New study identifies the benefits and barriers to truly integrated travel
programmes – and advises on how travel buyers can achieve their objectives
London, UK – October 22, 2019: End-to-end travel management, where every step – from booking to payments, expense management and reporting – is integrated into a single seamless process, has long been a goal for corporate travel buyers. But a new report finds a large majority (72%) saying their programmes are only somewhat integrated. Published today by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in collaboration with American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), “The Journey to Integrated Travel Management” examines how evolving technology and the varying needs of organisations’ stakeholders create barriers and gateways to true programme integration.
Integration Priorities & Objectives
Online booking tools (OBTs), not surprisingly, are the most commonly integrated element of respondents’ programmes (92%), followed by corporate cards (74%) and expense management platforms (60%). In terms of drivers of integration, travel managers rank visibility and control of expenses (70%), improved user experience (65%) and duty of care (58%) as their top three priorities.
Barriers & Resistance
Almost a quarter (22%) of travel managers have no further plans to integrate. Respondents identify a number of obstacles to progress, including lack of resources (25%) and a perceived lack of internal and stakeholder support (30%). However, it is business travellers that pose the biggest challenge to integration, with 37% of respondents reporting traveller adoption and unwillingness to change as their top barrier. Conversely, travellers are also one of the main drivers for end-to-end integration, cited by more than a third (34%) of respondents.
“The corporate travel manager’s core mission is to set up business travellers for success – and integration efforts are key to creating these conditions,” said Leigh Bochicchio, executive director, ACTE. “Having to navigate a constellation of tools and technology to plan a trip can hinder productivity for travellers. End-to-end travel programmes solve for this issue, and at the end of the day, everyone wins: the traveller, the travel manager and the organisation as a whole.”
Internal stakeholders in procurement (53%) and finance (45%) are top drivers of change, with business travellers in third place. Knowing cost-savings and compliance are key objectives for integration, it’s important for travel buyers to secure buy-in from these stakeholder groups.
The complexity of end-to-end integration demands not only internal advocacy but support from all partners in the travel workflow. Travel managers say that technology platform providers (62%), travel management companies (TMCs) (59%), payment providers (39%) and suppliers (33%) are instrumental in helping them achieve integration.
The report offers advice on change management and getting the support and buy-in from the stakeholders and partners needed to implement more integrated travel programmes.
Bruno Murray, Vice President at American Express Global Business Travel, said: “With advances in technology and services, a truly integrated travel and expense management ecosystem is achievable, delivering a better user experience, and efficiencies and control to buyers and their organisations. Barriers to integration can be overcome with the right technologies and change management expertise – and I encourage all travel buyers to challenge TMCs to deliver on this.”
Download the full report here.
About The Journey to Integrated Travel Management
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) polled 276 travel buyers around the world from 04-28 June, 2019 for The Journey to Integrated Travel Management. The study asked travel buyers about their priorities, objectives, barriers and gateways to end-to-end programme integration. The research was carried out with support from American Express Global Business Travel. For more information, visit this link or contact [email protected].
About the Association of Corporate Travel Executives
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has a 30+ year reputation for leading the way corporate travel is conducted. As a global association comprised of executive-level members in more than 100 countries, ACTE pioneers educational and technological advances that make business travel productive, cost-effective and straightforward. ACTE advocacy and initiatives continue to support impactful changes in safety and security, privacy, duty of care and compliance along with traveller productivity that supports global commerce. Learn more at www.acte.org.
About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and their employees prosper by making sure travellers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of 18,000 travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organize meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.
Learn more at amexglobalbusinesstravel.com