By 2024, business travel spending is expected to reach approximately $1.4 trillion, according to estimates by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). As a result, business travel is likely to become an increasingly essential part of companies’ business operations. This means that whether it’s attending conferences, meeting clients, or training employees, corporate travel is crucial to achieving business goals.
Business travel management is a complex task and that’s where travel agents and corporate travel managers come in. However, there are different types of travel professionals, and it can be confusing to understand their roles and responsibilities.
In today’s post, we will explore the key differences between the two, and how companies may benefit from using corporate travel management services.
What is Travel Agent?
The profession of travel agent requires knowledge and skills in the fields of geography and foreign languages. The main thing is communication with partners and customers. This is because it is the travel agent who acts as a representative of the company, an intermediary between traveller and provider.
The difference between a tour operator and a travel agent lies in their responsibilities. The first one creates a package of services, draws up a schedule, cooperates with local companies in organizing excursions, and provides visa support.
A travel agent implements sales with maximum efficiency for all parties. Features of the profession of travel agent include:
- Relevant industry knowledge
- Problem solving capabilities
- Attention to detail
What is Corporate Travel Manager?
The field of corporate travel management involves providing travel-related services to businesses. As a result, corporate travel managers are responsible for efficiently managing and optimizing their company’s travel program, encompassing a variety of tasks and responsibilities. This includes:
Planning and booking travel
Actively managing travel expenses
Negotiating contracts with vendors
Ensuring policy compliance
Corporate travel managers work closely with travelling employees to ensure that their business travel is efficient, cost-effective and in-line with a companies’ travel policy.
Differences between Travel Agents and Corporate travel Managers
There are several key differences between travel agents and corporate travel managers. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
1. Scope and focus of their work
While most travel agents plan and book leisure travel for individuals or groups of clients, corporate travel managers are more focused on managing the business travel needs of businesses. This means that corporate travel managers are responsible for creating and optimizing business travel programs to meet the company’s goals such as:
Making efficient use of travel budget
All-round satisfaction of travelling employee
Ensuring compliance with company policies
2. Quality of Service
The level of service provided by corporate travel managers goes far beyond what might be expected of a leisure travel agent. This can include round-the-clock emergency support from experienced travel managers, as apposed to support from a far-away call centre. Corporate travel managers may also offer a return on investment through reward programs, as well as offering reward point management to optimize how your points are spent!
Why it Matters?
Understanding the differences between travel agents and corporate travel managers is essential for businesses that travel frequently and want to have a well-optimized travel program. Therefore, we recommend considering working with a corporate travel manager or agency that can help you achieve business travel-related goals.