26 Feb 2017

Using the Trip Planning Cost Estimator to reduce business travel expenses

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Corporate travel can add up. For some businesses, travel expenses are a major cost center, up there alongside payroll and day-to-day operating expenses. This is especially true for B2B businesses that rely heavily on face-to-face meetings to sell products, as well as service-based businesses that require executives to travel to a client’s location.

So it’s understandable that managing cost is one of the primary duties of a corporate travel manager or travel management company. By managing these costs through client contracts and traveler compliance, the business avoids surprises and wasted spending. Yet there is not often a way for business travelers to quickly test different travel dates to find the optimal travel day.

Consumer tools focus primarily on flights and do not include the packages that business travelers often book. The frequent traveler wants to have more control and to understand how travel dates impact cost — all without having to consult an agent or engage a company resource.

This is where the Trip Planning Cost Estimator comes in handy. The app was created by research analyst Wenkai Bao. Bao wanted to leverage historical data to enable users to estimate future travel cost, and then to choose the travel dates based on cost.

All the user must do is select the type of package, and then the origin airport. The destination airports will auto-adjust to include potential pairs, so the user selects from that limited list. Finally, enter a class for air, hotel and car. Then the app works out the best times to travel, as well as the best times to book this specific trip.

Empowering the travel manager — and the traveler
Cost is not always something that business travelers are keenly aware of. Especially when it comes to business trips that can be scheduled with flexible dates, cost becomes a key factor in deciding when to travel.

To accomplish this, Bao created an algorithm that uses real data to make predictions:
The core challenge of Trip Planning Cost Estimator was to design an algorithm that extracts the right data.

Full Article: Sabre Technologies

Source : Sabre Technologies

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