Nearly half of UK businesses have brought their travel buying in house rather than using travel management companies, research by online booking portal HRS.com has revealed.


The survey of 300 companies suggested 49% of procurement departments – 21% more than last year – are saving money by taking charge of their own corporate business travel during the recession.


Just one in three companies use a travel management company, down from 47% in 2008. Of those that do use a TMC, only 68% believe the service levels they receive warrant the management fees charged – a drop in satisfaction of 22% on last year, according to HRS.com.


Companies have enforced new cost-cutting measures to control travel spend. Some 40% only allow employees to fly economy and 72% only allow stays in standard hotel rooms. Just one in five trips now require an overnight stay.


The report also found that more than half of companies consider their carbon footprint an important consideration when organising business travel. Nearly 60% of UK companies would opt for a preferred hotel supplier if their carbon footprint was available to view.


HRS.com commercial director Jon West said: “Current budget pressures are making it increasingly important for companies to take advantage of all cost-cutting potentials at their disposal.”