Travel managers say mobile is here for the long-term

Almost half of business travel managers see the use of mobile technologies and devices to organise travel as a long-term trend.

Only 8% consider it to be a short-lived development, according to a new study.

More than half (53%) of companies around the world allow their travellers to use mobile solutions to check the booking status during a trip or even change it themselves. Another 5% intend to make this possible for travellers in the next 12 months.

Leading users are the US (73%), followed by Australia (63%), Belgium and Scandinavia (61% each).

Companies in Germany (40%), Spain (38%), and China (28%) give their travellers less leeway to use such mobile solutions, the poll of 1,701 travel managers by AirPlus found.

The use of social networks as an information base on the move is closely related to mobile devices for business travellers, the research found.

Globally, 27% of travel managers see this as a long-term trend while 12% believe it has already established itself.

And 40% of travel managers around the world already use social media tools as a source of information for their own business activity, with another 4% intend to use them in the next 12 months.

Travel managers rely on novel analytical tools, market data comparisons, mobile communications and social media for their travel planning and processing, the sixth AirPlus International Travel Management Study found.

It found that 58% of travel managers consider that benchmarking their travel expenditure is either an established practice or at least a trend.

A total of 42% already use benchmarking tools. Companies in the US, the UK (64% in each case) and South Africa (62) lead the field.

A tendency to step up cost analysis and compare costs more precisely can be attributed to the additional costs expected in the future, according to the study

Only 9% of travel managers believe this is a short-lived trend; 34% see it as a long-term development and 31% think additional charges have become firmly established in the travel sector. Almost three quarters already factor the additional costs into their budgets.

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