How Business Travel Tech Saves Time, Hassle – and Money
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Business travel has never been more enabled by technology.
We take it for granted – but tech has completely transformed the way we book, manage, and track business travel.
Personnel now have greater control and access to their itineraries – and the whole process has been made more streamlined.
Travelling for business today isn’t exactly effortless, but many of the pain points faced by Travel Managers, Agents, and corporates are being soothed with advanced technologies.
Some things are super obvious – like mobile phone apps that allow bookings to be managed anywhere. Others, like hotel re-shopping tools and hotel content aggregators, work deeper in the background. Altogether, technology has made travelling for business a better experience – and it’s made managing bookings faster, simpler, and more profitable, too.
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 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: ensuring they’re all in the right location, with the right amenities, and with capacity for the number of travellers. 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 ROI.
HotelHub’s capabilities also tackle deeper issues for TMCs: 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 Booking.com or Expedia.
Untraceable out-of-policy bookings often result, with corporates and TMCs unable to track the traveller’s location – which can make duty of care more challenging to uphold.
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.
Find out more – How does HotelHub Work?
Re-shopping: get better rates and boost ROI
Hotel re-shopping can 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.
Re-shopping tools can scan for lower rates automatically, to save the user looking manually.
And 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 cooling off 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 Corporate’s travel policy.
This can save the corporate’s budget, and improve the TMC’s profitability, by finding rates with better returns. And our integrated technology makes it all happen automatically.
TMCs are extremely valuable to clients for group bookings – because out 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, and simplifies everything. PNR records are updated automatically through HotelHub, so even if one person’s itinerary changes, the whole thing won’t fall apart.
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 Vcards present an ideal alternative – and they make payments easier for employees, too.
Further reading – HotelHub forecasts surge in virtual card use following SCA enforcement
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 Corporate.
It also makes it easier for the traveller to log their in-policy expenses, worry-free.
That leads us on to the final, but most important way technology has made business travel better: the travel experience.
A seamless, friction-free experience for travelers
A positive, well-organized experience is ultimately what keeps clients and TMCs together.
Technology has made the travel experience so much simpler, more personal, and easier to control than ever before.
Bleisure travel is set to explode post-covid, led mostly by members of Gen Z and younger millennials. This is the generation that expects to be able to control every aspect of their lives through their phones – and cutting-edge travel technology enables this.
Business travellers raised in a digital world want a frictionless check-in process. They expect access to their itinerary, and to be able to make in-policy changes on the fly, without jumping through hoops.
They won’t even notice a seamlessly integrated tech solution. But a bad experience will be remembered forever. So, building excellent travel technology is kind of a thankless job – but when you get it right, people won’t be sure you did anything at all.
That’s fine by us. If our users are happy, then so are we.
The future of business travel is certain to get more and more personal, with enhanced controls for the traveller. Only travel technology is going to enable that. And at HotelHub, we’re pushing that frontier further every day.
Business travel technology that enables your hotel strategy
We’re HotelHub – smart business hotel booking software that enables your hotel strategy. Find out how we help TMCs and their customers maximise ROI from business travel.
Get in touch today.