Business travel managers to spend less on travel in 2009: survey
Published: 16 Feb 2009：The collapse of the global economy has had a profound impact on the business travel industry, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).
The survey has indicated that now there is a new emphasis on corporate travel department objectives, procedures, and existing contracts between buyers and suppliers.
One significant change is a dramatic increase in the number of business travel managers reporting they will spend less on travel in 2009 than last year. Last year´s ACTE 2009 Business Travel Spend Survey, taken in September, indicated that 33 percent of travel managers would spend less on business travel in 2009, 31 percent would spend the same, and 36 percent would spend more.
The current poll indicates that 71 percent of respondents will spend less on travel in 2009, with 21 percent claiming they will spend the same, leaving only eight percent claiming they will spend more.
The ACTE 2009 Business Travel Spend Survey illustrates that the hardest hit area of business travel is internal meetings. ACTE research shows that member companies are targeting non-revenue producing (non-strategic) internal meetings as these can constitute up to 40 percent of a travel budget. The growing popularity of electronic business travel alternatives is enabling companies to reclaim as much as $10 million from their travel budgets, without compromising their travel objectives. The survey showed that interest in electronic travel alternatives jumped from 32 percent in 2008 to 50 percent in 2009, making it the number one ranked priority for this year.
Sixty-one percent of the survey´s respondent travel managers indicated they have approached their vendors to renegotiate contracts in mid-term. Eighty-three percent have focused on their hotel vendors as the most likely source of savings. Forty-six percent are approaching the airlines, and 31 percent are looking at reducing their car hire spends (rental car). Sixty-seven percent of ACTE members report that the hotel industry has been the most proactive in responding to the current crisis.