Here are five reasons for travel managers to integrate innovation into their business travel policy:
- Adoption holds the key to a mandated travel policy:
Sounds obvious, ah? Adoption is the key to a mandated travel policy, as here the traveller is the king. The traveller may like to use the travel policy as long as he or she is a ‘satisfied’ customer, and not when it is imposed with a heavy hand. The travel policy should not stop the traveller from using the booking process and adding leisure elements in a professional set–up; besides, adding value, outside the scope of professional environment, rewarding and meeting the traveller’s needs, so as to enable employees use travel management tools more.
- Putting cap on open-bookings for increased security:
A recent study by EPSA indicates that more than 56% travellers would have gone for an open–booking at least once during their business trip. The biggest concern of making an open–booking is that the traveller isn’t completely safe as he or she falls outside the security chain defined by a travel management tool. Hence, it becomes difficult for the company to locate the traveller and keep him updated of the potential risks when it comes to travelling to a new destination. Nevertheless, the employer is held responsible for ensuring the safety of his/her travelling staff and adopt whatever is required to ensure the security chain is not disrupted at any point.
- Open–bookings leads to increased costs:
Another drawback of open–booking is the increased travel costs. In fact, when your employee chooses to make a hotel booking through an OTA instead of using travel management tool, the accommodation costs may seem lower initially, but little does the employee realize that he or she is actually incurring loss to the company. This is because of your employee not taking stock of the negotiated booking rates for the same room which will result in definite travel cost savings for the employer involved.
- What do your Millennials need? They’re your frequent travellers!
The Y generation, or the millenials, undoubtedly, are the most frequent business travellers, and form the chunk of the workforce by 2020. The millenials look forward to personalised service and service value addition on every company trip; give them a taste of cultural enrichment, world of real experiences and, perhaps, some sort of collaborative nature. This combination of business and leisure has given rise to ‘Bleisure’. Understanding the ‘Bleisure’ needs of the travellers holds the key to boosting business productivity and growth!
- Innovation is the new ‘mantra’:
A recent study by CWT points out that 80% of business travellers are more likely to quit a company, and travel around as much, only if they’re comfortable with the travel policy. Given lack of good talents and losing them out would cost you more, your business culture should include attractive travel elements, overall. Travel managers, with the help of a decent travel policy, should work on the optimization of processes and prices, increased traveller safety, well–being, comfort and satisfaction, supported by the HR department.
Global brands and even SMEs and Startups have long realized that while managing cost savings is a priority, traveller satisfaction is not to be left behind. Thiagarajan Rajagopalan of Tripeur says, “This year has seen the travel industry disrupted by mobile technology and more of travel disintermediation putting traveller satisfaction at the centre of everything a travel management tool does. Also, the travel manager should innovate fast to offer the best travel options for his/her employees.”