A survey of corporate travel managers in Hong Kong and Singapore has identified cost control and duty of care as the top business priorities for 2011. The survey was carried out by Amadeus at recent breakfast seminars hosted in the two Asian financial hubs.
Lisa Akeroyd, Amadeus Asia Pacific’s Regional Director of Corporate Solutions, said; “As companies recover from the global financial crisis, executives are travelling to grow their business. According to our recent Travel Gold Rush 2020 report, there has been a shift in business spending habits. Premium travel is declining and travel for business is occurring at a lower cost. In this new economic reality, many travel managers are being more prudent to maximise their travel budgets. Making these new policies a permanent reality will rely on improved travel policy compliance, process efficiency and transparent up-to-date reporting.”
When asked about their main focus area for 2011, almost half of respondents surveyed (47 percent) indicated cost reduction, while more than one third (37 percent) indicated improved management of travel processes.
Just three percent of corporate travel managers surveyed indicated that reducing travel is their top priority, indicating that travel for face-to-face meetings appears to remain fundamentally important to business growth.
Ensuring the safety of corporate travellers was of high importance to almost all corporate travel managers surveyed (97 percent), reflecting the importance of duty of care in any corporate travel policy.
The majority (84 percent) of those surveyed said that their organisations have systems in place to communicate with travellers in an emergency. As corporate travel increases in frequency, companies are under pressure to prioritise travel safety and security while closely managing travel spend.
Ancillary services are an emerging trend, and will have a long-term impact on corporate travel programmes, Amadeus said. Twenty percent of respondents in Hong Kong recognise the impact, compared to at least half of the respondents in Singapore. This reflects a higher level of awareness of the impact of ancillary services in Singapore, which can be attributed to the expansion of low cost carriers (LCCs) in Southeast Asia. AirAsia and Jetstar in particular are noticeably targeting business travellers for both short- and long-haul routes.
“It’s interesting to note both countries’ responses. Without a doubt, we see ancillary revenue generation spreading from LCCs to major carriers, with projections seeing it account for up to 35 percent of airline revenues in the future. To support corporate travel managers in preparing for this change, we are integrating ancillary services into our solutions,” Akeroyd said.
The survey was conducted over with 38 regional corporate travel managers at Amadeus hosted events. All respondents were based in Hong Kong or Singapore and working for multinational companies with major operations across Asia Pacific.