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Thursday, 10 October, 2019, 10 : 18 AM [IST]

Travel managers will be looking for more value for their corporate travel program now than ever before: Asia Regional Director, ACTE Global

John Holden, Regional Director – Asia, Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) Global said that in view of the global economic slowdown where business and industry are facing a number of challenges both on the geopolitical and financial fronts, there will be increased focus on “duty of care” and “better expense management tools” on the part of the corporate travel managers.

Speaking to TravelBiz Monitor during his recent visit to Delhi to participate in ACTE-organised workshop, Holden said that there is a likelihood of travel budgets remaining either flat or a marginal decline in the wake of the growing concern about an imminent global slowdown in the corporate world.“Geopolitical uncertainties are high and at the same time fear of a slowdown in the global economy is also there,” he observed.

The geopolitical uncertainties will force corporate entities to be more vigilant about safety and security which is largely termed as “duty of care” in the corporate travel parlance, he added. The corporate world will be keen to invest in modern technology which will help track and communicate real-time with their employees due to these uncertainties, he informed.
In a slowing economy, there will be increased focus on expense management on the part of corporate travel buyers. They will be looking for more value for the expenses. They will expect more value for the money spent on hotels, airlines, car companies, etc.“The number of trips will be naturally reduced and there will be attempts to combine destinations as well,” he observed.

In the new scenario, corporate travel buyers will look at ‘inclusions’ in the hotel rates than just the room rate, he said. They will also negotiate for long-term contracts, alternate accommodations like serviced apartments, Airbnb, etc. as well, Holden added.

Commenting on the India, Holden said that India is a “reasonably strong” market. India has completed a peaceful election process and elected a stable government. The domestic demand will continue to sustain, he observed. However, the impact of trade wars and other global factors will have its impact on Indian corporate entities as well.

Mentioning ACTE’s India activities, he said that the association will continue to engage the Indian corporate travel market through its 3 annual educational events in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi.  “Our endeavour is to expand to other potential cities like Pune, Hyderabad, etc.,” he informed. Other than that, ACTE also invites Indian corporate travel managers to its regional and global platforms like ITB Asia Singapore.

Holden said that the ACTE Global Summit will be happening in Asia 2020 in Singapore on August 25 and 26, and expects very high participation from India.
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