24 Feb Why TMCs should support the advancement of accommodation accreditation
The cost of using a Travel Management Company (TMC) often comes under scrutiny when clients are reviewing the service they receive and the value it adds to its programme. TMC Management Teams are always looking for new ways to demonstrate the value proposition to clients and work more closely with their suppliers. If balance is achieved between all actors, clients often remain loyal for years and great opportunities can be achieved together.
Year after year, as endorsed by the annual Priorities Survey conducted by the Institute of Travel Management, the focus on duty of care continues to be reported as the most important area of responsibility for travel managers. It also remains one of the most challenging to get right with potential legal implications if serious incidents occur. And thus, any support a TMC can offer to mitigate risk is actively welcomed.
Travel Managers have made great progress with the support of their TMCs to deliver robust traveller tracking details. However, this reactive approach now needs to be upgraded to a proactive one. With the introduction of ISO 31030 expected in 2020, putting a firm stake in the ground about Travel Risk Management, more action is now needed to keep everyone the right side of the law.
Within travel programmes, accommodation options continue to have the highest potential to be a “weak link” in meeting these duty of care responsibilities. Travel Managers are thus turning to their TMCs to help them mitigate liability and ensure the risks and concerns of travellers regarding their security are addressed.
Encouraging venues to address security issues is now forming part of the RFP process and supplier reviews where TMCs are committed to ensuring the accommodation programmes they are offering are truly fit for purpose. By adding a security field to the search filters in their technology platforms and online booking tools, those properties which have invested in achieving external accreditation for security can be presented as a priority, thus actively supporting a client’s strategy to use properties which take the care of their guests seriously. ISO 31030 is driving this change in approach and best practice is that service and security go together.
TMCs are therefore actively encouraged to support the growing interest of travel managers to obtain the commitment of venue suppliers to achieve security accreditation in alignment with other areas of their business such as Health & Safety and Fire Regulations. Participating properties which are professionally audited to ensure all standards are being consistently met can thus reassure TMCs that they have earned the right to be promoted as preferred for a very good reason.
TMCs which rely on properties conducting a self-assessment of their security capabilities should take heed: 76% of an Ipsos Mori poll of venues admitted they did not perform checks at all and only 24% conduct checks in high risk destinations.
As an industry, change is needed to meet new legislation and support the wellbeing needs of travellers. Travel managers are now encouraging their accommodation providers to support this programme of risk mitigation and seek accreditation to provide independent and robust security assurance. By doing so, venues secure their future opportunity to work within corporate programmes.
As a TMC, are you doing all that you can to support your clients and their security needs?