The return of corporate travel has brought about critical implications for businesses related to traveler experience, risk management, and program improvements. Most recently, rising costs and employment shortages in the transportation and hospitality sectors have emerged as a new concern amidst record inflation.
For those tasked with managing travel for their organizations, the post-pandemic landscape brings a greater share of responsibility with more emphasis on value and efficiency. However, a managed travel program through a Travel Management Company (TMC) can alleviate these challenges and help reduce costs. Below, we break down how making the move to a managed travel program can streamline efficiencies and pinpoint savings within this new travel environment.
Pricing You Can Count On
More than ever, travel managers need access to the best pricing across all market segments. A trusted travel management partner can offer the most competitive rates, including all supplier program fares as well as pre-negotiated corporate discounts. While popular digital booking methods continue to morph, insider advantages sourced through a TMC offer a more reliable process.
Recent findings show that more and more companies are looking to travel experts to help them streamline their corporate travel sourcing and booking procedures. A major indicator is the desire among business travelers for increased efficiency and quality of service that matches the leisure travel booking experience. Most notably, 87% of business travelers feel that booking corporate travel should be as easy as booking a vacation, and 42% reported that it’s more complicated to book travel for business compared to leisure.
At Direct Travel, we simplify the experience with a “what you see/what you get” approach to pricing. We feature our best deals within an online booking tool (OBT), delivering information and quotes in real-time rather than behind a façade of advertising programs, which may include inconsistent and outdated offers. When booking through us as your trusted travel partner, your team has access to discounts based on market share volumes applied at the time of purchase. Simply put, our industry experts can help mitigate rising travel costs by offering leveraged discounts not available through most online sources.
An Automated Approach to Travel Buying
The recently expanded scope of the travel manager role calls for increased efficiency. From research and booking to the purchasing process, a managed travel program can introduce automated elements into your business that provide major time and cost savings.
One prime example is unused ticket tracking, an aspect of travel that can easily slip through the cracks outside of a managed program. When an airline ticket is canceled or goes unused by an employee, the process for recouping those costs can vary depending on carrier, class of ticket, and cancellation terms. Our Unused Ticket Manager does the work for you, automatically combing through open and unused airline tickets to identify credits that can be applied to future travel. It then sends out routine status updates advising of ticket deadlines along with current data reports. As an added plus, there is no additional cost for this service, leaving you more time and resources to dedicate to big picture items.
Automation within a managed travel program can extend to pricing as well. Working with a trusted travel partner offers a comprehensive approach to booking, which eliminates the need for you or your travelers to spend countless hours scouring multiple sites for the best fares and rates.
A primary way that companies can cut down on travel costs is through price tracking technology. This is particularly the case as the industry experiences record volatility and greater fluctuating rates. Our price tracking solution, Direct Price Assurance, regularly checks rates and automatically rebooks travelers at a lower rate when available. With 1 in 5 bookings rebooked at a better rate, your company can experience an increased ROI and additional savings through a choice of flexible billing options.
What Travel Managers Need Now
As companies redefine travel goals and capitalize on spend through program upgrades, leveraged discounts and improved efficiency, it is also important to not sacrifice service for savings
Reflecting back on the early stages of the pandemic, travel advisors served as a lifeline for travelers stranded abroad, helping lift the load of overwhelmed travel managers navigating border closures and complex restrictions. Ultimately, the value of high-touch, responsive service went beyond dollars spent and translated to time saved, energies conserved, and stress avoided.
For many businesses, the pandemic also led to leaner teams and less resources. Direct Travel continues to address this need through a variety of channels, including an integrated OBT with a highly advanced profile system that consolidates booking information and provides a simplified process for travel managers. To help you stay within budget, we offer quick access to free document retrieval and reconciled reports; requests that often involve fees that add up quickly. Our in-house accounting department elevates RFI even higher through no-cost document and financial resource retrieval services that keep your travel department on track.
A Managed Program for the Future
As market demand steadily increases and businesses gear up for post-COVID travel, you need a trusted travel partner you can count on to support your employees on the road. Whether it’s managing unused tickets, adhering to budget requirements, or streamlining processes and data, we can guide and support your travelers as they enter this new era of corporate travel.
The business world is facing one of the biggest comebacks in travel history, even if inflation and ongoing supply chain disruptions remain a ongoing challenge. At Direct Travel, we are fully committed to helping you simplify your processes and maximize savings to improve your travel program. Our team is prepared with managed travel solutions that adhere to any company size, organizational structure, or budget.