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December/January 2018/19

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018/19

RAISING THEIR GAME The action TMCs are taking to stand out from the crowd

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THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

2019 travel trends Premium economy UK hotel sector update Australia & New Zealand BUSINESS TRAVEL DESIGN TEAM OF THE YEAR

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ARRIVALS

Contents

DE C E M BE R / J A NU ARY 2018/ 19 Features

18 2019 travel trends 32 Premium economy 38 UK hotels update

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32

15

Extended feature

Travel

79 16

63 Extended feature: Travel management companies

Arrivals 6

Opening Shots

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Everyone's Talking About... Crossrail delays

10 Six of the Best: Luxury hotels in Shanghai 12 Event report: Advantage

management companies

(p63-91)

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Business Travel Symposium 15 The Knowledge: making the most of corporate cards 16 Speaking Out: why basic economy is a false economy

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Regulars

20 The Conversation: Lord Andrew Adonis 22 The Big Picture 24 Meet the Buyer: Ana Gibson 26 The Business Travel People Awards: winner's interview

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46

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27 The Business Travel People Awards: 2018 winners' trip 28 The Business Travel People Awards 2019: the details 46 Technology: Data consolidation

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48 Talking Travel: Zoe Lyons 92 Event gallery: Autumn Sparkle

The Review

51 Ten pages of news, views and the latest developments

Departures

93 New Kid on the Block

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94 Gadgets & Gear

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96 On the Road 97 Meeting in... Milton Keynes

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100

99 On Business in... Berlin 100 Focus on... Australia and New Zealand 104 Reality Check 106 The Final Word

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JAPAN’S LARGEST 5-STAR AIRLINE * ANA is Japan’s largest airline who has been awarded 5-Star rating from Skytrax for six consecutive years. ANA flies direct daily from London Heathrow’s Terminal 2 to Haneda, Tokyo’s most central airport. Haneda is home to 40 of our domestic routes and 23 international routes. ANA also connects you to Sydney with a daily non-stop flight from Haneda.

We Are Japan. anaskyweb.com

#WeAreJapan

WINNER

Best Corporate Social Responsibility Programme

WINNER

Business Airline of the Year

*By passenger numbers across all Japanese carriers

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ARRIVALS

Welcome The guessing game

F

orecasting the rise or fall of business travel volumes, airfares and nightly rates for the next year is always fraught with difficulties, but never more so than in 2019, when any figures floated should be marked with

a large caveat called Brexit. Of course the unpredictable circumstances have not prevented the usual round of forecasts being issued, most of which anticipate marginal increases in business travel costs for the year ahead. Find out more about what's in store for the next 12 months in our 2019 travel trends feature on pages 18-19 and in our UK hotels update on pages 38-44. One thing we can say with confidence is that travel management companies will continue to be the crutch that props up the complex travel programmes of so many UK businesses. But it's not just a supporting role they are playing. In a sector that is slowly consolidating, good TMCs are diversifying their products and services and proving increasingly innovative. We take a look at the evolution of modern TMCs in our extended feature on pages 63-91. Elsewhere in this issue you'll find interviews with Labour Peer and former Transport Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis, travel buyer Ana Gibson, globe-trotting comedian Zoe Lyons, and Natalie Payne, winner of the Operations Manager of the Year award at The Business Travel People Awards 2018. Nominations for the 2019 awards open on January 1 (see pages 28-29 for details). Good luck to everyone entering the awards and, on behalf of the team, we wish all readers a happy, healthy and successful 2019.

Businesstravel the

MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL EDITOR

Andy Hoskins andy.hoskins@thebusinesstravelmag.com CONTRIBUTORS

Catherine Chetwynd, Linda Fox, Rob Gill, Jools Stone, Gillian Upton, Kerry Reals & Angela Sara West STAFF JOURNALIST

Benjamin Coren

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Hartridge

SALES PUBLISHER

David Clare david.clare@thebusinesstravelmag.com

DESIGN & PRODUCTION CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Matt Bonner

LEAD DESIGNERS

Louisa Horton & Monica Notarnicola DESIGNERS

Ross Clifford & Zoe Tarrant PRODUCTION & STUDIO MANAGER

Clare Hunter

PRODUCTION CONTROLLER

Steve Hunter

BMI PUBLISHING MANAGING DIRECTOR

Martin Steady

(Print) ISSN 1754-8543. THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY BMI PUBLISHING LTD: SUFFOLK HOUSE, GEORGE STREET, CROYDON,

Andy Hoskins, Editor

SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. T: 020 8649 7233 E: ENQUIRIES@BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK ALL PAPER USED IN THIS PUBLICATION IS SOURCED FROM SUSTAINABLE FORESTS AND IS FULLY RECYCLABLE. WHILE EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO ENSURE ACCURACY, BMI PUBLISHING LTD CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. © BMI PUBLISHING LTD 2018 IMAGES: SOURCED FROM SUPPLIERS, ISTOCKPHOTO.COM AND BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

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ARRIVALS oPeNiNg shots

Eye-catching images of the latest news and developments

Kimpton Hotels

fitZ is a hit

IHG's boutique Kimpton Hotels brand has arrived in the UK with the launch of The Kimpton Fitzroy London. The Grade II listed building is set on Russell Square and has 334 guestrooms, ballroom and several bars and restaurants. It is one of several Principal hotels in the UK that will be relaunched under the Kimpton brand. 6

A true homage to British history and design, the hotel is named after the original architect of the building, Charles Fitzroy Doll, a titan of British architecture in the Victorian and Edwardian eras�

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The Impeccable Pig

the whole hog

Hilton London Bankside

fresh ideas

An historic County Durham coach house has been converted into a ten-room, porcinethemed hotel, The Impeccable Pig. Its luxury rooms include The Pigsty, The Whole Hog, Oinkers and Globe Trotter. It is part of the Ramside Estates portfolio.

The Hilton London Bankside has teamed up with multi-sensory design specialists Bompas & Parr to launch The Angora meeting room, featuring interactive screen technology, mood-improving lighting and a 'creativity tea station'.

One Broad Street

by the sea

The One Broad Street hotel has opened in Brighton. The 'smart boutique hotel for the tech-savvy traveller' takes its design inspiration from 'New York City industrial loft minimalism' and the concept of biophilic design by incorporating greenery and natural materials. THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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Evolvi WS 210x275 Ad 5.18.qxp_Layout 1 24/05/2018 11:30 Page 1

The market-leading rail API

When content aggregators, global distribution systems, expense management tools and travel management portals look to integrate UK and European rail in their online platforms, they turn to EvolviWS. Our API delivers the widest range of UK rail fare types and all available fulfilment options, access to the top city pairs across Europe, and instant availability of new functionality. We also lead the way in rapid co-development, helping world-renowned travel brands create bespoke rail platforms tailored to the needs of their clients.

More information To find out more about the EvolviWS API, please contact our web services team on evolviws@evolvi.co.uk or go to evolvi.co.uk.

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ARRIVALS EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT...

Crossrail delays “I AM DEEPLY ANGERED AND DISAPPOINTED AT THE DELAY TO THE OPENING OF THE ELIZABETH LINE, WHICH IS MADE WORSE BY THE LENGTH OF THE DELAY AND HOW LATE IN THE PROJECT IT WAS ANNOUNCED”

“THE ELIZABETH LINE IS ONE OF THE MOST COMPLEX AND CHALLENGING “TECHNOLOGY DOESN’T INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS EVER RESCUE YOU BUT IT PROVIDES UNDERTAKEN IN THE VISIBILITY. UK AND IS NOWYOUR IN CONFIDENCE AND ITS FINAL STAGES. WE HAVE HUGE TMC SHOULD HAVE THEMADE PROCESS PROGRESS WITH THETO DELIVERY OF THIS AND PROCEDURES RUN REPORTS INCREDIBLE PROJECT BUT WE NEED AND HELP YOU REACH THOSE FURTHER TIME COMPLETE THE AFFECTED BYTOAN INCIDENT”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

TESTING OF THE RAILWAY” Ewan Kassir, HeadNEW of Sales, Clarity Simon Wright, Former Crossrail Chief Executive

“This project is already delivering benefits for the whole of the UK through its cross-country supply chain. Crossrail will be transformative and carry up to 200 million passengers a year” Jo Johnson MP, Former Minister of Transport

Our investigation will examine the causes of the cost increases and schedule delays, the terms of the additional funding and the governance of the programme” Spokesperson for the National Audit Office

“WE ARE DETERMINED THAT THE FAILURES IN GOVERNANCE AND TRANSPARENCY AT CROSSRAIL MUST END IMMEDIATELY, AND CANNOT BE REPLICATED Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM, Chair of the Transport Committee

IN FUTURE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS” “The public will be dismayed that yet again mismanagement of this project has meant an extra injection of taxpayers’ money, which TfL will have to pay back. While we welcome the decision to enable the project to go forward as soon as possible, Transport for London and the Mayor have serious questions to answer about the shambles that is unfolding” Gareth Bacon AM, Chairman of the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee

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ARRIVALS SIX OF THE BEST

Six of the best... Luxury hotels in Shanghai 1

Shanghai Wonderland

A hotel whose location lives up to its name, this recently opened property from Intercontinental is set in a former quarry to the southwest of Shanghai. There are two floors above ground level, 16 that descend to the bottom of the quarry and two beneath water level.

4 2

3

Bulgari Hotel Shanghai

The Bulgari Hotel Shanghai opened last summer and is set across a section of a 48-storey tower and the restored Chamber of Commerce building that dates from 1916. A rooftop restaurant has views across the city.

The upscale Marriott brand made its debut in Shanghai in 2017 with the opening of the W Shanghai – The Bund. Nearly all of the 374 stylish guestrooms have views of the Huangpu River and Pudong skyline. There are five dining options and nearly 6,000m2 of events space.

6

Bellagio Shanghai

Shanghai welcomed only the second Bellagio hotel worldwide when this property opened in June 2018. Located close to The Bund, the hotel has 184 guestrooms, four restaurants, spa and a grand ballroom.

5

10

W Shanghai

amanyangyun

Another 2018 addition to the city's high-end hotel stock, this peaceful resort just outside of downtown Shanghai has a series of suites and villas set in restored historic buildings. There are five dining options, a spa and meetings and event spaces.

the Middle House

Swire Hotels' latest addition to its House Collective, the Middle House is located in Shanghai’s historic Dazhongli neighbourhood and continues the company’s philosophy of ‘intimate luxury delivered with highly personalised service’.

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Live Travel Space is the new present

We are creating a Live Travel Space for all industry players to grow, connect and delight the traveller, fulfilling their every wish in real time. Our solutions, booked by the Amadeus Travel Platform, deliver personalised offers to business travelers.

Join us in the Live Travel Space! www.amadeus.com/livetravelspace

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ARRIVALS EVENT REPORT

The Advantage Business Travel Symposium 2018 Delegates heard keynote speeches from Lord Andrew Adonis and the University of Liverpool’s Paul Redmond at The Advantage Business Travel Symposium in November, while also being given the opportunity to ask a panel of travel buyers their burning questions. Benjamin Coren reports The day’s agenda tackled major issues affecting business travel including Brexit, traveller wellbeing, NDC and attracting new talent into the industry, with the event designed to provide delegates with actionable takeaways. The agenda had been devised based on feedback from the consortium's members. Neil Armorgie, Advantage Global Product Director and CEO of WIN, kicked off proceedings by revealing impressive growth: “In 2018 we added nearly £100million to our group turnover and there has also been significant investment into our meetings and events offering.” Armorgie talked about the consortium’s dedicated technology resource. “Fraser Nichol has taken on NDC to create a bigger picture for our members, and a summary booklet has been produced for members, shared just this week”, he added. Armorgie said the document is a line in the sand from

MEMBERSHIP BOOST "We've seen an increase in our membership of 6.9% which is ahead of the market. We've had a great year. Our mantra continues to be how we will benefit member shareholders" Neil Armorgie, Advantage Global Product Director

when it was published following Lufthansa’s recent announcement that it would restrict its lowest fares to NDC channels. Former Transport Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis delivered a keynote on Brexit and the greater economic outlook, discussing what it may mean for the business travel industry and UK infrastructure. His takeaway message was: "In the short term nothing is going to change, so my message is to keep calm and carry on." He did

COLD CALLING "IT'S ALL DOWN TO PERSONAL PREFERENCE – I PREFER HUMAN CONTACT. COLD CALLING IS A LITTLE HIT AND MISS AND COLD EMAILS ARE NOT READ AT ALL. IT'S ALWAYS GOOD TO GET SOME FACE-TO-FACE TIME IN AT INDUSTRY EVENTS" Imelda Aspinall, UK Travel Manager, ITV

12

however highlight potential long-term risks that businesses may face. Interactive 'Buyer Bootcamp' sessions gave delegates the chance to ask 'killer' questions via guided exercises. The session put the challenges that TMCs face centre stage with topics including attracting buyer attention and opening a dialogue with them, engaging with them, how to win business, approaching client reviews and preparing for them.

POST-BREXIT VISAS "I think we will try to do it without visas and very rapidly we will end up having to introduce them. And the EU will reciprocate and do the same for British citizens travelling to those countries. We may eventually end up with an ESTA-type visa system" Lord Andrew Adonis

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Looking for a TMC? Find the perfect partnership with Advantage. Advantage Business Travel, part of The Advantage Travel Partnership, is the UK’s largest independent group of Travel Management Companies in the UK. Together with its global division, WIN Global Travel Network, Advantage has over 200 UK TMC locations and global partners in 70 countries, meaning Advantage can be sure to help you find the right TMC for your individual business needs. By using an Advantage Business Travel TMC you will benefit from: ◊

An independent business offering personalised and attentive service around the clock

Access to a global network of TMC partners, through the WIN Global Travel Network

A consultative approach to managing your travel programme, making travel simple

Access to leading technology and consolidated data

The buying power of a combined turnover volume in excess of £3bn

To find out more visit advantagemembers.com. Follow us @AdvantageHQ

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ARRIVALS THE KNOWLEDGE

How to... Make the most of corporate cards The Scout Association is a long-time user of corporate cards, but the ways in which it deploys them has changed

THE BACKGROUND

The Scout Association provides youth work support to 638,000 young people and adult volunteers across the UK. A longterm Barclaycard customer, its staff have typically used corporate cards for a range of travel and subsistence costs.

STREAMLINING

“While the kinds of things we purchase with our cards have stayed consistent over the years, we have taken advantage of technological developments to speed up our reconciliation process with Barclaycard,” says The Scout Association’s Simon Carter. As a result, it now reconciles its corporate card expenses digitally every month. Carter explains: “We try to do everything electronically. We used to reconcile expenses by hand, but we conducted a study that showed it would save time – and therefore money – to move to digital reconciliation.” He continues: “As a charity, you want to put as much money as possible into your cause rather than the back office.”

GO PRE-PAID

Every four years, the organisation sends 4,000 young people from the UK to The World Scout Jamboree, which takes place in destinations all over the world – mostly recently in Japan in 2015. At the event, in addition to those who already had company credit cards, The Scout Association provided 40 staff with a pre-paid

Barclaycard corporate card, which they used for car hire, food and other travel expenses. “The cards mean we can control costs really easily,” says Carter. “We can see what our teams are spending on, and we don’t have to provide them with lots of cash.”

NEW LIMITS

At times, corporate cards have also helped the team resolve challenging situations. “After a Jamboree we hosted in Thailand finished, we sent 400 young people on a home hospitality visit to Malaysia,” explains Carter. “I was woken up at 3am by a phone call from the head of our contingent in Malaysia saying that, for various reasons, the planned accommodation wasn’t available. I called our director of finance, who contacted the Barclaycard out-of-hours service, who in turn raised the credit card limit of the person on the spot to £25,000. “The leader of the contingent then sourced safe and secure hotel rooms for 400 young people and their leaders. It was so simple.”

THE BENEFITS

Corporate cards are key to The Scout Association’s operations, whether it’s for resolving unexpected situations or simply paying for food and drink. “Cards make it easy to control costs and provide excellent visibility on spending,” says Carter. “The key thing for us is the flexibility they offer. We use a traditional purchase order process for most of our regular costs, but sometimes you simply don’t have time to wait – you need to pay for something there and then and a card makes that possible.”

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ARRIVALS SPEAKING OUT

What price loyalty? Basic economy is a false economy There’s a trade-off between the cheapest economy fares and corporate loyalty, says Peter Gerstle, who argues there’s more than one way to measure value Low-cost carriers are here to stay – that's a fact. According to the latest research from IATA, these ‘new model airlines’ now account for 28.3% of all passenger journeys – with US budget carrier SouthWest and Irish favourite Ryanair both topping the charts in terms of passengers carried. In response, so-called ‘legacy’ airlines have also begun to introduce stripped down economy fares for ‘price-sensitive’ customers in their efforts to stay competitive. Emirates, once considered the bastion of luxury airlines, is the latest to consider basic economy fares that exclude ‘perks’ like food and baggage allowance. But as more airlines embrace ‘basic economy’, what are the implications for business travellers and loyalty? Increasingly, many companies have a lowest available fare policy, or even a fare cap, and encourage their employees to consider the basic economy option. However, for businesses these policies are not without its risks. Business travellers holding these barebones tickets will have no choice in seat assignment, may not be permitted to stow a carry-on-bag in the overhead bins and will not be able to accrue as many – or any – frequent flier miles. If they desire what in the past have been considered the fundamentals of

It’s a mistake to assume that someone travelling on a basic economy fare is not a potentially valuable customer” business travel, they will have to pay for them as add-ons. This is hardly a recipe for a productive, happy employee, especially if they are travelling for an important meeting, and may even end up costing a business more than a standard fare. In addition, what happens if a meeting overruns and an employee misses their flight? If the employee has a non-refundable ticket there may be may be no option but coughing up for a last-minute, walk-up fare. As savvy travel managers are now realising, insisting on basic economy tickets can cost you dearly. Short-term savings associated with the cheapest fares can easily be dwarfed through hidden costs and productivity losses.

Business travel policies should be centred on value not just the lowest fare prices. Recognising customer loyalty and making considerations to accommodate an employee’s frequent flyer membership is particularly important. It not only has a positive contribution to the employee’s happiness and status, but it also plays an important role in getting fees waived for extras like checked bags or makes travellers eligible for upgrades. These perks could make all the difference in how an employee performs in that big meeting. Airlines too must not assume that price is the only driver for a purchase – value is measured through an overall experience and has a significant impact on loyalty. It’s a mistake to assume that someone travelling on a basic economy fare is not a potentially valuable customer. The key is to really understand each customer and know why they are flying, every time they fly. Enabling customers to collect frequent flyer points on all flights, including basic economy fares, is an important part of this. With this deeper understanding, airlines can start to see the bigger picture. They can recognise a frequent flyer even if their booking is made by a corporate travel manager and identify which customers present the best opportunity to create ongoing relationships that deliver additional revenue.

PETER GERSTLE Peter is Group Head of Travel Products at The Collinson Group, a leading global consultancy in loyalty and benefits. The company has worked with major brands including Avios, Radisson Hotels, Visa and Mastercard.

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2019 TRAVEL TRENDS

back to the future It’s difficult to look beyond Brexit when scouting ahead for the big developments coming up in 2019, but there are of course plenty of other openings, launches and trends on the horizon too...

High five Watch out for these five hotels coming to London in 2019

1 This hotel will open as part of The Stratford

the highly anticipated Manhattan Loft Gardens skyscraper (below) in Stratford in April 2019. It promises to “seamlessly merge short-term stays with long-term hotel living”.

4 The luxury hotel group is due Belmond Cadogan

to open its second UK hotel in the spring, a 54-room hotel between Kensington and Chelsea.

5 The ‘lean luxury’ hotel brand Ruby Hotels

Taking off Notable new route launches

British Airways • Heathrow-Osaka four times a week from March 31 • London City-Munich daily from Feb 16 • Heathrow-Pittsburgh four times a week from April • Heathrow-Charleston twice a week from April 4 (summer only)

Virgin Atlantic • Manchester-Los Angeles three times weekly from May 26

Delta Air Lines • Edinburgh-Boston daily from May 24

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2 This trendy US brand will open The Standard

(below) is due to open the London Southbank Outpost in summer 2019. The fledgling group currently has six hotels across Germany and one in Austria.

its first international hotel in King’s Cross in 2019 set in the Camden Town Annex building.

3 Hard Rock will open its first UK Hard Rock Hotel

hotel in London in the spring (above right) by converting the Cumberland Hotel into a 1,000-room property.

Rooms for growth Hotel room supply is set to grow 8% in London in 2019 and by 5% across the rest of the UK

With such a strong pipeline of hotels due to come on stream, we will need healthy demand growth to avoid a drop in occupancy percentages” says HVS Chairman, Russell Kett

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2019 TRAVEL TRENDS

Brexit: March 29 iN? out? good deal? No deal? cliff edge? secoNd refereNdum?

Uncertainty around the Brexit deal has not affected bookings and our business is up year on year. People will still need to do business whatever happens concerning the Brexit trade deal – if a company needs to travel in order to conduct business then they are still going to travel, even if airfares go up” Mel Phaure, Director, Blue Cube Travel

Trend-setting technology dataart predicts 2019 will see five maJor tech treNds takiNg travel aNd hospitality to the NeXt level

Ai is set to reAch new heights

Progression will ‘skyrocket’, helping improve customer service and save human resources

oPen APis

Proliferation of open APIs will enable better synchronisation between technology systems

European airfares 2% - the predicted rise in average ticket prices on regional routes 1% - the predicted rise in average ticket prices for intercontinental travel

“Negotiating a good deal with European airlines is becoming harder as they reduce discounts for all but their best-performing clients: those who either spend heavily on premium cabins of fullfare economy to long-haul destinations, or fly economy to markets where the airline wants to gain or defend market share” BCD 2019 Industry Forecast

AugmenteD reAlity

Travel and hospitality players have been slow to adopt AR but it will be at the forefront of marketing and personalisation in 2019

ONE Order is the new NDC? Those tired of hearing about IATA’s NDC standard can look forward to hearing plenty about the organisation’s ONE Order programme in 2019 – which in fact is made possible by NDC advances. “Today, an air booking creates both a passenger name record (PNR) and an electronic ticket, plus an electronic miscellaneous document for any ancillary purchases like checked bag fees. Under ONE Order, all these documents will be replaced with a single, retail-type digital order management process,” explains travel management company BCD.

For passengers and their employers, the potential benefits include more coordinated disruption management when flights are delayed, better customer recognition, improved MI and better understanding of total trip cost

self-serVice

Expect more tech that eliminates the need for customers to interact with a human to complete a transaction

Voice Assist

Use is already growing at an impressive rate and will be a vital component of the industry’s demand for efficiency THEbusinesstraVeLMag.COM

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THE CONVERSATION

Labour Peer & Former Transport Secretary

LORD ANDREW ADONIS The staunch Remainer speaks to Andy Hoskins ahead of his keynote address at the Advantage Business Travel Symposium

K

eep calm and carry on," are Lord Andrew Adonis's words of advice for the travel industry as the UK moves towards its scheduled March 29 departure from the European Union. "There’s a lot of alarmism around at the moment and people are right to be concerned about the long-term future for the country if we Brexit, but people shouldn’t worry about going off a cliff edge next year. Parliament isn’t that stupid," he says. "In the long-term, however, Brexit will make us much less attractive to inward investment and it will start imposing impediments to trade and travel." Speaking before EU leaders had agreed the Brexit deal that will be voted on by parliament in December, Adonis says: "Any form of Brexit is bad for the country and we should have a referendum so people can give their view on what they really want." He believes there is "a serious chance" of the so-called People's Vote taking place in 2019 and claims: "Even Brexiters are coming round to this view as well – that this half-in, half-out deal that Theresa May is proposing may actually be worse than staying fully in. Both sides regard it as a sell-out." He continues: "It's increasingly clear that the deal is going to hit the buffers and the question is what happens when it does." Adonis believes there are three possible scenarios the country could find itself in on March 29. Firstly, a continuation of Article 50 – potentially under a new Prime Minister 20

– in order to "get a credible deal over a longer period". Secondly, that the country will leave the EU but "with everything essentially still to be negotiated"; and lastly, the referendum he desires. So there's no chance of planes being grounded overnight and gridlocked ports? "That's a straight scare. It’s deplorable that the government has allowed the public to think this could happen. There’s simply no way you're going to get 325 MPs – half the House – that are going to agree to us leaving the European Union with no deal and the country grinding to a halt." Having served as Transport Secretary under Gordon Brown's Labour government, the UK's air, road and rail networks are a subject close to his heart. He pioneered plans for High Speed 2 – the high-speed railway that will connect London with the Midlands and potentially cities further north – and offers unwavering support to the expansion of London Heathrow Airport. "I can't take credit for being a genius," he says of HS2. "All I was doing was copying

With a third runway at Heathrow from 2028, soon after the opening of HS2, Adonis heralds a transport infrastructure revolution for England in the mid-2020s”

what pretty much every developed country in the world has done over the last 50 years which is to build high-speed rail lines between the major cities." The London to Birmingham line is currently under construction – and is due to open in 2026 – and he believes plans to extend it to Leeds and Manchester will happen "with or without Brexit". "Once the high speed lines get to Leeds and Manchester the journey times from London to Scotland will come down a lot. You’ll be able to do both of those trips [to Glasgow and Edinburgh] in 3.5 hours or less, which will make trains highly competitive with planes for the first time," Adonis explains. And he says expansion at Heathrow is "vitally important for bringing inward investment into the country and for promoting business travel internationally including to new and emerging markets." He is also confident that, with parliament voting almost 10-1 in favour of expansion – and with a majority in all the political parties – it is a "done deal". He adds: "My view is that this is irreversible". With a third runway at Heathrow potentially operational from 2028, not long after the scheduled opening of HS2, Adonis heralds a "transport infrastructure revolution for England in the mid-2020s". Brexit or no Brexit, the UK's connectivity both at home and with foreign nations is set for a welcome shot in the arm.

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THE CONVERSATION

in brief... Expansion at Heathrow is set to go ahead and HS2 is underway, but where is the country's transport network falling short? The northern cities are very badly connected and what I call HS3 – which is the eastwest line linking Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Hull – that’s hugely important and there’s still no proper plan for that. We’ve got big North-South improvements with HS2 underway but there’s no equivalent improvement taking place east to west in the North.

LORD ANDREW ADONIS Rt Hon Lord (Andrew) Adonis is a Labour peer, former Transport Secretary and former Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission. Both as advisor and then minister, Andrew Adonis was a key architect of Tony Blair's public service reforms in education, health, local government, policing and transport. He is the author of books on parliamentary reform, the class system and the poll tax.

According to your Twitter bio, you've been called a 'twisted weasel' by Nigel Farage and a 'cave man' by Jacob Rees-Mogg – you seem to revel in being something of a villain... I do because I’m deliberately taking on Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg because they're the chief Brexiters. So I relish an argument and a battle with them because the issues are so big for the country. Over the medium to long-term I think Brexit will be extremely damaging which is the reason I’m doing battle ferociously with the leading Brexiters. However much Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Kate Hoey and co dislike me, they dislike Theresa May even more. They are falling apart. The question is whether it falls apart in such a way that we can get a referendum and put a stop to Brexit.

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THE BIG PICTURE

Copenhagen

MORE THAN MERMAIDS The Danish capital city has been named Lonely Planet’s number one city for 2019, propelled to the top by its “worldrenowned food scene”, craft beer culture and its reputation as a “design powerhouse”. In second place was Shenzhen – the ‘Silicon Valley of China’ – and in third was up-and-coming Serbian city Novi Sad.

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A D R I A A I R WAY S • A E G E A N A I R L I N E S • A I R C A N A D A • A I R C H I N A • A I R I N D I A • A I R N E W Z E A L A N D • A N A • A S I A N A A I R L I N E S • A U S T R I A N • AV I A N CA • AV I A N C A B R A S I L B R U S S E L S A I R L I N E S • C O PA A I R L I N E S • C R O A T I A A I R L I N E S • E G Y P T A I R • E T H I O P I A N A I R L I N E S • E VA A I R • L O T P O L I S H A I R L I N E S • L U F T H A N S A • S C A N D I N A V I A N A I R L I N E S S H E N Z H E N A I R L I N E S • S I N G A P O R E A I R L I N E S • S O U T H A F R I C A N A I R WAY S • S W I S S • T A P A I R P O R T U G A L • T H A I • T U R K I S H A I R L I N E S • U N I T E D

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MEET THE BUYER

meet

ANA GIBSON Ana Gibson is Supply Manager, Travel, at Hilti, having recently moved from the supplier side of the travel industry Hilti is a global company operating in 120 countries with more than 27,000 employees. We design and manufacture leading-edge technology, software and services which power the construction industry. I have been here since the end of July 2018 and am discovering every day what a great company it is to work for; people are at the forefront of everything Hilti does. The headcount is growing by 10% year on year and currently we have around 950 staff in the UK. Around half of these have regular business trips and many more travel on an ad hoc basis. My career in travel started as soon as I graduated from university 15 years ago when I joined Emirates. I saw it as a temporary role, but once the “travel bug” gets hold of you, not many tend to leave the industry. Soon after joining, I moved into sales support and eventually corporate sales. After seven years, I swapped the hot climate of Dubai for Santa’s official airline, Finnair, as client manager.

do not have dedicated travel bookers except for when it comes to our Training School. This has a significant need for hotel accommodation, and once I have negotiated the contracts with the preferred suppliers, our HR Shared Services team are tasked with managing the booking process.

My main responsibilities are to help drive productivity, through sourcing and We work closely with countries in negotiating with suppliers. I also Northern Europe so there is a lot look at the spend patterns and of travel to key destinations look at how behaviour can such as Copenhagen, and be influenced to achieve Helsinki, as well as cost savings. My role is Dublin. Our global OUT OF THE OFFICE based in the UK but headquarters are "I am originally from I work closely with based in Schaan so we Romania. My dad was born in a my counterparts in travel there via Zurich castle in Transylvania so I am a Northern Europe – or via Munich is also distant relative to Dracula! But and the global common. We also try unlike most vampires, I tend to procurement to use digital solutions favour bright sunshine for managers to benchmark such as Skype and my holiday destinations" our policy and activity Microsoft Hubs to reduce against our peers. the amount of corporate travel needed. Employees are empowered to make their own travel bookings through We only use two TMCs globally, with the our TMC and its online booking tool. Apart UK and US using one, and the rest another. from the PAs to the Directors and MD, we We actively encourage employees to use 24

the online booking tools provided. In the UK, our OBT adoption is around 87%. We have a strong travel policy in place which considers all aspects. As adherence to policy is high, I would say that it is very effective, but we are always looking for improvements. We want employees to have a positive and safe experience when they travel on business as employee wellbeing is very important to us as a company. My biggest challenge is to ensure the varied stakeholders’ needs are met. The standards required are high and it can sometimes be a challenge to meet the expectations while adhering to the policy and the need to manage costs.

We want employees to have a positive and safe experience when they travel on business as wellbeing is very important to us as a company”

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11/23/18 09:53 AM


THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE 2018 CHRISTMAS PARTY TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 THE GRANGE ST PAUL'S, LONDON

To book your place, or for further information, see thebusinesstravelmag.com

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awards

meet the winner

Natalie Payne Fello’s Natalie Payne was named Operations Manager of the Year at The Business Travel People Awards 2018

How did it feel to win the Operations Manager of the Year award? I was very surprised and obviously delighted! I knew it was a popular category as there is a lot of talent in our industry, so it was a huge honour to be recognised. Why did you decide to enter the awards or how did you come to be nominated? Fello Group CEO Simone Buckley did it – unbeknown to me! Simone recognised that while I had the job title of Team Leader, I had been performing the role of Operations Manager for over a year following the departure of the Head of Operations. It was particularly challenging during this time as Sandy Row Travel and World Club Travel were merging, and we were preparing to launch our new brand, Fello. What do you particularly enjoy about We were also without a managing director your current role? or CEO and had just won a large account to I love working with a team and the diversity be serviced in the UK, US and Singapore. I of the job. No two days are the same. I am found myself in charge of a global constantly challenged to find online and offline implesolutions to ensure the team mentation, a team of and I give the absolute consultants who were highest level of service to The Business nervous about the all our clients. Travel People Awards merger, a GDS contract recognise outstanding up for renewal, and a What do you think individuals and teams across booking tool that was of The Business all aspects of the supplier being phased out. Travel People element of corporate travel. Awards, and of the Tell us about your winners’ event? Nominations for the 2019 role and the work It’s really important to awards open on you’ve done that acknowledge talent and January 1 clinched the award? hard work in our industry. It I was responsible for the is motivating for the individuals implementation of our largest-ever concerned, but also for their team customer across three countries (two of and organisation. When you are in an which didn’t have offices) while retaining operational role you don’t get to attend as our customer base through a period of many industry events so it was really significant change. I also set up, recruited special to be at the awards with my peers. and trained our own in-house out-of-hours Being taken on a winners' trip to New York department, available 24/7. was also a fantastic privilege. 26

It’s important to acknowledge talent and hard work. It is motivating for the individuals concerned, but also for their team and organisation” What impact do you think winning an award will have on your career? The award has really given me the confidence to progress, to constantly challenge myself and to aim high. Fello has big ambitions and I am looking forward to being part of the journey. What do you think are the business travel industry’s biggest challenges right now? As consumers we have so much access to content and so much choice. At Fello, our job is to ensure we get the best value for our clients based on their specific needs and preferences.

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GALLERY

The Business Travel People Awards 2018

Winners trip to New York

A bridge too far in Central Park The Business Travel People Awards Winners

Trip ▼

The winners of The Business Travel People Awards 2018 jetted off to New York for a short break in November, with flights courtesy of Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines

▲ 08.11.2018

Exclusive transport for our group of winners

With thanks to our generous event partners

Taking in the Manhattan skyline

NOMINATIONS OPE N JA NUA RY 1, 2019 THEBUS INE SSTRAV E LPE OPLE AWA RDS.COM

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RECOGNISING EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS TRAVEL The annual awards recognising outstanding individuals & teams in business travel

Now in its 8th Year! NOM NOMINATIONS INATIONS OPE OPE N NJAJA NUA NUA RYRY1, 1,2019 2019 THEBUSINE SSTRAV E LPE OPLE AWA RDS.COM THEBUSINE SSTRAV E LPE OPLE AWA RDS.COM

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THE 2019 CATEGORIES The Business Travel People Awards categories cover a range of roles for both suppliers and agency entrants. The judges are aware that companies have many different job titles to illustrate core business responsibilities such as sales, account management and business development. It is important that nominations are entered in the category with the description that is the most appropriate.

TRAVEL MANAGEMENT COMPANIES AND HOTEL BOOKING AGENCIES

Recognising the individual who has demonstrated excellent customer service, a can-do attitude and the ability to go the extra mile for both colleagues and customers.

Recognising the team that has demonstrated excellent customer service, a can-do attitude and the ability to go the extra mile for their customers.

• Operations Manager of the year

Recognising the individual who has demonstrated the ability to provide excellent customer service using an innovative and strategic approach across operational management.

Recognising the team that has demonstrated the ability to provide excellent customer service using an innovative and strategic approach across operational management.

Recognising the individual who takes a proactive and consultative approach to their role in order to provide unrivalled customer service, care and value to their clients.

• Account Manager of the year

Recognising the individual who demonstrates impeccable product knowledge and takes a proactive and consultative approach to their role in order to provide unrivalled customer service, care and value to a TMC, HBA and/or corporate customer.

• Sales/Business Development Manager

of the year Recognising the individual who has driven growth through outstanding sales results by the development and use of a creative and successful business strategy.

• Account Management Team of the year

Recognising the team that demonstrates impeccable product knowledge and takes a proactive and consultative approach to their role in order to provide unrivalled customer service, care and value to a TMC, HBA and/or corporate customer.

the year Recognising the team that has driven growth through outstanding sales results by the development and use of a creative and successful business strategy.

• Sales/Business Development Manager of the year Recognising the individual who has driven outstanding sales growth through the development and use of a creative and successful business strategy.

MICE CATEGORIES

• Reservations Team of the year

• Account Manager of the year

of the year Recognising the team that takes a proactive and consultative approach to providing unrivalled customer service, care and value to their clients.

• Sales/Business Development Team of

• Reservations Consultant of the year

• Operations Team of the year

• Account Management Team

• Meetings & Events Manager of the year Recognising the individual who has demonstrated the ability to provide excellent customer service or event management and project management using an innovative, practical, strategic approach across the operational delivery of meetings and/or events.

• Meetings & Events Team of the year Recognising the team or department that has demonstrated the ability to provide excellent customer service or event management and project management using innovative, practical, strategic approach across the operational delivery of meetings and/or events.

• Sales/Business Development Team of the year Recognising the team that has driven outstanding sales growth through the development and use of a creative and successful business strategy.

INDUSTRY CATEGORIES

• Rising Star award

Recognising an outstanding individual from any sector of the business travel industry who is under 35 years of age. Entrants should have demonstrated a desire to develop into a business leader of the future.

• Best Newcomer

SUPPLIER CATEGORIES (Air, accommodation, ground transport (car hire and rail), online booking tools, GDS, data management services)

Recognising an individual from any sector of business travel who has been involved in the industry for less than two years. This person will have shown an aptitude and appetite to develop their role in the sector.

NOMINATIONS OPE N JA NUA RY 1, 2019 THEBUSINE SSTRAV E LPE OPLE AWA RDS.COM

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A smarter partnership Whether you’re heading to New York, LA or somewhere amazing in between, we’ll fly you there in style It’s the little things... Travelling with us is about so much more than simply stepping on a plane. It’s about the entire experience from airport arrival to destination. We make flying for business as fuss-free as possible, with luxurious lounges, easy airport transfer options, combined, convenient schedules and bags checked through from start to finish for a seamless travel experience. Our mutual loyalty programmes and reciprocal lounge access* are a nice little touch too, as is our approach to customers, who we look after as individuals. Onboard Virgin Atlantic Upper Class and Delta One® we boast fully flat beds, perfect for refreshing, undisturbed sleep, and we’re the only fully WiFi ** connected transatlantic joint venture, keeping customers in touch with the outside world.

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It all starts at London Heathrow, Terminal 3

Relaxation starts at ground level

Upper Class and Delta One customers enjoy loads of brilliant benefits at Terminal 3, London Heathrow, where we’re co-located.

At London Heathrow, Delta SkyMiles® Diamond and Platinum Medallion® Members are invited to use the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, while Gold Medallion® Members can indulge in the No.1 Traveller Lounge. Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members can also use the Private Security Channel and the Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge.

Arrive in style Virgin Atlantic customers can arrive in style at the Upper Class Wing with our chauffeur driven car service^, while travellers on both airlines can take advantage of the Upper Class Wing by arriving in their own car or taxi.

Breeze through the airport Navigating a busy airport has never been easier with Drive Thru Check In and our Private Security Channel, enabling travellers to focus on work, not their travel itinerary. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse provides the perfect stop off to continue working or simply wind down before a flight, while priority boarding gets customers settled in their seats quicker.

Back in Blighty Get straight back to business in London Heathrow at the Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge with a hot shower, delicious breakfast and clothes pressing/mending service, and whisked off to onward destinations with a pre-booked chauffeur car*.

Start spreading the news As well as our shared Heathrow hub we share a convenient flight schedule, providing eight flights to New York JFK daily and one flight to Newark. Flights are scheduled from London Heathrow throughout the day, and even depart every 30 minutes from New York JFK to London Heathrow during the early evening. We’re expanding services at

a regional level too, with daily flights from Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow^^ to New York JFK, and we’re keeping customers connected to over 200 North American destinations via Delta’s extensive network.

Frequent flyer perks Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Delta SkyMiles Members benefit from generous perks, brilliant news for frequent flyers. Naturally, members earn miles every time they fly, but they also scoop miles on each other’s services and across our partner airlines’ services too. So, Flying Club members earn miles on Delta flights, while SkyMiles Members earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) on eligible Virgin Atlantic flights and can use their miles on eligible Virgin Atlantic flights too. That’s not all. Flying Club Gold members will earn 60% more of the base flown Flying Club miles when they travel on any Delta flight (Silver members receive 30% more) and enjoy Sky Priority® benefits when flying Delta, as well as gaining access to Delta Sky Club® on any Delta transatlantic ticket.

Please contact your TMC for more information or to book * At certain membership levels. ** From £4.99. ^ Chauffeur driven car service available at most destinations with selected Upper Class fares. Also available to book at a preferential rate. Mileage restrictions apply. ^^ Seasonal daily service from Glasgow to New York JFK.

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premium economy

rise

of the middle class An increasing focus on employee welfare coupled with a more creative approach to cost-saving is breathing new life into premium economy, writes Kerry Reals

P

remium economy cabins have come of age. After a slow and steady rise in popularity since taking to the skies with Virgin Atlantic and EVA Air in the early 1990s, the area between the highest- and lowest-yielding seats on the aircraft is now the centre of attention as airlines – and passengers – increasingly realise its potential. This previously slow-burning trend is rapidly becoming hotter as a growing list of airlines find the temptation of introducing a failsafe product, capable of performing well in both good and bad economic times, too difficult to resist. Sandwiched between business class and economy, the premium economy cabin provides a quieter, less cramped alternative to the back of the bus at a fraction of the cost of the pointier end, but with some of the elevated perks. For travel management companies this product, the 'compromise cabin', offers a sweet spot for cost-conscious corporations looking to keep employees happy and productive while simultaneously appeasing their finance divisions. However, TMCs “have to be able to adapt their business to these new dynamics” to ensure they can meet the evolving needs and expectations of their customers, according to Richard Johnson, Director Solutions Group EMEA and APAC at Carlson Wagonlit Travel. 32

“Premium economy has an important role to play in the corporate travel market as companies seek to balance the need for strong cost management with a growing appreciation of the importance of traveller wellbeing and ensuring productivity when travelling for business, ” says Johnson. “This is likely to become even more important when we consider the rise of ultra-long-haul flights, where premium economy can be compelling for companies with tightly managed budgets.” Indeed, Singapore Airlines has eliminated the economy cabin entirely on its new ultralong-haul Newark-Singapore route. Having apparently decided that nobody in their right mind would want to fly in economy class non-stop for 18hr 45mins, the airline has configured the Airbus A350-900ULR aircraft deployed on this route in a twoclass layout, featuring 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy seats. Johnson believes premium economy “offers more comfort for a better price” on medium- to long-haul flights when compared to business or first class. However, investments in technology are key to enabling TMCs to provide their customers with a detailed comparisonshopping experience in a world of expanding premium economy options. “It’s becoming increasingly imperative for businesses to work with TMCs with strong technology partners, who are able to 

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premium economy

The number of airlines offering premium economy has grown from a small handful in the 1990s to in excess of 25 today�

Cathay Pacific

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premium economy

Norwegian

ANA

provide accurate and comprehensive content choices for their travellers,” he says. “The right technology can provide access to rich images of airline seat options and other airline products. This gives companies better value and coverage of available airline content,” Johnson adds. The number of airlines offering premium economy has grown from a small handful of trailblazers in the 1990s to in excess of 25 today, with new carriers jumping on board all the time. A trend that initially started in Europe and Asia with Virgin Atlantic and EVA Air has spread across the globe, with the latest converts being in North America and the Middle East. Virgin Atlantic’s popular premium economy cabin entered service in 1992 and was branded Mid Class. The airline says it was aimed at “the cost-conscious business traveller, or leisure travellers looking to treat themselves”. The product was rebranded in 1994 as Premium Economy and again in 2018 as Premium. It is available on all routes and all aircraft types across the carrier’s fleet.

Premium upgrades

Wise to the fact that its competitors are jumping on the bandwagon, Virgin Atlantic says it is “continually updating” its premium economy product. In addition to 21-inchwide leather seats with a 38-inch pitch, dedicated check-in and bag drop, a meal served on china crockery with real cutlery, a 34

glass of bubbly on boarding, an amenity kit and an extra checked baggage allowance, the airline has added more features designed to make its Premium cabin stand out. “When we introduced our Boeing 787 aircraft in 2014 we introduced a Wander Wall at the front of the Premium cabin. We know customers like to stretch their legs and help themselves to snacks throughout the flight and the Wander Wall is a social space where they can socialise with their fellow travellers and chat to crew while helping themselves to complimentary snacks and refreshments,” says the airline. Virgin Atlantic has also spent the last 12 months working with celebrity chef Donal Skehan to “reinvent” its in-flight dining experience. The new Dine with Donal dishes debuted in the airline’s Upper Class cabins in October and will be available in the Premium and Economy cabins next year. When the airline adds the Airbus A350 to its fleet in 2019, it will provide “a great opportunity to look at all our cabins and what they offer customers”. Details on what the premium economy cabin on the A350s will look like, however, remain strictly under wraps until the New Year. Fellow premium economy pioneer EVA Air is also attempting to differentiate its product as more airlines seek to emulate what it started in 1992. The Taiwan-based carrier announced earlier this year that it has decided to “call it what it is” and rebrand the ’in-between cabin’ as Premium Economy.

US carriers arrived very late to the premium economy party. First to turn up was American Airlines in 2016” It was previously known as Elite Class. Alongside the name change came two new amenity kits from skincare specialists Erno Laszlo and THANN, and new bedding too. Cathay Pacific, which introduced a premium economy product in March 2012, is also in the process of upgrading its offering. When the Hong Kong-based carrier added the Airbus A350-900 to its fleet in May 2016, it installed its second generation of premium economy seats. The new seats are also being rolled out across select routes served by its A350-1000 aircraft. “The A350 premium economy seat sets a new standard for Cathay Pacific,” says the carrier’s Marketing and Digital Sales Manager for the UK and Ireland, Paul Cruttenden. “It offers additional features including dedicated tablet holders that make it easy for passengers to enjoy entertainment content on their own devices, power outlets and USB power ports. “Each premium economy class seat has a full-length leg rest which, together with the ergonomically designed seat, allows more flexibility to adjust for optimal comfort.”

Late arrivals

While premium economy cabins have been springing up throughout Europe and Asia over the last quarter of a century, US airlines arrived late to the party. First to turn up was American Airlines, which began selling the new class towards the end of 2016 across its international widebody fleet. Next was Delta Air Lines, which began rolling out its Premium Select product on certain international flights in late 2017. Delta’s Airbus A350s feature 48 Premium Select seats, sandwiched between 32 Delta One business class seats and 226 Main Cabin seats. United Airlines was the last US major to throw its hat into the ring when it

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premium economy

Singapore Airlines

announced earlier this year that it will launch a premium economy product, branded Premium Plus, in early 2019. The premium economy trend will head next to the Middle East, where Emirates will begin introducing the cabin on its new Airbus A380s in 2020. The Dubai-based carrier has been quiet on the details, but Emirates President Tim Clark said earlier this year that “it will be an Emirates premium economy, and it will be special”. There is no indication yet that Gulf rival Qatar Airways plans to follow suit. Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker has previously ruled out the possibility of introducing premium economy. However, Abu Dhabibased Etihad Airways hinted earlier this year that it might enter the fray. If the trend does catch on in this region, Qatar Airways could find that it has no choice but to follow its regional competitors. Back in Europe, Finnair recently announced it will introduce premium economy on long-haul flights from 2020, but stopped short of releasing any details.

Cost benefits

For some, it is puzzling that it has taken so long for premium economy to catch on. But despite a slow start, a number of factors

suggest it is the product’s time to shine. ”In some ways it is surprising that it’s taken this long for the cabin to spread through the industry,” says Institute of Travel Management Chief Executive Scott Davies. With premium economy seats selling for roughly double the amount charged in the economy class cabin, versus quadruple the amount for a business class seat, businesses ”can do double the number of trips with premium economy”, making it a very attractive product. Despite launching in the early 1990s, premium economy did not really start to take off until 2009 when the global recession started to bite. “Airlines saw that many companies were cutting costs by reducing their business class policy. Consequently, instead of having corporate travellers fall down to economy, the airlines began to push premium economy,” says Eric Olson, Senior Consultant at American Express Global Business Travel. Carriers also began to “entice companies who strictly bought economy seats with premium economy, in the hope that they would eventually upgrade,” adds Olson. However, online travel agencies and GDSs were initially “reluctant to incorporate it.. due to an un-streamlined process which

often required manual search”, meaning that adoption was slow. “We advise organisations that are interested in premium economy to climb on board sooner rather than later, as they are currently in a good position to negotiate a ‘first-mover’ advantage with the airlines before premium economy takes off entirely,” says Olson, adding that premium economy could soon “become a prevalent option for corporates”. According to Raj Sachdave, Managing Partner at business travel consultancy Black Box Partnerships, travel policy in corporate markets is shifting when it comes to managing budgets. Premium economy products fit in well because they enable companies to “give an experience that ticks five out of eight boxes” normally associated with business class, but without the skyhigh price tag. “Another important point is that as millennials start rising through the corporate ranks they bring with them different expectations to their predecessors because they’ve been through the [economic] pain of the last ten years,” says Sachdave. ”Airlines are getting ready for a refactoring of the classes,” he notes. While there will always be a level of demand from high net worth individuals for the highyielding business class seats, there is an increasing ”value and benefit of enjoying a comfortable experience without the bells and whistles”. 

Air Canada

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Carlson Wagonlit’s Johnson points to a market that is still very much in its infancy but with significant potential for growth. “Currently, we only see around a quarter of our clients with policies that allow their travellers to book the premium economy cabin class, which suggests that there’s still a lot of room for growth for premium economy in corporate travel,” he says. “Premium economy as an offer theoretically gives travel buyers a few more options in how they manage their policies on premium travel,” says Johnson. This includes the possibility of adopting a mix-and-match approach of flying employees in business class for overnight flights and premium economy for daytime flights, Johnson adds. Virgin Atlantic has seen evidence of this, noting that “we do see business travellers choosing to fly Premium on day flights and then investing in our Upper Class flat beds on night flights”. Johnson believes that premium economy is coming to the fore as employee welfare becomes more of an issue, with companies moving staff up from economy, rather than seeing it as a way of downgrading people from business class, a point backed up by Cathay Pacific. “We have seen little or no trading down on our London to Hong Kong route and find that with larger companies, business class is still permitted within their policies for flights of more than an eight-hour duration,” says Cathay's Cruttenden. “Where we find strong and growing demand for premium economy is from the SME market, which traditionally has a tighter travel budget. It is worth noting that some SMEs who were travelling in economy are now trading up to premium economy.” Looking to the future, premium economy cabins could follow the trend seen in business class and become even more luxurious, as airlines seek to outdo one another in the search for incremental business. ITM’s Davies certainly hopes so: “It might be a pipe dream but it’s possible to imagine bunk beds in premium economy as well as flat beds in business class,” he says.

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[ premium picks – how the airlines compare ] Aeroflot (Comfort Class) – Meals from business class menu; personal travel kit; reclining seats Air Canada (Premium Economy) – Ambient mood lighting; seat has 38-inch pitch and 7-inch recline; in-seat power Air France (Premium Economy) – Seat reclines up to 130 degrees within fixed shell; noise-reducing headset Air New Zealand (Premium Economy) – 41-inch pitch leather seat; winner of Skytrax Best Premium Economy 2018 All Nippon Airways (Premium Economy) – Lounge access; business class dessert; 38-inch seat pitch Alitalia (Premium Economy) – Dedicated check-in; 17 or 24 ergonomic seats with 120-degree recline American Airlines (Premium Economy) – Complimentary beer, wine and spirits; bedding designed by sleep technology company Casper Austrian Airlines (Premium Economy) – Welcome drink; separate central armrest with fold-out table; 12-inch IFE screen British Airways (World Traveller Plus) – Ongoing interiors upgrade to include greater seat recline and 60% larger seatback screen Cathay Pacific (Premium Economy) – Dedicated tablet holders; full-length leg rest; amenity kit; meals served on china plates China Airlines (Premium Economy) – 39-inch pitch with fixed-back recline; 12-inch HD monitor China Southern Airlines (Premium Economy) – 38-inch pitch reclining seats Delta Air Lines (Premium Select) – Dedicated in-cabin flight attendant; Tumi amenity kit

El Al (Premium Class) – Meals served in porcelain dishes; 13-inch monitor EVA Air (Premium Economy) – Dedicated check-in; Haagen Dazs ice cream; Erno Laszlo and THANN amenity kits Japan Airlines (Premium Economy) – 42-inch seat pitch with fixed-back recline; amenity kits include slippers LOT Polish Airlines (Premium Economy) – Dedicated check-in; meals from business class menu Lufthansa (Premium Economy) – Fruity welcome drink; lounge access (for additional charge); meals served on china plates Norwegian (Premium) – 43-inch pitch; lounge access; three-course meal SAS (SAS Plus) – Lounge access; free WiFi; three-course meal Singapore Airlines (Premium Economy) – Seat reclines up to 8 inches; option to reserve 'Book the Cook' dishes 24 hours in advance Qantas (Premium Economy) – Cabins have 32 to 40 seats and dedicated flight attendant; noise-cancelling headsets Thomas Cook Airlines (Premium Class) – 35-inch pitch with 6-inch recline; menu designed by celebrity chef James Martin TUI (Premium Club) – Lounge access; fast-track through security United Airlines (Premium Plus) – 21-24 Premium Plus seats, depending on aircraft, being rolled out Vietnam Airlines (Premium Economy) – 7/8-inch seat recline; 38-inch pitch on A350s, 42-inch pitch on B787s Virgin Atlantic (Premium) – Dedicated check-in and bag drop; welcome drink and newspaper; meals served on china plates

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Advertorial Feature

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LUFTHANSA GROUP AIRLINES‘ NDC PARTNER PROGRAM New NDC Smart Offer effective 01 December 2018

The goal of Lufthansa Group airlines is to create a powerful distribution landscape for trade partners and travel agents which is able to match the offerings the airlines can already provide to travellers via their own channels. Travellers are used to individualised offers from airlines own channels and New Distribution Capability (NDC) makes these offers also available for sales partners and travel agents. Lufthansa Group airlines has invested in new technology, distribution dialogues and also a team of more than 65 distribution specialists who make sure partners are properly taken care of whilst engaging in a distribution project. With the NDC Partner Program, Lufthansa Group airlines takes another step forward with regards to modern airline-retailingbusiness models, by offering sales partners and customers a preferred value proposition encompassing 4 components: “NDC Smart Offer”, “NDC Bonus”, “Servicing”, and “Technology”. Find more information on our NDC Partner Program website, a platform dedicated to sales partners, corporates and travel technology providers. A new NDC Smart Offer for Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS will be introduced from 01 December 2018. From this date the

lowest fares on point to point routes* from the UK, will be available exclusively through direct distribution channels (Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC API including SPRK, austrian.com, lufthansa.com and swiss.com). As from this date, the Economy Light (LGT) of Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS will no longer be available in the GDS. The current NDC Best Fare will remain in place for the London gateways, London Heathrow and London City, where a saving of almost GBP30 on a round trip can be made. Lufthansa Group airlines is an industry leader in the distribution topic and will continue to invest in this field. Currently engaged in more than 70 Lufthansa Group airlines NDC API projects in the UK, Lufthansa Group airlines also support the free of charge NDC webbased booking platform SPRK. In order to motivate trade partners who have invested in NDC technology or are in the process of doing so, Lufthansa Group airlines will continue to develop this channel with attractive content such as new fare types and ancillaries in 2019. In the highly competitive market of the airline industry, Lufthansa Group airlines stands out with customer-centric and innovative solutions aiming not only to stay ahead of competition but also to shape the industry.

Key Facts  Economy Light fares only available through Lufthansa Group NDC API including SPRK*  NDC Partner Program website for information on Lufthansa Group NDC API solutions: www.lhgroupairlines.com/ndc  Register for the free of charge NDC web-based booking platform SPRK, via the online form available on the NDC Partner Program website  Save Distribution Cost Charge of GBP11.30 with Lufthansa Group NDC API solutions including SPRK  Access to the attractive Lufthansa Group NDC Smart Offers

To find out about Lufthansa Group’s NDC Partner Program visit www.lhgroupairlines.com/ndc or contact your Lufthansa Group Account Manager

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UK hotels update

Rooms

boom

Brexit is coming but so are thousands of new UK hotel rooms – but will this extra capacity benefit travel buyers in 2019 and beyond, asks Rob Gill

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orecasts about the likely movement in UK hotel prices during 2019 have arrived with a very big asterisk marked Brexit, particularly when it comes to the prospect of there being no deal between the UK and EU from March 29 onwards. But if we ignore that ominous cloud (as difficult as that may be), most predictions suggest that hotel rates in the UK will rise during 2019, although perhaps not as much as in other parts of Europe. BCD Travel is estimating an overall rise in UK rates of between 3% and 5%, while rival travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) forecasts a 3.5% yearon-year increase, including a 4% hike for rates at “upscale” properties. This compares with CWT’s overall forecast for a 5.6% rise in 38

rates across western Europe for 2019. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) thinks that the increase in UK rates will be even more restrained with average daily rates (ADR) up by just £1 to £150 for London next year, and a similarly slow rise in the rest of the UK from an average rate of £72 to £73.

More the merrier

Whatever happens with Brexit, it is unlikely to derail – at least in the short term – the development and opening of an impressive array of new hotels around the UK. London is expected to see the addition of 11,600 hotel rooms by 2020 on top of the existing 140,000 rooms in the capital, according to a report by promotional agency London & Partners and property manager JLL. Major projects include The

Premier Inn

Londoner in Leicester Square, the former US embassy in Grosvenor Square being converted into a Rosewood property, Hard Rock Hotel London (taking over The Cumberland) and Art’otel London Battersea Power Station. But this extra capacity may not lead to lower rates for travel buyers, especially if the hurdle of a so-called “hard Brexit” is successfully avoided in the coming months. David Chappell, Technology Director at TMC Fello, says: “I doubt that the projected additional capacity will result in a lower price for the end user, as even with the uncertainty of Brexit, demand remains high and the combination of London being both a strong leisure and business destination will likely not see prices fall in the near to medium term.”

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Consolidation of the global hotel industry has not resulted in a reduction in the number of brands being operated by these growing giants. In fact, the opposite is true” However, hotel booking portal HRS says it has seen rates in London fall by 5% in 2018 following a “reduction in business investment due to uncertainty as Brexit nears” and adds that a period of “greater currency volatility would be unhelpful”. Outside London, PwC says there will be an estimated 21,760 new rooms introduced across the rest of the UK during 2019. Major growth is expected in Manchester with another 1,200 hotel rooms scheduled to be added in 2019, while there will also be significant new developments in other key cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Liverpool. UK-orientated budget brands, such as Premier Inn and Travelodge, continue to lead the way in terms of openings. Whitbread-owned Premier Inn currently has 13,000 UK rooms in the “pipeline”, while Travelodge opened its 395-room flagship London City hotel earlier this year, which will be among 20 new openings for the brand during 2018. But it’s not just these low-cost brands opening new properties, CWT has estimated there will be more than 70 independent boutique-style hotels opening across the UK by the end of 2019 adding 6,100 rooms. Budget-boutique brand Point A Hotels is typical, adding Edinburgh and London Kensington to its existing portfolio of seven properties in June and July respectively. Despite more rooms coming on to the market, Alwyn Burrage, Supplier Relations Manager at ATPI UK, agrees there is “upward pricing pressure” with higher labour costs helping to push up rates. “London is doing extremely well – tourism is always a factor,” he says. “We see

Manchester levelling off as more capacity comes into market but with some hotels moving upmarket on rates and product. “Bristol is the fastest-growing city for mid-week rates with Hinkley Point C [construction of a new nuclear power station] being a factor. Birmingham rates are rising with HS2 and more corporate relocations into the area – such as HSBC – are also pushing up rates.” Penny Munn, Head of Supplier Relations for Corporate Travel Management (CTM), adds: “The feeling from our hotel partners is that they are absolutely maximising their revenues where business is strong, but there are deals to be done where business is softer, especially in the regions.”

Malmaison

What's in a name?

The consolidation of the global hotel industry – as illustrated by Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood and Accor’s buying spree of smaller hotel groups such as Movenpick – has not resulted in a reduction in the number of brands being operated by these growing hotel giants. In fact, the opposite is true. Indeed, Marriott shows no desire to reduce its current portfolio of 30 brands, and the name of the game seems to be in driving product differentiation through myriad brands as a way of capturing more business and maintaining higher hotel rates. For example, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched a new upscale “conversion” brand called voco, which includes the former Principal St David’s Hotel in Cardiff. This trend is also evident in the UK budget sector where both Premier Inn and Travelodge have launched new sub-brands. Premier Inn has already established its Hub by Premier Inn brand which offers rooms around 45% smaller than in its standard properties at around 11.4m2. While the new ZIP by Premier Inn brand will offer even smaller rooms (8.5m2) when it launches in Cardiff next year. Brands focused on offering smaller rooms (often without windows) are nothing new in the UK, with the likes of easyHotels,

Macdonald Hotels

Zip by Premier Inn

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CHECK OUT THE CHANGE

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Travelodge Brighton Seafront New Style Bar Café

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afé

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UK HoTELS UPDATE

Some brands offer dynamic rate programmes to accommodate a broad range of audiences. But multiple studies prove they are not the best avenue to the lowest corporate rate” YotelAir and Z Hotels already well established in this market. A report by property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton found that 18% of new UK hotel rooms in 2018 were of “compact size”, which was an annual record for the industry. Travelodge, meanwhile, has gone the other way with the launch of its enhanced SuperRooms, which are billed as being a “premium economy” product featuring in-room coffee machines, mood lighting and pillow choices. These upgraded rooms form a major part of the new Travelodge Plus properties, which also feature bar cafes. Consultant Raj Sachdave, Managing Partner at Black Box Partnerships, also cites Marriott’s Moxy brand as offering a “differentiated product and service” from the company’s more mainstream brands. “Moxy’s a really interesting brand because they are almost in B locations,” he adds. “They may not be in the centre of a city but

Art'otel Battersea Power Station

Jurys Inn

the pitch to the traveller is that they will get a much smarter experience than a property in that A location.” Dual-branded properties continue to be a leading trend for the big players in the market such as Accor, Marriott and IHG – a recent example is IHG’s new Crowne Plaza/ Holiday Inn Express at Heathrow’s Terminal 4, which has a combined 761 rooms.

The price to pay

One of the biggest debates around hotel sourcing is whether traditional corporate rates are still the best avenue for travel buyers – particularly in a world where hotels are using increasingly sophisticated dynamic pricing strategies and have been pushing for more direct bookings from both business and leisure travellers. Rachel Newns, Hotel Programme Manager at FCM Travel Solutions, says: “A fixed rate programme still forms the core for many UK organisations. In high-volume locations they offer better value to companies than dynamic pricing and offer companies the opportunity to better predict their future travel spend.

“However, many customers are focusing effort into their top travel destinations and then using dynamic pricing to provide greater coverage in the form of chain-wide or regional dynamic discounts.” A lot of organisations are opting for this two-tier strategy by looking for negotiated rates on their highest volume hotels or chains, and then using dynamic pricing for the rest of their programme. But it’s not always a simple choice as different rates may have different inclusions and conditions. Chris Crowley, HRS’s Vice President EMEA, says: “Some brands offer dynamic rate programmes to accommodate a broad range of audiences. But our multiple studies on a variety of corporate programmes have proven that dynamic rates are not the best avenue to the lowest corporate rate. “The quest for the lowest rate can often impact the flexibility and ancillary items attached to a rate – these are items that are often important to business travellers.” Hotel companies’ enthusiasm for dynamic pricing and direct bookings may also seem to be a challenge to the traditional RFP procurement process. 

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The RFP process helps and supports hotels by underpinning their revenue strategy because they are getting guaranteed business” Steve Fitz-Costa, AccorHotels’ Director of Sales – Business Travel, states the case for the hotels: “Shifting to a high percentage of dynamic pricing has huge benefits. There are significant costs associated with applying a detailed RFP across many destinations – both monetary and time. “Corporates need availability in all of their destinations and dynamic pricing offers a high level of availability while at the same time delivering a guaranteed discount based on their total global spend.” While Accor operates a “blended model” featuring both negotiated and dynamic prices, Fitz-Costa adds: “While RFPs secure a rate year-round, regardless of spikes in prices, this could mean that in the event of a drop, travel buyers could be seeing their contracted rates higher on certain days of the week.” But Black Box’s Raj Sachdave doesn’t think the days of the RFP are numbered because they can still be advantageous for hotels. He says: “The RFP process helps and supports hotels by underpinning their revenue strategy because they are essentially getting guaranteed business. Hotels are still hungry for RFPs. If you don’t participate, then you’re throwing away that guaranteed business.”

Integration game

Another growing issue has been in how to incorporate the likes of Premier Inn and Travelodge, whose businesses are essentially built around direct bookings, into corporate booking platforms. Technology is the obvious answer, with content from these budget brands now fed into online booking tools through API links. “Travelodge content is readily available through booking channels depending on the tool chosen and the price plan – GDS or booking fee – that the client wishes to pay,” 42

Rosewood Grosvenor Square

says ATPI’s Alwyn Burrage. “The same can be said of Premier Inn, whose entire inventory is accessible through API-linked tools. We see this increasing as major hotel chains look to reduce distribution costs through web and API connectivity.” David Chappell, Fello’s Technology Director, adds: “From a buyer’s perspective, it’s about ease of access and then return of data. If it fulfils your business need and you can book it easily – either direct or via intermediaries – then so long as you can see what’s being booked in the management information, the choice of supplier or access point to booking becomes less about the actual content and more about duty of care and policy control.” If hotels with direct booking strategies weren’t enough, the market has become further complicated by major online travel agencies such as Expedia and Booking.com moving their tanks on to the turf of the traditional managed travel sector. “OTAs are increasing the amount and choice of content available to corporate travellers,” says FCM’s Rachel Newns. “This doesn’t necessarily change what 

[ TIPS & TRICKS ] BCD Travel advises travel buyers to adopt a flexible hotel programme, including both dynamic pricing and negotiated rates. The TMC also says organisations should only agree to a deal with minimum room night requirements if the hotel guarantees last room availability. Booking cheaper nonrefundable rates can also make sense for travellers who are “unlikely” to cancel. RoomIt by CWT says buyers can shave 1%-2% off their hotel programme costs by using price tracking tools to monitor rates. They should also encourage travellers to stay within the managed programme by allowing them to earn points and bonus incentives on their bookings. HRS advises using a data-driven sourcing programme comparing rates from preferred suppliers, chains and independent hotel groups. Rates should also be audited to ensure negotiated rates are being delivered by hotel companies.

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[ LEADING UK HOTEL BRANDS ]

Travelodge

corporates actually choose to book, but meets the desire for more choice. Content is a key request from corporate customers at the moment.” Newns continues: “Direct advertising and inducements to book direct are impacting many companies’ adherence to their travel programme. This means that tracked volume may drop even if actual travel spend has increased or stayed the same. This makes it harder to negotiate ongoing rates and benefits.” HRS’s Chris Crowley acknowledges the “consumerisation” of business travel but adds that the move by the OTAs into the market has forced the managed travel industry to “up its game”. “While leisure sites still facilitate plenty of business travel bookings, the change we see today is that the travel managers and procurement leaders overseeing managed programmes have a better understanding of the ramifications when travellers book outside of appropriate channels,” he says. Whatever Brexit brings in the coming months, these distribution debates and strategies will carry on regardless. Meanwhile the trend for smaller hotel rooms at UK properties looks set to continue, although this shrinking process may not necessarily help to bring overall room rates down – at least, not if you believe the predictions of the various 2019 hotel industry forecasts.

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APEX HOTELS UK hotels: 10 Apex Hotels is a family-owned collection of ten upscale hotels in London, Bath, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.

rural properties. Most hotels have facilities for meetings, incentives and conferences, while Macdonald runs The Club loyalty scheme for guests and Club Corporate to reward PAs, event organisers and corporate bookers.

DE VERE UK hotels: 17 De Vere Hotels (formerly De Vere Venues) runs a series of country house hotels around the UK, as well as conference and event centres such as De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London and De Vere East Midlands Conference Centre.

MALMAISON/HOTEL DU VIN UK hotels: 34 Frasers Hospitality Group acquired these sister boutique-style brands in 2015 with plans for further expansion in the UK. Currently there are 15 Malmaison and 19 Hotel du Vin properties. Malmaison plans to open new properties in Edinburgh, York and Bournemouth in the next couple of years.

GLH HOTELS UK hotels: 17 Operates five brands – Amba, Guoman, Thistle, Thistle Express and Hard Rock London – primarily in London where it has more than 5,000 rooms. The big move in 2019 will see giant Marble Arch property The Cumberland being converted into London’s first Hard Rock Hotel with 1,000 rooms – it is scheduled to open in spring 2019. GRANGE HOTELS UK hotels: 17 London-based independent hotel group with all of its upmarket properties in the UK capital except for one hotel in Bracknell, Berkshire. Grange offers Club Service upgrades for business travellers to access its business lounges, as well as an Executive Club loyalty scheme. JURYS INN UK hotels: 38 The mid-range chain with around 8,000 rooms in its portfolio was purchased by Swedish firm Pandox and Israel’s Fattal Group in December 2017. Jurys’ UK operations now include seven properties under the Leonardo brand. Jurys Business Booker is an online booking service offering negotiated rates for companies booking direct. MACDONALD HOTELS & RESORTS UK hotels: 45 This upscale group has hotels across England and Scotland, including both city centre and

PREMIER INN UK hotels: 795 Premier Inn continues its rapid expansion with another 13,000 rooms in its UK pipeline on top of its current stock of 74,000 rooms. The budget brand also operates ten Hub by Premier Inn hotels in London and Edinburgh with smaller bedrooms and is trialling even smaller rooms at its new ZIP brand, which is due to make its debut in Cardiff in March 2019. The brand also operates its Business Booker online tool for the corporate market. TRAVELODGE UK hotels: 550 Fellow budget brand Travelodge currently has around 42,000 rooms. Aggressive expansion has seen 20 properties opening in 2018 including its new flagship 395-room Travelodge London City which debuted in July. With an eye on the corporate market, the company is offering an enhanced product through “premium economy” SuperRooms and its Travelodge Plus “budget chic” format which has been rolled out at six hotels so far. VILLAGE HOTELS UK hotels: 29 This group of contemporary UK hotels has a strong presence in UK cities outside London including four properties in Manchester and two in both Birmingham and Leeds. Village Business Club offers meeting spaces, hotdesks, wifi, food and refreshments, and is available at eight hotels.

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TECHNOLOGY

[ TRAVELLER EXPERIENCE ]

DATA FROM ALL DIRECTIONS Corporates would be wise to tackle their data sources head on and put traveller experience at the heart of their programmes, says Linda Fox

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n interesting report emerged from ACTE and BCD Travel recently saying that despite the tons of data that the corporate travel community has access to, the metrics used to determine the success of a trip are not necessarily effective. According to the report, travel managers continue to use decade-old factors such as spend and savings data and booking statistics to measure the return-oninvestment of trips. And this is despite how much technology and booking channels have advanced in recent years as well as the fact that there are newer and more effective ways to help measure ROI. The Quality Management in Corporate Travel study, which surveyed about 300 travel managers, reveals that while 87% of them felt it’s important to measure traveller wellbeing, only 21% are actually using it as a metric. Measuring the traveller engagement with a TMC or travel department is also highlighted as important by 90% of travel managers, but only 37% use it. Many an airline, travel management company or hotel boss has talked of the power of data at any number of conferences in recent months, but what's the point if you can’t harness it? Thankfully, the chat isn't all lip service. A number of travel technology 46

companies and TMCs have launched data tools in recent months. Some such as Egencia’s Analytics Studio are about helping corporates understand and analyse their data to uncover patterns and correlations – all with a view to making savings. Similarly, CWT Travel Consolidator aims to capture every part of company’s travel and expense spend to help travel managers make more informed decisions. The TMC says that algorithms within the tool consolidate and clean-up the data – for accuracy purposes – which is gathered from air, hotel and transport spend as well as expense and HR data. Also flexing its data muscles is Travelport. The company has joined forces with IBM on a data platform called Travel Manager. The platform uses artificial intelligence to help corporate travel managers and their agency partners increase spend visibility and improve efficiency. It uses Travelport and IBM data as well as data from other sources such as social media. The company says the technology will enable the corporate travel community to analyse the impact on spend of booking travel a week in advance. With annual corporate travel spend set to rise from $1.3trillion annually now to $1.6trillion by 2020, travel managers and TMCs need to get a grip on their data. As the ACTE/BCD report highlights, the industry could benefit from following other industries such as online retail and put the customer experience – or traveller experience – at the heart of everything.

While 87% of travel managers feel it’s important to measure traveller wellbeing, only 21% are actually using it as a metric”

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

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WELCOME TO A NEW LEVEL OF HOSPITALITY

The Level at Meliรก White House is a new concept of a boutique hotel within a hotel; offering exceptional services for the discerning traveller. Whether for business or leisure, guests will experience a personalised service to make their stay an unforgettable experience. Private check-in with drinks welcome

Packing and unpacking of luggage

Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout

Pressing of one shirt per day

Luxury bath amenities 24hr room service

Complimentary access to the exclusive Level Lounge; a private area where guests can enjoy a selection of drinks and snacks throughout the day

Book via melia.com or call +44 (0)20 7391 3000

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TALKING TRAVEL

Gigging the globe

ZOE LYONS Angela Sara West talks to multi-award-winning comedian, Zoe Lyons, about cracking up as a castaway on Survivor and her laughable life on the world’s comedy circuit

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n the comedy circuit, she’s shared the bill with Robin Williams, and when not Live At The Apollo, she’s on our screens or airwaves alongside Alan Davies, Frank Skinner, Dara O’Briain, John Bishop or Jason Manford. We’ve also watched the Mock The Week regular win Celebrity Mastermind and learn useful life lessons during her castaway experience for the first series of Survivor. “I loved the sea and got quite good at spear fishing. I learned that, with practice, I was able to hold my breath for ages… and that ‘hell’ is other people,” says Lyons. Time on the remote Malaysian island of Pulau Tiga pushed this quick-witted comic to her physical and mental limits, leaving her most unamused. “The low points were hunger, bugs and rats… lots and lots of rats. So much of anything like that is mind over matter. I absolutely started to unravel by the end. There was one night when I started to hear voices – that’s when I knew I’d probably had enough.” The side-splitting stand-up survived to take the world’s stages by storm. International tours have seen her exporting laughter around the globe. “I have gigged all over Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East, the Far East and lots of places in Europe,” she says. Her time Down Under, where she has gigged in nearly every state, particularly stood out for her. “I loved touring Australia. It’s just the vastness of the place and the variety of landscapes.” Her tour took in a few remote outback towns. “We were basically the only people there who weren’t working the mines.” Currently chortling her way around Britain on her UK tour, it’s a different hotel three or 48

four nights a week, and she is particularly looking forward to a good laugh up north: “I’m especially excited about Cumbria. I haven’t spent much time in that part of the country.” The Irish funny girl recently revisited her roots for her Radio 4 series Zoe Lyons: Passport Paddy. “We went from Cork through County Tipperary and Waterford to Dunmore East, where I grew up. We finished in Dublin, where we recorded a little gig. It was a lot of fun and bizarre to go back to my old school. The memories came flooding back,” says Lyons.

My travels these days entirely focus on scuba diving. I’m planning next year’s trip to Baja, to dive in the sea of Cortez” Lyons also enjoyed a trip to Jamaica this year, to film a TUI advert and share stories with fellow comedian Mark Watson. “The whole experience was so much fun. Working with Mark was hilarious. It was a dream job.” Recently she has been cooking up a storm as a contestant on this year’s Celebrity Masterchef, making the semi-finals. And she favours local cuisine on her travels. “I love food so much and always try to seek out something authentic wherever I am. Markets are always good, particularly if they also serve hot food. I ate myself stupid in Madrid,” she laughs. As for restaurants, she says a certain Swiss eatery – The Kronenhalle in Zürich, with its legendary bar – offers the real feel-good factor. She also knows the best bar for a spot

of stand-up… and singing. “The Tug Bar in Wasilla, Alaska. I spent the funniest night of my life there singing karaoke with my wife and brother.” As for culture and a warm welcome, she recommends Amsterdam. “I love the art and adore the people.” A big fan of British Airways, she never flies without her noise-cancelling headphones. Her top travel tip? “Pack light; you won’t wear half the stuff you take anyway,” she says. When back in Blighty, culture vulture Lyons heads to London for a break, theatre visit and restaurant exploration. Back in her home town of Brighton, she lives a mere stone’s throw away from her favourite place to chill. “I love walking my dog on the beach every day. I never tire of looking at the sea.” Overseas, you’ll find her mainly underwater, putting her new-found breath-holding skills to good use. “My travels abroad these days almost entirely focus on scuba diving. I’m now planning next year’s trip to Baja, to dive in the sea of Cortez.” You’ll sometimes also spot her up a snowy peak too. “I love being outside and am mad about skiing. The last few trips have been to Austria. France is great, but some places are so expensive these days you need to take out a mortgage for lunch!” Brexit is no laughing matter, so she’s taking it seriously. How will it impact on travel? “We just don’t know, but I have taken the precaution of getting an Irish passport. Travelling for business might become more complicated if you need a visa for every trip to Europe.” The best thing about her business travels? “It opens your eyes to nature, to politics, and to other human beings. It’s no lie to say that my passport is my most precious possession.”

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TALKING TRAVEL

ZOE LYONS Lyons is currently on tour with her new show, Entry Level Human. Gigs nationwide until March 2019. For further information, visit: zoelyons.co.uk

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Advertisement feature

Suite sensation

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The InterContinental London Park Lane hotel’s Capital Suite takes hospitality to the next level with its private entrance and flexible configuration

he first business suite of its kind, The Capital Suite at InterContinental London Park Lane offers intelligent design, allowing various areas of the suite to be separated based on guests’ needs and desires, in addition to a separate entrance into the hotel and a private lift. The new suite, situated on the first floor of the world-renowned hotel, is the ultimate abode for the international business and leisure traveller alike, with a full-size boardroom, luxurious private office and

multiple en-suite bedrooms. In its prime location in central London and boasting state-of-the-art facilities, the 335m2 suite draws inspiration from Hyde Park, the nature and history surrounding the hotel and its storied location. The suite provides the perfect setting for guests wishing to make the most of their trip to London by fulfilling the desires and duties of both business and leisure. The Capital Suite features two private, spacious en-suite bedrooms complemented by interconnecting living spaces that can be ingeniously separated, to ensure ultimate privacy for individual areas, whatever the use of the suite. Guests initially staying to conduct business meetings can extend their stay, and invite family or friends to join them in the large second bedroom, which can be separated from the meeting room spaces. Likewise, guests residing in the suite also have the flexibility to host discreet business meetings at short notice. The Boardroom is

a unique feature of the suite as it can be directly accessed through a private corridor, lift and entrance, and can be easily interconnected with any other rooms. On the opposite side, a private office and additional meeting room have been created, which can be linked to the Boardroom, hence creating a fully equipped boutique office within the hotel. This combination of working and living spaces has created a versatile space with the highest level of privacy and luxury.

parklane.intercontinental.com; +44 (0) 20 7409 3131 InterContinental-advertorial.indd 1

11/21/18 05:13 PM


THE REVIEW

the

Review [ t h e lowdo w n ]

T H E NE W S & V I E W S THAT REALLY MATTER

[ t he r o o m r e po r t ]

[ o n th e g r o u n d ]

[ me eti n g p lac e ]

Businesses shun sharing economy travel policies

Whitbread introduces no-frills brand ZIP by Premier Inn

All-electric airport shuttle service hits the road

Travelodge targets UK's major event venues in new expansion

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[ i n t h e air ]

British Airways dances on down to Charleston

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THE REVIEW

T H E

L O W D O W N

Travellers confess to card abuse Nearly 40% of business travellers admit to using corporate cards for personal purchases, according to a Carlson Wagonlit Travel study. The figure is highest among European and US travellers, where 46% of business travellers surveyed confessed to using company-issued cards for buying personal items despite it being widely banned. While six in ten travellers said their employer issues them with a corporate credit card, nearly half always use their personal card when on business. “If companies don’t want to issue credit cards – which is understandable – virtual credit cards are a useful compromise,” says Christophe Renard, Vice President of CWT Solutions Group.

lure of hotel loyalty points causes compliance issue over two-thirds of travel managers say enforcing travel policy compliance is among the most challenging aspects of their job, with the pulling power of hotel loyalty programmes remaining problematic. The new research from GBTA and RoomIt by CWT reveals that compliance, reducing costs and boosting traveller satisfaction are the top tasks for buyers. Although 78% of travellers say they are satisfied with their rate allowances for booking hotels, there is still evidence of employees booking out of policy to stay at preferred properties or collect loyalty points. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of travellers say that if they should have the ability to earn loyalty points, while 51% would risk being reprimanded if it meant they could book a hotel where they could earn points.

St. Ermin’s Hotel, 2 Caxton Street, London SW1H OQW +44 (0) 207 222 7888 www.sterminshotel.co.uk sterminshotel

Business & leisure in equal measure Business stays like

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M&As Gray Dawes adds Giles The Gray Dawes Group has acquired fellow TMC Giles Travel – and a second acquisition is expected to be announced before the year’s end. The addition of Giles Travel and its specialist MICE, leisure and brand marketing divisions will take Gray Dawes’ annual turnover to in excess of £150million and employee numbers to over 200.

Raptim has the Key

Hammond Budget is mixed bag for sector

dynamic travel policy is the future

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s last Budget before Brexit elicited both praise and criticism from travel industry players. Hammond announced 30% growth in infrastructure spending and a £30billion package to improve England’s roads, while extending the use of e-passport gates at airports to citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan – a move that won widespread support from the TMC community and airlines. GTMC Chief Executive Adrian Parkes said further increases in the long-haul APD rate should “be reconsidered with Brexit fast approaching”, while Louise Goalen, HBAA Chairwoman, said: “There is not enough to address the major talent gap we are facing”. UKinbound’s Chairman, Mark McVay, added that cuts to APD and VAT would raise more revenue for the government in the long term.

new technology will transform traditional travel policies, according to BCD Travel's second of six Inform research papers. Today’s travellers don’t look at policy documents, can easily book outside of company guidelines and see no motive for following the rules, notes the report, yet companies rely on travel policies to achieve the greatest return on travel investment and to keep employees safe on the road. Companies must therefore implement new technology to replace today's static, predefined policies with dynamic, intuitive and personalised behaviour management engines, the report advises. “The days of using travel policy as a blunt instrument are numbered. Technology is already changing travel policy by giving travel managers the ability to nudge travellers toward compliant choices via more dynamic, sensitive and personalised methods,” says BCD Travel's Mike Eggleton.

© AIrBNB

London-based Key Travel and Holland’s Raptim Humanitarian Travel are merging their operations to form the world’s largest ‘third sector’ travel management company. Focusing exclusively on the humanitarian, faith-based and academic sectors, the combined business will have annual sales in the region of £350million.

L O W D O W N

EFR moves for WD

The EFR Travel Group has acquired Glasgow’s WD Travel, accelerating EFR’s annual turnover to around £50million, of which approximately £38m derives from corporate travel. Established in 1995, WD Travel serves clients across a range of sectors including shipping, oil and gas, advertising, bioscience and IT.

Sabre eyes Farelogix

Travel technology provider Sabre is poised to acquire airline technology specialist Farelogix. Sabre says the deal will accelerate delivery of its NDC-enabled retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions.

travelperk wins funding for growth

only 21% of businesses address sharing economy services in their travel and expense policies, according to research by chrome river. 25% plan to incorporate it in the future and 54% have no plans to cover it in their travel policy

Business travel platform TravelPerk has secured a £39million investment from top tech investors and is adding bases in Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris following the opening of a London office. The new funding for the Barcelona-based company includes investments from Kinnevik, Yuri Milner and Tom Stafford, and will enable Europe's fastest-growing Software as a Service company to expand into new markets and accelerate growth as it aims to become the world’s largest corporate travel management platform.

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SHENZHEN AIRLINES INTRODUCES TECH HUB WITH LONG-HAUL FIRST

New summer routes from BA and Delta BRITISH Airways and Delta Air Lines have both announced additional transatlantic services for summer 2019. BA will launch a twice-weekly route from London Heathrow to Charleston for the summer from April 4 – the first direct service between Europe and the South Carolina city. BA recently announced the introduction of a four-per-week service from Heathrow to Pittsburgh, also commencing in April. Charleston flights will be operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with return fares in World Traveller starting from £600, £928 in World Traveller Plus and £1,920 in Club World. Delta, meanwhile, will double its flights from Edinburgh next summer by adding a new service to Boston from May 24. It already operates a daily flight to New York.

LONDON'S Heathrow Airport has extended its network to China to 11 destinations as services commenced to Shenzhen. Shenzhen Airlines has launched a three-times-weekly service to the city, an emerging economic powerhouse dubbed China’s Silicon Valley. The destination was also recently ranked second on Lonely Planet’s list of top ten cities to visit in 2019. Since the start of 2018 Heathrow has more than doubled its services to China, growing the network from five destinations – Hong

ICELANDAIR SNAPS UP LOW-COST RIVAL FOR TRANSATLANTIC PUSH ICELANDAIR Group is poised to purchase rival Wow air and says the deal will allow both carriers to “strengthen their international competitiveness”. The airlines will continue to operate under separate brands but will have a combined share of the transatlantic market of around 3.8%. The deal is subject to approval by Icelandair Group’s shareholders and competition authorities.

[ TAKING OFF ] ROYAL BRUNEI AIRLINES' services between London Heathrow and Brunei are now non-stop between the destinations, with the airline having dropped the previous stop in Dubai. Services continue on to Melbourne >> EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES will launch a three-times-weekly services between Manchester and Tel Aviv on May 26, 2019 >> SAS will begin operating a twice-weekly service from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Copenhagen from June 28, 2019. Passengers will be able to connect to a network of over 20 onward destinations in Europe, Asia and North America >> FLYBMI has increased capacity on its routes from Newcastle to Brussels and Stavanger by 30% to meet a year-round rise in demand.

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Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Qingdao – to 11, having also welcomed services to Chongqing, Wuhan, Sanya, Changsa, Xi’an and now Shenzhen. The service is Shenzhen Airlines’ first long-haul route, and offers connections to its network of 210 domestic routes. Part-owned by Air China and a member of Star Alliance, the airline is operating from Heathrow’s Terminal 2. Located across the border from Hong Kong, Shenzhen is one of China's richest cities and has a population of over 12 million.

29.6%

Airline revenues derived from premium passengers

Premium class passengers accounted for 5.1% of total international air traffic for the first eight months of the year but generated 29.6% of total passenger revenues, according to IATA. Premium passenger demand has grown faster than its economy counterpart

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G T M C U P D AT E Adrian Parkes

FlyArystan plans

Chief Executive, GTMC

Kazakhstan’s national carrier Air Astana has unveiled plans to launch a low-cost airline in 2019. Called FlyArystan, it will take off in the first half of the year and use Airbus A320 aircraft on largely domestic routes. It expects to add regional and international routes ‘in the mid-term’. Fares will be around half of what Air Astana offers today.

Finnair revamp pledge

Finnair is promising a new premium economy cabin on long-haul flights. The product will not take to the skies until the end of 2020, with details released in due course.

Etihad lounge tie-up

Etihad Airways has partnered with No1 Lounges to launch a contemporary airport lounge brand called ‘The House’. The project will begin at London Heathrow where the current Etihad Airways lounge will be rebranded.

Emirates takes AI path Emirates is close to launching the world’s first “biometric path” which will deliver a “truly seamless airport journey” at its hub in Dubai International Airport. Utilising the latest biometric technology – including facial and iris recognition – Emirates passengers will soon be able to check-in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates lounge and board their flights “simply by strolling through the airport”.

BRITISH AIRWAYS HAS OPENED THE DOORS TO ITS NEW-LOOK FIRST LOUNGE AT NEW YORK JFK'S TERMINAL 7. IT IS THE AIRLINE’S FIRST LONG-HAUL LOUNGE TO SHOWCASE THE NEW DESIGN DIRECTION

Gatwick adds capacity with ‘standby’ option GATWICK Airport has unveiled plans to increase capacity by utilising its existing standby runway. Under the airport’s planning agreements it can only be used when the main runway is closed for maintenance or emergencies. However, the 40-year deal will come to an end in 2019 meaning the runway could be used for departing flights alongside the main runway by 2020. Local campaign group Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) has opposed the move, although the airport says its will not result in more noise. Gatwick also intends to use technology to increase the capacity of the main runway, as well as safeguarding land earmarked for a new runway, claiming it is "in the national interest", despite not having any current plans to build.

As I write my last column of 2018, I can reflect positively on our achievements this year, but also recognise ongoing challenges for our industry on the horizon. The most obvious one is Brexit. However, despite the uncertainty across so many industries, we are confident our members are ready to advise, manage and deliver the travel requirements of UK Plc, whatever the outcome. The Autumn Budget revealed measures we welcome, with the announcement to extend the use of E-gates to visitors from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and the APD short-haul rate freeze. We share the wider disappointment with the increase of long-haul APD rates and feel the government is overlooking the importance of air travel as a driving force of economic growth at a time when we should be trading globally and encouraging airlines to add new routes and capacity. We will continue to campaign hard. Our parliamentary dinner brought together 11 MPs and over 40 TMC representatives for a lively debate, not only around Brexit, APD and Heathrow, but also infrastructure and regional connectivity developments for the sector.

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COMPACT ROOMS CONTINUE TO MAKE BIG IMPACT, SAYS REPORT

ZIP by Premier Inn targets fleeting guests WHITBREAD has unveiled details of its new no-frills hotel concept called ZIP by Premier Inn. The first property, located in the Roath district of Cardiff, is due to open in early 2019 and will feature 138 scaled-back rooms. Promising “Basics done brilliantly”, rooms will be around half the size of a standard Premier Inn room at 8.5m2 and include ensuite bathrooms, twin beds with Hypnos mattresses that can be pushed together, free wifi, TVs and air conditioning. Prices start at £19 per night. Whitbread plans to locate the properties on the outskirts of major towns and cities around the UK and is targeting short-stay, value-conscious guests who are looking to “zip in and zip out”. Rooms are now available to book online.

HOTEL rooms in the UK are getting smaller and compact rooms accounted for nearly one-fifth of all room openings in 2018, according to commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton. Its report, Do Disturb: Disruption & Innovation in the Hotel Market, finds that the compact hotel room concept, which typically prioritises location, design quality and hi-tech features over room size, is gaining traction in major UK cities. More than 4,000 rooms were delivered in new compact hotels during 2017-18 and there are a

IHG BRINGS AVID BRAND TO EUROPE WITH AMBITIOUS GERMAN PLANS INTERCONTINENTAL Hotels Group (IHG) will launch its Avid brand in Europe with the opening of 15 hotels in Germany. “Avid hotels has seen strong signings in the US, Canada and Mexico, making it IHG’s most successful new brand launch since Holiday Inn Express back in 1990,” says Kenneth Macpherson, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. The brand promises the "essentials done exceptionally well".

[ OPEN FOR BUSINESS ] The opening of the 366-room ATHENS MARRIOTT HOTEL marks the brand's return to the Greek capital >> Aparthotel operator ADAGIO has opened a new location in Brentford, West London, as part of the Kew Eye Tower GWQ Development >> ACCORHOTELS has opened the Mercure Leeds Centre Hotel, bringing the number of UK Mercure properties to 80 >> The MANDARIN ORIENTAL WANGFUJING will open early in 2019 – the group's first hotel in the Chinese capital >> The ABU DHABI EDITION opened in November, marking the Marriott brand's arrival in the Middle East >> THE DUPONT CIRCLE HOTEL, Washington DC, will relaunch this spring following a refurbishment by The Doyle Collection.

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further 5,000 compact rooms in the development pipeline. Overall, there has been a 95% increase in the number of compact hotel rooms delivered since 2016. The report cites the growth of brands such as Hub by Premier Inn, Motel One, Z Hotels, Moxy, easyHotels and Point A. “Not only do these cleverly designed rooms appeal to the younger end of the hotel customer base but they have enabled hoteliers to provide affordable bedrooms in high value locations,” says LSH's Nick Boyd.

£73

The average hotel rate outside of London in 2019

Average daily rates at hotels across the UK excluding London - are predicted to rise 1.2% to £73, according to PwC's 2019 UK Hotels Forecast. London rates are set to rise just 0.8%, to £150 per night, with 'uncertainty not helping business demand'. Occupancy levels will remain unchanged

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IN BRIEF SACO cottons on

Serviced apartment operator SACO has opened its third Locke aparthotel – a 160-studio property in the heart of Manchester. The Whitworth Locke location – a former cotton mill – is set around a central atrium and features a crossfit gym, coffee house, cocktail bar and co-working spaces. SACO has also opened a 27-studio aparthotel, The Moorgate, in London.

NH Hotels FastPass

NH Hotels is rolling out FastPass, a programme enabling guests to check-in, select their room and check-out online. The group claims it is the first urban hotel group in Europe to offer the combination of functionality. The implementation process will be delivered in two phases and by 2019 FastPass will be available in some 330 of the group’s hotels.

R E P O R T

Openings put London rates under pressure LONDONʼS average room rates dipped in 2018 and a spate of new openings in the next year will add further competition. According to the London Hotel Development Monitor 2018, the average rate for the first half of the year fell 1% to £141. The report from JLL and London & Partners says over 11,000 new hotel rooms are expected to open in the capital city by 2020 – an increase of 8%. It also notes that a third of new hotel stock falls into the upscale segment, while upper upscale openings will account for 22% and economy hotels will make up 26% of growth. "There has been a slight decline in hotel performance since late 2017 as London absorbed additional supply," says the report, which anticipates rising visitor numbers will help prop up average rates as the city's hotel supply grows.

Staybridge goes Dutch

IHG has opened its first Staybridge Suites in the Netherlands, Staybridge Suites The Hague – Parliament. The 101-suite aparthotel is situated opposite the world’s oldest parliament building still in use, the Binnenhof.

Dual-brand landmark The Arora Group's dual-branded Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn property at London Heathrow's Terminal 4 opened at the end of October. It is the largest hotel opening in the UK in 2018 and the largest hotel directly connected to a British airport terminal.

HILTON HOPES LIFESTYLE LAUNCH WILL BE A MOTTO TO REMEMBER HILTON has announced the launch of an affordable lifestyle brand named Motto by Hilton. It will open Motto properties in popular neighbourhoods and prime locations within cities across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Properties will have competitive rates and various multi-purpose spaces. Rooms will average around 163 square feet and feature

space-saving elements such as wall-beds, segmented shower and toilet stalls and stowable multifunctional furniture. Temperature, lighting and TVs will all be controlled via the Hilton Honors mobile app. In the UK, the first 100-bed Motto by Hilton will be located in Marylebone, London. Construction is due to start in January 2019, with a scheduled opening date of 2020.

I T M U P D AT E Scott Davies Chief Executive, ITM

At a recent ITM event a group of buyers evaluated a number of TMCsʼ pitch presentations from senior figures within these organisations – and the feedback was interesting. While the presentations were polished and the presenters showed how passionate they were, two things stood out. Firstly, Powerpoint. As an industry, we’ve got to find other ways to communicate – try anything to stand out. Secondly, the travel buyers expressed frustration that many of the USPs presented weren’t unique at all. Aside from client-specific criteria and the obvious boxes to be ticked, a TMC sales pitch to a buyer needs to achieve the following: 1) Culture matching is essential, but don’t just describe your company culture – demonstrate it so the client knows what it will feel like to work with you. 2) Know the maximum of three things you want the client to take away, and prove them convincingly. 3) Be energetic & memorable! Note I didn’t mention service models, shareholders, NDC, chatbots, content, pricing, etc. You can get to this stuff but, if you don’t do the above, prepare to be very quickly forgotten!

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EUROPCAR URGES COMPANIES TO SIGN UP TO NEW ACCOUNTS

All-electric shuttle service hits the road AIRPORT shuttle operator, Driven, is taking to the roads this month, claiming to be the only all-electric rideshare service in Europe. The new company operates a fleet of Tesla Model X vehicles to appeal to companies implementing more sustainable travel programmes. It is targeting both the leisure and corporate market and, for the latter, has developed a travel management application that enables companies to book trips and track activity and costs. The tool also provides detailed reporting and highlights potential savings. Pre-booked door-to-door trips cost from £9 per person for a 40-minute trip. All drivers are employed by Driven and the 24/7 operation serves all locations within three hours of major UK airports.

COMPANIES from multinationals to SMEs can sign up to Europcar’s new online account service. The tool is designed to streamline the process for opening and managing an account and has been developed in direct response to business customers’ needs for seamlessness and speed. Europcar says companies can open an account in as little as three minutes. Once registered, users can instantly access applicable rates to corporate accounts with a discount of up to 20% applied to bookings without

ENTERPRISE TRIPLES ITS PRESENCE AT MANCHESTER AIRPORT ENTERPRISE Holdings has more than tripled its car hire capacity at Manchester Airport following a move to a new, larger location at the airport’s car rental village. The expansion follows several years of double-digit growth in demand from renters through the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands. It will also enable customers to access a wider range of vehicles.

[ ON THE ROAD ] >> ADDISON LEE GROUP has been selected to lead a £15million UK government-backed consortium to launch autonomous vehicle (AV) services in London by 2021. Designed to complement existing public transport, the service will be app-based, on demand and based on ride-sharing. Vehicles will be low-emission and rides will be priced at a level to generate demand without impacting other public transport >> Train operator GRAND CENTRAL has teamed up with CrossCountry, Transpennine Express and Northern to offer reduced fares for passengers connecting between the operators' services. The new through-ticketing deals are issued as a single ticket and are available up to 12 weeks in advance.

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any annual fees. The service is currently available in ten countries, including the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Belgium. Europcar hopes the service will strengthen its position with corporates. The vehicle hire company operates multiple brands including Europcar, Goldcar, which focuses on low-cost hire, and Ubeeqo, which specialises in fleet and mobility solutions for the business and end-customers market.

21%

Eurostar's business travel boom

The number of business passengers travelling on Eurostar services rose 21% in the third quarter of 2018, helping propel overall passenger numbers up 12% and sales revenue by 17%. Meanwhile, leisure traffic has been boosted by the operator's new services between the UK and the Netherlands

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A C T E U P D AT E Greeley Koch

New Hyatt M&E tool

Hyatt Hotels has launched Hyatt Planner Portal, a tool for meeting and events bookers to manage the entire planning process, from enquiries, booking and contracts to attendee information and costings. The portal also contains information on upcoming and past events, giving users the ability to review details, access event history and generate reports. The portal is invitation-only and will be available across Hyatt’s global portfolio in early 2019.

Inntel shakes it up

Meetings and travel management company Inntel has 'broken the mould' by establishing specialist teams, distinguishing between Simple Meetings, Strategic Meetings and Events for the first time. “Our bespoke approach puts our clients’ business objectives centre stage and improves attendee experience,” says Inntel's Douglas O’Neill.

IHG gets Social

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has partnered with meetings platform Social Tables to launch a groups and meetings shop and digital RFP experience. The tool incorporates meetings and events spaces across the Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton and Holiday Inn brands, with information on the venues including room capacities, floor plans and interactive maps, along with image galleries and nearby attractions. The partnership has already seen users submit over 15,000 RFPs to IHG.

Executive Director, ACTE

Travelodge sets sights on key M&E venues TRAVELODGE is set to invest £100million in targeting the UK’s largest conference and events centre locations. With the recent opening of a new property at Telford International Centre, the budget hotel chain now operates hotels close to 20 of the UK’s largest conference centres, and it is now searching for a further ten sites. The UK events sector is a growing market, contributing £42billion to the economy in terms of direct spend by event delegates, attendees and organisers. “Due to the growing volume of events taking place across the country, there is a shortage of good quality and low-cost accommodation close to event venues,” says Travelodge's Paul Harvey. The group has experienced strong growth from business customers over the last three years and they now account for more than half of all sales.

[ NEW & IMPROVED ] >> A new multi-million-pound event space, MAGAZINE LONDON, will open on the Greenwich Peninsula in summer 2019. The riverbank venue will offer 5,393m2 of flexible space >> London's RSA HOUSE has completed a nine-month overhaul of its Vaults events space, now with capacity for up to 200 delegates >> VINE HOTELS has added vegan delegate menus across its portfolio of seven UK venues >> A new purpose-built venue, EVENTS @ NO6, opens for business in London this January, close to Aldgate and Aldgate East tube stations.

We end the year – and begin another – facing a challenge: how to truly measure the success of a business trip. Not by the old yardsticks of savings and compliance, but by, well, we’re not sure what. Or how. But we do know it must happen soon. According to an ACTE Global survey of travel managers, most respondents want a better way to evaluate their travel programmes. While 87% of respondents said traveller wellness and productivity should be considered, only 21% actually do so. Rules and money are still the go-to criteria for 80% of managers, despite their wanting new methodology. Despite knowing that good travel programmes help retention and recruitment. Despite knowing that changes will make their travellers more profitable. Figuring out what and how to calibrate will be a monumental endeavour. The only, and best, way forward is by working together – discussing research, talking to peers and attending conferences. Just because something is easily quantifiable doesn’t mean it’s worth quantifying. Make your metrics work for your travellers, not just your company’s financial analyst.

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EVENTS DECEMBER 6

ASAP CONVENTION ETC Venues Bishopsgate, London asapconvention.org.uk DECEMBER 11

TBTM CHRISTMAS PARTY Grange St Paul's Hotel, London thebusinesstravelmag.com JANUARY 1

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL PEOPLE AWARDS Nominations open! thepeopleawards.co.uk

JAMES S TEVENSON

LIAM BROWN

JUSTIN BULLOCK

JOINS: Amex GBT AS: Vice President & General Manager UK FROM: Hogg Robinson Group

PROMOTED AT: Marriott International TO: President & MD, Europe FROM: President, Franchise Service

JOINS: Inntel AS: Head of Account Management FROM: Click Travel

James Stevenson has switched from his previous role as HRG Global Sales Director as part of on-going moves to integrate the business with Amex GBT and strengthen UK operations.

Liam Brown will step in to oversee European business in 2019, taking over from the retiring Amy McPherson. Dubliner Brown has worked in the US for the last 30 years.

Justin Bullock has joined Inntel and is tasked with delivering exceptional levels of management for high value, long-term partnerships with clients. He has worked for several TMCs.

FEBRUARY 20-21

BUSINESS TRAVEL SHOW Olympia London businesstravelshow.com MARCH 21

ITM TRAVEL RISK SUMMIT Hard Rock Hotel, London itm.org.uk MARCH 25

ITM BUSINESS TRAVEL SHOWCASE Hotel Cafe Royal itm.org.uk APRIL 7-9

ACTE GLOBAL SUMMIT Chicago acte.org APRIL 30 - MAY 1

ITM CONFERENCE Hilton Metropole, Brighton itm.org.uk MAY 17-20

ADVANTAGE CONFERENCE Cadiz, Spain advantageconference.co.uk

DAVID CHAPPELL

SALLY CASSIDY

IAN DAVIES

JOINS: Fello AS: Technology Director FROM: Gray Dawes

PROMOTED AT: Traveleads TO: Head of Sales FROM: Sales Director West of Scotland

JOINS: ATPI Group AS: UK Business Development Manager BACKGROUND: Various TMC positions

Industry specialist David Chappell will focus on tech innovation at Fello as the recently launched brand seeks to develop its reputation for 'traveller-first' service.

Independent TMC Traveleads has promoted Sally Cassidy to Head of Sales after seeing growth of 20% in the last year. She will oversee the building of a larger sales team.

Ian Davies joins the ATPI Group to strengthen the long-term strategy for the sales team and increase new business. He has over 20 years' experience in the travel industry.

ALSO ON THE MOVE... Jon Colley has joined IHG as Head of Development, UK and Ireland, responsible for accelerating growth in the key market >> Heathrow Express has announced two new senior appointments with Les Freer becoming Director and Sophie Chapman appointed Head of Operations >> Derek Sharp is Carlson Wagonlit Travel's new Managing Director of meetings and events business >> The New Forest Hotels group has hired Garry Baldwin as Head of Group Operations >> Tracy Gehlan has joined Hertz International as Chief Operations Officer based in London >> Air Charter Service has hired George Rolls as Director, Private Jets >> Stan Berteloot has joined US-based consultancy Dots & Lines

MAY 24

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL PEOPLE AWARDS London thebusinesstravelpeopleawards.com AUGUST 3-7

GBTA CONVENTION Chicago gbta.org

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ITM Conference 2019 30 April - 1 May, Brighton ITM’s flagship event will bring together leading speakers, case studies and networking to help you identify ways to ELEVATE your programme, effectiveness and career. Go beyond your expectations; ELEVATE your impact.

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consolidation among TMCs is not breeding complacency –– instead, renewed competition is bringing out the best in innovation and diversification. Find out more in our annual guide to

travel management companies Introduction, 64-67 / Technology, 69-73 Trending: M&As, 74-77 / Diversification, 79-82 Beginner's Guide, 84 / The Directory, 85-88 / Data, 91 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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TMCs / Introduction

natural selection

Demand for travel continues to rise, yet businesses are increasingly choosing their TMC on factors other than cost. Gillian Upton looks at how the market is adapting to changing conditions

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arious sets of data from the GTMC show bullish figures for air, rail and hotel bookings over the last year – of roughly 6%, 9% and 5% increases respectively. Combine that with a 5-8% growth in travel and it adds up to a healthy picture for the business travel supply chain. It’s no wonder that the TMC sector is witnessing so much activity in terms of consolidation and M&A activity, as players jostle for position, a bigger slice of the action, an improved bottom line and bid to stay ahead of the curve. However, with that growth comes a greater need for a clear offering to the corporate client; rather than being all things to all men, a TMC must now differentiate itself from its fierce competitors. Fulfilment, traveller tracking, duty of care, personalisation, data privacy though GDPR, data analysis, out of hours provision and 64

consistent service are all givens; a TMC today must identify its target audience and become a trusted partner, marrying capabilities to the client company culture. Yvonne Moya, a Principal of Festive Road, takes the view that TMCs are at something of a crossroads, not knowing which way to turn. “Just looking around the industry, TMCs have an absolute identity crisis,” she says. “Issuing a ticket is not good enough as a corporate is not looking for that anymore. I’m hearing this from my clients and we realise this from when we run RFPs. “What makes that TMC different for me? A lot don’t know where to place themselves. You can be a high-touch TMC, a transactional service TMC or one offering full content. Will TMCs be brave enough to say, ‘Who do I want to reach out to?’ They have to tailormake their offering to the corporate, adapt to their needs. They need to ask themselves, ‘Who are we and who do we want to be’?“

Moya says that clients are certainly tired of TMCs over-promising during the tender process, and believes that a new business model is beginning to emerge involving a more collaborative approach with the supply chain, including other TMCs. “They need to be partners in the value chain,” says Moya. Subscription-based charging is one new business model that might have legs, where clients pay by the number of users rather than per transaction. Moya’s views resonate with the move away from a ‘one size fits all‘ approach to travel programmes and global solutions. Rather than one global provider around the world, corporates are opting to find the right TMC partner by region. ”If the capability and cultural perspective is right then the commercials will follow. If there is really a benefit then why wouldn’t I pay for it?“, she argues. Meanwhile independent consultant Chris Pouney agrees that

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“flexing to buyers’ specific requirements“ is the way ahead for TMCs, so too “providing a suite of technology which is best in class that’s at least as good as in the consumer world”, he adds. Technology is key for any good TMC, particularly if they are to answer the typical claim that a client can get a rate cheaper on the internet via an OTA. Rate auditing tools, benchmarking software, APIs, apps, AI-enabled chatbots, blockchain, augmented reality, being NDCcompliant; these are all part of the armoury of a forward-thinking, technology-driven TMC. You could easily add another: managing business disruption, for new entrants are adding complexity to the market by the day. This increased complexity in the market has been TMCs’ saviour as they have become true consultants in finding solutions to the changes and shouldering the responsibility.

TMCs have an identity crisis. Just issuing a ticket is not good enough as a corporate is not looking for that anymore” “Organisations that procure travel of any size tend to need a trusted partner to decode, simplify, transact and serve on their behalf,” says ITM Chief Executive, Scott Davies. “It’s not possible to describe the array of services a TMC provides in one sentence, from omni-channel content aggregation to AI-enhanced mobile booking and servicing, to traveller wellbeing products. “Strong TMCs are highly adaptable and agile problem-solvers and proactive strategic business partners. I sound like a PR company for TMCs but I believe this.” One of the converted is Richard Childs,

Group Procurement Category Manager at Biffa, and he is clear of the benefits he receives. “I couldn’t do without a TMC. Improving compliance has been a big thing over the years and generally we have tighter controls now compared with five to ten years ago,” he says. The company’s online adoption stands at an impressive 90%, for example. “All the data we can get out is extremely useful and post the 9/11 attack and the bombs in London and Manchester, traveller tracking is a real safeguard and wellbeing issue for us. That makes a big difference.” Biffa’s travel spend is small beer – at £2.5million a year – compared to say fuel (at £50million), so doesn’t justify the cost of employing someone specifically to look after it. “As far as the time and effort is concerned, a TMC is more cost effective for me. The fee that I pay is peanuts for the whole service,” he says. “It’s worth it as it would cost me more to employ someone.” 

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“There is only so much time a corporate travel manager has,” adds Vanessa Griffiths of Rok Consulting. “Their role is more of a trusted advisor and far more strategic. It’s a 360-degree partnership. “Generally TMCs are ploughing so much time and energy into newly evolving technologies so they can truly be a strategic partner to a corporate. The good TMCs are investing in key areas such as AI, predictive messaging and blockchain. And we are now seeing the larger TMCs v the good TMCs.”

Sizing things up

Carol Neil, Global Travel Manager at Fidelity International, believes technology has levelled the playing field in the TMC marketplace so that size does not matter as long as firms have good foresight in terms of what buyers want and continue to leverage opportunities. Other aspects also come to the fore. “Because of technology it’s not about bread and butter agency services anymore, but more of a consultancy approach,” she says. “We want support with apps and to be able to make the traveller's entire experience in terms of connectivity, safety and speed of service more seamless. We also want to ensure that the TMCs’ global landscape is integrated, consistent and that buyers feel they are working with one partner instead of several. There is also the complexity still around NDC and how the TMCs will be able to support the buyers in unravelling and embracing this within their company. Neil continues: “It is also about the insights the TMC can bring, working with the buyers collaboratively, building systems with our

requirements in mind and addressing travel challenges together. Ultimately this brings out the best in both client and TMC and therefore makes cost one of many deciding factors and not the predominant one.” It’s clear that corporates understand the value message and no longer focus on the cost of transaction. “If a TMC can prove their value proposition then every corporate is willing to pay a service fee,” says Moya.

Less is more

Corporates also have great choice in the marketplace, be it for a national, regional or global player. According to the ITM there are at least 75 TMCs in the UK, of all shapes and sizes, and arguably consolidation in the market will result in better TMCs rather than less choice. Reed & Mackay Group Chief Executive, Fred Stratford, believes the upshot will be fewer, stronger TMCs and a more streamlined RFP process in having fewer TMCs on a tender list. Arguably, it is the smaller TMCs who may not have the reach who will find the going tough in the future. “Some of them will look to join up as you need money to stay in the game. It’s a difficult choice: do they want to stay independent or not?“ says Stratford. Entirely new entrants are rare but one new name is Fello, which was brought together in February 2018 from the merger of two other

firms, World Club Travel and Sandy Row Travel. Clear in its proposition to provide white glove service, it has hedge funds, reinsurers and asset management firms on its books. Group Chief Executive Simone Buckley says the margin Fello makes leaves enough to invest in technology. To date it’s been a mix of in-house developed technology and third-party providers. “Content is so difficult to get hold of so we check everything that comes through,” says Buckley. “The other massive difference for us is that once the booking is done our job begins. We check the traveller in, we notify of any flight changes and don’t send an invoice until they’ve returned so we can include all ancillary spend at the hotel, for example. We add as much value after the booking is made as before the booking is made.” Access to content and duty of care are pushing more unmanaged companies to TMCs. “It’s also their buying power, cyber security and to keep an eye on efficiency of their workforce,” says GTMC Chief Executive Adrian Parkes. “There is a growing trend of SMEs placing their trust in TMCs. Outsourcing for them is much easier.” And he adds that it’s not all about online provision. “There’s still a lot of offline out there. It’s a sector where lots of things go wrong and bookings get changed a lot so there is still demand for service.”

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Technology / TMCs

Let the

TECH

do the talking There's much hype around chatbots and AI, but TMCs need to get the basics right first, writes Catherine Chetwynd

G

iven the increasing use of AI and chatbots, it is not unreasonable for travel managers to expect their TMC to be able to provide technology that manages bookings and duty of care, delivers forensically analysed MI, allows employees to administer their travel while on the move and keeps a record of all these things in one place. On top of all that, the technology that TMCs supply has to be consumer grade – bookers and travellers expect to be able to run their business lives with the same ease as their personal lives.

Corporate travel programmes are increasingly hungry for tools that simplify life on the road for their employees and that increase both trip and job satisfaction”

These days, recruiting and retaining talent also features. “Technology aggregates data to form a story about travel policy and global travel,” says Managing Partner at Black Box Partnership, Raj Sachdave. “TMCs are putting the unstructured elements of a travel programme into a structured format to address a number of questions, including what impact travel has on the performance of an organisation – productivity, absenteeism, fatigue, retention, wellbeing.” It has got personal. Yannis Karmis, Senior Vice President of Product Planning & Development for BCD Travel, agrees: “Travel technology is driven by digital expectations and traveller demands to reduce trip friction and enable self-service across multiple devices. “Corporate travel programmes are hungry for tools that simplify life on the road for their employees and increase trip – and job – satisfaction,” says Karmis. He continues: “A recent study from Airlines Reporting Corp. suggests that road warriors travelling under a cost-focused corporate programme are twice as likely to consider leaving a company than those whose corporate programmes are focused on the traveller’s needs.”

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Investing in tech

Achieving all this is challenge enough but to do it and keep up with the rattling pace at which technology moves requires a massive investment of time and money. Some TMCs employ large teams to do the R&D themselves; some buy it in, on the basis that their core expertise is managing travel, not technology; and some do a combination of the two. Commercial Director of travel management company Gray Dawes, David Bishop, managed to marry up the two by working at Atriis for four years to launch the product Gray Dawes has bought. “If you only have an internal team, you risk missing out on innovative technology being developed on the market, and if you only partner with external developers, teams may lack the first-hand overview of your company’s inner workings,” says Director, Product & Services Marketing, EMEA for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Dan Kelly. At the top of the aspiration list is for travel bookers to be able to see exactly the same information as their travel agent and at the same time. This means bringing all data sources into one platform. Gray Dawes’ YourTrip does exactly that, providing a huge hub that aggregates GDS, NDC, hotels, ground transportation, parking, rail and more. Not only does this provide excellent MI, it also brings efficiencies.

Travellers like to fragment their purchasing. They might book a flight with an agent, use a booking tool to book their hotel and use a mobile website to book ground transport”

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“Travellers like to fragment their purchasing. They might book a flight with an agent, go to an online booking tool to research and book hotels and use a mobile website to book ground transportation,” says David Bishop “And because we have one view of the trip, we won’t have to ask questions to which we already know the answer, which really frustrates clients.” And in the event of a trip cancellation, agents have a view of the whole trip and one element lurking on another booking site does not get forgotten.

The app conundrum

Although many TMCs have invested considerably in providing a versatile mobile app, “The whole idea of having everything pinned on an app makes me quite nervous,” says Bishop. “A lot of people download apps but adoption by travellers is really low. The one exception to that is Concur. YourTrip’s mobile enabled website gives a lot more functionality and we get to market quicker as it is updated.” Gray Dawes is now testing a communications platform to work with YourTrip and give travellers numerous ways to communicate with agents and book – sms, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat. Potential launch is Q1 2019. And if, for example, snow disrupts travel, this technology allows agents to let travellers know simultaneously, in their preferred channel, that they are on the case. “We can spend more time managing travel instead of managing phone calls,” says Bishop.

R&M protect on one platform, which gives both agent and customer concurrent access to all information. The TMC builds its technology in house. “The disadvantage of building your own technology can be complexity and finding the talent. It isn’t necessarily a travel company’s core competency and it might take up a disproportionate amount of your budget compared to takings,” says Global IT Director, Antoine Boatwright. On the upside, “You move at your own pace to evolve the technology, not at the pace of your supplier, when you are at their mercy regarding what functionality you get and that affects the service you might deliver.” And when client requirements are exacting, bespoke is the only way. One Reed & Mackay client’s employees travel frequently in the former Soviet Union and the company needs to know the age of the plane its people are travelling on, whether it is still under maintenance and whether the airline has a monopoly on that route and if that plane is the only option. “They don’t want employees flying on high risk planes,” he says. And that kind of 

An inhouse approach

Reed & Mackay has a booking tool, R&M mobile, analytics, schedule reporting, approval and

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A

Blue Cube is celebrating 15 years of exceptional service but there's no resting on its laurels for this travel management company

s 2018 draws to a close, Blue Cube Travel is reflecting on a landmark year. Not only did the company mark its 15th anniversary, but Blue Cube continued to grow its reputation as a leading independent travel management company providing exceptionally personal business travel services. Blue Cube was founded by co-directors Mel Phaure, Neil Fraser and Kenny Stirling in 2003, with just the three of them operating from a basement in West London. They had just one client and a turnover of £500,000 in

their first year but, today, the TMC has 35 staff, four offices, an annual turnover of £35million and a client portfolio ranging from high net worth individuals to FTSE 100 companies. “Our business philosophy is rooted in giving our clients extraordinarily high levels of personal service,” explains Mel Phaure. “Every TMC will say that they provide personal service, but we believe that our dedication to ensuring every aspect of our clients’ travel is as flawless as possible is what sets us apart. “We are a company that truly cares about both our staff and our clients and that is evidenced by our growth over the last 15 years and our exceptionally high client retention levels. All of our new business has come via recommendation – in fact, our very first client is still a client today.” Although 80% of Blue Cube’s clients prefer personalised offline servicing, the TMC is also committed to offering best-in-class technology to those looking

for an online solution to complement their offline requirements. Over the last year Blue Cube has invested heavily in enhancing its technology solutions. This includes BC Online powered by Atriis, a new NDC IATA level 3-ready global online booking tool which gives Blue Cube clients a more user-friendly experience, superior functionality and is fully PCI DSS Compliant. BC Online allows clients to roll-out a single online booking tool worldwide with local support from Blue Cube’s global partners. Last but not least, Blue Cube Travel has topped off 2018 by winning the Advantage Travel Partnership’s Most Engaged TMC of the Year Award, as well as the Advantage/WIN ‘Hotel Hero’ Award. “Blue Cube has come a long way since 2003,” says Mel Phaure. “But we still have so much more to offer and will keep investing in our people and technology to ensure our approach to business travel management continues to flourish.”

bluecubetravel.co.uk / sales@bluecubetravel.co.uk / 020 8948 8188 BlueCube-advertorial[2].indd 1 TMC tech_Final.indd 72

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detail is not available from proprietary tools – R&M built the wherewithal to provide it. Boatwright is a protagonist of apps. “A desktop tends to be optimised for professional use and a mobile app is generally for travellers who are en route. The use cases are different and they do not need to be the same,” he says. “A mobile responsive website is inevitably a compromise because a mobile screen is four inches by five inches. We have optimised each form factor – website and app – for how it is used.”

Meeting in the middle

BCD combines in-house design and build with third party partnerships. The company bought the assets of start-up GetGoing, which formed the basis of the TripSource Hotels booking platform. TripSource simplifies travel for employees while keeping them on the straight and narrow, all available through mobile devices and voice-enabled technology such as Alexa. Programme intelligence platform DecisionSource (built inhouse) allows travel managers to monitor spend and travel live, using reporting and analytics.

“These optimisations are fed into the TripSource platform and into the hands of travellers seamlessly for maximum efficiency,” says BCD's Karmis. The tool includes a security map that displays traveller locations and informs travel managers of potential risks worldwide, who can then send out hazard alerts via TripSource and ask travellers potentially at risk to 'check in'. In addition, BCD works with start-ups whose technology is available via a shop, SolutionSource, where clients can choose tools according to their needs. Also giving one view for client and agent is Clarity’s Go2Book platform, providing tracking, communication with travellers, booking and more, plus MI from new Go2Insight+, launched in February. “Using cutting-edge technology such as IBM Watson, we have created a data aggregator which can take in multiple data sources, mine them and deliver new insights to the client within a fraction of the time it takes a traditional management information tool,” says Head of Sales, Ewan Kassir. Clarity has integrated rail travel into its app so that travellers are notified of delays via the app, “giving a single destination for all itineraries, travel info and updates”, Kassir explains.

The digital TMC

Elevating technology to art form and aiming to become the first digital TMC is CWT. “It is about making bold investments in innovation and our people to enhance and improve the traveller/attendee experience by integrating our tools and the data we have access to, to deliver more intelligence and content,” says Kelly. “This allows clients to communicate with travellers more effectively and pulls more and more of them into compliant booking paths.” Data is everything and facilitates personalisation, the travel industry’s

Using cutting-edge technology such as IBM Watson, we have created a data aggregator which can take in multiple data sources, mine them and deliver new insights rapidly” latest fixation, and CWT is constantly updating its offer. Most recent innovations include revving up for the next phase of a chatbot pilot to give instant messaging in CWT’s mobile app and a travel consolidator, which enables organisations to aggregate disparate sources of data – such as travel, card, expense and HR data – to identify hidden costs and rogue spend. It allows travel managers to improve compliance and identify missed savings opportunities to increase negotiating power with suppliers. One outstanding example of CWT’s digital dexterity is RoomIt, a home-built hotel distribution business, giving travellers rooms, tariffs, amenities and loyalty programmes sourced from retail sites, negotiated rates and other large content providers. “During 2017, year-on-year hotel revenue growth was up 13%, underlining the importance of better content and hotel booking capabilities,” says Kelly.

Start-up sensations

In addition to home-grown efforts, CWT also partners with tech start-ups via incubator Plug and Play, as well as buying in third-party tools. An example is Yapta, which allows agents to look for lower air and hotel rates once trips have been booked, allowing rebooking where appropriate and without any effect on the traveller. Even those whose idea of technology is a Bakelite telephone are benefitting from TMCs’ labours of digital love and leading a more informed, efficient and safer business life; and their travel managers are profiting both administratively and financially. The drive to have more, better analysed and fully aggregated data and enhanced functionality ensures that in every sense, everyone is on the same page.

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When two become

one

The growth potential of TMCs is underlined by increasing M&A activity, writes Gillian Upton

I

t’s an interesting time to be a TMC, particularly if, as the owner, you are looking for an exit route. There is plenty of money sloshing around venture capitalists and private equity firms as they have learned healthy profits can be made from investing in the sector. The activity of late has spread across generally owner-managed businesses of a certain size and maturity, with three transactions announced in November alone. Giles Travel is the latest TMC to be absorbed by the fast-growing Gray Dawes Travel Group which, for the fourth consecutive year, has announced an autumn acquisition. It will take its annual turnover beyond £150million – and a second deal is expected to be announced in December. Meanwhile, ‘third sector’ specialist, Key Travel, acquired the Netherlands’ Raptim Humanitarian Travel to give the business a combined turnover in the region of £350million. And then there's the EFR Travel Group, which snapped up Glasgow's WD Travel, with the deal becoming EFR’s third takeover in four years. Also this year, The Appointment Group (TAG) has received investment from Apiary Capital – a UK lower mid-market private equity firm. Explains Partner Nicki Boyd: “The attraction to TAG for us was a high level of repeat customers. They’re high-end, hightouch customers – many of them rock stars – with complicated travel requirements. 74

“We liked the fact that once TAG has provided great travel service and met their complex demands – certain amenities for a pet companion, position in a hotel with empty adjoining rooms, an opening window – then they will be loyal and come back time and time again.” Apiary has already made its mark on TAG. It has put in place an experienced CEO to take care of the day-to-day business and made the first of what it plans to be many smaller acquisitions – SOS in the US, which specialises in the touring arms of production crews.

Aligned dancing

The TAG investment typifies a trend in the sector and we are likely to see more of it, although GTMC Chief Executive Adrian Parkes, believes it’s not a new trend at all. “It’s no different to any other period,” he says. “It’s been happening for a very long time. In the early 2000s there were some major acquisitions and mergers.” One thing the activity does reflect is a healthy market, particularly as the investments and acquisitions are not all inter-UK. This October, Travel & Transport of the US acquired Radius Travel in order to expand its global footprint, for example. “It’s an interesting time,” says Parkes. “I judge the health of the industry on the positive TMC data I’m seeing, the huge amount of investment that is taking place and the opportunity that it gives TMCs to

expand and create new business models.” Apiary’s Boyd flags up two reasons for the increased M&A activity: “There’s now a successful track record of private equity investment in travel and others see there is money being made,” she says.”There is a lot of money out there to be deployed.” Secondly, she believes that the spectre of Brexit has not deterred investment. ”Travel has become a major part of people’s lives, and it will be after our exit from Europe too. The worst case is that people trade down – and corporate travel bounces back quickly.” ITM's Chief Executive Scott Davies agrees that “leveraging increased scale” has driven the large recent transactions and they have been powered by growth-seeking private equity financing. Independent European investment firm Vitruvian Partners saw potential in Travel Counsellors. Ten years of successive growth was attractive, so too the company’s loyal band of clients thanks to its customer-first approach. The investment from Vitruvian in Travel Counsellors has already translated to a £6million spend on new technology. “It will provide tools such as dedicated account management support and bespokebuilt technology platforms for our travel counsellors so that they can concentrate on the most important job of all – caring for clients and giving them the best travel experience possible,” explains General Manager Mark Wilson. 

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There’s now a successful track record of private equity investment in travel and others see there is money being made”

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Last summer mid-market private equity house Endless acquired a majority stake in Manchester-based CTI. Partner Mathew Deering was drawn to the company’s customer base and people and said at the time: “We believe that with fresh investment and hands-on support from Endless, CTI is capable of delivering strong sales and profit growth in future. This is an exciting opportunity in a consolidating sector and we also intend to pursue bolt-on acquisitions as part of our investment strategy.” CTI has since rebranded as Amber Road. These investments are helping to drive the sector forward as TMCs require an almost bottomless pit of capital expenditure in technology to keep ahead of the game. The home page of Endless, for example, boasts of having access to up to £80million for each investment and being able to complete the deal in an average of 28 days. It’s a pretty persuasive message. Travel buyers are viewing Reed & Mackay’s acquisition of Hillgate, for example, as a free technology upgrade and it’s unlikely that there will be any fall-out from this particular joining of two “friendly but fierce competitors”, as the company’s Group Chief Executive, Fred Stratford, describes them. Reed & Mackay already has investment from mid-market private equity firm Inflexion. Its mission is to ”invest in high growth, entrepreneurial businesses with ambitious management teams and to work with them to deliver growth”. The company plans to support Reed & Mackay’s team as its drives organic growth,

both in the UK and selected international markets, and seek targeted acquisitions to support expansion of the company’s international footprint. Now it’s the turn of two successful hightouch, white glove providers of travel to merge. Hillgate has brilliant technology and Reed & Mackay the better global reach, across 40 countries. Both are known for their high levels of service. “We can bring the best of both worlds and a consistent offering to clients,” says Stratford. “It’s pretty compelling and clients are excited.” In this case, “joining forces” as Stratford prefers to call the acquisition, seems like a win-win for clients. The market is less positive about another, much larger acquisition, that of American Express GBT and HRG. No-one saw this one coming and all eyes are on the combined company which aims to cater to both SMEs and multinational clients.

Investments drive the sector forward – TMCs require an almost bottomless pit of capital for technology to stay ahead” The rationale for the purchase was threefold, explains Elyes Mrad, Managing Director International of American Express GBT: “We were taking a company with a footprint complementary to ours, with good technology, and quality people across technology, management and consultancy. Those three gave us a better company to serve the customer.” The plan is to become local in each of the countries they serve and not position themselves as a vast global concern. “The feedback from customers is good,” says Mrad. “Three months in and so far so good; customers don’t see the difference. They’ll have one team instead of two around the negotiating table.” The companies are fully integrated in terms of management and all customer-facing staff, much of which was done beforehand; the technology will take a little longer with a goal of Q2 2020 although items such as the mobile app will integrate by the end of 2018.

The ‘sell’ to the clients, says Mrad, is “better tools to put in front of customers; it’s the best of what is out there”. Other travel management companies are hoping they might pick up clients not wishing to stay with the new mega-operation. “I don’t get the Amex/HRG merger,” says one buyer, who preferred to stay anonymous. “It’s a big beast that will take a long time to unravel and integrate. On the upside, it’s a massive opportunity to pick up clients who don’t want to be part of such a large travel management company.” Carol Neil, Global Travel Manager at Fidelity, argues that size is no longer an issue – technology is helping with that: “You don’t have to automatically go to the big boys anymore; it’s not about the size but matching company cultures, aligning requirements globally with that of the TMC and building relationships. Don’t shy away from the smaller TMCs out there as they’re very hungry and eager to grab business and bend and flex with you,” she advises. “Get in with them and understand how you can continue to grow and/or enhance your travel programme with them.”

[ GETTING TOGETHER ] Losing track of who’s buying who in the TMC market? Below is a rundown of M&A activity in the last three years. 2018 • EFR Travel Group > WD Travel • Gray Dawes > Giles Travel • Key Travel > Raptim Humanitarian Travel • Reed & Mackay > Hillgate Travel • American Express GBT > HRG 2017 • Gray Dawes > CTM Chelsea TM • Capita Travel and Events > NYS Corporate • Meon Valley > Longreach Travel • Travel & Transport > Statesman Travel Group 2016 • Clarity > Portman • Direct Travel > Colpitts World Travel • Wings Travel > Grosvenor TM • CTM > Redfern • Gray Dawes > Travel Management Group • Gray Dawes > Cambridge Business Travel

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Diversification / TMCs

mixing it up

TMCs must offer personalised services and add value to prosper, writes Jools Stone

I

n theory, booking your own travel has never been easier, so one might wonder why there are so many TMCs not only operating but apparently thriving today. In the UK alone they account for 93% of managed business travel bookings. Perhaps the answer lies in their ability to adapt and innovate. Gone are the days when a TMCʼs role was simply to save money for clients, manage travel policies and take the onerous business of booking trips out of the hands of travellers.

Increasingly, TMCs are offering added-value and differentiating themselves with niche services, new sub-divisions and enhanced tools and technology. But just as technology has eased the burden of booking business travel, the world has changed to present fresh challenges. The ever-present threat of terrorism and political instability in certain countries has heightened the need for companies to look out for their staff on the road, placing added emphasis on their legal duty of care responsibilities. TMCs have risen to this challenge in a

variety of ways, creating sophisticated tech that helps clients stay one step ahead. “Successful travel managers must remain relevant to their customersʼ needs,” says Adam Knights, Regional Managing Director for UK, France and Benelux at ATPI Group. Its Traveller Tracking system is a useful tool for handling most duty of care scenarios which may arise. “With traditional tracking technology it can be difficult to determine ownership over a traveller’s whereabouts; there can be doubts over who’s on call, for example. Our system bridges this gap by combining 

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TMCs / Diversification

high quality customer service with traveller location monitoring and communication.” When disaster strikes, knowing exactly where your staff are and establishing clear lines of communication with them is crucial. “In the event of a major emergency, travel managers could struggle to define next steps. Our tool offers a 24/7 messaging service where an alert can be quickly communicated to individual travellers. Their exact location can be identified using GPS via our ‘Locate Meʼ app.” This technology offers peace of mind, helping clients mitigate risk and maintain an audit trail of all communications.

Data in droves

As well as keeping travellers safe and clients in touch, technology can also be harnessed for more strategic purposes. To this end Business Travel Direct has developed SMARTInsight, a predictive tool that promises to take the guess work out of travel policy changes. The tool lets corporates model the impact of any changes to their corporate travel policy, accelerating the decision-making process, thus helping travel managers become more proactive. BTDʼs Managing Director, Julie Oliver, explains: “We see SMARTInsight as the next generation of analytics,” she says. “Rather than overwhelming travel managers with mountains of reports, we amalgamate the data into this tool and simplify the analysis. “We can use the tool to model various scenarios and get instant answers. In the 80

past, we would have needed to crunch the numbers and go back to the client with the information,” Oliver explains.

Casting the net

The needs of travellers have certainly become more varied and complex in recent years, making a one-size-fits-all approach largely redundant. Some TMCs have found success by catering for growing niche industries with very specific needs.

The needs of travellers have certainly become more varied and complex in recent years, making a one-size-fits-all approach largely redundant” One such example is Corporate Traveller, which launched a new Production, Sport & Creative division in May this year. This was built on its existing client base. “We already handled corporate travel requirements for 300 clients in these industries, but wanted to offer more,” says UK General Manager, Andy Hegley. “Now we can provide the specialist ‘high-touchʼ expertise they need to meet their needs from start to finish.” The TMC's TV and film production clients keep them busy, travelling across the globe to some remote and challenging destinations. “Weʼve had clients filming

penguins in Antarctica or elephants in Botswana. It's vital that their production equipment arrives at their destination on time and in one piece. “A film crew of three could be travelling with 80 bags, so we make sure their baggage is loaded on to the aircraft, even if their airline suddenly announces a baggage embargo at check-in.” For musicians, meanwhile, it's not uncommon to book separate airline seats for a passenger and their cellos or violin that can't be placed in the hold.

The numbers add up

When it comes to procurement, data insight is what gives certain TMCs the edge. FCM Travel Solutions launched 4th Dimension (4D) this year. They describe this as a ‘nonbiased consulting service providing corporates with outsourced, project-based analytics to drive programme efficiency and smarter procurement.ʼ As Jo Greenfield, UK General Manager of FCM explains, this was very much driven by client demand: “Business travel is constantly evolving,” says Greenfield. “To remain successful in a competitive market we must constantly innovate. The launch of 4D has taken our capabilities to the next level, providing clients with deep-dive analytics and bespoke solutions.” The 4D team helps clients rethink their hotel programmes, for example, which are now no longer simply about securing the best rate. “Five years ago, corporates were still very much focussed on cost savings, 

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Untitled


Travel and Events

See how Smarter working can work for you. Enable your employees to avoid unnecessary travel, travel smarter, and travel safely. Our powerful suite of digital products, iris, has been built to influence decision making at every step of the planning and booking process, supporting the principles of Smarter working, helping organisations: •

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TMCs / Diversification

Five years ago corporates were focused on cost savings. Now other commercial factors are becoming more important”

 especially after the 2008 downturn,” says Greenfield. “But despite uncertainty around Brexit and the need to maintain savings, other commercial factors are becoming more important. ”Corporates are now using their hotel programmes to drive staff loyalty, reflect their CSR strategies and support traveller wellbeing too.”

Gaining traction

Matters like these, some of which perhaps once seemed more aspirational, are rapidly becoming essential in certain sectors, such as the pharmaceutical industry. Pharma salaries are generally high, so

loyalty incentives offer useful ways to attract and retain top talent. That’s precisely where smart travel policies and hotel programmes play a key role. The 4D team carried out a major audit of a pharma client’s hotel programme, taking account of the range and standard of hotel properties and the full cost. This factored in not just average daily rates, but extras such as premium wifi, breakfast and transfers – basically anything which could engender employee loyalty, while also being mindful of the industry’s strict bribery guidelines. Another 4D client in the construction sector had a business strategy strongly

informed by sustainability and social enterprise. The priority was to employ local people and support local communities, so naturally its corporate hotel programme needed to reflect this. 4D therefore developed an accommodation programme that incorporated hotels with a similar ethos of social enterprise, so that the client’s hotel spend actually benefited local communities. It seems that one way to retain loyalty in 2019’s crowded TMC marketplace is to truly engage with clients’ issues and mirror their values, as if they actually worked there. Nothing breeds loyalty quite like that depth of understanding.

CORPORATE

SPORTS & GROUPS

MEDIA

MARINE & OFFSHORE

SCHOOLS & ACADEMIA

CHARITY

We Make Business Happen

Taking You To Victory

Every Great Story Starts With A Journey

Complex Logistics Made Simple

Expanding Minds and Broadening Horizons

Helping You to Help Others

UNCOMPLI CATED

A MEMBER OF THE GLOBAL TRAVEL SOLUTIONS GROUP

Untitled-4 1 Diversification.indd 82

CORPORATE

TRAVEL

...The New Years Resolution you will want to keep! 22/11/2018 10:18 11/26/18 01:14 PM


AWARD-WINNING BUSINESS TRAVEL Welcome to the unique business travel service built around your company and travellers. At Travel Counsellors for Business you will work with dedicated, experienced travel professionals to benefit from a tailored, personal service. We deliver everything you expect from a top 20 Travel Management Company plus extras like managing airline loyalty programmes, online check-in and even restaurant reservations. It’s this attention to detail that has seen us develop in to one of the UK’s fastest growing travel companies and obtain a 96% customer satisfaction rating. Experience the award-winning customer service of Travel Counsellors for yourself and contact us today.

8

Winner

Finalist

Best Travel Management Company (£50-£200 million UK annual sales)

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TMCs / Beginner's guide to...

APIs for TMCs How can TMCs use APIs to power your corporate travel programme? The ATPI Group’s Adam Knights has some of the answers In a world where everyone is connected and technology is ubiquitous, ensuring you are up to speed and making the most of the latest developments can be a full-time job. Likewise, with innovation coming at such a pace, new terminology seems to surface on a daily basis. For travel, APIs are now being spoken about widely across the industry.

Oh no, another acronym!

Don’t panic, APIs – Application Programme Interfaces – are designed to make things easier for us all. And in corporate travel these systems are helping transform the way companies operate. APIs are simply gateways linking different software applications. Think about how, on your smartphone, apps connect to the internet and send a request to a server. That is done via an API.

Metaphorically speaking

The simplest way to imagine them at work is as a waiter in a restaurant. The menu tells you the food you could choose and the kitchen is ready to prepare the dishes you want. But it is the waiter that takes your request, connects with the chefs and brings the plates back to your table. Without that link you do not get served.

Silent partners

Typically APIs are going about their business without people knowing. We don’t question the magic that lets us log on to different websites using our Facebook password, for example. The important thing for TMCs is ensuring that what we develop, or choose to partner with, is compatible with how businesses and travellers operate.

Putting it into practice

APIs open up a wealth of possibilities. Firstly, businesses – including travel management companies – 84

can be nimble and act quickly by using APIs to create new products and partnerships or add new tools and services. Their use drives innovation by cutting development time. Additionally, APIs can connect different divisions of a business seamlessly, which gives access to all sorts of valuable data. For corporate travel managers, that could be marrying a traveller’s spend with their historic performance or sales figures to see the return-on-investment for each trip.

Connecting the cloud

APIs are becoming increasingly important in new innovations, too. As businesses move their operations to the cloud, it will be APIs that manage the highs and lows in demand. They also offer valuable security benefits, since the connections between parties are limited.

Plugging into potential

In travel, APIs are being used extensively, especially on consumer

sites such as Skyscanner, where one set of results are returned from multiple sites. Travellers in a corporate world will be used to this type of interface – they will have used it in their private life or have selfbooking tools that act in a similar way. Technology-based services such as Uber have seen the benefit of this. Business travellers may use Uber personally, and therefore find themselves travelling and booking out of scope of their travel policy by using Uber around the world when on business. If a TMC has an open API policy, they can add Uber for Business. This means all the data tools a solid corporate travel reporting function needs can be integrated very simply. Offering this rich detail and breadth of choice is vital for TMCs if they are to prosper. APIs are definitely here to stay so if you aren’t familiar with what they are and, more importantly, what they can do to support your travel programme, there is no better time than the present to find out more.

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The Directory / TMCs

TMCs 2019: Who does what

Your guide to a selection of leading travel management companies in the UK Travel management company

ABT UK

Annual turnover

Annual transactions

Company size

Head office (UK)

Established

£8million

15,000

8 staff / 1 office

London

2001

Brentwood, Essex

1992

120 independent UK TMCs / 190 locations

London

1978

128 staff / 3 offices

Manchester

1983

Specialist sectors served: all sizes and sectors served including telecommunications, legal, technology and online gaming Ace Travel Management

£8.5million

20,000

11 staff

Specialist sectors served: corporate travel, meetings, incentives conferences and events, luxury leisure Advantage Business Travel

£3.2billion

Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: members serve all sectors of the economy Amber Road

£72million

Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: all sectors including manufacturing, telecoms, professional services, energy, retail, fashion, technology, plus divisions for marine travel and meetings & events American Express Global Business Travel

$32.7billion globally (2017)

Not disclosed

16,000 staff globally

London

2014

Specialist sectors served: professional services, finance, insurance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, media, entertainment, mining, energy, technology, information services Applehouse Travel

£29.3million

56,400

40 staff / 1 office

London

1984

321 staff / 9 offices worldwide

London

1988

55 staff plus 1 implant

Worcester

1990

1,700 staff / 100+ locations worldwide

London

2002

Information supplied directly by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine and verified where possible. Annual figures quoted refer to a TMC’s most recent financial or calendar year

Specialist sectors served: finance, information technology, energy, SMEs, retail The Appointment Group (TAG)

£190million

400,000

Specialist sectors served: corporate, private clients, sports, film & media, touring and entertainment, events ArrangeMy

£21million

65,500

Specialist sectors served: car manufacturing, retail, charity, care ATPI Group

£1.29billion globally

4.68million

Specialist sectors served: retail, engineering, fashion, financial and legal. ATPI Griffinstone serves shipping, energy and offshore sectors; ATPI Sports Events for events and clubs BCD Travel

£636million UK&I / $25.7billion globally

Not disclosed

858 staff / 16 offices and c.13,500 staff globally

London

1981

Specialist sectors served: finance, film & TV, entertainment, professional services, advertising, media, pharmaceutical, FMCG, energy, defence, technology, consulting, sports, SMEs Blue Cube Travel

£35.3million

38,000

39 staff / 3 offices

Kew

2003

152 staff

Langley, Berkshire

1970

Derby

1972

Specialist sectors served: technology, finance, law, oil & gas, retail Business Travel Direct

£115million

402,000

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, services, security, defence, multinationals, marine, education, medical, retail Capita Travel and Events

(including NYS Corporate)

Carlson Wagonlit Travel

£570million+

Not disclosed

750 staff / 6 UK offices

Specialist sectors served: all sectors including construction, education, energy, engineering, finance, legal, logistics, manufacturing, professional services, public sector, retail, telecoms, utilities

$23.2billion (globally)

60million (globally)

1,160 UK&I staff / 18,750 global staff

Potters Bar, Hertfordshire

1980

Manchester

1959

Specialist sectors served: all sizes and sectors, including finance, media, manufacturing, energy, pharmaceutical, telecoms Clarity

£441million

c.2.5million

Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: particular experience in retail, infrastructure, professional services, marine, oil & gas, charity, central government, higher education and elite sport industries Click Travel

£205million

1.85million

252 staff

Birmingham

1999

90 staff / 6 offices

Glasgow

1989

457 staff in Europe / 2,700 staff globally

London

1994

Specialist sectors served: legal, retail, public sector, recruitment, utilities, telecoms, charity, education, technology, infrastructure Clyde Travel Management

£48million

215,000

Specialist sectors served: marine, oil & gas, corporate Corporate Travel Management (CTM)

£653million (Europe)

4.7million

Specialist sectors served: legal, finance, insurance, pharmaceutical, media, advertising, retail, technology, architecture, energy, public sector, sport, plus Event Travel Management division

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TMCs / The Directory

Travel management company

CT Business Travel

Annual turnover

Annual transactions

Company size

Head office (UK)

Established

£27.1million

Not disclosed

80 staff / 3 offices

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

1988

Specialist sectors served: include, but not limited to, finance, media, technology, pharmaceutical, recruitment, energy, fashion, retail, education, insurance DialAFlight Corporate Travel

£134million

280,000

130 staff / 4 offices

London

1980

Not disclosed

154 staff

Manchester

2007

55 staff / 3 offices

Bushey, Hertfordshire

2002

3,200+ employees globally / 65+ countries

London

2002

80 staff / 2 offices

Eton, Berkshire

1969

843 UK staff / 6,500 staff worldwide

New Malden, Surrey

2004

Specialist sectors served: SMEs Diversity Travel

£68million

Specialist sectors served: charities, academic organisations, not-for-profit EFR Travel

£27.6million

34,900

Specialist sectors served: legal, property, finance, retail, advertising, sports Egencia

$11.7billion globally

Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: serves companies off all sizes and sectors Eton Travel Group

£35.3million

147,000

FCM Travel Solutions

(incorporating Corporate Traveller)

Fello

£727million

1.8million

Specialist sectors served: over 50 industries including finance, pharmaceutical, energy, legal, engineering, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, fashion

£23million

21,500

40 UK staff

London

2018

Haddenham, Buckinghamshire

1996

32 staff / 2 offices

Woking, Surrey

1997

48 staff / 3 offices

Hull

1833

210 staff / 6 offices

Colchester, Essex

1927

26 staff / 1 office

London

1983

91 staff / 2 offices

Shepperton, Surrey

1964

144 staff / 3 offices

Feering, Essex

1984

Specialist sectors served: humanitarian and charity, hedge funds and asset management, insurance and reinsurance, media, entertainment, retail Flightline Travel Management

£6.2million

29,800

9 staff / 1 office

Specialist sectors served: law, automobile, finance, manufacturing, medical, aircraft, public relations Global Travel Management

£26million

50,300

Specialist sectors served: brewing, medical, media, SMEs Good Travel Management

£22million

60,000

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, marine, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction Gray Dawes Group

(incorporating Giles Travel)

Harridge Group

£170million

521,000

Specialist sectors served: finance, fashion, energy, construction, professional sport

£14.5million

47,900

Specialist sectors served: business travel, corporate and private events Ian Allan Travel

£49million

187,700

Specialist sectors served: corporate, academic, charity, humanitarian, not for profit, events Inntel

£73million

355,000

Specialist sectors served: financial and professional services, transport, construction, utilities, retail, infrastructure, facilities, media, distribution, manufacturing, meetings and events Kanoo Corporate

£30million

36,000

40 staff / 8 offices

London

2007

385 staff / 8 offices

London

1980

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, corporate, leisure, groups, incentives Key Travel

£209million

486,000

Specialist sectors served: not-for-profit, NGOs, charity, humanitarian, faith, missionary, academic organisations

86

Information supplied directly by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine and verified where possible. Annual figures quoted refer to a TMC’s most recent financial or calendar year

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, pharmaceutical, IT, retail, finance, legal, music, groups

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Untitled


Unwrapping soon! Early in the New Year, we’re launching something new in the world of meetings and events. In the meantime, if you need any assistance with your meetings and events, speak to a member of our team - they won’t give away the surprise just yet.

01904 420 810 hello@nysgroup.com nysgroup.com

NYS is a specialist brand of Capita Travel and Events Limited. Registered in England: 01094729. Registered office: 30 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LR. Part of Capita Plc.

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TMCs / The Directory

Travel management company

Annual turnover

Annual transactions

Company size

Head office (UK)

Established

Meon Valley Travel Group

£40million

100,000

67 staff

Petersfield, Hampshire

2002

Specialist sectors served: emergency medical assistance, manufacturing, retail, schools groups, event management, recruitment, private equity, white label leisure, loyalty fulfilment Norad Travel Management

£34.2million

141,000

54 staff / 4 offices

Liss, Hampshire

1981

London

1972

Specialist sectors served: all sectors with particular specialities including marine, energy, yachting, shipping logistics Omega World Travel

£38million (UK)

155,000 (UK)

24 UK staff / 2 UK offices (450 US staff / 50 US offices)

Specialist sectors served: medium size UK and global SMEs in industries such as finance, private equity, pharmaceutical, healthcare, engineering, media, marine, government Reed & Mackay

(incorporating Hillgate Travel)

Review Travel

£600million

1million+

646 UK staff / 5 UK offices (4,000 staff globally / 140 locations)

London

1962

Handforth, Cheshire

1984

110 staff

Belfast

1972

Not disclosed

12 staff

Mayfair, London

2011

22,500

20 staff / 1 office

Dartford, Kent

1973

158 staff / 3 offices, 1 implant

London

1975

200 Corporate Travel Counsellors

Manchester

1994

Leeds

1971

London

2017

Specialist sectors served: professional services, legal, finance, insurance, technology, marine, offshore

£15.5million

138,500

29 staff / 4 offices

Specialist sectors served: legal, finance, media, credit agencies, sport, education, manufacturing, construction Selective Travel Management

£65million

198,800

Simplexity Travel Management

£6.9million Specialist sectors served: all sectors

Sunways Business Travel

£13million

Specialist sectors served: finance, accountancy, pharmaceutical, law, IT, insurance, film & TV production, building services, architecture, SMEs Travel and Transport Statesman

£176.2million

Not disclosed

Specialist sectors: finance, legal, advertising, technology, media, energy, architecture Travel Counsellors for Business

£145million

120,000

Specialist sectors served: corporate SME, sport organisations, financial, legal/professional services, manufacturing, medical and events Traveleads

£38.2million

125,000

70 staff / 2 offices

Specialist sectors served: energy, sport, medical, legal, media & broadcast, education, charity, finance, technology, manufacturing Travel Leaders UK (including Altour

International, Barrhead Travel, Colletts Travel, Protravel and Tzell UK) Uniglobe Travel

£555million

Not disclosed

1,000+ employees

Specialist sectors served: SME, fashion, media, entertainment, production, finance, music, education, manufacturing, marine, off shore, leisure, events / MICE, medical repatriation

£245million

580,000

40 UK locations

London

1981

50 staff / 4 offices

London

1980

19 staff / 2 offices

London

1972

45 staff / 2 offices

London

1970

75 staff / 4 offices UK (450 staff globally / 16 offices globally)

London

1992

Specialist sectors served: media, IT, marine, telecoms, finance, legal, fashion, pharmaceutical Wayte Travel Management

£38.5million

80,000

Specialist sectors served: oil & gas, finance, manufacturing, legal West End Travel

£12.7million

31,800

Specialist sectors served: corporate travel core, plus specialists in sport, groups, conference and incentive travel Wexas Travel Management

£26million

52,000

Specialist sectors served: tech, finance, retail, legal, creative, group travel Wings Travel Management

£103million

128,087

Specialist sectors served: energy, marine, security, engineering, specialist finance, travel-critical companies

88

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Information supplied directly by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine and verified where possible. Annual figures quoted refer to a TMC’s most recent financial or calendar year

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, higher education, charity and voluntary, government


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Get the full picture of this global organisation at atpi.com/globaltravel

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Untitled-1 1 Untitled-2

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Find us on stand B440

22/11/2018 11:56 11/26/18 01:19 PM


Breaking the mould

Experience the difference fcmtravel.co.uk @FCM_UK

Untitled-1 1

11/21/18 05:21 PM


Data / TMCs

RELATIONSHIP GOALS What’s the key to a fruitful relationship with your TMC? Some would say it’s treating them as a strategic partner rather than simply a preferred supplier or approved vendor. Delegates at The Business Travel Conference were polled on their TMC relations and needs, while a recent BTS survey delivers further insight

What best describes how you feel about CONSOLIDATION among TMCs?

47%

It’s an accepted and inevitable development if the sector is to evolve

35%

70

%

%

TECHNOLOGY

23%

SIZE

Not applicable

IN WHICH AREA/S DO YOU THINK TMCs FAIL TO DELIVER A SATISFACTORY SERVICE?

4% COST

61%

4%

54

%

31%

Other

23% Data

Consulting/advice

Customer service

FINANCIAL STABILITY

38%

Cost/ROI

39

%

50% NEW TECHNOLOGY

45% A LOT 42% A LITTLE 10% IT WON’T 3% NOT SURE

4%

10%

55% NEW/IMPROVED PROCESS

TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU THINK BREXIT WILL AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS IN 2019?

9%

It’s not good for anyone involved or affected

68% COST SAVINGS

18% SOURCING NEW SUPPLIERS

CULTURE

8%

74% DUTY OF CARE AND WELLBEING

27 % SHAPING TRAVEL POLICY

SERVICE

9

It combines the best of two TMCs and delivers an improved offering

Technology

What do you think is the most important SELECTION CRITERIA when choosing a TMC?

AS A TRAVEL BOOKER OR MANAGER, WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FOCUS RIGHT NOW?

£

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT TMC RELATIONSHIP?

45% STRATEGIC PARTNER 24% PREFERRED SUPPLIER 30% APPROVED VENDOR

Are you HAPPY with the service you receive from your TMC? 47 % Yes 10% No 43% Don't use a TMC THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

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11/26/18 06:32 PM


EVENT REVIEW A new lease of life for ground coffee beans

PA & EA networking evening

Autumn Sparkle The Business Travel Conference hosted Autumn Sparkle, an exclusive event for PAs and EAs, at Bankside Hotel, London, in October. Attendees enjoyed complimentary drinks, food, massages and manicures, and had the chance to win some fabulous prizes courtesy of the generous partners.

A warm welcome at Bankside Hotel

Autumn Sparkle ▼

Cooking demos from hotel chefs ▲ 22.10.2018

With thanks to all our sponsors

Autumn Sparkle PA & EA Networking Evening

Brought to you by The Business Travel Conference With thanks to the host venue Cup cakes from Q Apartments

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DEPARTURES

New kid on the block Vintry & Mercer, London THE LOWDOWN

This chic 92-room

and silks respectively. Its modern

hotel opens in the City of London this

credentials include running on 100%

February complete with roof terrace,

renewable electricity.

all-day restaurant and underground

they said it

“Vintry & Mercer

speakeasy bar. It is set back on

is nestled in the heart of the City,

Garlick Hill, a two-minute walk from

among the livery halls, guilds and

Cannon Street and Mansion House

narrow streets that line the banks of

stations. The hotel has a gym, three

the Thames. This is where past and

private event rooms – The Library,

present intersect, where the long

Drawing Room and Music Room –

traditions of trade and commerce

and breakout area. It is a sister

come to life. The rich cultural

property to the capital’s Ampersand

influences of two of the City’s historic

Hotel and a member of Small Luxury

guilds – Vintry and Mercer – can be

Hotels of the World.

seen throughout the hotel with its

that's a FACT

Vintry & Mercer is

named after two of the City’s historic guilds, trading since the 1300s in wine

carefully considered design.” Rates

Standard rooms

start from £175 per night.

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DEPARTURES

The best new...

time flies British Airways and watchmakers Bremont have teamed up to launch a limited edition timepiece that incorporates the metal from one of the most iconic planes in history – Concorde. The Bremont Supersonic contains aluminium from the G-BOAB Concorde, known as Alpha Bravo, and is limited to 300 in stainless steel (£9,495), 100 in rose gold (£16,995) and 100 in white gold (£17,995).

Gadgets & gear

TRACK YOUR FITNESS

high five: camera phones

Keep fit The latest addition to the Fitbit family is the Versa. A more affordable version of the Fitbit Iconic, this smartwatch is priced around £179 and, with a rounded face design, resembles a more traditional watch than regular Fitbit trackers. The device tracks major workout types, is waterproof, has a fourday battery charge and a companion app. A TIMEPIECE WITH HERITAGE

slim pickings The Slim Wallet is the latest addition to Stuart + Lau’s range of leather goods and travel accessories. The full-grain Italian leather and suede wallet has an RFID blocking interlayer and a back sleeve for easy access to metro cards. It is available in eight colours and is priced around £100. 94

Huawei P20 PRO The P20 Pro has a lighter price tag than the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, but it stands head to head with its excellent camera and impressive battery life. Google pixel 3 Keen photographers will marvel at the quality of photos taken with this phone with its 12.2 megapixel sensor on the back and two 8 megapixel sensors on the front. Travellers will also find its wireless charging capability useful on the road. THE BEST iphone xs The latest from Apple CAMERAS IN features an edge-to-edge 5.8 inch YOUR POCKET super retina display and a 12 megapixel dual lens camera. The device is powerful with a fast processor. samsung galaxy S9 PLUS With a huge 6.2 inch curved screen and a dual-lens camera noted for quality low-light shots, the phone is ideal for those after a great camera and a big screen.

FASHION AND FUNCTION

oneplus 6T At the budget end of the scale is the latest from OnePlus. It features a huge 6.41 inch screen with HDR support and a 16 megapixel camera. The device also features Fast Charge enabling users to fully charge the phone in half an hour.

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20-21 February 2019 Olympia, London

REVITALISE BUSINESS TRAVEL Europe’s largest specialised event for business travel professionals.

9,000

400+

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hosted buyers

3,500

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pre-scheduled hosted buyer appointments

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Register for free at www.businesstravelshow.com Using code TBTM19 Untitled-1 1

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DEPARTURES

On the road with

Michael Struck

Ruby Hotels founder and CEO Michael Patrick Struck might have a sweet spot for Sugarloaf, but it certainly doesn't run to chicken feet... day encompasses totally RIO'S different places and settings. SUGARLOAF Recently my day started IS A SWEET with a very early morning SPOT run through the sleeping streets of Mayfair and closed with a walk along the warm seaside in bustling Barcelona. Worst business travel experience: Has to be a business dinner in Guangzhou which involved eating chicken feet and other ‘interesting’ specialities, to be polite.

DETAILS

SUPPLIERS

Name: Michael Patrick Struck Preferred airline or hotel and Position & Company: Founder and why: Emirates, simply for its CEO of Ruby Hotels. We operate consistently excellent onboard five properties at the moment and service quality. we have a further nine under Loyalty points – obsessive construction or in the planning collector or not bothered? stages. We've also just started Honestly, I'm not bothered. I think Ruby Works, which offers flexible these things tend to take care of work spaces. themselves. Based in: Munich, Germany. Favourite loyalty scheme: Business trips per year: 50. None in particular. Estimated annual mileage: 100,000. Regular destinations: London, STEPPING ONBOARD Paris, Milan, Copenhagen. Flights: work, rest or play? Most recent trip: Tokyo. Work. I find being literally Next trip: New York. ALL ABOUT above it all is helpful with THE BLUE SKY THINKING certain tasks. GOOD & BAD Onboard connectivity – Best business travel take it or leave it? I like having experience: This is pretty hard to this new option for emergencies, call. I particularly like it when one but am too much of a savings fox to use it while prices for it remain so high. Onboard habits: I loosen my shoe laces, put on some noisecancelling earphones and sit back to enjoy take-off.

DESTINATIONS Happy never to go back to: Helsinki. My last experience

96

involved being there during a serious snow storm. Send me back to: Rome, anytime. Top overseas landmark: Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

TAKING IT IN MY STRIDE

Pack light or go prepared? I’d like to say both, but since I don’t do much in the way of travel preparations, I guess it will have to be ‘light’. Never leave home without: My running shoes.

One thing that would improve business travel: Wifi on the tube TRAVEL POLICY in London would be really great, as Stick to the travel policy or a bit would a Ruby hotel in every major of a maverick? Our business is city, obviously! about offering lean luxury to Biggest business travel guests so I always follow the irritation: Business policy. For me, it’s a role hotels that are run of DO AS I SAY... model thing. the mill, soulless and AND AS I DO! If you could change one unnecessarily expensive. In fact, that is part of the reason we started Ruby Hotels, since we do the opposite.

thing about your travel policy... Nothing, or else I would have done it already!

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DEPARTURES

Meeting in Milton Keynes was once a collection of towns and villages, but was transformed into a 'New City' in the 1960s as part of a government scheme to relieve London's housing congestion. Now an economic success story, Milton Keynes is home to organisations including Santander,

Milton Keynes

Wo w factor

Quirky venue

The Arena MK This significant exhibitions and event venue opened in 2014 and can host up to 3,500 for a conference. It has numerous offices, bars and green rooms spread across three floors. The space is pillarless and totally customisable. The venue also provides banqueting menus and in-house production if required. Due to the versatility of the space, call for a quote. Stadium Way, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK1 1ST 0844 902 7777 / arenamk.com

National Museum of Computing

The National Badminton Centre

Events are hosted within its galleries and displays, which include WWII's famous Enigma codebreaker. Facilities include a 40-seater meeting room with three large screens, buffet catering options and wifi throughout. Corporate events have the option of private tours with experts and so are priced according to requirements.

The world-class badminton club can cater for meetings of up to 100 delegates and rooms can be set up in a range of configurations. Conference rooms feature AV, flipchart, pens, tea and coffee, and a buffet lunch is included. Room hire for the smallest room starts from £145 per day. DDRs are available from £29.95.

Bletchley Park, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB 01908 374 708 / tnmoc.com

Bradwell Road, Great Holm, Milton Keynes, MK8 9LA / 01908 268 479 / badmintonengland.com

big, bold and beautiful

Volkswagen, Network Rail and Mercedes Benz.

Small but perfectly formed

Woughton House – Mgallery by Sofitel

Getting there The city benefits from direct mainline train services from London Euston which take less than an hour. By car, Milton Keynes is accessible via the M1 and the journey time from London is upwards of an hour. Further information Contact Destination Milton Keynes for advice on organising a conference or event. Destinationmilton keynes.co.uk has details of venues and accommodation available. Call 01908 688 293 or email info@destination miltonkeynes.co.uk

On a shoestring

Venue Cranfield

Situated just outside of town, this elegant hotel has four meeting rooms and a Clubhouse Suite able to host up to 250. A day meeting for ten starts at £390 and includes AV facilities, wifi, pastries and buffet lunch. There are also breakout spaces indoors and out, plus walking trails to enjoy. Newport Road, Woughton on the Green, Milton Keynes, MK6 3LR 01908 661 919 / sofitel.accorhotels. com/mgallery/milton-keynes

Wired up

Out of to w n

Whittlebury Hall

The facility comprises four The 254-room hotel is located flexible venues in one, 20 minutes north of the which are suitable for city and comprises 20 meetings conferences, meetings, conference and training to the four and accommodation. suites, 28 syndicate There are over 65 rooms rooms, an executive in all, suitable for up to 250 boardroom and three delegates. There is high-speed private dining rooms. Event wifi, a 24-hour reception, organisers can also make use exercise and leisure areas and of the two banqueting and a licenced bar and restaurant. conference suites that can hold Enquire for DDRs. up to 500 delegates. DDRs are from £31 plus VAT. Duncan Road, Wharley End, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0HG 01234 754 885 / venuecranfield.co.uk

Whittlebury, Towcester, NN12 8WP 01327 857 857 / whittlebury.com

escape to the country

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WE’VE GOT THE BEST LEGS IN EUROPE. Fly with us to Berlin or to one of our many other German destinations and enjoy the best short-haul economy legroom* on our Airbus fleet.

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DEPARTURES

On business in...

Berlin

The German capital – once divided by the Berlin Wall – is today known for its wealth of modern and historical landmarks, arts scene, festivals and nightlife.

A centre of History

German food. La Caleta is well

Shönefeld airport there is a railway

known for Mediterranean dining.

station with connections to the city

Luxury options include the Berlin

Lia’s Kitchen is a vegetarian rest-

centre and a number of bus routes.

Marriott Hotel, DORMERO Hotel, the

aurant and Grill Royal is a gourmet

Tegel Airport has four BVG bus

refurbished Ritz-Carlton or Grand

steakhouse popular with visiting

stops outside terminals A and B.

Hyatt Berlin. At the budget end of the

VIPs. For Michelin-star dining try

Both terminals have taxi ranks.

scale consider the centrally located

the double-starred Rutz.

SLEEPING

Aga’s Hotel, Azimut Hotel in City West, multiple Motel One properties or the super-budget easyHotel. The Getting there British Airways, easyJet, Eurowings and Ryanair between them operate services from several destinations around the UK to the German capital, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, East Midlands, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Bristol. Further information For details on meetings and events and visiting Berlin, see visitberlin.de/en, email convention@visitberlin.de or call +49 (0)30 26 47 48-400.

af te r hour s

MU ST-SEE SIG HTS The historic Brandenburg Gate is

Hilton and InterContinental groups

Berlin is packed with trendy bars

not to be missed. Remnants of the

are well represented in the city.

open until the early hours. The

Berlin Wall remain, and visitors can

Green Door in Shönenberg is a

see a line through the city where it

popular cocktail bar requiring

once stood. Checkpoint Charlie is a

visitors to ring a bell for entry.

reminder of Berlin during the cold

For Bavarian fare try out

Becketts Kopf follows a similar

war era. Also visit the Reichstag

Clubrestaurant am Wannsee or

speakeasy model in Prenzlauer

Building and the Berlin

Restaurant Schlossgarten for hearty

Berg. For a traditional Bavarian

Zoological Gardens.

EATING

beer hall try Hofbräu Wirsthaus or Löwenbräu am Gendarmenmarkt beer hall in

Amazing Architecture

the centre of the city.

GETTING D O WNTOwN Berlin has two airports, Shönefeld and Tegel, which are both well connected to the city centre. From

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DEPARTURES

Focus on...

A shared language plus similarities in the legal and administrative systems make trade between the UK and its Commonwealth cousins Down Under relatively simple, writes Benjamin Coren

Australia & New Zealand

UK businesses looking for new opportunities overseas might overlook Australia and New Zealand, simply because the two nations seem so far away. In reality, actually being on the other side of the world matters little. Our shared history and heritage easily outweigh the perceived problems, making both countries the ideal place to test products. The numbers add up. Australia is the 13th-largest economy, while its citizens boast the second-highest

wealth per capita. Meanwhile, New Zealand is already the UK's fifthlargest two-way trading partner. Those making the leap should be aware of certain challenges, of course. Australia has very strict biosecurity regulations that need to be considered for imports of certain products and packaging. And visiting is time-consuming – it can take 24 hours to fly there; factor in the time and cost when sending products to market. The time difference of seven to 11

hours can also make international business calls difficult. Trade minister Graham Stuart headed to Australia and New Zealand earlier this year as the Department for International Trade (DIT) kicked off its opening consultations about future trade relationships post-Brexit. Stuart promoted opportunities for UK firms in NZ infrastructure and launched a joint UK-Australia investment report, which shows the UK is now the second-largest

Time zones: Australia has five time zones ranging from GMT +8hrs in the west to GMT +11hrs in the east. Currency: Australian Dollar: £1 = AUD1.80. New Zealand Dollar: £1 = NZD1.95; Dialling codes: Australia +61. New Zealand: +64. Visas: To enter Australia, UK citizens require a valid passport and an approved ETA (apply online). British travellers can enter New Zealand for up to six months with no visa.

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DEPARTURES

destination globally for Australian investment. Appearing alongside Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, he highlighted the investment ties between the UK and Australia – which grew 22% between 2010 and 2017 to more than £63billion. “We’ve taken a major step towards building our bilateral trading relationships with Australia and New Zealand –

two of our closest international partners – by opening consultations on our potential future agreements,” said Stuart. “Combined, their investment into the UK delivered 95 new projects last year, creating almost 2,500 British jobs. These consultations will examine new possibilities for British exporters in the region, especially in technology and infrastructure,” he added. Ciobo added that Australia and the UK were committed to working

together aross diverse industries “from defence to infrastructure”. “Both countries offer large, open and flexible economies as well as an ideal location from which to access other regional opportunities, be it in Europe or Asia.” Top exports to Australia and New Zealand include vehicles, machinery and mechanical parts, print products, pharmaceuticals, gems and precious metals, as well as plastics, furniture and iron and steel products.

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DEPARTURES

Factfile: Australia & New Zealand FLIGHTS hit the heights in auckland

British Airways: operates flights to Sydney via Singapore, which depart daily from London Heathrow. The airline operates connecting codeshare flights to Australia and New Zealand via Hong Kong, Doha, Singapore or Sydney. Emirates: flies to Australia and New Zealand via its Dubai hub. The carrier operates over 120 non-stop flights per week from eight UK airports to Dubai. From Dubai, Emirates

Qatar AIRWAyS: flies to

offers 28 flights a week to

Australia and New Zealand via

Sydney, 21 a week to Brisbane

its Doha hub. From London

and Melbourne, 14 a week to

Heathrow, there are convenient

Perth and Auckland and seven

connections in Doha to services

a week to both Adelaide and

to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth,

Christchurch, New Zealand.

Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra.

Qantas: flies daily from

Etihad: offers services to

London Heathrow to Sydney

Australia and New Zealand via

via Singapore. The airline also

its Abu Dhabi hub. One-stop

operates a non-stop daily

services are operated from

service from London to Perth

Heathrow to Sydney,

with onward connections

Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane

Sydney, australia:

throughout Australia. Qantas

and Adelaide alongside one-

Sydney Opera House and

also flies to Brisbane via

stop services to Auckland and

the Harbour Bridge should

government, it is worth

Singapore and offers a wealth

Christchurch in New Zealand.

be top of the list. Head to

visiting Parliament House and

Bondi Beach for surfing and to

its associated Museum of

Darling Harbour for dining.

Democracy (in the old

of domestic connections. New Zealand flights operate from

Singapore AIRLINES offers

the east coast.

daily services from Heathrow

australian to its core

Canberra, australia: As the seat of Australian

Parliament building). The city is

to its Singapore hub where

Melbourne, australia:

also home to the National

Royal Brunei: the airline

regular onward flights are

Architecture buffs will get a kick

Gallery of Australia, Australian

has introduced daily non-stop

available and ANA operates a

out of the stunning design of

War Memorial and striking

services from London to Brunei

daily service from Heathrow to

the City Library and Flinders

National Museum of Australia.

– cutting out the previous stop

Sydney via Tokyo Haneda,

Street railway station. The city's

in Dubai – which then fly on to

among other one-stop options.

Yarra River offers plenty of nice

Christchurch,

spots for a stroll.

new zealand: Go punting on

Melbourne.

o ff du t y no shortage of options

the city, then get a taste of colonial life at Mona Vale, an

Brisbane, australia:

early 1900s homestead with

Brisbane’s South Bank is a

gardens, riverside walks and a

hot-spot for eating out and

102

the Avon through the heart of

restaurant. The Christchurch

entertaining, or find peace and

Gondola offers panoramic

quiet in the Botanic Gardens.

views of the city and coastline.

Perth, australia: Visit

Auckland, new zealand:

Freemantle Prison to find out

Take a trip up the 60-storey

more about convict life in

Sky Tower, which also features

Australia. The nearby Swan

a revolving restaurant and

Valley region is well known for

bungee jumping. Shopping on

food and wine.

Main and Queen Streets.

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DEPARTURES

Reality check AME R ICAN AIR L INE S, PR E M IU M E CO NO M Y THE FLIGHT

Flight AA100 from

New York’s JFK Terminal E to London Heathrow Terminal 3, departing at 06.15

of fruit plate, yoghurt and croissant was served just under an hour before arrival. A bottle of water and

THE SEAT

and arriving at 06.50 (local times), and

comfort pack (with Casper blanket and

operated by a B777-300. I was flying in

lumber pillow, Cole Haan amenity kit,

American Airlines' Premium Economy.

and headset) were awaiting me in the

THE PRE-BOARDING

I was unable to

seat. I travelled in seat 16D which has

check-in online but the airline’s check-in

the extra leg room in front on the bulk

area at T3 was efficient and straight-

head. The seat was roomy and controls

forward and the queue through security

for the recline and foot rest were simple.

relative short. Boarding was at Gate 8

The screen was stowed within the seat

and was done in seat location groups to

but popped out easily and the IFE

ensure efficient loading.

system offered a comprehensive choice.

THE SERVICE

I had pre-ordered my

There was a small storage compartment

meal choice online and it was delivered

and fold-out tray stowed in the arm rest,

quickly – so quickly, in fact, that I was

plus a USB charging point.

half way through eating it before the

THE VERDICT

THE DETAILS

drinks service arrived! The meal was

and the Premium Economy seat was

excellent with a good-sized chicken

definitely comfortable and well-thought

portion served with a side salad and the

through. The meal quality was excellent

best bread roll I’ve had onboard, plus a

and the amenities supplied with the

good chocolate dessert, cheese and

seat were good quality and useful,

crackers. All was presented well with

especially the lumbar pillow. The staff

ceramic crockery and linen napkin. A

were efficient if a little brusque in their

second drinks service was offered after

service but overall the journey was a

trays had been cleared, and a breakfast

good experience.

American Airlines

operates up to four direct flights a day

The aircraft felt new

THE AMENITIES SUPPLIED WITH THE SEAT WERE GOOD QUALITY AND USEFUL

from London Heathrow to New York (JFK), and up to 10 a day when including the flights operated by joint business partner British Airways. Fares start from £270 in Basic Economy, £330 in the Main Cabin, £789 in Premium Economy, £1,593 in Flagship Business and £3,143 in Flagship First. aa.co.uk

Julie Baxter

STAYCIT Y APAR T HOT E L S, BIR M ING HAM THE APARTHOTEL

Staycity Aparthotels

consisted of a living area with flat

in Birmingham’s Newhall Square has

screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen

142 one-bedroom and 24 two-bedroom

with hob, microwave, cooking utensils

apartments that can accommodate up

and dishwasher, plus a dining area,

to six people. Situated in the city's

bedroom with king-size bed and

historical Jewellery Quarter, the

bathroom. I was particularly impressed

property is less than a 10-minute walk

with the powerful and roomy shower

from Birmingham city centre and New

and may have indulged for slightly

Street Train Station and a five-minute

longer than necessary as a result.

walk from the bars and restaurants of

Hairdryers were also provided in

bustling Broad Street.

the bedroom.

THE CHECK-IN

As the hotel is

THE FACILITIES

There is a fitness

situated in a busy area, street parking

centre on-site along with a café –

is not an option. There is limited space

breakfast is available at an additional

available in the on-site car park or,

cost. If you did want to cook your

alternatively, a 24-hour NCP car park is

own meals, there is a grocery shop

just next door. Both options cost £12

conveniently located next door to the

per night for the privilege. Once inside,

aparthotel. There is free wifi access

I received a warm and friendly

throughout the property.

welcome at the reception desk along

THE VERDICT

Perfect for a short stay

with what seemed a genuine interest in

in Birmingham for those that want to

how my journey had been. I was given

be self-sufficient. Staff were friendly

my room key and breakfast options

and helpful and made you feel very

and guided to the lift.

welcome upon arrival. The location

THE ROOM

My compact and

modern one-bedroom apartment

104

is within easy access of some of Birmingham’s main attractions.

THE DETAILS

88 Charlotte Street,

Birmingham, B3 1PW. Check-in is

PERFECT FOR A SHORT STAY AND THOSE THAT WANT TO BE SELFSUFFICIENT

from 3pm and check-out by 11am. Nightly rates start from £71 for a onebedroom apartment. Staycity has over 3,000 apartments across ten different cities in the UK, Ireland and France, and has recently launched sub-brand Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity. Tel: 0121 237 5600; see staycity.com

Jessica Pook

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

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DEPARTURES

ROYAL BR U NE I AIR L INE S, BU SINE SS CL ASS THE FLIGHT

Flight BI0003 from

18 larger-than-average business class

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, to

seats are in a 2-2-2 configuration and

London Heathrow T4. Departing at

each contoured seat converts to a fully

00.15 and arriving at 07.20 the following

flat bed. Passengers were offered a

morning, this new direct service is

plush duvet, fluffy pillow and a mattress

operated by B787 Dreamliner aircraft

topper for added comfort. An amenity

with a cabin of 18 business class seats

kit contained the usual items along with

ahead of the economy cabin.

some Harnn products, while slippers

THE PRE-BOARDING

Royal Brunei

and noise-reducing headphones were

Airlines has a separate open check-in

also provided. Inflight entertainment

lounge for their Business and Royal

was on offer through the 15.4-inch

Skies members featuring comfortable

touchscreen monitor. There was some

seating and magazines. There were no

storage at seat level and ample

queues so check in was wift and I was

overhead cabin space too.

handed a pass to access the newly

Once seated I was

THE SERVICE

upgraded Sky Lounge. After quickly

offered a fresh juice or mineral water

passing through security and passport

(no alcohol is served onboard) and a

my journey with the airline and I felt like

control I went straight to the lounge.

steaming hot towel. An on-demand

a VIP throughout the journey. The

Due to the late hour only a snack menu

menu was presented so you could

was provided which included savoury

order from this at any point during the

pastries, sushi and sandwiches, plus

flight, up to 90 minutes prior to landing.

fruits and desserts. Showers, free wifi

Due to the late take off I enjoyed soup

and charging points were all available.

with accompaniments and, prior to

flights from London Heathrow to

arrival, a full hot breakfast from a menu

Bendar Seri Begawan start from £2,948

THE SEAT

The first impression

on walking into the business class cabin

featuring several choices. The service

was just how generous the space is. The

was ultra-polite throughout the flight.

THE VERDICT

I FELT LIKE A VIP THROUGHOUT THE JOURNEY

This was the final leg of

spacious set up of the business class cabin ensures you arrive as relaxed and as refreshed as possible. THE DETAILS

Business class return

inclusive of taxes. flyroyalbrunei.com

Kirsty Hicks

10 CAST L E ST R E E T , DO R SE T THE HOTEL

10 Castle Street is a

marble-clad en-suite bathroom was

Grade II listed country house hotel in

quite stunning and included a separate

Cranborne, Dorset. Set in stunning

shower and a freestanding bath, plus

grounds, it has recently been remodelled

Temple Spa toiletries. An added bonus

and has nine individually designed and

were the stunning views across the

furnished guestrooms. Bournemouth

property's manicured lawns and gardens.

Airport is 15 miles away. THE CHECK-IN

My room wasn't ready

THE FACILITIES

Within the house

were two bars, a billiards room and

when I arrived, but the receptionist went

various lounges including one outside

through the check-in process and then

which can easily double up as a meeting

offered to store my bags whilst I enjoyed

space – each of them offered a unique

a welcome drink in the bar.

atmosphere and design. The elegant

THE ROOM

My room on the

restaurant also offered a ‘tasting room’

second floor was nicely designed and

where guests can sit and watch the chefs

decorated with white and cream colours

at work. The food is all locally sourced

complemented by dark wood furniture

including from a vegetable garden within

and red seats. It featured a superbly

the grounds. There was complimentary

country house experience and the

comfortable super king-sized bed, work

wifi throughout the property but mobile

property has obviously been lovingly

desk, and a separate seating area with

phone signal wasn’t great – but that

sofa, two single armchairs and a coffee

could be seen as a positive. Numerous

table situated in front of a fireplace.

activities can be arranged including wine

Also provided were bathrobes, slippers,

tasting, game shooting, screenings, artist

coffee and tea-making facilities, a

talks and private parties. The property is

Rates start from £265 (B&B). Day

hairdryer, iPod docking station, DAB

available for exclusive use. There are

delegate rates are £60 and the 24-hour

radio, Smart TV and ample storage space

plans for a spa to be opened in the not

including two chest of drawers. The

too distant future.

THE VERDICT

THE PROPERTY HAS OBVIOUSLY BEEN LOVINGLY RESTORED

This was a wonderful

restored. It would be ideal for external meetings or a company get together. THE DETAILS

10 Castle Street,

Cranborne, Wimborne, BH21 5PZ.

rate is £285. 10castlestreet.com

David Clare

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DEPARTURES

The final word

Brits’ pressing issues

THE TOP 10… STUNNING LIBRARIES

H

ilton Garden Inn is taking the unusual step of launching an Ironing Club for its guests after research found that pressing clothes and linen is Brits’ greatest simple pleasure. According to the hotel group, 72% of us love firing up the iron and letting off some steam to help ‘decompress’, while twothirds believe ironing is more relaxing than yoga or meditation. Almost half (44%) say it’s the satisfying smoothing of creases that makes it such a pleasure, while 43% say it’s the excuse to stand still for a while, coupled with the repetitive motion of the iron. Meanwhile, 40% say the soothing sound of the steam is what really does it for them. Guests at the Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport can book into organised Ironing Club sessions as part of a pilot ahead of the scheme’s wider

Check out the world's most stunning public libraries on your travels, as identified by Wordery and Instagram Seattle Public Library (below) Bodleian Library, Oxford 3 Vancouver Public Library 4 Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, Rio de Janeiro 5 The Public Library, Stuttgart 6 The Morgan Library, NYC 7 Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt 8 Stockholm Public Library 9 George Peabody Library, Baltimore 10 Richard J. Riordan Central Library, Los Angeles 1 2

roll-out across the UK. “Guests are encourage to wear loose, comfortable clothing,” says the hotel group, “and soothing music will be played throughout”. Tal Shefer, Brand Head, Hilton Garden Inn, EMEA, says: “We

Out with the old...

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ove over Great Pyramid of Giza and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – a new Seven Urban Wonders of the World has been identified and there’s one UK entrant on the list… but it might not be the one you expect. London’s Camden Market is joined on the new list by the Sydney Opera House, Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, The Bund in Shanghai, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, Temple Street Night Market in Hong Kong and Albertina in Vienna. The super seven was compiled by LikeWhere on behalf of Hilton and drew on smart data and crowdsourced suggestions.

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know that today’s travellers are looking for unique ways to unwind. Our research reveals that ironing is one of the nation’s top simple pleasures, alongside enjoying freshly-brewed coffee and a lie-in.”

While it might seem daft to don a pair of stilettos to explore the ancient wonders of Greece, the wearing of high heels is in any case banned at the country’s archaeological sites in order to protect them from damage. The rule is among some unlikely laws highlighted by travel website Smart Lemur. In Iran, for example, it’s illegal for men to walk the streets wearing ponytails or mullets, and in Burundi, president Pierre Nkurunziza decided that jogging is a subversive protest against the government.

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2019 September 17th-18th

Registration open from December 1 ďˆ The FREE event for buyers and arrangers of business travel and meetings Hilton London Bankside, Southwark

For further information about attending as a delegate or exhibitor contact Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk

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Making Business Travel affordable

10

Years

siness travel afforda ing bu ble Mak since 2008

Your business is our business At Applehouse, we know that business travel is essential for company growth, as well as benefitting the UK economy through increased trade (Oxford Economics Research 2016). We understand the importance of achieving a balance between returns on investment, traveller satisfaction and budgetary requirements, all incorporated within a duty of care culture. We don’t just get you there, we help you before, during and after your trip, with our all day, every day service. Call us today to find out more about our services, discuss how we can assist you or simply for a free quotation.

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Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

The Business Travel Magazine - December/January 2018  

The multi-award-winning publication written and produced for bookers, buyers, arrangers and managers of business travel and meetings. This i...

The Business Travel Magazine - December/January 2018  

The multi-award-winning publication written and produced for bookers, buyers, arrangers and managers of business travel and meetings. This i...