Interesting survey from the Institute of Travel & Meetings indicating that business travel buyers have almost no say over the mobile behaviour of their clients.
The study, produced in conjunction with Argate, found that less than 10% of travel buyers have any direct input into mobile technology use and decision-making by clients.
Furthermore, less than half of the travel buyer members of the ITM said they had a minimum of indirect input to a customer’s mobile technology behaviour.
The data has the contrasting backdrop of two-thirds of business travellers saying their use of smartphones when on the road is “relatively high”.
So what is the problem if travel buyers can’t control or have any influence over the decision-making and usage of a client or colleague’s mobile?
ITM is worried that “without greater travel manager input into technology and applications, the approved [product] choice to travellers will be severely limited by inflexible company policies”.
CEO Paul Tilstone says:
“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.”
There is possibly a rather darker issue being raised through the publication of the results: if business travellers continue to use their mobiles independently from the influence of their corporate travel buyers, perhaps the role of the travel managers becomes strained within an organisation.
Argate managing director Colin Goldney hints at the potential for tension with organisations or between TMCs and corporate clients:
“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.”