Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Business travel climate described as “brutal”-06 October, 2009

American Express Global Travel Services president Charles Petruccelli described a "brutal" operating environment for the travel industry with some companies putting total freezes” on travel spending and others reducing budgets by almost two-thirds.

Such conditions threaten "globalness" but also provide "an opportunity to provoke the status quo with clients" and advocate "complete outsourcing."

Petruccelli in a speech said "there is no rational explanation in continuing to manage travel internally with fixed expenses. Companies have outsourced technology management to technology companies. It exists in human resources. So why not in travel?"

Does he see the recession as over? He answered:

"We are seeing some pick up in some areas of the business. Systematically, we have been beating our forecasts in transaction volumes," but "my sense is we are not going to see serious pick up before the end of 2010."

Petruccelli also noted that US and Chinese travel are showing signs of improvement, while Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are not.
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