The Travel Category

Insatiable Ride-Hailing Companies Bite into Rental Car Demand


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Kayla Bruun, senior economist at IHS Markit.

Despite the seemingly favorable demand-driving conditions of a robust job market, low fuel prices and an upward trend in domestic travel spending, rates for U.S. passenger rental cars as measured by the producer price index have declined 31% since the third quarter of 2014. Concurrently, rising fleet costs attributable to a supply glut in the used car market are overwhelming rental car firms' cost savings from automation initiatives and low gas prices. This suggests that rental car prices are falling due to a mismatch between supply and market demand, not as a result of lower input costs flowing through.

Procurement and Travel: How Healthy is Your Relationship?


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Katie Virtue, director of category management, travel, at Corporate United.

You probably know that corporate travel programs offer a significant cost savings opportunity and, as a result, are a high priority for most organizations. What you may not know is that the successful management of your travel program relies heavily on the relationship between procurement and travel teams. Although financial goals are important to all organizations, you must not forget the customer experience component that comes into play with these offerings, and also make sure that company travel policies protect employees.

On Expense Management, Mileage Fraud and GPS: An Interview with Runzheimer’s Mike Bassi


Recently I talked to Mike Bassi, director of partnerships at Runzheimer, a provider of mobile workforce solutions that works with more than 1,300 companies. One of Runzheimer’s areas of expertise is mileage spend, and I was curious to hear about technological advances in expense management from a provider’s point of view — as well as ask about how common low-level expense fraud is.

Accenture Spend Trends Category Insight

Top 10 Airline Sourcing Strategies [Plus+]

This month’s installment of Accenture’s category insights may just to be the best yet in terms of rigor and practicality. The specific spend category in question is airlines, but there are also broader issues here surrounding travel management in general. Although consumerized airline shopping can make this category seemed commoditized, it is anything but. You have an extremely diverse set of stakeholders with different business objectives surrounding the airline travel, and a supply market that looks like a supply chain transportation market, which in a sense it is, if you think about air freight — except the freight is a business traveller.

The 10 strategies outlined are a perfect example of how to manage a complex category. Understanding the demand side of Airline sourcing, for example, is essential, especially related to stakeholder management. Corporate “road warriors” are usually critical talent to be empowered and supported. Loyalty programs are key enablers (and barriers) to success, and the change management and time involved for sourcing require strong planning and commitment. The article gives some excellent guidance on negotiation tactics, but also on some of the “softer” strategies that are no less critical to this fast changing category.

Affordable Hotel Rooms Get More Expensive


Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from H. Cole Hassay, economist, pricing and purchasing, at IHS Markit.

The hotel industry experienced healthy demand this past summer. With this strong demand, hotels with the least amenities increased the most in price, as limited-service hotels became more expensive in the United States. While the typical surge in demand from summer travel was partially responsible for a normal seasonal upturn, there were other factors at play, too.

How Different Business Travelers Approach Expense Reports


Business travelers can end up spending a lot of time filling out expense reports after returning from a business trip. Employees with more experience traveling and more knowledgeable about a company’s travel policies may be able to complete this task quicker than those who travel less frequently. Concur’s new State of Business Travel report details how different types of travelers — from the savvy business traveler to the cautious planner — complete expense reports and how long they take to do so.

More Business Travelers Turn to Home-Sharing Services: New Concur Report Identifies Trends in Corporate Travel Market


Business travelers are increasingly using home-sharing services like Airbnb for overnight business trips. Concur’s recent State of Business Travel report shows a 56% growth rate for home-sharing services among business travelers between the beginning of 2015 and beginning of 2016. The Concur business travel reports shares insights from the millions of end-users that turn to Concur’s business travel and expense management solutions — users who expensed $76 billion in 2015 through the provider’s software

More Business Travelers Turn to Uber, Lyft Than Ever Before

sharing economy

Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft continue to gain popularity among corporate business travelers, according to recent research. The latest SpendSmart report from travel and expense management software provider Certify showed Uber and Lyft rides accounted for 46% of total ground transportation among business travelers in the first quarter of 2016. That’s up 4% from the fourth quarter of 2015.

Listen up! Your Travel Data is Trying to Tell You Something

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from James Filsinger, president and CEO of Yapta.

You don’t have to be a travel expert to know that hotel and airfare prices have a frequency all their own, constantly shifting up and down. The price you paid today could be dramatically cheaper tomorrow — or grossly more expensive in a week. But what can you learn by tuning into all this noise around travel pricing? You may be surprised at what these price fluctuations can reveal — or by the questions that can surface.

What Last-Minute Travel is Costing Companies, and How Travel Policy Monitoring Can Help

travel and expense

A new report from Concur shines light on just how much last-minute business travel is costing companies and provides evidence for how organizations can save money when travel policies and travel management technology solutions are adopted and monitored. Travel and expense management solution provider Concur parsed through data from roughly 22 million U.S. domestic round trip airline bookings made through its travel solution between 2011 and 2015 to identify some key areas businesses can focus on to reduce costs.

Not all Companies Welcome Sharing Economy for Corporate Travel

Oversight Systems

A new survey of 1,500 business travelers conducted by air travel information and corporate travel service showed more travelers are using ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft while on a business trip. However, despite the rise in popularity of non-traditional lodging options provided through websites like Airbnb, many companies are still not allowing employees to stay in such places.