The Alamo Travel Group Addresses the Evolution of Business Travel Management

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Alamo Travel Group CEO took part in a business travel convention as a panelist.

Recently, The Alamo Travel Group CEO, Patricia Stout, participated as a panelist at the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) annual convention. The educational session, titled “The Next Evolution of Travel Management Companies,” was attended by more than 360 convention delegates. Many of the travel managers present said that they were looking for a company that solved problems for their travelers and did not just simply book travel.

Managing business travel has undergone many changes over the last few years. Change is accelerating as more companies look for online booking tools, end-to-end solutions that include online expense management, data management and old-fashion customer service support for their travelers and travel arrangers.

Stout presented a different point of view than other panel members on what clients were looking for. Amid all the tech talk, the industry should not lose sight of "the human touch," according to Stout.

"We serve small to midsize companies with travelers who want VIP/concierge service,” said Stout. “They want a travel consultant who knows them and their preferences; they want travel status, and they want a certain airplane seat or a certain hotel with room on a certain floor.”

Alamo has the high-tech tools, but as Stout went on to say, “Technology isn’t a replacement for experienced travel counselors who have the ability to solve problems before they occur or as they are developing.”

When Stout addressed the issue of what Travel Management Companies (TMC) should do better, she focused on “high touch combined with high tech.” Alamo is working to create a customized travel services app but many clients "are not there yet" in terms of expressing an urgent need for emerging technologies. What many smaller and mid-sized companies want is to know that their TMC communicates consistently and reliably with travelers and travel arrangers so that problems are solved and better travel outcomes are produced, no matter what travel technology is employed to help the company manage travel. That comes from focusing on the “human touch” side of managing travel.

American Express Global Business Travel recently unveiled this same concept with their new premium service platform labeled FIRST. This solution, which focuses on interacting with business travelers when and how they want to be reached, provides an end-to-end experience that combines expert travel counselors with next generation technology.

Stout summarized the challenges facing TMC’s: “Business travel management undergoes changes on a daily basis. What our clients rely on is our ability to make it easy for travelers to book and manage travel and stay within corporate policy. This requires not only technology but experienced travel professionals.”

Alamo Travel is the right choice to help companies navigate the changing landscape of business travel services.

About the company:
The Alamo Travel Group is a travel management company with more than 30 years of experience providing the highest-quality travel services to DOD and civilian government agencies, corporations and leisure travelers. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, they are committed to providing the highest-quality and most cost-effective travel service available. From honeymoon packages to Mexico tours to Caribbean cruises, their intermediate size assures that they move quickly, closely control costs, and that the attention of top management will be continuously focused on providing superb service. The Alamo Travel Group is a minority woman-owned, 8(A)-Certified business established in 1982. Patricia Pliego Stout, president and CEO, has been the co-owner of Alamo since its inception and assumed full ownership in 1990. The Alamo Travel Group's high standards are demonstrated in more than 20 years of quality performance and controlled growth.

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Mary Jo Salas
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