TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY WORKS - but at a price. Latest research from the buyer-led Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM) shows that while companies have adopted new systems with enthusiasm, they frequently under-estimate the time and expense involved. Colin Goldney, managing director of ITM's research partner Argate, says:
"The plethora of technology solutions allows corporations for the first time to build really innovative and tailored solutions. But in a highly complex and fast changing market, it's difficult to know which technology types will deliver ongoing efficiencies and what the true service and saving abilities are. It appears that a much bigger time and financial commitment is required by those managing programmes for technology to deliver."
Organisations which have introduced new technologies are making savings, however - self-booking tools alone cut booking costs by an estimated average seven per cent. "The years of building technology solutions have paid off," said ITM chief executive Paul Tilstone. "From front to back-end, technology is now an integral part of any transient business travel programme.
The indications are that the same will occur to the meetings and events sector in due course."
- The ITM is to conduct a major 2010 study to assess the potential future market for electronic communication - 'virtual meetings' - and its impact on the business travel and meetings market.