8.1.06

work: Why Business Travel?

What is all the fuss about business travel?
Just let me give you the example I always give to my friends. When I tell them that a business class ticket to Sydney costs around €3000-3500, or to New York around €2000 (closer to €3000 if you travel direct), they are always shocked about the prices. They are used to travelling for leisure and spending half, if not even a third, of that. They always ask me what is the purpouse of spending so much money on a ticket.
It's quite simple. If you're travelling for work, most times you will be meeting clients, fellow managers or partners, and will very probably be negotiating contracts, partnerships, product lines etc. Does a company really want to send a tired and jetlagged employee to represent them? When having to deal with contracts worth thousands or even millions, would a company prefer to save a few hundred on a ticket and a cheaper hotel resulting in a less relaxed, fresh and happy manager who would probably bring home worse results?
No.

The ability of a business travel agent nowadays requires two main skills:
> that of finding the cheapest possible solution
> that of understanding the company's and the traveller's needs in order to find not the cheapest, but the most suitable solutions balancing costs and comfort

The two contraddict eachother don't they?
When I organise business trips, I always give my clients two options (often more than two):
> the cheapest: enables my company to go to their company every one in a while to remind them how good we are at finding bargains and how much they would have saved if they had followed our advice. It also keeps the competition away.
> the most suitable: gets my client there happy, satisfied, and ready to work and bring home good results for his company.

Important notice: sometimes the chapest solutions happens to be the most suitable one too.

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