Companies with a strong travel culture have a competitive advantage
- More than half of business leaders agreed that having a strong travel culture is very important to their organizations’ business performance today
- Companies with a strong travel culture have seen significant improvements in customer loyalty and retention, profitability, market share and employee satisfaction
- Only a third of respondents say their organization actually has a strong travel culture with the majority admitting it’s most often viewed as a cost to be minimized
- Three-quarters of those who have a strong travel culture work with a single travel management company (TMC)
Bellevue, Wash., June 18, 2019– New research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with Egencia®, business travel from Expedia Group™, proves that when aligned with a company’s strategy, a well-managed travel program can deliver a tangible competitive advantage. The report “Travel Culture: Your Competitive Advantage in a Global Market” shows 58 percent of business leaders confirm that having a strong travel culture – one where the company, its leaders and its processes support the use of corporate travel as a form of strategic investment with business value – produces better business results.
The research reveals that over the last year, companies with a strong travel culture had double the rate of improvement in key areas such as customer loyalty and retention (50 percent vs 21 percent), market share (43 percent vs 22 percent) and employee satisfaction (35 percent vs 15 percent), compared to companies with a weak travel culture. Even profitability improved significantly (47 percent vs 29 percent), proving the staggering impact a well-managed business travel program can have on achieving solid business results.
“Corporate travel is increasingly fundamental to business performance, particularly as companies expand their global footprint,” says Wendy White, vice president of marketing at Egencia. “It’s clear that when business leaders look at travel as a strategic investment and have a global travel management company like Egencia onboard, it quickly becomes a differentiator – and the data supports this. But a strong travel culture delivers more than a competitive edge, it helps teams across the world work better together and supports a unified company culture.”
However less than a third (31 percent) of the 587 business leaders surveyed believe that their organization actually has a strong travel culture. In fact, most admit that managed corporate travel is not seen as a strategic investment in its future but rather a cost to be minimized. This is a critically shortsighted view in today’s global marketplace where the majority of business leaders recognize that in-person interactions help ensure positive long-term relationships with customers (84 percent), and importantly, between employees in a company (78 percent).
While it’s clear to business leaders what a strong travel culture is and why its fundamental in helping their company to differentiate and compete, well under half are prioritizing this today. Of the ones that effectively manage business travel, a huge majority (77 percent) have a single TMC onboard. It is proving to be the basis for a more strategic approach to business travel.
Having a full-service platform TMC like Egencia in place helps companies unlock the maximum potential of their travel program, creating value for their business and their travelers in a virtuous cycle. Travel managers benefit from data and analytics that help them identify new sources of savings, travelers can easily book and manage their trips through the Egencia app and businesses gain a competitive edge.
The full report “Travel Culture: Your Competitive Advantage in a Global Market” is available to read.
A total of 587 respondents drawn from Harvard Business Review audience of readers completed the survey in March 2019.
Egencia, corporate travel from Expedia Group, is reimagining business travel management to make business travelers happier and corporate travel programs more successful. Egencia offers more personalised experiences through curated access to the world’s most relevant travel options. Putting our customers at the centre of everything we do, Egencia provides exceptional customer care and innovative travel manager tools to increase savings and compliance. Egencia serves businesses large and small in more than 60 countries. Connect with us on egencia.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and see what we’re reimagining next on our blog.
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