What’s new in the business travel world? From a boom in travel—$1.25 trillion globally, $310 billion in the United States, up 6.5% and 6.2% respectively—to a consolidation in meetings and travel programs within organizations, the world of travel is changing for both travelers and financial professionals managing the programs.
But what does one need to know about the business travel landscape in the second half of 2015, into 2016 and beyond?
A recent study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), sponsored by American Express Corporate Payments took a deeper look into trends and satisfaction levels among business travelers globally.
The GBTA Global Traveler Sentiment Index™, available for purchase from the GBTA website (preview here), polled 3,851 part-time or full-time employees in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States who traveled for business four or more times in the previous 12 months.
The results of the survey were used to highlight the satisfaction levels of the travelers, as well as the future trends finance leaders should look to in the future.
Four of the major trends highlighted were as follows:
- Technology Keeps Business Travelers Productive, and Wi-Fi is a Necessity: Globally, 78% of travelers feel that Wi-Fi is vital for productivity. In the US, the number is even higher, as 81% need Wi-Fi. This is driven by a demand for applications provided by travel suppliers, event organizers, and travel destinations to improve travel experience.
- Millennials (if not everyone) are Interested in Applications to Make Travel Easier: In today’s ‘need information now’ society, millennials are driving organizational demands for travel technology. Globally, 18-34-year old business travelers are interested in using GPS to find nearby stores(67%), having a tool to separate business from personal expenses (64%), using a mobile device to keep track of payments and expenses (60%), using a mobile device to coordinate meals and local travel (61%), and using a mobile device to capture receipts (59%).
- Travelers are Satisfied, but There’s Room for Improvement: Overall, travelers are content, with 71% of global travelers and 75% of U.S. travelers reporting ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with business travel. The areas with the most room for improvement are train travel and airport security, with only 54% and 50% satisfied globally, 57% and 55% in the U.S., respectively.
- The Rise of the Mobile Wallet: Although not widespread, travelers are looking toward mobile devices as a form of payment, at 22% globally and 17% in the U.S. This will likely grow in future years, as more providers will accept mobile wallets and NFC payments.
If you look at it, technology, mobile apps, mobile wallets, and the sharing economy are all driving the future of business travel.
Organizations need to update travel policies, where possible, to answer this demand and make it easier for the business traveler and in turn, the person managing the expense reporting.
By setting an effective travel and expense management policy, embracing applications for receipt capture and booking, and simplifying the reporting process, you can ensure that your organization can gain visibility and compliance while shortening the time to approve and expense.
With Concur Travel and Expense Management, you can do all of this.
Already integrating with applications in the sharing economy (Uber, Airbnb), applications that help travelers find and pay for meals (TVFoodMaps, Table8), applications that help financial professionals approve, reimburse, and send to ERP (ExpenseConnect for Intacct, ExpenseConnect for GP), and more, Concur allows the traveler to have the perfect trip, and the finance department to finish the process.
Learn more about Concur’s integrations at the Concur App Center, and for more information on gaining visibility into travel and expense spending, download Aberdeen Research report on integrating travel and expense here.
Brittenford Systems, as the Concur App Center Partner of the Year and a proud Concur Partner, has helped companies realize how an effective travel and expense management policy can help them save time and money, as well as capture more data and improve compliance. Contact us today for more information.