As we drift into 2021, the hangover of the COVID-19 pandemic is still lingering across many industries and professions. One industry heavily impacted was, and still is, travel, and as a result, we’ve seen a significant drop in the number of travel managers working within Travel Management Companies.
Unsurprisingly, since there has been a drop in business travel and the demand for corporate accommodation, one would think that with fewer people travelling for work, the remaining Corporate Travel Consultants would be left twiddling their thumbs right?
In fact, those Travel Managers that remain appear to be working harder than ever.
A volatile market
At the beginning of December 2020, there were some real rays of hope and recovery for business travel shining through. There was a noticeable uplift of activity for those requiring corporate accommodation because they would be temporarily relocating for work.
What we observed is that travel managers were really busy. Working hard to manage the increased demand, and because they were not just doing their own jobs, but taking on the workload from those no longer in their teams.
Fast forward to January 2021, some regions were forced into lockdown and state borders were again closed. The idea of reviving headcounts and hours within TMC teams went on ice. As a result, it seems the remaining travel managers will be left with the inflated workload for the foreseeable future.
How corporate accommodations suppliers can help
With bigger work-loads to manage, staying on top of the inbound enquiries and outbound responses can be challenging. We’ve all had that moment where we’ve sent off a request, and received nothing back. As a result, the task takes longer because you then need to chase an answer or worse, the task falls through the cracks, simply because you have too many balls in the air.
For a Travel Management Consultant, it’s critical to have a supplier that responds quickly. An on-the-ground local contact at the property who is either available directly by phone or you can rely on to respond to emails within a few short hours. This simple offering can make a huge difference to an intense workload at both ends and create the much-needed momentum for a productive day.
Each day, Travel Managers deal with a wide range of companies and travel management policies. Throw in a pandemic, and the constantly changing rules for moving people around, it’s no wonder that suppliers to the travel industry have had to adjust their terms.
However, the level of flexibility can vary dramatically from one operator to the next. Because Astra Apartments is privately owned, the ability to respond to client needs is a key strength. This includes flexibility on how you can book, payment terms, arrival times and customising the offering to meet a company’s requirements. In addition, rates are negotiable for extended stays and group bookings.
With a strong pandemic response plan in place and the roll-out of the vaccine around the corner, business travel confidence in Australia will grow. Ready and agile, Astra Apartments will help travel bookers effectively manage the growing demand.