“RADIUS is committed to understanding the evolving needs of travel managers in order to be a more effective partner,” said Chris McAndrews, Senior Vice President Marketing and Business Development for RADIUS. “This whitepaper is a rich source of intelligence regarding where travel management is heading.”
In an open-ended response to a question about the most fundamental change taking place in corporate travel during the next five years, many buyers cited the need to meet efficiency and traveller security targets while accommodating increased traveller demands for independence and flexibility.
Travel buyers also indicated that travel management companies will continue to grow as more travel managers seek a “one-stop shop” for solutions.