has announced the results of its fourth annual Corporate Travel Benchmark Survey.Ê The survey, which polls the country’s leading corporations on their travel patterns, showed that businesses continue to substantially reduce costs by booking online, as well as by using low-cost airlines.Ê There was also evidence that medium-sized companies tend to book a greater percentage of their trips online than their mega corporation counterparts.ÊÊÊ“It appears that companies’ cost saving attitude toward managing travel has become permanent.Ê For the fourth year in a row, we’ve seen a substantial increase in online booking, resulting in lower average ticket prices and agency fees.Ê This year 75 percent of companies also said they rely on low cost airlines to help them reduce costs,” said GetThere General Manager, Bev Heinritz.
Online on the Rise, Cost Savings Continue
Overall, companies reported that online bookings represent 60 percent of their total reservations on average, compared with 53 percent in 2003. They reported that trips booked online averaged 15 percent lower airfares and nearly 50 percent lower travel agency fees than those trips booked over the phone.Ê Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they are now using a specialized e-fulfillment center for online bookings, versus just 48 percent a year ago. These e-fulfillment centers help companies secure even lower transaction fees from their travel agencies.
Companies With Simpler Travel Programs Achieve the Highest Adoption
While large corporations were initially quicker to deploy online booking technology, this year’s survey showed medium-sized companies are averaging 65 percent adoption compared with 56 percent for larger companies.Ê The high level of success among medium-sized businesses is most likely a result of their ability to more easily implement proven adoption/cost savings strategies such as senior executive endorsement.
Adoption at International Locations Approaching North American Levels
Although online booking became popular later outside of North America, 41 percent of respondents reported online travel activity for global offices.ÊÊ And, online adoption for offices in Europe and Asia averaged 55 percent, rapidly approaching the same level as North American offices.
Low-Cost Airlines Driving Down Prices and Costs
According to the responses, 75 percent of companies believe that low-cost carriers help them reduce travel expenses.Ê The majority of companies reported that low-cost airlines not only provide lower airfares, but also provide greater choice, increase regional competition and help to reduce overall airfares from major air carriers.