Many companies send employees on frequent business trips, as business travel is imperative to business development. Smooth implementation of the corporate travel program is a fundamental responsibility of corporate travel planners. They execute business trips by ensuring policy compliance, cost optimization, and better traveler experience for business travelers.
You refer to them as a corporate travel manager or corporate trip planner. Corporate travel planning is crucial for the execution of multiple travel processes, including travel booking, expense management, travel cost control, travel policy implementation, travel tracking, and monitoring. Corporate tour planner is a critical resource as they shoulder a broad spectrum of responsibilities.
Who is a corporate travel planner?
Corporate travel planners look after the safety and well-being of business travelers in the organization and analyze travel spend data to enhance business travel processes. They have a critical role in developing and implementing the corporate travel policy. Travel managers establish a robust inventory of travel vendors by negotiating rates for maximum travel cost efficiency.
The typical role of the corporate travel manager in business organizations transformed with the emergence of Travel Management Companies. These dedicated service providers look after the travel needs of a particular organization.
Advanced travel management solutions like Paxes.com help corporate travel planners streamline a company’s travel program by automating travel booking. Travel managers leverage AI-based travel management tools to boost business travel productivity by improving the employee travel experience.
Organizations, where office staff executes the roles and responsibilities of a corporate tour planner should hire a dedicated travel manager if employees are undertaking business trips more frequently.
How to choose a reliable corporate travel planner
Finding the right person to take charge of the organization’s travel needs is a challenging task. The multi-faced role of the corporate trip planner spans a vast landscape of travel activities. These involve booking venues for corporate events, booking accommodation and transportation for employees, and ensuring the well-being of employees.
Corporate incentive travel planners must have an experience in group travel booking and extensive contacts in the hotel and hospitality industry. The following tips will be helpful in identifying a suitable person for the role of corporate travel manager.
1. Leadership and management skills
Corporate travel planners must have leadership skills to motivate teams of travel employees and delegate responsibilities. They should support employees by resolving their travel issues and enabling smooth travel.
Travel managers must optimize travel budgets and other resources to enhance the travel program for higher productivity.
2. Tech skills
A corporate tour planner navigates myriad applications, ERP systems, and software platforms to manage business travel activities. A travel manager may manage bookings without the support of a TMC or travel agency. They should know how to navigate travel apps of different vendors to book travel efficiently. Operating travel management platforms may require skills if the tool is not user-friendly. They should be comfortable using advanced travel automation tools ready for the digital transformation of travel processes.
3. Negotiation skills
Negotiation is a critical aspect of travel management as it helps organizations get the best travel deal to improve the cost efficiency of business travel. Corporate travel planners have contacts in the travel industry, and their experience in developing travel vendors is helpful for the travel manager’s job. Travel managers with excellent negotiation skills help companies achieve cost objectives effectively.
4. Multitasking skills
Diverse travel management responsibilities mandate exceptional multitasking skills for your future travel manager. They should be adept at planning, organizing, and executing several tasks within timelines.
5. Analytical skills
Analyzing travel data is crucial to understanding travel trends by employees, locations, teams, and routes. Travel managers must be able to derive meaningful conclusions from diverse data to improve travel policy.
The travel data analysis should help enhance the travel program by improving the productivity of the business trips.
6. Communication skills
A travel manager is an interface between travel vendors and the company. They liaise with several groups of individuals within the organization, like employees, accounts staff, HR personnel, and line managers. They must have outstanding communication skills to implement travel policy by ensuring employees understand the significance of following policy guidelines.
Frequent business trips underline the need to hire an in-house corporate tour planner. Look for these skills of corporate travel planners to ensure the smooth implementation of corporate travel programs with seamless policy compliance. Automation of travel processes will help corporate travel planners focus on core job functions more effectively. Paxes is a state-of-the-art SaaS-based travel management platform providing a one-stop travel management solution to simplify business travel.
Suggested Read: Easy Guide On How To Become A Corporate Travel Manager
Corporate Travel Planners FAQs
Does a travel manager replace a travel agent?
The role of travel agent is to book transport and accommodation for employees. A travel manager does not replace a travel agent, as they execute the travel policy of the company by ensuring travel policy compliance.
Can an organization manage business travel without a travel manager?
Companies with frequent business trips struggle to control travel costs and ensure travel policy compliance without a dedicated travel manager.
What is the job of corporate travel planners?
Corporate travel planners plan and execute the business trips of a company within policy guidelines.
What is the role of a Corporate Travel Management Company?
A Travel Management Company helps execute the travel program of an organisation by enabling a dedicated support team to book travel, reduce travel risks, get travel analytics, and improve policy compliance.
How does a travel manager manage work related travel expenses?
A corporate tour planner sets spending limits for different employee levels, creates approval workflows to simplify expense reporting and reimbursement, and leverages technology to track monitor, and control travel spend.