Improved Outlook For Business Travel

Eighty-five percent of financial executives surveyed in January 2005 feel their companies will spend more or the same on corporate travel in the coming year.


SOUTHLAKE, Texas -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- May 2, 2005 -- Eighty-five percent of financial executives surveyed in January 2005 feel their companies will spend more or the same on corporate travel in the coming year, according to a recent business travel survey. The findings are from an independent survey conducted for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), an organization dedicated to the science of business travel management, and GetThere(R) and Travelocity Business(SM), leading providers of corporate travel solutions and part of Sabre Holdings. Survey results also reveal that more financial executives are starting to base travel budgets on a company's expected sales, revenue and marketing goals, which may reflect the overall increasing health of the economy.

While business travel appears to be on the rise, corporate responsibility for employee safety still weighs heavy on the minds of senior management. Ninety-one percent of financial executives indicate moderate to high concerns about the safety of travelers, while eighty-six percent are concerned with the ability to track, locate and communicate with employees on the road. Sixty percent of respondents also share moderate to high concerns about the impact that financial problems suffered by major airlines could have on their businesses.

''The good news is that corporations are not letting security issues impede their ability to conduct more business travel this year, but company concerns about traveler safety still need to be addressed,'' said ACTE President Greeley Koch. ''ACTE is dedicated to working as an advocate on behalf of corporations to ensure these issues are given attention within the business travel community.''

Survey data also shows an increased understanding among financial executives about how travel expenditures impact the company's bottom line. Respondents indicate they are less surprised at how much corporate online booking tools rose among respondents this year, with forty-four percent of executives using online booking to reduce travel costs, up from thirty-one percent in 2003. More than three quarters of financial executives also believe that new online corporate travel agencies could provide new cost savings opportunities.

''From a technology standpoint, the survey results reinforce that financial executives have greater awareness of how technology is giving them a clearer picture of how travel dollars are spent, helping them manage costs more effectively,'' said Ellen Keszler, president of Sabre Holdings Corporate Solutions. ''It also shows that companies continue to embrace online booking as a way to automate travel reservations because of the positive impact it can have to the bottom line.''

Additional Findings

  • More than seventy percent of financial executives feel their companies have an accurate way of tracking travel expenditures, compared to fifty-six percent in September 2003.

  • Nearly seventy percent of executives surveyed stated that their companies ''use technology well to plan and manage corporate travel'' compared to fifty-six percent in September 2003.

  • Sixty-eight percent of companies that use online booking believe they have experienced significant cost savings as a result.

  • Of the companies that use online booking tools, eighty-one percent require the use of online booking for some or all business trips, in the form of full or partial mandates.

For more CFO survey findings, go to: http://www.getthere.com/documents/CFO_Survey_Data_Deck.ppt (MS Powerpoint).

Survey Methodology

The proprietary survey was conducted from January 10 - 26, 2005 for ACTE (Association of Corporate Travel Executives), GetThere and Travelocity Business, leading providers of corporate travel solutions and part of Sabre Holdings. Results are based on a poll of BusinessWeek subscribers and were limited to senior executives with financial and procurement responsibilities (CFOs, senior VPs, executive VPs and presidents) that work for companies with more than 1,000 employees. A total of 374 online surveys were completed on a secure Web site, managed by InsightExpress, Inc., an independent market research firm. Two previous surveys were conducted using the same methodology in March 2002 and September 2003 for GetThere and ACTE.

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