Online travel agencies (OTAs) and Travel Management Companies (TMCs) have proved to be a game changer in the corporate travel industry. Booking leisure travel has become common nowadays with the average consumer and so is business travel with OTAs and TMCs. But how does an OTA differ with a TMC in terms of their offerings and benefits. Let’s discuss the differences and see what’s right for your company’s managed travel program.
First, the disadvantage with OTAs is that they fall short of trained and tenured professionals, characteristic of a good corporate travel program. OTAs do not employ experts or field call or custom-built online booking tools; they look to enhancing their profits alone. If you think these savings are rewarded to the consumers (or in this case, business travel management), you may be wrong.
Further, not every OTA has all the airlines or hoteliers for you. The vendors on OTAs pay major chunk of the fees for their rooms or flight bookings to be displayed when users search and make bookings. As a user, you aren’t guaranteed of getting the lowest price – only that what the OTA would want you to see.
On the contrary, a Travel Management Company (TMC) employs a Global Distribution System, or GDS, as a reservation tool. By integrating this system with one’s custom-built booking preferences (i.e. selected vendors), experienced travel agents can give business travellers the best available choice on the basis of his/her travel policy by comparing reservation options. TMCs allow you to select your preferred vendors. You can choose the particulars of your business travel program (with or without assistance, of course). Most TMCs do not charge anything extra to have rooms or flights selected or featured.
Therefore, as seen above, OTAs and TMCs have their own merits and demerits. This is where a full service business/corporate travel management suite like Tripeur, an end-to-end corporate travel management platform, can drive travel policy adherence, enable seamless booking and handle travel data better, thereby saving costs and enhancing operational efficiencies. Simply give us a shout to learn more about how Tripeur works and how we can help manage your business travel program better.