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Filter in or out as many as 200 cities, as well as hotel and car rental class and meals of the day and watch as the per-diem calculator automatically adjusts per diems to your program. Drill down into cost breakdowns and export the results.
Cost cutting, controls and scrutiny emerge as common themes of this issue. In just a few months, economic uncertainty has upended managed travel and meeting programs and thrown the travel industry into a tailspin. Suddenly, justification of the value of both travel and meetings is paramount.
Federal attention to "luxury expenditures"--including meetings, events and incentives, according to the feds--by companies that have received government bailouts has redoubled travel industry efforts to quantify the return on such investments. Research designed to definitively answer such questions is underway. In the interim, industry groups offered examples, model standards that businesses should use to justify why they meet and much rhetoric about the "chilling" impact the scrutiny is having on what the U.S. Travel Association calls the $101 billion meetings, events and incentive segments and even the $240 billion business travel portion of the U.S. travel industry.
Many corporations are likewise trying to identify 'why' they travel as a means to control demand and overall costs. Just how corporations like Autodesk, Capital One, Cisco and PricewaterhouseCoopers are doing so is detailed in Leading Practices.
As predicted in surveys for the past year, corporations are more aggressively than ever trying to control both their travel costs and demand. To trim "every last dime from their budgets," buyers are urged to evaluate ground transportation contracts, as detailed in the Feature. Others are globalizing their travel or meetings management programs to better leverage spending in these categories, as detailed in the Fluor Case Studyand the Meetings Perspective.
Looking internally, Bayer and Siemens have written prescriptions to boost compliance to their nonmandated hotel programs. The Case Study details how Bayer redesigned its online booking toolto prompt travelers to book preferred properties in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Siemens explains how a pretrip audit is helpingthe company ensure its travelers and travel management company book the lowest and correct airfares and preferred hotels.
The precipitous drop in hotel demand and occupancy in recent months has prompted some to opine that this necessitates a redo on hotel contracts, many of which were just finalized in December and January. Hilton's Denise Lodrige-Koveroffers a differing opinion in Perspective.
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