World’s Largest Association of Corporate Travel Managers to Members: Authorize First and Business Travel More Often and Look for Hotels with Butler Service

By Paul Riegler on 1 April 2015
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Amsterdam, April 1 — On the opening day of its annual meeting, the American Service Society of Corporate Ambulatory Managers, or ASSCAM, announced findings from a research report that delved into workplace productivity issues among business travelers.

ASSCAM is the largest association of corporate travel managers in the world.

The report recommended that its members should take the following steps to improve workplace productivity:

  • Authorize first- or business-class travel for flights over three hours.
  • Book higher fare tickets to ensure that business travelers receive more miles and points when traveling.
  • Prepare a list of recommended hotels that offer services that it believes should be standard for the business traveler, including butler service, spa services, personal trainers, and generate guest loyalty program points that allow the traveler to earn free stays.
  • Ensure that business travelers are granted diamond status or the equivalent by hotels and airlines as part of corporate travel contracts.

The study, conducted by the independent research firm Takë Shortcutti, surveyed 3,600 executives in ASSCAM’s membership roster and asked them to identify shortcomings in their current travel programs. The researchers also interviewed over 4,000 business travelers to determine what corporate travel programs need to address in order to improve productivity while on the road.

“The business traveler always gets the short end of the stick,” said Michael Frieden, the group’s vice president of membership. “While some seem to think that a motel that ‘leaves the light on for you’ is adequate, the Takë Shortcutti study has identified serious deficiencies in how we address and manage business travel and the business traveler and our list of recommendations should ensure improved productivity and peak performance during business trips.”

The Takë Shortcutti study found that business travelers simply want to feel loved. “Seeing a front-desk clerk roll his eyes when I announce I am a diamond guest does not give me the warm and fuzzies,” one survey respondents told the researchers.

Another respondent echoed the sentiment. “When boarding a plane, it amazes me how many people want to get in my way when the gate agent calls first class,” he said. Giving the gate agents cattle prods, he commented, would go a long way to addressing the problem.

“It’s quite clear that the corporate world will see a multitude of benefits once companies implement Takë Shortcutti’s recommendations,” said Estelle Smythe, ASSCAM’s executive director. “The study promises that its recommendations will help restore a measure of work-life balance and make for a healthier work environment for the beleaguered business traveler,” she added.

“We fully support the findings from the Takë Shortcutti survey,” said Michael Wallace, senior vice president of corporate travel at Flixbuster, the world’s largest laser disc rental company. “We plan to implement some of the report’s recommendations as soon as it is practical to do so because we believe that we need to better support the needs of our thousands of business-traveler employees.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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