Corporate travel management has gained much popularity due to its unmatched specialism in business travel. Booking travel for your business can be a time-consuming task. With so many routes and airfares to choose from, it’s hard to find the best deal when it comes to organising your employees’ travel itineraries. In this article, you will learn more about the benefits and importance of corporate travel agencies.

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What is Corporate Travel Management?

Corporate travel management is a company’s structure to facilitate business travel. This includes planning a business trip, organising a corporate event, or any other necessary task for the corporate traveller. Ensuring the process is handled properly and according to compliance is the job of corporate travel agents. All this must be done without jeopardising business productivity.

Why Businesses Should Use Corporate Travel Management Agencies

Reduce costs: a major advantage of using corporate travel management agencies is reducing travel costs. This includes accommodation rates, insurance, airline tickets, and any other related expense. A business travel agent will have the necessary experience to find or negotiate the best possible deals for the company.

Time management: organising a business trip can take considerable time, so if you manage a medium or large company, you won’t have time to book your business travel yourself. A dedicated corporate travel manager will take care of these tasks so you and your staff can focus on everything else.

Efficiency: as corporate travel is on the rise, most businesses opt for a corporate travel management agency to ensure their employees travel safely whilst adhering to all the relevant travel policies.

Externally-based Corporate Travel Management vs. In-House vs. Agent

Businesses tend to use a corporate travel management company in order to minimise costs. There are two types of corporate travel agencies; in-house and external. Below you will find out the main advantages and disadvantages of both approaches.

In-House Travel Management Agents

An in-house travel management agent is an employee you hire for taking responsibility of booking trips, making last-minute changes to the travel itineraries, and maximising your savings whilst finding the best deals for your employees.
By hiring an in-house travel management agent, you can be sure of working alongside a trusted employee who’ll make your business travel planning easier. Another advantage of hiring an in-house agent over an external one is the fee or commission you will avoid paying to that agent.

External Corporate Travel Management Agents

External travel management agents are specialised in the field of corporate travel and have extensive experience in booking business travel. These individuals are available at your request and use online booking tools that will maximise cost savings. The main difference between an external and in-house agent is that you’re not employing the person to handle your business travel needs; you’re paying them a fee or commission every time they make a booking for you.

An in-house travel agent may not always be available in times of a crisis as they often work solo. On the other hand, a dedicated team of external travel management agents will be available 24-hours a day. Should one of your employees run into difficulty abroad – whether they’ve fallen ill or lost their luggage – the agents will be on-call 24/7 to assist them.

What Are the Tasks of a Corporate Travel Management Agent?

Whether you hire an in-house agent or opt for an external agency, the tasks of these agents are very similar. Here are the top 6 responsibilities of corporate travel agents:

1. Create and Manage Travel Itineraries

If you book your flights directly with an airline or use an online ticket service, it’s likely you’ll get charged high fees for any changes you wish to make to your itinerary. Schedule changes are difficult to avoid in the world of business, but in order not to get penalised, you should use a corporate travel agent to make the necessary changes without any extra charges.

By leaving all your business travel plans in the hands of a corporate travel agent, you can rest assured that nothing will go wrong during your business trip. This is thanks to the agents’ extensive knowledge of the travel industry.

2. Find the Best Price

A major part of the corporate travel management involves finding the best possible rates, and even negotiating with a number of different service providers.
Travel agents for businesses have the adequate expertise in handling the task of negotiation since they deal with different parts of the travel industry on a day-to-day basis. This means they can find you the best rates or even get special discounts that you may not otherwise be able to get yourself.

3. Arrange Suitable Accommodation

Arranging the most suitable accommodation for business travellers is another key responsibility of a corporate travel agent. The agent looks for all the available options at the right price, including guest houses, hostels, and hotels, before booking the rooms for the required number of days and employees.

If you were to take care of this task yourself, you wouldn’t have enough time to look for inexpensive accommodation in the right location. This is where a corporate travel agent comes handy for finding the best accommodation without going over budget.

4. Arrange for Transportation

One of the biggest parts of travel planning is transportation. This can easily be handled by a corporate travel agent, who will arrange your transportation needs in advance. They will ensure your flights are booked, a rental car is organised, airport transfer is arranged, and train tickets are purchased. Sure, you will be required to pay the agency for these services; however, considering the amount of time and money they save you, the fee or commission they charge is well worth it, especially if you or your employees travel regularly.

By using a corporate travel management agency, you’ll not only get better accommodation rates, but you will also benefit from cheap business-class flights for your employees. This means the overall business travel costs can significantly be reduced.

5. Organise Business Meetings and Events

Whether your company needs to organise annual events or meetings abroad, the process can take time and investment. By hiring a specialised corporate travel agent to take care of this task, you will reduce costs and make your business events more profitable.
The planning process for hosting an event can be complex and time consuming. A reputable travel management company will, therefore, be highly advantageous in such situations.

6. Control Travel Costs and Policy Compliance

While managing travel costs is the main task of a corporate travel agent, you would benefit much more by allowing someone with extensive experience to handle this job. Specialised agents comply with corporate travel policies by using real-time travel policy management to maximise functionality for the business traveller.

Hiring a professional agency to take care of your company’s travel needs will not only drive cost reductions but it also optimises business relationships while complying with travel policies.

How Travel Companies Can Benefit From Corporate Travel Management Companies

Travel companies like hotels and airlines can optimise their travel strategy with the help of a corporate travel agent. This is because travel management companies are responsible for booking flight tickets, accommodation, car rentals, transfers, and business events. For hotels, this serves as an indirect link to business travellers. They can gain more customers via the corporate travel agents since it is the job of the agents to plan and book accommodation and business meetings for the companies’ employees.

Most corporate travel management companies turn to GDS (global distribution system) in order to carry out their tasks, such as finding the right accommodation, flights, and transportation. GDS is also an important distribution channel for hotels as it connects them with the corporate travel agents and provides them with up-to-date information about their latest room prices and availability. Thanks to GDS systems, the chances of corporate travel management companies finding your hotel and booking your rooms are maximised. By becoming part of this vital distribution system, your hotel will increase its revenue and reach a wider audience.

Our “Global Distribution System (GDS): What Are the Benefits for Hotels? article provides more information about the main GDS systems, how they actually work and the ways they can be of benefit to companies operating in the travel industry.

List of Corporate Travel Management Companies

Outsourcing business travel management to a professional corporate travel management company means companies will benefit from specialist knowledge and round the clock support. For hotel owners that are connected to GDS systems, these corporate travel agents will help them attract more business travellers.

In the article “Corporate Travel Agents for Hotels to Gain More Business Travellers”, you will get a better insight into how hotels can increase revenue with the help of corporate travel agents as well as the best corporate travel agents to partner with.

Hiring a corporate travel agent to handle your employees’ business travel needs makes sense when you consider all the above advantages. These agents ensure your business travel runs smoothly by freeing up your time so you can focus on other areas of your business.

More Tips Regarding Corporate Travel

The corporate travel market is receiving an increased focus from many in the travel industry, partly business travellers often spend more money on their travels, especially when their costs are covered by their employer. However, more importantly, business travel is growing, thanks to factors like globalisation and the availability of flights. In the following articles you find more information about the corporate travel market:

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