The Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) plans to develop technology that would aggregate and anonymise its members’ transaction data.
The business travel organisation, whose members manage some 80% of corporate travel spend in the UK, wants the information to bolster its ability to lobby politicians.
It would give the organisation the power to interrogate rich data about air travel, accommodation and ground transportation.
Gareth Morgan, a director at Cavendish Communications and the driving force behind the GTMC’s political engagement, says the system would put the group in a better position to shape government policy.
“It would have a majorly positive impact on the GTMC’s reputation [among the political parties],” he said.
“For example, if there is an announcement or political interest about a geographical area we could respond quickly with rich data.
“We would have unique statistics on travel volumes to specific countries and cities and be able to identify which sectors of the economy were travelling. It would complement the GTMC’s survey data.”
Morgan said the effectiveness of the GTMC’s lobbying strategy had made huge strides in the last 18 months and that the group’s repositioning as the voice of the business traveller had been a decisive move.
“We’ve always been able to get people in the room from the Treasury, the Department For Transport and the Shadow party,” he said.
“It’s not been difficult to sell the concept of business travel but the focus on the business traveller focuses the minds of politicians on what they’re going to get.
“The big difference is we can now back up our arguments in a compelling way with data. We can now, for example, meet the shadow rail minister who is supposed to be scrutinising government policy and coming up with new policy. We can go with a set of data to demonstrate the situation across the country.”
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