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Debrett’s fills niche

IF you think it’s a hassle organising a weekend away for two, imagine the effort required to coordinate international travel itineraries for large corporate groups.

That’s what Debrett’s Travel Services managing director Denise Monk has been doing since 1985 when she started the company in conjunction with Debrett’s Peerage Australasia.

At this time, there were no corporate travel specialists in WA. Ms Monk said this high-yield market clearly needed an exclusively tailored service.

“Nobody was looking after the high-flying executives who were under a lot of pressure and wanted selective travel arrangements, special hotel arrangements, meet and greet limousine transfers and departure taxes taken care of,” she said.

“We went that extra mile (or ten) to make sure that the corporate traveller was treated as they deserve.”

Ms Monk said a lot of large corporations still do not have a proper travel policy.

“We don’t look at our role as just taking orders,” she said.

“We look at it as taking problems from our customers, solving them, and making their travel a wonderful experience as opposed to the chore and strategic nightmare that it can sometimes be.

“We manage a firm’s total travel requirements right across the board from their travel policy through to managing their expenses.

“We do root deals for clients and negotiate rates with hotels with the aim of minimising their cost while maximising the benefits.

“A lot of companies are embracing the idea of outsourcing.”

Ms Monk said there were as many as forty-five different types of airline fares operating on any one flight, illustrating the need for consolidation of this information by an industry specialist.

“People get locked into frequent flyer programs unquestioningly and fail to examine their options,” she said.

Ms Monk said Debrett’s compiles profiles on regular customers to provide a snapshot view of their individual requirements and travel stipulations.

“Account managers undergo extensive management training because they get to know the customers and their needs intimately,” she said.

The Internet may soon allow alteration of the Debrett’s profiling and booking data by the client themselves.

“That’s the way we’re moving,” Ms Monk said.

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