June 1, 2023

ITM unveils buyer survey results

A survey of corporate travel buyers by the Institute of Travel Management showed 60% would be open to reviewing the pricing structure of their TMC deal in light of the Covid crisis.

ITM said the transaction fee model for TMCs has created ‘significant’ challenges through the pandemic, but 40% of buyers said they wouldn’t be open to reviewing their deal.

When asked if the pandemic has affected tender decisions, 14% of buyers said they were less likely to tender their TMC and 10% said they were more likely, with the rest saying there was no change to their plans.

For hotel partners, 21% said they would be less likely to tender and 18% said they would be more likely.

The survey also found that 73% of travel buyers believe their travel policy will be changed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, particularly in relation to budget and Duty of Care.

When asked to share their main discussion points at this time, the survey found Duty of Care, hygiene and distancing measures were top of the list with 93% of buyers saying these issues were being talked about.

This was followed closely by discussions on communications and advisories on global regulations (82%).

Next on the list was reviewing supplier targets, pricing and discounts (58%) and business continuity plans to ensure supply (51%).

On the plus side, 76% of buyers agreed that the pandemic has presented the chance to get greater buy-in from senior management to drive travel compliance, particularly with regards to traveller wellbeing, behavioural change to reduce costs and improving colleague engagement.

Buyers also said the pandemic has influenced attitudes towards sustainability, with 40% saying sustainable travel was now being given higher priority than pre-COVID-19, 56% saying there has been no change and only 4% saying it is now a lower priority.

The poll results were unveiled at the ITM Conference this week, which was a virtual event for the first time.

The two-day event was originally scheduled for the Brighton Metropole, where it will now be held in 2021.

ITM represents more than 4,000 business travel buyers and suppliers across the UK and Ireland.