TMCs keeping ‘rogue bookers’ under control

TMCs continue to clamp down
TMCs continue to clamp down

The majority of travel buyers are seeing clients book travel outside of company travel policies but have it under control, according to new research from the Business Travel Show.

Data seen by Travel Daily found 13% of the 183 respondents say that clients are regularly booking outside of policies or preferred partners, while 75% said they sometimes have clients do so.

When asked why, 51% said that clients liked to choose travel options based on their own preference, while 18% were swayed by price and 15% booked direct instead. Some also forget that a policy is in place (13%).

However 76% said driving compliance in the last year was no more difficult than the year before and 34% think there should be more freedom when booking travel.

To drive compliance 52% of TMCs use preferred suppliers and 31% use online tools, with 63% saying mobiles are helping with compliance.

“With 88% of clients booking outside of policy and half of them doing so to suit their own preferences, these survey results would imply that the ‘rogue traveller’ is alive and well. However, when you look at the wider picture, travel managers claim to be in control of compliance – 76% said it has been no more difficult to drive compliance in the last 12 months,” said David Chapple, event director, Business Travel Show.

“I wonder if the headline grabbing rogue traveller was a flash in the pan, and travel managers are being more creative and proactive about keeping travellers within policy through the use of, for example, dedicated mobile apps and online tools,” he added.

The results also revealed some businesses are still reluctant, or do not feel the need, to make further moves in the mobile space.

Only 20% of those surveyed had a mobile app that clients use to book with them and only 10% had plans to develop one.

The results are from the responses of 183 buyers from around the world, 55% of which control budgets more than GBP3 million and 65% that manage programmes with 500 business travellers.

Business Travel Show is expected to receive more than 6,000 travel professionals next year. The show will be held from 4-5 February 2014 in London.

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