Corporate Travel Landscape – Trends & Challenges

An evaluation of the current business travel landscape and supply environment for air, hotel and rail inventory through the 2012 Global Corporate Travel Benchmarking Study and Travel Manager Research by Egencia, released this month.

Focusing on top domestic and international business destinations in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, Egencia analyses industry trends, supplier data and capacity implications in Q1 2012. Additionally, it surveyed over 300 travel buyers globally identifying current trends and challenges.

Travel managers surveyed universally identified cost control/reducing expenses (77 percent) as the greatest challenge facing their travel programs, followed by traveler compliance/policy enforcement (40 percent), Egencia reports.

Average daily rates (ADRs) for hotel stays have also increased in the majority of business destinations, continuing a reversal of previous trends.

Improved occupancy and a decreasing amount of new hotel supply coming into the market has led to slightly higher room prices (approximately 6 percent in North America, 3.3 percent in Europe, and 5.7 percent in the Asia-Pacific region).

Average ticket prices (ATPs) for air travel have, on average, increased in North AmericaAsia Pacific and Europe in the last year, attributed to rising jet fuel prices being passed onto travelers and tightly managed capacity discipline by airlines.

Key results of the new benchmarking study:

North America: As a result of increased cost pressures in Q1 2012, ATPs have increased for nearly all routes departing from North America by approximately six percent. These increases can be largely attributed to higher fuel prices, tighter management of capacity, and continued airline consolidation.

Europe: ATPs for European destinations experienced an increase of nearly six percent YoY. Increased ATPs can be attributed to rising fuel prices and tightly managed capacity by airlines. Decreased ATPs can be attributed to overall financial vulnerability of the Eurozone, increased competition from low cost carriers, and increased competition with high speed rail.

APAC: Asia-Pacific represents a mixed air pricing landscape, varying on a market-by-market basis. However, as a whole APAC is averaging an increase in overall ATPs. Prices for Intra-APAC destinations have increased by an average of three percent YoY. Increased ATPs can be attributed to increased fuel costs and increased demand into China. Decreased ATPs can be attributed to increased competition in the local markets and increased capacity on a majority of routes, as more and larger aircrafts enter the Asia Pacific region.

Travel Management Trends: According to respondents of Egencia’s global survey of over 300 travel buyers, 43 percent of buyers expect their travel volumes (number of trips) to increase during the remainder of 2012 (compared with 54 percent in 2011) with 46 percent expecting their overall travel spend to increase. Additionally, 62 percent of travel buyers said they will negotiate more in 2012 (compared to 38% in 2011).

Find the Full Study here.

Destination Marketing for Business & Pleasure

The MICE industry is reportedly experiencing a ‘moderate growth’ through out 2011 and into 2012 as the need for international corporate presence increases.

As companies are now ‘savvy’ at seeking out deals, to remain competitive, suppliers will need to understand their business customer and be able to provide added value to their accommodation, travel and facility offerings.

Key trends include the identified need for better collaboration between planners and suppliers, good quality venues and facilities, and greater content for MICE. Being able to meet corporate social responsibility requests will give providers a competitive edge, sustainability will remain a key objective for companies, and growing usage of technology is already visible within the industry.

A number of reports highlight the potential increase in the industry ‘dabbling’ with virtual channels and social media. Technology and alternative virtual channels are predicted to become more mainstream as interaction, innovation and ‘connectivity’ become more important, perhaps changing the way the industry works and communicates. The online environment is no longer seen as a threat to the live event circuit, but as a tool to deliver a greater impact and involve even more professionals.

So, how have destinations recently used this environment to attract business tourism to their area?

Tourism Ireland’s Twitter Tour for MICE

Tourism Ireland’s British office recently announced a new business tourism promotion offering senior executives a chance to win a tour of Ireland by Twitter.

In collaboration with the International Special Events Society (ISES) and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Tourism Ireland launched a competition aimed at senior executives involved in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) sector. The prize on offer is a ‘t’weetour’ a tour of Ireland that can be followed on Twitter.

Members of ISES and ICCA who are active in social media are being targeted to enter the competition. Three winners will be selected to travel to Ireland this month, courtesy of Tourism Ireland, and each will have their own itinerary. Winners are  invited to live tweet their experiences in Ireland, highlighting the country as a destination to their network of colleagues in the industry.

Source: www.siliconrepublic.comwww.tourismireland.com

Tourism New Zealand “Beyond Convention”

Tourism New Zealand has just introduced a new campaign to internationally market the business events sector. “Beyond convention” is the creative territory that will provide an umbrella theme for all Tourism New Zealand’s destination marketing material for the business events sector.


A sneak preview of the theme and marketing material was revealed at MEETINGS 2012 at SkyCity in Auckland.

Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager Marketing Communications Justin Watson said it is the first time a creative theme has been used by the organisation for this sector. “…Beyond convention can be applied across the sector – for meetings and conferences, convention relates to the event. In the incentives space, it is more about promoting that there is nothing conventional about an incentive trip to New Zealand.”

The theme will be rolled out promoting New Zealand across a range of concepts such as “beyond the meet and greet”; “beyond the morning break” and “beyond the cityscape”.

Source: www.tourismnewzealand.com

Visit York 4 Meetings

Visit York, the city’s official tourism agency, hasjust launched a new business tourism brand: Visit York 4 Meetings.

The changes will also see the first ever ‘Visit York in London’ meet the buyer event, aimed at attracting conference buyers from London and the South, as well as a number of international business tourism marketing opportunities in partnership with Visit England.

Other projects the Visit York 4 Meetings team are working on include the Conference Ambassador Programme with 30 Ambassadors on board, a dedicated sales day working with York venue sales staff to drive business conference bookings to the city and a programme of exhibitions and workshops promoting York’s conference venues.

Source: www.visityork.org