Additionally, key findings from the study on European buyer perspectives can also be compared and contrasted with the North America 'Corporate Travel Policy: Benchmarking and Insight' released on August 17, 2011. "It is crucial that all companies look inward at their policies to ensure they achieve the goals they are after. With every traveller on the road there is an optimal point where they are able to do their business effectively while not breaking the corporate bank and studies like this allow us to find that point," said Paul Tilstone, managing director, GBTA Europe. "This study shows us that policies are remaining consistent despite the increase in travel spend - the importance and focus on travel polices is a good thing and it appears it's here to stay." Based on best practices and insights from 330 European travel buyers, the study takes a comprehensive look at policy mandates versus guidelines, consolidation, booking procedures, class of service, advance purchases, pre-trip approval, groups/meetings and emergencies, and ancillary fees among other issues - all of which comprise variables that make travel difficult to standardise. "Negotiating discounts with airlines and other travel suppliers such as hotels is a key travel management objective," said Christophe Pingard, Senior Vice President Egencia EMEA & APAC. "Our study reveals that the number of companies who do not have a preferred hotel program has increased from 5% in 2010 to 20% in 2011, signalling growing saving opportunities in this area. For instance, the Egencia consulting team partners with clients to implement hotel programs that bring flexibility and control of the costs. By analysing hotel data, consumption and potential per city, the consultants can then negotiate contracts with hotels that respond to clients' needs." Get the full story at The GBTA Foundation