A global approach to corporate travel management is fast becoming the norm, according to a new white paper from Airplus and ACTE.

Following a survey of business travel managers from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), the research reveals that the pace of globalisation is increasing, but local barriers continue to cause problems.

Airplus’ Spencer Hanlon, executive director of marketing, said globalised travel programmes are “becoming the norm, but its not easy”.

Speaking at the 2011 ACTE Global Education Conference in New York, where he presented the paper to delegates, Hanlon said: “It is less difficult to implement a programme today than it was five years ago.”

Travel managers five years ago, for example, would have been looking after just one market, but today the majority are handling anything from 21 to 50 markets.

“That’s an incredible shift in a decade,” he said. “It’s happening across all pillars of a coporate travel programme.”

Hanlon said this was partly due to more spending on a global scale, but also because companies need to track their travellers’ security more closely.

Suppliers are also making it easier to negotiate global deals, and putting the technology in place to make it happen, he added.

However, while growth is accelerating, “significant roadblocks remain,” said Hanlon, including in the area of technology.

“It is the technical stuff that is still the most challenging to deliver consistently around the globe,” he said.

The other area of difficulty is a company’s internal consistency in bridging the gap between the global and the local travel programme.

“Not every company globally is structured to be able to accept and absorb a global travel programme. Those conflicts do still exist to a very large propoertion,” said Hanlon.


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