Today, corporate travel’s horizon is not limited solely to booking tickets and accommodation; instead, it has become more extensive, diverse, and comprehensive. It now covers wide-ranging areas such as consultancy, passenger assistance, cost optimization, internal communication, and technological aspects. Initially, the corporate travel management companies were involved in the management of the aspects related directly to the organization of travel, which included transport ticket reservations and the search for accommodation. But in recent years, with the advent of technology and the development of the internet, there has been a major expansion in the role and functions of corporate travel companies. Hence, there has been a movement from two phases to 6 phases of corporate travel management.
In the modern world, companies partner with travel management companies not only to manage their travel arrangements, since this can be done internally without much trouble using online tools but have other needs and expectations. Travel management companies now need to take on the role of an authentic partner within the travel structure at the companies they serve. To do this, it has worked closely with the Travel Manager or the person responsible for travel within the company.
6 phases of corporate travel management
The role of travel management companies has been diversified into a series of services that can be divided into six main areas:
1. Travel management
The core function is engaging in organizing business travel. This includes managing and reserving transport tickets, searches for accommodations, car rentals, etc. This function is being performed for the longest period of time. Still, new technologies have significantly changed the way these tasks are carried out, with factors coming into play, such as price comparisons or strategies for obtaining deals and discounts.
2. Passenger assistance
An employee on a business trip to an international location may be caught up in an unfamiliar situation. And may require assistance at various stages of their travel itinerary, such as finding the shortest route to a meeting location, enquiring about transit visas, and cancellation/modification charges.
Consulting services include a number of areas that may be directly or indirectly related to travel and help business travelers. The information of interest for the traveler consists of sharing details about specific customs, travel etiquette, employee safety assessment, etc., in the destination country.
4. Marketing and internal communication
Owing to their expertise, travel management companies can be very helpful in preparing company travel policies, i.e., rules regarding expenses, management of per diems, etc. It also helps in building a channel for proper and effective communication with the employees.
The use of technology is vital, not only for the requesting and comparison of travel services but also for diverse areas such as billing management or locating travelers in extreme situations.
6. Reporting and analytics
The travel expenses data shows the employees’ spending habits, major cost centers, savings, policy compliance, etc. It is vital to regularly report and analyze this data to keep track of your travel expenses and make well-informed travel policy changes if needed.
The process of corporate travel management is complicated. But by parenting with a supportive travel management company, all 6 phases of corporate travel management can be managed easily.