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Travel Management

 March 18, 2011
Amadeus Survey of Corporate Travel Managers In Hong Kong & Singapore

 A survey of corporate travel managers in Hong Kong and Singapore has identified cost control through improved management of travel processes and duty of care as top priorities for 2011. The survey was carried out by Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, at recent breakfast seminars hosted in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Lisa Akeroyd, Regional Director, Corporate Solutions, Amadeus, Asia Pacific said, "As companies recover from the Global Financial Crisis, executives are travelling to grow their business. According to our recent Travel Gold Rush 2020 report, there has been a shift in business spending habits. Premium travel is declining and travel for business is occurring at a lower cost. In this new economic reality, many travel managers are being more prudent to maximise their travel budgets. Making these new policies a permanent reality will rely on improved travel policy compliance, process efficiency and transparent up-to-date reporting,"

1. Managing Costs Through Process Efficiency

When asked about their main focus area for 2011, almost half of respondents surveyed (47 percent) indicated cost reduction, while more than one third (37 percent) indicated improved management of travel processes.

Just three percent of corporate travel managers surveyed indicated that reducing travel is their top priority. Travel for face-to-face meetings remains fundamentally important to business growth. The Travel Gold Rush 2020 report revealed that an estimated 28 percent of current business would be lost without in-person meetings. [1]

Akeroyd commented, "One of the best ways for corporations to reduce cost and improve process efficiency is through the automation of travel processes. Many corporate executives are surprised when we point out the number of travel processes and reporting which are still manual, but can be easily automated."

"Tools such as the Amadeus e-Travel Management self-booking tool can be integrated with existing corporate travel policy and expense management systems, to improve control and visibility. For example, if a full overview of a company's travel spending reveals significant expenditure with a particular hotel chain, this can help negotiation on future hotel rates. Take this to a global level and your bargaining power is greatly amplified," said Akeroyd.

2. Duty of Care

Ensuring the safety of corporate travellers was of paramount importance to almost all corporate travel managers surveyed (97 percent), reflecting the importance of duty of care in any corporate travel policy today.

The majority (84 percent) of those surveyed said that their organisations have systems in place to communicate with travellers in an emergency. As corporate travel increases in frequency, companies are under pressure to prioritise travel safety and security while closely managing travel spend.

The recently launched Amadeus OneClick, specifically created for Asia Pacific, provides travel managers and Travel Management Companies (TMCs) with a locally-developed corporate duty of care and reporting tool. "OneClick gives corporate travel managers oversight on an organisation's travel information and critically, it helps corporate travel managers better track, locate and ensure the welfare of their employees, especially in the event of an emergency," said Akeroyd.

3. Impact Of Airline Ancillary Services On Corporate Travel Programmes

Ancillary services are an emerging trend, and will have a long term impact on corporate travel programmes. Twenty percent of respondents in Hong Kong recognise the impact, compared to at least half of the respondents in Singapore. This reflects a higher level of awareness of the impact of ancillary services in Singapore, which can be attributed to the expansion of low cost carriers (LCCs) in Southeast Asia. AirAsia and Jetstar in particular are noticeably targeting business travellers for both short and long haul routes.

"It's interesting to note both countries' responses. Without a doubt, we see ancillary revenue generation spreading from LCCs to major carriers, with projections seeing it account for up to 35 percent of airline revenues in the future. To support corporate travel managers in preparing for this change, we are integrating ancillary services into our solutions," Akeroyd said.

The survey was conducted over with 38 regional corporate travel managers at Amadeus hosted events. All respondents were based in Hong Kong or Singapore and working for multinational companies with major operations across Asia Pacific.

[1] Travel Gold Rush 2020 Report, page 35