November 25, 2019

The Two Questions Every Travel Manager Must Ask

There are two questions that every executive, corporate travel manager, HR professional, and finance leader should ask themselves in response to the evolving business travel landscape and the competing demands from within their organization:

First: What do business travelers really want and need? Second: What steps should I take in response?


TripActions partnered with Skift to interview thousands of business travelers and corporate travel managers around the world for the The State of Business Travel 2020

We discovered a universal desire for the ability to implement a travel policy and solution that help leaders manage and optimize their company’s travel spend--while also delivering a great, consumer-like experience for business travelers. Today, you don’t have to choose between the needs of the business versus those of your travelers. You can have the best of both worlds.

Let’s dig into these questions a bit deeper:

What do business travelers really want and need?

Technology is driving changes in how business travel products are distributed, and business travelers are making increasing demands for convenient, easy-to-use tools that are on the same level as what they use for booking leisure travel.

Business travelers want the freedom and flexibility to choose from a vast inventory and pick the operator and schedule that works best for them. They expect support that responds immediately, and doesn’t require being passed around from agent to agent on the phone for hours at a time should a flight change or travel interruption arise.

Ultimately, business travelers want to do well by their companies while also ensuring that their trip is designed to help them succeed. In a time when there’s technology to solve even the most basic of problems, business travelers are hoping that the logistics can be taken care of as easily as possible so they can focus on being productive, positive, and healthy on the road.

What steps should I take in response?

There’s never been a better time for travel managers to stop and to review their existing travel solutions and policies. They should start by assessing if their current program -- whether unmanaged or not -- offers employees the most convenient, hassle-free travel options and platform.

This evaluation process should focus on a few key areas for improvement which includes but are not limited to partnering with a platform that will:

  • Deliver an experience employees truly love while balancing the needs of the organization
  • Handle expensing for trip add-ons
  • Provide reliable payment options
  • Allow employees to use their preferred loyalty programs
  • Provide reliable 24/7 365 global travel agents on chat and through the phone

As we’ve seen from the results of the Skift and TripActions survey, there are many areas where the needs of business travelers already align with the priorities of those in the executive suite. This spirit of collaboration and cooperation is great news for the future of business travel.

In the past, companies struggled to reconcile the often contradictory demands of traveling employees with the cost and policy goals of their company. The future of business travel will focus on convenience and choice. By putting the needs of travelers first and foremost, travel managers will drive adoption so that their companies benefit from the resulting spend visibility, savings, and ability to fulfill their duty of care.

Happy travelers means high adoption, which brings full visibility and control for companies. Ultimately, happy travelers make for happy, thriving companies. All of this is done in alignment and partnership with suppliers and airlines. It is the ultimate win-win-win.

Download the Skift Report: The State of Business Travel 2020 to learn more about the win- win-win that’s finally available to the people who manage travel.