Do you really know how much your company is spending on travel?

July 4, 2018 | 37 views

Think you know your company’s total travel spend? Think again. With travel spends often fragmented across multiple sources, it can be hard to keep track of your overall figures. It’s not unusual for a company’s travel costs to come from a number of different places. Your employees might be booking their own travel and expensing it; your travel booker might be using a corporate card to book online, or using multiple payment methods through multiple travel management companies (TMCs); alternatively, they might not be booking via a TMC at all, instead using a hotel booking tool or booking directly online.

Spotlight

Ovolo Hotels

Ovolo Hotels is an independent hospitality company, headquartered in Hong Kong, that own and operate a collection of individually designed lifestyle hotels. The company keeps in touch with the modern traveller through award-winning interiors, detail-driven comforts, focused all-inclusive services and cutting-edge en-suite technology, all done in signature style.

OTHER ARTICLES
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Age of Digital Concierge: Hotel Chatbots Are Redefining CX

Article | July 13, 2022

The travel industry is reviving. Tourist spots across the globe are packed with excited explorers. Though it feels like everything is going back to normal, the way people travel has changed. The hospitality tech revolution is making mundane tasks easier and the customer experience richer. Most travelers prefer self-service over waiting to be served. Online planning and bookings have picked up pace, so have contact-less check-in and 24/7 digital concierge. Hotels must swiftly meet these evolving demands or risk losing in the race. They must incorporate technology into their day-to-day operations to eliminate human error, increase their service efficiency, and, above all, offer an outstanding customer experience. One of the technology trends reshaping the travel and hospitality industry is digital concierge—hotel chatbots that bring the concierge desk into the palm of a guest’s hand. Convenient, right? A Sneak Peak into Hotel Chatbots Hotel chatbots are software applications that communicate with your hotel’s website page visitors and resolve their queries. They are either programmed to behave a certain way or can be AI-powered. Programmed chatbots are configured to answer a limited set of questions. However, they can collect visitor information so your customer executives can get in touch with prospects to resolve their queries or provide them with booking assistance. On the other hand, AI-powered chatbots use NLP (Natural Language Processing) and ML (Machine Learning) to analye human behaviour and accordingly answer questions. Digital Concierge Brings in Conversions Personalized communication forms the crux of customer experience. A desired, non-intrusive interaction between a guest and a chat bot can create strong engagement and help the guest to make a booking at your hotel. In such cases, the bot will forward the booking inquiries directly into the IBE (Internet Booking Engine) and strengthen your direct sales. 30-50% of the chatbot-prospect interactions result in IBE forwarding of booking inquiries. This statistic shows how accepting the guests are of the chatbot’s services. (Source: DialogShift, Olga Heuser) Chatbots can also be integrated into social media platforms and instant messenger platforms so that guests can directly make bookings from a platform of their choice. How are Hotel Chatbots Redefining CX? Apart from bringing in revenue through direct sales, hotel chatbots also create a solid customer experience for the guests, so they don’t go home unsatisfied and give you a good review online. Here are the ways in which they enhance the customer experience: 24/7 Availability- Chatbots promptly respond to guest queries round the clock Multi-Lingual Support- Languages are not a barrier for them Efficiency- They lighten your hotel staff’s load of answering guest queries Customer Retention- They collect guest information, which helps in retention and follow-up Brand Awareness- They are brand representatives and increase brand awareness through responsiveness Additionally, AI- powered chatbots can also: Highlight the hotel’s special features upon check-in Recommend places and activities to do around the hotel with pictures and links Request feedback from guests about services Assist with table reservations or pool-side orders The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Used Rose to Impress Guests The introduction of Rose, a smart chatbot that converses with guests on The Cosmopolitan’s website, changed the game for the hotel. The bot’s playful personality wooed hotel guests. Those who made a booking directly from the website ended up spending 37% more than those who did not engage with her. Let’s Wrap It Up A hotel chatbot refines the concierge experience for guests through rapid response times and enhances your hotel’s AI marketing efforts. It can be an invaluable asset for hotel business owners looking to stay ahead in the race.

Read More
BUSINESS TRAVEL

AI CRM and Online Booking Tipped To Boost Travel Recovery

Article | August 5, 2022

Travel technology professionals view tech as the way to help travel come back stronger, according to research. The TravelTech Show (formerly TTE Europe) polled buyers and suppliers who listed artificial intelligence, customer relationship management and online booking tools as the top three technologies to help boost recovery. Rounding out the top five were self-service portals and innovative payment options. The findings will be unsurprising to many in the industry already looking to AI, the cloud and other technologies to boost efficiency and improve the customer experience. Brian Sheerin, managing director of SABS Travel Technologies, says: Allowing travelers to self-book through an OBT [online booking tool] while still providing simple methods to communicate, such as online chat, are key to reducing customer frustration and allowing travel businesses the space to restructure, to resource and to meet customer expectations. OBTs were already playing a massive part in booking travel pre-pandemic and now it is even more important in the role of rebuilding the sector and customer confidence in it.”In recent weeks, American Airlines announced a far-reaching partnership with Microsoft, Expedia Group unveiled its new tech platform Open World and Miami Airport announced its rollout of biometric boarding technology. Payment developments and other advances in travel fintech also have been highlighted recently as an increasing priority to the industry as it looks to find new revenue streams. The TravelTech Show research also quizzed participants on the top challenges facing the travel technology industry currently, with economic uncertainty taking the top slot (52%), followed by COVID-19 restrictions (46%) and climate change (36%). Cyber security took fourth place compared to two years ago when it was in seventh place. Meanwhile, sustainable travel moved to seventh place compared to the second-place spot it held in 2020.

Read More
AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Augmented Reality Transforming the Travel and Hospitality Industry

Article | July 12, 2022

“I believe that augmented reality will be the biggest technological revolution that happens in our lifetimes.” – Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic Games Augmented reality (AR) has proved to be a significant concept in tourism and hospitality management in the past few years. It allows us to enhance the physical environment and enhance the experience of exploring the surrounding area. According to Grand View Research, the global market for augmented reality was worth USD 25.33 billion in 2021. From 2022 to 2030, the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.9%. As things keep pace with digitalization and this generation seeks quick and efficient yet reliable methods, every sector widely uses the application of augmented reality. According to Hospitality Tech, the market size of augmented reality will reach $198 billion by 2025, and the hotel business will be one of the key contributors to this income target. Effectively, Starwood, Marriott and Holiday Inn are already making a difference in the travel and hospitality industry by leveraging this technology. An investment in AR brings a lot of change in business revenue for both small hoteliers and prominent hotel tycoons. AR Improve Customer Experience for Travel and Hospitality Redefine the customer experience with augmented reality in the tourism industry. AR-based travel apps help businesses enhance their services and offer personalized experiences to their customers. By adding interactive hotel features that make the space more fun, you can get people to visit nearby attractions. Utilizing CX to maintain and expand a client base produces a terrific asset that positively affects ROI. CX effectively boosts customer lifetime value (LTV), which can become self-perpetuating. Companies that excel at CX and customer-centricity are 60% more profitable and generate 5.7% more revenue than those that don't. Ideas for Implementing AR in the Tourism and Hotel Industry AR is utilized chiefly via smartphones and offers many options concerning interactive experiences. AR in Excursions & Travel Attractions AR technology may be a terrific marketing tool for guiding first-time guests through the hotel and a great way to retain customers and provide more engaging experiences. With the application of augmented reality software, a standard tourist map comes to life. Moreover, AR technology enables clients to examine points of interest, restaurants, and other businesses. Your hotel restaurant may even use augmented reality to let customers explore the menu and ingredients in a new way by showing them 3D versions of the meals on their phones. Transportation If you have a travel mobile app with AR, you can point out the transportation objects to get the best possible directions, travel route, next destination, and places to travel to. Pokemon Go shows one such example of how you can use modern digital technologies to make the travel experience even better. It became the first popular augmented reality game. This AR app brought players out into the street and made them move and travel a lot. Scadi is one such AR app in travel for visitors of Alpine ski resorts. It uses advanced algorithms to create the most comfortable, safe and exciting routes for skiers and snowboarders. Integrates with other technology Using augmented reality in conjunction with other technologies such as beacon technology allows your hotel to more efficiently promote to visitors and upsell through push notifications. For example, through push notifications, hotels may give partner companies special offers or discounts, and vice versa, partner businesses can advertise the hotel. Hospitality Industry Must Make Room for AR for Better ROI In a post-pandemic context, the travel and hotel industries embrace technological advancements that enhance visitor experiences, eventually boosting corporate income and reducing operating expenses. Utilizing interactive technologies like AR, VR, and other interactive technologies increases operational efficiency, productivity, and ROI. By using augmented reality with CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) or EAM, you gain more understanding (Enterprise Asset Management). Augmented reality can assist facility managers in boosting the efficiency of their engineers and reducing the expense of ensuring their safety. AR will assist them in increasing their revenue by reducing their maintenance expenses. Using AR-based product models, the hospitality industry is gaining a significant competitive edge, resulting in faster sales cycles. Case Studies Holiday Inn During the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012, Holiday Inn introduced one of the first uses of Augmented Reality in a hotel setting. The experiences used picture recognition and chroma video. The program identified hotel locations and activated athlete video footage, merging real and virtual components. This Holiday Inn use case shows how hotels may leverage AR to develop unique guest experiences around local events. In addition, the campaign helped promote the hotel and bolster its status as the official hotel for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Premier Inn The Hub Hotel from Premier Inn, the largest hotel chain in the United Kingdom, is one of the few places to have adopted the AR technology back in 2016. The hotel provided a wall map of the local region in each room. Tourists could use their smartphones to read information about local areas of interest by pointing them at a wall. Conclusion The benefits of augmented reality in the travel and hospitality industries are immense. AR is a potent tool for increasing company potential and returns on investment. Utilizing innovative technology boosts your hotel's exposure and brand awareness while propelling it into the digital age. Augmented reality in the tourism industry truly sets you apart from the competition. FAQ How is augmented reality changing the travel & tourism industry? Augmented reality helps hotels enhance the physical locations they are attempting to attract visitors to, such as hotel rooms and local attractions. What is digital transformation in the hospitality industry? Digital transformation refers to how companies restructure themselves to adapt and modify their corporate culture to empower innovations that utilize technology and propel their enterprises to new levels of growth. What are the benefits of augmented reality? Creates unique customer experiences Reduces cognitive overload Increases engagement

Read More
BUSINESS TRAVEL

Excellent Customer Experience in Travel Industry Generate Customer Loyalty

Article | May 10, 2022

As the impact of COVID-19 subsides, the devasted travel industry appears to be resuming normalcy with increased travel volumes. In addition, emerging tourism trends and technology in the travel industry have offered new possibilities for business travel to redefine itself. The present opportunities available in the travel sector may benefit your firm. However, customer experience in the travel industry has a significant impact on growing long-term loyalty. Providing a positive client experience is a significant problem for many in the travel and tourism industry. Customer Experience Is a Challenge to Recover Customer experience is a critical component of the travel and tourism industry. As travel volumes have increased in the post-covid era, so have negative travel experiences. Business travelers who commute frequently have higher expectations. For a very long time, they have voiced their dissatisfaction, even before the leisure travelers complained. This imbalance has been exacerbated by COVID-19. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, 38% of business passengers complained about the airline, double the percentage compared to leisure travelers. The actual question, though, is how to overcome this obstacle. Some companies may go above and beyond to reassure travelers with honesty, openness, and unmatched customer service. You may improve the customer experience by implementing the following ideas. Concentrate on the corporate culture Give specific examples of consumer advocacy Equip employees with the necessary tools According to a survey conducted by Think with Google, superior customer service is the most compelling aspect for high-value travelers. Additionally, 60% of them agree that customer service is the most crucial factor when it comes to picking a brand to travel with. CX Plays a Vital Role in Revenue Generation Managing customer experience in travel can enhance the brand-customer relationship, ultimately leading to revenue growth. The adoption of technology for travel booking, ticketing, and expenditure management has improved the customer experience. Satisfied customers increase income and assist firms in calculating the return on their travel and cost expenditures. Customer experience is a key differentiator that boosts customer happiness and loyalty, and both sells and establishes a competitive edge. “CX is the difference between success or slump.” — Chris Pescott, CEO of Perceptive. Annual business travel expenditures will reach $1.7 trillion globally by 2022. According to Statista, nearly 500 million business travels will take place withing the United States each year by 2022. Ways to Improve Customer Experience (CX) Use Tech to Create Breakthrough Customer Experiences Technology in the travel industry is regularly evolving. By putting technology at the center of each touchpoint, the industry is laying the groundwork for a successful customer experience in travel. Chatbots powered by AI and machine learning deliver client care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chatbots have been intelligently developed using cutting-edge technology and may be used in place of humans. AI is constantly evolving, making it more trustworthy and effective as a commercial solution. Embrace an Omnichannel Mindset With mobile devices accounting for more than 50% of online traffic, multi-device digital experiences have become the norm. In addition, today's customers interact with companies across various offline and online channels, frequently switching several times, and each stage of the journey must be seamlessly connected and consistent. As a result, adopting omnichannel is one of the most significant changes you will undertake. Use Customer Journey Mapping To create a customer journey, you must first understand your consumer. By comparing journey maps to core KPIs, you may gain a deeper insight into your customer experience and identify areas of concern and opportunity. You may use trip maps to enhance the customer experience and visualize the customer experience in the future. Alternatively, you may influence organizational transformation from the stage of inspiration to the planning and execution phases. Utilize all touchpoints and seek new possibilities for interaction. Case studies: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KLM's social care staff are well-known for their responsiveness and efficiency – the airline even shows a live countdown on its Twitter header picture to inform consumers when they may anticipate a response. However, what sets the organization apart is its ability to generate unique customer experiences. Qatar Airways Qatar Airways is elevating the business class travel experience. At a recent travel industry conference in Berlin, the airline unveiled its Business Class QSuite. This is the first time a business class cabin has been offered and sold with a real double bed. However, the organization goes a step further by providing value to consumers traveling for business. Additionally, the QSuite may be an open work and meeting room. Multiple configuration choices appeal to clients seeking privacy or personalization. A score of 9.2 for audience insights indicates that the brand is in tune with its social audience well enough to cultivate an impressive number of committed followers. Conclusion The travel and tourism industry significantly benefits from nurturing an outstanding customer experience. Supremacy in customer experience can be offered with the help of sophisticated digital technology that can quantify effects and forecast behavior. In addition, as 'bleisure' travel continues to grow in popularity to blend business and leisure time, the customer experience in travel is increasing in relevance. FAQ: What are the benefits of a good customer experience? A good customer experience increases sales and creates customer loyalty. Moreover, it reduces complaints. How would you define excellent customer service? Great customer service means responding promptly to a client's wants, being responsive to their concerns, and offering an enthusiastic level of care. Do you value customer service or customer experience more? Consumer service results in a positive customer experience. Both are critical to the business's success.

Read More

Spotlight

Ovolo Hotels

Ovolo Hotels is an independent hospitality company, headquartered in Hong Kong, that own and operate a collection of individually designed lifestyle hotels. The company keeps in touch with the modern traveller through award-winning interiors, detail-driven comforts, focused all-inclusive services and cutting-edge en-suite technology, all done in signature style.

Related News

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Traxo and International SOS Partner to Track all Corporate Travel Bookings in Real-Time

Traxo & International SOS | October 22, 2021

Dallas-based Traxo, Inc., the global leader in real-time corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing, and International SOS, the world’s largest provider of health and security services, announced a new commercial agreement, which can provide International SOS clients with immediate access to all travel itinerary data before travel begins, including ‘off-channel bookings’ occurring outside the client’s mandated corporate travel policy, in real time, enabling enhanced duty of care for business travelers.“Our new partnership with International SOS is coincidentally and perfectly timed with the newly issued global travel risk management benchmark, ISO 31030. ”This new ISO standard provides critical guidance on how organizations should effectively address the responsibility of ensuring the security, safety, health and well-being of individuals traveling for work as the world continues to navigate through the travel ramifications of COVID-19.” -Traxo Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andres Fabris. As a result of the integration with Traxo’s API (application programming interface), when an International SOS corporate client signs with Traxo, both International SOS and its client gain immediate visibility into all travel itinerary data from every booking made outside the client's mandated corporate travel policy. These previously ‘invisible bookings," which can represent as much as 50 percent of a company's business travel, are automatically detected, audited, and processed by Traxo and securely transmitted directly to the International SOS duty-of-care system for immediate risk management coverage seconds after the employee books their travel, regardless of channel. "As organizations begin to re-open their business travel, travel risk management programs must be revitalized and rooted in effective tools that will protect ALL traveling employees and ensure the business is meeting its requirements for duty of care,The need for travel managers to effectively manage ‘booking leakage’ is more critical now than ever before, making it essential for us to ensure all out-of-policy and supplier-direct bookings can be integrated into our monitoring solutions. -said Andrew Miller, Director of Partnerships at International SOS Partnering with Traxo helps us improve our traveler location awareness capabilities by ensuring that we don’t miss a single itinerary, no matter how it was booked, and the real-time nature of this data can help us prevent or mitigate emergency situations much more effectively. The Traxo pre-trip, booking-data detection solution works in the background by capturing all off-channel bookings immediately after purchase, whether that be a reservation for a hotel, airline, car rental, rail, or ground transportation; or a cancelation or trip modification. That itinerary data is stored in Traxo’s highly secure infrastructure and made available to the corporate travel manager in Traxo’s dashboard application to view and report on. All booking data is automatically passed to International SOS for comprehensive risk management monitoring of all upcoming travel. There is no extra effort required on behalf of the employees or travel managers. We're incredibly pleased to team with the world's largest corporate travel duty-of-care service to provide the ability for all of their clients to improve visibility into all employees’ business travel plans," Fabris noted. "The reality today is that corporate travel leakage is inevitable, and unless it’s detected pre-trip, it can be extremely challenging to effectively monitor the safety of traveling employees. Full visibility is not simply a luxury as it once was; it's an essential imperative in today's business travel landscape to reduce corporate liabilities and ensure the health and safety of all traveling employees. International SOS clients who work with multiple travel management companies (TMCs) can opt to have all their TMC booking data consolidated with their off-channel booking data and fed directly into the International SOS Tracker system. Traxo easily consolidates all of the bookings from the various TMCs with the non-TMC bookings, and sends it all in one data feed to International SOS for real-time duty-of-care monitoring. International SOS and Traxo will host a joint webinar on October 26th to discuss the new Travel Risk Management Standard Benchmark ISO 31030:2021, and how together, they can help organizations meet their duty-of-care requirements. About Traxo: Dallas-based Traxo, Inc., the global leader in corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing, eliminates blind spots and enhances duty of care by enabling corporate travel managers and managed travel agencies to easily track and proactively manage complete omnichannel travel activity in a single, real-time, system of record. Founded in 2008, Traxo clients and partners include Amex GBT, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Easy Jet, Tripadvisor, Chrome River / Emburse, Coupa, International SOS, WorldAware, and many more. Two recent Business Travel News Travel Managers of the Year use Traxo, and The Business Travel Magazine recently named the Company to its 2021Tech HotList, a list of the “top tech innovators shaking up the industry.” With Traxo, corporations reduce risk, improve traveler safety and maximize savings. Learn more at www.traxo.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. About the International SOS Group of Companies: The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability. Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by 12,000 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune 500, as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 12,000 multicultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days.

Read More

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Grasp Technologies Partners With Traxo to Upgrade Its Popular Corporate Travel Data Management Solution

Grasp Technologies, Traxo | October 05, 2021

Grasp Technologies, the leader in data management, consolidation, payment integration, and data visualization for the corporate travel industry, announced its new partnership with Traxo, the global leader in corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing. The partnership provides corporate travel managers worldwide with the ability to see the most complete data picture of their companies’ business travel, including all on and off-platform bookings, within Grasp’s robust data and intelligence suite. An industry leader for more than 25 years, Grasp serves more than 150,000 corporate travel departments in over 70 countries through its footprint. “The corporate travel industry needs a truly complete, accurate, and timely data solution for tracking and consolidating all aspects of a travel program – a true end-to-end platform that delivers actionable, real results, At Grasp, we have worked tirelessly on this problem for over 20 years and have created the technology, data consolidation, and data management processes to ensure the most accurate and timely data for our clients, but we were missing one piece – one of the most, if not the most important one – un-managed booking data or travel leakage. Traxo has solved that problem.” said Grasp Technologies Chief Sales Officer Dave Lukas Managing travel data has been a challenge for corporate travel departments in that it is disparate, disjointed, and fragmented across many different systems and platforms, and lacks timeliness. This complexity prevents companies from effectively providing duty of care for traveling employees, or proactively managing business travel expenses, which are traditionally the second largest controllable expense in a corporation. Compounding the issue further is that employees often book their travel outside the company’s mandated travel policy, travel agency, and/or booking tool, essentially making these travel plans invisible to the corporation. In fact, according to travel bookings made by Grasp clients in 2017 through 2019, an average of 40 percent of all business travel bookings were made outside the corporate travel policy. The total amount of “leakage” or invisible bookings by segment were, Railway: 64 percent, Hotels: 57 percent, Car Rental: 34 percent, Airlines: 5 percent. As a result of this new partnership with Traxo, for the first time in two decades, Grasp can now offer its users a simple way to finally view and incorporate these previously invisible bookings into their data platform. “With our unique ability to capture all travel bookings, regardless of whether they were booked directly with a travel supplier or within the company-mandated travel program or not, Grasp’s clients now can not only track their off-channel bookings, but be able to take action on these bookings, pre-trip, “This gives them the opportunity to ensure they’re receiving their corporate negotiated discounts, re-shop the flight, hotel, rental car, or rail booking to obtain the best available prices, or provide coverage for duty-of-care purposes.” said Traxo Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andres Fabris. “By combining the power of our two solutions, we have solved one of the greatest data challenges in our industry and have created a solution that allows clients to go further in managing their travel program like never before,” Lukas noted. As part of the agreement, Grasp is using the Traxo technology internally to help better manage its own business travel, and Grasp is now a Traxo Marketplace partner, so it can automatically receive structured travel data from Traxo’s corporate clients. The companies will be expounding on their new partnership during a free webinar scheduled for tomorrow, October 5, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Interested parties may register at the link below: https://go.grasptech.com/webinar-grasp-technologies-and-traxo About Grasp Technologies Founded in 1996, Grasp Technologies works extensively in the worldwide travel industry, providing data management, consolidation, payment integration and data visualization for the travel industry and other industries. Grasp differentiates itself by helping clients navigate changing business environments by providing the custom combinations of reporting and predictive analysis. Grasp Technologies has offices in San Diego, California, and Columbus, Ohio. About Traxo Dallas-based Traxo, Inc., the global leader in corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing, eliminates blind spots and enhances duty of care by enabling corporate travel managers and managed travel agencies to easily track and proactively manage complete omnichannel travel activity in a single, real-time, system of record. Founded in 2008, Traxo clients and partners include Amex GBT, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Easy Jet, Tripadvisor, Chrome River / Emburse, Coupa, International SOS, WorldAware, and many more. Two recent Business Travel News Travel Managers of the Year use Traxo, and The Business Travel Magazine recently named the Company to its 2021 Tech HotList, a list of the “top tech innovators shaking up the industry.” With Traxo, corporations reduce risk, improve traveler safety and maximize savings

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Corporate Traveler Launches Melon, A New Travel Platform Built Exclusively for SMEs

Corporate Traveler | September 22, 2021

Ahead of the predicted boost in business travel demand, Corporate Traveler, the only global TMC catering exclusively for start-ups to mid-market businesses, has unveiled Melon – its new proprietary travel management platform. Launching in the US and Canada , Melon's intuitive design and simple navigation belies a host of innovative features developed in response to the evolving expectations of an increasingly travel hungry, tech-savvy and budget conscious workforce. Commenting on the motivation for the development of Melon, Chris Lynes, Senior Vice President for Corporate Traveler said: "During this period of pause, we listened to our customers and adapted our offerings, investing in a next generation digital experience that combines rich content supported by our trademark dedicated and personalized service. Simple to use and tailored to meet the exacting needs of our customers, Melon is a different type of travel platform one that goes the extra mile just like our people. "Our clients tell us that travel is crucial to their success, and in the US, we are already seeing encouraging signs of recovery with 35% uplift on bookings made in August alone. This indicates strong desire to return to in-person meetings in the months ahead," added Lynes. Seamless online experience, tailored to individual needs As a business travel expert, Corporate Traveler understands that an accessible, on-the-go travel management solution is business critical to its customers; therefore, the new omni-channel platform has been designed to switch between mobile and desktop without losing functionality. With Melon, admins are also able to control travel options, by setting personalized algorithms and even individual spend levels. Armed with this information, the platform's AI technology does the legwork and removes the frustration typically associated when searching via multiple sites, serving up a variety of choices based on learned behaviors to align with company travel policies and program goals, while taking traveler preferences and loyalty affiliations into consideration. A breakdown of spend, alongside dashboard analysis of important KPI metrics in real-time, also helps customers extract key data needed to inform decision making and accurately manage finances. Combining technology and personal service to support customers 24/7 Unsurprisingly, as barriers to international movement lift and companies resume travel programs, duty of care has been identified as a priority. Corporate Traveler addresses this in multiple ways with Melon: from displaying the latest guidance before booking to proactively sharing live updates. Program admins can also track employees' whereabouts in real-time, while Melon's robust health and safety capabilities provides prompt alerts on risk-related events impacting travel such as country entry requirements, latest government and supplier COVID restrictions, adverse weather, crime and more. These features are underpinned by access to dedicated travel consultants 24/7, 365 days a year. Lynes added: "In this ever-evolving travel environment, it is difficult to keep track of the latest developments across the world. Melon ensures our customers are informed and aware at every step of their booking journey. And while on the go, help is always an instant away whether via Melon's AI mobile chat function or the expert assistance of our agent support team. At Corporate Traveler, every customer is considered a VIP, so we pride ourselves in always extending the highest level of service to all travelers at all times – with no exceptions." Access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory Corporate Traveler customers also enjoy an expansive choice of travel content and options sourced from the widest range of travel suppliers. And being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, this means the best market wide rates, unique added-value benefits, and exclusive deals too. In the US, Corporate Traveler provides expert travel management services to over 6,000 businesses across the country, where its teams in more than 20 US cities are dedicated to making corporate travel simpler, faster, and easier for customers. About Corporate Traveler Corporate Traveler is the only global TMC catering exclusively to start-ups and mid-market businesses. Established in 1993, the company is present in seven countries where it provides expert tailored advice, dedicated travel managers, and innovative, advanced booking technology to more than 14,000 customers worldwide in a typical year. Being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory alongside added-value benefits and exclusive deals comes as standard. Corporate Traveler recently unveiled Melon – its new proprietary, on-the-go travel management platform featuring intuitive navigation and a seamless end-to-end online experience to help customers easily book, manage, and measure the performance of their business travel programs.

Read More

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Traxo and International SOS Partner to Track all Corporate Travel Bookings in Real-Time

Traxo & International SOS | October 22, 2021

Dallas-based Traxo, Inc., the global leader in real-time corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing, and International SOS, the world’s largest provider of health and security services, announced a new commercial agreement, which can provide International SOS clients with immediate access to all travel itinerary data before travel begins, including ‘off-channel bookings’ occurring outside the client’s mandated corporate travel policy, in real time, enabling enhanced duty of care for business travelers.“Our new partnership with International SOS is coincidentally and perfectly timed with the newly issued global travel risk management benchmark, ISO 31030. ”This new ISO standard provides critical guidance on how organizations should effectively address the responsibility of ensuring the security, safety, health and well-being of individuals traveling for work as the world continues to navigate through the travel ramifications of COVID-19.” -Traxo Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andres Fabris. As a result of the integration with Traxo’s API (application programming interface), when an International SOS corporate client signs with Traxo, both International SOS and its client gain immediate visibility into all travel itinerary data from every booking made outside the client's mandated corporate travel policy. These previously ‘invisible bookings," which can represent as much as 50 percent of a company's business travel, are automatically detected, audited, and processed by Traxo and securely transmitted directly to the International SOS duty-of-care system for immediate risk management coverage seconds after the employee books their travel, regardless of channel. "As organizations begin to re-open their business travel, travel risk management programs must be revitalized and rooted in effective tools that will protect ALL traveling employees and ensure the business is meeting its requirements for duty of care,The need for travel managers to effectively manage ‘booking leakage’ is more critical now than ever before, making it essential for us to ensure all out-of-policy and supplier-direct bookings can be integrated into our monitoring solutions. -said Andrew Miller, Director of Partnerships at International SOS Partnering with Traxo helps us improve our traveler location awareness capabilities by ensuring that we don’t miss a single itinerary, no matter how it was booked, and the real-time nature of this data can help us prevent or mitigate emergency situations much more effectively. The Traxo pre-trip, booking-data detection solution works in the background by capturing all off-channel bookings immediately after purchase, whether that be a reservation for a hotel, airline, car rental, rail, or ground transportation; or a cancelation or trip modification. That itinerary data is stored in Traxo’s highly secure infrastructure and made available to the corporate travel manager in Traxo’s dashboard application to view and report on. All booking data is automatically passed to International SOS for comprehensive risk management monitoring of all upcoming travel. There is no extra effort required on behalf of the employees or travel managers. We're incredibly pleased to team with the world's largest corporate travel duty-of-care service to provide the ability for all of their clients to improve visibility into all employees’ business travel plans," Fabris noted. "The reality today is that corporate travel leakage is inevitable, and unless it’s detected pre-trip, it can be extremely challenging to effectively monitor the safety of traveling employees. Full visibility is not simply a luxury as it once was; it's an essential imperative in today's business travel landscape to reduce corporate liabilities and ensure the health and safety of all traveling employees. International SOS clients who work with multiple travel management companies (TMCs) can opt to have all their TMC booking data consolidated with their off-channel booking data and fed directly into the International SOS Tracker system. Traxo easily consolidates all of the bookings from the various TMCs with the non-TMC bookings, and sends it all in one data feed to International SOS for real-time duty-of-care monitoring. International SOS and Traxo will host a joint webinar on October 26th to discuss the new Travel Risk Management Standard Benchmark ISO 31030:2021, and how together, they can help organizations meet their duty-of-care requirements. About Traxo: Dallas-based Traxo, Inc., the global leader in corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing, eliminates blind spots and enhances duty of care by enabling corporate travel managers and managed travel agencies to easily track and proactively manage complete omnichannel travel activity in a single, real-time, system of record. Founded in 2008, Traxo clients and partners include Amex GBT, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Easy Jet, Tripadvisor, Chrome River / Emburse, Coupa, International SOS, WorldAware, and many more. Two recent Business Travel News Travel Managers of the Year use Traxo, and The Business Travel Magazine recently named the Company to its 2021Tech HotList, a list of the “top tech innovators shaking up the industry.” With Traxo, corporations reduce risk, improve traveler safety and maximize savings. Learn more at www.traxo.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. About the International SOS Group of Companies: The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability. Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by 12,000 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune 500, as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 12,000 multicultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days.

Read More

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Grasp Technologies Partners With Traxo to Upgrade Its Popular Corporate Travel Data Management Solution

Grasp Technologies, Traxo | October 05, 2021

Grasp Technologies, the leader in data management, consolidation, payment integration, and data visualization for the corporate travel industry, announced its new partnership with Traxo, the global leader in corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing. The partnership provides corporate travel managers worldwide with the ability to see the most complete data picture of their companies’ business travel, including all on and off-platform bookings, within Grasp’s robust data and intelligence suite. An industry leader for more than 25 years, Grasp serves more than 150,000 corporate travel departments in over 70 countries through its footprint. “The corporate travel industry needs a truly complete, accurate, and timely data solution for tracking and consolidating all aspects of a travel program – a true end-to-end platform that delivers actionable, real results, At Grasp, we have worked tirelessly on this problem for over 20 years and have created the technology, data consolidation, and data management processes to ensure the most accurate and timely data for our clients, but we were missing one piece – one of the most, if not the most important one – un-managed booking data or travel leakage. Traxo has solved that problem.” said Grasp Technologies Chief Sales Officer Dave Lukas Managing travel data has been a challenge for corporate travel departments in that it is disparate, disjointed, and fragmented across many different systems and platforms, and lacks timeliness. This complexity prevents companies from effectively providing duty of care for traveling employees, or proactively managing business travel expenses, which are traditionally the second largest controllable expense in a corporation. Compounding the issue further is that employees often book their travel outside the company’s mandated travel policy, travel agency, and/or booking tool, essentially making these travel plans invisible to the corporation. In fact, according to travel bookings made by Grasp clients in 2017 through 2019, an average of 40 percent of all business travel bookings were made outside the corporate travel policy. The total amount of “leakage” or invisible bookings by segment were, Railway: 64 percent, Hotels: 57 percent, Car Rental: 34 percent, Airlines: 5 percent. As a result of this new partnership with Traxo, for the first time in two decades, Grasp can now offer its users a simple way to finally view and incorporate these previously invisible bookings into their data platform. “With our unique ability to capture all travel bookings, regardless of whether they were booked directly with a travel supplier or within the company-mandated travel program or not, Grasp’s clients now can not only track their off-channel bookings, but be able to take action on these bookings, pre-trip, “This gives them the opportunity to ensure they’re receiving their corporate negotiated discounts, re-shop the flight, hotel, rental car, or rail booking to obtain the best available prices, or provide coverage for duty-of-care purposes.” said Traxo Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andres Fabris. “By combining the power of our two solutions, we have solved one of the greatest data challenges in our industry and have created a solution that allows clients to go further in managing their travel program like never before,” Lukas noted. As part of the agreement, Grasp is using the Traxo technology internally to help better manage its own business travel, and Grasp is now a Traxo Marketplace partner, so it can automatically receive structured travel data from Traxo’s corporate clients. The companies will be expounding on their new partnership during a free webinar scheduled for tomorrow, October 5, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Interested parties may register at the link below: https://go.grasptech.com/webinar-grasp-technologies-and-traxo About Grasp Technologies Founded in 1996, Grasp Technologies works extensively in the worldwide travel industry, providing data management, consolidation, payment integration and data visualization for the travel industry and other industries. Grasp differentiates itself by helping clients navigate changing business environments by providing the custom combinations of reporting and predictive analysis. Grasp Technologies has offices in San Diego, California, and Columbus, Ohio. About Traxo Dallas-based Traxo, Inc., the global leader in corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing, eliminates blind spots and enhances duty of care by enabling corporate travel managers and managed travel agencies to easily track and proactively manage complete omnichannel travel activity in a single, real-time, system of record. Founded in 2008, Traxo clients and partners include Amex GBT, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Easy Jet, Tripadvisor, Chrome River / Emburse, Coupa, International SOS, WorldAware, and many more. Two recent Business Travel News Travel Managers of the Year use Traxo, and The Business Travel Magazine recently named the Company to its 2021 Tech HotList, a list of the “top tech innovators shaking up the industry.” With Traxo, corporations reduce risk, improve traveler safety and maximize savings

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Corporate Traveler Launches Melon, A New Travel Platform Built Exclusively for SMEs

Corporate Traveler | September 22, 2021

Ahead of the predicted boost in business travel demand, Corporate Traveler, the only global TMC catering exclusively for start-ups to mid-market businesses, has unveiled Melon – its new proprietary travel management platform. Launching in the US and Canada , Melon's intuitive design and simple navigation belies a host of innovative features developed in response to the evolving expectations of an increasingly travel hungry, tech-savvy and budget conscious workforce. Commenting on the motivation for the development of Melon, Chris Lynes, Senior Vice President for Corporate Traveler said: "During this period of pause, we listened to our customers and adapted our offerings, investing in a next generation digital experience that combines rich content supported by our trademark dedicated and personalized service. Simple to use and tailored to meet the exacting needs of our customers, Melon is a different type of travel platform one that goes the extra mile just like our people. "Our clients tell us that travel is crucial to their success, and in the US, we are already seeing encouraging signs of recovery with 35% uplift on bookings made in August alone. This indicates strong desire to return to in-person meetings in the months ahead," added Lynes. Seamless online experience, tailored to individual needs As a business travel expert, Corporate Traveler understands that an accessible, on-the-go travel management solution is business critical to its customers; therefore, the new omni-channel platform has been designed to switch between mobile and desktop without losing functionality. With Melon, admins are also able to control travel options, by setting personalized algorithms and even individual spend levels. Armed with this information, the platform's AI technology does the legwork and removes the frustration typically associated when searching via multiple sites, serving up a variety of choices based on learned behaviors to align with company travel policies and program goals, while taking traveler preferences and loyalty affiliations into consideration. A breakdown of spend, alongside dashboard analysis of important KPI metrics in real-time, also helps customers extract key data needed to inform decision making and accurately manage finances. Combining technology and personal service to support customers 24/7 Unsurprisingly, as barriers to international movement lift and companies resume travel programs, duty of care has been identified as a priority. Corporate Traveler addresses this in multiple ways with Melon: from displaying the latest guidance before booking to proactively sharing live updates. Program admins can also track employees' whereabouts in real-time, while Melon's robust health and safety capabilities provides prompt alerts on risk-related events impacting travel such as country entry requirements, latest government and supplier COVID restrictions, adverse weather, crime and more. These features are underpinned by access to dedicated travel consultants 24/7, 365 days a year. Lynes added: "In this ever-evolving travel environment, it is difficult to keep track of the latest developments across the world. Melon ensures our customers are informed and aware at every step of their booking journey. And while on the go, help is always an instant away whether via Melon's AI mobile chat function or the expert assistance of our agent support team. At Corporate Traveler, every customer is considered a VIP, so we pride ourselves in always extending the highest level of service to all travelers at all times – with no exceptions." Access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory Corporate Traveler customers also enjoy an expansive choice of travel content and options sourced from the widest range of travel suppliers. And being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, this means the best market wide rates, unique added-value benefits, and exclusive deals too. In the US, Corporate Traveler provides expert travel management services to over 6,000 businesses across the country, where its teams in more than 20 US cities are dedicated to making corporate travel simpler, faster, and easier for customers. About Corporate Traveler Corporate Traveler is the only global TMC catering exclusively to start-ups and mid-market businesses. Established in 1993, the company is present in seven countries where it provides expert tailored advice, dedicated travel managers, and innovative, advanced booking technology to more than 14,000 customers worldwide in a typical year. Being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory alongside added-value benefits and exclusive deals comes as standard. Corporate Traveler recently unveiled Melon – its new proprietary, on-the-go travel management platform featuring intuitive navigation and a seamless end-to-end online experience to help customers easily book, manage, and measure the performance of their business travel programs.

Read More

Events