With the evolution of the new age of personalized travel, this present era is rightly known as the age of traveller-centricity which has lead to the research and development of a swarm of new so-called intelligent services. The command-and-control perceptions of travelling have evolved a lot from the past, and the focus has shifted to the efficiency of each trip and on the traveller. It has become vital to ensure that the travellers have the greatest return on investment on each trip.
The present generation of young managers and employees, who dwell in a digital age, is climbing the ranks as travellers. It has become crucial to recognize the need for greater flexibility and understanding that the employees who embark on corporate trips also consider a percentage of their trip to be a leisure channel. With a rise in companies sending their employees overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects plus the increasing globalization, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism sector. Before we discuss how tourism companies can improve on catering to business travellers, let us first understand why they prefer to use expert corporate agencies over traditional agents
What do corporate clients expect from Corporate Travel Agencies?
Most Corporate Agencies are likely to have arrangements and deals with hotels, flights, car rentals, etc. giving them access to reduced fares that can only be accessed by frequent business travellers. Reduced prices are not the only advantage though as they also offer room upgrades, flight upgrades, and VIP check-in lines when necessary.
Comprehensive information about the travel industry
Corporate travel agents have access to many travel information and resources and more swiftly than most leisure travel agents. Additional information is always helpful in making business trips comfortable and convenient.
Modifications in Itinerary
When an airline ticket needs to get cancelled or rescheduled, chances are the online service provider or the airline will charge high fees. When reserving with a corporate travel agent, most of the times these schedule changes can be done at minimal or zero extra charges.
Viable emergency contacts
It is necessary for business travellers to get in touch with the right person in the need of trouble. With the experience and professionalism of corporate travel agents, they help to alleviate stress for both the company and the traveller.
What to ponder as corporate travel increases?
Presently, corporate travel is witnessing a fast-tracked growth. However, if poorly managed, it may no longer be a benefit to companies and may, in fact become a liability. There are some factors which the CTAs and companies must consider to get the best out of the time spent traveling.
Agree to a travel policy
The company must outline a travel policy which applies to and is regarded by travelers at all levels. This travel policy should be used to determine the standards which will help to track the progress of business travel. Eventually, It will help to reduce the costs of the entire package.
Do not limit the traveler’s independence
Since the management is in charge of budgeting the travel policy which helps to improve cost, it is also important to give a degree of autonomy to the traveler. The travel policy should be accommodating enough to allow the employee to adapt the trip as per the situation.
Traveler’s security is important
it is important to have security in place for business travelers. The company needs to stand by its definition of standards to safeguard the employee’s integrity. It is necessary for the CTAs to have reliable partners such as airlines, travel insurance, hotel chains, etc.
Mobility and computerization
To ease the processes and optimize time, the administration of CTA platforms should have well automated processes. This means they should implement mobile solutions where travel alerts, search options, ticket reservations, etc. can be accessed easily, quickly and on the go.
Corporate Travel Trends Today
Corporate travel trends tend to evolve regularly. Corporate travel agencies (CTAs) and Travel management companies (TMCs) are quite determined to provide steady if not strong partnership all over. A developing MICE sector, investments in mobile and heightened focus on duty of care are some of their main areas.
Among global suppliers, airfares, hotel rates there is a major factor which is the rising fares. It is often the move of the suppliers to create discounts which promote travel if there is a strong drop in demand. A positive world economy has brought about an increase in air fares of a few percentage points; hotels are likely to see 4%-6% rise in average global rates and the competition will remain medium in the car rental services.
Duty of care
One of the major points of emphasis for corporations is risk management. Corporate customers are allowing improved technologies and new policies to monitor employees’ location in case of emergencies, mainly when they are traveling to foreign destinations. Some messaging system helps to identify the travelers that are moving around in the world and informs them of alternate travel arrangements.
Focusing on MICE
A major growing sector which the corporate travel trend is developing on is the meetings industry. The corporate travel agencies had better start affiliating with the various meeting procurement methodologies with its transient travel sourcing. An example would be to broaden the range of meeting services by integrating incentive trips within it.
Investing in technology
A broader focus on becoming more traveller-centric and increasing value can be done by adopting mobile friendly technologies. Mobile and big data are certainly the two major technological investments that any corporate travel agency must focus to make their platform more alluring.
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Even though the corporate travel sector has progressed continuously, there are surplus challenges faced by the industry. The development of new business models, the impact of technology, a fast-changing consumer market, natural and man-made crises are some of the important points that need to be pondered upon before planning corporate trips.