The term corporate travel refers to a trip that is arranged, by a company or corporation, keeping in mind a business purpose. The trips undertaken in this manner differs from the trips taken by an individual for leisure purposes. Hence the cost and time management is notably different for the two types of travel. This is where Travel Management Companies come into play. Most corporate companies, employ the services of a Travel Management Company (TMC), to handle the details of their business trips.
Importance of A Travel Management Company: Is it Really Needed?
A business trip has to be scheduled perfectly, incorporating maximum usage of the working day, timed arrival to meetings using efficient transportation. Moreover, all these parameters have to be cost efficient. The finer details of itinerary can only be perfected by having a thorough and updated knowledge about travel industry. A corporation might find it easy to negotiate for airline tickets or setting up accommodations, but bargaining without knowing the recent change in prices or trends would make the dealings less perfect and tend to decrease the benefit obtained from the bookings. Thus, the need to entrust the planning to an industry which knows the pulse of the travel trends and well versed in its management.
A travel management company makes it its business to know about different tour packages and provides priority to the customer security and efficient utilization of their budget and puts emphasis on the comfort and ease of travel. Some of the features that characterise an efficient TMC are: dedicated personnel who keep track of the client and act as an expert point of contact during critical situations, good relationship management with the corporation, with good communication regarding the schedule of the trip, a functional app providing real time details of the trip to the traveller, flexible policies that are beneficial to the corporation.
Travel management has come into its present multi-tiered structure, evolving through a series of states. A survey authored by Norman L. Rose indicates that the onset of change in travel management began from the 1960s, when the Airlines created the CRS- Computer Reservation System, which is a repository of information related to air travel, which can be easily retrieved when required. This was later adopted by the travel agencies to efficiently plan out the itinerary of trips.
The impact of Globalisation necessitated the need to take into account the other aspects of travel, like reservation of hotels, meeting rooms, transport and taxi services, dining options etc. This resulted in the transformation of CRS into GDS.
The emergence of GDS (Global Distribution System) has tied together the various nuances of a business trip. GDS makes possible automated transactions, for a traveller or travel agency, which involves booking different airlines, hotels and rental services.
The reservation can be made in the most efficient way possible, comparing the available rates of different services. Amadeus CRS and SABRE are examples of popular GDS. A traveller’s entire itinerary is available for access in the GDS.
Some of world’s leading travel management companies are FCm travel solutions, American Express Global Business Travel, Al Futtaim travel, BCD Travel and so on.