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.
PhocusWright recently reported that Business Travellers are becoming frustrated with traditional corporate travel booking systems, that have “limited choices, high rates, antiquated technology and inconvenient interfaces” – a frustration that is driving many to book outside approved tools. Indeed, we ourselves reported back in November last year how Corporate travel booking trends need to resemble more closely those of the leisure traveller, who want instant, transparent and comparative pricing.
In the report, about half (47%) of respondents say they book off-channel because they find better rates booking directly, and 38% say they find better rates through an online travel agency. To match this, 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. We are one of the few TMCs who automatically benchmark online travel specialists and airline websites.
Only a TMC with the right tools to effectively search the marketplace will ensure the best possible price for a business trip. We uniquely have chosen to integrate booking.com in to our booking process as they are one of our trusted suppliers, and a source that our clients will often search themselves. By booking corporate travel with Business First Partnership, you are guaranteed to receive best value based on live availability and with instant booking capability.
The report also suggests that business travellers are looking for the ease-of-use they find when using consumer channels to book their personal travel. So, what if you could have the best of both worlds? More flexibility, instant online booking, and the high level of support and service you would expect from a TMC. Or what about a booking system built entirely around your own company specifications and travel policy? Though these may sound like ‘wish list’ items, they are in fact a real list of just some of the features of Business First Partnership’s 360 Go.
360 Go is a custom-built travel booking site, providing BFP clients direct access to book short-haul UK domestic and European air travel as well as Worldwide hotel or car rental in as little as 3 minutes. Because the system is designed around your individual business needs, it eliminates the need to repeat the input of travel information, and anything you do change automatically syncs with BFP’s records, so your preferences are always up to date however you choose to book.
So, perhaps it’s less about Travel Management Companies vs Online Travel Agents, and more about finding a TMC who is committed to offering the same level of savings supported by a wealth of essential travel benefits to keep your business moving.
To discuss how we can make business travel straightforward for you, visit www.bfp.travel to get in touch.