Find out the definition of ‘online booking tool’ with a rather handy entry in the Diversity Dictionary, the series that gives you the inside track on business travel and travel management terms and expressions.
An online booking tool (sometimes referred to as an OBT) is an internet-based system that allows you to book flights, rail, hotels and more. The goal of an OBT is to provide simple, effective and hassle-free travel booking that’s compliant with company travel policies.
There are countless online travel booking tools, each with different layouts and functionality. They are designed to be easy to use, whether by travellers or by a travel management company (TMC) on their behalf.
The benefits of using an online travel booking tool:
Save time and money
Why have 101 internet tabs open trying to find the best rates across just as many suppliers? Any online booking tool worth its salt trawls and consolidates the best rates from every supplier into one simple to use portal for you. This allows you, your workforce or your TMC to book things for you so you can concentrate on what really matters. This in turns saves you a LOT of precious pennies!
Secure & centralised data
Any decent online booking tool requires users to sign into a secure portal with a dedicated login. This portal will then log all trips, preferences, requests, suppliers and more in a secure database. This data can then be accessed by your travel management company or travel team for management and processing.
Compliance all the way!
Using an OBT designed by a travel management company guarantees company travel policy compliance. An effective OBT simply won’t allow users access to anything that doesn’t fit within the correct purview!
The clue is in the name! An online booking tool should be accessible anywhere with a connection, so you can book and make arrangements on the move. Book that flight to Madagascar from the comfort of your favourite local cafe. Hire a jeep for your employee in Egypt on the bus. It’s all possible.
Better still, tech-savvy TMCs develop their own mobile booking apps to improve the user-experience even more.
Travel data analysis
An online booking tool enables you, your travel team or your TMC to view (and therefore analyse) every trip, booking, preference, request, supplier and more for every traveller. This information is perfect for working out trends, improving processes, finding money-saving deals and improving overall efficiency.
To learn more about online booking tools, contact our team of travel management specialists below.
Like what you just read?
Subscribe to our weekly blog for all your travel management and procurement news, views and facts.