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NZ Businesses Clean Up Travel Spend

Media Release 22 November 2006

NZ Businesses Clean Up Travel Spend

Travel expenses are becoming more transparent in New Zealand thanks to publicity over big spending councillors and MPs, according to a leading business travel agency.

FCm Travel Solutions general manager Christian Casbolt said many of the company’s public sector and corporate clients were demanding much more transparent reporting of their travel spending, as high profile cases continues to hit the headlines.

“Businesses are increasingly conscious of being as transparent as possible to the public, to avoid any speculation about their travel spend,” he said.

“Certainly the close scrutiny of MPs’ travel expenses has prompted many to take steps to ensure there’s no chance the finger might be pointed at them.”

Earlier this month Foreign Minister Winston Peters was reported to have clocked up more than a quarter of a million dollars in travel in the three months.

Last month Auckland City Council officials were questioned over whether their travel expenses could be justified.

Mr Casbolt said such incidents have changed the climate of business travel, with many high profile companies cutting back on what may be perceived as travel perks.

“Most companies still recognise the toll that business travel can take on its employees and their personal lives, so there’s still an element of flexibility. However, many have adjusted their travel policies to make it very clear about what is and what isn’t acceptable,” he said.

“The transparency has also allowed them to see where they can cut costs and what organisational behaviours can be modified to get a better return on their travel spend.”

“There is a noticeable trend amongst companies, especially those that are publicly listed, towards being not only more cost conscious but conscious of the risks to their image that their travel policies may have.”


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