Managed Travel 2.0, an idea/program where travelers shop and book travel anywhere on any safe suppliers, provided they are within budget and the data on their transaction and travel is then collected in real-time by their company, is a very interesting concept and one that will probably move forward, but with possible resistance from many. I find this interesting to watch and consider because of all the players involved.
The consensus among industry experts seems to be that travel technology has not progressed at warp speed like other technologies. Some blame this on the travel industry’s GDS (Global Distribution System) situation. I don’t know that I agree with this theory completely, but then again, when you have been in the same industry for 30+ years, like I have, without viewing the progression speed of other industries’ technology, I suppose I’m not equipped to weigh in with a fully educated opinion.
During the GBTA’s recent convention in Boston, there were a few educational sessions regarding this topic. In the session I attended, 80% of the attendees were either travel managers or procurement specialists. During the presentation, it was suggested, based on information from a GBTA survey, that an unmanaged travel program is better than a managed travel program for a number of reasons–savings being one of them. The tension in the room was intense, to say the least.
However, in a recent newsletter from Travel GPA, CEO Rock Blanco, addressed the information presented in that GBTA forum, and pointed out that the benefits of a managed travel program–namely data, safety, and proven expertise–is where the value lies.
Like I said, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.