19 JUN 2019: New research shows that when aligned with a company's strategy, a well-managed travel program can deliver a tangible competitive advantage. The report shows 58 percent of business leaders confirm that having a strong travel culture – one where the company, its leaders and its processes support the use of corporate travel as a form of strategic investment with business value – produces better business results.

The report "Travel Culture: Your Competitive Advantage in a Global Market," from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with Egencia, reveals that over the last year, companies with a strong travel culture had double the rate of improvement compared to companies with a weak travel culture in key areas such as:

customer loyalty and retention (50 percent vs 21 percent),
market share (43 percent vs 22 percent)
employee satisfaction (35 percent vs 15 percent),
profitability improved significantly (47 percent vs 29 percent)

- proving the impact a well-managed business travel program can have on achieving solid business results.

"Corporate travel is increasingly fundamental to business performance, particularly as companies expand their global footprint," says Wendy White, vice president of marketing at Egencia.

"It's clear that when business leaders look at travel as a strategic investment and have a global travel management company like Egencia onboard, it quickly becomes a differentiator – and the data supports this. But a strong travel culture delivers more than a competitive edge, it helps teams across the world work better together and supports a unified company culture."

However, less than a third (31 percent) of the 587 business leaders surveyed believe that their organization actually has a strong travel culture.

In fact, most admit that managed corporate travel is not seen as a strategic investment in its future but rather a cost to be minimized. This is a critically shortsighted view in today's global marketplace where the majority of business leaders recognize that in-person interactions help ensure positive long-term relationships with customers (84 percent), and importantly, between employees in a company (78 percent).

While it's clear to business leaders what a strong travel culture is and why its fundamental in helping their company to differentiate and compete, well under half are prioritizing this today. Of the ones that effectively manage business travel, a huge majority (77 percent) have a single TMC onboard. It is proving to be the basis for a more strategic approach to business travel.

This report however, clearly shows that having a full-service TMC in place helps companies unlock the maximum potential of their travel program, creating value for their business and their travellers, while in addition travel managers benefit from data and analytics that help them identify new sources of savings.

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