The first of a three part series highlighting the changing face of the travel industry from one of the leading Global Travel Management companies, FROSCH – recognized as #3 by BTN with offices in 17 countries serving travelers in all time zones both domestically and globally.
For over 30 years the travel industry has labeled travel booked outside of the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) “rogue”. By definition, a rogue is a person who cheats, deceives or is a swindler. And yet during the past five years the amount of travel booked outside the GDS has grown expeditiously and continues to grow. Are we an industry patronized by cheats and swindlers?
In light of that prevalence, the term “rogue” may not accurately describe road warriors whose increased use of online, mobile and tablet technology has, in fact, provided increased visibility into the procurement, expense processing and travel habits of frequent travelers. Let’s give credit where credit is due. As the industry has matured, and as travel policies guide the procurement process, the “rogue” traveler has actually become a more conscientious contributor to travel programs. These travelers frequently possess a level of self-awareness in their booking habits that allows them to remain in compliance with travel policies regardless of whether the content is booked outside the traditional booking channels. “Rogue” road warriors may be better described as Conscious Travelers, as this type of traveler is certainly aware of what is going on around them, frequently booking inside of policy, and more often than not doing so with trackable technology – bringing in data and insights. A great example of this is the emergence of user friendly APPS like Uber that create a seamless and transparent booking process, provides better value to the company and the traveler, and is easy to use.
Assisting the Conscious Traveler, regardless of point of purchase, is manageable. Many times, when conference travel is booked, it’s booked outside the system as a requirement of the hotel events system. According to GBTA research 40% -50% of all hotels booked may fall into this category. New technologies are helping companies track employee spend with tools like Price-to-Beat or Rocketrip that seamlessly integrate with the booking tool and incentivizes travelers to make choices that reduce travel costs - rewarding travelers for making good choices inside the GDS or other booking channels just makes sense. Acknowledging this trend and other fundamental changes taking place in the industry, FROSCH developed proprietary technology to manage 100% of our customers travel spend. Working with Concur by completing API Certification, FROSCH is assisting the Conscious traveler with just a click. TripLink provides visibility into 100% of travel spend and places it on the Travel Managers desktop, providing increased levels of service.
A Managed Open Platform
Although the Rogue traveler may still exist in the form of a cheating traveler, a great many of these open bookings are being made not by cheaters, but by the Conscious Traveler who books at preferred hotels, books within the travel policy and is quick to share with others additional value received. Our clients tell us it just makes good sense to capture the data, provide Duty of Care, audit the rates and provide assistance when the trip gets disrupted.
Check back here on the Concur blog for part two of this series highlighting the changing face of the travel industry from FROSCH Travel, one of the leading Global Travel Management companies, worldwide.