The research, which was conducted with over 400 companies worldwide, looked at the adoption rate of online travel management tools. While the study confirmed that Self Booking Tools (SBTs) are helping some organisations save considerable time and money when booking business travel - on average 25.6% of Travel Management Company (TMC) fees and a further 9.1% on airline ticket spend - many companies are not achieving the full benefits of SBTs due to an online corporate environment not supported by senior management.
Dr Keith Mason, Business Travel Research Centre at Cranfield University said “Moving to a self booking culture has been, and still is, a long journey for many organisations to make despite significant cost benefits which can be achieved in the very first year of adoption. Given these potential savings, it is remarkable that 38% of organisations in our study do not yet enforce a travel policy which recommends online booking.
From an industry sector perspective, SBT adoption levels within Consulting Services and Logistics Companies reached a high of 67% and 65% respectively, however public utilities and agricultural companies achieved far lower adoption rates of just 10%.
Across all organisations the corporate culture is also a key determining factor for how successful SBT adoption is. The report specifically identifies three Corporate Clusters which paint a picture of the type of organisations most, and least, likely to successfully adopt SBTs:
- Wholehearted Adopters - average adoption rate 81%
- Bureaucratically Hindered - average adoption rate 45%
- Laggards - average adoption rate 12.3%
Furthermore, the study revealed that companies with a 'self-service' mentality, where employees manage contracts online, has been more successful in driving up the adoption rate. Age is also a factor with younger travellers more willing to ‘do it themselves’. A flatter organisational structure, managerial buy-in and preaching by example, also positively affected the use of SBTs, as did a wide choice of content, where users could clearly view a variety of options including, access to flights and fares from low cost carriers.
Commenting on the findings, Jerome Destors, Commercial, Director, Amadeus e-Travel said: "Amadeus has commissioned this global study to better understand a topic which had not been covered in depth until now – how corporate culture influences the adoption levels of SBTs. This research is another example of Amadeus’ continuing interest in providing useful insights, strategies and solutions to corporations and TMCs: for corporations, the report provides insights into how companies are achieving high adoption rates; for our TMC partners, the findings of the study will allow Amadeus to deliver improved and integrated technology in order to enhance their overall efficiency."
The study further revealed that companies with a lower travel spend of under USD2.5 million per year have been the most successful at driving travel bookings via SBTs, suggesting that the lines of communication between the travel manager and corporate travellers are much shorter and therefore the advantages of using the booking tool are easier to communicate. Additionally the pool of travellers is smaller meaning word-of-mouth communication is likely to be quicker.
Time is also an important factor with highest level of adoption seen in the first year of implementing an SBT. Companies can expect to achieve approximately 40% of bookings online in the first year, but then the rate of adoption slows to an additional 10% in years two and three as each progressive level of adoption becomes harder to achieve.
The full study results are available for downloading at: http://www.amadeus.com/corporations/cranfield
Notes to the editors
Amadeus is a chosen technology partner for providers, sellers, and buyers of travel. The company provides distribution, IT and point-of-sale solutions to help its customers adapt, grow and succeed in the fast changing travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (airlines, hotels, car rental companies, railway companies, ferry lines, cruise lines, insurance companies and tour operators), travel sellers (travel agencies) and travel buyers (corporations and travellers). Solutions are grouped in four solution categories – Distribution & Content, Sales & e-Commerce, Business Management and Services & Consultancy.
Solutions for corporations
In e-commerce, Amadeus is the global leader in online travel technology and corporate travel management solutions. It services travel agencies in 90 countries, and powers the websites of over 1,000 corporations and more than 70 airlines and hotels. Amadeus e-Travel Management is an online travel booking solution to help corporations manage their travel policy more efficiently. Both Amadeus and its partners enable corporations to integrate all the elements of their global travel programmes, into one easy-to-use and easy-to-administrate solution. Customers include Altria, Cemex, Daimler Chrysler, Ericsson, Huntsman, Nestlé, Total and Thales.
The company is owned by WAM Acquisition, whose shareholders are BC Partners, Cinven, Air France, Iberia and Lufthansa. Amadeus employs nearly 7,600 employees worldwide, representing 95 nationalities.
More information about Amadeus is available at: www.amadeus.com
The Business Travel Research Centre (BTRC) is located at Cranfield University’s Department of Air Transport, the largest air transport management faculty in Europe with a global reputation for excellence in applied research. BTRC draws together research and learning about the business travel sector.
The objective of the centre is to develop in-depth understanding of the complexities of the business travel sector, and its importance within the air transport industry. By so doing it aims to provide insight of the business travel market to airlines, corporate travel managers, procurement specialists, travel management companies, and the academic community.
Dr Keith Mason is the Director of the Business Travel Research Centre and is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Air Transport Cranfield University. He lectures on airline economics, airline business models, airline marketing and market research. His research focuses on the business travel market and low cost airlines, and he has had over 30 articles, papers, and reports published. More information about the Business Travel Research Centre is available at www.businesstravelresearch.com.
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