Each of the past six years, we at Carlson Wagonlit Travel have surveyed travel managers to find out their priorities for the upcoming season. This year we reached 970 travel managers, our highest total yet.
Everyone wants to save money. That’s not a surprise in this industry or any other. But a lot of the easy gains have been made, so we’ve gone beyond Savings 101. Here are some of the ways you could achieve savings, and how CWT can help.
Tracking airfares and rebooking. Given the ever-more complex airline pricing environment, CWT has introduced a solution in partnership with Yapta to help clients optimize fares even after ticketing. CWT Fare Tracking combines a technology that monitors fluctuating travel prices with a process of rebooking fares when savings can be made. This solution is currently available in the U.S. and soon may be to clients worldwide. CWT is also piloting similar technology for hotel bookings.
TMC mobile solutions such as CWT To Go help to reduce leakage. This app provides companies with data on bookings made outside the preferred channels and soon will enable travelers to book hotels. The app was recently introduced for Windows Phone, joining iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
And there are new ideas gaining support as well, such as mobile roaming fees. With mobile phone use increasing, it is no surprise that many travel managers (42 percent) consider tackling roaming fees to be crucial to generating additional savings. Operators in various countries are reducing roaming fees, sometimes quite drastically — for example, China Mobile announced a 50 percent cut last July for roaming data traffic, while Bell also halved its U.S. data, voice and text roaming plans for Canadian travelers. Expected new regulation should also ease costs for European travelers outside their home countries in Europe, but elsewhere the issue remains.
Here’s the full Travel Management Priorities 2014 report, where you can find out more about the other priorities: driving growth in online adoption; streamlining end-to-end processes; promoting the travel program; redesigning travel policy; developing a mobile strategy and reinforcing corporate social responsibility.