As travel managers plan for the months and years ahead, for in-person and virtual collaboration they are focused on two priorities: containing costs and strengthening their duty of care efforts. Our Rest Assured Solutions, an enhanced suite of accommodations products and services, was designed to help companies on both fronts by maximizing saving opportunities and managing risk through greater program visibility and adoption.
Let’s get into the specifics. Here are five ways Rest Assured can help you achieve your program goals.
1. Its extensive inventory satisfies all types of travelers.
According to research we conducted in collaboration with Ipsos in November 2019, 73% of surveyed business travelers expect to choose their exact hotel and location, and 48% say they don’t always book overnight stays through their business travel program.
As travelers hit the road again, they are being more selective about where they stay as they scrutinize hotels’ cleaning and safety policies for their personal well-being. We are also seeing that they are gravitating toward less traditional accommodations, including fully furnished corporate apartments and aparthotels, which offer private kitchens and work spaces and can help reduce interactions with other people.
With Rest Assured, we have an extensive portfolio of properties to please all types of business travel accommodation preferences. This includes over 2 million properties available through our partner Booking.com as well as more than 6 million extended-stay, corporate housing options through our partner WWStay. So whether a traveler prefers boutiques, big brands, or a corporate apartment, we have the inventory to satisfy their lodging wishes.
2. It elevates the traveler experience and adoption.
When you meet your travelers’ needs and desires, their satisfaction goes up and they naturally become motivated to book within the travel program – which is crucial for duty of care purposes.
But travelers want choices and flexibility that go beyond where they can stay. They want it throughout the entire experience.
With Rest Assured, travelers can book their travel any which way they like – via desktop, our mobile app, or by speaking to a travel counselor by phone or chat.
When they book a flight without a hotel reservation, there’s technology that will automatically send them a message with personalized hotel recommendations based on their behaviors and company policy and bookable with a single click.
But perhaps the biggest Rest Assured feature driving traveler satisfaction is the access to loyalty points and member rates from major hotel chains – which, according to the above-mentioned research, is important to 83% of the business travelers surveyed.
3. Its virtual payment solution offers protection and saving opportunities.
As consumers try to limit the use of cash and high-touch credit card readers, there’s growing interest in contactless payment systems, including our very own Virtual Payment Expert™ (VPE), which is a part of the Rest Assured suite.
This touch-free payment method, powered by Conferma Pay, allows travelers to use single-use virtual card numbers (VCNs) for hotel transactions instead of by physical means. Corporate managers can set spending limits and a time window when the VCN is active, minimizing the risk of fraud and misuse.
The centralized payment system also can help with cost management and make reconciliation easy, capturing all transactions in Conferma Pay’s reporting tool. This includes line-item details as well as folio attachments.
Having the folio in one place is extremely important for value-added tax (VAT) recovery purposes. Companies can save about 20% off a hotel bill through VAT refunds yet, according to a Business Travel News report, companies leave billions of dollars in unclaimed VAT on the table annually. Part of the reason is that only the hotel folio, not a credit card statement, is accepted as proof of payment when submitting a claim and tracking down the original document sometimes can be tricky.
That’s where VPE’s new invoice collection service, which Conferma Pay is offering exclusively through GBT, comes in handy. Instead of the corporate client having to chase the hotel for the folio, VPE’s new service will handle the task and upload the folio into the tool automatically, helping to save you time and money.
4. It delivers greater savings and deep insights.
As companies scale back and step up efficiency efforts, they are looking at ways to trim travel costs. This is where Rest Assured really shines. Because of the longstanding supplier relationships we have built, we offer some of the very best rates, including exclusive hotel offers and deep discounts up to 25% off the best available rate at thousands of global properties.1
According to unbiased research by RateGain Technologies, we meet or beat online hotel rates 96% of the time.2 But if a traveler believes they’ve found a lower qualifying rate, we’ll match or refund the difference with our new hotel rate guarantee.
Through our reporting dashboards, you can see all these savings in action and demonstrate to company leaders how you’ve cut costs. The reporting tool also can help you identify any issues regarding noncompliant hotel bookings that may be hindering your savings and duty of care strategies.
5. It helps provide a full picture of your travel program.
From a duty of care perspective, companies must know where their employees are staying in order to locate them in the event of an emergency or travel disruption and understand whether the accommodations they are booking have enhanced cleaning
and safety standards. Complete trip data also is essential for obtaining a holistic view of the travel program’s performance.
When corporate travelers book segments of their trip through different websites and booking tools, this critical information often gets lost or must be pieced together. But when travelers use our tools to book their entire trip, including the hotel portion, all this information becomes a part of their traveler profile and is then seamlessly integrated with the other corporate travel solutions your program is using.
Rest Assured Solutions provides access to a variety of accommodation types to fit the varying needs of your travelers all built within your booking channels. This allows for visibility into the properties your travelers are booking, reporting on full trip spend, and the data necessary to easily support travelers with any changes that need to be made on their itineraries.
To learn more about how Rest Assured can support your efforts to keep travelers safe, download our Duty of Care e-book.
And if you need help with sourcing and supplier contracts for the upcoming year, we have consultants who specialize in this area who can guide you – just another benefit of our Rest Assured Solutions!
1 American Express Global Business Travel internal reporting; rates effective January 2020. Subject to availability. Individual results may vary.
2 Benchmarking comparisons made on rates inclusive of all taxes and fees, on the top 500 global properties booked by American Express Global Business Travel clients globally. Weekly room pricing and availability analysis retrieved between March 2019 and October 2019 for check-in between March 13, 2019 and October 30, 2019, directly by RateGain Technologies from Sabre and each OTA’s public website. Findings are based on standard single-occupancy room for one night. Excludes prepaid and nonrefundable rates. Wednesday check-in dates booked one week to four weeks out from the date of the monthly audit.