Business travel has become a vast industry post-covid. It sometimes becomes difficult for corporates to handle their travel management. They in turn hire travel management professionals to make their life easier. But, as this industry grows significantly, it becomes competitive. The TMCs struggle to find good deals for their clients and retain their customers. They’re not able to meet the demands of their clients without leveraging technology in their business. Business travel agents need to incorporate a decent B2B travel agent portal into their business to sustain themselves in this industry and meet the needs of their clients with competitive prices.
What is a B2B travel agent portal?
A B2B travel portal is an online booking solution for travel agents that provides them with a wide real-time inventory of travel products and services including flights, hotels, car rentals, transfers, sightseeing tours, and travel packages at large. These portals facilitate cost comparison, booking management, expense management as well as policy compliance. They help in simplifying corporate travel management and make the process much more efficient.
Benefits of a B2B Travel agent portal
The B2B travel agent portals provide real-time information about prices and availability of flights and accommodation. The travel agent can find and book the most suitable option by comparing the prices and amenities of different hotels. By having real-time data, it’s easier to track the cancellations and get a great deal at the last minute. It is a win-win situation for all the parties as this not only benefits the corporates by cutting their costs but also helps the airlines and hotel chains to get last-minute customers.
Automation of booking
Travel portals eliminate all the paperwork and waiting time for confirmations. They facilitate 24/7 customer support and deal with their concerns there and then. It connects travel providers and travel agencies most efficiently and removes any kind of delay in booking confirmations. The AI-based portals help in recommending the best-suited travel packages for the employees according to their travel history, hence improving productivity and customer satisfaction.
Many portals provide a feature to add employee contact details in the portal to ease the communication process. This means in case of any delay, change in boarding gate, or cancellation, the airlines, hotels, or car rental companies can directly communicate with the employees. The travel agents may also consider booking an alternative flight by having advance knowledge of any cancellations.
Integrated GDS Systems
Most B2B travel agent portals come integrated with GDS software that provides a global inventory of travel products. GDS connects travel agents and global travel service providers in real-time. Travel portals integrated with GDS can help travel agents find a travel package at competitive prices.
Ensuring policy compliance
Companies need to follow a certain set of rules called Duty of Care while sending their employees on business trips. They are legally mandated to follow. All companies have different policies for themselves. The most basic Duty of Care policy must ensure that the employees feel safe throughout their trip. The portals help the travel manager to identify the flights and hotels that match their client company’s policy. The travel manager can integrate the company’s policy while booking their flights and hotels and the SaaS-based software automatically red flags all the travel services that deviate from the pre-assigned norms. It also alerts the users of any upcoming risks while traveling like natural disasters or political unrest.
The agents receive a travel budget from the corporates for all business trips. The portal allows them to set that budget while planning corporate trips for them. It automatically suggests high-value products at an under-budget cost. The portal also allows integration with accounts and the HR department to maintain strict budget and Duty of Care policy compliance.
The efficiency of technology comes with a concern about data security. Automation software might not be able to securely protect the information of the clients. It is very important for Travel Management companies or travel agencies to maintain the data privacy of their clients while managing their business travels. A good travel portal helps in the end-to-end encryption of personal information and protects it from unauthorized access.
The B2B travel agent portals are a must for travel agencies and travel management companies for scalability in the business travel industry. The availability of unlimited travel products and service providers makes the market competitive and difficult to sustain. The choice of a travel portal must be done carefully by analyzing all the factors and facilities provided by different portals. The travel agencies must partner with a portal that provides access to global inventory with multiple features like automated recommendations, expense management and reporting software, itinerary creation, and policy compliance in order to grow their travel business exponentially.