Latvian companies ahead of neighbours in organization of business trips
Latvian businesses are more progressive in the organization of business trips than Lithuania. They do, however, spend a lot of money on planning and organizing of those trips. In addition, they also use inefficient financing methods – 20% of employees are forced to pre-finance their business trips from their own pockets, according to results of an international study.
Amadeus Latvia sales and marketing director says 54% of Latvian companies use IT solutions to book business trips. It is the highest index when compared with other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
As a comparison, the index of use of IT solutions is 45% in Lithuania, 52% in Hungary, 49% in the Czech Republic, 40% in Romania and only 28% in Poland.
Compared with other Central and Eastern European countries, Latvian employees more often have to pay for trips from their own wallets (20%). Business trips are paid back to them after returning, which is a time-consuming and ineffective use of resources. At the same time, only 36% of Latvian companies plan to reduce expenses associated with business trips this year. It is one of the lowest indexes in our region.
«Latvia stands out in the use of IT solutions. Nevertheless, it seems business trips remain an insufficiently valued aspect for Latvian businesses. Certain restructured changes could help reduce costs in this. It can be done by following a travel policy, introducing a single booking system and attracting services of professional travel agencies,» says Amadeus Baltic regional director Kitija Tigule. In Lithuania, 48% of respondents are getting ready to reduce the cost of business trips. Looking at ways to accomplishing that, Latvian companies plan to reduce costs by limiting the costs of single trips (61%), but not the total number of business trips (25%). Such a solution is popular, especially among medium-sized companies. 58% of respondents in Latvia plan to sort out organizational matters this year. The most notable planned changes include compliance with business travel policy (42%), as well as reduction of business trip costs and formalities associated with their planning process (34%).
«Although Latvian companies are largely satisfied with the quality of organization of business trips, more than half of decision-makers in Latvian companies plan to add changes to the booking and organizational process. In spite of dynamic development of communications technologies, companies need not have to reduce the frequency of business trips. All they have to do is properly plan trips,» Tigule recommends.
84% of Latvian companies and more than half of companies in Central and Eastern Europe would be ready to entrust the management of business trips to professional travel agencies under the condition that the business trip brings benefits to the company. «Such as step will definitely help reduce the cost of business trips,» Tigule says. She notes that travel agencies have access to more favourable offers. They also apply business client tariffs reached through talks with service providers. It is also possible to save time by entrusting travel management to specialists from travel agencies.