Last week the American Society of Travel Agents and The Company Dime announced a research partnership to learn more about the barriers and opportunities related to converting “unmanaged” business travel to managed travel. Why do businesses large and small implement travel management practices? What role do travel agencies play in that, and what other services are crucial to the shift?

As we have pointed out a few times on this site, there are a number of new options for companies looking to apply some level of consolidation to otherwise unmanaged travel spend. These tend to be tech-driven startups focusing on a new approach to one or more tools in the kit. Often these newbies seek the expertise, support and/or services of a travel management company to round out their appeal.

ASTA president and CEO Zane Kirby described the collaboration as part of the group’s efforts to help members grow their business. Working with ASTA affords The Company Dime an opportunity to study an interesting part of the market that traditionally attracts less attention than do mature corporate travel programs.

Our joint announcement has more details. If you’re a travel management company executive, your company is likely to hear from us soon.

We’d like to thank ASTA for this opportunity, particularly its Corporate Advisory Council which is helping shape the project. Its members are Gloria Bohan (Omega World Travel), Craig Carter (Luxe Travel Management), Marc Casto (Casto Travel), Chris Dane (Hickory Global Partners) and Denise Jackson (Balboa Travel Inc.).