A Global Business Travel Association GLP team wants to build a directory of hotel properties that clear a safety and security screening process. Conceptually similar to an initiative by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and services from others, that was one of many hotel safety strategies and suggestions shared here by speakers at the GBTA convention last month. Some seemed obvious, but risk experts warned that travelers staying in a nice hotel or visiting a seemingly safe city tend to become complacent.
It’s hard to know what to make of TravelBank. One of many startups to enter business travel in the last few years, the company hasn’t made quite the splash as TripActions, but it also has not gone as big (or as risky) as Upside. There is a large market of business clients out there that do not manage travel but, with some lightweight tools and low fees, may be enticed to do so. For a travel management provider to customers like that, though, adoption is a big challenge. New and fast-growing clients often shun policies like, “You must book through the TMC.”
Complaining about the hotel request for proposals process is an annual rite. During the past few years, more buyers, hoteliers and intermediaries did something about it. For travel managers, the effort may include both a strategic decision to hire outside experts and new program management tactics. According to a February-March 2018 survey sponsored by HRS, 51 percent of 226 Association of Corporate Travel Executives buyer members changed their approach to corporate hotel procurement since 2015. In a spring poll by The Company Dime, just over half of 72 travel managers said the same.
Travel manager outsourcing is getting more attention among some service providers. Representatives from travel management companies and independent consultants gave a few reasons for more interest among clients. The procurement mindset influences travel management. Companies don’t want to add their own full-time employees to a non-core function. Travel is getting more complicated and travel managers are as busy as ever.
A poll conducted this spring by the Global Business Travel Association and sponsored by SAP Concur had some unsurprising results: most organizations used an online booking tool, most travel managers wanted controls on how they worked and nearly all promoted preferred suppliers. What may be less well-known is that travel management companies often configure booking tools to favor their own preferred suppliers. A few travel managers told researchers their tool “suppresses” content the TMC “does not wish to display.”
San Diego – In 2016, the Global Business Travel Association’s aviation committee produced a new airline RFP template. It introduced a standardized format for quantifying soft-dollar components, among other enhancements. Recognizing that a request for proposals is just the start, the committee this year is creating a more complete air program management toolkit.