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The evolution emerging in university travel programs

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The changing world of academic travel

From mandated travel policies and technology ecosystems, to the growing appetite for more collaborative partnerships with suppliers, value-adding services and corporate practices… the university travel sector is evolving.

Campus Travel reveals the shift currently occurring in Australian university travel management, and what the historic changes mean for these organisations and their travellers. Download our latest Travel Intuition paper below.

1. Travel program consolidation

More universities are now forming strategic partnerships with a single travel management company (TMC) rather than maintaining a disparate approach of working with multiple travel suppliers in a panel environment. A single TMC arrangement benefits universities with booking efficiencies, a one-stop-shop approach and importantly a ‘single source of truth’ for travel expenditure reporting and analysis.

This trend signifies a big change for many universities and will impact individual travellers and the organisation itself.

2. Cost reduction strategies

A recent report by the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) confirms five years of no growth in funding by the National Health and Medical Research Council, leading to a fall in grant rates and scientific workforce numbers. While federal initiatives such as the Medical Research Future Fund will help address this issue in time, university spending on research travel is currently in decline.

As a traveller how do you make the most of your travel budget? What does this trend mean for university travel programs?

3. Mandating travel policies

The corporate sector has long been leading the way in achieving best practice in travel program management and now universities are heading in the same direction. With more tertiary organisations focused on becoming commercially minded, travel policies are being actively enforced. 

Download our Travel Intuition paper below to find out how this will impact university employees that need to travel for work. University procurement managers also have a role to play in regulating travel policies in universities to ensure supplier agreements are being leveraged for greater discounts for travellers.

4. Looking for added value

Nowadays, universities want supplier partnerships that are more collaborative and deliver increased value for their travel volume and their travellers. Campus Travel is in the unique position of being able to add significant value to our university partnerships because of the broad scope of products and services that are available as part of parent company Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG). We offer a range of businesses, as part of our FCTG Extras package, which our customers can use at a reduced cost including:

  • Healthwise
  • Moneywise
  • GoldMind
  • 4th Dimension Business Travel Consulting (4D)

5. The ‘Technology Ecosystem’

University travel ecosystems encompass tools and products for every step of the searching, sourcing, approval, booking, payment, reconciliation and reporting process. They provide the technology backbone for a university travel program and are not only integrated and interconnected – but also provide easy-to-use and smart functionality to streamline the experience for the end user. 

Are you aware of how much time in the travel booking and reconciliation process you can save with the right tools? 

6. Increasing productivity

There is heightened emphasis on helping university staff to be more productive – in both the travel planning and booking process, and in the journey itself. The quest for greater productivity is influencing the systems universities are putting in place.

As a traveller there are many time benefits to having a dedicated travel provider to do the hard work for you. The same can be said for a university organisation. Automation and integration in a travel program are the way of the future for university travel sector. 

7. Improving fringe benefit tax (FBT) compliance

When you travel for work are you aware of what you need to do if your trip includes more than 50% personal travel? This is an important issue for universities and their staff and there is a lot of progress being made in the travel industry to make FBT compliance easier to manage. 

 

For more information on how these trends impact both the individual traveller and the university itself download the Travel Intuition paper.

For further tips and expert advice to enhance your next work trip, contact Australia’s only academic travel specialists at Campus Travel on 1300 882 021 or enquire today.

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