Spain's economy is among the most vibrant in europe, but growth has been driven by
construction and services. Government grants and a dynamic private sector are
looking to innovation, however, as the source of future development.
Can you remember when business travel was considered a perk of the job rather
than a penalty? With all the negative publicity about the hardships of travel these
days - it's no surprise that 86 percent of corporate flyers surveyed by Orbitz said
they consider business travel "more difficult than it was two years ago."
At most global organizations, travel management plays a
significant financial role. Since travel is typically a corporation's
second or third largest controllable expense, having
experienced travel management professionals manage
travel-related services provides measurable benefits.
Monitoring and analyzing travel expenditures is
essential for realizing cost control.
Business travel is on the upswing, and so are travel costs. According
to the National Business Travel Association's (NBTA) 2006 Business
Travel Overview and Cost Forecast, domestic airfares are expected
to rise six percent this year, hotel prices are projected to jump nine
percent, and car rental prices are predicted to climb five percent. "These cost increases, along with growth in the number of travelers
and trips per year, puts the spotlight firmly on travel procurement,"
said NBTA president and CEO Suzanne Fletcher.
As business travel worldwide continues to enjoy solid growth, traveling executives are enjoying even greater comfort, security and flexibility. Airlines, airport operators, hotels and other travel suppliers are investing heavily to enhance their products and services in order to help ease the strain of frequent travel.
Within days of Hurricane Katrina, executives at several travel loyalty programs like United Mileage Plus and American Airlines AAdvantage among others,had set up ways for program members to donate their points to the relief effort.
In mid-August, 4,500 travel managers, purchasing professionals and representatives from 400 supplier companies will converge in San Diego at the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) Convention and Trade Show. The event, the 37th for the organiza-tion, has grown in both size and stature in direct relation to corporate spend: T&E is now the number two cost center for most corporations, according to multiple industry studies.
The smaller the company, the more critical it is to keep a tight rein on costs. Yet small businesses typically don't have travel managers to oversee travel spending, nor do they have the negotiating clout of big corporations that put thousands of "heads in beds" in exchange for discounts and other perks.
At most companies, large and small, business travel is such a significant part of corporate operations that T&E can cost as much as IT or payroll. To better manage travel costs, companies are implementing a number of best practices, collectively known as travel management.