Showing that it’s not just the largest companies that rely on business travel to move their organizations forward, in a recent survey conducted by The BTN Group and American Express Global Business Travel, nearly two-thirds of middle market respondents said that business travel spend increased in 2016 from 2015 levels. Additionally, 65% were expecting further business travel growth in 2017.
How do they plan to manage their growing programs? By-and-large, survey respondents said that they would rely on the help of a travel management company (TMC) to drive program performance, with 90% of those surveyed saying their organizations relied on a TMC to support their travel programs. Describing their programs:
- 68% said that it is managed with a designated TMC, policies, and preferred suppliers
- 15% said it is strongly managed with mandated use of preferred TMCs and suppliers
- 11% said it is lightly managed with policies and preferred suppliers but without a designated TMC
- 6% said their program is traveler-directed with a request to use their best judgment.
According to survey data, the widespread use of TMCs to help middle market businesses navigate business travel growth and more is no recent development, either. 60% said they had used a TMC for more than five years. Only a handful of middle market respondents cited TMC usage of one year or less.
A majority of respondents said that they enlist the help of travel management companies to increase their control over business travel spend and improve service to travelers before, during and
after a trip. Others cited the ability to gain access to travel spend data, reporting and insights.
The full report, Middle Market Travel Programs: Value, Trends, Challenges, is available to download for free. Inside you’ll find much more in-depth, actionable data on the ways that managed travel can be harnessed to strengthen your travel program and make the most of continued business travel growth.