Traveller wellbeing and content accessibility are among the top priorities for travel managers in 2020, according to a new study.

The latest annual survey of travel managers by the Institute of Travel Management (ITM) in conjunction with FCM Travel Solutions found almost half of respondents have already incorporated traveller wellbeing into their company’s policy, but the level of measurement is still hugely varied.

Only 5 per cent of those surveyed have optimised and integrated wellbeing throughout their organisation and 16 per cent take a proactive and consistent approach. The majority measure wellbeing on a reactive basis, by defining basic policies, or gathering metrics.

When asked about their biggest challenges for the year ahead, respondents listed budget control, implementation of technology and managing traveller behaviour. However, access to full travel content is a major concern for 41 per cent of those polled.

While 67 per cent of travel managers said they believe spend will remain the same post-Brexit, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) believe it will increase. Only 8 per cent predict a drop in spend.

Despite this, adapting to changes in regulations caused by the UK’s exit from the EU ranked low on travel managers’ priorities for the next 12 months.

The research also called into question how much corporates would be willing to pay to increase sustainability, with only 17 per cent of respondents saying they would favour airline suppliers using biofuel is the flight option was more expensive.

Commenting on the findings of the research, ITM chief executive Scott Davies said: “The annual survey results were presented at the ITM #Trending 2020 Summit at the close of the year. Delegate feedback post-event identified the results analysis as the most significant session of the day. Achieving a respectable 100 per cent satisfaction rate among feedback respondents, we’re delighted to be able to provide the industry with invaluable insights for the year ahead.”

Graham Ross, UK general manager at FCM Travel Solutions, added: “The results of this survey are particularly interesting as they match up with the trends that we are expecting in 2020. Wellbeing is a major issue in society in general and we are seeing a knock-on effect in business travel. After lots of talk about the subject over the last two years, we are seeing conversations turn into action.

“Travel content and distribution are also going to dominate 2020, driven by NDC, which will lead to a shift towards bigger conversations around cost and commercials.

“And in terms of Brexit, we haven’t seen any particular downturn in trading or changes in customer priorities that we can attribute to the UK leaving the EU. In fact the majority of our clients were trading up in 2019.”

The full survey results can be downloaded from the ITM Resource Centre here

itm.org.uk; fcm.travel

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