Businesses have managed their business program for several years using corporate travel agents. Corporate travel agents have been labeled personal assistants in the world of business travel by creating personalized business trips that match each business, traveler, and business requirements.
The corporate travel agent is famous since it takes all aspects of business trip planning, from itinerary organizations to finding amazing deals on accommodations and flights. Moreover, with the rise of platforms in digital travel management, most have started to ask how corporate travel agents now fit within the business travel industry landscape.
In this blog, we will completely guide you that what is a corporate travel agent and how it works in streamlining business travel, also, we will let you know the pros and cons of using their services.
THE ROLE OF A CORPORATE TRAVEL AGENT
The corporate travel agent also known as travel professionals work with organizations to manage their business travel arrangements. They work as a travel manager and work on tasks related to arranging travel visas, flight booking, and accommodation and provide traveling support for employees who are traveling for business purposes. The travel agent’s job is to make sure that business trips are safe and cost-effective, and also, to resolve any issue while the booking process, and make sure of corporate travel policies compliance. Travel agents can work as specific consultants or can work with a corporate travel agency.
Without proper management, booking for business traveling can become complicated. With various different schedules, travel needs to account for, and travel spend, businesses can be overwhelmed, and unorganized trips, and lead to high costs.
GDS SYSTEM USED FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL BOOKING
So many corporate travel agents book through GDS (Global Distributions System). The system helps agents to find the best short-term and also helps them to find the best suppliers. From this, you can find the best availabilities and prices. The organizations can check all the information by themselves or they can relay this information to their travel agents.
It also helps in booking accommodations directly through this system. The system is famous with corporate travel agents as they can easily book everything for business trips such as flights, hotels, and other services through the same system. The system saves a lot of time and is much easier to use for organizations and travel agents. For that, this system is famous for bookings nowadays.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF CORPORATE TRAVEL AGENT
Corporate travel agents can take all business travel criteria and ensure business trips are within the budget. Some of the responsibilities of corporate travel agents include:
- Travel Visa Arrangements
- Make flight bookings and other transportation bookings, like, car rentals.
- Ensure duty care responsibilities are met
- Create travel itineraries
- Make hotel bookings
- Work with finance departments to align the process of travel expenses
- Provide business travelers assistance.
ADVANTAGES OF CORPORATE TRAVEL AGENT
Because of a corporate travel agent, planning business traveling becomes smoother and relieves businesses’ burden to manage all processes that are involved in traveling. The key benefit is to working with a travel agent is that it will save time by outsourcing multiple tasks.
Some benefits of a corporate travel agent are as follows:
- UNDERSTAND THE TRAVELING COST: The corporate travel agent’s job is to make sure to provide your budget-friendly traveling, by ensuring to get the best possible deals on flights, transportation, and accommodation. They have connections with suppliers to have better deals and more discounts.
- MANAGEMENT OF INTRICATE EXPENSE PROCESSES: By depending on a corporate travel agent related to travel expenses, will save the time of business over reimbursement submissions or paperwork.
- UNDERSTAND THE REQUIREMENT OF BUSINESS: Corporate travel agents are experts who listen and understand each business’s needs and requirements and plan business travel according to them.
- TRAVELER SUPPORT: If employees face any issue while business traveling, they can directly contact the corporate travel agent. The agents can provide every safety measurement of the country, rearrange transportation and facilitate you to change your schedule. The agent makes sure to be available anytime for you.
- ARRANGE A CAR HIRE: When your employees arrive at their destination, they will need a car to travel further, for that, the corporate travel agent will arrange a car in advance so the employee won’t face any issues while traveling there. They even sort out the drop-off so the employee already knows where exactly to go. Travel agents even can arrange taxis or book transfers to the them to airport or from the airport.
DISADVANTAGES OF CORPORATE TRAVEL AGENT
Corporate travel agents have high benefits for business traveling management but it has some disadvantages and limitations as well, such as:
- HIGH COST: Working with a corporate travel agent, will demand high cost. Each corporate agency or corporate travel agent is different, but all of them charge an annual fee to businesses also, and transactional charges every time when you use their services. Travel agents can require large amounts of business travel budget.
- WORKING WITH SUPPLIERS: Corporate travel agent has connections with suppliers, so it’s not sure that they are working for them or they are providing you with more facilities. Make sure to work with a travel agent who is trustable and understands each requirement of your business travel.
- LOW TRANSPARENCY INTO TRAVEL PROCESSES: When you outsource a business process, you will definitely have less insight into how the decision and why the decision have been made. For that, you will have less opportunity to have a hold on your travel management processes.
- MIGHT NOT AVAILABLE WHEN YOU NEED THEM: Most corporate travel agents work during their working hours and after that, they are not available. If your employee is facing any issues during other hours or during weekends, they may be unable to contact the travel agent for assistance. For that reason, let your travel agent know that your employee may need them anytime so that they will be available to resolve any issue that the employee will face.