Managed U.S. Business Travelers: Monitored or Manhandled?
Author: David Juman
Published: March 01, 2012
Despite being governed by travel policy, a majority of managed business travelers in the U.S. still have considerable discretion over which travel brands and booking channels they use. According to PhoCusWright's U.S. Business Traveler: Managed, Unmanaged and Rogue, less than 15% of managed business travelers are required to use a particular airline, hotel or car rental company when they travel, and less than a third must use their company's preferred booking tool or agency. While companies frequently encourage the use of certain brands or booking methods, their policies are flexible and provide business travelers the leeway to make travel planning decisions based on convenience, price and other factors.
Based on a comprehensive survey of more than 2,000 business travelers in the U.S., PhoCusWright's U.S. Business Traveler: Managed, Unmanaged and Rogue explores the behavior of managed and unmanaged business travelers, and provides an overview of managed travel policy structure, flexibility and compliance. The report highlights key similarities and differences between managed and unmanaged travelers, including the need to obtain authorization for business travel, and the formality of the authorization process.
"While business travelers often get to have their pick of travel brands and booking methods, companies are keeping a firmer grip over trip authorizations for their employees," says Carroll Rheem, director, research at PhoCusWright. "Organizations are constantly balancing the desire to grow with the very real need to keep a tight rein on expenses. Some form of pre-trip authorization is required for a majority of managed travelers and more than four in 10 unmanaged travelers."
PhoCusWright's U.S. Business Traveler: Managed, Unmanaged and Rogue includes:
- Analysis of general business traveler behavior, including trip frequency, purpose and duration; travel spend; and travel components purchased (air, hotel, car rental and rail travel)
- Discussion of the impact of video conferencing and other virtual meeting technology on certain types of business trips – training, conferences and trade shows, sales/client meetings, etc.
- Examination of business travel policies, structure, compliance with managed travel programs and key drivers of rogue behavior
- Detailed metrics of the travel planning processes for managed and unmanaged business travelers, including information sources, booking channels and factors that influence decision making