Traveller wellbeing is among the top priorities for travel managers in 2020 according to the latest annual survey by the Institute of Travel Management (ITM) in conjunction with FCM Travel Solutions.
Almost half of respondents have already incorporated traveller wellbeing into their company’s travel policy, but the level of measurement is still hugely varied. Only five per cent have optimised and integrated wellbeing throughout their organisation and 16 per cent take a proactive consistent approach. Most measure traveller wellbeing on a reactive basis, by defining basic policies, or gathering metrics.
Respondents also revealed that budget control, implementation of technology and managing traveller behaviour will be among their biggest challenges over the next 12 months. However, access to full travel content is also a major concern for 41% of those surveyed.
Post Brexit, most respondents (67%) anticipate that their travel spend will remain the same, whilst 24% expect it to increase. Only 8% are forecasting a drop in spend. Adapting to changes in regulations caused by Brexit also ranked low on travel managers priorities next year.
In terms of sustainability, only 17% of those surveyed said that their travel policy would favour airline suppliers using biofuel, even if the flight option was more expensive. This poses the question of how much corporates are willing to pay for environmentally friendly products, such as aviation biofuel.
The ITM survey results aim to provide business travel professionals with the insights required to help strategize for the year ahead. The data delivers a representative sample of the industry, offering a concise snapshot of key motivations and considerations as we enter 2020.
Scott Davies, Chief Executive Officer, ITM commented: “The annual survey results were presented at the ITM #Trending 2020 Summit at the close of the year. Delegate feedback post event identified the results analysis as the most significant session of the day. Achieving a respectable 100% satisfaction rate among feedback respondents, we’re delighted to be able to provide the industry with invaluable insights for the year ahead.”
Graham Ross, UK General Manager, FCM Travel Solutions added: “The results of this survey are particularly interesting as they match up with the trends that we are expecting in 2020. Wellbeing is a major issue in society in general and we are seeing a knock-on effect in business travel. After lots of talk about the subject over the last two years, we are seeing conversations turn into action. Travel content and distribution are also going to dominate 2020 driven by NDC which will lead to a shift towards bigger conversations around cost and commercials. And in terms of Brexit, we haven’t seen any particular downturn in trading or changes in customer priorities that we can attribute to the UK leaving the EU. In fact, the majority of our clients were trading up in 2019.”
The online survey is closed to buyers only and is fielded for the first two weeks in October. The confidential questionnaire is comprised of 20 questions varying in complexity. It covers topics such as core challenges, company confidence, tender process, GDPR, travel programme, policy, travel gadgets and technology.
The hugely anticipated Top Priorities Survey results are now available to be downloaded from the ITM Resource Centre.