A new study has revealed that one of the biggest obstacles faced by travel programme leaders on their journey to simplification of the travel experience is conflicting organisational priorities.

According to the study “Simplifying Managed Travel 2.0” carried out by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in collaboration with HRS, a resounding 97 per cent of buyers agreed that initiatives aimed at improving the effectiveness of their programmes support the overall goals of their companies – that’s a big increase from the 72 per cent who said the same in the 2017 survey.

However, 46 per cent of respondents said competing organisational priorities pose the most significant barrier to simplifying the travel experience.

Secondary challenges varied by programme size, with buyers in charge of more than US$50 million annually citing limited staff as a problem. Medium-sized organisations noted a lack of senior leadership support.

When asked which stakeholders gave them the most support with implementing initiatives, 49 per cent said their risk/security department had been helpful, followed by procurement (46 per cent), communications (44 per cent) and travellers (41 per cent).

Greeley Koch, VP of marketing for HRS, commented: “Programme leaders can see a real opportunity in these results. The procurement and risk management groups have a mature grasp of the importance of travel, and they are engaged to help programmes improve. And when you get the travellers on board, they can help expedite achievement of the highest goals. It’s noteworthy that HR and executive sponsorship – while always important to have aligned – do not rank among the top four.”

Leigh Bochicchio, ACTE executive director, added: “These findings point to an opportunity for travel buyers as leaders at their organisations. Buyers know the benefits of simplification and have compelling arguments in its favour – being able to channel their expertise will help them secure leadership buy-in for prioritising simplification and demonstrate the great value they bring to their businesses.”

acte.org; hrs.com/corporate

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