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Flying in Fog: Can your travel program weather turbulence?

Blog post   •   Oct 17, 2019 15:54 GMT

Whether you favor older wisdom like the Serenity Prayer or a daily dose of Instagram inspiration, some version of “control the controllable" offers solace in strange times. Humans aren’t built for extreme uncertainty and there’s a lot of it around between climate change, trade wars, Brexit upheaval and rising oil prices.

After steep rises in 2019, prices in the global travel industry are likely to slow in 2020, with flights rising 1.2%, hotels 1.3%, and rental car rates up +1%, outlined in our Global Travel Forecast. Global uncertainties are set to put a damper on pricing forecasts.

Despite everything, you still need to deliver a return-on-investment in your travel program. Here are three ways to turn uncertainties into opportunities in 2020.

1. Boost your program - Take advantage of price fluctuations. For example, our price optimisation service automatically re-books air and hotel reservations at lower prices. You gain measurable return-on-investment that incorporates cost savings, plus employees are more engaged and productive.

2. Make sticking to your policy attractive to employees - Providing employees with digital connected tools will help them focus on their job in hand throughout the life cycle of their trip, and not the mechanics of travel,” says Dan Kelly, CWT’s Director of Product and Services Marketing EMEA. “In doing so it will support successes against travel program objectives such as employee engagement and policy compliance.”

One way of doing this is to use targeted emails and text messages for more effective employee communications on your travel policy. You can educate, influence actions, and provide positive feedback.

It also helps to record and track employee satisfaction for all areas of the travel experience so you can identify and deal with any issues with suppliers.

3. Use your data to promote productivity - Travel is seen as a cost centre but it should be seen as a revenue generator or a profit centre - it’s an enabler,” says Richard Johnson, Senior Director Solutions Group, EMEA. “Although the industry has not previously been able to make this case about return-on-investment (ROI) in a compelling way, we can do that now with data. You have to think about how employees can operate productively while travelling on business.”

Get a head start on 2020 and look for more ways to bolster your travel program in  our 2020 Global Travel Forecast.

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