Sabre’s key finding from its 2017 Asia Pacific Corporate Traveller study is that 80% of travel managers now believe mobility to be the biggest priority in managing corporate travel. Another finding is the rise of premium economy as a new corporate favourite class; a third finds thay travellers who are increasingly deviating from their travel policy.
“The increasing incidence of non-compliance is the result of corporate travellers booking out of policy, where they extend business trips to include some leisure time at their own expense. With more companies shifting accountability of policy compliance to the traveller, the ability to integrate non-traditional sources of flight and accommodation, and option to change plans easily while on the go, will go a long way in helping the corporate traveller adhere to policy without compromising on the quality of travel,” said Jason Toothman, vice president of global accounts, Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific.
The Sabre Asia Pacific Travel Study surveyed corporate travel professionals from 19 key markets across the region, representing corporate travel management companies and travel agencies servicing corporate accounts. Countries covered included Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand.
According to the study conducted on corporate travel professionals from across 19 countries in the region, more than 43% of corporate travellers are deviating from company policy ahead of the trip and 42% are making changes while travelling.
When asked what it is they considered to be the biggest priority in managing corporate travel in their organisation, 80% of travel managers believe mobility – from making a booking through a mobile device, to itinerary management, to staying in via instant messaging – is their top priority. 66% also quoted looking at alternative forms of payment technology as a high priority area for them.
Amidst economic uncertainty, companies are cutting back on premium class air travel and as such, premium economy options have become the next best alternative. From the report, over half of the respondents indicated that companies are switching class from business to premium economy and some are upgrading travellers from economy to premium economy, contributing to 81% of respondents seeing an increase in premium economy bookings.