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Cruise control: Get a handle on your travel program for 2019
Cruise control: Get a handle on your travel program for 2019

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12 top tips for negotiating business travel

Our  Global Travel Forecast shows that travel prices are expected to rise sharply in 2019. Hotels are up 3.7%, and flights up 2.6%, driven by a growing global economy and rising oil prices. The only respite will be ground transportation, which remains flat.

As negotiation season approaches for travel buyers, there is a lot at stake, so we have gathered twelve top tips from our key experts to help you succeed in designing a stellar travel program for 2019.

Air

1. Consolidate your expense data to get visibility on ancillary spend as unbundled fares and low-cost models become the new industry trends.

2. Control fare distribution as channels are more and more fragmented and new pricing concepts (branded fares) are not always well displayed.

3. Monitor changes frequently based on potential swings in pricing.

4. Negotiate new fares by anticipating forecast price increases - plus any changes in the competitive landscape from mergers and acquisition, new long-haul, or low-cost competition, and other airline strategies designed to increase yield.

Hotel

1. Interrogate content on behalf of your travelers by using technology offered by your travel management company (TMC). Save time and effort compared to manually searching on an aggregator site. If it’s not offered by your TMC, ask why.

2. Optimize your hotel program by focusing your time and effort on key properties while ensuring an adequate mix of rates. Combine fixed rates such as Last Room Availability (LRA) and Non-Last Room Availability (NLRA) with chain-wide discounts and dynamic pricing.

3. Analyze the door-to-door impact of travel. Hotel room rates can be optimized through favorable scheduling of your overall trip.

4. Prioritise security standards And instigate contingency plans with key partners to localize, alert and communicate with travelers.

Ground

1. Leverage your position. There will be an increased effort to raise rates within the car rental industry. Know your current patterns, how your costs are distributed, and insight into the global marketplace.

2. Ask your car rental suppliers to provide data from your travelers’ bookings to understand how much your organization is paying in ancillary fees. This enables you to conduct informed negotiations on items that represent the greatest expense.

3. Focus on more than just rates. Get a complete picture of how your total costs are distributed. It will help you focus on more than just rates.

4. Look out for charges that are already included in your contracts, such as damage to vehicles your employees did not incur, incorrect refueling, and GPS charges. 

Blog author: Julian Walker, Head of External Market Communications and PR, Carlson Wagonlit Travel 

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CWT is a Business-to-Business-for-Employees (B2B4E) travel management platform. Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected – anywhere, anytime, anyhow – and across six continents, we provide their employees with innovative technology and an efficient, safe and secure travel experience. Every single day, we look after enough travelers to fill more than 100,000 hotel rooms, while our meetings and events division handles more than 100 events every 24 hours.