Most business travelers still book through the corporate booking tool or corporate travel agent, a new Phocuswright study found. But it also found that business travelers are increasingly using their phones to plan and book their trips - outside their companies’ travel tools.
“Fifty to 60 percent of hotel bookings always existed outside,” said John M. Rose, the chief operating officer of iJet International. “People of different generations are traveling who are used to everything being at their fingertips.” Compliance, he added, “is hard to mandate.”
Travel management companies believe the direct booking trend is here to stay. “Everybody has a policy, every company. But the traveler says, ‘I found a lower rate,’” said Greeley Koch, executive director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives.
Some corporate travel managers require business travelers who make their own arrangements to alert the corporate travel department or the travel management company with an email “so somebody knows where their people are and are they booking in a compliant way from a duty-of-care standpoint,” said Michael Steiner, executive vice president of Ovation Travel Group. “Some companies say if you book direct, you are not going to be reimbursed. If you report it, you will be reimbursed.”
Booking patterns vary depending on travelers’ habits and the tech tools they use. Larger corporations typically have more rules than smaller ones.
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