Travel News

Tripism CEO Kerr Assesses Travel Management Evolution

Adam Kerr of Tripism discusses:

  • Standardization of communication in the midst of widespread disruption
  • Why Covid travel management is a priority
  • How travel managers don’t get respect

Business travel booking and planning platform Tripism reported this month that activity on its platform is now 250 percent higher than their previous pre-Covid-19 high point. Adam Kerr, CEO of Tripism, said there is growing demand, but increasing pressure on travel providers who have not yet returned to the level of workers before the epidemic. Recently, BTN executive editor Michael B. He spoke with Baker about the key challenges facing travel buyers, as well as recovering from changes in travel management patterns and priorities.

BTN: What are the key challenges your clients are asking you to address right now?

Adam Kerr: Things have changed. Some travelers have forgotten some basic things about travel, so there is an education about their travel program and what travelers should keep in mind when planning their trip. Companies have made progress in their travel programs. They may have new partnerships that they want to communicate with, things like new car service companies, or they’ve brought food-delivery companies on board and they want to communicate with travelers.

At the same time, travel teams are tackling some of the challenges surrounding the car rental deficit and then the driver shortage with some limousine services and they need to manage it and really engage with travelers and set expectations and provide alternative means of land. Transportation

After all, there is a lot of focus around sustainability, so some companies are looking to increase the visibility of rail services. On short domestic trips, they will prefer you to go by rail rather than take a flight, even if the cost is a bit higher. Then, something [travel management companies] They are struggling with staff shortages, so the support they get there can change and provide challenges.

There is a lot of work to be done, including sustainability. Some companies are more advanced than others. We are looking at different ways to do this, in terms of standardization and terms, to show it to travelers in a better way, to communicate it differently with travelers. We’ve done a lot of work instead of just presenting high-level marketing. We have started providing information to travelers so that they can make choices about sustainable property and the different things they are able to do. One or two of our companies have asked us to prioritize sustainable content first and it works in two ways. This means that travelers will see the information directly [and] So [will be] A sustainable choice is more likely, but it adds an increased incentive for providers who are now at the bottom of the page to further their game and achieve the standards that customers expect in terms of a sustainable partner.

BTN: How did your business get caught up in the epidemic?

Tax: We were lucky during Kovid. We retain 100 percent customers. Some of our companies were still making some trips, so we did some work on covid protection and so on. Perhaps 18 months ago, we started to see that people were getting ready to return to travel and there were some complications around it and our platform helps travel teams communicate that information, so we started to see an increase in the number of new customers. . In the last six to 12 months, we’ve seen a big increase in new customers and user activity within those corporations, so it’s an exciting time.

I don’t think the value travel team has historically brought around those negotiations and deals. I think there is a big impact. “

BTN: Do you expect big companies to continue to be your main focus?

Tax: We are looking to make an SME product. This is something we were looking at pre-covid and we can get back to it at some point. Today, we focus only on those large enterprise customers.

BTN: Where is the information about Covid-19 in the priority rate at the moment?

Tax: We noticed that the information we presented at Covid was still around, but customers asked us to reduce the information priority. Now, it’s still there and you can find it if you want, but further down the page, things like sustainability take precedence over that information. Hopefully, it will stay down for a while.

BTN: Do you see a high level of confidence from business travelers?

Tax: When planning a trip, a traveler sometimes goes directly to a booking tool. But for many people, they have to plan their travels, and historically they have done so by adding and using tools for leisure. They go to Google or TripAdvisor to collect them and the last place they go is the booking tool to complete the transaction. With tripism, we put everything in one place. You need to find the hotel of your choice, visa information and Covid information and it is scattered everywhere. With Tripism, if you are planning a trip, we will bring you all the information you need to know as a traveler: hotel of choice, city rate caps, risk, international SOS information, limousine service you use, visa information, so everything in one place. . It builds people’s confidence in information. It is highly specific and personalized to you as an employee of that company. Sometimes we find that travelers using the Tripism platform have better access to things like access and information in a single place than real agents.

There are some things we can’t help. For the foreseeable future, if something goes wrong and you are stuck in Chicago, you need to talk to an agent, for example, and there is no flight.

BTN: Have you seen the priorities change in light of the epidemic?

Tax: It really develops the role of the travel team. I’m relatively new to travel, but a lot of travel team work historically seems to focus around the collection and uphold those deals. There has been a gradual change, and with the epidemic it is a tectonic shift. If you think the HR team will do that because someone was in the office, now that there is a hybrid setup where people don’t stay in a company’s office, just a meeting and event… they need to create these places where people can meet. The travel team has become responsible for this, ensuring that it is a successful event, so it is not a matter of the head on the bed and the lips on the seat. It’s a much more humane aspect now. We’re interested to see where that travel function is located, we’re wondering if it will be something more to change the HR or the organizations that bring people and experience together. This is an exciting time for the travel team.

BTN: What does this mean in terms of how travel managers are evaluated within their organization?

Tax: Travel teams do a really great job, but their problem in the past is that people don’t realize how great these programs are. I don’t think the value travel team has historically brought around those negotiations and deals. I think there is a much bigger impact. The evidence that shows the quality of your trip affects the effectiveness of that trip but also affects your productivity when you return to that trip. We know that with some banks we work with, they benchmark that travel program against another bank, because it is so important in terms of retention and hiring. The value that the travel team is bringing in those aspects is much more than saving dollars through the purchase process.

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