Favorable Conditions of Cooperation With Business Travel Agencies

Tatyana Nugmanova
Sales and Marketing Director
Demlink Travel

Russia has huge potential for business development. The intensity and effectiveness of existing processes will determine Russia's economic growth. Although there are many companies with branches all over Russia, many more branches, divisions, and production capacity have yet to be created and opened in our country. With each passing year, international cooperation between Russia and foreign countries is developing more and more in the form of realization of partnership contracts and investment projects, and in international congresses and exhibitions.

The development of business in Russia is inseparably linked with the organization of business trips and events. Still, it's old-fashioned in many enterprises to organize a business trip or event through a personal assistant or another employee and thereby take up the working time of a specialist by non-core activity. In the meantime, there are more organized structures, major Russian and international companies trying to find a reliable partner, who might opt for the organization of a business trip or event from a professional point of view. The companies that provide professional services for the organization of business trips and events are part of the tourism business, where individual service providers' airlines, hotels, transport companies and many other participants of the market are lined up in a chain, creating a unique product, specially calculated for each individual businessman or corporation.

It should be noted, however, that in contrast to many other industries, the tourism industry has not inherited a history of professional development from the Soviet era.

Twenty to fifty years ago, inbound and outbound tourism was almost negligible compared to the stream of tourists and businessmen who now take trips from and to Russia.

Although we must acknowledge that the tourism industry has been developing rapidly over the last few years, there are still plenty of problems to be solved. Nowadays, business travel agents have to deal with a great number of tourism market players, which requires the maintenance and fulfillment of contractual relations and strict liabilities, with professional staff hiring and training. And all of that is just a small portion of the huge problems that business travel agencies face today. With that in mind, there are only two dozen companies in the market that meet the high corporate requirements of quality service provided in the organization of business trips and events. Of course, such a small amount of business travel agencies may not meet the needs of the market. Only the major players of the business can afford cooperation with BTAs. Small and medium-sized businesses are forced to be satisfied with the service of non-specialized agencies or to organize their business trips by themselves.

A distinctive feature of professional BTAs is not only the ability to provide a wide range of services, but also offer their customers effective ways to reduce the expenses on business trips, convenient administration and automation of the process of orders. The companies that wish to consider themselves business travel agencies, in addition to their main service, have to offer service consulting and the implementation of effective solutions that help improve interaction between the agency and the corporate client.

There are five important tasks that have to be implemented by BTAs in order to achieve success and long-term relations with corporate clients:

  • Personnel training and assessment: to train personally every employee of the travel agency in order to utilize all their abilities and skills aimed at guaranteed quality service
  • Use of modern information and online technologies
  • Optimization of customer funds
  • Strengthening partnerships: provide price benefits and meet the preferences of the client
  • The strengthening of communication with clients and the development of a partnership

We are already familiar with the expression "smart house," where everything is automated and serves to satisfy human needs.

So, I would like to wish each corporate client the chance to find his partner, his "smart business travel agency," and reach the goal set forth in his business plans, not forgetting, of course, that each well done job deserves good payment. Unfortunately, while participating in tenders, BTAs have to fight for the client, sometimes reducing the prices dramatically. It is necessary to note that the tourism business, moreover a business based on a commission of the agent's supplier, has a low level of profitability. Reducing profit, BTAs first have to reduce the costs of innovation, then hire and keep highly professional staff. Such measures may eventually affect the quality of the cooperation between the agency and the corporation. Thus, it is necessary to consider the service fees adequately, remember that charges are always set within the bounds of the market. Bearing in mind that the main purpose is an extensive and successful development of the company, we should admit that it depends greatly on well-organized business trips, meetings or events. By choosing a professional business travel agency, you will not regret your choice or spending, because the result of cooperation will most certainly exceed your expectations.