Travel Managers Discuss 2024 Programme Objectives, Hotel RFPs and Data Accuracy
Travel programme objectives for next year and hotel RFPs were among the key topics on the agenda at ITM’s latest Buyer Knowledge Exchange (BKE) held on 10 October.
A poll of Global, EMEA and UK travel managers attending the session revealed that the top three priorities for their travel programmes in 2024 are firstly cost management/programme savings (77%), followed by policy adoption/adherence to policy (63%) and sustainability (57%).
Individual buyers elaborated further on their objectives and these insights included improved measurement of sustainability goals, balancing cost against sustainability and wellbeing. Buyers also commented on other key areas they will be focussing on for 2024. In particular, payment and expense solutions resonated with several travel managers, for example due to issues with virtual cards, mobile app payment solutions in certain markets, or platforms which are not accepted by some hotels.
Travel managers attending the BKE were also asked if they are currently undertaking a hotel RFP. The majority (62%) answered ‘yes’; however, interestingly, a third (31%) said that they are not conducting a hotel RFP. The remainder of buyers either already have their 2024 programme in place with rates agreed, or are looking at other alternatives, such as conducting the process internally, or reducing their hotel portfolio.
Finally, buyers attending the session shared insights on current MI and data feeds that they are using, and the reliability and accuracy of those sources. When asked if they were satisfied with the quality and accuracy of their travel data, only 12% answered ‘yes’; 60% were ‘somewhat’ satisfied, and 28% said ‘no’. A further poll revealed that the primary source for data for all buyers is their TMC (100%). However, 52% also use an expense tool as a secondary source of data.
Buyer Knowledge Exchange sessions are hosted regularly by ITM to assist buyer members in problem-solving common issues, asking questions of their peers and benchmarking their approach. Travel managers taking part represent diverse industry sectors such as financial services, energy, food, technology, telecoms, consulting, media and entertainment.
For a full download of buyer sentiment, poll results and other topics that were raised at the latest Buyer Knowledge Exchange, visit our Resource Centre to access the notes from the session. The next Buyer Knowledge Exchange takes place on 7 November 2023. Buyers can click here to register and join the discussion.