A guide to TRM best practices for travel managers

Booking & Data Management: The Foundation of Effective Travel Risk Management

By: Ray Rackham

February 28, 2024  

This is the first in a series of five articles on Travel Risk Management (TRM) best practices. TRM in a post-COVID world has never been more crucial. As companies navigate the complexities of business travel in an era marked by uncertainties and evolving risks, understanding and implementing TRM best practices is essential. This blog series, based on a comprehensive study conducted with travel managers worldwide, sheds light on the most critical aspects of TRM. Our methodology involved analyzing survey data, industry standards like ISO 31030:2021, and insights from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), ensuring a robust and practical approach to understanding TRM in today’s workplace. Download the full report here. 

As part of any effective TRM strategy, the integration of robust booking and data management practices emerges as a key element. This article explores the profound significance of booking and data management practices, offering insights into how they form the cornerstone of an effective TRM strategy.   

Our study underscores the indispensable role of booking and data management in TRM. A compelling 92% of travel managers advocate for booking through managed corporate channels, highlighting the critical nature of this practice in pre-empting and mitigating travel risks. 

Best practices in booking and data management 

The study identified four areas in which travel and mobility managers should focus to ensure world-class booking and data management practice.    

1. Mandate managed corporate booking channels.  

Centralizing travel bookings through corporate channels or authorized travel management companies (TMCs) ensures comprehensive visibility over travelers' itineraries—a vital component for risk mitigation and swift response in emergencies. 

2. Implement a comprehensive traveler tracking system. 

Eighty-eight percent of surveyed managers deploy systems to pinpoint employee locations based on itinerary, expense data, or GPS check-ins, emphasizing the necessity of real-time tracking for an agile and informed crisis response framework. 

3. Manual review and approval of trips. 

About 80% of organizations engage in manual oversight, particularly for high-risk travel, spotlighting the need for meticulous scrutiny and proactive risk assessment to safeguard corporate travelers. 

4. Regular update of traveler profile information. 

While 65% of organizations diligently update traveler profiles, there exists a significant opportunity for enhancement. Ensuring that all critical information is accurate, current, and readily accessible is paramount for an efficient and responsive TRM strategy.


Effective booking and data management transcends compliance; it is essential for creating a proactive, informed, and responsive TRM environment. As we traverse the complexities of post-COVID travel, these practices lay the groundwork for a security-conscious, well-prepared, and resilient travel program.

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