Study: how to reduce biz travel spend

Global travel management programmes are helping companies to save up to 45% on their overall travel spend. This is according to new research commissioned by Amadeus and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) on global travel programmes.

The research, which was conducted amongst 240 corporate travel managers from around the world, looked at the impact globalisation is having on corporate travel programmes.  Whilst the results highlighted that global travel management programmes are still evolving, a third (33%) of the organisations surveyed already have a global policy in place with an almost equal number (39%) implementing a global travel policy with regional variations.  Even in companies that had not yet implemented a global travel management policy, 57% of travel managers indicated that their travel policies were consistent across all regions and moderately strong. 

Amongst the companies that have implemented global travel management programmes, 41% have achieved savings of between 16-30%.  A further 11% of companies gained savings of between 31-45%, with another 4% of companies achieved savings of even more than 45%.

Commenting on the findings, Marcos Isaac, Director of Corporate & Distribution Channels, for Amadeus e-Travel, said “The ability to reduce costs was cited by 84% of corporate travel managers as one of the key benefits to come from their global travel management programme.  When broken down by region, average savings rates were even higher for companies based in Asia-Pacific and parts of Europe.  This perhaps reflects the fact that travel programmes in these markets are at an earlier stage of maturity than those in the US and Western Europe and therefore there were greater opportunities to realise significant savings when the travel programme was consolidated at a global level.”

In order to achieve savings through their global travel programme, the research highlighted that companies are focusing on automating processes, using technology to improve efficiency (82%) and making the most of the increased negotiating power (86%) that consolidating their travel spend offers.  However, whilst many companies aspire to further automate key processes, many are still struggling to achieve this with 85% of respondents citing the integration of technology as the key challenge to implementing a global travel management programme.


The struggle to find solutions that are suitable for use across multiple markets was reflected in the finding that currently only 18% of respondents are using a single expense management system in all regions.  A further 10% had one in some regions and 28% weren’t using one at all.

However, the integration of self-booking solutions as part of a global travel management programme has been more successful, with the majority of companies (68%) already using one.  Interestingly, the higher the travel expenditure within an organisation the more likely companies were to be implementing these tools with 96% of companies with a travel expenditure of over $100 million already using a self-booking solution.

Isaac continued “The ability to implement automated processes, such as online booking, e-ticketing and web-based expense reporting are helping companies create consistency across their travel programmes as well as reducing transaction costs, cut down on errors, streamline staff and help compliance.  As the business travel market continues to grow, the pressure on businesses to reduce their operating costs across all areas will continue to be strong.”