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Travel Management

 January 12, 2009
Australian Business Travel In The Current Economic Climate

 In an online survey conducted by Voyager Travel various questions were asked concerning the economic climate and how it is affecting Australian businesses with their travel costs and related budgets.

When asked if their company had reviewed their travel budget for the next 6 months over 71% said they had. Of those 61% are making cuts of up to 25% in spend whilst 36% expected spend to remain inline
with their budget.

Comments given by companies who expected spend to remain the same as budgeted included;

"Travel needs remain constant with our long term projects" and "Maintaining travel is of key importance to our growth"

With regard to booking practices 67% of respondents said they would be aggressively moving toward more restrictive airfare types for domestic travel. For international travel this figure was slightly less at
54% however comments were made that a number of the companies were 'evaluating' moving from Business class to Premium economy or economy class.

Interestingly over 61% said they were not looking at using lower standard hotels for domestic travel and 73% of respondents said their international hotel program would remain the same. It appears that the standard of accommodation is important to travellers and their employers. Cost saving, especially on International hotels appears not to be a priority.

Group travel looks to be an area where companies are looking to make savings. Over 62% of respondents expect their group spend to reduce.

With business travel spend looking to decrease for a significant number of companies they were asked what their key drivers were that they will be looking at to ensure client relationship, new business and projects are successful. The 5 top areas are listed below (respondents could choose more than one):

- Teleconferencing 72.5%
- Video Conferencing 60%
- Use of low cost carriers 55%.
- Expense Management solution 37.5%
- Exception reporting 30%

Summary

As expected companies are looking at controlling expense and their 'travel' budget is an easy area to target. Using technology already available in the market, e.g. teleconferencing, a significant number of trips can be cut or reduced.

Where there is still a need to meet face-to-face the move to more restrictive airfares and using a travel management company with an online booking solution to reduce process costs, enforce policy and
offer all available low cost flights & hotels are key elements.

Comments made by participating companies include; "Tighter control and more leverage of our spend"
"Better planning of travel to take advantage of advance purchase fares and hotels"

www.voyagertravel.com.au