(WBIR) - Seeking to book a vacation? Thanks to the Internet, more people than ever are doing it themselves, on the internet and for free. Knox County taxpayers are still footing the bill for a travel agent, however. County buying records show from money years last year to 2015, the school program submitted practically 1, one hundred fifty five invoices to get a combined $648, 793 focused on travel expenses for various conferences, training seminars and services across the country. Of the, $34, 600 went to a business called Planet Travel Services, which charges the state $30 for each itinerary. Additionally , the state submitted 311 invoices for a combined $176, 002 within travel, along with WTS obtaining $9, 330 during the five year period, figures display. Also, typically the Knoxville-Knox County Community Actions Committee, the public agency funded by the city and county, published 90 invoices during the same time period with regard to $50, 177 in general travel, together with $2, seven hundred going to WTS. Local frontrunners say concerning 10 years in the past the county did possess a contract together with WTS, but since do-it-yourself on-line booking started to be more widespread, officials elected not to replenish the deal. Use of the agency, however , continuing, particularly with the school method. We motivate the divisions to use online booking resources, Knox State Mayor Harry Burchett said Thursday. Theyre often the cheapest, but not everybodys comfortable with of which. Because of that, this individual said, several county staff still opt to book traverse WTS. Its just an application thats offered to all of us, Burchett said. Id rather these people use the most cost-effective technique, is what Identification prefer. Within a statement to be able to WBIR, Knox County Schools budget overseer Lizabeth McLeod said their not uncommon for huge organizations to use a travel management service. Although employees aren't required to utilize this service, it helps provides an one-stop shop for travels and helps identify cost-effective costs in a time-efficient manner, McLeod wrote. In addition, it allows for customer service and assistance when unanticipated or last-minute travel adjustments might occur, plus assists arrange for numerous travel requirements that may occur (airfare, motel, rental car, and so forth ). She said using a travel support may be a simpler option for staff, allowing for main billing plus payment so that our employees do not have to personally carry the burden for in advance travel charges while waiting on compensation to occur. The particular district provides approximately 8, 000 employees, some of which require traveling from time to time. Considering that, McLeod said, this is an important resource to possess should the need arise. County officials inside mid-June issued a bid regarding travel administration services. The deadline to submit an offer is two pm Come july 1st 15. Since its continue to widely used by simply KCS, the county finance department stated it arrived at the threshold in which the service needed to be bet out. The request for plans is to aid secure journey management services for the two Knox County Government and the Knox State Schools, McLeod said. Because discussed publicly in the May 2015 Table of Schooling work session, the Knox County Universities and Knox County Federal government are partnering for the purpose of moving our traveling policies plus procedures. We feel it is an outstanding enhancement to your travel program and appreciate the partnership we have with Knox County Government.