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Travel Management

 October 31, 2008
American Express Announces Innovations At China Business Travel Forum

 American Express Business Travel has announced a number of innovations for its Chinese customers during the 4th annual China Business Travel Forum, held in Shanghai from 28 - 29 October 2008.

In a first for Chinese corporations, customers of American Express Business Travel will receive exclusive access to pre-trip data. This means that for the first time travel managers and procurement professionals can view booked and scheduled travel before it actually takes place which will help companies better enforce travel policy compliance and act more proactively to manage travel budgets. Furthermore, China Ticket TRAX has been launched to ensure companies don't lose money on unused tickets. Globally, American Express Business Travel has identified US$85 million for clients by identifying unused e-tickets that would otherwise have been lost to the airlines.

In addition, American Express Business Travel will be launching an enhanced version of Trackpoint in China and across the entire Asia Pacific region. Trackpoint 2 helps corporations quickly and easily locate their travellers that could potentially be impacted by an unexpected event or crisis, such as severe weather or terrorist acts, wherever they may be in the world. Travel managers, risk managers and security personnel alike can use this internet application and quickly drill down to the country, state and city level to view an individual traveller's itinerary and take the necessary actions to ensure their safety and security.

Speaking at the China Business Travel Forum in Shanghai, Charles Petruccelli, President, Global Travel Services, American Express said, "We welcome the opportunity to introduce these important innovations into China which is become increasingly sophisticated in the way it views travel management. American Express is committed to its investment in China and is proud of its leadership position in this market. In today's volatile environment it is absolutely critical for us to give our customers the tools they need to not only keep their budgets in check but to also ensure the safety and security of their travelling employees."

By way of example, within just two hours of the ill-fated Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737-400 crashing in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 7 March 2007, the employers of the travellers whose bookings had been made through American Express Business Travel had been given precise details regarding their employees' safety and whereabouts thanks to the Trackpoint tool.

"In times of crisis it's important that our clients know that we care about them. It's our responsibility to source accurate information about their travellers as fast as we can and let people know. It's simply part of our job," commented Mr. Petruccelli.

"Our customers in China realize that American Express Business Travel can deliver more than just an air ticket to their business. It is important to manage the entire travel process right from the booking process, during the trip and post trip reconciliation. The introduction of Pre travel data is really the last piece of the puzzle for Chinese companies to start working with and I'm thrilled we have been able to deliver this to our customers."

In a further sign of the progression of travel management in China and across Asia Pacific, American Express Business Travel will also be launching its ECO tool for customers. This tool allows an organization to measure the carbon emissions generated as a result of their travel program thereby helping them to meet their corporate social responsibility goals.

"The issue of carbon emissions and environmentally responsible business is not going away. If an organization has not yet evaluated the impact of its business travel on the environment, it is opening itself up to risk from the impact of negative perceptions. Shareholders and stakeholders no longer measure a company's performance by the bottom line alone, but by the way that bottom line was achieved. Every business has a responsibility to understand the consequences of their business travel and to create a pragmatic travel program that allows business and financial objectives to be achieved, while minimizing environmental impacts," concluded Mr. Petruccelli.