The answer? Lower travel costs is the most important goal, while more successful trips came in a very close second, according to the survey tClara just ran.
If you group the three non-cost goals into something like “Travel Impact Goals”, you see that this group gets a total of 58% of the top goal choices. So while lower costs may have squeaked out a first-place finish, I’d say that cost takes a back seat to business impact.
I’ll go further by wondering how many travel buyers really, truly know their senior management’s top travel-related goal.
My long-standing impression is that travel buyers, as a whole, are trained to believe that cost is king; that savings is the main goal.
But doesn’t is seem that most companies would choose to have more successful trips over lower trip costs? Maybe there are a few industries that need only an acceptable level of success in their trips, and are right to believe that spending more per trip is a waste of money.
But many, probably most, industries would benefit from having more successful trips, in that the return on these more successful trips far outweighs their extra costs.
Travel buyers, take the guesswork out of this really important issue. Ask your senior management team what they really want from all their spend on travel. Then design your travel programs accordingly.
P.S. The 79 responses came from anonymous, self-qualified travel buyers primarily from the U.S.; there was no significant difference between the US-based responses and the non-US based responses.