Latest statistics from GetThere
show that the trend towards self-booked online business travel continues to grow significantly in Europe.
Employees of European companies booked 250 percent more travel through GetThere’s systems in the fourth quarter of 2002 than in the same period in 2001. Globally, the company saw an overall growth in bookings of 30 percent in 2002, to 7.7 million transactions.
These fourth-quarter figures reinforce a trend towards online travel by European corporations. Booking figures for this region shot up by 93 percent in quarter one last year against the same period in 2001, while quarters two and three showed a 130 percent and a 259 percent year-on-year growth respectively. European booking figures in December 2002 were approximately five times higher than the same quarter last year.
Richard Adams, the company’s general manager and vice president for Europe, said the growth GetThere was seeing was due to substantially increased adoption within its existing European customer base, and the addition of new customers in Europe.
“Some of our customers are seeing a huge improvement in adoption figures - one company in particular has reported that more than half of all its travel each month is being booked on our system. Some of this improvement is being driven by mandating.”
Mandating is where companies make the use of an online travel booking system compulsory. GetThere says it notices greater levels of mandating in difficult economic climates.
“This is because the system works best when everyone is using it”, Adams said.
“We can show that booking online frequently generates a 15 percent saving on ticket prices, and savings in travel management fees of approximately 50 percent. This can result in savings of up to £80 for a typical business trip.”
Greater adoption of the system also results in greater compliance with corporate travel policy, including use of preferred suppliers, which in turn gives companies greater bargaining power when negotiating with travel suppliers like airlines, hotels and car hire companies.
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