Technology is poised to transform the role of Travel Managers within the next three to five years, according to a study by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Travel Managers see their positions shifting to a more strategic role, thanks in part to streamlining and automating processes.
The study, “A Day in The Life: The Role of Travel Managers,” sponsored by Sabre Travel Network, surveyed more than 700 North American and European Travel Managers and looked at the role of the Travel Manager, the value these managers bring to their organizations and a potential evolution in their role in the near future.
When asked about responsibilities, the study showed travel managers are pulled in many directions. The vast majority of travel managers cited procurement-related activities (such as evaluating and negotiating with preferred providers and obtaining and managing contracts with their providers) among their daily tasks.
Additional highlights include:
- Travel policy compliance represents the biggest challenge for travel managers, both in ensuring that the travelers follow company policy as well as obtaining senior leadership buy-in for new policies.
- In addition to technology, travel managers also expect to see an increased reliance on data and analytics to make decisions.
- While the majority of travel managers are being asked to calculate company savings, quantifying it has proven difficult and ineffective.