In our previous article on traveller empowerment, we talked about how there are a large number of business travellers who are now using alternative ways of booking travel and accommodation, rather than relying on one source such as TMCs. Companies are no longer leaving all-expenses-paid business trips to the options that are provided through one channel. This means opening the door of self-booking to staff and letting them plan their own business trips – reigniting the age-old debate between time and cost, or cost and benefit.
Business travellers are now being smarter with their buying, whilst companies are still spending the same amount on travel expenditure. Scott Gillespie, in The End and Future of Managed Travel, says that TMCs need to be able to keep up with demand and adapt to what business travellers need. This suggests that the options that TMCs provide are limited and can only provide packages that have been contractually verified – subsequently leaving the traveller with a lack of choice, range and specification to their needs. The next wave of business travellers, who wish to purchase travel differently to their precursors, have inspired the most recent push for change. The adoption of Travel Management 2.0 could prove successful for TMCs in their pursuit of success.
The traveller is now being encouraged by their company to consider more diverse options for business travel, as long as the price is right, the supplier is safe and it’s in the budget. A company can even incorporate incentives to reward staff for cost savings, such as booking accommodation in advance and going with the lowest logical airfares. Choice and flexibility take priority over the benefit of one-stop convenience, so for TMCs to adjust to this shift in business travel they could consider partnering with a specialist, who would provide more variety with better pricing. Fulfilling the needs of the business traveller must be the priority and that means developing new ways of meeting demand.
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