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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management

Companies Continue to Discuss Managed Travel 2.0 and its Impact on Business Travel

travel 2.0With the Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) annual convention less than 90 days away, it’s becoming very clear as to what will, once again, be an important topic–Managed Travel 2.0 (also called “open booking”). I find this to be such a fascinating business travel industry matter, some might think I’m becoming obsessed. You can find my older blog posts here, here, and here where I discuss what Managed Travel 2.0 exactly is as well as its impact on our business travel industry. As new ideas continue to develop, many travel management companies, Christopherson Business Travel included, as well as other business travel groups and organizations, are diving even deeper into the details.

For example, Carlson Wagonlit Travel has developed a so-called “industry–first algorithm that assesses traveler stress on a company-by-company basis.” The results (hours of stressful business travel) can then be translated into a financial loss equivalent. (Read more about the algorithm here.)

The ultimate goal of the algorithm is to help companies uncover the actual costs of travel, as well as the hidden ones–particularly how business travel “stressors” affect the bottom line.

BCD Travel is also delving into the economics of traveler behaviors, particularly how the practice of building stronger relationships with travelers saves companies money, boosts productivity, and keeps travelers safe.

Additionally, a LinkedIn Group has been started, Managed Travel 2.0, to advance more discussions at a grassroots level. And be sure to keep an eye out for former travel management consultant Scott Gillespie to announce his new venture to assist companies in understanding productivity and employee retention consequences.

As you can see, Managed Travel 2.0 continues to be a hot topic and everyone is in on the discussion. I, personally, continue to enjoy learning about it and I look forward to the GBTA Convention August 4-7 in San Diego, California where (hopefully) more discussions, findings, and results are presented.

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Business Travel Travel Management

Managed Travel 2.0: Resources and Information for Business Travel Managers

In September I first wrote about the concept of Managed Travel 2.0. In the weeks since, there has been much additional information by way of blog posts, emails, and news, both for and against this concept as it continues to be a “hot” topic of 2012. While its principles are unique, shocking to some, and encouraging to others, I sense it will be a while before corporations are comfortable giving so much freedom to travelers. Scott Gillespie discusses this in a post on his blog, Gillespie’s Guide to Travel+Procurement, and essentially boils the difference between traditionally managed travel and Managed Travel 2.0 down to one word: Freedom. He lists the principles of Managed Travel 2.0 as follows:

  1. Shop anywhere — period
  2. Book anyone — as long as the supplier is safe
  3. Book anywhere — as long as employer gets the data fast
  4. Book anything — so long as the trip is in budget
  5. Pay with the corporate card

On another site, BusinessTravelNews.com, CEO Alan Tyson discusses his misgivings about this business travel trend in a post called, Perspective: Shooting Holes In Travel 2.0. Having worked with financiers thru the years, I fully understand his concerns. His article goes on to suggest that traveler satisfaction with a trip is not what matters–it’s the traveler’s satisfaction with his organization regarding the trip that does.

The final article to read regarding this idea of Managed Travel 2.0 is by David Jonas, titled, Study: Travel Policies Work, And will Continue To Do So. This study, conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and AirPlus, reports few signs of employee resistance to traditional managed travel.

Hopefully, these articles and resources will shed a bit more light on the subject and I will surely keep you posted as more is revealed.

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Managed Travel 2.0–What’s the fuss all about?

Managed Travel 2.0, an idea/program where travelers shop and book travel anywhere on any safe suppliers, provided they are within budget and the data on their transaction and travel is then collected in real-time by their company, is a very interesting concept and one that will probably move forward, but with possible resistance from many. I find this interesting to watch and consider because of all the players involved.

The consensus among industry experts seems to be that travel technology has not progressed at warp speed like other technologies. Some blame this on the travel industry’s GDS (Global Distribution System) situation. I don’t know that I agree with this theory completely, but then again, when you have been in the same industry for 30+ years, like I have, without viewing the progression speed of other industries’ technology, I suppose I’m not equipped to weigh in with a fully educated opinion.

During the GBTA’s recent convention in Boston, there were a few educational sessions regarding this topic. In the session I attended, 80% of the attendees were either travel managers or procurement specialists. During the presentation, it was suggested, based on information from a GBTA survey, that an unmanaged travel program is better than a managed travel program for a number of reasons–savings being one of them. The tension in the room was intense, to say the least.

However, in a recent newsletter from Travel GPA, CEO Rock Blanco, addressed the information presented in that GBTA forum, and pointed out that the benefits of a managed travel program–namely data, safety, and proven expertise–is where the value lies.

Like I said, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.