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Travel policy compliance and accommodation pricing are the key challenges facing travel managers post-COVID

DUBLIN, IRELAND – New research conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with Roomex, the workforce travel platform, has unveiled the state of business and project travel in 2022. Findings from the survey, completed by over 100 Travel Managers in the US and Canada between March 29 and April 15, 2022, has revealed the growth of business travel post-COVID and the methods top businesses are using to manage their staff travel.

Demonstrating the resurgence of workforce travel post-COVID, the survey found that a third of businesses have some significant overnight accommodation needs, with between 25% – 100% of the workforce staying overnight at least once a week. Sixty six percent said between 1% – 24% of their workforce stay elsewhere overnight at least once a week, with only 1% saying they have no accommodation needs at this time.

A third of businesses surveyed stated that their average room nights booked per month exceeded 500, with 13% booking between 200 – 500 and 18% booking 100 – 200 room nights per month. Project-based travel is particularly prominent, with 39% of businesses saying their organization engages in “a lot” of project travel.

Rising costs featured prominently in the survey, with accommodation price featuring in 82% of travel managers’ responses when asked: “What is most important when managing corporate travel?” Seventy nine percent of respondents called out visibility and reporting as an important feature, while 57% noted the importance of duty of care/safety. Just 32% highlighted the price of airline tickets.

Compliance enforcement topped the poll in booking challenges, with 60% of travel managers admitting that getting their staff to stick to travel policy is a challenge their organization currently faces. Fifty one percent noted that traveller satisfaction is also a challenge, pointing to the importance of maintaining strong employee relations in the new post-COVID workplace. Keeping track of all company travellers (38%), keeping track of travel spend/budget (30%) and unsuitable accommodation types (17%) also ranked among the challenges travel managers face in 2022.

Garry Moroney, CEO of Roomex, said: “It is clear from the research that while workforce travel has returned for most businesses, the challenges facing travel managers and finance teams have changed. Rising costs and a renewed focus on traveller satisfaction mean that travel managers need a flexible, efficient and innovative solution to keep up with their organisation’s travel requirements. Roomex solves this problem and enables every travel manager to take that extra coffee break, safe in the knowledge that they’ve got the best rate and their travellers will be happy.”

Christopher Ely, Research Director at GBTA, said: “In our ongoing GBTA research, we’ve seen a continued evolution in the challenges that travel managers are now facing. This data around project-based travel and high room night volumes provides insights on what travel managers are thinking about now for their employees and companies, and how they are navigating new considerations as a result of the pandemic and other factors.”

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