Educating the Traveler

» Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Business Practices, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

But why can’t I just buy the ticket on the internet?

Do I need to buy the additional insurance?

What hotels offer per-diem rates in this city?

These are just some of the questions we travel managers face on a daily basis. Getting the best value in travel services is a primary function of our job, but more importantly it is to educate the travelers on how to use the travel program.    We sometimes forget that some travelers may only travel once a year on official business and have either forgotten or have never used the rules and procedures to travel.

Developing a web page with frequently asked questions is one great way to educate.  When I first took over travel management for the State nine years ago, my phone would constantly ring with the same questions.   The day I spent assembling the questions along with the answers saved me a great deal of time I spent on the phone each week. Travelers also appreciated having the information at their fingertips.

Another tool is yearly forums or workshops for travel preparers.   The state has been conducting these forums for 8 years.  It is a great venue to introduce contract changes, provide a refresher course on using the online tool, reviewing the travel policy and discussion on what is and what isn’t working with the travel program.  People need to feel like they are being heard, and this forum provides that avenue.

After taking the 12 exams on the CGTP course, an idea I now have is to develop a simple test at the traveler level that is required by all travelers to take.  The test would center on the travel policy, vendors and proper processes.  If this can be accomplished, it will be another great way of educating the traveler.

As I mentioned above, I believe that education on travel is our most important job.  This ensures travel policies are met while allowing the traveler to complete his mission on the most cost effective basis.

by Tim Hay

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