Travel technology provider Amadeus has signed a 10-year partnership with Hong Kong travel agent Lotus Tours to provide it with extensive technological tools.
One of the tools will be a corporate self-booking website, which helps clients liaise with the travel agent on travel requests. This will be an adapted version of the technology Amadeus also provides to other Travel Management Companies (TMCs).
David Brett, president of Amadeus Asia-Pacific, said there was a growing corporate demand for this kind of self-booking software. He explained that company executives increasingly saw corporate booking tools as something that could give them more freedom and remove limitations, letting them choose how they interact with travel agents and access services at any time of the day.
“For me, that’s going to be the important selling point of corporate booking tools in the future,” he said.
Another advantage corporate booking tools offer to companies is allowing them to uphold their travel policies automatically without requiring a person to handle this. If a director logs into the website, for example, it can automatically recognise that he should be allowed to book first class tickets, whilst denying less-senior staff the same privileges.
The corporate booking systems can automatically send travel plans to management for approval. They can also help to streamline the company’s accounting of travel expenses.
“From the administrative side of a large corporation, these corporate travel websites have a definite advantage in terms of controlling travel expenditure and having more information,” said Patrick Kong, deputy chairman and CEO of Lotus Tours.
Brett also added that it was also important for the corporate booking tools to be effectively managed by travel agents themselves.
“In the early days that was forgotten about,” he said. “It was just about the self-booking tool. But that’s not what people want. They want flexibility and freedom, but they still want the service too.”
Amadeus also provides technology solutions to many of the world’s airlines including Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines.