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We all know that the world of corporate travel has seen huge change in recent times. And with advancing technology and new services, like ride- and home-sharing, that trend shows no sign of slowing.

In the ‘olden days’, travel agents were the leisure and business travel go-to, and more recently travel management companies held the rarified status of business travel expert.

With the internet, and the advent of online search and booking tools and internet-enabled apps, everyone is a travel expert. Travellers can design and book their own itineraries without outside assistance.

But just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should – or that it’s the best option. So with that in mind, let’s look at the debate around using Online Booking Tools (OBTs) vs. Travel Management Companies (TMCs) to manage your corporate travel.

OBT or TMC?

Where once stood travel agents, now are online booking tools. OBTs have replaced travel agents as the standard approval and booking channels for companies with managed travel programs, with 80% of corporate travellers having used an OBT in the past 12 months (barely a third, however, were ‘very satisfied’ with the experience, so there is clearly room for improvement).

OBTs can help streamline the booking process and control travel costs. Bookings can be made on the go and booking fees and rates are often lower. ‘Visual guilt’ tends to lead employees to choose less expensive options, and OBTs can be set up to highlight preferred or out-of-policy options.

Superior reporting and data capture can drive efficiencies and improvements in managing corporate travel, and greater visibility of bookings and access to emergency tools helps organisations meet duty of care obligations.

Advocates of TMCs point to benefits centred around personal service, expert knowledge and industry experience of people who deal with travel every day.

Benefits like access to negotiated rates, support in duty of care or when things go wrong (as they often do), assistance in creating and enforcing a corporate travel policy, and having corporate travel managed in the one place.

Best of both worlds

Why should you have to choose?

When we designed and built our own corporate travel platform, we made sure we included all the functions and features we needed.

Which also means all the functions and features you need to manage your corporate travel are included.

For example, Travelport Locomote provides instant access to a range of travel management applications on a single platform.

It’s available and accessible across mobile devices anywhere in the world and delivers itineraries and booking information instantly. Designed with the end user in mind, our travel management software captures spend data in real-time and provides automated audit tracking and cost centre allocation.

Travelport Locomote gives businesses the power to set parameters tailored to each employee, load preferred suppliers and negotiated rates, while managing bookings and approvals and accessing compliance and risk management tools, all in the one place.

We’re not an online booking tool, we’re a seamless, intuitive end-to-end corporate travel platform with a range of workflows and features that consolidate the travel process.

Quite simply, Travelport Locomote is the future of corporate travel, a powerful platform that provides more travel choice, improved travel intelligence and better travel experiences. To find out how, chat to one of our team or book in a product demo today.

 

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