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Self-Booking Surge Dismissed by Business Travel Leaders

The Ultimate in Safety, Service and Satisfaction

A number of corporate executives have dismissed the view that business traveler self-booking now accounts a greater volume of transactions than those made by travel management companies (TMCs). While, the self-booking trend is nothing new, it is a major issue for those working in the travel management industry. So, this insider-view may well be of interest for those who work in the travel management sector.

A recent survey of business travelers by Amadeus revealed that, as of this January, 66 percent of those questioned has access to self-booking tools and that 60 percent had used them. The wording is important; it does not mean that the majority of people (60%) always use self-booking just that they have done so.

Even so, these figures were challenged by Ken McLeod, Corporate Director of Advantage Travel Centers, who said: “Sixty per cent of business travelers do not book themselves and that is borne out by the amount of business done through TMCs. I would say it’s less than 25%.” He also asserted what has been perhaps the market view for some time: “Corporates are generally against open booking, though they understand the need to give some leeway to travelers.”

The Managing Director of Expedia UK, Andy Washington, also took the view that: “There is a place for TMCs and for unmanaged travel. But I’ve no doubt there will be a shift.”His view was that: “Expedia would argue up to 40% [of bookings] are unmanaged business travel. A lot are by PAs and secretaries booking on our site.” Which he argues is “not self-booking”. So perhaps, those surveyed by Amadeus did not really understand the question?

Corporate Responsibility

McLeod also re-asserted that self-booking has associated risks: “Corporate responsibility means they need to know where people are and need the management information.” This was a view held by the Institute of Travel and Meetings, whose head of sales and marketing, Diane Steed, agreed that: “Travel managers are all about keeping control and tracking travel, and there is a huge area around travel risk.”

Griffin transportation values its relationship with corporate travel managers, not just in our native Vancouver but, through our network of affiliates and global clients, worldwide. We hope that this short update on a certain and current aspect of our industry is both useful and informative.

As a ground transportation company, we aim to provide: “The Ultimate in Safety, Service and Satisfaction”. With Griffin, you can rest assured that we will provide you with the very best possible service, tailored to your needs. Call us today for a no obligation chat about just what services we can provide.

Posted on Sep 27 2013

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