Click below if you would like to leave the CTM Australasia website and be directed to the CTM Investor Centre. To return, simply click the close button Visit X site

Local solutions, delivered globally

CTM provides local service solutions to customers around the world. Please select your local region, and start experiencing the CTM difference!

Don’t show this again


Navigating business travel procurement trends

In the ever-changing landscape of business travel, Corporate Travel Management (CTM) has witnessed a significant evolution in the way companies manage their travel over the last three decades.

The utilisation of a travel management company (TMC) or the formal procurement of travel services was not a widespread practice in the ‘90s. Companies often grappled with the absence of well-defined travel policies, leaving room for an ad-hoc approach to managing corporate travel. The lack of detailed guidelines meant that employees had varying experiences when booking and executing business travel.

The travel procurement landscape has undergone a profound transformation. The advent of advanced technologies, data analytics, and the global connectivity of businesses has paved the way for a more streamlined and strategic approach to corporate travel. Companies are now looking for holistic travel management support. They want a business partner, rather than a vendor, to drive savings, ensuring a return on their investment and offering comprehensive solutions that go beyond mere itinerary management.

Similarly, the teams responsible for designing and delivering an effective travel program, and its related RFP processes, has evolved to incorporate a more diverse range of stakeholders, each tasked with ensuring today’s travel programs meet unique business objectives while meeting employees’ needs.

What’s trending in business travel procurement?

One of the most notable changes has been the establishment of robust business travel policies and travel programs. Companies recognise the importance of clearly defined guidelines in governing the entire travel process, from multi-channel servicing and supplier contracting, to data security, duty of care and sustainability. This shift has empowered procurement departments with the tools to make data-driven decisions aligned with organisational goals.

Data Security

Data security is increasingly becoming a critical concern for businesses. In the modern technological landscape, safeguarding company data is paramount due to the escalating global risks associated with cybersecurity. This heightened awareness underscores the increasing significance of TMCs addressing how they collect, utilise, share, store, and secure the information they handle. Companies now actively seek clarity on these aspects to ensure robust data protection measures are in place.


The drive for sustainable travel solutions and tools to measure or offset a business’s carbon footprint has currently been fuelled by global initiatives like the Sustainable Development Goals and the recent emergence of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) by the European Commission, impacting how corporate customers assess and choose travel management companies based on their commitment to environmentally responsible practices.

Partnerships, not transactions

In a fast-moving dynamic travel landscape, companies have moved away from seeking a purely transactional travel vendor, instead looking for a strategic business partner; a TMC that can help solve their challenges by implementing customised tactics to deliver outcomes for their travel program. No longer is a TMC a means to just facilitate itinerary management, but now firmly a priority to ensure the right expertise, service and tech solutions are part of the business travel strategy.

Multi-channel servicing  

The technological revolution of AI has not only redefined the way businesses manage their travel needs, but has also elevated customer expectations, with an increasing demand for AI-driven solutions that promise a seamless and efficient experience across multiple service channels. Whether it’s booking flights through a website, making changes via a mobile app, or seeking assistance through a chatbot, AI facilitates a seamless transition between different platforms, providing users with a unified and user-friendly service experience wherever and whenever they need it.

What’s remained unchanged?

Four elements continue to anchor the corporate travel experience: Service excellence, risk management, control and transparency of data, and self-service tools. These elements underscore the unwavering expectations of organisations, providing a stable foundation upon which the dynamic evolution of the travel industry unfolds. Despite the transformative impact of technology, certain principles of service, risk mitigation, and data management remain essential in delivering a comprehensive and reliable corporate travel solution.

Service excellence

In the pursuit of optimising corporate travel experiences, businesses will consistently prioritise service excellence from their TMC. In an era defined by rapid change, the need for 24/7 service remains critical to employee productivity. Fast response times, knowledgeable teams and an intimate understanding of customer needs continue to be non-negotiable. However, the evolution of service delivery through new digital multi-channels is a focal point, geared towards not just maintaining, but enhancing speed and convenience. As businesses navigate the complexities of a globalised world, the evolution of service excellence becomes a strategic imperative, ensuring that travellers’ needs are met with efficiency, reliability and adaptability.

Risk management tools

While elements of risk management in business travel have been present for decades, the increasing frequency and impact of unforeseeable global events, combined with technological advancements, have elevated the importance of risk management tools in the decision-making process.

Companies recognise the need for comprehensive risk management strategies to deliver on their duty of care responsibilities, and as such continue to favour TMCs that can assist in managing the complexities of travel during times of disruption, offering tools with proactive and reactive risk identification, approval processes, traveller tracking, and emergency communication capabilities.

Control and transparency of data

The need for visibility of travel spend has been a requirement for decades. Travel reports in earlier years were often printed, bound and presented to the customer each quarter, providing historical data and trends. TMCs soon recognised the value of offering customised and real-time reporting tools that allowed businesses to track and analyse their travel expenditures, patterns, and compliance with travel policies, as well as predictive insights into future trends and savings opportunities. As technology has continued to advance, further refinement of self-service reporting tools, cloud-based solutions, data analytics and user-friendly interfaces have become integral components of a business’s RFP for travel management services, providing Travel Managers even more sophisticated insights into their travel programs.

Self-service tools

The online booking tool (OBT) presented a revolution in the way people search, compare and book their company travel. The one-stop-shop platform, incorporating travel policies and approval processes, makes enforcement of good booking behaviour and the ability to track travel data and spend a breeze. Further elevating the OBT experience, the introduction of mobile apps gave travellers increased flexibility and accessibility while ensuring their travel is managed, and approved, according to their company’s travel policy. It became the extension to the OBT and quickly became a personal Travel Consultant in a traveller’s back pocket.

These tools remain a core expectation for business travel programs, but it will be the advancements in tech and service features that will set a TMC apart.

The continuous pursuit of a seamless TMC experience

The journey of business travel procurement over the last 30 years reflects a dynamic evolution, from the fragmented practices of the ’90s to the strategic, technology-driven approach seen today. In the coming years, AI will be increasingly prominent – bringing new improvements to both the traveller and procurement experience. The transformation underscores the growing importance of efficient travel management, clear policies, and a focus on value-added services. As businesses adapt to the ever-changing landscape, the evolution of travel procurement remains a testament to the continuous pursuit of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and a seamless business travel experience.


Want to learn more about CTM products and services?

Our team is ready to speak with you today.