Things That Might Not Covered by Your Travel Insurance

Holiday season is coming, and some of you might already have planned how and where to spend this relaxing moment with your family. So prepare your holiday well, choose a trusted and reliable travel agent to arrange your trip, decide wisely where to go and what to do on your destination, prepare your travel documents and things to bring on your trip, and of course, in order to avoid your holiday turned into a disaster, you will need a travel insurance as a protection.

Travel insurance is one of the most important instruments on your holiday, so you better choose your insurance carrier wisely when you decide to buy one. Shop around for the best rate and coverage, and also it is a good idea to look for guidance and tips on how to get the best travel insurance for your journey.

But don’t feel 100% secure just because you already have travel insurance, since there is no insurance that can cover every risk. So do with travel insurance, there are things that most travel insurance will not cover. Knowing these things is important so you can make a preparation in case some of them happen before or during your trip. It’s also useful to help you choose an insurance provider that can give you the most coverage for your travel.

I have compiled from many sources, things that most travel insurance won’t cover as you can see below:

Travel cancellation

Tour operator

Although it is totally beyond your control, but travel insurance will not pay for any expenses you have already made if the travel is canceled by your tour operator. You could ask the tour operator to return your money, but your travel insurance will not pay for any loss you experience regarding this situation neither helping you to get cash back from the tour operator or making a law suit against them.

A tour operator can cancel your trip for some reasons including their internal company problems. That’s why you should carefully choose for a tour operator to avoid this, make sure it’s a good and reliable company.

War or Riot

Usually there are certain types of mess up situation stated in a policy with explanation whether it’s coverable or not. Usually they are; strike, riot, civil commotion, terrorism, and also war, that happens in your travel destination. If the cancellation is made regarding one of those reasons, many travel insurance policies won’t cover.

Death or Illness of a Pet

Animal lovers might cancel their trip because their beloved pet is dead or ill, but don’t expect the insurance company will have a compassion on this situation, this is also the risk that cannot be insured.

Psychological Problem

You cannot cancel your trip for having psychological illness or mental problem without penalty, because for most insurance companies, this is an exclusion of coverage.

Divorce before the Trip

One in a million, but it still could happen. After you bought a tour package and travel insurance, suddenly a problem occurs in your family, then your spouse files for divorce and ruins the whole plan, and you have to cancel the trip. This is also not considered as an uncoverable risk.

Pandemics

If you find out that on your destination there is a pandemic like swine flu or anything like it, you might worry for the sake of your family’s health and decide to cancel the trip. But pandemic is also not a valid reason for trip cancellation, so this won’t be covered.

Visa Refusal

This case sometimes happen, and sadly it always happen after you buy a ticket or book a tour package or at the arrival. Mostly you can only expect cash back from the airline for the ticket, but travel insurance usually won’t cover for this cancellation.

Natural Disaster

Most of travel insurance policies say they will give coverage for trip cancellation if your destination is completely shut down by a natural disaster. But please pay attention to the fine print and read it carefully, usually it says that if the resort or the airport remains open, you will not get your claim paid by the insurance.

Health, Medical Treatment, or Personal Injury

Pre-existing Conditions

This is a common exclusion in many insurance policies, so medical treatment related to that condition during your trip will have to come out of your own pocket.

Extreme Sport

If you wish to do some extreme sports on your destination, the risks won’t be covered by your regular travel insurance. For this, you have to obtain another insurance which is extreme sport insurance or something like that.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Usually, it is specified under which conditions the pregnancy complications or childbirth is covered. You too have to read the fine print real carefully on this one.

Working Activities

For an insurance company, holiday is holiday, meanings you shouldn’t work or do anything related to it. If you are injured while doing something that is considered a working activity, then the insurance won’t cover it. What is considered to be a working activity is not always that you do something for money, as long as it’s a situation involving manual labor, using power tools or driving heavy duty machinery, it could be considered as a working activity.

Drunk

If you are injure in doing an activity after you have some drinks there’s a big chance that your insurance won’t pay for this. So you better pay attention on this one.

Sexual Behavior

If you suffer a disease or have a worry of your future health condition related to a sexual transmitted infection or unwanted pregnancy for the result of your sexual behavior on your holiday, there’s a big chance that you have to take care of the medical costs for treatments or tests by yourself. Most travel insurance doesn’t cover this health condition.

Medical Repatriation

Many people feel safe when they know that the insurance will give coverage for medical evacuation if they suffer a bad medical condition in some remote area. Evacuation meant to transfer the patient to the nearest area that has a better medical service. But if you need to be transferred back home to get the proper treatment it is called repatriation, and not so many travel insurance will cover this. So you have to read the fine print carefully and find out what it says about it.

Others

Baggage Delayed For Less Than 24 Hours

It’s a good idea to carry the things you need for a day in case there’s a baggage delay. If the delay is less than 24 hours, the insurance won’t cover it. The insurance will only cover for baggage delay for more than 24 hours and it’s valid for outbound flights only, so no baggage delay cover for your flight back home.

Loss or damage to keys, money, documents, tickets, or credit cards

Usually these items are not considered to be as baggage or personal item, so you should keep these items real safe during your journey.

Flight Problems Regarding to Security Threats and Terrorism

Sometimes these issues can cause an airport closing, flight delay or event flight cancellation, and travel insurance won’t cover you for buying another ticket, rerouting tickets, or paying for accommodation for these causes.

I really hope this article could help you to arrange your save and pleasant journey. The most important thing is always pay attention to every detail in a policy and read the fine print carefully, since one single word could determine whether the claims you made can be paid or not, have a nice holiday.

Travel Insurance For Backpackers And Hikers

If you have a tour in your mind and you want to travel the free way, a good backpacker travel insurance policy is a thing you must consider before tour. Backpacking trips are bit riskier than regular planned travels. So in such case good backpacker travel insurance becomes a mandatory criterion for a hassle free tour.

Most of the insurers don’t know all the benefits of insurance as they are unaware but these insurance policies help a traveler in many ways.

A Backpacker insurance policy is basically for those who are low on budget. You don’t have to pay high for regular insurance policy but you will surely get the essential coverage with backpackers travel insurance policy. It covers you and your luggage at very less cost, as this type of insurance is designed for backpackers who are known for their low budgeted and unplanned travel schedules.

Before going through you must know backpacker insurance policy and its features.

Features provided by backpacker travel insurance

There are some important features and coverage that backpacker travel insurance policy can provide, these are as follows;

In case if you have to extend you trip due to any unexpected reason, backpacker insurance covers it too.
You get all covers round the clock all the year no matter what time or circumstances are there.
If you get sick during you trip, all the medical expenses will be covered by backpacker insurance providers. Most of the time such insurance policies also covers personal incidents that occur during travel (please confirm this before buying insurance policy from you insurance provider).
Many travel insurance firms provide option to opt out which they don’t want to be covered and ask for the things which they want to be covered. This flexibility is an added advantage for insurers.
Many travel insurance firms provide the option to the insurer that what they really want to be covered in their policy. This flexibility is an added advantage for insurers.
Many backpacker tours for winter sports, some travel for scuba diving. Such adventurous sports have high risks involved which can lead you to physical damages. Covers for such sports are also available as an optional measure. You can add such sports covers in your existing insurance for added safety.
You can extend you insurance any time with a single click sitting at your home in front of your computer.
Make sure that insurance policy covers the location in which you are planning to travel. Some travel insurance companies provide insurance policies only for a certain country.
Now the biggest which every travelers generally asks is “Do I really need a backpacker insurance policy? And is it really worth it? ”

Backpacker travel insurance is surely recommended for you if you fell into any of these categories

You travel alone at places which are expected.
Your travel schedule is unexpected and never planned.
You have medical history or you are above 50 years of age.
Backpacking is surely an adventurous trip but it has its own risks too. Backpackers are very prone to injuries, robbery and related issues. There are some possible issues in which backpackers can easily get coverage. These are as follows:

Tour cancellation – Trips are cancelled many times due to many issues. Sometimes due to bad weather and sometimes due to some personal reason, one has to cancel his/her trip.

Emergency medical care – backpackers are very much prone to issue like food poisoning, diarrhea and other infections. Such diseases can lead to serious health issues which can be covered by purchasing insurance.

Accidents – accidents are common and can be occur at any time. Insurance not only covers for your injury but also the person affected by your mistake.

Theft or robbery – backpacker usually travel alone. They also stay at budget hotels. All this makes them prone to things like baggage theft and robbery.

Considering the current global scenario which is quite unsafe, having proper backpacker travel insurance is very necessary.

A backpacker insurance policy can be a great help for every traveler who wants to travel the free way. So what are you waiting for? Get a backpacker travel insurance for yourself and roam free

Author is an travel insurance adviser who is spreading awareness about backpacker travel insurance

Is Travel Insurance Necessary When Travelling Abroad?

Travel insurance provides an easy way to insure against trip cancellations, trip interruptions, emergency evacuation, accidental death and loss or damage to baggage or personal effects. Millions of dollars are wasted each year by travelers who purchase unnecessary travel insurance or travel assistance policies. Taking care in purchasing any travel insurance or travel assistance policies is a prerequisite although these products may be valuable to some travelers only in limited circumstances.

Buy only the insurance you need. Frequently, several types of insurance are bundled together and sold as comprehensive travel insurance. Make sure you purchase what you need only after reviewing this chapter and doing comparison shopping among several travel insurance policies

Decide on the type of travel insurance after analyzing the type of coverage you already possess. Specific consideration of following facts is required. While you are traveling, provision of liability and personal property protection can be provided by home owner’s or rental’s insurance policy.

Do check the specific limitations and exclusions of the policy even if there is a probability of your health insurance providing you with some coverage. Your automobile insurance policy can also provide cover for a car on rent which is being used by you. In some cases your credit card can offer some protection when you rent a car or if you want to cancel or change your flight.

You can opt for excess or secondary coverage through many travel insurance policies. If any other coverage can be applied to the loss first, such as homeowner’s insurance in case of theft of your personal property, then it means that the travel insurance will provide coverage only for amounts which are not paid by the primary insurance like deductibles. Few of the travel insurance policies offer primary coverage, which is most useful when your own coverage is insufficient or has a very high deductible. Premium for excess coverage is generally low as compared to premium for primary coverage.

A major problem with travel insurance is that most policies contain a number of exclusions and travelers often don’t learn about the exclusions until they try to use the coverage. At the time of reviewing a travel insurance policy you should check the exclusions and definitions carefully to determine how much protection your policy is really offering. Since there are losses which are not covered by any other insurance which you may already have, therefore trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance are probably considered the most important types of travel insurance.

In terms of protection, trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance are different although you cannot deny the fact that they are closely related. Now you can be insured and be sure of getting your money back in case you plan to cancel your trip, by opting for the trip cancellation insurance before you travel. Trip interruption insurance helps you by providing cover during your trip and reimbursing certain expenses if you cut short or change your trip. Since the exact terms of the policy may vary but the answer to validity of trip cancellation insurance for reimbursing you for nonrefundable and prepaid trip expenses lies in following three things. Your travel companion or you may have to give immediate attention to a situation or if you are in a spot which forces you to abandon your trip though arrangements have been booked. Trip cancellation insurance is applicable before your departure.

After you purchase your trip cancellation insurance, you should make sure that you are covered by the insurance policy when you move from your home to your departure point. In the same manner, trip cancellation policies expire when there is possibility of occurrence of last time crisis. If you purchase cancellation insurance, make sure you are covered during the entire period of time before your departure.

For more information on travel insurance and cover check out holiday insurance. More information on the topic of travel insurance and cover is located at cheap backpacker travel insurance UK.

Travel Insurance Options for Traveling Abroad

Travel insurance is just one of things that are necessary when traveling abroad. Travel insurance can be a very practical solution to providing protection for unexpected emergencies while traveling. This type of insurance protects your investment and allows individuals to travel with peace of mind. There are several options available for going abroad depending on the length and type of trip. Travelers can easily compare plans from leading providers, receive quotes and purchase a plan instantly. Travel insurance can insure against unexpected illness, injury, employment loss, luggage loss and more.

It can provide coverage for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption. This insurance provides coverage due to unforeseen illnesses or death. Pre-departure trip cancellation insurance provides protection in the event of the traveler having to cancel flight or hotel reservations due to an immediate member of the family’s death or illness or other covered events. Trip interruption insurance provides benefits if the traveler is unable to continue the covered trip after departure due to covered events. As an option, there are companies that also provide policies that cover cancellation for any reason.

Another option available for travelers insurance is for medical emergencies. This type is beneficial particularly when visiting abroad. Insurance for medical emergencies will provide coverage for doctor visits, medication and even evacuation for medical emergencies. This is particularly important for individuals with chronic conditions or those traveling to underdeveloped countries. Travelers may also have the option of insurance that will provide coverage for tickets that are not refundable and the trip has to be cancelled. Some insurance will even cover missed flights, which can be, a life saver due to delays and overcrowding.

Baggage protection is another type of insurance available. This type of insurance covers direct loss, theft, and damage of your luggage during the covered trip. Travel Accident Protection is another insurance choice that is available. This type of insurance provides coverage for accidental death and dismemberment. This type of insurance provides protection if the traveler is injured in an accident and suffer a loss while covered under this type of plan. A comprehensive travel insurance plan is a great option and a very popular choice for vacationing abroad. This option can provide a wide range of insurance coverage and may even allow travelers to choose what options to incorporate which is why it such a popular choice.

There are several types of companies that offer insurance for travelers. Most travelers prefer to purchase this insurance directly from travel insurance agencies or companies. It is also offered by most companies that offer tours as they generally offer insurance to their clients. Major cruise lines as well offer the option to purchase travel insurance. Cruise line operators usually offer a host of plans to travelers when they schedule a cruise. Travelers can purchase insurance from a travel agent which is very convenient to purchase travel and insurance in one place.

Once you think about the high price of travel and the low price of insurance, this type of insurance is a very reasonable investment. There are plenty of things to worry about when traveling but by protecting your vacation plans with affordable traveling insurance, unforeseen events do not have to be one of them. Since it is not possible to foresee what may happen during travel, a insurance plan is a great value. Travel insurance can slash your losses in numerous situations.

What Type of Travel Insurance Is Best for Canadians?

Among the first questions the majority Canadians ask when buying travel insurance packages is “What type of travel insurance do I need?”

It’s a good query, as there are a number of travel insurance types in existence, and selecting among the them all can seem a bit tricky to start with.

Listed in this article, we describe the primary types of plans in Canada, and what types of insurance are best for Canadians.

Single Trip

A single trip policy is suitable for your requirements if you’re intending to travel once inside of a given year. This variety of plan is the most widespread type of plan. Single trip policies only cover individuals for an individual journey away from home.

Multi Trip

If you travel repeatedly each year, it may be worthwhile to buy a multi-trip travel insurance policy. A multi-trip coverage offers insurance for numerous trips in a year. Multi-trip plans often have limits around the time period of trips you are able to make. 15 day or one month trip limits are common, however, some firms let you take as many as sixty days on every trip.

If you want multi-trip coverage, look into the plan perks that are offered by credit card issuers. One of the charge cards you have in your purse could quite possibly maybe even offer protection!

Coverage may include the cardholder’s husband or wife and little ones and can be a great strategy to reduce travel insurance plan costs. Make sure you study the insurance policy and coverage cautiously, so you know exactly what you’re actually getting.

All Inclusive

An all inclusive plan may well be effective for you if you want to have complete coverage. All inclusive insurance policies usually cover emergency medical protection, trip cancellation and trip interruption, baggage insurance plans and health evacuation insurance. Numerous all inclusive insurance policies offer high limits for emergency medical coverage.

The key downside of most inclusive policies is money. You’ll often pay greater than double the total cost of a single trip plan for all inclusive travel insurance plan. If you happen to be paying attention to how much you want to spend, contemplate getting a simple single trip plan, and choosing a supplementary trip cancellation plan. This can help you save a ton of money.

Tip! Make a brief telephone call to your house insurance company to check out if they offer some baggage or personal belongings insurance plan.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance is effective if you’re concerned about the expense to you personally in case your trip is cancelled or rescheduled. These kinds of packages are especially a good choice for trips that are high priced.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance plans are also a decent option if you are travelling with multiple people, or if you happen to be travelling along with children. Would you want to take your infant on a long voyage if they’ve only developed a serious stomach virus? It happens all the time.Trip cancellation and interruption insurance will let you cancel your trip for pre-specified reasons like illness of yourself or a travelling companion, or work loss.

Always get in touch with your insurance provider to obtain their permission prior to cancelling a holiday. It’s very normal to believe a reason for cancelling is covered under an insurance policy, only to discover out that in fact there’s an exclusion within the plan. You can buy cancel for any reason travel insurance plans, which will let you cancel a holiday for various reasons. These policies generally are somewhat higher priced, but nonetheless they do give you peace of mind.

Top Up Insurance for Canadians

Top up travel insurance is an effective option in the event you already have insurance, but don’t have coverage for the entire time period that in fact you’re away. This type of travel insurance plan is definitely worthwhile in case you have work or charge card insurance which can only cover you for the beginning part of your trip.

Using your primary insurance plans for your 1st part of your journey, and acquiring a top up plan for the rest, might be greatly less costly than investing in a brand-new policy for the entire time period.

Baggage

Baggage insurance protects you and your loved ones in case your luggage is lost, stolen, or rescheduled. The benefit you can get from baggage insurance ranges from about $500 to $2000 per consumer, relying on your plan.

Your home insurance coverage quite often gives you some protection for your assets while you are traveling, but they in all likelihood will likely not cover baggage delays.

Medical Evacuation

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is especially necessary if you’re going on a cruise or if you happen to be paying a visit to a remote location. If you fall ill aboard a cruise, an emergency medical evacuation by way of a helicopter can easily cost $150,000.

Emergency health evacuation insurance can pay for transportation to the closest medical facility or alternatively back to your point of departure. Having said that, all insurance policies call for pre-approval by way of qualified medical expert. While medical evacuation is covered in many medical travel insurance policies, you can buy separate medical evacuation insurance cover plan.

Be mindful if you’re considering obtaining insurance plans coming from the cruise company. Many cruise companies do not include medical evacuation insurance cover plan inside their travel insurance policies.

Pre-Existing Conditions

If you have a pre-existing health condition (including diabetes or alternatively heart issues), a policy that allows for coverage when it comes to pre-existing conditions is a must have. A pre-existing condition is a health problem you might already had when trip started, even if you didn’t have the problem at the time you obtained your insurance.

Insurance policies who will allow for pre-existing medical conditions are typically more costly, nonetheless, at the very least, you’ll be covered in the event you have a medical disaster associated with your pre-existing condition. Any condition that in fact appears from the time you acquire your insurance plan to the time period you begin your vacation can be considered to be a pre-existing condition, even if you didn’t know about it at the time you purchased your insurance plan.

Being pregnant will often be viewed as a pre-existing condition by many travel insurers.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment

Accidental death and dismemberment is a worthwhile type of travel insurance, and is generally speaking (though not guaranteed to be) covered in emergency medical travel insurance policies. This type of travel insurance will take care of you for injuries you get while riding as a fare-paying passenger on an airplane, helicopter or common carrier (a bus, boat, or even train). There’s also a death benefit that is paid out (generally between 10,000 to 25,000) if you pass away on your voyage.

In keeping with its less than lovely title, an accidental death and dismemberment policy can pay you a set amount if you lose an arm or leg (or other part of your body) while on vacation.

Bottom Line

Whatever type of travel insurance you decide on, read your policy attentively before you leave.

For informative, unbiased reviews of travel insurance companies for Canadians and travel insurance tips please visit Canadian Travel Insurance Review.

What Travel Agents Need to Know About Corporate Travel Today

This is rightly named as the age of traveler-centricity and with the evolution of the new era of personalized travel; it is leading to research and development of a host of new so-called intelligent services. The command-and-control perspectives of traveling have changed a lot from the past and the focus has shifted more on the traveler and the productivity of each trip. It has become essential to maintain that the travelers have the greatest return on investment on each trip. New generations of young employees and managers, who have been growing up and dwelling in a digital age, are moving up the ranks as travelers. It has become essential to recognize the need for greater flexibility acknowledging that the employees who travel on corporate trips also consider a percentage of their trip to be a leisure outlet. With increasing globalization and rise in companies sending their staff overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects/customers/suppliers, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism segment. Before we talk about how tourism companies can better cater to business travelers, let us first look at why they prefer to use specialized corporate agencies over traditional agents

Why do businesses use Corporate Travel Agencies?

This might be the most basic question for a travel agency as to why they need to use agencies specializing in corporate travel when there are plenty of regular travel agents in the market. Here is the importance of corporate travel agencies who have online systems which allow business travelers access to their complete itinerary.

The following information is at the fingertips of the CTAs:-

full business itinerary details
up-to-date tracking details of flights (including delays or rescheduling)
transparent details about additional costs such as baggage fees or in-flight fees
travel alerts, if any, in the destined area
complete and up-to-date details about the visa procurement policies and identification required
currency requirement and conversion rates

What do corporate clients expect from Corporate Travel Agencies?

Negotiated Fares

The Corporate Agencies tend to have tie-ups with hotels, car rentals, flights etc. giving them access to lower fares which can be used only by the frequent business travelers. Discounted prices are not the only advantage though as they also offer flight upgrades, room upgrades, and VIP check-in lines as required.

In-depth information about the travel industry

Corporate travel agents have access to many travel resources and most importantly, quickly, than any other leisure travel agent. Additional information helps to make the business trips convenient and comfortable.

Changes in Itinerary

When an airline ticket needs to get rescheduled or cancelled, chances are the airline or the online service provider will charge lofty fees. When booking with a corporate travel agent, most of the times schedule changes can be done at zero or minimal extra charges.

Viable emergency contacts

It is important for the business travelers to reach the correct person at the need of trouble. Corporate travel agents have the experience and professionalism to relieve stress for both the traveler and the company.

What you need to consider as corporate travel increases?

Business Travel Barometer reported that corporate travel is witnessing an accelerated growth. However, when poorly managed, it may be no longer an advantage to companies and may, in fact become a burden. There are some factors which the corporations and CTAs must consider to get the best out of the time spent traveling.

Adopting a travel policy

The corporate must define a travel policy which is applicable to and respected by travelers at all levels. This policy should be used to establish the standards which will help to track the improvement of business travel. It will eventually help to reduce the costs of the entire package.

Do not limit the traveler’s autonomy

The management is responsible for budgeting the travel policy which helps to improve cost management however, it is also essential to give a degree of autonomy to the traveler. The policy should be flexible enough to allow the employee to adapt the trip as per the situation.

Traveler’s security should be a major concern

Business travelers need to have security in place. The company needs to stick to its definition of standards to ensure the employee’s integrity. The CTAs should have reliable partners (travel insurance, airlines, hotel chains etc.).

Mobility and automation

To optimize time and ease the processes, the administration of management platforms should have automated processes. This means they should adopt mobile solutions where search options, travel alerts, ticket reservations etc. can be accessed quickly, easily and on the go.

Corporate Travel Trends in 2016

Corporate travel trends tend to change regularly. 2016 has also not been any different and the travel management companies (TMCs) and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) are quite focused to provide steady if not strong axis all over. A growing MICE sector, investments in mobile and big data and enhanced focus on duty of care are some of their areas of focus.

Rising prices

The consolidated buzzword among global suppliers, airfares, hotel rates etc. is the rising fares. It is sometimes the move of the suppliers to generate discounts which encourage travel if there is a strong decline in demand. A positive 2016 world economy has been bringing an increase in air fares of a few percentage points, hotels are expected to see 4%-6% rise in average global rates and the competition will remain moderate in the car rental services.

Duty of care

Risk management is one of the major points of emphasis for corporations. Corporate customers are allowing new policies and improved technologies to monitor employees’ location in case of an emergency, especially when they are travelling to foreign destinations. For instance, Concur Risk Messaging helps to identify the travelers moving around in the world and alerts them with alternate travel arrangement as and when needed.

Focusing on MICE

Meetings industry is a major growing sector and the corporate travel trend is developing on it. The corporate travel agencies should better start aligning the various meeting procurement methodologies with its transient travel sourcing. One of the ways could be to broaden the variety of meeting services by incorporating incentive trips within it.

Investing in technology

A sharper focus on increasing value and becoming more traveler-centric can be done by bringing in mobile friendly technologies. Mobile and big data are definitely the two most significant technological investments which any corporate travel agency must focus to make their platform more appealing.

Business travel analysis after Brexit

Following Brexit, ACTE and CAPA shared their speculations. According to them, the greatest short-term effects on the travel industry will come from the weakening of the pound against other world currencies. Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives said that the business travel industry will trend on currency fluctuations; with some companies taking advantage of the weaker pound and traveling more, while others may withhold business travel until world markets find their own level.

Impact of terrorism on corporate travelers

Travel policy makers and administrators need to be guided by rising terrorism scare. For executives and staff undertaking travel on behalf of businesses, the travel agents and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) should prove the reassurance for their safety through the travel policies. It is more than likely that the surveys conducted over corporate travelers reflect the general concern of the global business travelers about the spate of terrorism. However, there is no denying the fact that terrorist threat is changing the patterns of business travel. The key impact of this is to keep in mind that the companies providing travel services for business travelers need to enhance their focus on security and the associated risks in delivering the services to corporate clients. According to a recent finding, travel managers have higher estimation of their policy’s effectiveness in addressing risk compared to skeptical business travelers.

Concluding

Although the corporate travel sector has continued to progress, there are a plethora of challenges faced by the industry. A rapidly changing consumer market, the emergence of new business models, the impact of technology, man-made and natural crises are some of the fulcrum points that need to be considered before planning corporate trips.

Base Tendriling Travel Expenses

As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference

US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.

Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.

Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.

Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.

Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”

If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and reengineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”

As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

The Great Leveler

Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

No More Tickets

Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticketless” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

Out There

Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.

What’s the Price?

Fred Swaffer, transportation manager for Hewlett-Packard and a strong advocate of the net-pricing system, has pioneered the concept of fee-based pricing with travel-management companies under contract with H-P. He states that H-P, which spends more than $528 million per year on T&E, plans to have all air travel based on net-fare pricing. “At the present time, we have several net fares at various stages of agreement,” he says. “These fares are negotiated with the airlines at the corporate level, then trickle down to each of our seven geographical regions.”

Frank Kent, Western regional manager for United Airlines, concurs: “United Airlines participates in corporate volume discounting, such as bulk ticket purchases, but not with net pricing. I have yet to see one net-fare agreement that makes sense to us. We’re not opposed to it, but we just don’t understand it right now.”

Kent stresses, “Airlines should approach corporations with long-term strategic relationships rather than just discounts. We would like to see ourselves committed to a corporation rather than just involved.”

As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference.

US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.

Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.

Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.

Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.

Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”

If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and reengineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”

As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

The Great Leveler

Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

No More Tickets

Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticketless” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

Out There

Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.