FAQ's: CORPORATE CUSTOMER
KATA - The Travel Agents Association is the organization which represents Kenyan travel agents who are responsible for the sale of around 90% of travel arrangements in Kenya . Its role is to ensure that the customer benefits from consistently high standards of trading practice in the travel industry through enforcing the ethics of service and business throughout the membership.
What Value-add does a Travel Agent Offer?
- Distills product information;
- Investigates and supplies competitive information;
- Stays abreast of the most current and timely promotions;
- Clarifies the fine print, such as cancellation penalties and restrictions;
- Makes recommendations on travel-related options;
- Simplifies the research and subsequent transaction;
- Enhances the trip with value-added benefits and amenities;
- Uses their clout and bargaining strength to obtain the best possible arrangements in seemingly impossible situations; and
- Gets problems resolved .
Why should I use a KATA travel management company (TMC)?
- A complete travel package – business/leisure
- Greater control of travel spend through management reporting
- Greater compliance to travel policy and reporting of non compliance
- Access to discounted rates through consolidated TMC purchasing power
- Reduces complexity – agents keep abreast of trends, changes, reduced fares, new product offerings
- Consultants have access to specialised technology and systems providing the latest up to date information and special offers
- A TMC can manage the travel budget and save the company money
- Key Account Managers manage Service level Agreements
- Air travel bookings, hotel, car rental reservations, forex and visas can be organised at the same time
- The TMC has a 24 hour service that can be accessed around the globe.
- One call does it all.
- Consistency of service
- Business Partnership –relationship with the TMC that puts the customer at the centre of the business
- Professionals trained to manage the complexities of multiple transactions in a single booking
Which fee structure is best?
- The specific nature of each organizations travel patterns will determine which fees should be charged, so there is no generic answer to this question
- The fee must suit the needs of the business and relevant travel policy together with the company travel management culture
- Most companies are willing to pay a reasonable fee which covers the TMC's operating costs together with a reasonable profit margin
- There must be no ‘conflict of interest' between the company's needs and the TMC's needs
- Transaction fees work well where individual budget holders are accountable for their travel costs
- Management fees work well where travel costs can be centralised, providing that the structure is transparent
- The TMC needs to be able to provide detailed management information to ensure that the company's costs are managed effectively
What services does a Company require from a TMC?
- Proven experience in the specific industries
- A 24 hour service for travellers
- Global assistance or infrastructure where required
- Passport and Visa Services
- An access point to all suppliers, relevant to needs
- Transparency –the company needs to know what it is paying for
- The ability to provide cost effective solutions to suit each specific travel budget
- Knowledgeable, qualified , trustworthy and experienced consultants
- Appropriate technology to streamline processes and reduce booking costs
- Access to low fares and special rates / special fares desk
- Management information and reporting
- Assistance with travel policy development and control
- Key Account Management as and when required
- Document delivery service
FAQ's: Individual and Leisure Customers
Why do I have to pay a service fee?
- To source the best value added solution takes time and costs money
- A professional travel agent is trained to guide a client through the entire process of planning a trip, whether for business or for leisure. This requires training in order to ensure they make each client's travel experience as personalized, convenient and memorable as possible.
- Charging fees is the only way in which we can cover these costs and continue to exist as a viable business. This is in tandem with other professional services.
- The pricing is dependent on where you want to go, the quality you require, the timing / duration of your stay as well as when you want to book and pay for your reservation
Can you guarantee that this is the cheapest price I can get?
Suppliers change rates and tariffs daily in an effort to fill empty seats and rooms to maximise their revenue.What a KATA travel Agent is able to guarantee is to find you the best value for money based on your requirements, but cannot guarantee that the price you pay will always be the cheapest based on the above reason. Its also possible that what is cheap may end up being expensive owing to the small print for example like no refunds or no change in reservations
Can I choose which airline or hotel I want to use?
Yes, but this will depend on the specific package details and destinations, as well as the complexity of your travel plans and the price you are prepared to pay
Do all travel consultants charge these fees?
All professional travel agents charge fees for their services
Do all travel consultants charge the same fees?
The fees that are charged will vary from agent to agent, however it is likely that the market will dictate the cost and the differences should be minimal
Do all TMC's receive the same rates from suppliers?
Suppliers have published fares and tariffs which are the same for all agencies.In some instances, special fares and rates may be advertised for selected destinations and travel periods.This depends on the availability of seats/rooms from the supplier and is based on supply and demand
What happens if the traveller refuses to pay a fee?
Travellers have no option – they need to pay fees from now onIt is important to remember that the fee only represents a fraction of the overall travel cost.Greater savings can actually be made by getting the agency to find cheaper alternative travel solutions
What happens if another agency is cheaper, or doesn't charge fees?
Some may look to charge lower fees or no fees at all in an effort to capture market share.This is not a sustainable solution and will only be a short term tactic.Consumer Research has indicated that both the leisure and the corporate customer are willing to pay for professional services.
These FAQ's have been adopted from ASATA