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My heart breaks when I witness leakage and a lack of compliance because it really complicates duty of care and risk management. Know what I mean?
When you hobnob with business travel executives or navigate a GBTA conference you often want to reach for a Google Translate app, although the nice people you interact with are nominally speaking English.
Here then are 11 overused business travel terms and what they mean:
1. Leakage: This has nothing to do with urine flow or toddler care, but refers to the overwhelming trend of business travelers ignoring their companies’ recommendations and booking the airline or hotel they prefer.
2. Compliance: Convincing employees to stick with prescribed “travel policy,” abstain from “leakage” (see above), and spanking them hard when they disobey.
3. Duty of Care: Travel agencies and corporations making sure they know where their traveling employees are in the event of a crisis or another disruption.
4. Risk Management: Similar to “duty of care” (see above) in that travel agencies and corporations want to ensure that their employees are safe in their wanderings, but it also refers to the need to avoid company-killing lawsuits, and major scandals that would cripple a brand.
5. Travel Management Company: Simply, a travel agency specializing in business travel.
6. Procurement: A corporation’s in-house travel agency, which now often resides in the procurement division, where the bean counters flourish.
7. Business Travel Gamification: Handing out virtual swag in the form of badges and mayorships to traveling employees who book trips and follow the company line. The top buttons of their shirts are never unbuttoned, and they always tuck in their shirts.
8. Travel Buyers: An unsexy term referring to corporations that consume travel. Hey, big spender, spend a little time at our pricey hotel.
9. Buyer Sustainability: Corporations consuming travel in a way that won’t drive them into Chapter 11.
10. TMC RFPs: Travel agencies sending out requests for proposals to convince you to hire them, and pay them lots of service fees, especially when they handle travel arrangements offline.
11. Long-Tail Spending: This has nothing to do with feeding the animals, but refers to business travelers buying all kinds of stuff other than air, car and hotels. It all needs to be tightly controlled, reported in expense accounts, and accounted for in order to run endless reports.