The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the world’s largest business travel association, launches the findings from a study into how travel managers view online booking tools (OBTs).
The study, made possible by Deem, examines how U.S. and Canada-based travel managers view corporate booking technology and how the pandemic has impacted business travel, including the changes to travel policies and booking channels.
The study asked travel managers about their key priorities when selecting an OBT, how travel managers feel about booking-related innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), automated chat, and IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC), and whether their travel programs offer a satisfactory mobile booking experience either through their OBT’s app or a travel management company’s (TMC) app.
Key Findings Include:
- The coronavirus has made some companies revisit booking-related policies; some changes are here to stay. Of the travel programs that have adopted a stricter requirement to book through an OBT/TMC as a result of the pandemic, three-quarters (75%) expect this change will remain in effect permanently.
- Travel Managers identify strengths and pain points with the primary OBT their company uses.
Seven in 10 (69%) rank configuration as one of the three greatest strengths of their company’s OBT. Other top strengths include integration and end-user/ traveler experience.
- Almost half of travel managers (48%) say innovation is one of the three greatest pain points with their primary OBT. Richness of data and a consistent experience across multiple devices are also viewed as pain points.
- Mobile bookings still not available for all. Approximately one in five do not offer mobile corporate booking solutions for flights (20%) or hotels (17%). One-quarter (27%) do not offer mobile booking of rental cars.
Even when travel programs offer mobile booking, satisfaction is mixed. While almost two-thirds of travel managers (64%) are satisfied with their mobile booking solution when it comes to an end-user/traveler experience, only about half (54%) are satisfied when it comes to consistency with other formats (e.g. desktop or travel agent.)
- “The pandemic has given many travel managers the opportunity to review their company travel policies and identify how evolving technology can help to solve any shortcomings in their travel program. With business travel solutions, like Deem, becoming more powerful and enjoyable experiences, travelers are going to stay on platform, and travel managers will become even more empowered to add value to their companies,” said David Grace, President Deem.
GBTA and Deem will be hosting a webinar to discuss the findings in more detail. The webinar will take place on May 4 at 11 am (ET). To register please go to GBTA.org.
- Online survey of U.S. and Canada-based travel buyers
- Data collection took place between October 25, 2020, and November 5, 2020
- Email invitation sent to 4,659 Travel Managers in the U.S. and Canada including current and former members of GBTA
- Of these, 190 completed at least one question, for a response rate of 4.1%
- Of those who started the survey, 166 qualified because they are (1) based in the U.S. or Canada, (2) they are “involved with managing or procuring travel on behalf of their company,” and (3) they “work for a company where “business travelers [made] bookings through a corporate online booking tool (OBT) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Of those who qualified, 120 completed the entire survey including 110 in the U.S. and 10 in Canada