As market prices increase following the global pandemic, we examine how to effectively control the cost of business travel.
With business travel expected to recover to within 60% of pre-COVID volumes in 2022, it is imperative that travel managers implement budget controls to keep costs down at a time of greater scrutiny relating return on investment. We’re seeing travellers now buying closer to their departure date, it is vital for travel managers to put policies in place which modify booking behaviour and supplier selection in order to control costs.
This article features summary highlights taken from our recent Gray Dawes Consulting white paper, which aims to help you better navigate the post-Covid corporate travel landscape.
Travel restrictions will unlock rapidly in 2022
Many industries re-started face to face meetings on a large scale in Q3. Initially comprising of mostly strategic internal meetings and training sessions as organisations readied themselves for the post pandemic future. This led to a greater degree confidence in meeting individuals external to the business in Q4.
In the competitive nature of the private sector, the need for collaboration to build relationships and culture that attracts, retains, and develops the best talent will see travel restrictions unlock rapidly in 2022.
Where travel providers have adjusted supply, i.e. airlines and car rental, there has been price increases quarter by quarter, especially as ramping up supply is not a case of merely flicking a switch.
Travel Managers must now examine where the business is looking to travel in 2022 and work closely with their TMC to establish how best to reduce costs and drive efficiency.
The three areas to review are in terms Booking Behaviour, Content and Process.
Book online, over 7 days in advance, and on restricted tickets
The confusion emanating from the pandemic resulted in bookings closer to the date of departure, on flexible tickets as travellers looked to navigate around changing restrictions. However, with no countries on the Government red list and all testing scrapped for those fully vaccinated, the landscape for travel has stabilised enough to book further in advance. In addition, you should book restricted tickets within minimal to free change fee conditions.
Shift away from corporate negotiated rates to spot buying
Although prices have increased, they are still cheaper than pre-COVID19 levels in most markets. Consult with your TMC to provide you with expertise on peer benchmarking and industry forecasts specific to your desired routes and supplier choices. The investment in that analysis will far exceed that spent on procuring negotiated deals in areas were heavy discounting on the best available fare/rate are still prevalent.
Integrate policy rules in booking platforms and mandate online adoption
Selecting an online platform that can integrate content and booking behaviour rules into the booking process delivers tremendous efficiencies in not only direct costs but time. Such as Gray Dawes’ YourTrip tool, powered by Atriis. The tool enables travel managers to drive compliance to their budget; through route and city caps, and duty of care considerations; via updated risk assessments, while channelling exceptions an automated approval process. It is vital travel managers facilitate the training of approvers relating to the updated budgets and risk policies of your business.
To help you navigate the changes of business travel, we’ve created the brand-new Traveller Toolkit. This invaluable online resource is packed full of easy-to-use guides and checklists for every stage of every journey. We detail exactly what you need to know and do before, during and after your trip.
You’ll also find innovative and interactive virtual trips, which walk you through each step of being at the airport, on the train and in the hotel. You can even check the travel restrictions and health status of your destination with our comprehensive COVID-19 Country Tracker, updated five times daily to ensure you have the very latest information to help keep you and your travellers safe.
Travel is changing. With common sense and a good TMC behind you, travellers can have the confidence to once again take to the skies. It’ll soon be back business as (un)usual.
We’re bringing you all the latest business travel trends and topics from our very own industry experts. Each bite-size session will offer insight, how-to’s and top tips on subjects such as building traveller confidence, implementing a sustainable travel policy, creating successful corporate travel programmes and more!