As corporate travel teams get their accommodation programs ready for the future, here are seven areas to assess to help keep travelers safe and obtain the best value:
1. Shore up duty of care gaps.
To help traveling employees during a disruption, you must know where they are heading. Travel risk management technology can enable security teams to locate and communicate with potentially impacted travelers quickly. However, in order for it to be effective, business travelers need to book all segments of their trip, including their hotel stay, using the approved booking channels so that complete itinerary information gets captured. Problems can arise when business travelers opt to book directly with hotel brands or via online travel agencies. Therefore, a large part of bolstering duty of care is about bolstering policy compliance.
2. Adapt and promote your accommodation policy.
After COVID-19, some companies shifted to a mandated program, making booking via the approved channels mandatory.
Even if a mandated program isn’t right for your company, hotel compliance is essential to duty of care, so set the right tone by consistently communicating to traveling employees about how adherence benefits them and debunk the myths they may have about managed programs. For instance, some travelers book directly with hotels because they mistakenly believe they will not earn loyalty points if they book through the company tool. Not true. Most company tools do offer loyalty points, unless the rate specifically doesn’t offer it.
3. Redesign service and technology around new needs.
To reduce the risk that comes when employees book outside company-approved channels, companies are leaning into services and technology that help drive hotel policy compliance. Pre-trip approval technology that automatically flags bookings made outside the policy can easily prevent noncompliant travel. An online booking tool that enables you to create custom policy notifications and whose algorithm prioritizes preferred suppliers could be helpful too.
You also may want to test out our complimentary Trip Recommender™ solution. It automatically sends messages to travelers who have not booked a hotel with their flight reservation and offers up to three click-to-book accommodation options based on a traveler’s previous behaviors and preferences, so you can naturally boost hotel attachment without.
4. Evaluate your data and reporting capabilities.
Organizations should do a thorough assessment of their reporting tools to make sure they support their hotel attachment and duty of care goals. A robust data analytics solution can help travel managers quickly identify the source of leakage, down to the traveler level, so you can address the problem head-on. The data analytics reports also can be shared with business unit leaders so they are aware of noncompliant activities and can follow up directly with policy violators.
Having hotel data will become more essential in the months ahead since you will need to understand your company’s travel activities and price fluctuations to prepare volume commitments and budgets. If you need tailored hotel advice or help with forecasting trends, we are here to help.
Contact our Global Business Consulting team.