Home Featured Companies with a strong travel culture have a competitive advantage: Harvard Business Review Analytic Services & Egencia
Companies with a strong travel culture have a competitive advantage: Harvard Business Review Analytic Services & Egencia
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Companies with a strong travel culture have a competitive advantage: Harvard Business Review Analytic Services & Egencia

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  • More than half of business leaders agreed that having a strong travel culture is very important to their organisations’ business performance today
  • Companies with a strong travel culture have seen significant improvements in customer loyalty and retention, profitability, market share and employee satisfaction
  • Only a third of respondents say their organisation actually has a strong travel culture with the majority admitting it’s most often viewed as a cost to be minimised
  • Three-quarters of those who have a strong travel culture work with a single travel management company (TMC)

A new research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with Egencia, a business travel brand from Expedia Group, proves that when aligned with a company’s strategy, a well-managed travel programme can deliver a tangible competitive advantage.

The report “Travel Culture: Your Competitive Advantage in a Global Market” shows 58% of business leaders confirm that having a strong travel culture – one where the company, its leaders and its processes support the use of corporate travel as a form of strategic investment with business value – produces better business results.

The research reveals that over the last year, companies with a strong travel culture had double the rate of improvement in key areas such as customer loyalty and retention (50% vs 21%), market share (43% vs 22%) and employee satisfaction (35% vs 15%), compared to companies with a weak travel culture. Even profitability improved significantly (47% vs 29%), proving the staggering impact a well-managed business travel programme can have on achieving solid business results.

“Corporate travel is increasingly fundamental to business performance, particularly as companies expand their global footprint,” says Wendy White, Vice President of Marketing, Egencia. “It’s clear that when business leaders look at travel as a strategic investment and have a global travel management company like Egencia on board, it quickly becomes a differentiator – and the data supports this. But a strong travel culture delivers more than a competitive edge, it helps teams across the world work better together and supports a unified company culture.”

However, less than a third (31%) of the 587 business leaders surveyed believe that their organisation actually has a strong travel culture. In fact, most admit that managed corporate travel is not seen as a strategic investment in its future but rather a cost to be minimised. This is a critically short-sighted view in today’s global marketplace where the majority of business leaders recognise that in-person interactions help ensure positive long-term relationships with customers (84%), and importantly, between employees in a company (78%).

While it’s clear to business leaders what a strong travel culture is and why it’s fundamental in helping their company to differentiate and compete, well under half are prioritising this today. Of the ones that effectively manage business travel, a huge majority (77%) have a single TMC onboard. It is proving to be the basis for a more strategic approach to business travel.

A total of 587 respondents drawn from Harvard Business Review audience of readers completed the survey in March 2019.

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