Travel Program Resolutions 2024
How many New Year’s resolutions have you dutifully penned in the past, only to make it to February and realise your lofty goals lie in tatters? This year, why not take the pressure off yourself, just a little, and shift some of that future optimism onto some easy-to-follow aspirations for your travel program?
1. Spark better online booking behaviour
Giving your top travel bookers a modern and intuitive booking platform that’s rich in content, sustainability data and intelligent policy guidance is the best way to fast-track your business travel. So where do you start?
1. User experience is important for the travel booker
If your online booking tool has the aesthetic appeal of an exploration in shades of grey, it’s likely not inspiring many of your people to keep using it. In 2024, you don’t need to choose between policy control and a polished user experience, so don’t settle for less.
2. Show how it pays to switch travel days
Encouraging travellers to move their trip by just 24 hours can lead to significant airfare savings. Using smart technology like CTM Fare Forecaster that partner with online booking tools to find the perfect day to travel are a must for 2024.
3. Sustainable travel choices get the green light
Sustainability and emissions reporting regulations are on the rise, so why should your online booking tool hold back progress? Granular emissions calculations on almost all types of travel are available, with award-winning online booking tools like Lightning leading the way in leveraging smart sorting and comparisons that support sustainability. Influencing positive change when selecting air, hotel or car will be the new frontier in behavioural change for business travel.
Get struck by Lightning
2. Build a workflow you approve of
If every trip booked in your business travel program needs approval by a line manager, central team, or even you – regardless of flight class, cost, or purpose – do you have an approval flow fit for purpose? Why not make 2024 the year to review your approval process?
An approval flow that matches your policy and the varying permutations of it by seniority, team and location, can stop your travel program from generating out-of-policy bookings without being difficult on both travellers and approvers. Why not go one step further and adopt an online booking tool that dynamically prioritises in-policy bookings to minimise the volume that even needs to be checked?
A well-rounded approval process should make your life easier and not burden you with extra work; so bear that in mind the next time you’re considering making a change to a process or partner.
3. Give traveller wellbeing a boost as a travel program resolution for 2024
Business travel can be immensely fulfilling, enjoyable and critical to the success of not just organisations but the careers of individuals too. Travel helps employees build long-lasting connections with colleagues, customers and industry peers. However, it is also important to consider that business travel, which requires a frequent crossing of multiple time zones, overnight flights, and last-minute rescheduling may have an impact on an individual.
Prioritising your travellers’ physical and mental health has previously suffered from a lack of actionable insight and data, compounding the issue of wellbeing seen as an intangible and unmeasurable facet of corporate travel – but you can change that in 2024. Today it’s easier than ever to use intuitive scoring and analysis to determine who’s fit to fly and who might need some tweaks to their travel experience to maximise wellbeing for enhanced professional performance.
With awareness of both absenteeism and presenteeism in most major economies on the rise, keeping your top performers engaged, energised and productive is high on the agenda for HR and people leaders worldwide; so why not lend a helping hand? Share traveller wellbeing metrics with line managers and your organisational leaders to reduce employee turnover, boost productivity and collaborate on ways to support your frequent travellers. So, even if they are on the road regularly, you’ve got the tools and policies in place to make it a perk, not a pain point.
4. Up your analytics game as a travel program resolution in 2024
Small changes in travel policies, supplier partners and even which technology you use to drive your travel program can have an outsized impact over a year.
So, for 2024, don’t just run the numbers, learn from them. Seek out actionable insights on everything from which teams adhere closest to your travel program goals (and why), through to satisfaction levels with hotel partner properties, advance purchase patterns, airfare ticket cost forecasts and everything in between.
Once you’ve armed yourself with a solid foundation of data-backed knowledge to share with your peers, you can determine the metrics your travel program’s success can be measured on. These could be $-per kilometre travelled, traveller satisfaction scores, preferred partner booking adoption, percentage of lowest emission flights chosen, or some other completely different factors. What matters is that they support the goals and values of your business so you can show how business travel and your role support the success of your organisation.
The rule of three can be your ally here. While you might measure tens of different success criteria when it comes to demonstrating your focus and impact to your stakeholders, sharing analytics on three key metrics may help you make a more memorable impression on colleagues and leadership.
You can’t accomplish this if you’re buried under a sea of spreadsheets, so letting data analytics tools do the heavy lifting here is a must. Many travel management companies offer a wealth of data. At Corporate Travel Management (CTM), we like to make things fast and simple, so we built CTM Data Hub to give you instant access to your travel data, whether you prefer granular reports that go right down to the individual transaction layer or prefer to slice and dice your data from intuitive dashboards.
In 2024, we’re excited to be infusing the power and speed of CTM Data Hub with AI-powered conversational intelligence to give you even more insights that are just a chat away, so watch this space.
5. Embrace AI and automation
No technology resolution would be complete without mentioning AI. ChatGPT took the world by storm in 2023, with the large-language-model AI becoming the fastest product to reach a million users practically overnight thanks to its conversational skill and seemingly endless uses for everything from reviewing contracts to writing business plans.
Advancements in AI and the rise of tailored intelligent products and machines designed for specific use cases open up a new world of possibilities for Travel Managers. While ChatGPT’s limited connections to travel content make it a poor imitation of a true expert Travel Consultant, there are still plenty of ways businesses are adopting AI, machine learning and automation to speed up processes, remove low-value manual tasks and make travel more efficient.
Take CTM Scout, for example, the new chatbot developed by CTM that combines natural language programming with deep booking tool integrations to make low-value but frequent requests like cancelling or changing a ticket happen in an instant. Scout is available for customers in Australia, New Zealand & Asia, and will be live for customers in North America and EMEA in the coming weeks.
Enjoyed learning about our travel program resolutions in 2024?
Contact CTM today for a demo of CTM’s proprietary technology suite.