Travel management encompasses a wide variety of business travel services for companies. In contrast to a standard travel agency that only handles hotel and flight or ground travel reservations, travel management companies offer comprehensive management services to companies covering everything from scheduling to shaping corporate travel policy.
Travel management companies often partner with a company’s finance or administrative department to provide in-house services covering all aspects of the company’s business travel including the development of corporate policy and its implementation. Services can also include expense auditing, identifying tax issues, route planning and logistics. In addition, they can advise executives on updates and changes affecting the travel industry.
Through strategic partnerships with preferred vendors and the use of state of the art software and technology, travel managers manage vendor negotiations for the purpose of identifying discounts and acquiring the best rates on travel, including hotel packages, meals, taxis and car services for business travelers.
Travel management companies often have branch offices in other countries or partner with other international companies to provide important information for international business travelers. This information can include passport requirements, cultural customs, language translation, currency exchange, international laws, and traveler safety warnings.
All Inclusive Services
As a functioning department within a corporation, a travel management company maintains travel profiles and coordinates information on conferences, itineraries, travel authorizations, and allowable business expenses and can deliver data directly to employees using Web-based portals and integrating with popular software like Microsoft Outlook and Excel. The company can also manage business expense processes and forms upon the employees’ return.
Financial Planning and Management
In addition to providing travel services, a corporate travel management company provides comprehensive data and ongoing reporting on business travel expenses to assist companies with reviewing and budgeting corporate travel costs. They also advise executives on best practices and help to develop future initiatives and travel policies.