For many organizations, corporate travel is key to doing business -- as well as being one of their largest expenses.
After a turbulent few years, business travel around the world is firmly back on the table. And, as businesses prepare for the next phase of business travel, they’re also eager to start better managing their travel programs.
Many organizations across Europe are turning to
travel management companiesto help them save money, centralize operations, and optimize both their travel budgets and travel programs.
If you’re ready to centralize and modernize your business travel management processes, we’ve put together this guide -- including a list of travel management companies in Europe -- that covers:
- The advantages of using a travel management company for booking and managing corporate travel over in-house processes
- The core features to look for when choosing a travel management company
- A review of the top five travel management companies in Europe
Organizations that optimize their travel programs (and in turn their travel budgets and future business travel plans) can enjoy accurate expense reporting, optimized budgets, and high levels of compliance with their business travel policies.
Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits of using travel management companies in Europe to manage your business travel processes:
- Centralized corporate travel management: Organizations that run their travel programs in-house often use an array of spreadsheets and complicated email threads to plan business trips. However, when businesses use a travel management company, these complicated processes can be eliminated. Travel management companies help you centralize travel booking, expense processes, and travel policies into one easy-to-use platform.
- Cost savings on travel and accommodation expenses: One of the main benefits of a travel management company is its experience in negotiating the best corporate travel rates. A good travel management company can also establish long-term partnerships with hotels and airlines to help you save money on an ongoing basis.
- Easy-to-use self-booking engines: A good travel management company will facilitate self-booking, meaning your employees can make their own travel arrangements with the help of built-in travel policies.
- The ability to make data-driven decisions and optimize your travel spend: Travel management companies collect your travel data and compile reports on your travel spend trends, including a breakdown of expenses by team, department, or project to help you optimize future budgets.
- Improved travel policy compliance: Even organizations with travel policies in place suffer from unauthorized bookings that fall outside policy rules. Travel management companies can flag and block unauthorized bookings, as well as build your travel policyinto the way they manage your travel program.
Choosing a travel management company that doesn’t offer all of the features you need leaves you back at square one with all of the same limitations you faced in the past.
Below, we detail the key features you need to look out for when comparing travel management companies in Europe that will help you save money, protect your business travelers, and streamline your entire travel management program.
- Extensive travel inventories: It’s essential that the travel management company you choose gives you access to comprehensive inventories of transportation and accommodation providers, as well as enabling you to compare prices, dates, and offers that best suit your travel needs.
- Built-in approval workflows: Embedding your travel approval workflows and travel policy into your travel management company’s platform helps you increase policy compliance rates and eliminates the need to manage travel and expenses via long email threads.
- Centralized invoice collection: Some travel management companies don’t act as a single vendor meaning that you’ll still need to collect and collate invoices from various companies. Travel management companies that offer a system that consolidates all of your monthly invoices into one single vendor invoice can save you a lot of time and hassle.
- Flexible booking options: Flexible booking optionsenable businesses to accommodate any last-minute changes to trip dates or cancelations after booking for free or at a reasonable cost.
- 24/7/365 Customer support: Unexpected events are inevitable in business travel, and you need to know that your travel management company will be there to help you should things go wrong. A prompt, easy-to-access customer support function is essential to help your travelers manage any issues that arise.
- Multiple transportation options: Whether your business is trying to reduce its carbon footprint or doesn’t do business overseas, a good travel management company will provide you with transportation options besides air travel such as rental cars and trains via the same platform.
- Reporting capabilities: The ability to access travel data that is broken down by individual business travelers, mode of transportation, booking type, cancelations, and recoverable VAThelps you carry out significant spend optimization activities.
All companies on this list operate internationally, but are headquartered in Europe. Here is our pick of five of the top travel management companies in Europe.
Not only does TravelPerk offer businesses more travel services and support than any other travel management company, but it also enables users to manage all business travel processes via its centralized, end-to-end digital platform.
With access to the world’s largest travel
inventory for flightsand
accommodation, a unique
VAT recovery solution, a
carbon offsetting program, and
FlexiPerk, a cancelation policy that grants users the ability to cancel business trip arrangements up to two hours before departure with a guaranteed refund of 80%, businesses can rest easy knowing all of their travel needs are taken care of while saving money at the same time.
Other key TravelPerk offerings and features include:
- Comprehensive and up-to-date travel alertsfor traveler safety
- 24/7 business travel assistancewith a target 15-second customer support response rate
- Extensive reporting capabilities
- A simplified travel expense process, expense dashboards, and real-time expense reporting
- Centralized and consolidated invoicing
- A huge catalog of third-party software integrations
Whether you do business in Belgium, Mexico, Australia, or anywhere else in the world, TravelPerk’s comprehensive platform has got every one of your business travel needs covered.
If you’re eager to learn more about how TravelPerk can streamline your organization’s business travel program,
reach out today for a free demo.
As well as offering traditional business travel management services, BCD Travel also offers meetings management, expense management, and carbon-emissions tracking and reporting.
Offering services via a travel agent, BCD Travel can be considered a traditional travel management company, but the company does offer some online booking tools in the form of a software suite of separate platforms:
- BCD Pay: A travel expense management tool
- BCD Alert: A mobile app for business travelers with 24hr support and risk management
- TripSource: A self-management tool for business travelers
- DecisionSource: A feature that provides insights based on travel program data
Not only does TravelPerk bridge this gap with its centralized business travel platform that users can use to manage the booking process from start to finish, but it also outshines BCD Travel in several other ways.
Egencia’s main offerings and features include:
- Travel policy management
- Integrated travel and expense solution
- Comprehensive reporting and benchmarking dashboards
- Travel management consulting
- Multi-level business trip approval workflows
TravelPerk, on the other hand, offers a simple pricing model, with no extra monthly fees or hidden charges, the world’s largest flight inventory, and centralized itineraries for multiple bookings.
Via its app, users can access an overview of their entire trip including flight information and check-in links, get updates on any travel disruptions, and receive real-time rail and flight updates for platform and gate changes.
The company’s main offerings and features include:
- Meetings and events management
- Carbon offsetting
- Traveler tracking and risk management
- 24/7/365 customer support
- Desktop and mobile travel app
- Synced bookings to create one trip itinerary
Meanwhile, TravelPerk supports airline and hotel loyalty programs, provides an easy-to-use, proprietary booking tool, and offers a huge list of software integrations across many categories.
ATPI specializes in travel management for organizations needing bespoke travel solutions in unique industries. The company offers a specific travel solution for the offshore and energy, marine, and mining and resources sectors.
ATPI’s main offerings and features include:
- ATPI Halo, a CO2 measurement, reduction, and offset service
- Online booking tool
- Corporate event management
- Traveler tracking system
- Expense management solution
- Reporting tools
- Multi-level approval and multiple workflows
For example, when ATP’s feature set is compared to TravelPerk, it’s clear that ATPI doesn’t offer a comparable travel inventory, the same level of third-party integrations, or a flexible cancellation policy for last-minute changes.