Operations

Major Corporate Travel Tech Supplier Rolls Out Online Booking Tool

Posted on May 23, 2007 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

SOUTHLAKE, Texas — Online booking supplier GetThere is rolling out a tool to help corporate travel buyers manage their chauffeured car and taxi spend. Called GetThere Ground Network, the tool allows travelers to book limousines, executive sedans, and taxis online and makes a side-by-side comparison of all available options. Although major ground transportation suppliers already offer online booking through their websites, the tool will make it easier for travelers to choose based on price and service, said Jeremy Stubbs, director of GetThere Ground Network.

"With direct booking, you don't get the policy and everything else," Stubbs said. "There's no shopping going on. Here, customers can see all vendors — taxis, limousines, standard services, premier services — and communicate that difference."

In addition to making travelers see the prices of all their ground transportation options, buyers can load in preferred vendors and negotiated rates and restrict access to certain vehicles. For example, senior executives could see all car options, while limousines would not be visible to employees for whom the vehicles would be out of policy. Travel buyers also can set up the tool so that certain types of cars are available only for certain lengths of trips.

So far, a few users are trying out the tool, Stubbs said. Largely, they are in the telecommunications, banking, and entertainment industries, he said. GetThere soon will embark on a broader marketing plan for the rest of its customers.

The tool also offers a chance to improve data reporting related to ground transportation, Stubbs said. "With car data, it's a data dump, and you have to filter through it and do some data mining to know the different car companies, geography, and types of rides," Stubbs said. "One thing that's really resonated with procurement and corporate travel managers is seeing that data on the back end.”

Source: Business Travel News

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