There’s only one direction for business travel costs in the coming year: up. That’s according to the Global Business Travel Forecast 2023, which predicts that airfares will continue to rise 8.5 per cent next year. Hotel prices are also expected to increase by 8.2 per cent in 2023.
There’s no two ways about it: travel can be an expensive business. Who can blame companies for wanting to cut costs wherever possible. That’s where a good TMC is worth its weight in gold. Why? Because they will give you access to exclusive rates and deals – or as they call it: content.
Content covers all the prices, seats, extras, and options a travel professional can see on their screen when they’re searching for flights, hotels, and cars. They quite literally have access to millions of rates and deals from anywhere in the world, including consumer-facing websites like Expedia.
Although airlines have tried in the past to bypass travel agents and TMCs by offering ‘better’ deals online, the latest development in this space (called NDC) has ensured that all products an airline offers on its own website, such as upgrades, extra baggage, or priority boarding, are now available in a clear and transparent way to TMCs.
NDC (or New Distribution Capability) puts the TMC in the driver’s seat when it comes to comparing all the available offers. They have an eagle’s view of everything that is available, which allows them to provide a better service with personalised offers and negotiated value ads, ensuring their client gets the very best deal every time.
Let’s have a look at how having access to ‘content’ gives TMCs the edge when it comes to offering you the very best deals:
Loyalty perks are a great benefit when travelling for business. Free upgrades. Little spoils here and there. Or maybe even a free weekend away with the family. What’s not to love?
Unfortunately, many corporates are worried that they’ll lose their coveted loyalty benefits if they book through a TMC. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, TMCs see loyalty programmes as one of the best ways to keep travellers happy while keeping the budget down.
A TMC will capture your travellers’ loyalty membership information so they can make sure they elevate your membership status and allow you to earn the maximum number of points and benefits with every booking. They’ll make sure your travellers enjoy added benefits while your company wracks up free flights and more.
Save your preferences. And your money.
Are your travellers looking for a “seat and seatbelt” on the plane? Or would they like a more comprehensive experience that includes multiple amenities and services. And what about the hotel experience? What makes your travellers smile? Free breakfast? Wi-Fi? A room upgrade?
Those little extras can add up to considerable amounts for the company. When business travellers record their preferences with their TMC, they immediately reap the rewards. You see, TMCs have their dedicated hotel chain and airline besties. That relationship equals exclusive perks that make the travellers as well as the company CFO smile.
Your TMC’s technology and travel team will also be fine-tuned to recommend the right hotels at the right budget and location. If there’s a company policy for amenities or sustainability, that is factored in too.
Make sense of the information overload
Since the beginning of time (and by that I mean since the start of the Internet), everyone has been a travel expert. Or at least they think they are.
The problem is that it’s easy to be blinded by seemingly ‘cheap’ rates available online. What’s more, sourcing the best rates and exclusive deals online takes time. Lots of time. Did you know that the average business traveller visits around 38 websites before booking a trip?
Trust me when I say that a travel expert can do it faster, cheaper, and better. You see, travel experts have access to all the rates you see online and then some. And they have the expertise to find the right rates in the blink of an eye.
Every week, they conduct a comprehensive audit of the different rates with various inclusions at hotels around the world. They cross-reference their own negotiated room rates alongside the best available rates online.
Corporate Traveller crunched the numbers recently and found that across 1000 room nights, the average amount saved by booking a Corporate Traveller rate (vs highest rates available with an OTA or hotel direct) is £28.03 per night. This equates to a 13.9% average saving per room night. When adding the value-added benefits, we found that travellers get an additional 5.3% of added value.
Translate personal data into bespoke deals
Does your company have a favourite business destination? Do your largest clients all live in Paris? Or are you usually jetting off to Tokyo to sign deals. What do you spend, on average, on hotel accommodation? A TMC will take a deep dive into your travel data to identify patterns and habits. If they see lots of bookings for the same hotel in our system, they’ll negotiate a rate that’s exclusive to your company.
A TMC will be able to look at both your past and present travel spend – and identify real savings into the future. They will negotiate (and lock-in) preferential fares and rates on your behalf, and then load the rates into your online booking tool for easy access.
Content is crucial if you want to get the best deals. Thanks to NDC, TMCs now have limitless content at their fingertips, which means more comparison shopping, competitive pricing and great value-adds. Learn more with Corporate Traveller’s SME Corporate Travel Toolkit – with pointers and tips on how to use content to identify the best deals and so much more.