April 18, 2024

Buyers take to the stage at GTMC conference

A wide-ranging session at this week's GTMC Conference looked at industry trends from a travel manager's perspective and elicited opinions on everything from technology and data to wellbeing and sustainability.

“At the moment, technology is the top priority for our customers who want access to information and content,” said Jo-Anne Lloyd of travel consultancy Nina & Pinta.

“Wellbeing is becoming more and more of a hot topic, but it’s a challenge as people don’t know how to engage or who to engage with within an organisation.”

Lloyd added: “Wellbeing could be as simple as arranging meetings in London no earlier than 11am for companies outside the capital.”

Nikki Rogan, Global Travel Manager at Synamedia, said safety and security remain her biggest priorities. “They still rank above price for me,” she said.

Rogan added that although her company does not specifically push sustainable travel, its travellers are nevertheless interested in ‘greener’ options.

Stephanie Smook, ACTE’s Regional Director for EMEA, said buyers are clamouring for more content. “Everyone wants what they have in their private lives, like Airbnb and Uber,” she said.

On the subject of NDC, Smook said buyers simply “aren’t getting answers” about their concerns. “The parties involved just continue to point fingers. There’s not much confidence at the moment.”

Smook said that ACTE research had shown 85% of buyers didn’t fully understand NDC.

“Corporates just want access to all content,” added Lloyd.

And when it comes to suppliers, Smook believes “the RFP process is dead. It creates unnecessary work for buyers and suppliers and we are ready to get rid of it.”

Lloyd agreed that while continuous sourcing is gaining ground and the RFP process is perhaps disappearing for hotels and airlines, it would not fall out of fashion when selecting and appointing a TMC.

“Customers are looking for a really consultative relationship with their TMC,” she said.