Posts filed under ‘Travel ROI’

Ok, I’m not Keats, but what did he know about Travel Expenses…

by Tony

I was feeling very inspired today and needed to top the tabloid flair I gave my last blog post, so I decided to channel my inner poet for this one.  For your information, I referenced data from two articles: one from BTN about the 10th airfare hike of 2011, and the other discussing Advito’s across the board spend projection increases for 2011.  Enjoy!

Surprise, Surprise…Travel Expenses on the Rise

Airfares are rising for the 10th time this year,

And Advito has shouted for all those to hear,

That the costs they will rise, in hotel, air and car,

To a point where our budgets will surely be marred.

Is there something a buyer of travel can do,

To avoid the boss pointing a finger at you?

Perhaps, said the blogger with many ideas,

There are a few ways to manage and shed all your fears.

There’s Parking, and Dining, and Car Service spend,

That you should start owning, let’s make this a trend.

Everyone eats, and they ask for it back,

On the expense report processed, it surely gets tracked,

So why not inform them of a new place to eat,

Where a rebate is possible, now isn’t that neat.

And while you are giving them words of advice,

There are places to park that are really quite nice.

And the best thing about them is the price that you pay,

Which is half then as much, for each single day.

To the airport they go in a chauffeured sedan,

Make sure it is one that you know and can stand,

One that’s approved with a discount you see,

To ensure that you manage this category.

If you take this advice and start tracking this stuff,

It’s a guarantee that your boss won’t be gruff,

For who would complain with a plan such as this,

It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s almost like bliss.

Perhaps you are thinking, but how do we start?

Give me a call and I’ll sell you a license to our Platform*

*Don’t know what happened with the last line.   I guess my inner salesman kicked my inner poet out of my office.

September 15, 2011 at 6:45 am Leave a comment

Tony D went to Oxford?

By Mike

His Sean Connery impersonation causes Sean Connery to believe he is hearing voices. He bowls a 220 with the grace of a soaring eagle and the panache of Liberace. No…he did not attend Oxford, but he did quote an Oxford Economics study in his latest contribution to Forbes. In my mind, Tony D. is The Most Interesting Man in the world.

Whether you are a CFO, a corporate travel manager, or just an old school road warrior, I highly recommend you checkout Tony’s latest Forbes article, Road Trip! The Case For Business Travel Despite Gas Price Spike. Once you’ve checked that one out, be sure to take a look at some other Carrying On postings that address this topic, the ROI of travel: May your travel lead to profits and The ROI of “comfortable” business travel. Just ask Dan Quayle.

Click here to join Carrying On Compadres, our LinkedIn group.

May 20, 2011 at 9:18 am Leave a comment

A post Valentine’s Day treat


A practical guide for adding mobile to your travel program

Click here to join our webinar in conjunction with GBTA
February 15, 2011 (a post Valentine’s Day treat)
11am-12pm PST

You’ve read the stats – 75% of business travelers now carry smart phones.  You’ve surveyed your travelers – they are starving for an exceptional mobile experience that makes their lives easier when on the road.

Now what?

  • How do you identify the best mobile solution?
  • How do you navigate the potential IT and Finance hurdles in order to gain internal approval and support?
  • Most importantly, how do you ensure that your employees adopt the mobile solution you choose?

Do it right and you’ll enjoy increased adoption rates and reduced agency fees. Our panel of travel experts will guide you through the entire process from feature selection to rollout. Heed their advice and your travelers might be sending you chocolates next Valentine’s Day.

Click here to register for the webinar – http://www2.nbta.org/usa/ProfessionalDevelopment/Pages/Weheartmobile.aspx

Presented by:

Norman Rose
President
Travel Tech Consulting

Richard Clowes
Manager, Travel Operations
SAS

Steven Mandelbaum
Managing Director
The Advisory Board Company

Tony D’Astolfo
Senior Vice President, Travel Services
Rearden Commerce

February 11, 2011 at 12:49 am Leave a comment

Wrap up 2010 | Some popcorn and a show

We hope you are looking forward to a delicious and enjoyable holiday season. Perhaps you’ve already been gifted the tub-o-popcorn sampler from a colleague, customer, or loved one. Grab that tub (we typically go straight for the cheddar and then the caramel), sit back, and check out some of our latest webinars. These aren’t in 3D, but they are a great way to wrap up 2010 with some practical recommendations that will empower you in 2011.

Coming Soon
Stop Mandating and Become Traveler-Centric
Thursday, December 2, 2010 | 2:00 pm EST | 60 minutes

Delivering a “traveler-centric” approach has a positive rippling effect – with a high level of employee satisfaction and willingness to use technology, adoption increases and cost savings are maximized. Hear from travel managers who have embraced the concept of the traveler-centric future and are enjoying huge success — without mandates. This panel discussion was voted “Best of Convention” at the 2010 NBTA Convention.

Click here to register. The first 10 corporate buyers that email [email protected] with “WEBINAR PASS” in the subject line will receive a complimentary registration.

Recent Release
Your Hotel Attachment Rate: How Much $$ Are You Leaving on the Table?

Hoteliers are increasingly flexing their negotiation muscle as the outlook for corporate travel continues to improve. This webinar provides you with practical recommendations to boost your hotel attachment rate, thereby driving cost savings and increasing your travelers’ satisfaction.

Click here to watch the complimentary recording.

Enjoy the show!

November 30, 2010 at 10:06 am Leave a comment

Webinar | Are you leaving money on the table? Boost your hotel attachment rate.

In the past few weeks, we’ve written a lot about hotel attachment rates. If we’ve piqued your interest, this is a webinar you must attend.

Join us on October 28, 2010
11am – 12pm PST

Click here to register for this webinar

Hoteliers are increasingly flexing their negotiation muscle as the outlook for corporate travel continues to improve. American Express projects that 2011 corporate hotel rates will increase 1-10%. This, coupled with a general increase in travel, will have a substantial impact on corporate travel budgets. What are you doing to combat the rising rates?

Even corporations that boast about high compliance rates with preferred airline partners typically have a difficult time achieving similar success with their hotel programs. Top-performing travel managers focus on a key statistic, the hotel attachment rate (i.e., the percentage of PNRs that include a hotel reservation). Whether you are a TMC, a corporate travel buyer, or other travel professional, it’s important to pay closer attention to this number because the difference in hotel preferred and rack rates can be significant. Corporations are leaving billions of dollars on the table each year.

During this webinar, our panel of industry vets will present some shocking statistics. But more importantly, they will provide you with practical recommendations to boost your hotel attachment rate, driving cost savings, and increasing your travelers’ satisfaction.

Get a sneak preview on this topic by checking out Carrying On’s two part series: Hotel Attachment Rates | What are you leaving on the table and The Bieber Effect | It just might boost your hotel attachment rates.

Presented by:

Michael Boult
Chief Commercial Officer
Lanyon

Aash Shravah
General Manager, Corporate Sales
Kintetsu International

Tony D’Astolfo
Senior Vice President, Travel Services
Rearden Commerce

This session is presented by ACTE and Rearden Commerce.  Please use this URL to register: http://bit.ly/boLsWO

October 21, 2010 at 9:02 am 1 comment

Luxury Per Diem Living | The Buffet of Buffets

by Mike

Shrewd and pioneering corporate travel managers aren’t hampered by industry norms.  Sure, just like their peers, they will adeptly spar with those hot travel topics – negotiate away an ancillary fee or boost a hotel attachment rate. In many cases these martyrs of corporate citizenry will sacrifice blood and tears to squeeze a few drops of savings out of a rock (or a supplier). However, there remains an area that remains untapped, even by the most astute and well-worn industry veterans.

According to the GSA, the 2010 per diem rate for meals in Las Vegas is $71, on par with other major cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. However, in Vegas all you travel managers have a secret weapon – an unlimited cornucopia of calories – a diner’s delight – a trip around the world that only requires a few steps – a.k.a. the “Buffet of Buffets” (or the BoB plan).

If you didn’t catch this piece of astute journalism from Kitty Bean Yancey of USA Today, it makes the KFC’s Double Down sandwich look like a macrobiotic summer salad with oil and vinegar – on the side. This bad boy is a 24-hour food fest, a bacchanalian feast during which you can visit any buffet within a Harrah’s property, all for the low, low price of $39.99. Start at Caesars Palace for dinner, hit up Paris for a late-night snack – the permutations are endless. Sure, you can shave $15.00 of this rate by going with a single-property plan, but at Carrying On, we think that the traveler centric approach will boost the success of your new dining program. Your road warriors will enjoy the broader selection, and the geographic spread of the properties ensures they are never too far away from a delicious buffet, whether they are visiting a customer on the north end of The Strip or a partner on the south end.

With a 44% savings over the government per diem, the ROI on this investment is amazing. However, it wouldn’t be responsible for us to leave out some of the potential downfalls associated with BoB. First, if your insurance company catches wind of the program, you’re company’s health care premiums are likely to shoot up faster than your employees‘ cholesterol. Second, until Hometown Buffet or Sizzler develops a similar package, the whole program is really only feasible in Vegas at this time. Don’t let these minor obstacles get in your way. Good ideas start small and continuously get better. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to dig into this platter of egg rolls, spaghetti and meatballs, prime rib, and jello!

Click here to join Carrying On Compadres, our new group on LinkedIn.

October 18, 2010 at 8:24 am 1 comment

The Bieber Effect | It just might boost your hotel attachment rates.

by Tony | A special thanks to Michael Boult, Chief Commercial Officer of Lanyon (he made some great additions to our practical recommendations below)

Click here to join Carrying On Compadres, our new group on LinkedIn.

Did you read the last posting: Hotel Attachment Rates | What are you Leaving on the Table? If so, either our talk of leakage made you slightly nauseous or we piqued your interest with the opportunity to save money by increasing hotel attachment rates. Hopefully the latter applies, and now you’ve come back for some practical advice.

To recap, BTN’s stats indicate that roughly 40% of corporate bookings do not comply with company preferred vendors. At the recent Beat Live conference, this issue was the topic of discussion on a panel of hotel experts that included Michael Boult, Chief Commercial Officer of Lanyon and Andrew Winterton, CWT’s President, Suppliers, Products & Technology who corroborated that only about half of corporate hotel spend is being managed. We did some very rough math to determine that companies leave about $40 per room night on the table for each of these non-compliant reservations. These are substantial amounts.

In order to turn this around, it’s essential to get your travelers on board. I’d tell you to start mandating, but that would be as popular as telling your pre-teen daughter she has to limit her Justin Bieber (sorry to invoke the nausea again but we got some comments about the incessant Susan Boyle references so we’re changing it up) video consumption to 30 minutes a night. You’d probably tell me that this type of ultimatum would lead to a 2-day whine fest, followed by a week of the silent treatment, and capped off with a threatened hunger strike. However, what if you took a creative approach by telling your daughter that she could either watch unlimited videos on her small computer monitor with a constantly flickering display or that you will give her permission to regale in the full Bieber delight for 30 minutes on your 80” LED, high-def television complete with stereo surround sound. Ok, she’d probably opt for the unlimited viewing, but you get the point.

If you treat your travelers like adults, empower them with superior technology, you will reap the benefits associated with higher adoption rates. Here are some practical tips that will place your program on the path to success:

  • COMMUNICATE Your travelers are not travel professionals. If they stray from the corporate booking tool and reserve rooms through Priceline, they’ve possibly found rates that are lower than your corporate preferred. It is your job to communicate why this may happen and how it’s essential to stick with the program for long term value. If you’re on the ball, all of the amenities that you’ve negotiated into the preferred rate will save your team mucho dinero. Supporting a preferred hotel program enables data to be collected, maximum leverage to be achieved, and help to be provided in case of a catastrophe.
  • COMPARE Comparing hundreds of hotel prices against multiple online hotel sites are a few clicks away for travelers. How about adopting that trusty old adage, “if you can’t beat em, join em?”  New solutions allow you to compare negotiated rates with those available on OTA and supplier sites on a forward looking and regular basis. Use this information to anticipate spot market opportunities and “encourage” preferred properties to adjust their rates to enable everyone to benefit. In the big game of “Hotel: Hide & Seek,” you need evidence not anecdotes to make your case.
  • AUDIT The best place to boost hotel bookings is to ensure that your travelers have the products available to buy when they need them.  Remember, you’re competing with every other corporation for preferred-rate rooms, and in some cases properties allocate less than 50% of their inventory for this purpose. It’s critical to understand who makes the rules – in this case, it’s the revenue manager on property. It’s someone you’ve never met and probably never will. Having your rates fully and properly loaded in the hotel CRS is really important. Verifying that these rates can be booked is just as important and a step largely ignored.
  • RESEARCH A truly valuable asset is an online and easily accessible company preferred hotel directory. Enable your travelers to access interactive maps that plot company offices and the locations of preferred hotel choices.  Provide a consumer like experience with virtual tours and a way to capture and publish reviews (see LISTEN below).
  • EMPOWER Whether it’s preparing for the trip or living it, business travel is a drain on one’s personal time. When it comes to hotels, travelers want quick access to maps and reference points, the ability to tailor results to their preferences, and both driving directions and itinerary information sent straight to their mobile devices. They get this level of functionality when booking personal travel, so they expect it from the corporate booking tool as well. If you don’t serve this up, then you can kiss the adoption, and hence the hotel attachment rates, goodbye.
  • LISTEN As every relationship expert will say, you aren’t communicating unless you are actively listening. This is the most important step in the process – it’s the feedback loop that allows you to appropriately alter the program to fit the needs of your traveler. Perhaps one property or chain has a bed bug infestation.  Maybe the nearest preferred is still 60 miles away. You’ll often only be able to get this information from your travelers. And the next time you think they are just being difficult, remember that time they are sacrificing to travel on for the company.

Is there anything we missed? Let us know.

October 13, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

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