Travel Business CPR

Travel Program Globalization Process

Getting Globalization Right -The Internal Process

Going global is more than awakening one morning and calling that Australian travel executive you met at a conference last year. First, you must thoughtfully address some key questions. Here is my collection of the best questions to guide your globalization effort.

1. Is your company ready to globalize travel?

Perhaps your organization just acquired a travel agency in a different country, signed a strategic alliance agreement with a foreign travel management company located on another continent or landed an international corporate travel account. Any one of these would be a good reason for you to globalize your agency.

2. What other initiatives in your organization are already globally sourced/managed?

• Booking engine
• Customer service
• Website maintenance

3. What are the Company goals?

• Profitability
• Providing local travel fulfillment services

4. What is the business case for globalization?

• Incremental revenue
• Anticipated expenses would be 2% less than revenue
• Projected return on revenue would be 25%

5. Have you outlined the four S's of the process?

• Strategy? Providing global travel services locally
• Sponsor? CEO & Executive Team
• Steering Committee? Board of Directors
• Support? All employees

6. Did you start with a goal in mind?

• Define your long term goals - are you specializing in a narrow field, such as corporate travel services to international lawyers, or do you want to serve a broader audience?
• Define the importance of each objective
• Define the scope of globalization you have in mind
• Define deliverables and a timeline

7. Did you take into account cultural differences in places where you could be working?

• Understand the local culture
• Are corporate goals in Singapore or Dubai the same as yours in St. Louis or New York?
• What determines customer satisfaction in these different cultures?

8. How will you achieve cost savings?

• Through new technology
• Leveraging purchasing power via fewer suppliers

9. Have you defined your criteria for success - how will you know you have won? What is a good result? Here are some possibilities:

• Achieve travel goal
• Retention of 95% of desired customers
• Only had to change suppliers for 2 major countries
• Consolidated travel management companies - but added two new booking tools
• Costs are higher than before, but we are providing better service
• We have our favorite Travel Management Company, but least favorite booking tools
• We have everything and at a lower cost
• Measure service improvement - is 85% customer satisfaction your goal?

A sound strategy including a detailed business plan is the blue print to globalization success. Communication with all involved in the process is the glue that cements and motivates your globalization team.

Tharwat Abouraya, CTIE
Travel Business CPR - Bring Strategy to Life!