A corporate travel agent assists business clients with travel planning, research, and booking. These travel agents assist corporate executives and employees in planning business travel in accordance with corporate travel policies, as well as ensuring that business travel is completed in a manner that respects employee and business scheduling while lowering costs. The agent may work for a company in-house or be available to company employees via a website or dedicated phone line. A corporate travel agent may also assist the company in organizing group travel to corporate team-building events or large meetings and conventions sponsored the company, in addition to facilitating regular corporate travel.
Many employees are required to travel for business, some on a regular basis. A corporate travel agent is responsible for searching for flights, hotels, and car rental companies, as well as booking travel for employees. This not only relieves the employee of the burden of making travel arrangements while on the job, but it also allows the agent to put his expertise to work in securing the best rates for the employee’s travel. This helps to prevent unintentional overspending employees who, due to a lack of knowledge about their options, may make more expensive travel arrangements for themselves. When a company has extensive policies regarding employee travel, a corporate travel agent’s work can help prevent policy violations ensuring that all travel arrangements meet corporate travel criteria.
When a company needs to organize group travel to an off-site training location, the travel agent can research and book all of the necessary travel arrangements for everyone who will be attending. Employees who have won travel as a company incentive may also be booked the travel agent in some cases. The agent may also keep detailed records on employees and their travel preferences, ensuring that employees receive preferred seats on planes and that employee loyalty programs provide credit for hotel stays and flights.
Obtaining employment in this field usually entails completing appropriate travel agent training in the jurisdiction where one wishes to work. Depending on where an aspiring travel agent lives, he may be able to attend a vocational or trade school or even a community college to receive training. Travel agents may be trained on the job in some cases. Specialized certification for corporate travel agent work, as well as certifications from specific travel vendors, may be sought the corporate travel agent. She could start out as a general travel agent for an agency or as a self-employed, home-based agent. She might be able to get a job working for a corporate travel company or a company that needs in-house corporate travel support as her experience grows.