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Controlling Travel Costs: A New Business Objective


flying moneyThe major concern of many companies in 2014 is not to reduce the volume of business travel, but to operate all possible measures to reduce the costs of it.

The Barometer EVP 2013 American Express Voyages d’Affaires, a survey of 600 companies belonging to 11 European countries, reveals that 87% of the sample firms collected have as their priority the control of costs. A year ago, this statistic was 79%.

While optimizing budgets they review all travel components (transport to the place of destination, accommodation, transport from the place of destination, etc.). The main strategies to optimize the calculations go through strengthening data management through tools provided to facilitate the search for the best rate available. The assessment of the total cost of the trip, unused tickets, advance booking, the increase of the online booking or renegotiation of agreements with suppliers are all assisted by these tools or travel management services such as the co-operative travel management.

65% of companies surveyed by EVP Barometer turn to an agency to improve data management with a business intelligence solution. Consequently, it has also increased the number of companies that control the ROI or return on investment, especially SMEs and large accounts.

72% of companies participating in the survey expressed the intention to keep the budget for travel professionals, and 20% even predicts that these items could increase during 2014 due to performance and savings provided for cost control by tools.

Therefore the forecasts generate optimistic expectations with some spirit. “82% of companies were asked to establish a favourable situation for the coming months, and the number of those who consider travel as a real investment for the company have also increased,” explains Eric Audom, general director of business travel for the French market of American Express. “This year 27% are those that believe so, compared to 23% of last year,” he adds.

The growth is provided, especially for small and medium enterprises. Large accounts operate with more discrete forecasts, but also a positive balance: travel budgets grow by 0.3%. The second priority of the companies involved in the report is the safety of passengers, with a percentage of 64%. One facet that has also increased significantly over the previous year, as it stood at around 45% before.