Technology is changing travel management, but it's also changing travel managers, according to the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
As part of a new study, "A Day in the Life: The Role of Travel Managers," GBTA asked more than 700 North American and European travel managers to define their current and future roles. The results: Although travel managers today are focused mostly on tactical tasks, such as vendor management, in the next three to five years they will begin focusing more on strategic tasks thanks to the increased streamlining and automation provided by technology.
"As it's done in so many industries already, technology will transform the role of the travel manager over the next few years," said GBTA Vice President of Research Joseph Bates. "Thanks to the automation of so many processes, travel managers will be able to expand their role and further demonstrate their value."
Added Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network, which sponsored the study, "New software and services are rapidly changing the way companies manage all procurement categories, and travel is no exception. Strategically-minded travel managers are achieving superior results by using more sophisticated technology and hiring more tech-savvy team members. We see this shift in the research and among our clients."
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