Business travel services are a wide range of services designed to meet the needs of business travelers. These services are typically offered by travel agencies, tour operators, and accommodation providers.
Many of these providers exist, but they are not all created equal. If you are setting up business travel services, keep reading to know what to look for in a provider.
When looking for a travel service provider, check to see if they are a member of The American Society of Travel Advisors.
ASTA is the world’s largest association dedicated to travel services. The ASTA prides itself on its ethics and travel-friendly practices.
ASTA certification is not a requirement within the travel industry; however, when a company has one, you can find peace in knowing that your plans are in good hands.
Nobody knows a destination like a travel agent that lives near the area.
If you can find a provider that is local, there is a good chance that you will lodge in the best option, use the most comfortable transportation, and save more money.
Providers local to the travel destination often have close interpersonal connections with the surrounding businesses. These connections benefit the traveler because they often come with steeper discounts.
Additionally, a local can give you insight into hidden gems to visit. These events, scenic views, and establishments might be some you can only learn about from someone who has intimate knowledge of the city.
Looking at reviews before using any service is always a good idea.
Reviews will be the best place to find out how satisfied an individual was with the service they were provided.
One tip for looking at reviews is to filter by one-star, then five-star ratings. Your five-star ratings will show you how the provider shined and the one-star ratings will show you where they fell short.
If you find a provider that seems promising but you are worried about a review, just give them a call and discuss your concerns. You can always have them put their promises in writing so they can be held accountable for any negative actions.
If you are using a travel agent, know that they are typically a free service.
It is ok if you choose an agency that charges a fee, but it is helpful to know that cheaper options are out there.
If you do shop providers with a fee, compare prices and request an itemized estimate for their services. It’s always good to know what you are paying for and some companies aren’t always transparent about where your money is going.
If an agent is going to be planning an entire business trip for your company, they are going to need to possess excellent communication skills.
Corporate travel planning is an incredibly delicate and involved process. Organizing the arrangements of multiple people that may be visiting multiple locations, you can expect some hiccups. The agency’s ability to resolve an issue effectively while keeping you in the loop will prove useful when it comes time to initiate the plans.
You can test an agency’s communication skills by conversing via email and phone before hiring them. This is the best time to ask questions.The quality of the agency’s answers and the length of time it takes to respond will help you determine how well they communicate.
Travel agents that primarily work with individuals traveling for leisure can’t offer the same service as one that specializes in corporate travel.
It can also be helpful to find a provider that offers all related services. This includes lodging, event tickets, transportation, and anything else your team needs to plan while away.
Hotel Engine is a great example of a full-service provider that specializes in business travel.
Some travel service providers go above and beyond for their clients.
These providers might offer services like trip updates, travel insurance, and a more personalized experience.
If a company is willing to allocate extra resources to their clients, you know they care about the success of your travels and your satisfaction.
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