This is the age of traveler-centricity, and it is leading to the development and research of many new intelligent services. Traveling has seen a shift in the command-and-control perspective. The focus is now on the individual traveler and how productive each trip is. It is essential that travelers get the best return on their investment. Young managers and employees are becoming more adept at being travelers. Recognizing that employees who travel on business trips often consider some of their trip a leisure activity, it is important to allow for more flexibility. With increasing globalization and rise in companies sending their staff overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects/customers/suppliers, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism segment. Before we discuss how tourism companies can better serve business travelers, let’s first examine why they prefer to use corporate agencies to traditional agents.
Why should businesses use corporate travel agencies?
This is the most fundamental question a travel agency needs to ask about why they should use agencies that specialize in corporate travel, when there are many regular agents on the market. This is why it is important for corporate travel agencies to have online systems that allow business travelers to access their entire itinerary.
CTAs have the following information at their disposal:
- Full business itinerary details
- Up-to-date tracking information of flights (including delays and rescheduling).
- Transparent details regarding additional costs, such as baggage fees and in-flight charges
- Travel alerts in the destination area, if any
- Complete and current information about visa procurement policies and identification is required
- Conversion rates and currency requirements
What can corporate clients expect of Corporate Travel Agencies?
Many Corporate Agencies have tie-ups to hotels, car rental companies, and airlines. They have access to discounted fares that can only be used by frequent business travelers. They offer room upgrades, VIP check-in lines, and flight upgrades as well as discounted prices.
Comprehensive information on the travel industry
Corporate travel agents have faster access to travel resources than leisure travel agents and can also make reservations quickly. Further information can make business trips more convenient and enjoyable.
There are high fees when an airline ticket has to be rescheduled, cancelled or rescheduled. Most times, schedule changes can usually be made at no additional cost when booking through a corporate travel agent.
Viable emergency contacts
Business travelers need to be able to contact the right person when they have a problem. The corporate travel agent has the professionalism and experience to ease stress for both the business traveler as well as the traveler.
What are you supposed to do when corporate travel grows?
According to Business Travel Barometer, corporate travel is experiencing an increase in growth. If it is not managed well, it can become a problem and a disadvantage to companies. CTAs and corporations must take into account certain factors to make the most of their time traveling.
Creating a travel policy
A corporate travel policy must be defined that is easily understood and can be followed by all employees. This policy should be used as a guideline to help improve business travel. This policy will ultimately reduce the cost of the whole package.
Don’t limit the freedom of traveler
Budgeting for travel is the responsibility of the management. This helps with cost management, but it is also important to allow the traveler some autonomy. Flexible enough to allow employees to adjust the trip to suit their needs, the policy should be flexible.
Security of the traveler should be a top concern
Security is essential for business travelers. To ensure integrity of employees, the company must adhere to its standards. CTAs need to have reliable partners (travel insurances, airlines, hotels chains, etc. ).
Automation and mobility
Automated processes should be used to manage management platforms in order to save time and simplify the process. Mobile solutions should be used to provide travel alerts, ticket reservations, search options, and travel notifications. It is easy to access and use on the move.
2016 Trends in Corporate Travel
Trends in corporate travel tend to be constantly changing. 2016 was no different. Both corporate travel agencies and travel management companies (TMCs), are focused on providing a steady, if not stronger, axis throughout the country. They are focusing on the MICE sector, mobile and big data investments, and a greater focus on duty-of-care.
Global suppliers agree that the global buzzword is “flights, hotel rates, etc.” Rising fares is the buzzword among global suppliers. Suppliers sometimes offer discounts to encourage travelers to travel when there is a decline in demand. The positive world economy in 2016 has seen an increase in air fares by a few percentage points. Hotels are likely to see a 4%-6% increase in their average global rates, while the competition in car rental services will remain moderate.
Duty to care
Corporate risk management is a key focus. Customers of corporate customers allow new policies and better technologies to track employees’ locations in the event of an emergency. This is especially important for travelers who are traveling to foreign countries. Concur Risk Messaging, for example, helps identify travelers who are traveling around the globe and provides alternative travel arrangements as needed.
The corporate travel trend is growing in the meeting industry. Corporate travel agencies need to align their meeting procurement methods with transient travel sourcing. Incentives trips could be one way to increase the number of meeting services.
Mobile friendly technologies can help you focus more on your customers and increase value. To make their platform more attractive, corporate travel agencies must invest in mobile and big data.
After Brexit Travel analysis
CAPA and ACTE shared their predictions about Brexit. They believe that the weakening of sterling against other currencies will have the most immediate impact on the travel industry. Greeley Koch, executive Director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, stated that currency fluctuations will have a significant impact on the business travel market. Some companies may take advantage of the weaker Pound and travel more, while others might withhold business travel until the world markets reach their level.
Terrorism’s impact on corporate travelers
The rising terror threat must be taken into consideration by travel policy and administration officials. Executives and staff who travel for business purposes should be reassured by their travel insurance. Surveys of corporate travelers show that business travelers are concerned about the threat of terrorist attacks. Terrorist threat is changing business travel patterns, but it is not difficult to see how. This has a major impact on the travel companies that provide services to business travelers. They need to increase their security awareness and reduce the risks associated with delivering services to corporate clients. Recent research shows that travel managers are more confident in their ability to address risk than business travelers.
The corporate travel industry has made steady progress but there are still many challenges. Before planning corporate trips, you need to consider the following: a rapidly changing consumer market, new business models, technology’s impact, and natural crises.