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Press release from PR Newswire

Corporate Travel Policies in Europe Are Revealed and Examined in A New Study by GBTA and Egencia

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Corporate Travel Policies in Europe Are Revealed and Examined in A New Study by GBTA and Egencia09:00 EDT Thursday, September 22, 2011European Travel Managers Allow More Premium Air Travel to Regions outside of EMEA More Buyers in Europe are Currently Tracking Ancillary Fees Than North American Buyers PARIS, LONDON, MUNICH, BRUSSELS, AMSTERDAM, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The GBTA Foundation, the research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, and Egencia®, the corporate travel arm of Expedia, Inc., today released results from its second annual Corporate Travel Policy study in Europe, exploring trends and effectiveness in policies. Additionally, key findings from the study on European buyer perspectives can also be compared and contrasted with the North America 'Corporate Travel Policy: Benchmarking and Insight' released on August 17, 2011. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110609/DC16833LOGO)"It is crucial that all companies look inward at their policies to ensure they achieve the goals they are after. With every traveller on the road there is an optimal point where they are able to do their business effectively while not breaking the corporate bank and studies like this allow us to find that point," said Paul Tilstone, managing director, GBTA Europe. "This study shows us that policies are remaining consistent despite the increase in travel spend ? the importance and focus on travel policies is a good thing and it appears it's here to stay."Based on best practices and insights from 330 European travel buyers, the study takes a comprehensive look at policy mandates versus guidelines, consolidation, booking procedures, class of service, advance purchases, pre-trip approval, groups/meetings and emergencies, and ancillary fees among other issues ? all of which comprise variables that make travel difficult to standardise."Negotiating discounts with airlines and other travel suppliers such as hotels is a key travel management objective," said Christophe Pingard, Senior Vice President Egencia EMEA & APAC. "Our study reveals that there is an increase in companies who do not have a preferred hotel programme to 20% in 2011 vs. 5% in 2010, signalling growing saving opportunities in this area. For instance, Egencia consulting teams help clients to implement hotel programs that bring flexibility and control of the costs, by analysing hotel data and consumption per city, then negotiating contracts with hotels."Ancillary FeesThe survey collected information on if and how companies are tracking ancillary fees, finding that 63% of European buyers are tracking ancillary fees (vs. 21% of North American buyers).  Of the 37% of travel buyers in Europe that do not currently track ancillary fees, 25% plan to track them within the next twelve months.Travel managers in Europe said that they are most likely to reimburse travellers for the following ancillary fees for air and hotel: Air: The top amenities travel buyers will reimburse are for baggage fees (73%), itinerary changes (51%), in-flight meals (30%) and preferred seating (21%).Hotel: The top amenities travel buyers will reimburse are for parking (76%), Internet access (70%), airport shuttle (51%) and for late check-out (25%). Enforcing Travel PolicyFindings indicate European organisations do review their travel policies regularly, with 87% of managers reporting they have reviewed their policy within the last two years. In addition, the study indicates European companies have become less tolerant of policy violations in 2011 with possible non-reimbursement climbing to 21% compared to a reported 14% in 2010 and companies that have no consequences for violations dropping to 13% from 20% in the previous year.Premium TravelThe percentage of Travel Managers allowing premium class air travel increased to every region outside Europe in 2011 compared to 2010: 46% allow premium air travel to North America vs. 34% in 2010; to Asia-Pacific 38% vs. 28% in 2010 allow premium air travel; to India, Middle East, Africa 50% vs. 38% in 2010 allow premium air travel.Preferred VendorsNegotiating discounts with airlines and other travel suppliers is a key travel management objective.  Travel Managers that have negotiated discounts with airlines and/or other suppliers are typically based on volume of travellers.A quarter (24%) of companies requires travellers to accept flights on preferred airlines "whenever they are available." One-in-ten (10%) never require travellers to use preferred airlines. When it comes to the use of preferred hotel vendors, there is an increase in companies who do not have a preferred hotel programme to 20% in 2011 vs. 5% in 2010, signalling an easing of policy in this area. 72% of travel policies limit the amount employees can spend per night on hotels, and 22% set a maximum class/tier of hotels that can be booked.Lowest Logical Fares (LLF)The study also explores policy standards around LLFs, which represents the lowest fare that is consistent with a corporation's travel policy. Booking Windows: 56% of 2011 survey respondents include windows in their policy requiring travellers to consider lower fare alternatives before or after their originally preferred departure time.Connections: 35% of respondents require travellers to accept connections when savings are available and connections do not extend travel time unreasonably.Alternate Airports: 29% of respondents encourage the use of alternate airports if they are reasonably close to actual destinations.  Car Rental and Rail PoliciesSixty percent of travel policies require travellers to book with preferred car rental vendors, up from 57% last year.  Thirty-nine percent of travel managers require travellers to book Intermediate (B/C) class vehicles compared to 33% that mandate hiring compact (A/B) vehicles.  For rail, eighty-seven percent of European companies mandate the class of service travellers are required to book on trains.  Of those that do, 33% authorise first class, down from 42% in 2010, and 56% require travel in second class, compared to 64% last year. The complete Corporate Travel Policy Benchmarking and Insight 2011 European study is available through https://www.egencia.co.uk/public/uk/en/promotion/landing-travel-policy/?Campaign_ID=701200000004GQE and http://www.gbta.org/Lists/Resource%20Library/Forms/Foundation_Research_and_Surveys.aspx, and was revealed at GBTA Europe Annual Conference in Amsterdam. About the GBTA Foundation The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world's premier business travel and corporate meetings organization. Collectively, GBTA's 5,000-plus members manage over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its network of 17,000 business and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers, with networking events, news, education & professional development, research, and advocacy. The foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA's members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see gbta.org and www.gbtafoundation.org About Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. CompanyEgencia is the fifth largest travel management company in the world. As part of Expedia, Inc., (NASDAQ: EXPE), the world's largest travel marketplace, Egencia helps businesses get ahead by offering the only truly integrated corporate travel service. Egencia's industry expertise helps drive results that matter, delivering meaningful advancements that have a real impact. By combining a powerful offline and online service, Egencia delivers a complete corporate travel offering supported by global market expertise and a best-in-class technology platform.For more information, go to www.egencia.com.Egencia and the Egencia logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2011 Egencia, LLC.  All rights reserved. CST # 2083922-50SOURCE Global Business Travel AssociationFor further information: Meghan Henning, +1-703-236-1133, mhenning@gbta.org; Jamie Colunga, +1-212-446-1877, jcolunga@sloanepr.com; or Raphaelle Boissicat, +33 6 12 56 32 26, r.boissicat@egencia.com