Changing Technologies are Shifting the Role of Travel Managers
Alexandria, VA (July 15, 2015) – Technology is an integral part of a Travel Manager’s role and will become increasingly more important in the future as travel managers seek to take a more strategic position within their organizations. This is according to a new study by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Travel managers report that mobility, virtual payments and data are helping to transform their roles and responsibilities.
The study, Travel Manager 2020, sponsored by Sabre®, surveyed more than 230 travel managers to better understand their key responsibilities, how technology has changed their role today and, how technology is expected to further change their role in the future. Sixty-one percent of Travel Managers currently think that evaluating and applying technology solutions is “very important” to their role and 75 percent expect it to be “very important” in the near future.
“Technology is going to become increasingly important for travel managers, as they seek to expand their role and further demonstrate the value that they bring to their organization,” said GBTA Vice President of Research Joseph Bates. “This study builds on a similar study we conducted last year, finding that by 2019, technology is expected to fully transform the role of travel managers.”
A large majority – 86 percent – of Travel Managers involved in the study reported having responsibilities related to selecting or implementing technology, such as online booking tools, mobile solutions or other travel technology software. Due to technological advances, the vast majority (84 percent) of Travel Managers foresee their role becoming more strategic in the next three to five years than it is today with mobile technology, virtual payments and data collection and analysis all predicted to be a much higher priority in the near future.
Travel Managers also report that they place a great deal of value on having accurate, holistic travel data, which helps them to more easily demonstrate the value their program brings to the company. Seventy percent of Travel Managers currently say they consider leveraging and analyzing travel data to be “very important,” while a larger proportion – 82 percent – say it will be “very important” in the near future. Travel Managers commonly use data for contract negotiations with suppliers, monitoring compliance and identifying hard dollar savings. These three activities were also highlighted as some of the most time consuming aspects of their roles and could potentially have the greatest potential for direct impact with the use of better data.
“We were very excited to partner with GBTA on this research. This is an important topic within the industry and builds on our research project last year,” stated Yannis Karmis, Vice President of Corporate Solutions at Sabre. “We are committed to helping travel managers be successful in their roles and are making investments in our technology to not only help them today but as their role continues to evolve.”
Additional highlights from the report include:
• When discussing the travel technology solutions that will take on a larger priority in the future, Travel Managers frequently mentioned solutions related to mobility, especially apps for booking on mobile devices. Mobile technology may also play a greater role in duty of care, where mobility can help with communications and traveler tracking.
• Travel Managers highlighted payment technologies, particularly mobile payments, as a field of technology where they expect to see an increase in the near future.
• This increase in technology use doesn’t come without its challenges. One third of travel managers said they find it challenging to keep up with new technology and only 39 percent believe business and technology are aligned within their organization.
The current study is based on an online survey of 237 travel managers from the United States and Canada. Of the 237 respondents, nearly all say they have some level of responsibility with hotels (96 percent), airlines (93 percent), and Travel Management Companies (TMCs) or Agencies (92 percent). Many also have responsibilities with ground transportation (88 percent) and travel technology (86 percent), while relatively fewer have responsibilities with meetings and events (59 percent) and payment solutions (48 percent). Those with no level of responsibility in any of these categories of business travel were excluded from the study.
The Travel Manager 2020 study, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing [email protected]. A workshop on this topic is also being offered during the GBTA 2015 Convention.
CONTACTO: Colleen Gallagher, +1 703-236-1133, [email protected]
Acerca de la Fundación GBTA
La Fundación GBTA es la fundación de educación e investigación de la Asociación Global de Viajes de Negocios (GBTA), la principal organización de comercio de reuniones y viajes de negocios del mundo con sede en el área de Washington, DC y operaciones en seis continentes. En conjunto, los más de 7.000 miembros de GBTA gestionan más de $345 mil millones en gastos globales de viajes y reuniones de negocios anualmente. GBTA proporciona a su creciente red de más de 28.000 profesionales de viajes y 125.000 contactos activos educación, eventos, investigación, promoción y medios de primer nivel. La Fundación se estableció en 1997 para apoyar a los miembros de GBTA y a la industria en su conjunto. Como fundación líder en educación e investigación en la industria de viajes de negocios, la Fundación GBTA busca financiar iniciativas para promover la profesión de viajes de negocios. La Fundación GBTA es una organización sin fines de lucro 501(c)(3). Para obtener más información, consulte gbta.org y gbta.org/foundation.
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading technology provider to the global travel and tourism industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than $110 billion of estimated travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre operates offices in approximately 60 countries around the world. 2015 GBTA Convention Booth #1125
Acerca de la Asociación Global de Viajes de Negocios
La Asociación Global de Viajes de Negocios (GBTA) es la principal organización comercial de viajes de negocios y reuniones del mundo con sede en el área de Washington, DC y operaciones en seis continentes. Los más de 9000 miembros de GBTA administran anualmente más de $345 mil millones de viajes de negocios globales y gastos de reuniones. GBTA y la Fundación GBTA brindan educación, eventos, investigación, defensa y medios de clase mundial a una red global en crecimiento de más de 28,000 profesionales de viajes y 125,000 contactos activos. Para aprender cómo los viajes de negocios impulsan el crecimiento empresarial duradero, gbta.org