Is an Online Booking Tool Right for Your Company? Choosing an Online Booking Tool for Travel
Deciding whether or not to utilize an online booking tool for travel is a big decision for your company. Choosing an online booking tool involves several variables. You may not know where to start, and you most likely have questions. This article will help you understand what a booking tool is and how it can help your company save money, increase productivity and implement your travel booking policies. It will take a look at some variables and benefits to help you in the decision process. It will also point you in the right direction to get you started with choosing an online booking tool for travel.
What is an online booking tool?
An online booking tool is a secure, web-based tool that has been designed with parameters specific to your company’s travel program. This ensures the travel bookings completed for your employees are in-policy and align with your company’s preferred procedures. For example, if you have contracted rates with a preferred airline or hotel partner, you can ensure your employees are booking with those vendors wherever possible.
How are they different from other travel booking websites?
Travel booking websites show you what is available at any given time per the search criteria. However, your search results are not company-specific, with enforced guidelines or recommendations for your employees. An individual can book whatever they want with no regard to finances, travel times, fare rules, advanced notice, etc. These websites will not be able to flag out-of-policy bookings so your travellers may be booking outside of the parameters set by the company. They also pose difficulty for your company’s reporting as you do not have in-depth data to track your travel spend.
Another important consideration is that when your employees make travel arrangements using this method, they can spend hours comparing results on various websites looking for the best deals, decreasing your company’s overall productivity.
An online booking tool offers your employees instant access to all published rates, eliminating the need to review alternative sources.
Benefits of Choosing an Online Booking Tool for Travel
- Offers a one stop shop for travel: You and your employees can book air, hotels and rental cars all from one source. Using an online booking tool for travel is a user-friendly experience.
- Save money: You can set specific limits for travel based on your company travel policies. For instance, you can set restrictions for which fare classes can be booked based on the length of the flight. When your company procedures and policies are followed, you can realize significant savings on travel spend.
- Access to a full inventory: The online booking tool will give you instant access to all published fares as well as your company’s contracted rates with preferred suppliers for air, hotel and so on.
- Save time: your travelling employees can make bookings 24/7 in a timely fashion. They can trust that their search results are the best rates and out-of-policy options will be flagged. They can focus on their business travel goals instead of worrying and spending time on travel logistics.
FAQ About Online Booking Tools
- How do I find an online booking tool for travel? Actually, there are several online travel booking tools to choose from. Your travel management company can review the tools available and help you choose the one that is right for your company.
- Is an online booking tool easy to use? The tools are very user friendly. They work similar to generic travel websites with the exception that your company’s guidelines have been set up to enforce your travel policies and help save your company time and money.
- What if I need to make changes to my reservations? Most online travel booking tools have options to make changes and this is something your travel management company can guide you through.
- Will the tool work with my smart phone? Many online booking tools have an app for your phone or tablet. This makes it very convenient for the traveller to keep track of their itineraries, gate changes and more.
- Can I get reports out of the tool to track travel spending? The online booking tools allow you to tailor the types of reports you need for you business. It can track number of domestic and international trips; number of hotel rooms in a given period; city pairing data and a whole host of other reportable items.
- What about security? Each traveller will be given a unique user name and password. All bookings will be secure.
- Can someone else book my trips? Yes, most tools have a travel arranger option where you can assign someone within your company the rights to arrange travel for specific people or the whole company, whichever suits your needs better.
Where Do We Begin?
The best place to start in the process of selecting and implementing an online booking tool is with your travel management company. Your travel management company has access to several of the best tools on the market and can help you select the one that is right for your business.
At Vision Travel, we help you choose and implement the right online booking tool based on your company’s unique needs and travel requirements.
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