Survey Reveals Broad Sphere of Influence of Travel Departments Across Their Organizations

Alexandria, VA (November 20, 2019)—Travel managers widely collaborate with their corporate stakeholders, according to research out today from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with BCD Travel.  Most travel managers work together with stakeholders from finance/accounting (79 percent), human resources (66 percent), security/risk management (63 percent), C-level (61 percent), and legal/compliance (59 percent).

Travel managers share data with some stakeholders—but not others.  A majority “frequently” or “regularly” share data or reporting with finance/accounting (70 percent), C-level (66 percent), and security/risk management (50 percent).  However, fewer “frequently” or “regularly” share data with human resources (39 percent) and sales (30 percent) even though these stakeholders make key travel decisions.

“This research clearly shows the important role of the travel manager and how they are interconnecting with the highest levels of corporate leadership,” said Scott Solombrino, GBTA Executive Director and COO. “Their role and skill set continue to evolve and be vital to the overall success of their companies.”

“It’s always been apparent to those working within the corporate travel industry that travel managers bring significant strategic value in support of their organizations’ underlying goals,” said Miriam Moscovici, Senior Director, Research and Corporate Innovation at BCD Travel. “Our survey results suggest that by more robustly engaging with stakeholders, travel managers can illuminate their value for everyone else across their enterprises.”

Additional Key Points:

  • Travel managers have responsibilities that overlap with other stakeholders.  In some cases, they are in the driver’s seat, making critical decisions that impact employee safety and productivity.  In other cases, they play more of a supporting role.


  • More than two-thirds of travel managers worldwide (68 percent) say they or someone from their department serves on a cross-department task force, committee, or working group.  When they serve on such a committee, they commonly say their committee(s) addresses travel policies (84 percent), expense policies (70 percent), safety/risk management (66 percent) and technology (48 percent).


  • A surprisingly high number of travel departments have ownership of key risk-related functions.  More than half of respondents (58 percent) say their travel department is the primary owner of selecting their company’s travel risk management (TRM) provider(s). Almost half say the travel department is the primary owner of communicating with travelers in an emergency (48 percent) or developing the TRM policy.


  • Many travel departments make payment decisions.  More than half of the respondents (55 percent) say the travel department is the primary owner of deciding expense policies for travel (43 percent), selecting their expense management tools (38 percent), or configuring their expense management tool (38 percent).


More Information

To learn more, download an infographic here with key highlights from the research.  The report, Understanding Stakeholder Engagement with the Travel Program, is available exclusively to GBTA members on the GBTA Hub.


An online survey was conducted of GBTA contacts and BCD clients from the North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The survey fielded on April 22, 2019 through May 14, 2019.   In depth interviews were conducted with travel managers and a variety of stakeholders from different departments—including finance/accounting, human resources, security/risk management, and sales.

About the Global Business Travel Association

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents.  GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually.  GBTA delivers world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts.  To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, visit

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of the most of what they spend on travel.  We give travelers innovative tools that keep them safe and productive, and help them make good choices on the road.  We partner with travel and procurement leaders to simplify the complexities of business travel, drive savings and satisfaction, and move whole companies toward their goals.  In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more.  We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,800 creative, committed and experienced people.  And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate, with 2018 sales of US $ 27.1 billion.  For more information, visit