Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
Travel suppliers who focus on chasing direct bookings are failing to offer “value” to corporate customers, according to a new report from the GTMC.
The organisation has produced a new white paper, entitled Impaired Vision, which argues that the hidden cost of direct sales acts to reduce value for business travellers. The report was launched at the Business Travel Show in London today (February 22).
Paul Wait, CEO of the GTMC, said: “While technology has simplified traditional booking processes in many ways, what we’re increasingly seeing is a massive disconnect between the intended benefits from suppliers and the actual benefits delivered to the corporate travellers their businesses rely on.
“This white paper demonstrates how, in focusing a disproportionate amount of energy on direct channels and prioritising short-term profit over longer-term relationships, some travel providers have lost sight of the actual value that they are delivering to organisations.”
Wait added that this focus on direct bookings “downplays the role” and benefits of indirect channels, such as TMCs.
“The GTMC’s concern is that the sector is running away with being focused on cost rather than value, and that therefore the role of indirect channels such as TMC is misunderstood,” he said.
The report says that “increasingly blurred lines” between direct and indirect bookings have led to a “more fragmented supply chain” for business travellers.
Customers are also having to deal with “confusing pricing strategies under the guise of greater choice that, in fact, see customers paying more for necessary components, such as credit card booking fees”.
The GTMC is calling for travel suppliers to be “more transparent” about their real customer acquisition costs.
“With huge direct-marketing campaign budgets that are measured against all bookings, rather than direct-only bookings, the study highlights how in fact the cost-per-acquisition of the business traveller via a TMC is often not accurately calculated,” says the GTMC.