Booking travel is never easy, but booking travel for work is even worse. NexTravel wants to provide a better way for employees to search flights and hotels, while giving employers the ability to track and manage costs.
Even as consumers have gotten used to using simple online platforms for booking their own travel, the corporate travel world has failed to catch up. Employees are asked to navigate archaic travel booking websites or talking to travel agents for hours trying to get the right hotels or flights confirmed.
Meanwhile, many small- and medium-sized businesses don’t have a good travel-booking platform. That means employees usually end up booking their own work travel, but managers have few tools to track, approve or control travel expense costs.
NexTravel hopes to offer the same sort of ease and convenience users have grown to love from consumer platforms, while giving employers ways to track and lower the cost of corporate travel. It provides a way for businesses to centralize their booking process in a fast, cost-effective way.
“We wanted to make travel booking simple and easy and not such a headache,” NexTravel co-founder Wen-Wen Lam told me. Mainly, NexTravel wants to reduce the amount of time it takes to book travel. Lam says it’s lowered the average booking time from 80 minutes to 20 or 30 minutes in many cases.
The site is designed to allow employees to create profiles, enter travel preferences and loyalty rewards programs, and search for flights, hotels and rental cars through an easy-to-use platform. But on the back end, managers are given tools to create policies, prevent excessive spend, and track trips employees have booked.
NexTravel provides the same sort of discounts larger corporations typically get, and can customize rewards based on travel programs and frequent-flier programs. It also provides centralized travel receipts for employees.
Unlike more traditional corporate travel options, NexTravel doesn’t take booking fees from clients. Instead, it makes money on the back end by charging for complex integrations with employer HR and expense systems.