Corporate travellers to be rewarded for good behaviour?

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on May 31, 2004

Corporate travellers to be rewarded for good behaviour?

Travel policy compliance is a significant business issue, and a lack of compliance translates into a significant expense for many corporations, which is why a US-based travel agency has launched a loyalty scheme to encourage corporate travel policy compliance.

Many companies waste 50% or more of their travel budget on last minute bookings that could have been avoided and on other avoidable out-of-policy activity, according to New England-based Atlas Travel International, which has now launched its Travel Policy Plus loyalty and incentive programme.

The programme rewards corporate travellers with travel and lifestyle awards based on their willingness and ability to comply with corporate travel policies and guidelines.

"Atlas Travel International's incentive division, named Global Odysseys, is dedicated to helping companies achieve business goals through the tactical use of carefully planned and executed incentive programmes," explained Elaine Osgood, president of Atlas Travel International. "Now we've taken Global Odysseys' expertise in creating positive behaviours and applied it to travel policy compliance."

Travel priorities For example, an airline ticket issued less than 7 days before departure can cost 30%-40% more than the same ticket that meets the 7 day advance purchase deadline. So here's the problem: in some instances, an employee has no choice but to make a last minute booking. But, quite often, the employee does have the ability to meet a 7 day advance purchase deadline but simply lacks the motivation to do so.

"By aligning highly desirable rewards with 7 day advance purchase bookings, for example, we can influence employee behaviour, which ultimately translates into lower airfares," said Roy Podell, president and creative director for Global Odysseys.

Other examples of the programme being able to influence employee behaviour include cost saving initiatives such as flying on preferred carriers and booking trips online. "We know that something that gets measured gets done," said Podell. "And we also know that something that gets rewarded gets done more."

Customised programmes Although Travel Policy Plus is a turnkey concept, it is far from generic. Each corporate programme is based on the historical travel trends of the company concerned, determining and taking account of specific areas for improvement.

The programme, which includes ongoing communications, scorecards and management reports, has been structured to cost much less than the savings it achieves, meaning that behaviour can be changed without significant expense.

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