corporate travel

Price increases likely, predicts Amex Forecast

Modest increases in global travel prices and a travel management environment that is coming to grips with evolving disruptors appear to be on the cards for 2016, according to the American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2016 (the “Forecast”).

The report which predicts air, hotel and ground transportation pricing trends, as well as makes related travel management programme recommendations, says that in Africa, airfares are expected to increase slightly in 2016 as a result of protectionist policies impacting intra-regional flights and higher infrastructure costs.

Given Africa’s limited ground infrastructure, air travel to and from the continent continues to be the most convenient method of travel. However, high operating costs, a lack of low-cost carriers (outside of South Africa), and stringent intra-continental regulation are expected to support fare increases within the region.

“While we expect modest increases in global travel prices heading into 2016, travel managers are operating in an era of new challenges and evolving disrupters,” said Caroline Strachan, Vice President, Consulting, American Express Global Business Travel. “In addition to handling tasks such as measurement and compliance, new factors such as the sharing economy and mobile booking channels are becoming increasingly popular for business travelers. In order to thrive in this digital era, travel managers need to be aware of and dynamically adapt to these forces across a variety of geographies.”

Read about global pricing trends here.

Cheaper ain’t necessarily more cheerful…

Don’t you just hate them? Those self-entitled Generation Y whizz kids who are taking the workplace by storm and spend half their lives on their phones. It’s the generation everyone loves to hate. But if there is one important thing we can learn from them, it’s their ability to place importance on and find a healthy work-life balance.

And of course nothing impacts on a healthy work-life balance quite as much as business travel. As a business traveller, you’ve probably racked up those miles flitting from airport to airport, continent to continent on behalf of your company.

You cross time zones, get barely any sleep, gain a little weight while eating on the go and give up your precious weekends for that deal that nobody else could seal. While you’re making these sacrifices, most companies are focusing their attention on tightening their travel policy to save costs, sometimes leaving you wondering if they truly understand the hardships of corporate travel.

Cost-saving measures are often thought about in a rather one-dimensional way. Simply put, by reducing supplier costs, requiring you travel in Economy Class or booking at lower graded hotels.

But what about the hidden costs that arise as a result of introducing a travel policy that cuts costs to the bare bones. The serious impact on your productivity after 14 hours spent with your knees around your chin in economy class. The dissatisfaction you may feel at being forced to travel in this way and your propensity to stay engaged, involved and in fact employed at that company.

Do you feel unappreciated? Are you headed for burnout as you rack up those miles? And are you looking for other opportunities at a corporate whose travel policy takes into account your business travel wellness or one where you wouldn’t have to travel at all?

All is not lost though…Your first course of action should be to talk to your travellers and ASATA TMC to assess the hidden costs your travel policy could have if it is not taking into account the wellness of your business traveller.

Your travelling employees are a valuable tool to your firm’s productivity and a traveller-friendly policy that reduces travel friction as much as possible within a reasonable cost framework can be a win-win for all parties.  Let your ASATA TMC show you how…