Booking agency Hotelzon
claims its new, fully automated payment model can help clients avoid the
additional costs related to the imminent change in VAT legislation.
New legislation around
HMRC’s ‘Tour Operators Margin Scheme’ (TOMS) comes into effect in the New Year
and is set to add 17.5 per cent to accommodation, meeting and event costs if
they are booked through a traditional ‘billback’ hotel booking agent, according
The booking agent’s
role, has for some years, been to consolidate corporate expenditure on one
single invoice; from agent to corporate.
But, says Hotelzon, TOMS
will rule out billback as a reasonable method of settling accommodation and
meeting costs, as VAT will become payable on the outsourced business process,
increasing the cost to the corporate by 17.5 per cent.
The new virtual payment
model developed by Hotelzon, the agency claims, will offer corporate clients
management information in line with their reporting requirements and eliminate
the double foreign exchange costs on transactions between corporate and agent,
and then agent and accommodation or meeting supplier.
Hotelzon’s CEO Jani Kaskinen, says:
“The change to the UK’s VAT legislation from January
2010 will make billback a thing of the past. This is a paradigm shift for the
hotel booking agency sector and one that means that travel cost consolidators
need to find another solution. The solution is Hotelzon’s technology.”
Hotelzon has also launched an
iPhone app that allows business travellers to book accommodation on the
move across a network of 90,000
hotels in 180 countries.
The app is free of charge to download and can also be used in
conjunction with a company’s existing business travel policies.
Key features include GPS
and country or city-based search options.
A ‘My reservations’ section allows
users to browse and cancel existing reservations.
Hotelzon claims over 100,000 mobile users among its
corporate client base of 15,000 corporates.
Hotelzon CEO Jani
Kaskinen says: “With the current economic climate, the importance of smart
travel policies, cost control, security and reporting tools cannot be more
vital. Mobile applications will transform the way in which travel is