Third in a series on Managed Travel 2.0
For two decades, modern travel management has preached the virtues of travel policy compliance, use of preferred suppliers, and booking through the proper channels.
See GE’s description of its global travel program as Exhibit A. It’s six sigma production line thinking at its best. It’s the pursuit of travel program optimization via the logic of travel management.
But that policy-first approach frustrates travelers who have access to plenty of good consumer travel tools, who know the value of their time and their trips, and have no problem staying within their travel budget. For them, it’s all about the art of traveling.
Michael Tangney, Google’s travel program manager, gets credit for pioneering a new approach in 2008. Give travelers a target airfare. If they book below the target’s cost, put half of the savings in their travel bank for use on future trips. Let them book wherever they want. There’s more, but that’s the essence. It was the birth of Managed Travel 2.0.
Three years later, Short’s Travel develops “BookIt”, a tool letting corporate travelers shop anywhere, yet still get corporate discounts and policy advice. Perfect for travel managers wanting to swim with the tide of travelers shopping anywhere anyway.
About the same time, ProcureApp developed a tool to shape rogue traveler shopping and booking behavior.
More recently, Concur and KDS announced plans to capture rogue booking data with Open Booking and Maverick, respectively. GDSX follows suit with its announcement of TripLink, a tool designed to make rogue bookings available for service by the corporate TMC.
And for those wanting to emulate Google’s approach, Runzheimer developed SmartTrip. Set a trip’s budget for air, hotel, car and meals, and split the savings how you wish.
So the conflict cannot be about wanting to try Managed Travel 2.0 but not having the tools. They exist, although in early form. The real conflict is the debate about what Managed Travel 2.0 really is, and what it means to our industry.
Up next: Key Principles of Managed Travel 2.0 Previous posts in this series:
Author’s note: Evan Konwiser contributes significantly to this series.
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