Not-So-Subtle Shift: Corporate Travel Bookings Move Online

Published June 2012 Analyst: David Juman


Not-So-Subtle Shift: Corporate Travel Bookings Move Online

If the last several years are any indication, corporate travel trends are pointing in one direction: online. A recent Global Edition report from Phocuswright reveals that a combination of recessionary pressures, advances in technology and changes in U.S. business traveler behavior has driven strong growth in the online corporate travel marketplace. According to Phocuswright's U.S. Corporate Travel Report: Market Size and Technology Trends, a new wave of companies either turned to online booking tools, or else accelerated their online adoption efforts during the recession.

In 2009, the online channel accounted for half of all corporate travel bookings. But the recession brought greater emphasis on cost-cutting, and more companies began to insist that employees book their air, car and hotel online to save money. In addition, mobile and tablet apps have quickly gained popularity, as companies seek to accommodate their travelers' preferred modes of behavior. As a result, online corporate travel bookings have grown significantly, and are expected to increase through 2013, when 56% of all corporate travel dollars will be spent online.

Phocuswright's U.S. Corporate Travel Report: Market Size and Technology Trends presents a comprehensive view of the managed travel sector in the U.S., along with the key metrics and dynamics that will shape the arena through 2013. In addition to charting the growth of the online channel, the report provides complete market sizing and discusses a range of trends that are transforming the corporate travel space.

"We're seeing several key factors contributing to the growth of online bookings in the corporate travel marketplace," says Susan Steinbrink, senior research and corporate market analyst at Phocuswright. "Not only does the online channel represent a way for companies to potentially save money in their managed travel programs, but there is also a heightened expectation among corporate travelers to be able to use tools similar to those they use to manage their leisure travel. That means websites, mobile and tablet apps."

The importance of online booking tools is one of several key topics addressed in Phocuswright's U.S. Corporate Travel Report: Market Size and Technology Trends. The report includes:

  • Corporate travel market sizing (with projections through 2013), including proportion of total U.S. travel market and comparison to leisure/unmanaged business travel
  • Key U.S. corporate travel technology trends, including: IT consumerization; traveler engagement; extended personalization; brand drafting; impact of smartphones, location-based services and tablets; digital cash and more
  • Online penetration and the use of online booking tools in the corporate travel marketplace
  • Intermediary versus supplier-direct bookings, with projections through 2013
  • Corporate travel spend across key expense categories – air, hotel, car rental and rail – along with key priorities through 2012
  • Most common elements prescribed by corporate travel policy, and the impact of technology on policy components
Phocuswright's U.S. Corporate Travel Report: Market Size and Technology Trends is an indispensable resource for understanding the dynamic corporate travel landscape and the key factors that continue to influence its development.