February 25, 2021

TMC fees for a new age

Clive Wratten, CEO of the BTA, explains why baseline standards on TMC pricing were so urgently required

The day-to-day challenges that Covid-19 is throwing at the business travel sector are currently our foremost priority. However, the BTA also continues to focus on providing long-term leadership and evolution for our industry.

One of the most pressing issues facing the TMC community is its commercial relationships with corporate customers and how to structure remuneration effectively for the 2020s.

The value TMCs offer today goes far beyond everyday travel transactions. Its relationships with corporate customers are strategic partnerships that encompass the knowledge and expertise that enables them to deliver a duty of care to their travelling employees. Despite this, some of the fee models currently in use date back over 20 years.

Action was urgently needed. To address this, the BTA developed and launched a white paper last autumn that explored new approaches to industry pricing models, working in partnership with Nina and Pinta.

In the industry consultation that followed, we sought the views of both TMCs and corporates in developing guidance on baseline standards that should accompany each pricing model.

We’ve launched these standards in a document that will provide consistent guidance for TMCs and corporates in defining their relationships for 2021 and beyond. Our guidance is designed to aid both the negotiation of commercial agreements and their day-to-day management.

These standards are designed to be a benchmark that can be adopted across the business travel eco-system, and provide consistency and best practice for all stakeholders.

I’m encouraged by the positive response from across the UK industry, and hopeful that we will see widespread adoption of these standards. There has also been considerable interest from across the globe, and the BTA will be engaging with Cortas, NBTA, CAPA and NATM in the weeks ahead as they look to adopt similar practices.

This year, more than ever, TMCs and corporates need to work closely together to define and redefine their relationships. We believe this guidance can help frame those relationships effectively for not just 2021 but for the coming decade.