According to a new survey commissioned by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), 92 per cent of Indian business travellers believe in earning personal loyalty points or rewards as a suited reason to book outside of company policy. With airlines and hotels nowadays offering a range of personal incentives for continued loyalty, it appears that personal rewards provide sufficient justification for some employees to ignore standard company policies. While a large majority of business travellers from India acknowledge the value of travelling for work, and are aware their company has a travel policy, many are reluctant to comply with company travel policies citing issues including wanting business lounge access (93 per cent), using preferred airlines not within current policy (88 per cent) and desire to stay in a safer location (94 per cent).
Ashish Kishore, GBT’s Managing Director, India, said companies need to regularly review their travel policies and ensure they are fit for purpose.
Desiring accommodation closer to a meeting or business event venue (96 per cent), staying in a more convenient location (96 per cent), and staying in a better quality hotel (96 per cent) were the top reasons Indian business travellers provided as a rationale for booking outside the company travel policy.
“Businesses can set themselves up for success by ensuring their travel policies cover the most suitable airlines and hotels. Offering a wide variety of appropriate options will help encourage employees to book within policy while also enjoying luxury of choice. Automated travel approval technology can also make it easier for travellers to make the right decisions.”
“When employees book within travel policy it not only helps companies keep track of their staff and fulfil their duty of care obligations, it also provides valuable data which companies use to negotiate good deals with airlines and hotels,” said Kishore.
The survey was commissioned by American Express Global Business Travel and conducted by GfK. Almost 2,000 business travellers living in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, and India were surveyed between November 17 – December 6, 2017. For the purposes of this study, business travellers are defined as those who have spent at least the equivalent of 5 days in the past 12 months travelling for business that included an overnight stay.