Prospects Of Jobs In Hotel And Hospitality Management

The world has become a global village; this means that more and more people travel from one part of the world to another for various reasons. Some people travel for work, some to attend important family matters and some for vacations. No matter what the reason is, majority of the people need a place to stay. This includes hotels, motels and inns. Now it’s a basic human instinct that he or she would prefer to go to that place which is welcoming and in case of hotels this feeling of warmth is determined by the reception area and how the hotel staff treats you.

Requirements Of Management Jobs

As there are many opportunities in this industry, the requirements for the job of a manager may vary from post to post and also from area to area. For example, a manager in a small hotel might only require a diploma in the hotel management whereas if you are looking for a job in a good casino or a renowned hotel chain, then you should have at least a bachelor’s degree in that respected field along with work experience. These days, there is an opportunity in contract catering jobs, as majority of the hotel owners have come to realize that catering is an important aspect when it comes to the promotion of the hotel.

Due to this the industry of hospitality management and hotel management has expanded and there are many opportunities in this field of business. There are various kinds of hotel jobs. The responsibility also varies from post to post in hospitality management. The greater the responsibility, the greater will be the stress and workload. A good and successful lodging manager needs to know almost everything about the management of hotel. To some extent the responsibilities of a hotel manager and hospitality manager are similar as both have the job to maintain the standards of the business and improve them whenever possible.

Responsibilities of Hospitality Manager

Basically a hotel manager or a hospitality manager is responsible to manage the hotel for its day to day businesses. In case of a huge hotel, a hospitality manager might employ assistant managers to help him in his work. In this case, the hotel manager will take the report from other assistant managers and will help them out in their problems. In short, the manager would have to guide and instruct his or her assistant managers to perform their duties and improve the hotel’s image in any way they can.

Apart from this, in some cases the responsibility and importance of a hotel manager is to such an extreme that the profits of the hotel are entirely dependent on their skills and management. Besides this some of the other responsibilities of hotel managers are listed below.

Managing and taking care of hotel services like reception, customer care and accommodation.
Helping the finance department in preparing the annual or monthly budget. In some cases, the hotel manager plays a direct role in finance management of the hotel.
Drafting out the schedules of his or her team.
Monitoring the hotel staff especially the department of accommodation, catering and customer care to make sure the rules of the hotel are being followed.
Resolving the problems of his or her subordinates.
Attending to the complaints and problems of customers and guests.
Maintaining and developing business relations with travel agencies, food suppliers, etc.
People come from various walks of life to hotels and it is the responsibility of a hospitality manager to ensure that all their needs are being met.

Types of Managers

As mentioned before, a hospitality manager can have many subordinates which can help him or her in sharing the work load. Some of these, along with their responsibilities, are mentioned below:

Office manager: has to look after the department of reservations and reception. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the office manager to hire and promote the staff in this department.
Convention service managers: has to manage and operate special events like weddings, meetings of clients and conventions etc
Information Technology manager: has the responsibility of management of all the electronic systems such as computers, internet etc. Apart from this, he also has to supervise the promotion of the hotel on the internet and maintain the website.
Food and beverage manger: has to ensure that the food and drinks department of the hotel is unrivaled.
No matter what you aim for, there is always a prospect for progress in hotel management business. You should constantly update yourself with new diplomas. In this way you can get promotions and even better jobs. However you should keep this thing in mind that everyone in the market is aiming for the big bucks. So, you should prove yourself worthy to your superiors, if you want a promotion.

What Is the 12-Month USA Work and Travel Visa Pilot Program?

The 12-month J-1 work and travel visa pilot program is for Australian and New Zealand students. It is ideal for those looking for US work experience and/or travel. The Pilot Program was introduced in 2007 to promote cross-cultural exchange, and has continued to be renewed since.

Various organizations and businesses offer the 12-month program, and usually feature a partnership between a US Government designated sponsor and an in-house agent for the sponsor. It is up to the applicant to research the organization they choose to ensure it is indeed a Government designated sponsor.

If the applicant is a mature age university/college student, they will need to find a program with no age limit, as most programs on the market have age limits of 28-30.

To be eligible for the program, the applicant must have a valid Australian or New Zealand passport, and be considered a student. In order to fall under the ‘student’ category, the participant will need to have completed at least one year of post-secondary study, or be within the 12-month period after graduating. If the applicant is studying at an institution other than college or university, they may still be eligible; they will simply have to prove that their course leads to a degree qualification.

Fees are often a hot topic when it comes to what is included in various programs offered by organized. Points to look out for are; does the package include health and travel insurance? Is there 24-hour phone support? Will there be a US Consulate briefing before the mandatory interview? Will each person definitely get a job placement?

Applicants should be aware of the time period some organizations take to process the application. Be aware that flight fees will be lost if tickets are booked without the visa arriving in time for the departure date. It is common practice for flight costs to not be included in program fees. The SEVIS fee is mandatory for all applicants on the 12 month J1 visa, and can only be paid by the applicant, as it is a non-refundable fee. This is also the case with the worldwide non-refundable fee, and the US Consulate issuance fee. It is wise to budget for these additional costs.

A highlight of the 12-month J1 Program is the applicants’ option to land in the US before finding a job, instead of being placed before arriving. This was not always the case, and is of great benefit to those participants who would like to work in a specific area. It should, however, be noted that applicants may not work in the following areas:

Domestic positions
Door-to-door sales positions
Patient care positions

There are often two types of programs offered under the 12-month J1 work and travel visa; The Self-Placement Program, and the Job-Placement Program. The placement jobs are generally non-skilled positions found in:

Resorts
Hotels
Restaurants
Amusement Parks
National Parks

If an applicant is undecided as to which program best applies to their situation, they should consider what they want to get out of the program. Whether it is merely the travel aspect, or an internship for a career-move, it is paramount for applicants to remember that this visa is primarily designed for cross-cultural exchange. Being open to experiencing US culture and daily life is a must.

Travel And Tourism Jobs – Travel and Make Money

The travel business is a 7 trillion dollar industry and is the single largest category in e-commerce. Travel and Tourism Jobs are set to grow to 15 Trillion Dollars in the next few years because of the baby boomers that are now reaching their middle age and who have the money and want to go travelling.

People are more frequently going online to book everything from flights to hotels to car rentals and this has changed the face of travel and has opened up many opportunities for home business.

Right now the Travel Agent Business is very popular over the internet. It means you can work from home. It is a great full-time career or even just a part-time income whichever way you look at it, and you get to travel yourself. Being an online travel agent is very rewarding work as you are dealing with something you love.

Why has it become so popular. Well for a number of reasons. People are stressed and want to escape and they do this by going on vacation. It has been shown in the past that when the economy is down the desire for leisure travel goes up. The economy is playing right into our hands. Travel leisure is growing, it is the king of recession.

People are not giving up on their travel. There is however a tendency for people to move away from high pricing and to look for better pricing while still demanding quality. The economy has meant that the big corporations have had to cut back on expensive corporate travel. This has meant that there are more 5 star establishments looking to fill up their vacancies and to do this they must become more competitive. This is good for the travel business as now there are more deals out there for you to offer. World Ventures has taken this demand for Quality Travel Leisure and is now offering self motivated people the opportunity to jump on board this new trend and reap the financial rewards awaiting them.

George Bartels is an avid traveller. He is passionate about helping people who are overworked and stressed out take more vacations. Being able to make money doing the thing you love is very empowering.

Easy and Fun Jobs For Retirees – 12 of the Best Retirement Jobs

Are you retired but looking to earn some extra cash and keep yourself busy with a part time job?

THE BEST RETIREMENT JOBS FOR RETIREES WHO WANT INCOME AND FUN

Have you heard of the newest work term for individuals who are about to retire from their first career and begin a new one? It is called “zenployment”. This term refers to a retirement career which provides fulfillment even fun and additional income but without all the stress.

Putting it simply, “zenployment” is a cool and easy job for retired people. It is a kind of occupation that contains more fun than stress.

There are many make money opportunities for retirees who would like to continue being active. Listed below are the best retirement jobs.

1. BECOME A WEDDING PLANNER
Weddings are often the happiest day of people’s lives and you can be a part of it. There are many courses available to become a wedding planner. Often they involve following a real wedding planner so you can gain true insights about the business; from the skills and tasks required to how to find clients. This includes a study of all the wedding basics from rings, gowns, flowers, favors, suits, cakes, traditional and modern venues, flower arrangements, wine, entertainment, deadlines and budgets.

2. WORK IN A SEASONAL SKI OR FISHING LODGE.
I know a retired family friend in Saskatoon, Canada who actually does this. They have six months off and then spend six months working in a fishing lodge. It is a fairly basic place, but the amazing fish stocks means that he meets elite and interesting guests.

3. WORK ON A CRUISE SHIP.
It is hard not to love a job that involves getting paid to travel the world. Cruise ships are so huge these days, they are more like floating cities. They need to employ all manner of staff from musicians, housekeepers, cleaners, servers, entertainers and retail assistants. If you have a specialist hobby or interest, you may be surprised at the opportunities that may be available to you. Some cruise ships have classes such as flower-making, book-binding to juggling, art history and model ship building.

4. BE A HOME SITTER Retired people are often considered to be reliable, trustworthy, responsible and clean. Consider becoming a home sitter. You could end up house-sitting a beautiful hacienda in Mexico! There are websites such as housecarers.com which are dedicated to matching house sitters with home owners.

5. WORK AS A PET SITTER
As with house-sitting this is another money making opportunity which favors senior people who are considered to be experienced and responsible. If you have some experience in owning or caring for a pet, you might consider working as a pet walker, pet sitter, or even house-sitting combined with pet sitting. Compensation for this is usually on an hourly basis and there is a wide range of rates. You make earn more if you have additional skills such as dog training.

6. RETRAIN AS AN INTERIOR DESIGNER
Do you watch home make over shows on TV and offer your own opinions? Do you long to help people re-decorate their homes? You may also consider taking and interior design course and using your talent to help people re-design their houses. It is creative, satisfying and fun and there are more people who require the services of an interior designer than you might first realize.

7. BE A WORK-AT-HOME TRAVEL AGENT
The tourism industry has seen some ups and downs in the past few years, but overall long-term growth in this industry continues to move upwards. Many travel firms, especially online booking agencies are happy to hire work-at-home travel agents. It is an easy skill to acquire and you may even receive company discounts for you and your family on travel packages.

8. HELP OUT IN THE GARDEN FOR MONEY
Many families are too busy to maintain their garden. If you enjoy gardening and working outdoors, you might consider becoming a gardener. It is not only a rewarding job, there are tremendous health benefits to being outside and staying physically active.

9. TIDY UP FOR A LIVING! BECOME A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER.
If you have always been a neat freak and a highly organized person, professional organizing might be the ideal profession for you. If you have ever watched the TV show “Hoarders”, you will know that there are people out there who just have too much stuff and can never keep their homes and offices tidy.

10. QUALIFY AS A NUTRITIONAL EXPERT AND YOU CAN TRAVEL THE WORLD.
So many people want to combine a holiday with losing weight to getting fit. There are many hotels and travel companies offering healthy vacations. Hotels and spas are offering well being package holidays complete with massage therapists, yoga instructors and nutritionists. If you have a good manner with people and gain a nutrition qualification, you can spend the holiday season giving diet and healthy eating tips.

11. BECOME A GUEST PUBLIC SPEAKER OR HELPER AT A CONVENTION OR CONFERENCE. You have more experience and knowledge that you probably think you do. You might be surprised at the amazing variety of convention and conferences available. You could be a public speaker, which could be something as simple as giving a testimonial or review of a particular product, or talking about your career history and what you have learned on the way. You may be paid or you may simply receive compensation for your travel expenses, lodging and food. It’s a great way to meet people which could lead to similar jobs or even consultancy projects or work.

12. WORK AS BLACKJACK DEALER IN VEGAS
As long as you do not have a criminal record, you might want to train as a card dealer and work in a resort city like Las Vegas, Atlantic City or Reno. Card dealing is not as hard as it might look at first with practice and of course there is that chance to earn a lot of extra money through tips.

Those are our best retirement jobs. As you can see there are many cool and easy jobs available for retirees. Take some time to research the available options, keep an open mind and be persistent.

Hotel and Travel Jobs

Hospitality can said to be the relationship between the guest and the host where the host keeps the guests entertained and also caters to their needs to keep them happy for a cost.

The word that comes to mind when hospitality is considered is only luxurious, that’s because each and every one wants their experience in hotelling and travelling to be excellent and lavishing. The hotel and travel jobs have become the most sought after job categories now days. In hotel and travel industry the customer always seek comfort and luxury. Once he gets these two as per his expectation, he can be charged more than normal which makes these industries really profit making mines.

Hotel Jobs…

Hospitality refers to the relation which is built up between a guest and their host and it also refers to the act of being hospitable, that is taking care and entertaining the guest, visitors or strangers with full due respect. Hospitality mainly refers to those jobs in the sectors of hotels, restaurants, casinos, catering, resorts, spas etc and other businesses dealing with tourists. We will talk about hotel jobs here which are abundant as it is a booming industry. The total net worth of this industry could now be estimated to be whooping 61 billion dollars a year and is increasing at a fast pace. To get a job in this industry what a person needs is a degree in hospitality management, well which is just a basic degree to enter. Moreover, what a person requires is that it has to be in his nature that he is hospitable and polite to everyone. The salaries in this industry can start from meager and go up to millions (and these days it is really earned by various chefs working in hotels). Restaurants have also b

ecome an important part in the hotel industry, world class restaurants are setting up their chains in major cities of the world. A hotel is also incomplete without a good place to eat. The hotels in various countries are graded on the basis of the quality of services provided by them. The important grades of the hotels are the 3 and the 5 star. In recent times another category has been added to these which is a 7 star, which has been obtained only by a Dubai based hotel.

Travel Sector jobs…

Travelling can said to be an exquisite pleasure which can be experienced by a person from going to one place to the other and people in the travel industry can be said to make those journeys memorable. The main source of travel industry in these days can said to be aviation, cruise, tour operator dealing with holidaying etc. The aviation industry also influences the travelling patterns of the tourist. The cheap and easily available tickets, number of airlines and the frequency of the flights is increasing the number of tourists. Travelling can be of various modes but it is essential for your host to make it comfortable and fun. One major benefit of the job in travel industry is that a person gets a lot of chances to visit various beautiful tourist places for free and get paid for it. The jobs in this industry are lucrative, enjoyable and gives chance to interact with lot of people. The most suitable person for travelling kind of jobs is one who is physically fit, knows more languages as foreign tourists are

the main source of money, and like as in hospitality industry be polite to his customers and importantly an extrovert. He should also have the knowledge about the area where his guest will be travelling.

Hospitality Industry’s worth is in billions so it is a good chance to take advantage of it. Many youngsters are now looking here for their career prospects and making good use of its boom time. To be a part of this industry all one needs to be is presentable, appealing, polite, sweet natured, friendly, extrovert and of course hard working. The work force of hospitality industry is usually young; they age from between 25 to 40. This is because this is the most active part of their life and they put in their hardest efforts during their working period. This industry depends heavily on the tourist inflow in the country and the money they have brought to spend there.

The main components of the hospitality industry are hotels, diners, spas, motels etc. hotelling being the most important one as it generates the maximum revenues, is the most sought after for jobs.

professionals complete a basic course in hospitality management to be a part of this industry and there are other professional courses which are needed to be done to get lucrative jobs. The individual hoteliers also make the job seekers go through their special training programs before they actually get there jobs.

What Travel Agents Need to Know About Corporate Travel Today

This is rightly named as the age of traveler-centricity and with the evolution of the new era of personalized travel; it is leading to research and development of a host of new so-called intelligent services. The command-and-control perspectives of traveling have changed a lot from the past and the focus has shifted more on the traveler and the productivity of each trip. It has become essential to maintain that the travelers have the greatest return on investment on each trip. New generations of young employees and managers, who have been growing up and dwelling in a digital age, are moving up the ranks as travelers. It has become essential to recognize the need for greater flexibility acknowledging that the employees who travel on corporate trips also consider a percentage of their trip to be a leisure outlet. With increasing globalization and rise in companies sending their staff overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects/customers/suppliers, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism segment. Before we talk about how tourism companies can better cater to business travelers, let us first look at why they prefer to use specialized corporate agencies over traditional agents

Why do businesses use Corporate Travel Agencies?

This might be the most basic question for a travel agency as to why they need to use agencies specializing in corporate travel when there are plenty of regular travel agents in the market. Here is the importance of corporate travel agencies who have online systems which allow business travelers access to their complete itinerary.

The following information is at the fingertips of the CTAs:-

full business itinerary details
up-to-date tracking details of flights (including delays or rescheduling)
transparent details about additional costs such as baggage fees or in-flight fees
travel alerts, if any, in the destined area
complete and up-to-date details about the visa procurement policies and identification required
currency requirement and conversion rates

What do corporate clients expect from Corporate Travel Agencies?

Negotiated Fares

The Corporate Agencies tend to have tie-ups with hotels, car rentals, flights etc. giving them access to lower fares which can be used only by the frequent business travelers. Discounted prices are not the only advantage though as they also offer flight upgrades, room upgrades, and VIP check-in lines as required.

In-depth information about the travel industry

Corporate travel agents have access to many travel resources and most importantly, quickly, than any other leisure travel agent. Additional information helps to make the business trips convenient and comfortable.

Changes in Itinerary

When an airline ticket needs to get rescheduled or cancelled, chances are the airline or the online service provider will charge lofty fees. When booking with a corporate travel agent, most of the times schedule changes can be done at zero or minimal extra charges.

Viable emergency contacts

It is important for the business travelers to reach the correct person at the need of trouble. Corporate travel agents have the experience and professionalism to relieve stress for both the traveler and the company.

What you need to consider as corporate travel increases?

Business Travel Barometer reported that corporate travel is witnessing an accelerated growth. However, when poorly managed, it may be no longer an advantage to companies and may, in fact become a burden. There are some factors which the corporations and CTAs must consider to get the best out of the time spent traveling.

Adopting a travel policy

The corporate must define a travel policy which is applicable to and respected by travelers at all levels. This policy should be used to establish the standards which will help to track the improvement of business travel. It will eventually help to reduce the costs of the entire package.

Do not limit the traveler’s autonomy

The management is responsible for budgeting the travel policy which helps to improve cost management however, it is also essential to give a degree of autonomy to the traveler. The policy should be flexible enough to allow the employee to adapt the trip as per the situation.

Traveler’s security should be a major concern

Business travelers need to have security in place. The company needs to stick to its definition of standards to ensure the employee’s integrity. The CTAs should have reliable partners (travel insurance, airlines, hotel chains etc.).

Mobility and automation

To optimize time and ease the processes, the administration of management platforms should have automated processes. This means they should adopt mobile solutions where search options, travel alerts, ticket reservations etc. can be accessed quickly, easily and on the go.

Corporate Travel Trends in 2016

Corporate travel trends tend to change regularly. 2016 has also not been any different and the travel management companies (TMCs) and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) are quite focused to provide steady if not strong axis all over. A growing MICE sector, investments in mobile and big data and enhanced focus on duty of care are some of their areas of focus.

Rising prices

The consolidated buzzword among global suppliers, airfares, hotel rates etc. is the rising fares. It is sometimes the move of the suppliers to generate discounts which encourage travel if there is a strong decline in demand. A positive 2016 world economy has been bringing an increase in air fares of a few percentage points, hotels are expected to see 4%-6% rise in average global rates and the competition will remain moderate in the car rental services.

Duty of care

Risk management is one of the major points of emphasis for corporations. Corporate customers are allowing new policies and improved technologies to monitor employees’ location in case of an emergency, especially when they are travelling to foreign destinations. For instance, Concur Risk Messaging helps to identify the travelers moving around in the world and alerts them with alternate travel arrangement as and when needed.

Focusing on MICE

Meetings industry is a major growing sector and the corporate travel trend is developing on it. The corporate travel agencies should better start aligning the various meeting procurement methodologies with its transient travel sourcing. One of the ways could be to broaden the variety of meeting services by incorporating incentive trips within it.

Investing in technology

A sharper focus on increasing value and becoming more traveler-centric can be done by bringing in mobile friendly technologies. Mobile and big data are definitely the two most significant technological investments which any corporate travel agency must focus to make their platform more appealing.

Business travel analysis after Brexit

Following Brexit, ACTE and CAPA shared their speculations. According to them, the greatest short-term effects on the travel industry will come from the weakening of the pound against other world currencies. Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives said that the business travel industry will trend on currency fluctuations; with some companies taking advantage of the weaker pound and traveling more, while others may withhold business travel until world markets find their own level.

Impact of terrorism on corporate travelers

Travel policy makers and administrators need to be guided by rising terrorism scare. For executives and staff undertaking travel on behalf of businesses, the travel agents and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) should prove the reassurance for their safety through the travel policies. It is more than likely that the surveys conducted over corporate travelers reflect the general concern of the global business travelers about the spate of terrorism. However, there is no denying the fact that terrorist threat is changing the patterns of business travel. The key impact of this is to keep in mind that the companies providing travel services for business travelers need to enhance their focus on security and the associated risks in delivering the services to corporate clients. According to a recent finding, travel managers have higher estimation of their policy’s effectiveness in addressing risk compared to skeptical business travelers.

Concluding

Although the corporate travel sector has continued to progress, there are a plethora of challenges faced by the industry. A rapidly changing consumer market, the emergence of new business models, the impact of technology, man-made and natural crises are some of the fulcrum points that need to be considered before planning corporate trips.

Base Tendriling Travel Expenses

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.”

If 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.”

As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

The Great Leveler

Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

No More Tickets

Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticketless” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

Out There

Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.

What’s the Price?

Fred Swaffer, transportation manager for Hewlett-Packard and a strong advocate of the net-pricing system, has pioneered the concept of fee-based pricing with travel-management companies under contract with H-P. He states that H-P, which spends more than $528 million per year on T&E, plans to have all air travel based on net-fare pricing. “At the present time, we have several net fares at various stages of agreement,” he says. “These fares are negotiated with the airlines at the corporate level, then trickle down to each of our seven geographical regions.”

Frank Kent, Western regional manager for United Airlines, concurs: “United Airlines participates in corporate volume discounting, such as bulk ticket purchases, but not with net pricing. I have yet to see one net-fare agreement that makes sense to us. We’re not opposed to it, but we just don’t understand it right now.”

Kent stresses, “Airlines should approach corporations with long-term strategic relationships rather than just discounts. We would like to see ourselves committed to a corporation rather than just involved.”

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.”

If 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.”

As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

The Great Leveler

Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

No More Tickets

Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticketless” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

Out There

Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.