Social networks gain traction in corporate travel sector

AirPlus International has found that corporate travel managers are starting to use social networks to understand business traveller needs.

More than two in five questioned online said that social networks allowed real-time interaction with travellers, improving communication and service.

However, 37% are also using traveller feedback via the social networks to make commercial decisions in terms of preferred suppliers.

There is still some resistance, with 20% saying that social networks were of no use for corporate travel programs.

AirPlus carried out a similar survey last year when 72% of respondents were involved with social networks. This time it is 77%, with Facebook seeing a surge of interest. LinkedIn remains the most popular, with 58% using the network compared with the 55% using Facebook.

Two new entrants – Plaxo and Tripit – didn’t feature last year but are now more popular than MySpace.

“As a new generation of business traveller enters the workplace with plugged-in lives and consumer-style expectations for enterprise technologies, managed travel programs would do well to explore the options now,” the report concluded.

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