Invariably, reputable travel management companies (TMCs) have time-honoured relationships with a wide range of quality suppliers; relationships which guarantee that their corporate clients receive the best rates for business travel; in the air and on the ground.

However, a good TMC will view its role as much more than merely securing great deals for its clients. It has comprehensive, continuously updated and real-time knowledge of national and international destinations – the cultures, weather patterns, infrastructure, social/economic realities, accommodation, venues, transport, etc.

This knowledge, when shared by the TMC, is invaluable input to corporates choosing the ideal location for meetings, incentives, conferences or events (MICE). “Recommending exactly the right venue for MICE entails knowing your corporate partner’s culture and how the location dovetails with the preferences of that culture,” says Sharon Nash, Travel Operations Director, Club Travel Corporate.

“Once the location has been identified, it’s up to the TMC to help the client make an informed decision based on the location’s capabilities, capacity, management, number of flights in and out, attractions, climate … everything.”

A very real situation that demonstrates the value of this knowledge is the current drought in the Western Cape. Many corporates currently have concerns regarding Cape Town as a travel destination due to the perceived limitations and inconveniences their travellers may experience as a result of the water restrictions put in place by the city.

However, an informed and involved TMC will not only have access to critical information regarding which hotels and venues have made alternate arrangements to ensure their guests are able to stay and conduct business as required, but also be able to advise on the best practices to ensure a comfortable stay in the region.

“We not only have a responsibility to our corporate clients and their travellers to ensure responsible and accurate information sharing, but to our suppliers as well; to support them by dispelling ‘fake news’ that threatens their businesses and the economy,” says Sharon.

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