As a qualified Chartered Accountant and the CEO of one of the largest corporates in the travel industry, BidTravel, I obviously took a keen interest in the Budget speech and the ramifications thereof, for not only my own business but for the man in the street and other businesses big or small. Various aspects of budget 2019, coupled now with the latest petrol price hike, will certainly place a strain on not only the travel industry but all its clients.
I am the eternal optimist though and have never seen the point in taking anything but a positive spin on seemingly adverse situations. Businesses cannot afford to lie down and say they simply can no longer travel if it has always been an important requirement of doing business.
I would like to offer some basic advice to our corporate clients, with regard to amortising the effect of the restrictions that they may feel the new budget will place on their travel requirements.
These are a few ways that the smallest SMEs, to the largest corporate entities, can beat the ‘budget blues’ and ensure they don’t let budget 2019 dampen travel initiatives…
Use a good TMC
Don’t make the mistake of thinking if you get a staff member to surf the net and try to book ‘cheapies’ that you can get better deals, than by using a good globally connected TMC. Here are just a few advantages of using a TMC, particularly with regard to international travel.
- Global knowledge and effective reporting – TMCs know the best corporate deals happening everywhere at any time and give consolidated reports to show where savings are being made – and they do travel spend analysis.
- Effective cost analysis – Costs of visas, travel and accommodation costs, etc. all need to be thoroughly analysed to coordinate a successful international travel program.
- Effective management of travel spend – Good MTCs competently manage all your traveller reporting, and travel spend.
- One point of control – Having one point of contact, personal program management, technological co-ordination and consistent service delivery, all come under one reliable point of control, which definitely saves on overall cost.
Be more flexible
Be prepared to follow your travel consultants’ advice and go where the going (and pricing) is good. Conferencing, in particular, is an area where a company could show more flexibility. There is a tendency to return to old favourite spots time after time, but remember there may be more cost-effective places to go and your delegates will probably welcome a bit of a change of scenery anyway.
A few more advice tips that travel industry personnel should be giving clients are:
Book carry on only
Regarding smaller local travel for regular daily ups and downs for business, think about booking ‘carry on only’ airlines who are a little cheaper, because you save on luggage costs.
Check out what parking at the airport costs you as opposed to other modes of transport. When you add up the parking fees of a number of Executives going on a conference, as opposed to a group travel option, you could be astounded at the saving. Once again your TMC will be able to advise you on cost differences and offer suitable alternatives.
Cost cutting is not necessarily compromise
I am a great believer that cost-cutting need not necessarily mean a compromise of quality. These are just a few personal corporate travel cost-cutting tips, but they can make the difference between having to compromise on – and actually improving on, your travel.
Every budget is theoretically designed so that the government can try to best serve its people. We at BidTravel and our travel industry partners always make it our business to best serve our clients by working around budgets – and finding creative ways to ensure they never dampen travel initiatives!