BY CELIA TOH

Top Tips for Corporate Travel Agents to Get Ahead

Rebecca Daniels, Regional Managing Director Global Accounts, Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific, shares her top three tips for corporate agents looking to get ahead in today’s evolving APAC travel landscape.

Asia Pacific currently boasts the largest market share of global business travel spend at 39 percent, a figure forecast to rise by another 3.5 points through to 2019[1]. While regional growth continues, new technological possibilities are also emerging. Today, with billions of people online and connected by mobile devices, we’re at the cusp of a new era characterised by unprecedented levels of processing power, storage capacity and access to knowledge – data.

As we enter this period of technological revolution, the expectations of corporates, and the hyper-connected corporate traveller, are evolving too.

In a landscape of growth and new possibilities, corporate travel managers have different opportunities to capture but they’re also faced with new challenges to navigate as they move to keep pace with the changes. In the Sabre Corporate Travel Practices Survey 2015, a number of key themes emerged – from tightening of corporate policies to acceptance of itinerary management apps as mainstream and higher expectations for agents to be as connected as their customers.

We’ve developed a full suite of corporate solutions to address all of these themes. For corporate agents today however, here’s three key areas they can prioritise to stay ahead…

#1 Duty of Care: Keeping it Simple

Don’t let ‘Risk Management’, the latest buzz phrase in many big corporates, become a challenge. In today’s more volatile travel environment of heightened risk and disruption, corporations are seeking greater reassurance around the security measures in place when they send employees overseas. Corporates need a platform that integrates duty of care and reporting tools to help track employees at all stages of the journey, to monitor and manage employee safety.

Sabre’s Traveler Security and Data Suite offers even more than that. A crisis-cum-business intelligence application designed for mid to large tier agencies and corporations, the tool not only helps mitigate operating risks, protect employees’ well-being and secure vital intellectual assets, it also enables data capturing and analysis to generate reports highlighting corporate travel trends – a useful tool when negotiating preferred rates.

#2 More Choice, Less Complexity

With greater traveller connectivity and rising expectations around choice and service, corporate agents need booking tools that can handle a more sophisticated customer while simplifying daily work processes.

Sabre Red Workspace now has advanced intelligent booking capabilities and add-on applications, Red Apps, which can be integrated directly into an agent’s workflow. These applications extend the functionality of the Sabre® Red™ Workspace specific to an agent’s particular requirements – from simplifying workflow, delivering efficiencies and driving more revenue to enhancing customer service – all in one place. Available via the Red App Centre, Sabre Red Apps can do anything from agent productivity tracking to building trip plans for customers, including emailing itineraries without leaving the workflow, converting currencies or reporting undocumented Passenger Name Records.

With the latest flexibility to work in traditional or graphical workflows, agents can also simplify the workflow and create efficiencies by using an interface that matches their experience. New agents can get up and running quickly through great UX design and intuitive tools that replicate today’s consumer interfaces, which the new Millennial generation of agent is particularly familiar with.

In today’s hyper-connected landscape, corporate travellers are seeking more instant gratification, and today’s travel manager needs to be as mobile as the travellers they serve. We’re helping agents meet high expectations for connectivity and service levels through Sabre Red Mobile Workspace, keeping agents connected to their customers’ on-the-go. Agents can bring booking capabilities out of the office by downloading the Sabre Red Mobile Workspace on an iPad to easily book and manage travel for clients wherever, whenever.

#3 Mobile Experience

Mobile penetration is already at over fifty percent[2] of the population in Asia Pacific and, just like the number of corporate travellers, this figure will continue to rise along with mobile bookings which already account for 39 percent of the regional online market here; projected to reach $71.7 billion by 2017[3]. It’s no wonder therefore that for travellers, owning a mobile travel itinerary management app is already commonplace. Advancements in mobile technologies have brought more real time information to travellers who can now plan, book, monitor and change trip itineraries on the go and across all stages of a trip.

However, the real opportunity to differentiate today is in how well we use these technologies to improve the whole travel experience. Tools like TripCase, our award-winning itinerary management travel app, are designed to help agents do just that. Keeping agents more connected with their travellers through confirmation emails, branded documents and in-app agency managers, TripCase simplifies travel programme management and enhances the overall travel experience.

Our GetThere booking tool also now allows corporate customers to book their own business travel, but within the parameters of their Company’s travel policy. Driven by smart technology that systematically manages every aspect of a corporate account – from shopping to booking to managing contacts and profiles – the comprehensive online travel procurement solution also helps manage costs and optimise travel budget.

Sabre orchestrated online transactions over half a decade ago and since then, innovation has been at the core of everything we do to keep travel companies ahead. Today we are defining the next chapter with our customers by pioneering solutions that leverage new technologies to predict, understand and shape the evolving traveller experience. By consistently investing in best-in-class technology and talent, we continue to create cutting edge solutions that define today’s changing travel landscape.

Whether we’re working with a corporation, corporate agency or a travel management company, our advanced portfolio of corporate solutions is designed to fit exactly to each, creating greater efficiencies and more satisfied customers.

Contact your local Sabre representative to learn more about the full range of corporate solutions available, and why partnering with Sabre can help you get ahead.

[1] Global Business Travel Association

[2] According to a research by We Are Social

[3] According to a study by Phocuswright