While the implementation of NDC (New Distribution Capability) in the travel industry can bring about various benefits, it is true that it poses specific challenges for the corporate travel sector. Here are some reasons why NDC may cause issues specifically for the corporate travel sector:
1. Complexity of Travel Policies: Corporate travel often involves specific policies and guidelines set by companies to manage travel expenses, ensure compliance, and prioritize traveller safety. NDC’s introduction may complicate the process of enforcing and managing these policies, as it introduces new options and ancillary services that may not align with existing policies. Companies will need to adapt their travel policies to accommodate the additional choices and services offered through the NDC.
2. Integration with Travel Management Systems: Many corporate travel bookings are made through travel management systems (TMS), which provide a consolidated platform for managing travel arrangements, expense tracking, and reporting. Integrating NDC content into TMS platforms can be complex and may require significant development and customization. This integration challenge can delay the adoption of NDC by corporate travel agencies and hinder their ability to provide a seamless booking experience to their clients.
3. Cost Management and Transparency: Corporate travel programs typically focus on cost management, negotiated rates, and tracking expenses for budgeting and reporting purposes. NDC’s dynamic pricing and personalized offers may complicate cost management, as prices can vary in real-time based on market demand and traveller profiles. Ensuring transparency and accurate cost tracking within NDC systems can be a challenge for corporate travel departments, potentially impacting their ability to effectively manage travel budgets.
4. Negotiated Corporate Rates: Companies often negotiate special rates with airlines and hotels for their corporate travellers. These negotiated rates are typically stored and accessed through global distribution systems (GDSs). With the introduction of NDC, there is a concern that these negotiated rates may not be readily available or easily accessible through the new distribution channels. Corporate travel agencies will need to ensure that negotiated rates can be seamlessly integrated into NDC content and accessed by their clients.
5. Data Security and Privacy: Corporate travel involves sensitive data, including employee information, payment details, and travel itineraries. As NDC introduces new data exchange processes and involves multiple stakeholders, ensuring data security and privacy becomes crucial. Corporate travel agencies need to ensure that NDC implementations adhere to stringent data protection standards and that traveller information remains secure throughout the booking and distribution process.
6. Training and Education: The successful adoption of NDC in the corporate travel sector requires proper training and education for travel managers, travel arrangers, and corporate travellers themselves. Understanding the new capabilities, processes, and options provided by NDC is essential to make informed decisions and leverage its benefits effectively. Lack of awareness and education can hinder the adoption and utilization of NDC within the corporate travel sector.
It’s important to note that while these challenges exist, industry stakeholders are actively working towards addressing them to ensure a smooth integration of NDC into the corporate travel sector. With proper planning, collaboration, and technological advancements, the corporate travel industry can navigate these issues and harness the benefits offered by NDC for their travellers and businesses.