What is a Business Travel Agent?

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4 years ago

Business travel agents (also known as corporate travel agents or travel management companies) help organisations manage their business travel.

They can help you plan and book your trips, which may include domestic travel, flights, hotels, holidays and excursions, car hire or coach trips.

They may also help you buy travel insurance, reclaim taxes and even provide support to help maximise the benefit of travel expenses.

Business travel agents can be financial or operational specialists, and they may specialize in certain mode of travel, such as air, rail or sea.

Why do you need a business travel agent?

You may need a financial or operational business travel agent for one of the following reasons:

Saving money

You may have been able to improve your business travel costs and costs savings may be large.

For example, via this arrangement you may be able to:

  • Fully benefit from all the discounts and promotions available both for your company and for each individual traveller.
  • Stay in a cheaper hotel/resort and still be fully covered by your company and/or insurance company.
  • Get larger discounts and special privileged offers from financial companies exposing your business to very low risk.
  • Get a special prime market rate.

Depending on your requirements, a financial business travel agent can manage the entire traveller booking process, including:

  • A booking that is fully compliant with the business’ travel policy;
  • Secure the lowest possible price on flights, car hire, accommodation and tourism.

The booking process and policy can be managed via a centralised process or via a variety of channels (database management systems/ agency system).

They may manage all of the travel-related aspects of a trip, for example: flight, car hire, accommodation and hotel booking, excursions and transportation.

Enable you to track your travellers and their travel status live.

In addition, business travel agents can save you money via the following methods:

Group travel

Often, travellers who participate in group travel can be offered significant discounts. Group discounts are available with most financial companies.

For example, you may be able to save 20% on hotels that are fully refundable, and also get money back on your trip by getting VAT refunds.

Business travel agents can help you get the best deals for group travel.

Travel insurance

Business travel agents can help you to choose the most appropriate travel insurance.

They can help you to get a better insurance policy than you would be able to get directly as an individual.

Buying travel insurance can be complicated. For example, the insurance company may charge for any medical attention required, even if a condition is pre-existing.

Travel insurance is an extremely valuable however costly asset. Therefore, make sure that you read all of your policy documentation carefully and shop around for the right policy with the best value.

Car hire prices

Car hire prices vary depending on who you talk to and where you book.

The same applies to hotels, resorts and other tourist attractions.

A price comparison can lead to dramatic price savings.

Our financial business travel agents offer price comparisons to help you get the best deals.

Travel management

A financial travel management company can dramatically improve and simplify your business travel bookings.

They may also have special status and/or have signed up for an exclusive deal, which means that you have access to special services, discounts and special privileges.

The decision-making process and administration for travel are simplified. This means that you can concentrate on running your business.

Processing financial transactions

A financial travel management company may be able to process financial transactions of your business travel at a far better rate than you can get on your own – especially for large bookings.

If you do not manage this yourself, you may experience long processing times and may lose money to discounts.

Managing special departmental travel

Financial travel management companies can help with booking and processing the travel of special departmental groups. For example, they may be able to handle contracts when you have a government or other special group.

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