Taming the Travel Chaos: A Guide to Corporate Travel Planners

Is managing business travel a constant headache? Missed flights, expense report hassles and employee dissatisfaction can all impact your bottom line. Learn how a Corporate Travel Planner can mitigate travel risks, and ultimately, contribute to your company's success.

Corporate Travel Planner Guide - WegoPro

The world of business travel is often a whirlwind of tight schedules, unexpected delays, and navigating unfamiliar territories. For companies with employees who travel frequently, managing these logistics efficiently can be a significant challenge. Missed flights, exorbitant expenses, and employee dissatisfaction can all harm the bottom line.

This is where corporate travel planners step in as the heroes, mitigating these issues and ensuring smooth, cost-effective business travel for employees. By leveraging their expertise and industry knowledge, companies can streamline the travel process, improve employee experience, and ultimately, achieve their business goals.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global corporate travel management market size was valued at USD 632.4 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% from 2 by 2030. This growth highlights the increasing importance of corporate travel management solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Who is a Corporate Travel Planner?

A corporate travel planner, also known as a corporate travel manager, is a professional responsible for organizing and managing all aspects of business travel for a company. They act as a central point of contact, overseeing everything from booking flights and accommodation to arranging ground transportation and managing travel budgets.

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The Responsibilities of a Corporate Travel Planner

The day-to-day tasks of a corporate travel planner are diverse and require a blend of organizational skills, industry knowledge, and customer service expertise. Here's a glimpse into their core responsibilities:

Trip Planning and Booking - This includes researching flight options, comparing fares, securing hotels that meet company policies and traveler preferences, and booking ground transportation like taxis or car rentals.

Travel Policy Enforcement - Corporate travel planners ensure that employees adhere to the company's travel policy regarding expense limits, preferred airlines or hotels, and booking procedures.

Budget Management - Negotiating rates with hotels, airlines, and car rental companies to optimize travel spend is a crucial aspect of the job. They also track and analyze travel expenses to identify cost-saving opportunities.

Itinerary Management - Corporate travel planners create detailed itineraries for employees, taking into account travel times, meeting schedules, visa requirements, and local customs.

Risk Management and Duty of Care - The safety and well-being of traveling employees is paramount. Corporate travel planners monitor weather conditions, political unrest, and other potential travel disruptions to proactively address any concerns. They also provide resources and assistance to employees facing unexpected situations during their trips.

Technology Adoption - Travel management companies (TMCs) and online booking tools have transformed the industry. Corporate travel planners are adept at using various software applications to streamline the booking process, manage approvals, and track travel data.

Travel Reporting and Analytics - Corporate travel planners generate reports that analyze travel spending patterns, identify trends, and provide valuable insights to optimize future travel programs.

Qualities of a Successful Corporate Travel Planner

Corporate Travel Planner Attributes - WegoPro

Beyond core responsibilities, specific qualities set successful corporate travel planners apart. These include -

Excellent Communication Skills - Building strong relationships with travel suppliers, employees, and colleagues is essential. Clear and concise communication ensures a smooth travel experience for everyone involved.

Organizational Expertise - Managing multiple trips, deadlines, and budgets requires exceptional organizational skills and the ability to prioritize effectively.

Problem-Solving Skills - Travel disruptions and unexpected situations are inevitable. Corporate travel planners need the ingenuity and resourcefulness to quickly adapt and find solutions.

Customer Service Focus - Travelers rely on corporate travel planners for guidance and support before, during, and after their trips. A strong customer service orientation ensures a positive travel experience.

Industry Knowledge - Staying abreast of industry trends, regulations, and emerging technologies is crucial for making informed travel decisions.

Negotiation Skills - Securing the best possible deals on flights, hotels, and other travel arrangements requires effective negotiation skills.

Types of Corporate Travel Planners

There are two main types of corporate travel planners, each with its own set of advantages and limitations.

In-House Corporate Travel Planners

Companies with a high volume of corporate travel may choose to employ dedicated in-house travel planners. This allows for a deep understanding of the company's specific needs and travel policies. However,  in-house planners can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses.

Travel Management Companies (TMCs)

Outsourcing travel management to a TMC allows companies to leverage the expertise and buying power of a larger organization. TMCs typically offer a wider range of travel services and often have negotiated discounts with airlines, hotels, and other travel suppliers. However,  companies may have less control over the booking process and potentially experience less personalization.

Corporate Travel Planner Types - WegoPro

Pros and Cons of Each Type of Corporate Travel Planner

Choosing between an in-house corporate travel planner and a TMC depends on your company's specific needs and budget. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of each option-

In-House Corporate Travel Planner


Deep understanding of company needs - In-house planners become familiar with the company culture, travel policies, and employee preferences, allowing for a more personalized travel experience.

Direct communication and control - Companies have greater control over the booking process and direct access to the planner for any questions or concerns.

Improved employee satisfaction - A dedicated travel planner who understands employee needs can foster better travel experiences and boost employee morale.


Cost - Hiring a full-time travel planner can be expensive, especially for smaller companies.

Limited Buying Power - In-house planners may not be able to negotiate the same discounts as larger TMCs.

Scalability - If travel volume fluctuates, an in-house planner may struggle to handle peak periods or be underutilized during slow times.

Travel Management Company (TMC)


Cost-effective - TMCs typically offer a cost-effective solution, especially for companies with lower travel volumes.

Expertise and Buying Power - TMCs leverage their industry knowledge and relationships to secure better deals on flights, hotels, and other travel arrangements.

Wider range of services - Many TMCs offer additional services such as visa applications, travel insurance, and global assistance programs.

Scalability - TMCs can adapt to fluctuating travel volumes, ensuring efficient service regardless of travel frequency.


Less control and personalization - Companies may have less control over the booking process and receive less personalized service compared to an in-house planner.

Limited access to planner - Communication might be less direct compared to an in-house planner, as employees may need to go through the TMC to reach the travel specialist.

Potential for hidden fees - Some TMCs may have complex fee structures, so it's crucial to carefully review the contract before signing.

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Essential Tools and Software for Corporate Travel Planners

Technology plays a vital role in streamlining the work of corporate travel planners. Here's a look at some essential tools and software solutions:

Global Distribution Systems (GDS)

These are massive reservation systems that provide real-time access to flight, hotel, and car rental inventory from a wide range of travel suppliers. Popular GDS options include Sabre, Amadeus, and Travelport.

Online Booking Tools (OBTs)

OBTs are user-friendly online platforms that allow employees to search and book flights, hotels, and other travel arrangements within the company's travel policy guidelines.

Expense Management Software

Automating expense reporting saves time and reduces errors. These software solutions allow employees to capture and submit receipts electronically, streamlining the reimbursement process.

Trip Management Apps

Mobile apps provide travelers with real-time itinerary updates, flight status alerts, and access to travel documents and important company information.

Considering outsourcing your corporate travel management? Book a free demo to discuss your specific needs.

WegoPro - A Powerful Tool for Corporate Travel Planners

WegoPro is a comprehensive online booking tool specifically designed for corporate travel planners.  Here are some of its key features -

Travel Policy Management - WegoPro allows companies to define and enforce travel policies, ensuring employee compliance during the booking process.

Real-time Search and Booking - Access to a vast inventory of flights, hotels, and car rentals with real-time pricing and availability.

Approval Workflows - Integrate approval workflows to ensure adherence to company policies before finalizing bookings.

Reporting and Analytics - Generate detailed reports to analyze travel spending, identify cost-saving opportunities, and gain valuable insights to optimize travel programs.

Corporate Travel Planner Tool - WegoPro

Why is a Corporate Travel Planner Essential for Business?

In today's competitive business landscape, travel is often a necessity for fostering collaboration, securing new deals, and expanding into new markets. However, managing corporate travel effectively can be a complex and time-consuming task. Here's how a corporate travel planner can significantly benefit your business -

Cost Savings - Through strategic sourcing, negotiation, and travel policy enforcement, corporate travel planners can help companies optimize their travel budgets.

Improved Efficiency - By streamlining the booking process and managing travel logistics, corporate travel planners save employees and managers valuable time.

Reduced Risk - Corporate travel planners can help mitigate travel risks by monitoring travel alerts, providing a duty of care support, and assisting employees in case of emergencies.

Employee Satisfaction - A smooth and efficient travel experience contributes to a happier and more productive workforce. Corporate travel planners ensure employees have the resources and support they need to focus.

Empowering Employees and Optimizing Travel Programs

Beyond the core benefits, corporate travel planners offer additional advantages - 

Employee Empowerment - Corporate travel planners can train employees on the company's travel policy and booking tools, fostering self-service capabilities while ensuring policy compliance.

Travel Program Optimization - Through data analysis and reporting provided by travel management software, corporate travel planners can identify areas for improvement within the travel program. This data can be used to negotiate better rates with travel suppliers, adjust travel policies for increased efficiency, and ultimately, optimize travel spending.

Sustainability Integration - Corporate travel planners can play a role in promoting sustainable travel practices within the company. This can include encouraging the use of eco-friendly airlines and hotels, promoting carbon offsetting programs, and educating employees about responsible travel choices.

Innovation and Technology Adoption - The travel industry is constantly evolving with new technologies and booking platforms emerging. Corporate travel planners stay updated on these trends and can recommend solutions that further streamline the booking process and improve traveler experience.

Looking to the Future

Corporate travel planning is a multifaceted function that plays a crucial role in the success of any business that involves employee travel. By mitigating travel challenges, optimizing travel spend, and ensuring employee well-being, corporate travel planners are valuable assets that contribute to a company's bottom line and overall success.

As technology continues to revolutionize the travel industry, the role of the corporate travel planner will undoubtedly evolve.  While automation will likely handle some of the routine tasks, the human touch will remain essential. Corporate travel planners will need to develop new skill sets to leverage data analytics,  personalize the traveler experience, and navigate the ever-changing travel landscape.

This comprehensive guide has provided an overview of corporate travel planners, their roles, and the benefits they offer to businesses. By understanding these aspects, companies can make informed decisions about implementing a corporate travel program and choosing the right travel management solution for their specific needs.

Stay tuned to WegoPro for the latest corporate travel and expense management news and updates!