June 13, 2024

ITM survey highlights NDC concerns and sustainability urgency

Worries over NDC and a sense of urgency over sustainability legislation are top of the agenda for travel buyers, according to a ‘Pulse Check’ of ITM members.

A survey earlier this month of 100 corporate travel buyers, managers and heads of travel, with a mix of global, EMEA, UK and Ireland responsibilities, found 60% feel their TMC is not adapting to changes in the distribution landscape.

Highlighting worries about a potential increase in policy leakage, 90% of buyers surveyed said their travel policy does not allow travellers to book outside the TMC.

This raises further concern around increasing numbers of travellers requesting policy exemptions, booking outside of policy, or challenging the value of the travel programme, because the content they need is not accessible.

Meanwhile, sustainable travel was also found to be a top concern.

ITM said there is now “a real sense of urgency due to the accelerated global focus on climate change and legislation that will tighten up organisations’ disclosure of carbon emissions” with 82% of respondents saying that business travel is now part of their organisation’s net zero roadmap.

Only 9.5% said that business travel is not part of this roadmap; and the remaining 9.5% did not know.

The survey also found 57% of buyers surveyed said that their organisation plans to invest in SAF in the next 12 months.

Asked how they feel in general about the year ahead for business travel, the majority of buyers (61%) said they are on standby to ‘expect the unexpected’; 24% feel optimistic; and 14% are concerned or anxious.

The results of the survey were revealed during the ITM ‘energise’ Conference in Brighton this week.

Scott Davies, CEO, ITM, said: “As always buyers have a huge amount on their ‘to do’ list and are having to adapt and pivot to deal with many expected or unexpected challenges.

“Air distribution and modern retailing continue to dominate their agenda, as well as sustainable travel. This is another reason why ITM has established two dedicated taskforces recently – an Air Distribution Taskforce, and also a separate Sustainability Taskforce – to support buyers with practical guidance in managing both these areas, and why both these topics are being addressed during ITM conference sessions.”