If you’re responsible for managing your company’s travel plans, you’ll know how overwhelming it can be without additional help to expedite travel industry-related processes. That’s where a travel management company (TMC) can assist. From booking, to expense management, and procurement – TMCs provide online booking solutions and live support for business travel in one convenient location.

Below, we’ll explore the best corporate travel management companies in South Africa, and review the advantages of using a travel management company, helping you get more bang for your business travel buck.

What are the advantages of using a travel management company?

There are many benefits when it comes to working with travel management services. For starters, they streamline end-to-end solutions, providing cost savings throughout every step of the booking process.

Often, a business travel agency offers in-house travel consultants and travel experts, bringing their own global network and years of travel experience to the table. TMCs are well-versed in negotiating the best travel rates. As a result, they offer your business cost-effective savings on travel and accommodation expenses. 

TMCs are also experienced in handling emergency client situations. An efficient travel programme remains up-to-date on the latest news regarding your destination, keeping traveller safety top of mind.

Often, TMCs are well-equipped with easy-to-use self-booking engines, giving your employees the freedom to book their own travel arrangements. Many travel management companies also allow for customizable built-in travel policies. Bottom line, this helps to improve your company’s travel policy compliance.

Features to look for when choosing a travel management company

When selecting a travel management company, keep an eye out for the following features. These can vary depending on the travel needs of your business.

VAT return

Unclaimed VAT expenses make up a majority of lost company profits. Control your travel costs by selecting a TMC that provides your company maximum VAT recovery. 

Carbon offsetting

A travel management company that offsets your travel carbon footprint, and monitors your CO2 emissions, equals sustainable travel for future generations.

Reporting capabilities

TMCs that offer reporting capabilities, let you track and report on employee travel trends, like transport types, and cancellations. They also compile reports on your travel data, identifying areas of cost-effective savings for your company.

Centralized invoicing

A travel management company featuring centralized invoicing, improves your financial tracking of company travel spend. Offering your employees one location to submit their invoices, leads to a more streamlined approach when processing and reporting travel expenses.

Large travel inventory

Your chosen TMC should have access to exclusive travel rates, and a broad inventory of accommodation and transportation.

Flexible travel options

While travel can be a stressful process, canceling and refunding your business trip should not be. A travel management company that provides flexible travel options, gives you peace of mind that your budgeted travel spend does not go to waste.

Duty of care

Despite best efforts to ensure your employees’ safety prior to their departure, unexpected risks can bubble up at any time. A TMC offering ample duty of care solutions, helps you track employees, and quickly offer support in the face of security or safety threats.

Customer service

Whether you need to quickly extract employees from their destination for emergency purposes, or have urgent trip changes, a travel management company featuring 24/7 customer service, supports every detail of your employees’ business trip. 

Integrations with 3rd party software

Your existing integrations with 3rd party software play an important role in the operation of your company. Your chosen TMC should offer seamless integration with your current 3rd party software.

The 5 best corporate travel management companies in South Africa

1. TravelPerk 

Offering a seamless travel management experience, TravelPerk’s all-in-one platform lets you book, manage, and report your business travel in one place. 

Travel managers have access to the world’s largest inventory of flights, accommodation, car rentals, and trains. With such a diverse range of flexible options, TravelPerk also provides duty of care solutions, throughout every stage of your employee’s trip. From employee tracking, to post-trip reporting, the platform enables you to make informed business travel decisions, while keeping employees safe. 

Other primary features include:

TravelPerk also makes it easy to integrate your existing travel policies and approval workflows into the system. Featuring automated travel limits and approvals, TravelPerk lets you define and set-up business travel your way in less than two minutes. 

See how TravelPerk makes business travel stress free

2. Travel Manor

A boutique corporate travel management company, Travel Manor assigns companies to a dedicated senior account manager to assist your travel needs. In addition to offering traditional business travel services, the company also extends to individual employees partaking in leisure travel.

Travel Manor also offers online capabilities, utilizing booking tools like Sure Travel Connect and Amadeus Corporate Tool (ACT).

Other features include:

  • Itinerary management
  • Travel management reports and analytics
  • Reporting and expense management
  • Travel rate negotiation

Travel Manor provides ample features to its clients for both business and leisure travel. However, it offers minimal in the way of online booking capabilities, meaning your employees miss out on the advantages of an all-in-one platform. Also, booking and service fees are not clearly stated, nor do they list pandemic-related travel information, on their website. 

Offering the best tool for corporate travel, TravelPerk’s all-in-one platform is the ideal choice for end-to-end travel support. Featuring a host of online capabilities, its simple, yet intuitive features make booking business travel and expense reporting a breeze. 

Looking to crunch the numbers? TravelPerk’s transparent pricing structure provides a clear and detailed scope about what’s included and what’s not included, with every tier. 

3. Thompsons Travel

Promoted as your one-stop shop travel agent, Thompsons Travel provides its clients with an experienced and dedicated team of travel professionals, including key account managers. Thompsons Travel’s dedicated visa consultants also provide assistance to your employees when preparing documentation to meet international travel requirements

Thompsons Travel also specializes in bleisure travel, letting your employees tack on a few days of relaxation to their business trip. Additional benefits include featuring report tracking on total travel spend, and a breakdown of spend per region, cost, and flight paths.

Other features include:

  • Personalized corporate travel technology
  • Flexible 24/7 customer support, including for after-hours emergencies
  • Traveler safety services, such as organizing repatriation flights
  • Embedding options for travel policies and approval processes

While Thompsons Travel offers clients easy point-to-point travel bookings, it lacks flexibility with cancellation dates. Their terms and conditions indicate the earlier such requests are made, the better the chances are to facilitate such a request. 

For many business travelers, cancellations are often unplanned and unexpected. It can be difficult to provide such notice to your travel management company. With TravelPerk, you and your employees have the ability to cancel business trip arrangements up to two hours before departure, with a guaranteed refund of 80%.

4. XL Turners Travel

Providing corporate travel solutions to clients throughout South Africa and Africa, XL Turners Travel is diversified in their offerings. Not only do they offer business travel incentives to their clients – they also provide offshore travel and marine travel, and charter services, too.

Their main features include:

  • Flexible payment options
  • Profile management for travelers
  • Quality management reports
  • Key account management

Despite its wide array of travel solutions, XL Turners Travel encourages its clients to pay via a lodge travel credit card. While lodge cards offer a simplified payment method, they can cause issues related to the privacy and protection of your company’s data. 

With TravelPerk, payment plans are diverse, granting you the flexibility and freedom to choose the method of payment that best suits your needs. Our full feature list clearly outlines the inclusions and exclusions for each plan, as well as details recommended add-ons like duty of care, and group bookings.

5. Corporate Traveller

Corporate Traveller prides itself on making business travel easier by offering a blended ‘human services’ approach. The travel group features booking, policy checks, reporting, and expense management via one online booking tool, in addition to their CT mobile app.

A few of their key features include:

  • Negotiable corporate rates
  • Traveller tracking solutions
  • Concierge services
  • Travel policy enforcement

Unfortunately, Corporate Traveller does not allow users of their booking system or app to produce traveller profiles like TravelPerk. Their solutions also do not offer third-party seamless integration with other frequently used apps and services.

TravelPerk offers a wide range of integrations featuring expense management, duty of care, and security solutions. Explore our marketplace and customize your integrations today, to suit your travel needs.

See how our platform can take your business travel management solutions to the next level – schedule a live, personalized TravelPerk demo today!

Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: Valentino Pattaya