Recruitment and training top the list of concerns among business travel agents, according to an Advantage members’ survey, way ahead of technology or the costs of insurance. And it is the cost of recruitment that is the biggest problem.
Survey results revealed at the consortium's annual conference in Malta at the weekend showed 78% of corporate travel members agree “the cost of using a recruitment company” is a barrier to recruitment. More than half (52%) agreed strongly.
Two out of three (68%) said “lack of available staff” was a barrier. By contrast, technology rated last on a list of eight subjects of concern and insurance and bonding seventh.
The survey drew responses from 71% of Advantage business travel members. It found global distribution systems (GDSs) remain overwhelmingly the leading method for booking flights.
Members reported 83% of air bookings via GDSs compared with 11% online, 4% by phone and 2% through third parties.
Three out of five (59%) of hotel bookings were by GDS, compared with 15% online, 17% by phone and 9% via a third party. Car hire bookings were also primarily by GDS (57%), but online bookings were strong at 26%, with 9% by phone and 8% through third parties.
However, GDS rail bookings were under half the total at 43%, with 30% through third parties, 26% online and 1% on the phone.
Advantage members expect rail bookings to rise under the twin burdens on air travel of Air Passenger Duty and the new Atol Regulations: more than half (54%) agreed they are more likely to offer rail as an alternative to air where possible.
The survey found 58% of Advantage members promote leisure travel to corporate clients; 23% using social media to communicate with corporate customers and 28% use it to interact with corporate travellers.
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