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American Express Sees Hope for Travel Demand

May 19, 2008 By: George Dooley

Despite softness in the economy, the companies surveyed in American Express’ 2nd Annual Strategic "Sourcery" Survey reported that travel is a crucial element for their business and that 83 percent of respondents expect their travelers to take the same or increased number of trips this year when compared to last year.

The survey notes that, in the face of rising costs for both domestic and international trips, 62 percent of companies are looking to procurement activities to produce savings of five to 15 percent this year. Another 19 percent expect even greater savings. Over the past year, 67 percent of the companies surveyed credited procurement activities with creating savings for their travel budgets.

American Express released the survey during the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) Global Conference and Corporate Travel World (CTW) in Washington, D.C.  225 companies responded. The results focus on companies’ search for smarter and more cost-effective ways to keep travelers on the road given the current economic environment, American Express said.

“Given today’s industry and economic dynamics, companies are seeking out strategies to take advantage of savings opportunities without sacrificing the effectiveness or scope of their travel programs,” said Frank Schnur, vice president of consulting for American Express Business Travel’s Advisory Services.  “Travel is increasingly viewed as an investment, rather than a commodity to procure, and the partnerships and shared strategies created between procurement and travel departments are instrumental in maximizing the value of corporate travel and entertainment budgets.”

When asked about the use of selected travel procurement practices, 53 percent of respondents indicated they are mandating the use of preferred suppliers and 51 percent are applying demand management principles. For information:

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