For businesses looking to effectively manage their travel budgets, working with a Travel Management Company (TMC) is a common route. Traditionally, a TMC ensures your business travel is competitively priced, by negotiating preferred corporate rates with airlines and hotels and passing the savings directly on to the traveller. However, as travel booking becomes more fast paced and competitive than ever before, it is down to your TMC to keep up with the booking processes that offer the best value for money.
Corporate travel booking trends are now starting to resemble more closely those of the leisure traveller. Gone are the days of going to one high-street travel agent and sourcing a single price, leisure travellers want instant, transparent, comparative pricing, and business travellers quite rightly expect the same. Airlines and hotels will often reduce their prices to encourage direct sales, or to drive demand in low season, meaning ‘live’ online prices could be more competitive than existing corporate rates, therefore offering further savings for the business traveller.
To deliver these potential savings, TMC’s should be looking at ‘real time’ prices to keep travel costs as low as possible. This approach of ‘mixing’ corporate rates and ‘real time’ rates isn’t new for us and is something that clients are increasingly requesting. Many TMCs will avoid this however, reverting to more traditional methods i.e. negotiated rates, therefore business travellers could be missing out on cheaper flights or hotel accommodation by trusting that their corporate rate is always competitive.
We are one of the few TMCs who automatically benchmark online travel specialists and airline websites; we then send through screenshots of live online pricing to validate our fares. Only a TMC with the right tools to effectively search the marketplace will ensure the best possible price for a business trip. The Business First Partnership Operations team ensure that our fare searching criteria is innovative – our 360 Search technology checks fare inventories every 20 minutes so our clients get the best possible price at the time of booking.
To learn more about our commitment to “best-value” pricing, and how we can successfully manage your business travel budgets, visit www.bfp.travel to get in touch.