2019 Business Travel Buyer's Handbook

Managing corporate travel isn’t easy. The stakeholders vary widely—from travelers to business leads to procurement, finance, legal, security and more. And now there are meetings, technology, data and reporting to master. Here’s BTN’s annual comprehensive answer book for travel managers who may be new to the practice or those who may be expanding their responsibility sets.

View each chapter below and check out our companion Techbook here.

Structuring a Managed Travel Program

The tide is turning corporate managed travel programs. Corporations aren't erasing travel programs' mandate to focus on savings, but they are adding the traveler experience to the variables to be managed, whether a travel manager reports up through procurement, finance, HR or elsewhere. Feeding the traveler experience movement are more liberal travel policies, broader... Keep Reading

Establishing a T&E Policy

When it comes to corporate managed travel, the travel policy is the bedrock upon which is built everything from general guidance to specific rules and requirements. But what constitutes an effective policy varies depending on the needs and characteristics of particular organizations. For some, a brief document with overarching guidelines is sufficient, while others need... Keep Reading

Selecting a Travel Management Company

Choosing a travel management company is one of the biggest decisions an organization's travel manager will make. From assisting in supplier negotiations to helping develop travel policy to reporting and analyzing spend data, a TMC is a travel program's partner. But the place of traditional TMCs in the corporate travel ecosystem is shifting. Debate rages about TMCs' role... Keep Reading

Getting Started with Meetings Management

Capturing a company's spend on meetings and events has always been a challenge. A strategic meetings management program helps corporations get a grip on those expenses and identify small or rogue meetings and events that often are handled by administrative assistants. An SMMP also can improve communications and processes among departments, reduce overall costs, and... Keep Reading

Setting Up a Corporate Lodging Program

Brand proliferation, the allure of Airbnb-style accommodations, myriad technology solutions, the onerous annual RFP process—there are many challenges to setting up and managing a corporate lodging program. But lodging is second only to air in terms of the greatest travel spend in companies, so the rewards of a managed program can be vast: insight into real spend,... Keep Reading

Working with Airlines

Negotiating with airlines, which generally from the largest portion of spending in a corporate travel program, can be deceptively complex. While airline consolidation over the years has left buyers largely at the mercy of three major U.S. carriers and three global alliances, competition among those alliances and from low-cost carriers remains fierce on several routes... Keep Reading

Working with Car Rental Firms

Though it's a relatively small portion of a travel budget, car rental represents an excellent savings opportunity for corporate travel buyers, as the three dominant North American suppliers are locked in tight competition for lucrative corporate market share. Even as the car rental companies have made slight gains in leisure rates in the past year through tight fleet... Keep Reading

Working with Chauffeured Car Providers

The chauffeured transportation space has seen a seismic shift in recent years with the rise of ridehailing apps. Traditional suppliers, already having consolidated significantly in recent years, have been turning their attention to the delivery side, looking at tech solutions that can mimic the convenience of the ridehailing apps. The apps themselves, meanwhile, have... Keep Reading

Selecting a Corporate Payment System

In recent years, innovations like mobile wallets, virtual cards and biometrics have made the payment and expense process more convenient and efficient for travelers and employers alike. At the same time, an increasing focus on data security and privacy in the age of large-scale breaches has led to a reexamination of how suppliers collect and store cardholder... Keep Reading

Core Technology & Data Reporting

Machine learning and chatbots are coming into their own on both supplier and travel management company apps. That means improved traveler service, more personalized booking options for travelers and thus improved hopes for travelers' compliance with preferred suppliers and booking channels. Meanwhile, large TMCs are creating marketplaces of suppliers with which each... Keep Reading

Taking On Travel Risk Management

Travel and risk department are working together at bringing travel risk management into the open. More corporations are finding ways to break down department silos and involve stakeholders in order to better protect traveler and the organization as whole. However, most have a long way to go. Meanwhile, greater awareness and pre-travel information now complement in-trip... Keep Reading

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