Businesses Want Online Bookings
By year’s end, more than nine in 10 companies with managed travel programs will be using an online booking tool for transient individual travel and, more than four in 10 will be doing so for meetings/group travel. This was a key finding from the July 2003 Technology Trends Survey co-sponsored by PhoCusWright Inc. and the National Business Travel Association (NBTA).
Bottom line savings, traveler ease of use and continued budget scrutiny are the driving forces behind this level of market penetration, and are translating into significantly higher levels of adoption over the next two years for both types of travel.
By 2005, corporations anticipate that the average rate of online adoption will increase 15% above current levels for transient travel. And, more than 11% of a company’s meeting spend will migrate online within the same period. The survey found that companies want to have “access to all fares,” “a more robust hotel booking tool” and “exchanges/refunds” online tool features among corporate online users. These are followed by “a stronger reporting tool,” “speed of system” and “off-airport car rental capabilities.”
In all, almost seven in 10 companies said they have realized some level of savings by using corporate online booking tools. Companies continue to measure success of online booking tools primarily in terms of transaction fee (39%) and average ticket price (27%) savings. Process efficiencies are driving the greatest bottom line return with almost one quarter of all companies reporting transaction savings in excess of 20%.
And with regard to online meetings, which represent an opportunity for tremendous growth for the corporate travel market, six in 10 companies, or 59%, intend to increase online meeting spend by 2005. This compares to 28% whose budget will remain flat and 6% who will spend less on online meetings during this time.