The move underpins FCM’s approach to giving customers access to the widest choice of business travel content via multi-channel online and offline sources from across its global network.
A key driver within MarketPlace is FCM’s team of over 500 global travel procurement specialists, one of the largest content teams in the travel industry. Each team member is responsible for a specific sector of supplier relations - from air and hotel to rail and ground transport - and has at least 10 years’ experience in supplier negotiations. The team leverages FCM parent company Flight Centre Travel Group’s global stature, which includes US$11billion air revenue and 5 million rail transactions, to ensure customers gain the best savings and tailored content for their business travel programme.
As a result of the team’s negotiation power, FCM clients have access to specialist fares from 420 airline partners, 112 global rail providers, and car hire deals in 97 countries.
The expertise of FCM’s procurement team, combined with that of dedicated travel consultants managing individual booking requirements, results in an average saving of 12% on air tickets within FCM clients’ global travel programmes.
In terms of hotels, MarketPlace offers 20 million room rates including 5 million negotiated rates at 650,000 properties globally and 2.3 million exclusive promotional room night rates at 60 hotel brands worldwide. This unrivalled range of travel content options is available to FCM customers via any of the travel management company’s booking channels, including FCM’s online booking tool, or offline via their dedicated travel consultant.
“Travel content is vast and covers a huge array of choice which can be confusing for the corporate customer,” explains Mick Heitzinger, Product Director, FCM EMEA. “Travel buyers are frequently concerned about whether they are getting the best value, the widest choice of air content, hotel rates, and so on, in order to achieve cost-savings and ROI on their travel programme. At FCM, we have recognised the need to deliver all types of travel content from multiple sources in a way that the corporate wants to see it and consume it, whether manager, traveller or booker.
“At the same time, the distribution landscape is becoming increasingly fragmented as new entrants have disrupted the market and online travel agents have added confusion. This has added complexity and cost to corporates,” continued Heitzinger. “Travel managers and procurement directors want to ensure that they have the best fare or rate. They want price parity across channels. They want choice for their travellers, and be safe in the knowledge that they can capture data from all bookings made outside of corporate channels in order to satisfy duty of care. Ultimately, they want content in one place.
“Not only does MarketPlace give our customers access to FCM’s exclusive and vast range of global content all in one place, it also embraces disrupters and new entrants to the distribution landscape to ensure our customers have full availability and visibility. Our core purpose with MarketPlace is to provide our customers with the widest travel content in a way that no other TMC can - so that they benefit from unparalleled choice and savings,” said Heitzinger.