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A corporate travel consultant works as a dedicated travel agent for large businesses. He or she must research and make travel arrangements for individual employees or large group events, such as business conventions. These consultants also offer cultural advice to employees who will be traveling internationally, to help them communicate effectively with foreigners.
Many large businesses have multiple branches that are located throughout the world; a corporate travel consultant contacts local hotels near the branches and discusses corporate rates. In fact, the consultant may create a contract between the business and the hotel to ensure that future reservations are secured under an agreed-upon rate. Additionally, he or she may discuss group rates if the hotel will be used by several company employees at the same time, such as for a yearly corporate meeting.
Before recommending a hotel for a business contract, the corporate travel consultant will typically visit the hotel for evaluation. Conference rooms and hotel rooms are commonly inspected for overall comfort and quality to ensure that they are a good match for the corporation. The consultant may meet with hotel management to discuss any particular needs the corporation may have, such as reserving an entire floor of rooms for a large corporate gathering.
Transportation to and from the hotel, as well as during the trip, is normally arranged by the corporate travel consultant. Each city offers different transportation types; the consultant must research and choose the most reliable, safe, and cost effective form of travel. Many times, the corporate travel consultant will work with a specific car rental company and create a contract. This contract will provide a discounted rate to traveling employees with the particular business.
Traveling does involve some risks, such as missing a connecting flight due to airport delays. The corporate travel consultant will intervene on the traveling employee's behalf and schedule alternative travel plans; as a result, the employee will be professionally redirected to another means of transportation so that important meetings are not canceled.
In the case of international travel, the consultant must be well versed on specific local customs and legally required traveling documents. Consultants should be aware of all passport and visa laws so that all traveling employees have a streamlined trip between countries. Certain regions may have customs that most travelers are unaware of; the consultant should explain any offensive terms or hand gestures to the traveling employees so they are not misunderstood in a foreign region. For example, the "thumbs up" hand gesture can be seen as offensive in some countries.
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