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

Does combining the words 'corporate' and 'business' just mean that you fly first class?
Does combining the words 'corporate' and 'business' just mean that you fly first class?

Size Counts

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.

Travel Factoid

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

Hotels will usually offer a corporate business rate to qualifying travelers
Hotels will usually offer a corporate business rate to qualifying travelers

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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4 comments

suny51 profile image

suny51 6 years ago

hello Herald Daily,this is just per chance that two topics which relate to me some what came together, I did a lot of traveling as a country head of a private organization,what i feel it didn't make much of a difference if you were making short distances where you take your breakfast catch a flight have your lunch with your area manager meet your clients and come back home, where your wife is ready with the dinner.the actual corporate travel started when you were travelling for a few days with your CEO to attend a seminar or reorganizing a branch ,in your company' plane and were in fact staying in company owned guest houses,either way we were not spending any money which was to be claimed from the company by us because the local management was responsible to make all arrangements,but yes at some or the other stages all these accounts are taken care of,but that was on case to case basis.


Herald Daily profile image

Herald Daily 6 years ago from A Beach Online Author

Hi, Suny. Thanks for the insider's look at corporate travel! Yes, I can see where there wouldn't be much of a difference in short distance traveling and if the large company you worked for had their own plane and accommodations, that falls into a whole new category for me to explore, thanks. :)

You didn't mention whether or not you enjoyed traveling for business under those conditions. Hopefully, it was a comfortable experience for you.

Thanks again, Suny.


suny51 profile image

suny51 6 years ago

traveled for almost 30 years,if its short program then its Okay but when you travel from one corner to other to attend meetings and seminars you even forget the name of the city some times you open your eyes in the morning ,


Herald Daily profile image

Herald Daily 6 years ago from A Beach Online Author

Wow, that's a long time to be traveling for work. I can imagine that you would wonder sometimes where you were. You're probably glad that it's over, at least for business. Personal travel might still be pleasurable, unless you're really sick of it altogether.

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