5 Ways Business Travel Tech Saves Time, Money and Hassle

Sam Gilbertson

Written by Sam Gilbertson

5 min read – 

2 June, 2022

5 Ways Business Travel Tech Saves Time, Money and Hassle

We may take it for granted these days, but technology has completely transformed the way we book, manage and track business travel.

From the obvious mobile phone apps that allow bookings to be managed anywhere to hotel content aggregators working deeper in the background, technology has made travelling for business a better experience.

And it’s made managing bookings faster, simpler and more profitable too.

1. Improving ROI on business travel

Booking business travel can be extremely complex.

Travel policy guidelines can be excruciatingly detailed, setting the rules for employee travel within tight confines. Going out-of-policy usually requires significant justification. And this isn’t just a cost-saving measure – travel policies are there to safeguard employees and the company.

Business travel technology can streamline the process of staying in-policy and enable faster out-of-policy bookings, where applicable.

HotelHub, for example, allows travel management companies (TMCs) to curate lists of in-policy hotels, based on the factors set by the corporate client and the TMC’s preferences.

This saves a huge amount of time on sourcing appropriate venues. It can make the overwhelming abundance simpler to understand and helps avoid the dreaded state of option paralysis’.

Reason codes for out-of-policy bookings can also be attached, setting boundaries and communicating the reason for the booking clearly. This enhances productivity and frees time – which ultimately leads to better return on investment.

2. Saving time on booking and preventing leakage

HotelHub’s capabilities also tackle deeper issues for TMCs, such as the fragmentation of the hotel booking ecosystem and reduced hotel attachment thanks to self-service hotel booking websites.

Travel managers frequently have to hop from one booking system to another, seeking out the best rates. Beyond killing productivity with manual work, this can lead to leakage once customers realise they can find better rates themselves on a site like Booking.com or Expedia.

This often results in untraceable, out-of-policy bookings, with TMCs and their clients unable to track the traveller’s location which can make duty of care more challenging. Imagine not knowing where your staff were when the Covid lockdowns kicked in or at the onset of the war in Ukraine.

HotelHub can help TMCs and their clients avoid the unknown and improve ROI, while automating vast amounts of time-consuming manual work.

3. Getting the best hotel rates without searching manually

Hotel re-shopping tools can scan for lower rates automatically and save clients a demonstrable amount of money each year. It can go a long way to adding value to TMCs, especially in end-of-year reporting.

Rate Optimiser from HotelHub is an even smarter way to do re-shopping. It offers savings of up to 30% which translates into significant savings for TMCs and their corporate clients.

It gets to work as soon as a booking has been made, checking GDS and non-GDS content sources for a better deal. With approval, it can automatically cancel and rebook at the better rate. Rate Optimiser is smarter than the average re-shopping tool and stops trying to find new rates as the original booking’s free cancellation period ends, to prevent charges being incurred.

It can also be configured to find room upgrades for enhanced traveller wellbeing, or room types that comply with a client’s travel policy. This can help the client’s budget and improve the TMC’s profitability by finding rates with better returns. And our integrated technology makes it all happen automatically.

4. Enabling easy group bookings

TMCs are extremely valuable to clients for group bookings because, outside of the industry, most hotel booking systems put a cap on the number of rooms that can be booked at a time. Some hotels might also require a meeting with their sales team to negotiate rates and manage large corporate bookings.

TMCs have the advantage here, with established relationships and access to more tools, but they still need technology to enable the process and control the booking.

HotelHub provides the platform to manage complex group booking, enabling multi-passenger bookings for up to nine travellers. PNR records are updated automatically through HotelHub, so even if one person’s itinerary changes, the whole thing won’t fall apart.

5. Simplifying payments and expenses

Another tricky area to navigate with group business travel is payments. Staying on top of in-policy travel expenses or sifting through receipts on return can be a monumental task for a large group booking, but virtual cards (vCards) present an ideal alternative – and they make payments easier for employees, too.

vCards are emerging as the modern standard for business travel payment – but HotelHub can accommodate any payment mode used by TMCs. Invoices and billing feeds are generated within HotelHub, independent of the GDS. This streamlines mid- and back-office processes for TMCs, while simplifying and consolidating payments for the client.

A seamless, friction-free experience for travellers

Ultimately, a positive, well-organised experience is what keeps clients and TMCs together.

Technology has made the travel experience so much simpler, more personal and easier to control than ever before. And at HotelHub, we’re pushing that frontier further every day.

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