Mobile Revolution in Business Travel Confirmed

Updated: 20-07-2011

The Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM) UK & Ireland has announced the results of its latest research, produced in partnership with Argate, across mobility and mobile solutions. The research, undertaken across the association's buyer members, presents a perspective on the interaction between travel buyers and mobile technology decisions.

The results confirm the industry belief that, despite the increase in traveller mobility and use of handheld devices for travel solutions, the vast majority of buyers have no direct input into the tools used by travellers and even those with indirect engagement are the minority.

  • Less than 10% of travel buyers had any direct input into mobile technology use (6% for Smart Phones and laptops, 2% for remote software and applications)
  • Less than 50% of travel buyers had a minimum of indirect input (46% for Smart Phones, 34% for remote software and applications

But with two-thirds of buyers saying their travellers are spending more time away from the office than three years ago, the figures for remote and mobile services used by travellers was relatively high.

  • 61% of respondents said their company encouraged the use of and provided or planned to provide laptop video conference facilities
  • 37% of respondents said they planned to provide mobile self-booking, with 27% saying they already do.

In addition 77% of buyers said that their company policies only allowed for the use of technology and applications approved by the company.

Talking about the results, ITM's CEO, Paul Tilstone, said,"These results would seem to support industry comment to date that without greater travel manager input into technology and applications, the approved choice to travellers will be severely limited by inflexible company policies. With so much growth expected in mobile solutions, there is a real opportunity here for those managing travel to engage with IT departments and create stronger links with their travellers' needs."

Colin Goldney, managing director of ITM's research partner Argate, says,"Traveller mobility is increasing and the smart suppliers recognised some time ago that technology would develop to create more robust platforms for mobile solutions. It is the technology itself which appears to be creating the demand through the travellers themselves and this will ultimately change travel management the same way the internet did in the nineties and noughties."

The report is available to all ITM's Business members in the research area of the website. Connect Members can upgrade to Business membership to access the report.

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