Corporate Business Travel Management:
What You Need to Know
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What is Corporate Business Travel Management?
Corporate business travel management manages all aspects of the travel arrangements for an organization's employees. Contracts with airlines, hotel chains, rental car companies, and other travel services are arranged by the corporate travel management group. Employees must make business travel arrangements through the travel management department. Larger organizations have corporate travel management departments while smaller companies tend to employ travel agents.
Corporate travel policies are formulated by the organization's travel management group in conjunction with the human resources and finance departments. Travel policies are put in place to ensure employees do not spend excessively during business trips. A recent corporate travel policy benchmarking and insight study revealed that a North American company that spends $1,000,000 each year on airline tickets could have reduced costs by 61% with well-designed mandated travel policies.
Major corporations have an annual budget for travel expenses. It is the corporate travel group's role to ensure the total cost of employee travel does not exceed the annual budget. Some travel groups assign a travel budget to each division of the corporation where department managers are responsible for overseeing travel arrangements for their own employees.
A corporate travel management group establishes contracts with airlines and hotel chains to ensure employees can find airfare and lodging regardless of where or when they travel for business. Airlines, hotel chains, rental car companies, and other travel services often give significant discounts to organizations when the corporate travel group agrees to conduct a certain amount of business with them over a period of time.
Employees who travel on overnight trips are normally reimbursed for expenses related to meals and necessities. The corporate travel management group conducts research to determine the cost of meals and other services to establish daily expense limits for employees. Companies only reimburse expenses that do not exceed the daily limit.
Some corporate travel management groups provide employees with corporate credit cards which enable employees to charge expenses directly to the company rather than submit claims for reimbursement. When annual expenses exceed the stated budget, the corporate travel management group is responsible for ensuring employees change or cancel all travel plans for the remainder of the year.
Travel budgets are reviewed annually by the company's corporate travel management group and can be modified based on increasing travel prices or the overall state of the business.