Americans make more than 405 million long-distance business trips per year and account for 16% of all long-distance travel. Despite only accounting for 12% of airline passengers, business travelers can represent almost 75% of an airline’s profits. In 2018, $327.3 billion was spent on business travel alone. Hotel prices are forecasted to increase by 3.7% and flights by 2.6% this year and business travel is expected to continue to grow.
Despite these massive numbers, many companies do not have any corporate travel management systems or policies in place. Not only does this open you up to increased liability, but it also impacts the confidence you and your employees have while traveling for business.
To mitigate the stress and confusion that can come with managing corporate trips, there are many state-of-the-art solutions available to make traveling more enjoyable, streamlined, and affordable.
Simplify Business Travel for a Relaxed Experience
1. Risk Management
Whether home or away, you are responsible for the well-being of your employees. Ensuring your employees get home safely is the top priority when they are traveling, which can require a detailed travel risk management strategy. Thankfully, technology has made protecting your employees at home and abroad easier than ever.
You hold a duty of care to monitor and protect your employees while on the road, which means you need to utilize the tools available to reduce risk and promote peace of mind throughout your organization. Risk management systems allow you to digitally track not only where your employees are, but also any nearby risks to their safety. Whether its natural disasters or local crime, your employees will appreciate a warning and knowing that you are monitoring their safety.
According to a survey conducted by BTN, 65% of businesses have increased their efforts for traveler safety and travel risk management. When asked who held this responsibility, 26% of companies reported that internal travel management was responsible for traveler safety while most respondents could not agree where the responsibility falls. There are travel management companies available, currently used by 32% of respondents, but full-service travel risk providers are only utilized by 29%.
Unfortunately, there are many companies who are not utilizing the many options available to protect their employees; less than half of respondents have risk alert notifications enabled, and only 16% use GPS-enabled traveler tracking. Fortunately, travel risk management is becoming a higher priority for companies with frequent travelers.
Traveling across the world or simply working at another company location can complicate how you do business, but there are solutions to ensure that business will continue as usual when you are confidently monitoring any risk to your employees. Beyond simply warning an employee, be sure to choose a program that communicates with local embassies and implements crisis plans to make sure you do the most for your employees when needed. Monitoring systems can give specific assistance to employees across the world, so no matter where they travel, they know that there are local support representatives available to implement alternative plans smoothly and effectively.
2. Trip Monitoring
Technology has both simplified and further complicated how we travel. When managing corporate trips, tracking all your flights and bookings can quickly become overwhelming, which is when details can fall through the cracks. To prevent mistakes and reduce travel anxiety, you want a trip monitoring system that will do this work for you.
When traveling for business, the last thing you need is sudden flight cancellations interfering with the work you came to do. Before arriving at the gate to find out your flight has been delayed several hours and you are now going to miss your meeting, automated rebooking services will have you on the next flight out without the last-minute panic that usually ensues.
Typically, travelers may download the app for the airline they are traveling, but this can become complicated when you frequently use more than one airline. This is even more of an issue if trying to rebook a flight on a different airline. Avoid the confusion with a single centralized system that prioritizes your unique travel needs.
The number one concern of corporate travelers is flight delays. Even when you and your employees are punctual traveling pros, there are many outside factors that can delay your itinerary; such as aviation system issues, maintenance or crew problems, security issues, and flight diversions. Although these issues are presumably random, data suggests that evening flights are more likely to arrive late; flights scheduled to arrive between 8 and 11 pm were more likely to arrive at least 15 minutes late compared to any other time span. While 15 minutes might seem minimal to the casual traveler, every minute can make a difference when frequent travel is part of your job description. Most flight delays are due to the late arrival of the previous flight, which delays all subsequent flights, and is the cause of about 40% of all delay times.
As these delays compound, any other delaying factor can have a huge impact on how long you are waiting at the gate.
When you’re in this situation, your options can seem limited; you can wait around hoping your flight will make it before its too late, or you can search for another flight. Luckily, there is another option; automated rebooking takes the stress out of delayed or canceled flights by doing the work for you. Find a program that sends you instant notifications of any interruptions to your itinerary. Before you are even aware of a change to your schedule, these programs will have an alternative plan in place to get you on the next available flight.
When traveling for business, you want to focus on what matters and not worry about the details of your itinerary. A travel management agency can minimize interruptions and make traveling for work a more leisurely experience.
3. Hotel Rate Shopping
Just because you are traveling for work does not mean you need to sacrifice comfort. Corporate travel can come at a steep price, especially when trips are part of your routine. Corporate rates are available at many hotels, giving you the opportunity to save on your trip.
Unfortunately, it seems as if every time you confirm a reservation, you find an even better offer. Sometimes, you might choose to sacrifice certain accommodations to save a few bucks, but this mostly impacts the traveler and does little for your budget. For guests, especially frequent travelers, a hotel is much more than a place to rest your head- the top 10% of corporate travelers will spend almost 4 weeks of their life on a plane and 88 nights in a hotel, meaning their room accommodations are a priority for their comfort.
Corporate trip expenses can begin to add up when you include everything, from travel to meals to room rates. Business travel expense statistics show that the average domestic trip costs almost $1,000 per traveler and international can cost over $2,500 per traveler. Room rates can greatly impact how much you are spending per trip, but rates are not the greatest booking factor; the location is considered most important when choosing a hotel, meaning the rates are often out of your hands. When staying in the right location at the right time is the main necessity, you can often get stuck paying much more than you might prefer. Shopping around for rates increases your chance of finding a great deal, but this also comes at the expense of your time.
When planning a business trip, there is much more you want to focus on besides hotel rates. Utilize a program that takes the stress out of finding a great deal by ensuring you the best rate possible. Whether it’s the same room for a better price, a better room for the same price, or a better deal at another hotel, software systems will be able to find the best option available. These systems continuously search nearby offers until you are ready to check-in. Shop around for the best offer without the stress or effort, and be notified instantly when a better offer is available; if you choose to accept the offer, the room will be automatically reserved at the better rate. Not only will this program save you money on every trip, but it will also improve employee experience while away by finding the best accommodations available.
Corporate Travel Programs by Campbell Travel
No matter the size of your corporation, we guarantee our travel solutions come with the passion, knowledge, and expertise we have acquired over our 35 years of experience. Contact us for more information about personalized service, digital monitoring, and in-depth analytics to maximize the value and reduce the cost of your corporate travel program.
Vice President, Industry Relations
Alexander began his career, and found his passion, for the travel industry during his employment at Eastern Airlines. Combining his airline background with a variety of positions in corporate travel management, major travel management company (TMC), and payment systems, Alexander brings a unique and valuable skill set to the Campbell Travel team.