Corporate Business Travel
What the Term Corporate Business Travel Really Means
It would seem evident to anyone that business travel is done for business and personal traveling is, well, personal. Sure, of course. But what does it really mean and what does it entail? Perhaps I'm searching too hard for a different answer but I'm curious. It must consist of something more complex or deeper. Mustn't it?
To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to delve into the subject a bit and lucky you, I made a decision to drag you along with me. :-) So, get comfy and pour yourself a cup of coffee or something. Fasten your seat belts and here we go.
Typically, companies and corporations send employees to sites too far away for a short drive. Naturally, business activity is expected to be carried out while the employee is on a trip, which may mean no more than making a personal connection with clients, potential clients or vendors, or as much as closing enormously important deals and working trade shows. Often times, an overnight or longer stay is required, with approved costs being covered by the employer.
Regardless of the reason, companies do not go to the expense of sending employees on trips unless there is a good reason and the employer rightfully expects to gain from them.
All of that is pretty straight forward and easy to understand. There is, however, a difference between regular old business travel and corporate travel, at least in the minds of most people, including me. Business class suggests reduced rates, uncomfortable flights and economy lodging, while the very word 'corporate' gives the perception of luxury travel with sumptuous and extravagant conditions. So, how can you lump the two together into one label? Let's find out.
Corporate Business Travel
Somebody correct me if I've misunderstood what I've researched but it seems that moving from plain old business travel to the corporate business travel category is just a matter of size, a business vs a corporation.
Corporations have large pools of employees, some of whom must travel to do conduct business for their employer. Hence the label of Corporate Business Travel. You knew that, though. Still, there must be some difference in level of accommodation or service. Or both.
Whereas, a small operation would make a call or two to reserve rooms and arrange transport, a company with thousands of people in their employ typically use a Corporate Travel Manager to co-ordinate not only arrangements but everything necessary to protect and provide for the corporation's interests.
According to the JetBlue website, a large company is one that spends $100,000 or more annually with their airline. That's a lot of plane rides.
The Corporate Travel Manager
Corporate Travel Managers (CTM) can be found in middle management positions. It is their job to develop and set corporate travel policies and oversee all company required travel. Basically, these people are travel agents who work solely for the corporation.
It's a big job that involves a lot of background work. The Corporate Travel Manager must negotiate rates with vendors, keep tabs on day-to-day travel program operations, ensure there are security safeguards in place for the employee, as well as the employer. These are the people who also have to worry about credit card and data management for all corporate travel. That's in addition to the regular stuff like booking rooms and tickets and such.
If I'm not mistaken, CTM's also have to track all of the expenses. That means everything associated with a trip, including meals, taking clients out for drinks, tips, gifts, cabs, etc. All of the usual costs.
Sounds like a big responsibility to me but corporate travel managers
keep things running smoothly within the travel sector of a large company.
Business Rate Factoid
Corporations may not see savings at the time that travel arrangements are made. Sometimes, vendors will pay a percentage back to the company at the end of a quarter, based on the amount of travel that has been booked.
Corporate Business Accommodations
Benefits of Corporate Travel
Airlines like large businesses, they make a lot of money from them. To encourage customer loyalty and to entice new clients, airlines usually offer lower (corporate) rates, larger, comfy seating and flights to as many cities as possible that are big draws for a corporate clientele. Airlines often boast excellent customer service and travel experience, as well. Seems to me that all travelers should have those options but hey, that may just be wishful thinking on my part.
Hotels, trains and other conveyances and establishments typically also offer corporate rates, along with comfortable perks in exchange for a government or corporation's account. Makes sense, as these organizations have lots of business to offer their vendors.
So, What Have We Learned?
Well, I guess that we've learned that our suspicions were correct. Corporate business travelers do enjoy more benefits than the rest of us who do not qualify for that category, including small and mid sized businesses. While I may be somewhat envious, I don't think my feelings of jealously are likely cause any changes in who gets to use this upgraded service any time soon.
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