ACTE Global_Vertical_2018
 Press Release
Business Travel Programme Simplification Relies on Improved Prioritisation, Stakeholder Alignment

New study identifies the importance of seamless, streamlined travel processes; points to improved communication with travellers and stakeholders as avenue to success

Alexandria, VA. — February 13, 2020A new study published today by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in collaboration with HRS, “Simplifying Managed Travel 2.0,” finds that travel programme leaders are committed to simplifying the business travel experience, yet face multiple obstacles as they prioritise the initiative.

Today’s business travellers are accustomed to the intuitive experience of booking personal travel, which has been streamlined by single-stop platforms like apps and websites. Akin to the 2017 study, “Simplifying Managed Travel,” the 2019 study illustrates that travel buyers remain committed to the idea of streamlining the business travel experience. In 2017, 72% of travel buyers indicated that initiatives to improve the effectiveness of their business travel programmes support the overall goals of their companies. In the 2019 study, that number rose to a nearly universal 97%.

Programme leaders generally express three core objectives for simplification: cost savings for the organisation, enhancing duty of care and boosting employee productivity. Each of these can be improved, to varying degrees, by streamlining the travel programme.

Overcoming Barriers & Engaging the Most Supportive Internal Stakeholders

The most significant barrier to simplification is competing organisational priorities, a challenge identified by nearly half (46%) of travel buyers. Secondary challenges can vary by programme size; respondents from programmes that spend $50 million+ annually cited limited staff, while medium-size programmes noted the lack of senior leadership support.

Overcoming these barriers requires alignment with internal and external stakeholders. However, the top four departments named by respondents as most helpful with implementing simplification initiatives illustrate how managed travel has changed over the past two decades:

Which internal departments have been most helpful in supporting programme simplification?
 Procurement 46%
 Travellers 41%

“Programme leaders can see a real opportunity in these results,” said Greeley Koch, vice president of marketing for HRS. “The procurement and risk management groups have a mature grasp of the importance of travel, and they are engaged to help programmes improve. And when you get the travellers on board, they can help expedite achievement of the highest goals. It’s noteworthy that HR and executive sponsorship – while always important to have aligned – do not rank among the top four.”

“These findings point to an opportunity for travel buyers as leaders at their organisations,” said Leigh Bochicchio, executive director, ACTE. “Buyers know the benefits of simplification and have compelling arguments in its favour – being able to channel their expertise will help them secure leadership buy-in for prioritising simplification and demonstrate the great value they bring to their businesses.”

About Simplifying Managed Travel 2.0

ACTE surveyed its global membership between July and August 2019. A total of 228 corporate travel buyers worldwide responded to the quantitative survey. Media can access the full report here.

Upcoming Webinar on February 19

ACTE and HRS will host a webinar discussing this research on Wednesday February 19 at 11am Eastern Time in North America, 4pm in the UK and 5pm in Europe. Listen in to learn about specific simplification strategies employed today by leading managed travel programmes. Register here for the hour-long session.

About the Association of Corporate Travel Executives

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has a 30+ year reputation for leading the way corporate travel is conducted. As a global association comprised of executive-level members in more than 100 countries, ACTE pioneers educational and technological advances that make business travel productive, cost-effective and straightforward. ACTE advocacy and initiatives continue to support impactful changes in safety and security, privacy, duty of care and compliance along with traveller productivity that supports global commerce.

Learn more at

About HRS

By creating Lodging as a Service, HRS is revolutionizing the accommodation category for corporations, hotels and business travellers worldwide. Leveraging its proprietary technology and consultant services, HRS provides global corporations with an integrated platform that facilitates savings, efficiencies and customer satisfaction. HRS technology and its 1,500 experts drive the hotel programs of more than one-third of Fortune 500 corporations. HRS solutions also deliver newfound efficiencies for hotels and event planners. Founded in Cologne in 1972, HRS has more than 35 offices worldwide.

More information at

Media Contacts:

Association of Corporate Travel Executives

Meghan Warren
Sloane & Company
+1 212-446-1897


Michael Brophy
+1 214 356 4326


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