updated 2/23/2011 9:47:09 AM ET 2011-02-23T14:47:09

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Egencia®, an Expedia, Inc. company, today released the results of its 2011 Global Cost Avoidance Study, uncovering several best practices and strategies that travel managers can use to circumvent and protect against growing corporate travel costs.

"As the Canadian travel market continues to shift, it is essential for corporations to employ policy enforcement and cost avoidance strategies to ensure their programs are streamlined and optimized to endure any change or circumstance," said Nikki Germany, Managing Director, Canada, Egencia. "We want our clients to be equipped with the most effective tactics and strategies, allowing them to maximize their budgets and minimize their costs."

The global survey of 348 travel executives revealed that 95 percent of respondents view traveller compliance as important to extremely important to the success of their travel program in 2011. A lack of compliance can mean missed opportunities for corporations to conserve funds, and can ultimately affect the bottom line. For example, respondents identified failure to book air travel far enough in advance (68 percent) as the number one area where travellers tend not to comply. Respondents identified other areas of frequently breached compliance, including:

  • Not booking preferred carriers or lowest logical fares (42 percent)
  • Booking more expensive hotel rooms (32 percent)
  • Not booking hotel rooms with preferred hotel partners (30 percent)

To encourage compliance with their travellers, 50 percent of respondents proactively communicate their corporate travel policy as updates occur; with 16 percent communicating quarterly, 11 percent yearly, and four percent never communicating. Additionally, 77 percent of respondents noted that they do not use incentives to keep their travellers compliant with their corporate travel policy.

According to a recent joint Egencia/NBTA Foundation study [1], a carefully conceived and consistently enforced corporate travel policy allowed companies to reduce annual travel spend by at least 45 percent or more.

When respondents were asked how they promoted travel spend accountability within their company, 56 percent noted that they establish a pre-trip approval system for approving or denying travel before booking, while 37 percent identify rogue travellers and follow-up with them directly, and 36 percent provide department managers with a specific travel budget that they manage and own.

In addition to strong policy enforcement and compliance, corporations should actively utilize cost avoidance best practices to ensure a successful travel program. Respondents identified

several key tactics as effective to very effective, including: 

  • Insisting that travellers use lowest logical fares (55 percent)
  • Requiring pre-trip approval (51 percent)
  • Leveraging hotels that offer discounted/included amenities (47 percent)
  • Using independent hotels (25 percent)
  • Utilizing a last room availability clause (17 percent)

Corporate travel executives are increasingly focused on negotiating additional amenities or better terms and conditions into their hotel contracts, with 49 percent of respondents saying that they are utilizing this tactic to combat anticipated hotel rate increases in the coming year.

"With 2011 average daily hotel rates expected to rise as much as 5 percent in some key Canadian markets, it is essential to make the most of each organizations' negotiated hotel rates," said Germany. "Programs like the Egencia Preferred Rate program can optimize a travel programs hotel spend, offering discounted rates, additional amenities and flexible terms and conditions."

The majority of respondents (57 percent) noted that they do not include reminders in their travel policy communications about available hotel benefits or amenities that have been negotiated into their rates. This is a substantial missed opportunity, as educating travellers on the availability of these benefits through targeted communications can dramatically increase the likelihood of them utilizing these rates and included benefits.

Further insights into Egencia's 2011 Global Cost Avoidance Study are available upon request, as well as region-specific figures. 

About Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. Company

Egencia is the fifth largest travel management company in the world. As part of Expedia, Inc., (NASDAQ: EXPE), the world's largest travel marketplace, Egencia helps businesses get ahead by offering the only truly integrated corporate travel service. Egencia's industry expertise helps drive results that matter, delivering meaningful advancements that have a real impact. By combining a powerful offline and online service, Egencia delivers a complete corporate travel offering supported by global market expertise and a best-in-class technology platform.

For more information, go to www.egencia.com.

Egencia and the Egencia logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.© 2011 Egencia, LLC.  All rights reserved. CST # 2083922-50

###

For more information, press only:

Sonia Reid

Egencia Corporate Communications Manager                                                    

(425) 679-7801           

sreid@egencia.com  

 

[1] Corporate Travel Policy:  Benchmarking and Insight, Egencia and National Business Traveller Association (NBTA) Foundation, August 2010.


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