Survey Reveals Broad Sphere of Influence of Travel Departments Across Their Organizations

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and UTRECHT, The Netherlands – Nov. 20, 2019 – Travel managers widely collaborate with their corporate stakeholders, according to research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with BCD Travel. Most travel managers work together with stakeholders from finance/accounting (79 percent), human resources (66 percent), security/risk management (63 percent), C-level (61 percent), and legal/compliance (59 percent).

Travel managers share data with some stakeholders—but not others.  A majority “frequently” or “regularly” share data or reporting with finance/accounting (70 percent), C-level (66 percent), and security/risk management (50 percent).  However, fewer “frequently” or “regularly” share data with human resources (39 percent) and sales (30 percent) even though these stakeholders make key travel decisions.

“This research clearly shows the important role of the travel manager and how they are interconnecting with the highest levels of corporate leadership,” said Scott Solombrino, GBTA Executive Director and COO. “Their role and skill set continue to evolve and be vital to the overall success of their companies.”

“It’s always been apparent to those working within the corporate travel industry that travel managers bring significant strategic value in support of their organizations’ underlying goals,” said Miriam Moscovici, Senior Director, Research and Corporate Innovation at BCD Travel. “Our survey results suggest that by more robustly engaging with stakeholders, travel managers can illuminate their value for everyone else across their enterprises.”

Additional Key Points:

  • Travel managers have responsibilities that overlap with other stakeholders. In some cases, they are in the driver’s seat, making critical decisions that impact employee safety and productivity.  In other cases, they play more of a supporting role.
  • More than two-thirds of travel managers worldwide (68 percent) say they or someone from their department serves on a cross-department task force, committee, or working group. When they serve on such a committee, they commonly say their committee(s) addresses travel policies (84 percent), expense policies (70 percent), safety/risk management (66 percent) and technology (48 percent).
  • A surprisingly high number of travel departments have ownership of key risk-related functions. More than half of respondents (58 percent) say their travel department is the primary owner of selecting their company’s travel risk management (TRM) provider(s). Almost half say the travel department is the primary owner of communicating with travelers in an emergency (48 percent) or developing the TRM policy.
  • Many travel departments make payment decisions. More than half of the respondents (55 percent) say the travel department is the primary owner of deciding expense policies for travel (43 percent), selecting their expense management tools (38 percent), or configuring their expense management tool (38 percent).

More Information

An infographic with key highlights from the research and the full report, Understanding Stakeholder Engagement with the Travel Program, are each available at


An online survey was conducted of GBTA contacts and BCD clients from the North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The survey fielded on April 22, 2019 through May 14, 2019.   In depth interviews were conducted with travel managers and a variety of stakeholders from different departments—including finance/accounting, human resources, security/risk management, and sales.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies travel smart and achieve more. We drive program adoption, cost savings and talent retention through digital experiences that simplify business travel. Our 15,000+ dedicated team members service clients in 170+ countries as we shape a sustainable future for business travel. BCD’s leading meetings and events management and global consultancy services complete our comprehensive suite of solutions for all aspects of corporate travel. In 2023, BCD achieved US$20.3 billion in sales. For more information, visit