Corporate travel management
Travel management or corporate travel management (CTM) is the function of managing a company’s strategic approach to travel (travel policy), the negotiations with all vendors, day-today operation of the corporate travel program, traveler safety & security, credit-card management and T&E data management. CTM should not be confused with the work of a traditional Travel Agency. While agencies provide the day-to-day travel services to corporate clients, they are the implementing arm of what the corporation has negotiated and put forth in policy. In other words CTM decides on the class of service that employees are allowed to fly, negotiate corporate fares/rates with airlines and hotels as well as set forth the use of the corporate credit card. The agency on the other hand makes the actual reservation within the parameters given by the corporation.
For most companies “travel & expenses” (T&E) costs represent the second highest controllable annual expense, exceeded only by salary & benefits, and is commonly higher than IT and/or real estate costs. T&E costs are not only limited to travel (airline, rail, hotel, car rental, ferry/boat, etc.) but include all costs incurred during travel such as staff & client meals, taxi fares, gratuities, client gifts, supplies (office supplies and/or services), etc. Furthermore this area often includes meeting management, traveler safety & security as well as credit card and overall travel data management.
The management of these costs are usually handled by the Corporate Travel Manager, a function that can be part of the Finance, HR, Procurement or Administrative Services Department. As this function touches on all of these areas in some form and represents such a major corporate expense, it stands to reason that this function should have equal ranking within a corporation as any other major division and not be seen as a sub-set of existing hi departments.
Travel Management Companies
The implementation of corporate travel management is often delegated to Travel Management Companies (TMC). Companies use Global Distribution Systems (GDS) to book flights for their clients. This allows the travel consultant to compare different itineraries and costs by displaying availability in real-time, allowing users to access fares for air tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars simultaneously.
Travel Management (Trade) Organizations
- African Business Travel Association (ABTA)
- Association of Corporate Travel Executives acte.org
- Global Business Travel Association