HRS announced the results of its most May 2020 Flash Survey of corporate travel program managers and procurement executives. The global survey gives the industry guidance on the delicate balance between hotel suppliers and managed travel programs as the business travel ecosystem looks towards recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Findings across every vertical market
“Our industry is suffering through previously unimaginable hard times, with suppliers and other parties all resource-challenged due to layoffs and furloughs,” said HRS CEO Tobias Ragge.
“Procurement leaders understand this reality. However, they are also being tasked by their CFOs to renegotiate and develop precise financial plans focused on the costs they anticipate to get business up and running in the back half of 2020. This is particularly true for Fortune 500 global programs. Once safety protocols are in place, companies will authorize necessary trips to visit clients and pitch prospects. These survey results fall in line with what we’re hearing from clients across every vertical market.”
The value of the managed travel program
Ragge concludes: “We see experienced procurement leaders choosing to renegotiate in these market circumstances as a way of demonstrating their value and the value of the managed travel program, As we’ve seen in other recoveries this century (9/11, SARS), aggressive online travel agencies (OTAs) gain market share by undercutting outdated negotiated corporate rates. Today’s business traveler instinctively shops hotel rates more than ever before. It’s vital that managers promoting their managed travel channels for safety reasons have the best rates in those channels as well, as it directly impacts the integrity and reputation of the program across the company.”
Find out more about how to fulfil your duty of care as a travel manager during COVID-19 and beyond in this article.