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Businesses ready to negotiate travel

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Global economic recovery will change the way businesses negotiate with travel providers, according to Shannon O’Brien, FCm Travel Solutions executive general manager for Australia. He said that while the last 12 months has seen heavily discounted airfares, globally competitive hotel rates and cheaper car rental rates, businesses should be prepared to realign their procurement strategies to adjust to the changing travel environment where customers will lose some ground on negotiation. "As the world maps its recovery, companies will need to adapt their mindset and buying behaviour if they want to continue to achieve the best value for their travel," said O'Brien. "We predict that 2010 will be a crucial year for companies to reassess their procurement strategies including their contracts with airlines and hotels to achieve maximum value in an environment where the pendulum of power is slowly starting to swing away from the consumer." He said global hotel rates would be steady for another 18 months, but flight bargains were harder to catch. Businesses should tighten their internal travel policies, review, renegotiate and renew contracts with airlines and hotels, and use reporting to prepare forecasts to establish business travel patterns.

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