Opinion: influence, not control, will move the needle
Regional spotlight: NORAM
Guest columnist: Joel Wartgow, senior director, CWT Solutions Group - Americas
As a member of the travel management industry, unlike most travelers I understand the reasons behind the things I’m asked to do for the good of the organization while I’m out traveling. This can cause some internal conflict, as I often find myself grappling with my heightened awareness of how my decisions impact the company in big and small ways, countered by my desire to get home as quickly as possible after being away. As a travel buyer and traveler yourself, I’m sure you often find yourself in the same boat and can see both sides: what the company wants to meet its goals, vs. what the traveler wants to meet his/her goals.
Like me, I’m sure you’ve also been reading a lot of opinions questioning the long-term effectiveness of traditional travel policies, and attesting to the fact that travel buyers are losing some of their control while travelers are gaining more power over travel purchasing. While it’s not what many in managed travel like to hear, I can attest that these statements are true – I’v e been observing this trend among many of the clients with whom my team and I interact every day. As a travel buyer, I imagine you may be struggling with this yourself, perhaps wondering how to maintain the integrity of your travel program in the face of all the direct messages your travelers are receiving via technology and alternative booking channels.