The Global Business Travel Review 2024

The Advantage Travel Partnership, Travelogix, and ACE Travel Management have joined forces once again to deliver the sixth annual Global Business Travel Review. This comprehensive report dives into the data and insights shaping the business travel landscape today.

Read it here.

A tale of two halves

2023 in Review: We analyse the past year’s trends and behaviours to understand what drove business travel in 2023.

2024 and Beyond: We forecast industry trends, explore emerging travel habits, and unveil the key factors influencing business travel in the coming year.

Featuring valuable perspectives

  • The Advantage Travel Partnership’s global network: Members share their real-world experiences from 2023 and offer projections for 2024.
  • Industry experts: Renowned contributors across the business travel ecosystem provide insights into specific categories and the broader industry outlook.

Dive into the Global Business Travel Review and gain the knowledge you need to navigate the ever-evolving world of business travel.

Read it here.

ACE Travel Management ATG UK named Employer of the Year at the London Chamber of Commerce SME London Business Awards 2024

We’re proud to announce that we have been awarded Employer of the Year at the prestigious London Chamber of Commerce SME London Business Awards 2024. 

With over three decades of experience, our dedication to employee growth and satisfaction has created an environment where team members across all levels flourish, develop skills, and deliver exemplary service to clients.

Sarah Wilson, our CEO here at ACE Travel Management, stated, “Being given this award is an incredible honour. It is a testament to the top-down commitment our leadership team has made to create a workplace where our employees are motivated, engaged, and empowered.” 

“This recognition reflects our unrelenting commitment to supporting our employees so they can, in turn, drive our business and service our clients at the highest levels.”

We attribute our recognition to industry-leading professional development programs, employee recognition initiatives, work-life balance policies, competitive benefits packages, and regular team-building activities that contribute to its supportive company culture.

The London Chamber of Commerce SME London Business Awards event was held on 8th February at the stunning Park Plaza London Riverbank. Our team enjoyed a wonderful night celebrating enterprises that have made significant contributions across various sectors to London’s economic landscape.

If you want to learn more about what we do here at ACE Travel Management, take a look at our story and values here

Business Travel Reporting: What to Expect

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, efficient travel management is crucial for companies. Managing business travel effectively involves more than just booking flights and accommodations; it requires comprehensive reporting and analytics to optimise expenses, improve traveller experience, and enhance decision-making. 

Streamlined expense reporting

One of the primary aspects of business travel reporting is expense management. A reputable travel management service will provide you with streamlined expense reporting tools that simplify the process for your employees. These tools typically include automated expense tracking, digital receipts, and integration with popular accounting software. By leveraging these features, you can ensure accurate expense reporting, reduce administrative burdens, and enable better financial planning.

Travel policy compliance tracking

Business travel reporting tools can monitor compliance by tracking preferred airlines, accommodation options, and maximum allowable expenses. These reports provide insights into policy adherence, enabling you to identify trends, address non-compliance issues, and refine your travel policies as necessary.

By analysing the compliance reports, you can identify any instances of policy violations or areas where the policies may need to be updated. This data-driven approach helps create a culture of compliance and supports efficient decision-making regarding travel policy improvements.

Traveller safety and risk management

A robust business travel management service offers reporting and analytics capabilities that focus on traveller safety and risk management. This includes providing real-time travel updates, emergency contact information, and access to traveller tracking. By analysing travel data, the service can identify potential risks, facilitate emergency response, and support duty of care obligations.

Through the reporting and analytics features, you can proactively assess any risks associated with travel. For instance, the service can provide real-time updates on travel advisories, security alerts, and weather conditions. By having access to such information, you can make informed decisions regarding travel plans and take necessary precautions.

Performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs)

A reliable travel management service can provide reports that analyse various KPIs, including travel spend, savings achieved, traveller satisfaction, and supplier performance. By measuring these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement, negotiate better contracts, and make data-driven decisions to enhance overall travel program performance.

These performance metrics and KPIs help you evaluate the effectiveness of your travel program and identify areas where cost savings can be achieved. For example, by analysing travel spend reports, you can identify patterns of excessive spending and take steps to address them. Furthermore, tracking traveller satisfaction metrics allows you to gauge the quality of the travel experience and make necessary adjustments to improve it.

Forecasting and budgeting

By analysing trends and patterns, you can anticipate costs, allocate budgets effectively, and align your travel program with the organisation’s financial goals.

By utilising the forecasting and budgeting features, you can project the anticipated costs for your business travel program. Historical travel data, combined with other relevant factors such as anticipated business growth and market conditions, can help you determine the appropriate budget allocation. This data-driven approach enables you to set realistic targets and allocate resources efficiently.

Data visualisation and dashboards

Visualising data is crucial for understanding complex travel information quickly. A comprehensive reporting and analytics service should offer user-friendly dashboards and data visualisation tools. These features allow you to view travel data in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format. Through interactive charts, graphs, and maps, you can gain actionable insights, track performance, and identify trends effortlessly.

The data visualisation and dashboard capabilities provide an intuitive way to explore and interpret your travel data. By presenting the information in visually appealing formats, such as interactive charts or heatmaps, you can easily identify patterns and trends that might be hidden in raw data. This visual representation of data empowers you to make data-driven decisions more effectively.

Supplier negotiations and benchmarking

Business travel reporting tools often include benchmarking capabilities to compare your company’s travel spend and performance against industry standards. This data empowers you to negotiate better contracts with suppliers and identify potential cost-saving opportunities. By leveraging these insights, you can strengthen your supplier relationships, optimise your travel budget, and secure the best possible deals.

By accessing benchmarking reports, you can gauge how your company’s travel spend compares to industry averages. This information can be invaluable during negotiations with airlines, hotels, and other travel service providers. Armed with accurate benchmarking data, you can leverage your negotiating power and secure preferential rates or discounts, leading to cost savings for your business.

Business travel reporting and analytics is a non-negotiable

When choosing a business travel management service, robust reporting and analytics capabilities should be high on your priority list. The ability to access comprehensive reports, expense tracking, compliance monitoring, performance metrics, and data visualisation ensures that you have a clear understanding of your travel program’s effectiveness and can make informed decisions. By partnering with a reliable service, you can optimise your business travel, enhance traveller experience, and achieve significant cost savings while driving your organisation toward success.

If you want your business travels to be tracked and broken down, get in touch with travel consultants at ACE Travel to see what we can do for you.

Founder Sarah Wilson shares thoughts on LCCI Report: ‘Green skies – Supporting the Aviation Sector to Decarbonise’

London Chamber of Commerce has released its report: ‘Green skies – Supporting the Aviation Sector to Decarbonise’, and our very own founder Sarah Wilson has shared her insights.

The report highlights the contributions of the aviation industry to the local, London and national economies – as well as an insight into the efforts being made to decarbonise the sector, and the steps needed to further accelerate the transition to a more sustainable aviation industry.

“According to Sustainable Aviation, SAF can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by at least 70% compared to fossil fuels. It presents an opportunity to start having an immediate impact on UK aviation emissions by the mid-2020s and reduce aviation emissions by at least 32% in 2050.”

As a leading business travel management company in the UK, ACE Travel Management is passionate about making travel more sustainable. We work closely with our clients to help make their travel programmes more environmentally responsible. Reports like this are valuable resources to gain new insight from and understand how stakeholders across the industry can help build a better future for travel.

Sarah Wilson offered her thoughts “Off-setting is all very well but we must now heed advice of the experts for the future of decarbonisation of travel, simply saying, don’t travel is not an option that is either desirable or economically viable”.

Dive into the report here:

Bleisure Travel: 10 Tips to Manage Compliance

Bleisure travel, the blending of business and leisure trips, has become a popular trend among employees. While it can be a great way for your staff to unwind and recharge during work-related travel, it also presents compliance challenges. 

Whether you are a small business owner booking travel or a key decision-maker within a larger corporation, in this guide we’ll explore how you can ensure your employees stay compliant with your company’s travel policy when embarking on bleisure trips. From navigating pre-travel processes to checking business travel insurance coverage, here are our top 10 tips to keep your staff safe and compliant when travelling.

1. Clear Travel Policy Communication

The foundation of compliance begins with a well-communicated travel policy. Make sure your business travel policy is comprehensive and clearly articulated. Ensure that your staff understands the policy’s nuances, especially as they pertain to bleisure travel. The document should address areas such as allowable expenses, reimbursement procedures, and compliance expectations. Even for small businesses, having a robust travel policy in place is crucial for bleisure travel success.

2. Pre-Travel Approval Process

Implement a pre-travel approval process specifically designed for bleisure trips. Ask employees to submit their travel itineraries in advance, clearly indicating the business and leisure segments. This allows you to review and approve their plans, ensuring that business obligations are not compromised and that leisure activities adhere to your policy.

3. Review Business Travel Insurance

Business travel insurance is a linchpin of bleisure travel compliance. It’s essential to review your company’s insurance policy to make sure it adequately covers bleisure travel scenarios. Pay particular attention to aspects such as coverage during leisure activities and liability concerns that may arise when employees mix business and leisure. Consider offering supplementary insurance for leisure activities that fall outside the policy’s scope.

4. Emphasise Compliance Benefits

Educate your employees about the benefits of compliance. Make it clear that adhering to the travel policy, even during bleisure trips, safeguards their interests. Compliance ensures they are covered in case of emergencies, reduces liability risks, and simplifies expense reporting and reimbursement procedures.

5. Documentation and Reporting

Stress the importance of thorough documentation and reporting. Encourage employees to maintain detailed travel logs that clearly delineate business-related activities from leisure ones. This documentation serves as valuable evidence of compliance and streamlines the reimbursement process.

6. Regular Compliance Audits

Implement periodic compliance audits to ensure that employees are adhering to the travel policy during bleisure trips. These audits can be random or scheduled, and can include expense report reviews and discussions with travellers about their experiences. Audits not only help identify areas of non-compliance, but also demonstrate your commitment to enforcing the policy.

7. Incentivise Compliance

Consider introducing incentives for compliance. Recognise and reward employees who consistently adhere to the travel policy during bleisure trips. This can be in the form of bonuses, extra annual leave days, or other perks. Incentives provide a positive reinforcement mechanism that encourages compliance.

8. Foster Open Communication

Promote a culture of open communication between employees and the travel management team. Encourage staff to discuss their bleisure travel plans and seek guidance when unsure about compliance matters. By fostering a transparent environment, you can address concerns and potential issues proactively.

9. Leverage Travel Management Software

Invest in travel management software that can facilitate compliance monitoring. These tools can help track expenses, generate reports, and provide insights into employee travel patterns. They streamline the process of ensuring that business objectives are met during bleisure trips. With the right technology, you can keep all your travel policy records in one secure, easy-to-access place.

10. Conduct Training and Workshops

Regularly conduct training and workshops on travel policy compliance. Equip your employees with the knowledge and resources they need to understand and adhere to the policy, especially in the context of bleisure travel. These sessions can clarify policy nuances and address any questions or concerns.

Finding the right balance

Bleisure travel can be a win-win for both your employees and your business. However, maintaining compliance is essential to mitigate risks and uphold company policies. By effectively communicating your travel policy, implementing approval processes, reviewing business travel insurance, and incentivising compliance, you can strike a balance between employee satisfaction and policy adherence. Regular audits, open communication, and the use of travel management software further enhance your ability to ensure compliance during bleisure trips. Ultimately, a well-managed bleisure travel program can boost employee morale and productivity while safeguarding your company’s interests.Want to discuss your business travel compliance with an expert? Contact us today and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help.

Travel Booking for Small Businesses: The Dos and Don’ts

In the world of small businesses, every expense matters, and that includes business travel. Managing travel bookings effectively can optimise your operations, maximise your budget, and streamline your travel policies. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of travel booking for small businesses, helping you make the most of your business journeys.

Do Consider More Sustainable Travel

Sustainability is no longer a buzzword; it’s a business imperative. When booking travel for your small business, think about the environmental impact:

Is there a way to combine multiple meetings within one trip? 

Frequent short trips can be costly and disruptive. Instead, consider consolidating travel into longer, more purposeful trips. This reduces travel-related expenses and minimises disruptions to your business operations.

Can travellers reach their destination via train instead of flying? 

Whilst the industry is making positive steps towards using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), train travel is still the number one choice for eco-friendly transport. It’s often the more comfortable and convenient choice too, so do consider train travel when booking national and short-haul trips.

What sustainability policies does the hotel uphold? 

The accommodation your business travellers stay at is just as important as the transport you use to get them there. These days, most hotels will have clearly defined sustainability policies and best practices to help reduce their carbon footprint, so be sure to ask for these ahead of booking. 

Don’t Assume Your Staff Understand Your Travel Policies

Clear communication is key. Your travel policies may be well-documented, but don’t assume your staff knows them inside out. Ensure your employees are aware of your travel policies and understand their importance. Hold training sessions if needed and provide easily accessible policy documents.

Don’t Neglect Business Travel Compliance

Compliance with regulations and business travel policies is essential in mitigating risk, optimising costs and operations, and also for ensuring proper management of your business’ reputation. Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and other legal issues, which can pose significant challenges, especially for small businesses.

To ensure compliance, be sure to research the latest rules and requirements for travel in the destination country, make your business travel policy easy to access for all travellers and get comprehensive coverage for business travel insurance. Travel always comes with its share of uncertainties. As such, it’s vital to have good business travel insurance in place to safeguard your business from unexpected disruptions and ensure your operations continue smoothly even when things go awry.

Do Create Clear Guidelines Around Bleisure Travel

Bleisure travel, combining business and leisure, is a growing trend. To manage it effectively, set clear guidelines. Define what is and isn’t permissible during bleisure trips to maintain professionalism while allowing employees to enjoy some downtime.

Don’t Forget About Traveller Well-being and Safety

Your employees’ well-being and safety should always be a top priority, especially as duty of care is a legal and moral obligation for all businesses. Incorporating safety measures into your travel policies ensures your staff are well-prepared for their journeys, keeping them safe but also protecting your business. Make sure to also provide resources to support your employees in case of emergencies.

Do Consider Partnering with a TMC (Travel Management Company)

Small businesses can benefit greatly from partnering with a reputable TMC that can offer expertise, cost-saving strategies, and technology solutions that simplify travel management and reduce expenses.

From travel booking systems to traveller dashboards, the digital tools that TMCs can provide are particularly effective at optimising travel booking for small businesses. These solutions help track expenses, ensure policy compliance, and provide insights that empower travel bookers to make informed decisions.

Travel with confidence

Efficient travel booking is crucial for small businesses looking to maximise budgets and streamline operations. By following the dos and don’ts outlined here, you can ensure your business travel is cost-effective, compliant, and safe. 

If you’d like to understand how to manage your small business travel booking, speak to our team today. We’re here to help you make the most of your business journeys.

What services does a travel management company (TMC) provide?

TMC stands for Travel Management Company, and is a staple in the world of B2B. TMC’s serve the needs of businesses around the globe that need to shift people from one location to another, within specific timeframes and budgets. 

For a business, arranging travel can become a time-consuming process. It requires searching for the most cost-effective routes that still allow employees to get where they need to, on time. Accommodation must be arranged too, with the personal requirements of the employee and budget in mind. Further travel arrangements may need to be worked out to transport the employee from their accommodation to their workplace, and there still may be more to do depending on the nature of the trip.

The benefits of using a travel management company are that they handle all of this, from start to finish. Not only are they experienced with handling all of the arrangements for a variety of trips and headcounts, they often have access to discounted rates on travel and accommodation. This means businesses ultimately save money on travel and accommodation, and can rely on their TMC partners to iron out any details, report on expenses, provide risk management and much more.

Why use a travel management company?

The core of what a TMC provides is flight and accommodation planning and booking. While that is simple for an individual to manage on their own in a private capacity, businesses are responsible for the safety of employees and must provide adequate travel and accommodation. This quickly becomes complicated when planning travel for numerous employees with different needs. Existing staff likely have other responsibilities and will not be experts in this field, which is why many businesses contract TMCs to handle all of their travel and accommodation needs.

ACE Travel is a part of the Advantage Travel Partnership, a group made up of independently owned travel management companies. Membership of this partnership comes with numerous advantages, such as personal contacts with major airlines around the world and steeply discounted travel. Being a part of a larger, international group is something every quality travel management company does, as it allows them to collectively seek better prices for clients.

Flights and accommodation are a large part of what TMCs do, but there are numerous ancillary services that TMCs are responsible for too, such as visa procurement, airport lounges, hotel requests, foreign exchange, insurance, leisure travel and so much more, depending on the trip.

Having to manage all of this in-house can be difficult, and this doesn’t cover everything that a business needs when travelling. Not only will staff be pulled away from responsibilities to constantly work on the travel plan, they cannot secure the best rates or speak directly to airlines and hotels to find solutions to unique problems. Ultimately, it costs less to use a TMC than for businesses to arrange and oversee trips themselves.

Developing and implementing travel policies

For any business involved in regular travel, creating and implementing a travel policy is essential. It creates a basic framework that is used to build every trip, cutting down on negotiations and back-and-forth questioning between the TMC and its client. 

Travel policies can be diverse with their terms. They can place restrictions on the type of travel used, classes, types of accommodation, when premium services can be used, whether families can join, and much more. The importance of sustainability in travel is only growing, and many TMCs have integrated sustainable travel into their service by offering alternatives such as rail or coach travel where possible.

Travel expense policies are also important, setting restrictions around what the company will pay for, how many meals a day are budgeted for and other areas that need to be controlled. Effective systems have restrictions in place that do not allow employees to breach the policy, and it takes a travel management company to build out the policy and make sure it’s followed diligently. 

A set of policies creates a transparent system in which everybody understands the restrictions, and potential costs. It limits the possibility of spiralling or unknown costs, and helps businesses to budget well in advance. The benefits of using a travel management company policy is the years of experience that go into creating policies and working with corporate clients. Ultimately, businesses save time and money by contracting travel policy and management to TMCs.

Managing expenses and reporting

Before the advent of technology and computers, TMCs would manage expenses manually. They’d keep records of previous spending and use that to create plans for future trips, however, technology has completely transformed this area of work for TMCs.

Expense tracking tools now seamlessly integrate with booking and financial systems. These tools accurately capture data on travel expenses, including flights, accommodation, transportation, meals, and other related costs. These same tools often include automated expense reporting capabilities that give clients real-time figures. They also have the benefit of creating comprehensive reports that are easy to read and interpret for clients.

Many TMCs employ cost analytics and optimisation tools based on all the data they’ve gathered from working with the specific client and others. By using historical data, TMCs are better placed to identify cost-saving opportunities and trends that allow them to better negotiate with suppliers.

Reviewing travel policies is important to address new priorities or a material change in circumstances for that client. It’s an opportunity to review any breaches of the policy, weaknesses and areas for improvement.

What makes these tools especially useful for clients is having access that allows them to view their spend and policy in real-time – this provides a sense of comfort and ownership that clients need to spend with confidence.

Real-time travel support and assistance

TMCs do plenty of groundwork before anyone takes off or steps on board, but they’re always on-call during periods of travel, offering emergency assistance and advice as necessary. 

Travelling to certain destinations requires a degree of leg-work before any gets to the airport, and that normally involves obtaining visas, and sometimes, passports. TMCs take on that responsibility after gathering the basic information needed for an application, and typically procure visas on their clients’ behalf.

Dedicated consultants are on hand 24/7 to take emergency calls and messages, and deal with smaller issues. More often than not, they tend to have some knowledge of the destination of the trip due to their expertise and experience. These same consultants are on-hand to help deal with ancillary issues like airport transfer and any special accommodation required for individual travellers. 

Client safety is of paramount importance and our consultants are always keeping their eye on the area, informing clients of any issues or hazards that may affect them. TMCs seek to implement duty of care practices and try to minimise risks from the planning journey.

Wraparound care from start to finish

TMCs are a necessity. The world of travel, and all that comes with it has become too complex for individual businesses to tackle without expert support. The chances are that a business will inadvertently spend more than it actually needs a due to a lack of expertise on the best routes, times to book and more.

On top of that, TMCs tend to be members of global businesses or groups such as the Advantage Travel Partnership that a leading travel management company like ACE Travel can take advantage of to secure cheaper rates. In addition to the money saved on travel and accommodation expenses, specialised travel consultants are always on hand to deal with issues in real-time, or facilitate special accommodations.

By working with a business travel management company to establish a robust travel policy, businesses will be able to see travel expenses falling relative to in-house booking, and higher levels of support before, during and after the trip.

Still curious about what a travel management company can do and can offer your business? ACE Travel is a global travel management company with decades of experience under its belt. Read more of our blogs in the insight section, or give one of our team for a no-obligation call about your business travel needs.

3 Ways Business Travel Is Still Being Affected By 2020

From virtual meetings to remote work – it’s no surprise that the business travel landscape has changed dramatically in recent years.

As the industry continues to grow and evolve, so does the way we travel. Whilst this knock-on effect may at first seem negative, with higher average fare costs and fewer business travel opportunities – It’s important to look at the data and see what’s really going on in the world of business travel. 

Thanks to data recorded by the Advantage Travel Partnership, we can examine just how much business travel has changed in the past three years – including the steep rise in business travel fares. 

Here are three ways that business travel is still being affected by 2020:

Average transaction value

After a reduction in schedules in 2020, resulting in airlines retiring planes early and ending routes altogether in 2021, the return of travel has seen added costs for planes and new pilot training. This, along with the general rise in price for both necessities and energy, has resulted in steeper fares when it comes to business travel. This can be seen when we compare the average transaction value for the period 01 January 2023 to 31 May 2023 (£432.35) with the same 5-month period in 2022 (£298.47). This shows fares to be 44.9% higher in 2023, and 6.5% higher than the whole-year average for 2022 (£406.12)

It’s clear then, as a result of 2020, business travel fares are seeing a steep rise. But this isn’t the only interesting metric to arise from the study – we’re also seeing two key behavioural changes in businesses that stem directly from this increase.

Average advanced purchase

From the period of 01 January 2023 to 31 May 2023, we have seen an average advanced purchase of 31.6 days, exceeding the 2019 total average by 8.2 days. This means that, as travellers take heed of getting better prices by booking in advance, they are starting to optimise their travel programmes. Gaining lower fares and guaranteed places for hotels and transfers. 

Average trip duration

As well as the increase in average advanced purchases, we are also experiencing higher average trip duration. In fact, the average trip duration has increased by 15.6% since last year alone, seeing an all-time high of 8.2 days. This is due to businesses being more purposeful with their travel – exchanging one-meeting trips for longer trips that better suit their business strategies. 

What does this mean?

The driving force of these changes comes from business travellers realising the potential of more purposeful travel. By booking early and staying longer, business trips can be optimised. Hosting several meetings across the duration of one trip can generate higher ROI, drive cost efficiency and, overall, balance out the costs of higher fares. Best of all – optimising travel in this way can see some wonderful benefits to sustainability practices overall. 

Business travel has seen many changes as a result of 2020

From rising business travel fares, higher advance purchases and longer average trip durations, it is clear that the travel industry is still seeing significant effects from 2020. However, we are also seeing companies become more efficient with their business travel programmes. Data shows that we’re saying goodbye to single-meeting trips, and leaving last-minute planning in the past. 

Amongst the many uncertainties that the future of travel may bring, one thing is for certain – becoming more purposeful in our planning is the future. Empowering us all to be more sustainable, cost-effective, and overall more in control of our travel strategies.

If you have further questions or want to learn more about purposeful travel, get in touch with our team. 

How to manage your business travel programme in 2023 and beyond | Insights

Business travel is a significant investment for companies, ranking as the second largest expense after employee salaries. However, when managed effectively, it can generate substantial returns. In fact, studies show that businesses can earn nearly £10 or more in incremental revenue for every dollar invested in business travel. But, managing corporate travel is no easy feat. It involves juggling numerous responsibilities, from consolidating travel expenses to creating itineraries and addressing unexpected issues. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of business travel management as well as 5 key challenges, offering practical solutions for modern businesses.

What is Business Travel Management?

Business travel management refers to the strategic planning, coordination, and control of travel activities undertaken by employees on behalf of an organisation. The primary goal is to optimise travel arrangements, control expenses, and enhance employee productivity and satisfaction while aligning with the organisation’s objectives. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the 5 key challenges that can arise when undertaking business travel management.

Challenge 1: Balancing Spending with Traveler Welfare

Business travel management poses the challenge of balancing cost savings with ensuring the well-being and satisfaction of travellers. While controlling expenses is important, it’s equally crucial to consider employees’ welfare during business trips. Achieving this delicate balance requires a thoughtful approach that incorporates financial considerations and traveller preferences.

To address the challenge, companies can empower departments for collaborative planning. By involving various departments in the process, decision-makers can gain valuable insights into each department’s unique travel requirements, preferences, and non-negotiables.

Engaging in discussions about travel frequency, spending caps, and performance targets allows for a comprehensive and balanced business travel management policy. Furthermore, considering factors such as when first-class accommodations may be warranted ensures that traveller welfare is taken into account, promoting comfort and productivity during important business engagements.

Challenge 2: Boosting Hotel Compliance

It is not uncommon for employees to deviate from the approved travel policy and book accommodations through unauthorised platforms. This non-compliance often stems from a lack of awareness regarding the policy guidelines and the potential impact it has on cost savings and expense management. Overcoming this challenge and enhancing hotel compliance within business travel management requires finding effective ways to communicate and educate employees about the importance of adhering to the travel policy.

To address the challenge of boosting hotel compliance, companies need to focus on clear policy communication. Upgrading the travel policy is not enough; it is crucial to ensure that all employees are aware of its existence and understand its implications. By sharing the updated policy with the entire workforce, companies can increase awareness and provide clarity on the preferred booking channels and approved platforms.

The communication should emphasise the benefits of booking accommodations through authorised platforms, such as cost savings and streamlined expense management. Employees need to understand that by adhering to the policy, they contribute to overall cost efficiency and help maintain a fair and consistent approach to hotel bookings. Furthermore, the potential repercussions of overspending on luxurious hotels should be discussed, highlighting the impact on the company’s budget and the need for responsible spending.

Challenge 3: Managing Non-Employee Spending

When it comes to business travel management, keeping a handle on non-employee spending poses another significant challenge. We’re talking about those who aren’t officially on the payroll but play crucial roles, like contractors, evaluators, and interns.

Start by offering them adequate insurance coverage, assuring them that you’ve got their back in any emergency situation. Implement protocols to track their safety and well-being during their travels, ensuring they’re never left in the lurch. Remember: treating non-employees with care and consideration is key.

Clearly communicate the guidelines for their travel expenses, reimbursement policies, and any potential travel benefits they may be eligible for. And here’s a game-changer: consider extending some of those sweet travel perks to non-employees, so their experiences align with your business goals. This little extra effort can boost their satisfaction, foster stronger working relationships, and ultimately contribute to the overall success of your business objectives.

Challenge 4: Handling Bleisure Travels

Picture this: employees jetting off on business trips, but instead of simply focusing on work, they’re also indulging in leisure activities. Welcome to the world of “bleisure” travel, a rising trend, especially among millennials. While it’s a great way to boost employee satisfaction, this merging of business and leisure can pose challenges. Safety risks and additional costs lurk around the corner. So, how can you navigate this unique challenge? The key lies in enforcing policy consistency that balances the desire for leisure with the need for safety and cost management.

To conquer the challenge of bleisure travels, it’s time to establish a clear course with policy consistency. Start by requiring employees to book their flights and accommodations through authorised platforms. This not only ensures consistency but also allows you to keep tabs on their whereabouts, even during non-business hours. Safety should always be at the forefront, so don’t forget to include provisions for travel insurance to protect employees and the company from unforeseen events.

Guidelines for bringing family members along can help strike a balance between work and personal life. By setting boundaries and expectations, you can manage potential risks and keep costs in check. It’s about finding the sweet spot where employees can enjoy their leisure time while staying aligned with company policies and goals.

Challenge 5: Balancing International and Local Trips

Business travel in the global arena presents a distinctive challenge for multinational companies: the need to harmonise global rules while accommodating the idiosyncrasies and exceptions of each local destination. So, how do you successfully navigate this intricate web of international travel? The solution lies in the creation of specific policies tailored to the realm of international travel, which empowers employees while upholding a sense of control.

Striking the right balance between international and local trips necessitates a customised approach. It is imperative to develop a dedicated rule book exclusively focused on international travel, allowing for the accommodation of diverse needs and cultural norms across various countries.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to avoid excessive policy creation for destinations where your company seldom operates. Instead, channel your efforts towards areas of frequent travel and establish clear guidelines for one-off trips. This targeted approach ensures a harmonious equilibrium between flexibility and control, granting employees the liberty to navigate the complexities of international travel while preserving consistency and aligning with your organisation’s objectives.

Should I outsource my business travel management?

Managing business travel in the modern era requires tackling various challenges. By striking a balance between spending and traveller welfare, boosting compliance, addressing non-employee travel, handling bleisure trips, and balancing international and local considerations, organisations can optimise their travel programs. Effective business travel management leads to improved cost control, enhanced employee satisfaction, and increased business success. And by implementing practical solutions and clear policies, businesses can navigate the complexities of business travel and achieve.

Here’s where ACE Travel Management UK can help. We couple our extensive global capabilities with tailored business travel management operations to deliver a truly comprehensive strategy built around you. From global and regional solutions to AI personalisations and everything in between, we enable you to travel with confidence. And best of all, we tackle all of these business travel challenges head-on, so you can rest easy knowing that your business travel is being taken care of by experts.

If you would like to know more about what we offer here at ACE Travel Management UK, take a look at our services here.