What is a Travel Management Company?
The Definition of a Travel Management Company (TMC)
A Travel Management Company (TMC) is a travel agent that fully manages the business travel requirements delegated by an individual, company or organisation to fundamentally save clients both time and money.
A TMC is also commonly known as a business travel agency or corporate travel provider.
As opposed to the traditional travel agent, which will usually deal with occasional leisure travel needs, a travel management company provides on-going services with the aim of providing cost savings, keeping control of a travel policy and allowing the client to spend less time on time-consuming travel arrangements.
A travel management company will typically use a GDS (Global Distribution System like Sabre or Amadeus) displaying real time availability to book flights, hotels and cars as well as other trusted software systems like Evolvi for train bookings.
Services Provided by a Travel Management Company
As well as simply making flight or hotel reservations, the TMC will offer many other ancillary services such as aircraft charter, airport lounges, parking and transfers, hotel bed requests, car hire, chauffeurs, foreign exchange, group travel, hotel bill backs, insurance, leisure travel, marine travel, meal requests, meet and greets, passport and visa procurement, rail tickets, roadshow services and venue sourcing.
Company and individual profiles are safely stored ensuring all personal travel requests are adhered to within an overall travel policy with every booking.
Other management services will often include MIS reporting, account management, risk management, cost/expense management, traveller tracking/security and travel policy adherence. Many TMCs will now also provide online self-booking tools whereby organisations can make their own flight and hotel reservations and bookings. Travel management companies will also typically negotiate with vendors/suppliers to provide discounted fares and loyalty programs.
Credit and Specialities
Credit Facilities are usually not provided in the first 6-12 months however a travel management company should be able to advise a new client about external credit facilities, for example the BA Lodged Card. Some TMCs will specialise in working alongside charity or providing marine travel services.