Cost-saving measures remain the top priority for travel management companies (TMCs) in Asia-Pacific, a new survey has found, with corporate travel managers reporting more bookings in the economy and low-cost segments.
A new survey of more than 70 TMCs in the region by Sabre found that nearly seven in 10 respondents (65%) were asked to identify cost savings for their corporate clients.
The need to minimise travel spending has shifted the share of premium bookings further downstream.
Corporate travel managers indicated that a sizeable downgrade in bookings from business to economy class travel (40%).
Conversely, this has spurred the rise in premium economy bookings, with one in three managers reporting a close to 5% increase in bookings over the last year. Bookings on low-cost carriers also saw a “significant increase” in share.
The ability to book on mobile platforms is also expected to become mainstream, with almost a third of respondents (32%) saying they expect solutions that enable mobile booking capacities.
But most expect that virtual payment solutions will take a longer time to become common, as only 10% believe these will gain widespread acceptance.
Robust travel policies and a better view of travel costs were viewed as crucial in reducing travel costs.
Booking within policy remains a key hurdle for travel managers. Over three-quarters (76%) report that travellers are using online consumer sites that offer lower fares and rates to shop for their travel.
"The results of this survey reflect the critical role of TMCs in assuring the business success of their clients,” said Todd Arthur, vice president, Sabre Travel Network, Asia Pacific. “More than ever, members of the travel industry need to work closely together to enable a smooth, relevant shopping experience for the traveller.”