CTD: Alternate Realities

An in-house corporate travel department can offer flexibility and control – but it’s a move that needs thought and planning
Maybe somewhere in another universe, the biggest challenge travel buyers face could be deciding whether to go for that second cup of coffee. Wouldn’t it be great if things were that problem-free? Back in the real world, however, challenges persist.

For travel managers, the idea of starting up and running a corporate travel department could have a certain appeal. And while a CTD may not eliminate all the challenges of managing business travel, it does offer an alternative approach to the tasks at hand. Under this model, an organization acts as its own travel agency. Instead of the more common strategy of working with a travel management company, business travel services are provided by employees internally. While an in-house agency may not be everyone, for some companies it offers real potential for cost savings and greater control.

Most corporations like to have control of the type of travel services being delivered to their travelers, according to Greeley Koch, managing director of 490 Consulting. To do this, they have decided to outsource the travel program to those providers set up to run such operations. But some companies have determined that operating a corporate travel department gives them greater control of the whole program. That includes how their travelers are being taken care of as well as insights into any revenue that is being “earned” for their bookings.

“The CTD approach will bring transparency that might not be seen in a typical outsourced travel management company arrangement,” Koch says. “Your true cost of operating the travel department is known when operating as a CTD, and your revenue from the GDS, commissions and other incentive money is available to offset the expense.”

Categories: Special ReportManaging Travel Programs

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