GetThere announced the results of its fifth annual Corporate Travel Benchmark Survey. GetThere distributed data from the survey at the annual National Business Travel Association Convention & Trade Show today in San Diego, CA.

The survey, which tracks business travel patterns at America's leading corporations, revealed that 65 percent of travel reservations at responding corporations are made online. This figure, up from 60 percent in 2004, is more impressive when contrasted against the 26 percent online adoption rate reported in GetThere's first Benchmark Survey in 2001.

More than 3,000 corporations, including a majority of Fortune 200 companies that have online booking sites, use GetThere. The GetThere customer base represents more than $15 billion in annual travel spend.

Savings on Agency Fees & Airfare Driving Adoption

Senior executives at top companies are endorsing online booking as the preferred booking method and, in many cases, are mandating employees to book online simply because of the measurable savings these programs can generate. This year's survey shows that trips booked online averaged 49 percent lower agency fees and 14 percent lower airfares - representing approximately $100 in savings per booking.

With the continued focus on cost-cutting, companies overwhelmingly cited executive support and mandates as the most effective means for driving online adoption. More than 70 percent believe that adoption will continue to rise as travelers experience the new leisure look-and-feel of GetThere's Enhanced Design.

Corporations Promote Online Booking Worldwide

Nearly 60 percent of responding companies have expanded online travel programs internationally, up from 41 percent last year. This dramatic growth took place despite many companies from various regions and industries facing similar obstacles, such as cultural differences, on-screen language/ translation issues, and accessing specific supplier inventory. Large multi-national companies continue to report higher overall global adoption.

GetThere is playing its role in driving international adoption by adding enhancements across multiple global distribution systems, providing the GetThere booking tool in seven languages, building direct connects with air and rail suppliers, and adding dedicated sales and customer support staff in ASPAC, Europe and Latin America.

Touchless Fulfillment & Online Ticket Exchange Enhance Overall Savings

The use of specialized e-fulfillment centers for online bookings continues to increase among corporations, with 73 percent using the service to secure lower transaction fees from their travel agencies. This figure is up 26 percent from 2003, demonstrating the notable growth of touchless fulfillment in the corporate travel arena.

"It is encouraging to see corporations driving further use of automation across all facets of their travel programs," said Bev Heinritz, general manager of GetThere. "In particular, a majority of responding companies have already begun or plan to process exchanges, voids and refunds with our new Online Ticket Exchange functionality, demonstrating that travel managers are quick to embrace the latest service innovations."

Survey Methodology

The Corporate Travel Benchmark Report is based on a survey of 150 GetThere customers that spend from $5 million to more than $100 million annually on air travel. These benchmarks provide a snapshot of the online travel trends, savings and adoption techniques that are currently in use at leading companies. The report also includes benchmark breakouts for specific industries and regions as well as results for mid-market and large-market companies. All results are based on travel data as self-reported by each company's travel department.