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Travel corporate’s hail booking online

Travel corporate’s hail booking online

The number of European companies booking travel online is expected to increase

five-fold in the next two years.

This is according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel chief executive Hubert Joly. Speaking at a recent Association of Corporate Travel Executives Forum, Mr Joly said he expected 30% of European companies to be engaging in online transactions by 2007, a five-fold increase from current figures.

“The major trend in the market for cost reduction is self-booking. All European

enterprises are either thinking about it, have put, or are putting, a platform in

place,” he said.

A discussion involving around 100 corporate travel managers and service providers at the ACTE Forum found the adoption of self-booking tools dominated the travel managers’ strategies for coping with changes in the industry including the growth of no-frills airlines and disappearance of agency commissions from airline sales.

Also attending the discussion was Expedia Corporate Travel Europe president Jean-Pierre Remy. He said Europe was catching up with the US in terms of use of self-booking tools, but added that a few factors would prevent European usage reaching US levels. He outlined these as: greater rail travel, less use of corporate travel cards and more need for pre-approvals.

Cost savings was also cited by Thales general expenses purchasing director, Jacques Chambre, as the driver behind adopting self-booking tools. He said travellers see the full range of fares when booking online and feel guilty if they don’t take the most reasonable fare.

According to Carlson Wagonlit’s Mr Joly, online transactions reduce overall travel costs by 40%-70%.

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