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    BSI Responds to Government Announcement of Public Sector Travel Budget Cuts

    24 May 2010

    BSI, the leading procurement specialist in corporate and public sector accommodation, meetings and event management, has responded to today’s announcement by the Government that significant public sector spending cuts will be made across the board, including to discretionary areas which include travel costs and consultancy which face a combined reduction in spend of £1.15bn.

    Following months of speculation about possible public sector cuts, today’s announcement has finally cemented predictions which will undoubtedly have an impact on the travel industry.  Just two weeks after the Institute of Travel & Meetings’ (ITM) UK and Ireland Chairman Jamie Hindhaugh warned of difficult times ahead for the public sector at the ITM Conference, the predictions have finally been realised.

    BSI has a wide public sector client base including the Crown Prosecution Service and a number of councils and education bodies, and in response to the ITM’s warning, Trevor Elswood, BSI’s Group Managing Director, said:  “It goes without saying that there are challenging times ahead, but this is something that the hotel industry and public sector travel managers can plan for by adopting a few simple strategies to minimise impact from budget cuts.

    “Firstly, hotels, especially in the provinces, which have a heavy reliance on the public sector should be looking to broaden their demand and customer bases by actively seeking new business channels and clients.

    “As for the public sector itself, at BSI, we have certainly seen great interest in new ways of thinking from public sector clients who are seeking a third way from the traditional TMC and HBA suppliers.  Public sector clients have been embracing our technology and cost avoidance models such as internal meetings space management and robust travel authorisation processes, along with the cost reduction opportunities that apartments bring.  Thanks to these effective solutions, we have experienced a significant upturn in public sector enquiries and business signings.”

    Trevor continued:  “Memorable and successful meetings and events can also be delivered on reduced budgets by adopting a creative approach to both the venue selection and shaping the format of the day.”

    “In both the accommodation and meetings provision the public sector can benefit from BSI’s experience of going back to basics.  BSI will review policy given the current climate and economic landscape, break down the booking process and identify the opportunities for improvement and then build them back up with best practice technology, buying practices and processes.  We then ensure communication is at its most effective.”

    “New public sector clients will regularly identify the fact that we ‘do it differently’ and as a result get the sustainable results required in these challenging times.  The clear differential is that we seek to ‘optimise the management’ of spend and as a result we challenge policy, the way selection of a room or meeting is booked and continually review the effectiveness of actions and corresponding results.”

    “BSI’s top tip for public sector bodies looking to ‘effectively’ manage spend is to take control of the direction of their business.  Base the selection of accommodation on criteria (based on duty of care/value) rather than ‘named’ hotels.  By this simple act the public sector can take control of price and quality.”


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