Business travel continues to rebound in the post-pandemic era, and a majority of industry members believe that global travel is mostly or fully recovered. With that optimism came a “resetting” mindset within the travel industry this year. Organizations took a step back to analyze their travel programs, and in many cases that involved returning to the basics. Topics that focused on fundamentals like cost saving measures, policy tools, and procurement strategies were highly researched and sought after. As we collectively prepare for the new year, here are the top takeaways from our most popular articles in 2023:
Procurement Strategies to Try with Your Corporate Travel Program
After facing significant limitations with contract negotiations in the past few years, 2023 saw travel managers leveraging procurement in more targeted ways. Teams responsible for selecting travel-related services recalibrated their approaches to manage their travel programs more efficiently. Procurement strategies that prioritized smart sourcing were found to be the most effective, such as negotiating multi-year contracts with travel suppliers to optimize spend. Contract management continued to evolve this year as well, with emphasis put on supplier contract exclusions and business advancement plans. To get the most out of supplier relationships in the new year and beyond, businesses should review and evaluate their policy with a trusted travel partner.
How to Prevent Flight Cancelations from Disrupting Your Business Travel
Organizations were eager to avoid the turbulence that comes with flight cancelations, especially as airlines changed their schedules and business models this year. Wide-scale cancelation events demonstrated the importance of preparing corporate travel programs for the unexpected, and partnering with a TMC to help build a stronger policy. The right travel management partner can help track unused tickets, for instance, and automatically apply existing credits to future travel. Instead of taking a reactive approach after a flight disruption has already affected your travel, avoid the frustrations altogether by partnering with a travel management company that understands your company’s unique goals.
4 Ways to Maximize Your Travel Program with an Online Booking Tool
2023 further showed how online booking tools can be utilized to support duty of care for business travelers. The best OBT solution for your business should have a user-friendly interface that matches the size and scope of your organization, while adhering to individual and group travel needs. The primary ways an online booking tool can improve travel programs are through compliance support, prioritizing duty of care, reducing spend, and saving time. A TMC can help maximize these OBT benefits, and as an Elite Partner of SAP Concur, the Direct Travel team is uniquely positioned to help configure your online booking tool in a way that improves your travel policy.
Top Business Travel Tips for Staying Productive on the Road
With business travel returning to pre-pandemic levels, travelers this year were eager for ways to enhance their efficiency and balance work objectives while on the road. Frequent travelers found it useful to book direct flights to eliminate the connection factor, and prioritize early morning flights for the best chance at avoiding delays. Once at the destination, establishing and sticking to a routine for sleep, nutrition, and exercise proved very effective. Businesses also found it beneficial to have their employees join loyalty and trusted traveler programs such as TSA PreCheck as an additional way of helping them feel more efficient and productive on the road. To build on these benefits even further, a travel management company is an excellent resource to help you care for your travelers.
What the Rise of the Independent Traveler Means for Your Travel Program
Solo travel continued to increase this year, especially due to hybrid and remote work. Companies sought to understand the risk management implications of this “new” type of traveler and looked for ways to update their corporate travel policies accordingly. Organizations in this situation need access to travel intelligence and risk management tools so their travelers have a direct line to the right resource in any given emergency. At Direct Travel, our partnership with Crisis24 elevates risk management standards by ensuring all employees are able to travel safely, seamlessly, and with peace of mind. Before allowing team members to venture abroad solo, a company should assess its travel policy to ensure it includes safety guidelines and protocols – especially for those most at risk.
In 2023, travel programs were recalibrated and there was a focus on re-mastering the basics when it came to policies and procedures. Resources on how to reduce spend, increase productivity, and prioritize duty of care all proved especially useful.
With the new year just days away, organizations can more successfully prepare for a fresh year of business travel if they have a trusted partner in their corner. To incorporate more insights like these into your 2024 travel program goals, get in touch with our team at Direct Travel.