Corporate travel management

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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-to-day operation of the corporate travel program, traveler safety and security, credit-card management and travel and expenses ('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 which employees are allowed to fly, negotiates corporate fares/rates with airlines and hotels and determines how corporate credit cards are to be used. The agency on the other hand makes the actual reservation within the parameters given by the corporation.

For many companies T&E costs represent the second highest controllable annual expense, exceeded only by salary and 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 and client meals, taxi fares, gratuities, client gifts, supplies (office supplies and/or services), etc. Furthermore, this area often includes meeting management, traveler safety and 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 which may be part of the Finance, HR, Procurement or Administrative Services Department.

Travel Management Companies[edit]

The implementation of corporate travel management is often delegated to Travel Management Companies (TMC), the largest of which in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia are ITP - International Travel Partnership[1] Travel Solutions International, Corporate Travel Management, Omega World Travel, Travel Leaders Corporate, MeritBiz, GSM Travel, Corporate Traveller, American Express, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Ovation Travel Group, GlobalStar Travel, AmTrav, HRG UNIGLOBE Travel International, WD World Travel Ltd. and Regal Wings. These 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[edit]