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Things you need to understand about Travel

There is so much information available on the internet right now regarding travel. There are online travel sites for cruises, hotels, air, trains and any other type of travel. But what is the correct product for you? Is the location of the hotel where you want to be? Is the type of room or cabin the right fit for you? Is that cruise line the one you should be booking? Not all products are created equal nor are the products right for everyone. How do you tell? Contact a travel professional.

There have been multiple articles, and even the President of the United States, has said travel agents don’t exist or are going away. In a way they are right. Travel agents in the past were just someone who booked a trip for someone who called or came in to the storefront office of a travel agency. Storefront travel agencies are few and far between now days as most of the travel agents have gone home to work. Even the term “travel agent” is going away because what they do now is different than what they did before.

Travel Agents are now more a counselor and an adviser so they are now called Travel Professionals or Travel Counselor. Even the travel industry is trying to get away from using the term travel agent. They no longer just book a trip for someone; they know more than what is available to the traveling client. The travel professionals now are constantly learning, constantly traveling, receiving input from other travel professionals about where they have traveled and are a resource for what is required to travel now days. When you use an online travel agency like Expedia, Travelocity, etc. you aren’t able to have someone protect your back.

Information about Travel

As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express' most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years. Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.

Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively. Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality- measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.

Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.┬áIf that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and reengineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.