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The 2021 guide to corporate travel management

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What is a travel management company? A short guide

Often referred to as a corporate travel agent, a TMC can do wonders for your corporate travel program. Yet, it’s something you’ll need to get internal stakeholders on board with if you want it to be a success. 

Ready to level up your business travel program? Here you’ll find every typical service travel management solutions provide to global businesses so that you can build a more convincing business case for a travel solution. 

What is a travel management company?

A travel management company, or TMC, is a travel agency that specializes in business travel management. The travel services range from booking business trips to maintaining a corporate travel policy. 

Today’s best TMCs have online travel booking platforms and powerful travel management software, both of which help streamline your travel processes.

Services provided by a traditional TMC

1. Flight and hotel reservations

Let’s start with the basics. Every TMC or TMC software should be able to cover flight reservations, changes, and cancellations. A TMC solution also enables group bookings, chartered flights, and will source the best hotel or accommodation at your destination.

2. Airport lounges

A TMC can handle most airport lounge access. Usually, you don’t have to be a member of any club or own a certain credit card to get access to lounges if your TMC has a say in it.

3. Parking and transfers 

When people think business travel, they think flights and hotels. However, there’s a lot more to it than that. A TMC will book your airport parking if you’re using a private car or they’ll arrange a transfer that suits your needs and budget best. 

4. Rental cars & chauffeurs

Travel management companies handle your rentals or personal drivers and secure you the best rates possible. Booking car hire can be a nightmare—it’s notorious for hidden costs—so this is often a huge save on travel spend. 

5. Foreign exchange 

Despite card payments being so acceptable across the world now, it’s always good to carry a bit of local currency. Some TMCs can organize currency exchanges for your business travelers, securing the best exchange rate available. 

6. Rail tickets

Sometimes the best way to travel is by rail. However, booking rail tickets in another country, and perhaps another language, is tough. TMCs handle this so you can rest assured knowing you’ve got the right ticket—to the right place. 

7. Venue sourcing & event tickets

Not all TMCs offer this, but those that do (including TravelPerk) certainly set themselves apart from the competition. Whether you need a meeting room booked at a centrally-located coworking space or tickets to a business conference, some TMCs can manage this. 

8. Travel policy alignment

Many corporates want and need to give booking autonomy to their employees to scale their travel program. However, it’s near impossible to approve every spend request when you’re working with a large workforce. A TMC ensures all of your employees are keeping within your pre-set travel policies and budgets. 

9. Account management and centralized reporting 

A huge one if you want to optimize your travel costs. Travel management companies can help with account management, reporting, and expense management. They help find ways to cut travel spending and make the most out of your budget—while still delivering an exceptional travel experience to employees. 

10. Travel risk management & traveler safety 

Your business has a duty of care for travelers. Risk management is in demand for TMCs after recent events. It helps businesses forecast potentially dangerous trips, adapt to ever-changing border control guidelines, and gives real-time travel updates enabling travelers to avoid any surprises on the road. 

11. Traveler tracking & security

Traveler tracking is a great feature that TMCs have varying degrees of. For example, the TravelPerk travel tracker gives travel managers a one-screen overview of their travelers’ itinerary and status. 

12. Online booking tool or mobile app

Booking tools that go beyond web browsers are a must-have for an exceptional TMC. If your employees can handle every travel need with one app they’ll have a smoother travel experience and be happy to travel again for work. 

13. Discounted fares and loyalty programs

Travel management companies have developed some stellar relationships when it comes to travel acquisition. Capitalize on predetermined relationships to get the lowest prices possible while maintaining a quality experience. 

14. Traveler support

Last but certainly not least is the amount of support that comes with a travel management company. Businesses will book through various 3rd party providers to secure what appears to be the best price. However, when something goes wrong, this is often a hindrance, and a lot of money can be lost. 

The very best TMCs have 24/7 support to get you through any road bump on your trip. At TravelPerk, our travel support team operates at a 15-second response time

What’s the difference between traditional TMCs and TravelPerk?

When it comes down to the bottom line, you need a TMC that can do it all. Your travel program needs the service of a TMC with the efficiency and automation capabilities of an online booking tool (OBT). 
At TravelPerk, we’re striving to provide the best of both worlds. Our solution provides automated reporting, a VAT recovery feature for up to 20% annual cost savings, the option to offset your business’s carbon emissions, and total flexibility for any travel plan. We’re going above and beyond when it comes to travel management, and we’re ready to take you with us.