Who are the corporate travel planners? What do they do?
And how can having one save your business thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on business-related travel expenses? Corporate travel planners are the first line of monetary defense for any business intending to send employees on business trips. They are professional travel agents who work for corporate entities or individuals to be able to secure accommodations, meetings, ground transportation, dining facilities, and every other aspect that may be needed for corporate or business travel.
But how do they work?
A business may have its own corporate travel planners or they may farm the work out to a corporate travel planning company. These are like a travel agency but for businesses. The goal of these travel planners is to design business trips that fit within each corporation’s travel policies, budget, and desires, and that also meet the monetary and safety standards that people have come to expect from traveling.
But what can a corporate travel planner do that an administrative assistant or employee cannot do? Why does it take a corporate travel planner to set up your business trips?
For starters, corporate travel planners have inside knowledge of the travel industry and they understand what consumers and companies are looking for and also what other companies are doing. Using this insight, they are able to craft trips that fit within a corporate entity’s profile, identity, and desired outcomes for the corporate trips.
They also have first-hand knowledge of various locations and are able to make recommendations about accommodations, transportation, or any relevant issues affecting corporate travel in that area of the world. As part and parcel of this, it is a level of customer service and accountability that makes them very attractive choices for corporate entities to hire these types of travel planners.
With this insider knowledge also comes the capacity to be able to find some of the best pricing on the market as well as help determine future market trends which may affect business trips in the following months or years. For instance: a business may well think that due to increasing levels of global uncertainty, terrorism, and Britain exiting from the European Union that travel prices in 2017 may well be expected to rise. But according to the 2017 Global Travel Price Outlook, it turns out that the increase is expected to be a mere 2.5% and may even be lower in some places. This is due to another market factor known as the sharing economy which is actually increasing competition between travel and hotel accommodations, driving down the prices in many areas due to increased competitiveness.
The shared economy is doing this through businesses like Airbnb which is competing for business travelers in the accommodations markets and Uber which is competing with rental cars and taxis in the ground transportation markets. So instead of canceling that business trip abroad, it may well be a windfall opportunity to go since other businesses without travel planners may not know that the pricing is not going to increase much over the next year and so canceled some of their trips. This allows for an opening to any business willing to go fill the gap left by lesser informed corporations.
Travel planners can also offer constant support to the businesses that hire them. This allows the business to be able to maintain contact with people on the ground, manage ongoing expenses, as well as be able to receive immediate support services in case of unforeseen changes in plans. With a corporate travel planner, you have an advocate working on your behalf to fix problems you may not even know you have. Delayed flight but not able to call the ground transportation company? Get ahold of your travel planner and let them make your business trips hassle and worry free.
Corporate travel planners can even sometimes be used to make personal vacation plans for entities or people within the corporation. So an employee or manager could take leisure trips planned using the corporate travel planner, or even better, tack on a few extra days at the end of a business trip. This can increase employee morale as well as give a greater breadth and depth of knowledge to employees in the areas that they travel to, making them better suited and more culturally sensitive for deploying to those areas to conduct future business.
But are corporate travel planners really necessary?
If you intend to be involved in the largest growing economies in the world of India and China, then being able to travel abroad, craft business plans, make agreements and arrangements, and sign contracts is a must! Being able to effectively reach these locations in a timely and efficient way is also a must for any international business big or small wishing to take part in the fastest-growing economies on the planet.
China’s is still the fastest growing economy in the world and having corporate travel planners who are experts in sending people abroad to these and other locations ensures that you will not only be able to get the best service but you will have people with experience who have already worked in these areas of the world and are already familiar with the services offered.
Corporate travel planners will also have access to tools like TTS Corporate that allow them to design business trips that are customized specifically for corporations and business. With these tools, and the experience and the knowledge corporate travel planners possess, they are easily able to save businesses millions of dollars every year in time that would have been spent having to do the research on their own, or hire an employee to do it, or worst of all not getting the best deals available on the market because of a lack of insider knowledge.
So if you are a company intending to conduct business either regionally or around the world, then having a corporate travel planner that you can count on is essential to maintain your growing business’s needs.
Find out more about TTS Corporate here.
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