17 experts advise on what’s to come this year. Spoiler: Data factors big.
The Innovate Conference for the Advancement of Business Travel offered business travel executives the opportunity to articulate priorities and recommendations.
The companies that make up the 27th annual Business Travel News Corporate Travel
100 in 2013 generally increased their U.S.-booked air volume from 2012 levels,
but a solid minority cut that figure, some substantially. Even as the economic
maladies of 2008 grow ever smaller in the rear-view mirror, travel cost control
still clearly rules the day at some big companies.
[Please click here to
view the digital edition of the 2014 Corporate Travel 100, featuring all
company rankings and listings, downloadable as a pdf.]
Of the 50 CT100 companies that provided BTN with U.S.-booked air volumes for both 2012 and 2013, 29
indicated a year-over-year increase last year, and 17 indicated that increase
was at least 5 percent. Conversely, 18 companies reported a year-over-year
decrease in 2013 U.S.-booked air volume, and 10 indicated that decrease
exceeded 10 percent. Three companies indicated static year-over-year spending.
On the whole, the total 2013 U.S.-booked air volume for those companies
increased 1.4 percent from 2012 levels.
The CT100, however, is more bullish about spending increases
in 2014. Of the 50 CT100 companies that provided 2012 and 2013 figures, 46 also
projected 2014 U.S.-booked air volumes. Of those 46, 34 companies expect higher
such spending this year than last, and 11 expect that figure will be lower than
it was in 2013, despite evidence that corporate airfares this year generally
are higher than they were last year.
The CT100 is based on 2013 air tickets purchased for
domestic or international business travel at all U.S. points of sale. Most
listed organizations provided at least some information for use in their
Respondent organizations completed an online questionnaire;
some provided additional information in interviews. For organizations that did
not participate, BTN used industry
sources, published reports and other intelligence.
Respondents in their online questionnaire were asked to list
their organization's highest-volume and other preferred suppliers in the United
States and in other regions; their responses are included in the listings as
Seven firms not included last year qualified for this list,
including first-time members Google, Illinois Tool Works and Stryker.
Those falling off include Automatic Data Processing, BAE
Systems, Dow Chemical, Qualcomm, Science Applications International Corp.,
Thomson Reuters, the United Nations and UPS.
This year's CT100 floor of $47 million in 2013 U.S.-booked
air spending is $2 million more than last year's, and $19 million more than
that of four years ago.