Corporate travel managers’ responsibilities are shifting from managing people and policies to overseeing business travel management technology, according to a Global Business Travel Association and SAP Concur survey of 226 travel managers and buyers, conducted from July 1 to July 8.
Online booking tools, in particular, are gaining steady ground. Among respondents, 72 percent expect bookings made through their OBTs to increase in the next three years, while only 4 percent believe OBT use will decrease. About one-third of travel managers expect direct hotel and air bookings to decrease over the next three years, while only one-fifth expect such bookings to increase.
Meanwhile, travel managers are incorporating more content and technology into their programs. NDC, in particular, is on the rise. NDC bookings have occurred in 12 percent of managed travel programs, and 46 percent of travel managers expect them to occur within the next year, the study found.
Thirty-four percent of respondents incorporate technologies like Concur TripLink and Traxo to capture supplier direct bookings, and another 37 percent plan to do so within the next year.
The survey also offered insight into travel managers’ role in navigating fees, such as increased airline fees for bookings made via travel management companies and global distribution systems. Fifty-one percent will attempt to negotiate away such fees, while 30 percent will seek to implement alternative suppliers. Only 12 percent are up for paying the additional fees.
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