GBTA 2016 Takeaway: Savvy Travel Managers Getting More Strategic

by Suzanne Neufang

Perhaps the most unique physical element of the Denver Convention Center is the massive blue grizzly bear that stands outside the glass window. It’s an impressive sight; his paws on the glass as the bear peaks inside to see what all the action is about.

The powerful animal on the outside looking in offers a strong parallel to my leading conclusion from this year’s GBTA event. Corporate travel managers find themselves in an interesting position with definite career choices to make.

The array of technologies and outsourcing solutions available to travel managers has never been better. Corporate card programs, expense management, meetings management, security services, ground transportation, and yes hotel sourcing – these and other elements of a traditional travel manager’s remit can now be done affordably – and with a high degree of quality – by outside entities.

So today’s travel manager has the option to overhaul their approach – to spend their days being more strategic and less tactical. Do their due diligence, select outsourcing partners that are aligned with their program’s objectives, and let the niche-specific experts do their jobs. Many other business processes are tackled this way; it only makes sense for this wave to hit the shores of corporate travel management.

More importantly, for travel managers themselves, the decision to spend their days being more strategic can help enhance their profile and impact within their organization. That career strategy seems like the best maneuver to avoid becoming that powerful animal that somehow finds itself peering through the glass, on the outside looking in.

Learn more about HRS’ leading hotel procurement services here.


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