This post was most recently updated on May 17th, 2023
In the last quarter of 2022, corporate travel gained momentum after the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Market analysts believe that companies and startups will continue to invest in domestic and international business travel in 2023. Also, they will meet their business travel needs by creating corporate travel programs.
But work travel is a time-intensive and cost-intensive business process. No business can manage the complex process only by defining travel policies and procedures. They need to focus extensively on improving business travel experiences and safety without escalating costs. Corporate travel consultants help businesses save the time and resources required to make business trips successful.
They make it easier for employees to focus on business travel goals by making travel arrangements and managing travel risks. Also, a corporate travel consultant helps organizations control business travel spending by making data-driven decisions. We can understand the growing significance of a corporate travel consultant for enterprises across sectors and regions based on some of his key responsibilities.
9 of the Key Responsibilities of a Corporate Travel Consultant
1. Conducting Destination Research
Employees often travel to unfamiliar destinations for various work purposes. They have to collect a variety of information about the travel destination to remain safe and stress-free during the work trip. A corporate travel consultant makes it easier for employees to plan business trips by providing necessary information about the business travel destination – weather conditions, customs, local transportation, and business etiquette.
2. Crafting Travel Itineraries
A working professional has to visit many places, meet many people, and perform many tasks during a business trip. He needs a well-crafted travel itinerary to visit the right place and perform the right task at the right time.
A corporate travel consultant helps employees create travel itineraries by suggesting travel routes, modes of transportation, and business travel solutions. At the same time, he ensures that the travel itinerary does not violate organizational policies or escalate business travel costs.
3. Making a Travel Booking
Making travel arrangements is one of the most prominent responsibilities of a corporate travel consultant. The professional makes it easier for employees to book flights, accommodations, car rentals, and other business travel products by making recommendations. While recommending business travel solutions, he keeps in mind the employee’s preferences and the company’s travel and expense policies.
4. Organizing Travel Documents
A working professional can engage in international travel only by keeping a variety of documents – passport, visa, business paperwork, and international driving license – up to date. But employees find it challenging to procure and update essential travel documents due to their packed schedules. A business travel consultant helps them procure or update these travel documents without putting in extra time and effort.
5. Ensuring Work Traveler Safe
Businesses cannot make employees engage in business travel confidently without improving their safety and security. They rely on corporate travel consultants to ensure traveler safety. The consultant keeps employees safe by providing them with the latest travel rules and restrictions. Also, employees can contact the travel consultant during business trips to manage emerging health risks.
6. Meeting Duty of Care Obligations
In addition to staying safe, employees have to manage emerging risks during business trips. They need relevant information and real-time assistance to manage emerging business travel risks like bad weather, social unrest, cyber security threats, and health threats.
A corporate travel consultant helps employees manage emerging business travel risks by helping companies develop a comprehensive duty-of-care plan. He helps companies meet their duty of care obligations by providing relevant assistance or support to work travelers across destinations.
7. Controlling Business Travel Costs
Global inflation makes it essential for businesses to explore ways to control average business trip costs. A business can control travel spending only by availing of flights, accommodations, and other expensive business travel products at lower rates.
The corporate travel consultant helps businesses reduce average business trip costs through partnership, networking, and negotiations. He negotiates with various vendors and suppliers to make employees book business travel solutions at lower rates.
8. Simplifying Employee Relocation
In addition to streamlining business travel management, the corporate travel consultant helps employees relocate to various cities for work purposes. He provides elaborate information about the foreign city and helps employees make travel arrangements.
Additionally, he helps employees to procure and update important documents – passport, visa, work permit, social security card, marriage certificates, and medical records – required for international relocation. Also, he arranges safe and comfortable accommodations for employees before their arrival.
9. Facilitating Data-Driven Decision Making
Business travel trends change from time to time. A company can keep work travelers satisfied, stress-free, and safe only by adopting emerging trends early. At the same time, it has to explore ways to increase the number of business trips by curbing unnecessary expenses.
Hence, decision-makers need actionable insights to refine existing business travel programs and get higher returns. They expect corporate travel consultants to provide actionable insights by analyzing real-time employee travel data.
Corporate travel consultants analyze employee travel data gathered from various sources using data analytics. They make data analysis an ongoing process to identify emerging trends and find ways to boost business travel experiences without escalating costs. They facilitate data-driven decision-making by sharing actionable insights with decision-makers.
A corporate travel consultant helps companies and startups leverage the strong comeback of business travel by managing their business travel requirements. But some corporate travel consultants these days operate as independent consultants, while others become corporate employees.
Also, the responsibilities of a business travel consultant differ according to her work environment. Many organizations these days automate corporate travel management by implementing special-purpose software. The new-generation travel management software solutions feature virtual travel consultants.
A virtual travel consultant helps businesses optimize their travel programs and control travel spend by leveraging cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and data analytics. Businesses replace corporate travel consultants with virtual travel consultants to reduce staffing overheads.
Hence, outperforming virtual consultants becomes one of the key responsibilities of a corporate travel consultant. They have to hone their skills and leverage intelligence technologies to stay relevant in the age of business travel management automation.