The situation used to be one of, a board or senior management, making the discissions about travel and how it was to be managed. Today travel management is often a stand alone position within the company, particularly large global organisation such mining company’s, hotels and banks for example.
Travel policy is set within the organisation just as policy for any other corporate position might be such as finance, operations or audit for example. To some degree this is a natural progression and become a growing part of how companies do business. It can be more than just travel though. Conferences play a big part in training, development and of course bringing a global company together. In those situations, there are hotels, function facilities and flights, as well as transport on the ground, to be arranged.
There are companies in Australia who specialise in providing all the planning and services required. Whilst this can be done in house for smaller companies, larger companies often find it easier to out-source, even if they have an in-house travel position. The reason a travel manager would out-source is because organising a large and complex event takes time and specialist skills, which may be beyond the scope of the travel manager or travel department. The other issue is that even though a function can be planned well ahead of time there are still other business trips to be planned.
In a fast paced commercial environment, even though we have so many other technologies which enable us to communicate, visually, there is still nothing like doing business face-face. The other aspect is where you are dealing with something like construction or mining. You have to have people on the ground at various stages, where they are able to see firsthand, to see if, what is taking place is correct or do corrections need to be made. In every sense, corporate vaccines for overseas travel is more efficient and effective. Often a company will build a business-to-business arrangement with a provider. This eliminates the need to have to explain what is needed every time a company needs to organise a conference, for example. A service provider gets to know what a company expects and is able to meet those need with greater ease. Thus it becomes more cost effective for the service provider as well.
Providing travel and ancillary services is a growing business in Australia because great deals. More and more companies are establishing a presence in Australia because of its growing mining industry and its access to Asia. One big advantage there is that Australia and Asia are pretty much on the same time zone, and that means it is a lot easier to business from Australia rather than half-way around the globe.
The other advantage with a corporate approach is economies of scale. If you can book a lot of business through an airline, then you can negotiate the best buy-price. The same applies for other services such as hotels.