A Travel Program Fit for the Future

The role of the travel manager is evolving, and as demands keep piling on – including keeping pace with the change of traveler expectations, technology, mandates from your organization to cut costs and more – you’re expected to keep up.

It’s impossible to do it all alone. Travel managers need the tools, services and experts to make their lives easier and stay updated with the latest trends. That’s why keeping your travel program fit requires a team of people all working toward the same goal.

If you plan on attending GBTA Convention 2019, use the Travel Program Health Checklist as a starting point. This checklist was created to help you measure the strength of your program before GBTA Convention 2019 arrives. It will guide you through some of the most important areas of your travel program like travel policy, programs savings, technology and innovation, and traveler experience.

By taking an in-depth look at these key categories, you’ll be able to see where there is a need to focus your energy at GBTA and beyond.

Travel Policy

A travel policy can be a massive document that includes all the details of a corporate travel program. If it’s not updated regularly, an organization can miss a lot of opportunities to find savings and optimize their program.

Start by taking a look at what’s going on in the industry and make sure you are aligning your policy with those trends to stay competitive. A few key considerations when making updates to guarantee policy fitness:

  • Industry Trends
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Traveler Experience
  • Duty of Care
  • Usability

Program Savings

Identifying savings in a travel management program can be found in many places if you know where to look. It starts with the traditional categories that we’re all familiar with – air, hotel and ground. But when you start to dig, you and your travel management partner can uncover significant savings in non-traditional categories you didn’t realize existed:

  • Evaluate Your Travel Technology Stack
  • Go Beyond the Booking
  • Consider Relationship & Supplier Management

Technology & Innovation

Over the past few years, the travel industry has been inundated with technology and service options targeting niche markets. This flood of new solutions makes it challenging for travel managers to identify the partners that work best for them. Consider the experiences that you’d like to improve and build a technology stack that holistically supports each experience. A few experiences critical to a travel program include:

  • Traveler Experience
  • Travel Manger Experience
  • Savings Experience

Interested in learning more about technology to elevate your travel program? Read the Direct Travel Navigator Blog: Driving Travel Policy Compliance with Technology

How to drive travel policy compliance with technology

Traveler Experience

With the rise of technology and consumer travel solutions, business traveler expectations continue to change. They want to receive the same travel experience as when they are taking a personal vacation. That’s why corporate travel programs need to take into consideration the needs and preferences of the traveler to make the program fit for the future.  It’s recommended to organize your technology in the following group to optimize the full travel experience for your travelers.

  • Pre-Trip
  • During-Trip
  • Post-Trip

As we round the mid-year, it’s a great time to measure the strength of your travel program. It’s a pivotal moment in the year to evaluate what’s going well and what isn’t.  Take time to understand where you can focus your energy for the remainder of the year to improve in various travel categories.  

To help, Direct Travel put together the Travel Program Health Checklist for you.

Download Checklist


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