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Strategic Travel Management

Palace of Arts case study

The redevelopment of the Palace of Arts travel policy along with FCm’s initiatives to increase service levels and reduce costs has delivered an 8% saving on the total cost of travel for Hungary’s key cultural body.

Here’s how we made it possible…


FCm Hungary has been managing the travel program for the Palace of Arts since 2007. 

They issued a tender for their travel program in 2012 following which FCm successfully retained the account. As part of our proposal for them, FCm recommended a number of travel program changes and improvements including initiatives to improve service and drive cost savings.


As part of the tender process, Palace of Arts sought information from a number of travel management companies (TMCs) that were invited to tender for their program. 

The company was keen to know what additional services or strategies would deliver increased bottom-line savings on hotel accommodation and air travel. The company was interested in strategies that would drive savings through travel policy development, higher servicing levels, use of low cost carriers and more in-depth reporting. Palace of Arts also requested TMCs explain how they helped passengers through the industry crisis when Malév Hungarian national airlines unexpectedly stopped flying after declaring bankruptcy in February 2012.

Our solutions

FCm’s winning travel program proposal for Palace of Arts included a number of service changes and new cost saving strategies. FCm also had a strong case to argue about their approach to Hungary’s airline crisis after rolling out a highly effective emergency support plan for clients during the Malév airline collapse.

FCm’s proposal for the Palace of Arts focused on four main areas including:

Improved service levels

  • Implementation of higher servicing levels including more high touch strategies and the appointment of a dedicated account manager that would oversee program development and progress Case Study Palace of Arts (Müvészetek Palotája, MÜPA)
  • A reduction in response times, down to three hours for more complex international requests FCm Hungary redeveloped its back-office system to increase reporting capabilities and meet reporting procedures for Palace of Arts 
  • The introduction of free 24/7/365 day emergency travel support.

Travel policy development

  • Implementation of a revised travel policy including the company’s new preferences for service and use of suppliers 
  • The introduction of advance purchase for all travel requests, particularly for flights
  • FCm also guaranteed to provide a minimum of three different options for all air travel requests and richer content for hotel bookings 

Cost reduction strategies

  • FCm put forward a pricing model that allowed Palace of Arts to increase their savings but also maintain the same level of servicing from FCm
  • FCm waived transaction fees for hotel bookings 
  • A 5% discount was offered on transaction fees for air bookings with traditional or full service carriers
  • FCm also waived fees for Palace of Arts’ new reporting requirements. The company has benefited from more in-depth reporting at no extra cost 
  • FCm introduced quarterly account management meetings to discuss ongoing issues, progress, billing procedures and trends.

Crisis response

When Malév Hungarian national airlines went bankrupt in February 2012, FCm Hungary assisted passengers from a range of companies, including Palace of Arts, to find alternative routes and services for travellers to get to their destinations. FCm also:

  • Waived rebooking fees for passengers due to travel on the affected airline
  • Provided support services to help passengers rebook hotel accommodation at discounted rates 
  • FCm set up a 24/7 emergency travel and assistance phone line during the airline crisis.

The results

FCm’s initiatives to improve the Palace of Arts’ travel program ensured FCm not only retained the account but has driven cost savings across the client’s air travel and hotel accommodation. During the past six months, FCm has helped the Palace of Arts save approximately 8% on the total cost of the company’s air travel and accommodation. These savings are a result of booking the lowest available fares including airfares from low cost carriers, early booking special fares and use of FCm’s negotiated hotel rates.FCm negotiated corporate rates for Palace of Arts’ preferred hotels in Budapest and ensured the best prices were being secured for their international artists. FCm also provides luggage and logistics assistance to them to make sure artists’ instruments are transported safely and cost effectively. FCm assists artists who are travelling to and from Budapest that are performing at the Palace of Arts. This is a specialised service provided at no extra cost.

About Palace of Arts

The Palace of Arts (Müvészetek Palotája in Hungarian) is the newest and most progressive multifunctional cultural facility in Budapest. Located in Ferencváros near the Rákóczi
Bridge, the facility was opened to the public in March 2005. The Palace of Arts and National Theatre, which is located alongside, are part of Budapest’s ‘Millennium City’. The Palace of Arts features shows, performances and exhibitions covering three streams of arts including music, visual and theatre, all of which are housed in separate buildings.

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