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December/January 2019/20

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2019/20

SUPER POWERS

Travel management companies show off their star qualities

2020 travel trends Distribution update Traveller wellbeing Focus on: the USA THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

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INCORPORATING THE 2020 TMC DIRECTORY

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THE PRIDE WE TAKE IN DELIGHTING YOU WITH AWARD-WINNING CUISINES That’s what makes us the world’s most awarded airline

Premium Airline of the Year T TG Luxur y Travel Awards (UK ) 2019 Best Long Haul Airline Telegraph Travel Awards (UK ) 2019 Gold Medal for Best Overall Cellar Business Traveller, Cellars In The Sky (UK ) 2017 singaporeair.com

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ARRIVALS

Contents 87

DE C E M BE R / J A NU ARY 2019/ 20 Features

40

18 2020 travel trends 26 Traveller wellbeing 36 Distribution update

38

12

Extended feature

46

Travel

management companies

89

44

Arrivals 52

92

6

Opening Shots

8

Everyone's Talking About... Flygskam (flight shaming)

11 The Knowledge: Making savings through online adoption

(p53-87)

26

53 Extended feature: Travel management companies • Introduction, 54-56 • Debate, 58 • Service delivery, 60-64 • Consolidation, 66-68 • Five Reasons, 73 • New entrants, 75-78 • Insight, 81 • The 2020 Directory, 82-85 • Data, 87

12 Six of the Best: Boutique hotels in Manchester 14 Event report: Advantage Symposium 17 Speaking Out: Meetings spend

Regulars

66

23 The Business Travel People Awards: winner's interview 32 The Conversation: Robin Chadha, citizenM 35 The Big Picture

14

38 Technology: Booking tools 40 Talking Travel: Dom Joly

53

89

24

The Review

43 Ten pages of news, views and the latest developments

Departures 88 On the Road

89 Meeting in: Leeds 90 New Kid on the Block

11

91 On Business in: Amsterdam 92 Focus On: the USA 96 Reality Check 98 The Final Word

32 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

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BECAUSE GOOD CONNECTIONS ALWAYS HELP On the move worldwide with the Lufthansa Group airlines

FRANKFURT MUNICH BRUSSELS VIENNA ZURICH

NORTH AMERICA 23 destinations in 2 countries

EUROPE 157 destinations in 44 countries MIDDLE EAST 13 destinations in 10 countries

CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA 12 destinations in 9 countries

The Lufthansa Group airlines are Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings. Via the Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich hubs, and with numerous direct connections, they offer their passengers more than 11,000 flights a week to more than 270 business and holiday destinations

ASIA 24 destinations in 11 countries

AFRICA 41 destinations in 29 countries

worldwide. Passengers therefore benefit from a large choice of destinations and many combination options. The Lufthansa Group airlines stand for high-quality products and services. With more than 700 aircraft, they have one of the largest and, above all, most modern fleets in the world.

2018/2019 winter timetable, as at: 09/2018, subject to changes.

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ARRIVALS

Welcome A greener future

R

eflecting on our report from 12 months ago about the travel industry trends to watch out for in 2019, I think we can be reasonably satisfied with our predictions at the time. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, APIs,

NDC and One Order were all picked out as areas of increasing focus, while marginal air fare and hotel rate rises were forecast and uncertainty around Brexit was highlighted. One theme that is now conspicuous by its absence, however, is that of sustainability. Its profile has rightly soared in 2019, forcing corporates to consider how their travel programmes can be kinder on the environment and suppliers can operate more efficiently. Urgent action is required and we all have a part to play in preventing irreversible damage to our planet. Turn to pages 18-20 to find out our travel industry predictions for 2020. The new year also heralds the opening of nominations for our event The Business Travel People Awards 2020 (see pages 24-25). Now in its 9th year, the awards recognise individuals and teams from across the TMC and supplier elements of the industry, so be sure to nominate those that have really shone in their role over the past year. We're delighted to have picked up a few accolades of our own recently, namely three category wins at the Business Travel Journalism Awards. Our talented team took home the Editor of the Year and Supplement of the Year awards, the latter for The 2019 Guide to Serviced Apartments (subscribers to this magazine will have received the 2020 edition with this issue). Meanwhile, Gary Noakes won the Features Journalist of the Year award in the air travel category for his 'Suite Sensations' feature in our June/July issue. We'll be sure to keep up the hard work in 2020 and, on behalf of all the team at The Business Travel Magazine, we wish our readers a happy, healthy and successful 2020.

Businesstravel the

MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL EDITOR

Andy Hoskins andy.hoskins@thebusinesstravelmag.com CONTRIBUTORS

Emma Allen, Nick Easen, Bev Fearis, Linda Fox, Rob Gill, Jenny Southan & Gillian Upton STAFF JOURNALISTS

Sasha Wood & April Waterston CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Julie Baxter, Laura Gelder & Steve Hartridge

SALES COMMERCIAL HEAD - BUSINESS TRAVEL

Kirsty Hicks

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Callum Blackwell

DESIGN & PRODUCTION SENIOR DESIGNER

Louisa Horton DESIGNERS

Ross Clifford, Caitlan Francis & Zoe Tarrant PRODUCTION & STUDIO MANAGER

Clare Hunter

PRODUCTION ADMINISTRATOR

Steve Hunter

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe for free at thebusinesstravelmag.com/subscribe

BMI PUBLISHING MANAGING DIRECTOR

Matt Bonner CEO

Martin Steady (Print) ISSN 1754-8543. THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY BMI PUBLISHING LTD: SUFFOLK HOUSE, GEORGE STREET, CROYDON, SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. TEL: 020 8649 7233 ENQUIRIES@BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK / BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK THIS PUBLICATION IS PRINTED ON 100% FULLY RECYCLED PAPER AND DISTRIBUTED TO SUBSCRIBERS IN A COMPOSTABLE WRAPPER.

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WHILE EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO ENSURE ACCURACY, BMI PUBLISHING LTD CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. © BMI PUBLISHING LTD 2019 IMAGES: SOURCED FROM SUPPLIERS, ISTOCKPHOTO.COM AND BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

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ARRIVALS OPENING SHOTS

Eye-catching images of the latest news and developments

It is the only hotel project where Zaha Hadid personally designed all of the interiors and exteriors, showcasing her vision of interconnectedness”

ME Dubai

NICE CURVES

Taking residence in The Opus, the latest addition to Dubai's skyline, ME by Meliá will open its first Middle East hotel early in 2020. The Opus was designed by Zaha Hadid, the British-Iraqi architect who died in 2016. Known as the 'Queen of the Curve', her influence can be seen as soon as you step into the hotel's lobby. 6

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Aspire Edinburgh

first peek

The Collective

SHARED SPACE

Elevating its co-living vision to the next level, The Collective has launched a 705-room, 21-storey co-living space in London's Canary Wharf. Regardless of whether members stay for just one night or 12 months, they can make use of the 20th-floor pool, spa, restaurant, cinema and more.

Passengers at Edinburgh Airport will be the first to see the new look from Aspire Lounges, due to be rolled out globally next year. The new lounge has runway views, artwork of iconic Edinburgh scenes, and Spey Whisky and Byron's Gin, exclusive to Aspire.

Marriott Delta

BRAND DEBUT

Marriott has opened the first UK hotels under its new Delta brand in Cheltenham and Milton Keynes. A third hotel is due to open soon in Nottingham. The fourstar brand was acquired by Marriott in 2015 and comprises more than 70 hotels. Five more Delta hotels are due to open in the UK next year. THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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ARRIVALS EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT...

Flygskam (flight shaming) “21% OF EUROPEANS SAY “TECHNOLOGY DOESN’T RESCUE YOU BUT IT PROVIDES THEY HAVE REDUCED CONFIDENCE AND VISIBILITY. YOUR TMC SHOULD HAVE THE PROCESS THEIR FLIGHTS DUE AND PROCEDURES TO RUN REPORTS TO ENVIRONMENTAL AND HELP YOU REACH THOSE AFFECTED BY AN INCIDENT” CONCERNS” Ewan Kassir, Head of Sales, Clarity Source: UBS Global Aerospace and Airlines (September 2019)

"Try and avoid travel altogether before thinking about compensating it” Horst Bayer, Founder, TravelHorst

“I DON’T THINK ANYONE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF FLYING. FOR AROUND 80% OF FLIGHTS THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE OPTION” Randy Tinseth, Marketing Vice President, Boeing

The fight against climate change is the greatest and most pressing challenge facing the modern world and aviation has a crucial role to play in tackling it” Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport

“PEOPLE HAVE A CHOICE IN HOW THEY TRAVEL AND PEOPLE ARE NOW THINKING ABOUT THE POTENTIAL CARBON IMPACT OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRANSPORT. BUT MANY PEOPLE STILL WANT TO FLY AND IF PEOPLE CHOOSE TO FLY WE WANT TO BE ONE OF Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO

THE BEST CHOICES THEY CAN MAKE”

“Carbon offsetting can only be a bridge to future technological developments, and it will be important to seek out each and every way of reducing carbon emissions” Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future

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ARRIVALS THE KNOWLEDGE

How to... Make savings by growing online adoption Buzz Bingo wanted to get to grips with its largest area of business travel spend, accommodation, in order to achieve savings. It identified online adoption as the best way to achieve it

THE BACKGROUND

With more than 3,500 employees, over a hundred bingo clubs and an online bingo platform, Buzz Bingo (formerly Gala Bingo) was in need of a business travel solution to support its workers across the country. Its previous travel management company did not have a platform for mobile bookings, something that the organisation believed was key to driving online adoption and securing savings. Previously, a lot of time had been spent on phone calls to organise employees' travel needs.

THE PROCESS

Getting up and running was a quick and painless process for the company. “The implementation process went incredibly well,” says Mulholland. “Communication was very good throughout the process and any snags were sorted out very quickly. Everything seemed to go without a hitch and the process was delivered on time. There was nothing we could have improved on,” he adds. Click’s proprietary booking tool gives Buzz Bingo’s employees instant access to competitive rates for hotel, rail and, if required, air reservations, all within its own travel policy. The system also incorporates expense claims and employee tracking and individual spend analysis.

THE OUTCOME

“While we are relatively early on in our working relationship with Click Travel, we have already seen our online adoption rate for online bookings increase from an average of 15% to over 98% in just a few months,” says Mulholland. “This is a staggering increase and an amazing achievement.” One booker at the company said it has “revolutionised the way we book business travel.” Meanwhile, hotel policy compliance has reached 95% and Buzz Bingo is on track to achieve an estimated £56,000 in savings on accommodation spend in the first year if it follows recommendations from its account manager at Click Travel.

THE ACTION

Buzz Bingo wanted its employees to be able to book travel independently, without the need to ring a call centre. They also wanted to see significant savings through direction connections to a wide variety of suppliers. Their biggest travel expense was on hotel accommodation for their employees and they wanted to have continual access to a wide variety of suppliers and competitive rates. Click Travel won a competitive tender, with its user-friendly online booking system and company culture helping clinch the contract earlier this year, says Buzz Bingo’s Procurement Officer, James Mulholland.

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ARRIVALS SIX OF THE BEST

Six of the best... Boutique hotels in Manchester Words by Bev Fearis

1

HOTEL GOTHAM

The Gotham theme might seem a bit contrived at times, but it brings the 1920s opulence and glamour to this five-star hotel on the top six floors of a former bank designed by Edwin Lutyens. Its 60 rooms are unashamedly decadent, with faux-fur throws, luxurious leather and bold brass.

4 2

3

THE COW HOLLOW HOTEL

This quirky 16-room hotel in the Northern Quarter was once a Victorian textile warehouse and still has original features. Nice touches include free Prosecco and nibbles each evening and milk and cookies at bedtime.

6

DAKOTA MANCHESTER

Close to Piccadilly Station, this chic hotel has a Champagne room, cigar terrace, cocktail bar and a restaurant specialising in steaks. There are 137 rooms, including 27 spacious suites, some with roll-top baths.

5

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HOTEL BROOKLYN

(opening February 2020) Bespoke Hotels is promising to pay homage to the ‘Golden Age of New York City' when it opens its second Manchester hotel next year as a sister to Hotel Gotham. The 189-room Hotel Brooklyn will be just as theatrical, especially its panoramic rooftop bar.

MALMAISON MANCHESTER

It's over 20 years since it opened but thanks to a few nips and tucks the Malmaison still holds its own against newer arrivals. In a six-storey building by Piccadilly Station, it has a buzzy brasserie and 167 stylish rooms and 13 suites with super comfy beds.

KING STREET TOWNHOUSE

Billing itself as a ‘baby grand hotel’, King Street Townhouse has 40 bedrooms – no two the same – a restaurant, afternoon tea lounge, bijoux screening room, gym, steam room, and an infinity spa-pool with stunning views of the city's Town Hall clock tower.

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ARRIVALS EVENT REPORT

Advantage’s 2019 Business Travel Symposium Gillian Upton reports from the 4th Advantage Business Travel Symposium in November, where delegates debated the future of the industry The Game Changers-themed symposium brought together a clutch of straight-talking buyers who shared strident views on how TMCs could do better. Travel managers shared best practice in The Buyer Bootcamp part one: Changing Games. Sandra Dvorak of Refinitiv advised TMCs to spend the first six months after implementation assessing what type of organisation the new client is. “Find out what their values are, where the decision-making sits, what the strategy is and whether it’s been effective and understand the main suppliers,” she said. Duncan Edwards of Inchcape stressed that understanding the culture of a company was critical to the success of a programme. “We see TMCs as out outsourced experts. They know what good looks like,” he said. A larger group of buyers answered questions at each table in The Buyer Bootcamp part two: The Human Game. Favourite among them was ‘What makes a good account manager?’, and conversely, major failings. Inchcape’s Edwards summed up the latter: “To not actively listen and attempt to move ahead on their own agenda,”

and voiced his opinion on the most transformative thing that an account manager can do. ”To understand the context in which the client is operating in, and the challenges faced, and in turn identify the right solution and importantly the steps required to be taken.” A plea from Nikki Rogan of Synamedia was for TMCs to be honest when they can’t deliver. Buyers were in unison about rarely getting asked how a TMC can identify the key stakeholders and having to drive the agenda

GREEN IS THE COLOUR

THE ORACLE HAS SPOKEN

“Sustainability used to be ‘nice to have’; now it’s mandatory and I’m working on it but it’s about money”

THE LAST WORD HAS TO GO TO KEN MCLEOD, DIRECTOR INDUSTRY AFFAIRS AT ADVANTAGE, WHEN HE SAID ON CAMERA: “DON’T GO INTO TRAVEL – OPEN A COFFEE SHOP!”

Nikki Rogan, Synamedia

and spoon feed the TMC, a major turn-off for many. A lack of senior people in the account manager role is at the root of it, they believe. Johnny Thorsen (pictured), VP of MEZI, added a more positive note, predicting that smaller TMCs can beat their larger counterparts on speed if they become travel programme architects, partner with relevant start-ups, become knowledge brokers, eliminate manual repetitive work processes and focus on high-value services.

STAKING OUT THE STAKEHOLDERS “Who shapes the travel policy? It’s not just one person or one department. The answer will explain how many stakeholders there are” Ana Gibson, Hilti

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Save the date september

15th-16th

2020

Hilton London Bankside The 2020 event for buyers and arrangers of business travel & meetings

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ARRIVALS SPEAKING OUT

PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS

THE END OF HIDDEN MEETING COSTS Seeing into the future leads to smarter buying decisions. Douglas O’Neill of Inntel explains

C

ompanies take for granted that online tools will give them the best rates for business travel, but when it comes to meetings and events there seems to be a different mindset. Expert meetings management ensures your business squeezes the very best value from every pound you spend. Take a strategic approach to meetings and you can keep your business objectives front of mind throughout, maximising return on investment with great outcomes and a great delegate experience.

The emerging science of predictive analytics offers impressive benefits in this regard, using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to predict the future. By studying past data you can detect meaningful patterns that suggest what is likely to happen, then take different actions as a result. Predictive analytics can help you plan better meetings and events, save money and control costs. It’s powerful because it works at a scale and depth of detail that is impossible for human analysts. Detecting trends in behaviours leads to smarter buying decisions. Using AI you can learn the average spend per delegate within an industry sector or large organisation, benchmark your own spend and compare venues. You can evaluate total cost per delegate – including travel, food, credit card expenses, time out of office etc. Savings of up to 20%

could be made if corporates can obtain a full 360-degree picture of costs, and this precision also helps businesses with budget planning. Predictive analytics can calculate demand for an event too. Let’s say 100 delegates are invited to a summit and past data shows only 22% will RSVP within a month but 58% more will finally accept (many after the booking deadline). Knowing that one-month figure allows you to predict how many will actually attend so you can book the right venue at the right cost well ahead. You can also calculate the most costeffective and time-efficient location and venue for your company to hold a meeting, for example when delegates are coming from three specified countries. Predictive analytics even allows the business to decide to send fewer people to a conference in Asia-Pacific, for example, if airfares to the destination are forecast to rise at that time of year. AI can also rapidly analyse attendee expense claims and individual behaviours to detect anomalies. It can identify the 5% of delegates making bogus claims without aggravating the 70% who never cheat or the 25% who make the occasional mistake. What’s more, intelligent analysis can highlight how, although a meeting attendee spent an unauthorised £10 on an in-room movie, they skipped a £30 dinner as a result. The challenge is how to make the most of a mountain of unstructured data housed with multiple online and offline providers. This is where the expertise of a meetings and events management company is invaluable. DOUGLAS O’NEILL Douglas O'Neill is CEO and owner of Inntel, the meetings and travel management company. He is Chair of the GBTA Europe Meetings Committee and is a member of several other industry and non-industry associations.

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2020 TRAVEL TRENDS

the 2020 vision Regardless of the economic and geopolitical outlook, the business travel industry will continue to evolve in 2020. Jenny Southan, founder of Globetrender, picks out notable openings, launches and trends for the year ahead

A

s the Brexit saga rolls on, Trump tries to shrug off impeachment investigations ahead of another US election, a critical COP26 climate summit takes place in Glasgow, and China and the US continue to lock horns in a trade war, 2020 feels like a pivotal year for the entire world. Business travel, of course, has to go on regardless, even if another global economic crisis is triggered. But caution will prevent the industry from gathering much momentum, with adjustments to travel policies required to futureproof company endeavours by tightening up on expense budgets. Here is a round-up of trends, predictions and news to help you prepare…

18

HIGH FIVE: NEW BUSINESS HOTELS WESTBUND: SHANGHAI 3 THE Part of the Rocco Forte hotels

group, the Westbund has been designed by Olga Polizzi and MUZALAB, and will feature an al fresco bar on the 52nd floor, plus four restaurants and 219 rooms. (Opening date to be confirmed).

SEASONS: BANGKOK 1 FOUR The first “urban resort” from the

luxury group, the Jean-Michel Gathy-designed Four Seasons Bangkok will have 299 rooms and a private boat to take people down the Chao Phraya River that runs alongside. (Opening February).

PARIS 4 BULGARI: The seventh Bulgari hotel to

open, this 76-room Paris property will be located on Avenue George V, and will have a 25-metre pool, a courtyard garden and a restaurant from Michelin-chef Niko Romito. (Opening date to be confirmed).

MELBOURNE & Sydney 2 W: The trendy W Melbourne (opening in June 2020) will have a poolside Wet Deck that can be hired for cocktail parties of up to 80 people. There will also be 294 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and a FIT gym. A third Australian W Hotel will open in Sydney next year (pictured).

5 Designed by Zaha Hadid ME: DUBAI

Architects, the ME Dubai will be located in the new cube-shaped Opus building, where it will have 93 rooms, 98 serviced apartments and 15 restaurants. Opening in January in the heart of the upcoming Burj Khalifa district in Downtown Dubai, it is the ME group's first hotel in the Middle East.

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2020 TRAVEL TRENDS

TREND-WATCHING WeLLness

Trend-setting technology

5G

New super-fast mobile connectivity is going to make downloading data extremely speedy – seconds instead of minutes.

CRyPTOCURRENCIES

With the imminent arrival of Facebook’s Libra, consumer uptake of digital currencies will begin to take off.

ELECTRIC PLANES

Rolls-Royce will be testing its debut electric plane next year, promising a new era for environmentally kinder flying.

MINIMALIST PHONES

As people tire of endless online scrolling, many are turning to internet-free mobiles as a way of freeing them up from distraction.

BLOCKCHAIN

As cyber attacks increase, blockchain will be used to improve the security of travellers’ personal data when it is stored and shared.

sUstAinABiLitY

As the climate crisis heats up, companies need to be seen to be taking serious steps in mitigating their environmental impact. Carbon offsetting will become the norm, as will the banning of single-use plastics (Marriott says it will be eliminating mini bottles of toiletries from all its 7,000-plus hotels by December 2020). More than 200 European airports have committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and there is an increase in demand for taking trains instead of planes as “flight shaming” becomes a new buzzword.

In the new decade, health will be the new wealth. Not just physical health but mental health too. Innovators such as Equinox Hotels is continuing its roll-out of high-end wellness hotels across the US, where minibars come stocked with dozens of healthy elixirs and snacks instead of whisky and Pringles. Overall, wellness tourism is set to become a $900billion industry by 2022 according to the Global Wellness Institute (up from $640bn in 2017).

ARtiFiCiAL inteLLiGenCe

As we race towards the 'singularity', the point where AI exceeds the abilities of humans, travel companies in the new decade will be experimenting with it as a multi-faceted tool for improving personalisation, financial forecasting and big data crunching. Robot helpers are being deployed in Tokyo’s Narita airport and voice is taking off as the new interface between people and tech. PwC says AI could contribute as much as $15.7 trillion by 2030.

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2020 TRAVEL TRENDS

Source: United Nations

SUPER APPS

notABLe 2020 LAUnChes

Twice daily from March 30

AUSTRIAN AIRLINES • BIRMINGHAM-VIENNA

“I believe we’ll see ‘super apps’ that integrate on-demand services such as taxis and food delivery to bring a more consumer-focused experience for the business traveller”

Four times a week from January 1

AMERICAN AIRLINES • LONDON HEATHROWBOSTON

LOUISE MILLER, MANAGING PARTNER AMERICAS FOR AREKA CONSULTING

OPTIMISED PAYMENTS

AIR NEW ZEALANd • AUCKLAND-NEW YORK

“OTAs and business travel bookers will look for islands of certainty as they face an economically unpredictable picture. We anticipate they will explore optimising their payments processes, including airline payments, as one of the most significant but largely untapped ways to combat persistently low margins”

Three times a week from October 29

ARAN BROWN, GROUP CEO, IXARIS

Daily from March 29

JAPAN AIRLINES • TOKYO-SAN FRANCISCO Daily from March 29

ECONOMIC SHIFTS

The global economy is expected to grow 3.6% in 2020 (from 3% in 2019), although advanced economies will only grow 1.7%, down from 1.8% in 2019

NDC isn’t going to be a 'big bang’ moment – it’s a journey. But it is going to force corporates to think more about

HyPERPERSONALISATION

94% of business travellers are willing to share personal information to improve their travel experience

GENERATION Z

As the next generation of travellers comes of age (the oldest Gen Z will be 25 in 2020), the value of them to the global travel industry is estimated to be $200billion

Source: SAP Concur

LUFTHANSA • BRISTOL-FRANKFURT

Hotel rates will increase 1%-3% in most regions but hikes will be particularly high in Japan, host of the 2020 Olympic Games. Airfares will rise 1%-2%

Source: FCM Travel Solutions

Taking off

EXPERT PREDICTIONS

INCREASEd TRAVEL COSTS

Source: BCD Travel

and present danger”

Challenges & opportunities

Source: International Monetary Fund

The world economy is heading into troubled waters, with recession in 2020 now a clear

the details of their travel policies” Charlotte Baikie, Head of Account Management, Sabre

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YOU’VE GOT THE BUSINESS. WE’VE GOT THE NETWORK. Discover a network of over 160 destinations worldwide with Eurowings.

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AWARDS

TBR GLOBAL

MICE TEAM OF THE YEAR TBR Global’s Thomas Tuschek, Head of Global Major Events, celebrates the company’s People Awards triumph

in-house proprietary system and the expertise and skill of our strategically placed project managers. This creates an unrivalled ability to deliver large-scale complex logistics projects to a world-class service standard. After the successful delivery of its first project, the team has gone on to obtain further contracts for blue-chip corporations, global governing bodies and luxury brands, as well as undertaking a strategic operational programme for major sporting events in Japan. What does the team particularly enjoy about the role they play in the industry? Although often overlooked, the ground transportation portion of an event is the first and last touch point for every guest. Successful delivery is the backbone to a seamless project and the team love nothing more than making that possible. What do you think of the Awards and of the winners’ event in particular? The award ceremony was a great way to interact with our peers and clients and celebrate the best in the industry – and our caricatures are proudly displayed at our Glasgow headquarters.

How did it feel to be named MICE Team multi-million-pound contract. Its bespoke of the Year? requirements called for the facilitation of We were elated! TBR’s Major Global Events movements for over 3,000 VIP passengers, service line was only launched in January over 500 mixed vehicles and a 58 strong 2018 and from its inception the on-site team. We thought the team has worked tirelessly to outstanding feedback deliver outstanding ground received from that project, transportation solutions including the team’s The Business Travel across the globe for innovative approach to People Awards recognise some of the world’s event transportation outstanding individuals and most prestigious management, merited teams across all aspects of the brands. To win in such industry recognition. supplier element of corporate a competitive category was amazing. Tell us about the role travel. Nominations for the of the team and the 2020 awards open in Why did you enter the work they did to clinch January awards or how did you the award? come to be nominated? TBR’s Major Global Events The formation of the team was team combines the bespoke derived through the acquisition of a technological capabilities of our

What impact do you think winning will have on the team and their careers? Winning the award has solidified what we already knew about the team. They are a group of hardworking and ambitious individuals, who are truly passionate about the exceptional service they deliver and the ever changing world of events. The win has given them more confidence in their own ability and the industry recognition they really deserve. What are some of the biggest challenges the team are currently facing in their various roles? As the team is so strong, there is an increasing requirement to utilise their services in key projects across the globe. For example, at the moment, we have activations in Tokyo, Seoul, Panama City, Washington and London. It is a great problem to have so as the demand grows, so too will our dynamic team of experts.

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AWARDS

THE

AWARDS! The Business Travel People Awards comprise 16 categories across the TMC, MICE and supplier elements of the corporate travel industry.

Recognising outstanding individuals and teams across all aspects of the supplier element of corporate travel

“Probably the best awards in travel. It's very motivating for our staff to see their name in lights and socialise with industry peers”

Nominate a colleague,

“An excellent

acquaintance or yourself at

opportunity to

thebusinesstravel peopleawards.com

recognise and reward what is at the heart of

Now in its 9th year!

our industry - its amazing people”

NOMINATIONS OPEN

January, 2020

NOMINATIONS CLOSE

March, 2020

THE AWARDS CEREMONY

Friday 22nd May 2020 Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, London

It's time to nominate that shining star! THE Business Travel People Awards return in 2020 for the ninth consecutive year. Recognising the industry's diverse talent, the awards are open to all TMC and supplier staff and include a wide range of categories. So when the online nominations open in January, be sure to put forward that colleague or acquaintance that has really gone the extra mile – or simply nominate yourself!

“The Business Travel People Awards has quickly become one of the most sought after and prestigious events in travel” “I feel this is a true awards presentation that celebrates genuine criteria and winners”

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AWARDS

R E C O G N I S I N G

A W A R D C AT E G O R I E S Travel management companies Reservations Consultant of the Year Reservations Team of the Year Operations Manager of the Year Operations Team of the Year Account Manager of the Year Account Management Team of the Year Sales / Business Development Manager of the Year Sales / Business Development Team of the Year

MICE Meetings & Events Manager of the year

E X C E L L E N C E

2019 WINNERS TMCs AND HBAs CATEGORIES >> Account Manager of the Year: Colin Harvey, BCD >> Account Management Team of the Year: Click Travel >> Operations Manager of the Year: Tracey Wilson, Blue Cube Travel >> Operations Team of the Year: Client Services, Business Travel Direct >> Reservations Consultant of the Year: Jill Burnett, BCD Travel >> Reservations Team of the Year: Production, Sports & Creative Team, Corporate Traveller >> Sales/Business Development Manager of the Year: Andy Boorman, Advantage Travel Partnership >> Sales/Business Development Team of the Year: Click Travel >> MICE CATEGORIES >> MICE Manager of the Year: Sarah Symington, Capita Travel and Events >> MICE Team of the Year: TBR Global Major Global Events Team >> SUPPLIER CATEGORIES >> Account Manager of the Year: Mohammed Laher, Sixt Rent A Car >> Account Management Team of the Year: Corporate and TMC Account Management Team, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines >> Sales/Business Development Manager of the Year: Jason Dunderdale, Sixt Rent A Car >> Sales/Business Development Team of the Year: London North Eastern Railway (LNER) >> INDUSTRY AWARDS >> Best Newcomer: Rob Cope, Corporate Travel Management >> Rising Star: Hugo Jarvis, Blue Cube Travel

Suppliers (Open to all industry suppliers, including airlines, accommodation providers, car hire companies, train operating companies, travel technology solutions, duty of care specialists... and more!) Account Manager of the Year Account Management Team of the Year Sales / Business Development Manager of the Year Sales / Business Development Team of the Year

Industry Categories Rising Star award

Best Newcomer

are quite simply one of the best award ceremonies I have been to” “You could tell by the excitement of everyone in the room that these awards are taken very seriously by the nominees and winners” “These awards are all about recognising the people in our

Meetings & Events Team of the year

“The People Awards

WINNER SPOTLIGHT

Power to the people! ”THE AWARDS are a great way to connect with our peers in the sector and celebrate the current strength of the industry,” says Jill Palmer, CEO of Click Travel, who won the Account Management Team of the Year in 2019. ”Our team is an ambitious bunch and being awarded for their exceptional effort will only spur them on even more,“ says Palmer. ”I'm so proud of the team – they've worked incredibly hard and truly deserved this accolade.“ Palmer says the team landed 55 new clients in the last 12 months, achieving a 25% increase in total sales, and moved more than 1,000 customers on to a new booking platform. ”Winning the award will also help us to continue recruiting the highest calibre of new team members, as well as continuing to promote from within the business,” adds Palmer.

industry that don't always get the recognition they deserve” “It feels absolutely amazing to win one of these awards and it's a brilliant recognition of our hard work over the years”

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TRAVELLER WELLBEING

The groundswell of interest in wellbeing isn't just coming from professionals interested in duty of care. More importantly, it's being driven by employees themselves�

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TRAVELLER WELLBEING

Going the extra

MILE

It's a subject that can no longer be ignored, but how are companies embracing traveller wellbeing? Nick Easen reports

I

t’s said that work-life balance is one of the biggest causes of stress and anxiety around the globe, so surely work-life-travel balance should be up there too? Few business trips don’t have at least an element of tiredness, tension, fatigue, sweat or tears. Some can even lead to exhaustion or poor mental health. This is why traveller wellbeing now tops the agenda. “Trips are stressful, with some travellers putting themselves under a lot of pressure. Everything in travel is evolving fast – travel policy, workplace elements and travel itself,” explains Sarah Marshall, Travel & Security Manager at DAI. In an age where duty of care means everything, wellbeing is high on the agenda and is an issue that's here to stay. This year, the World Health Organisation even included ‘burnout’ – caused by work-related stress – as an official illness, while a recent World Bank study found that 75% of staff reported high or very high stress levels related specifically to business travel. “Corporations now understand that they need to help employees manage ‘company time’ outside of the office and ensure that employees are compensated for the time

taken to travel – time off in lieu is key. This also extends to jet lag and travelling to regions with a significant time difference,” says Suzanne Sangiovese, Operations Manager for the Americas at Riskline. It helps that attitudes are evolving rapidly, with organisations now looking to manage traveller welfare as much as they do cost. There is an increasing realisation that a frazzled and tired employee isn’t productive or creative on the road. This can lead to sickness, low productivity and even affect staff turnover, but these are still early days. “Practical changes to travel programmes to positively impact people's lives are yet to become mainstream. Some larger corporates are leading the way with wellbeing programmes, but to date most SMEs haven’t followed suit,” says Bex Deadman, Commercial Director at Blue Cube Travel.

It's all about data

Data-driven analysis via tech platforms and tools are coming to the fore. Wellbeing scores and stress indexes, based on delays, red-eye flights, troublesome long-haul trips, layovers, the quality of the airline, class of travel, weekends away, and ‘out of hours’ 

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TRAVELLER WELLBEING

a trade-off and this is why this triumvirate of factors is a crucial nexus going forward. “Now we can make clear linkages between employee wellbeing and productivity that can be quantified to a pound or dollar value. The overall loss in employee productivity on a trip can actually outweigh the cost of the airline ticket in some cases,” says Richard Johnson, Senior Director for EMEA at CWT Solutions Group.

A lack of ownership

travel, even such gripes as sitting in the middle seat of an airplane, now help travel bookers make sense of a complex issue. “With predictive analytics we can highlight the patterns that compromise traveller experience and employee satisfaction. This insight can then be used to build a more comprehensive strategy, based on real behaviour,” says Katie Skitterall, Director of UK Sales and Operations, the ATPI Group. “By using meaningful data, the right decisions can start to be made. Whilst we know conversations are taking place in the boardroom, the facts and data to back up the story aren’t necessarily being used.” Some organisations are measuring so-called ‘traveller friction’ via automated and simple surveys after each trip. These can help identify flaws in travel policies, as well as areas for improvement. “But if you’re doing this you also need to have systems and resources in place to respond,” argues Richard Stabbins, Vice President, Traveller Care UK at American Express GBT. “It can certainly be counterproductive if feedback goes unanswered.” Data has always been used to control travel spend, but now there’s a clearer understanding of how the total cost of each trip sits alongside its real value or return on investment (ROI) to the company, and whether it's a positive experience. There is

There is an increasing realisation that a frazzled and tired employee isn't productive or creative on the road. This can lead to sickness, low productivity and even affect staff turnover” 28

One big challenge is that employee wellbeing strays well beyond travel policy and often comes knocking on the door of human resources and procurement. Yet a broader stakeholder umbrella rarely comes into play, even though it’s needed in order to make better informed policy decisions in this more enlightened 21st century. “There is a lack of ownership of the traveller wellbeing space and a lack of understanding of who should be responsible for delivering this within an organisation. Everyone thinks the solution is going to cost too much, so they won't invest. This is a very old fashioned and narrow-focused vision,” exclaims Matthew Holman, Head of Traveller Wellbeing at Capita Travel and Events. It’s also starting to dawn on many large organisations that if they want to retain talent, reduce burnout and promote employee longevity then they need to invest in traveller wellbeing in a way that balances cost and worker welfare in equal measure. “It’s now all about engagement, engagement, engagement,” says Chris Crowley, Partner at Nina & Pinta. The good thing is that the genie is out of the bottle, with high profile figures such as Prince Harry and other celebrities now highlighting mental health issues. “With the continued raised consciousness around wellbeing, employees are going to be less willing to make the sacrifices that were expected in the past, and employers therefore have to recognise that worker wellbeing must be a higher priority for them,” says Lorna Dunning, Mindset Coach and former VP for Transformation at American Express GBT.

Taking back control

Let’s also recognise that the groundswell of interest in wellbeing isn’t just coming from professionals concerned with duty of care.

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traveller wellbeing

More importantly it's being driven by the employees themselves who are interested in investing in their own welfare and personal development. It's therefore crucial that employers are catering to this newly engaged audience. “Offering training on how to take better care of yourself can have a positive impact on traveller welfare. Wellbeing courses are becoming increasingly popular,” says Eric Tyree, Vice President, CTO & Chief Data Scientist at CWT. “There’s also a steadily growing demand for travellers to be given a license for 'bleisure' activities as well. This might be as simple as allowing travellers to stay the weekend at a destination.” Part of that wider process also involves providing more pre-trip medical screening – often offered by third parties and TMCs – and pre-trip wellbeing questionnaires. These involve asking travellers specific questions about their current mental health needs or psychological issues around pre-existing or newly developing conditions. “It's not about stopping people travelling. It's to help better support them and put measures in place while they're abroad,” says Deborah Avery, Head of International Assistance at Anvil Group. “It is all about early identification and giving individuals the confidence that they

know support is there and in whatever format they may need it.”

Stepping up to the mark

With this groundswell of wellbeing activity, business travel providers are also having to up their game and offer something for both the buyer and traveller. Some hotels now provide ‘natural’ lighting to help with sleep problems business travellers often face, or airport lounges that have their own wellness initiatives. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, for example, even has its own meditation centre. “We’re now seeing customers ask for certain hotel chains to be included in their policies because they meet their particular duty of care and wellbeing standards,” states Vicki Williams, Director of Sales & Implementation at Click Travel. There is no doubt that incorporating wellbeing into any travel programme is a complex issue. It also involves making a wide range of detailed decisions. The challenges are always going to be around cost and there is always going to be a tradeoff. But wellbeing is all about thinking of employees in a wider context. Travel trip ROI, employee retention and welfare all come into play. “Each company has to work out their own balance,” explains Tyree – and there lies the crux of the matter.

The good thing is that the genie is out of the bottle, with high profile figures such as Prince Harry and other celebrities highlighting mental health issues”

[ Tips on traveller wellbeing ] • Raise awareness. Start talking about the challenges and potential issues openly with travellers and encourage them to manage their own wellbeing and healthy routines whilst on trips. Having honest conversations and dialogue with travellers is essential. • Draw up a wellbeing plan. The idea is to bring HR, procurement, buyers and managers together around a single source of truth that aligns company and wellbeing objectives. Clearly articulated, they will give direction as to what you want to achieve. • Build flexible travel plans. This can include levels of downtime, either during trips or on people’s return, plus details of rest days, training, classes of travel, even sourcing hotels with fitness facilities and healthier eating. Recognise what you can achieve. • Measure everything. If you are implementing a wellbeing policy you need to know whether the changes you put in place will actually make a difference. You also need a baseline set of parameters before you start up any policy. • Start small. Creating an all-singing, all-dancing programme can cause headaches. Pick a handful of changes you would like to implement when it comes to wellness and see how things improve.

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TRAVELLER WELLBEING

OVERSEAS TRAVEL

CULTURAL ACCLIMATISATION Dr. Lucy Rattrie discusses new evidence on the complexities of navigating cultural expectations

H

ow many of you really, truly, consider the impact that working in different countries may have on the wellbeing of your travellers? I am not talking about the logistical hassles, packed schedules and fatigue that often go hand-in-hand with business travel. This is something deeper and more subtle – a sort of ‘cultural impact’. It is the local idiosyncrasies that determine how people view, respond and behave differently towards visitors. It is one reason why, even when the stars are aligned – with a good travel experience, well-managed itinerary, extensive preparation and a killer pitch – that things can still fall apart once in a country. The traveller struggles with interactions, shows unexpected signs of stress, a change in attitude, or simply can’t adjust regardless of how long they spend in a destination. According to social psychologist Geert Hofstede, all countries have a set of inherent values that distinguish one society from another – intangible yet visible rituals, norms, beliefs, customs and behaviours. These include different expectations around qualities like work-life balance, modesty, short-term versus long-term outcomes, assertiveness versus cooperation, and whether people 30

look after themselves (an ‘I’ culture) or their team (a ‘we’ culture). In order to find out if differences in national cultural values affect the likelihood of developing burnout, myself (University of Stirling and Management Center Innsbruck),

While there is the caveat that more research is needed, particularly from non-US and nonEuropean regions and specifically with business travellers, it was clear that only some dimensions affect the likelihood of developing burnout, and this likelihood depends on whether the job is perceived as particularly demanding, or whether it has a high presence of supporting resources. For example, if a traveller is in a particularly demanding role, their wellbeing will be protected if they work in countries such as Denmark but it is more at risk in other destinations like the United States. If a traveller is needed in the US, sending someone who is in a less demanding job means they are less at risk of burnout. Or consider offering traveller-specific support and increasing the resources available to them to counteract the negative impact of the demands on them. Similarly, under normal circumstances, a job with plentiful resources means the person is by default protected from burnout developing. However, if someone from

All countries have a set of inherent values that distinguish one society from another – intangible yet visible rituals, norms, beliefs, customs and behaviours”

Professor Markus Kittler (Management Center Innsbruck), and Professor Karsten Paul (Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg) analysed 132 peer-reviewed research studies conducted from 2001 to 2018, incorporating more than 100,000 participants from five global regions. It’s a pretty in-depth academic study but we have some interesting take-home messages for you.

Austria is sent to Malaysia to work, the protective capacity of resources could be undermined and the person is therefore at risk of burnout. Travel management can therefore advance to a new level when deciding who goes where and to do what by considering these factors: how demanding or resourceful is the individual's job; what is the individual’s capacity to self-manage; what is the role of the destination's culture for protecting people from burnout. In a sense, it is simply about better job design. Dr lUCY raTTrie Lucy is a psychologist in wellbeing, thriving and sustainability of people who travel for work. She advises organisations, offers training and coaching, and conducts academic research. Email lucy@creatingsona.com

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Travel designed to take your senses to new heights: rest well, eat well, be well. A mindful journey starts with Japan Airlines’ 5-star experience. Proud recipient of the Skytrax 5-star airline rating.

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THE CONVERSATION

Chief Marketing Officer, citizenM

Robin Chadha Sasha Wood chats to citizenM CMO Robin Chadha about establishing and growing a new hotel brand in an already crowded marketplace

A

brand is a living thing that has values, heritage, personality, tone of voice and DNA that never changes. Human beings have all these things but a strong brand has them too,” says citizenM’s Chief Marketing Officer, Robin Chadha. He is the man responsible for growing the hotel brand into a distinctly recognisable set of 13 hotels in seven countries (so far) since its inception back in 2008. The group aimed to establish a luxury hotel brand with a unique identity that is predominantly aimed at business travellers. “We looked at the market and said ‘let’s disrupt this traditional hotel industry model’” says Chadha. With his design partner at Concrete, Chadha set about deconstructing the traditional hotel model, deciding what aspects to streamline or change. Not quite a ‘disruptor’ in the modern sense, the group is nevertheless showing how things can be done differently in the hospitality industry. It’s found a gap in the market for affordable luxury and it’s identified its core customer in the savvy urbanites and creative millennials that travel the world’s cities for work and play. “If you look at strong brands such as Tesler, Virgin and Starbucks, they all have personality and a tone of voice,” says Chadha. He knows from his experience in the often fickle fashion industry that establishing a strong and unique brand identity is half the battle. His family used to own Mexx – the US fashion company – which once had a staggering turnover. But Chadha says when 32

they sold the company, the new owners made too many changes, forgot the core identity, confused the customer, and ultimately the brand was dead. Chadha’s father’s experience running Mexx also provided the lightbulb moment that led to the founding of citizenM. Mexx was quite cost-conscious so when the designers and buyers travelled for work – to Tokyo, New York, Paris, Milan – they could never spend more than 100 euros per night on hotels. This led them to stay in non-descript places right outside of the city centre and they’d always come back a little loose-faced and lacklustre. A gap in the market was identified for hotels that combine great design, good locations and top amenities at a price that doesn't break the bank. Chadha is very clear about what citizenM represents: “We’re accessible to everyone, we’re urban and we always offer value. We always try to be below the market,” he states. The core brand values have filtered through to every aspect of the hotels from the design ethos to the friendly staff ‘ambassadors’ who are picked through a

All our guest rooms are the same, offering everything you need and nothing you don’t. It’s all about the experience and easing the journey for guests”

casting process and trained in every aspect of hotel management. Its properties manage to be both smart and quirky. The living room – essentially the hotel’s lobby lounge – is scattered with the kind of interesting objects you might find at a friend’s house, and bar staff act with the familiar ease of flatmates. The ambassador concept has also been very successful in delivering high levels of service: “In New York City we rank 9.4 for service, while the Four Seasons ranks 9,” Chadha proudly boasts. He knows his customers too. Chadha says they have four core customers including ‘cultural citizens’ and ‘business citizens’ but acknowledges that we can be all things at different times. “You may be travelling for work, in meetings during the day but checking out the latest cocktail bars and restaurants in the evening,” he says. And the brand is designed to reflect that. By walking in guests’ shoes, citizenM has also changed the way hotels traditionally operate. Self check-in has proved particularly popular, eliminating the need for guests to queue at a reception desk and instead use a kiosk to receive their room key in less than a minute. And by the end of 2019 it will have launched the citizenM app which will bypass check-in and check-out altogether. “Everything we do is for the good of the brand, but eventually for the good of the guest too,” says Chadha. Following recent openings in Boston, Zurich and Amsterdam, additions in 2020 will include hotels in Seattle, Geneva and Washington DC.

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THE CONVERSATION

in brief... You must travel a lot for work – do you have a favourite city? What makes it special to you? I travel the world for work, which is fantastic. My two top cities would have to be New York and London. They are full of inspiration, subcultures, incredible food and beverage concepts, and both have an amazing art scene too. What do you do when you’re not working? I'm always working! I enjoy spending time walking the streets in Amsterdam, visiting art galleries, eating out with friends and family, catching up on reading and, of course, I'm addicted to my Apple TV. You only have one room category at citizenM hotels... It is a unique thing about citizenM that we only have one type of room. We’ve emphasised the bed, comfort and Italian linens, put in state-of-the-art rain showers and lots of natural light, but all our guest rooms are the same, offering everything you need and nothing you don’t. It’s much more about the experience and easing the journey for the guest. ROBIN CHADHA Robin Chadha is the Amsterdam-based Chief Marketing Officer of citizenM. His career began on the floor of Wall Street’s New York Stock Exchange as a specialist clerk for Vandermolen. He then worked in fashion for a number of years. In 2005 Chadha moved into hospitality, launching Rain, a unique design-led food and drink experience venue in Amsterdam. He sold the business in 2008 to join citizenM, founded by his father and Chair of the brand Kul Rattan Chadha.

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Spring Sparkle PA & EA Networking Evening Brought to you by The Business Travel Conference

 Monday 23rd March 2020 The Bloomsbury, Doyle Collection – London Join us for an evening of hospitality and networking in the George V ballroom at this luxury property from The Doyle Collection. Set in London’s literary heartland, this hotel is housed in a stunning 1930s listed neo-Georgian building offering chic guestrooms and luxury suites. The hotel features one of London’s most instagrammed restaurants – Dalloway Terrace – as well as The Coral Room and the intimate and atmospheric Bloomsbury Club Bar. PAs & EAs can discover the hotel facilities and meet a range of travel companies whilst enjoying complimentary drinks, delicious food and the chance to win some fabulous prizes courtesy of our event sponsors. PA/EAs interested in attending can apply for places via thebusinesstravelconference.com

Suppliers can contact Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk regarding sponsorship opportunities

IN ASSOCIATION WITH


THE BIG PICTURE

Hitting the high notes

Photo by Victor Malyushev on Unsplash

SALZBURG Austria’s Alpine city of Salzburg was named the number one city in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 report. The birthplace of Mozart has three universities, stateof-the-art infrastructure, a highly qualified workforce and excellent quality of life – a medley that makes Salzburg particularly attractive to businesses, says ABA Invest in Austria. The city will celebrate the centenary of its eponymous music festival in 2020.

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Xxxxxxxxxxx DISTRIBUTION

New distribution

evolution Are changes in airline distribution finally picking up speed? Linda Fox charts the latest NDC developments

I

ATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) was recently likened to a child born prematurely that's only now beginning to find its feet. It’s not a bad analogy when we think back to 2012, when NDC was first announced, and look at where we're at today. The industry has gone from trying to understand it – and the motivations behind it – to a collaborative approach to how it might be implemented. Now, finally, it's starting to be put into action. But while there is collaboration, partnerships and engagement from all sides, technically speaking the industry isn’t there yet. Like most technological evolutions, this is not something that will simply happen overnight. A spate of recent announcements from large TMCs shows progress, but when you read between the lines it's all still about pilots and trials and not yet close to full deployment. In the late summer Travelport did its first live bookings for Qantas via the NDC standard, and using its Smartpoint agency technology. FCM, and parent company Flight 36

Centre Travel Group, announced recently that they had completed NDC airline content booking via Amadeus Selling Platform Connect. American Express Global Business Travel says the latest release of its Neo tool connects to both Amadeus and Sabre’s NDC solutions and Concur is integrating British Airways and Lufthansa NDC content into its TripLink system. And most recently Expedia’s business travel arm, Egencia, announced that it was making Lufthansa NDC content available to its customers. But while all of these developments might give the impression that NDC is ready for wider use, patience is still required. Nicola Ping, Manager Air Content and Distribution, EMEA, for FCM and Flight Centre, says there is still some confusion. “IATA is telling the industry that 70-plus airlines are doing NDC, certification is progressing and the standards are ready. The airlines are telling their agents and customers that they have a lot of capability and transaction volumes are growing. Both of these things are true but the vast majority of

transactions are coming from straightforward leisure bookings.”

Commercial considerations

Others in the industry also acknowledge that progress is being made but point to the remaining challenges that are now becoming apparent. David Chappell, Technology Director for Fello Travel, says: “There is real progress with NDC and it’s evolving at pace. New standards and new versions of NDC are being evolved (two per year) with, finally, good engagement between airlines, retailers and aggregators.” But therein lies one of the challenges. NDC was meant to set a standard but as new versions become available, airlines are developing their own different versions of that standard. Chappell believes airlines will not want to keep investing in every new version and will choose to make “step changes in the standard when there are commercial advantages to the enhanced functionality in the later versions”. There are varying views as to whether the

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DISTRIBUTION XXxxxxxxxxx

It's important not to run before we can walk. It's easy to get seduced by technology without fully realising the problem you are trying to solve”

Photo by Bhavik Dalal on Unsplash

announcements are meaningful or not. While some might say that at least they are keeping visibility on progress, and keeping discussions going, others believe the time to sing from the rooftops is only when the NDC standard can do what it set out to do. David Bishop, Commercial Director of Gray Dawes Group, falls in to the latter camp. “When airlines, aggregators and GDSs can manage the whole range of shop, book, issue, pay, refund, exchange/change and void then, yes, this is something to shout about,” he explains. Bishop thinks NDC at scale, which is needed for all the other elements above to fall into place, is about 18 months way with the key airlines.

Behind closed doors

Once that technical base is there, there must be commercial discussion around how NDC content will be distributed to the TMC community more widely, especially for smaller agencies. These talks will take place behind closed doors and it’s unlikely they will happen quickly, fuelling further uncertainty.

Some believe the time for “honest and open” discussions is now. Bex Deadman, Commercial Director of Blue Cube Travel, describes the conversation as “a triangle of trust between the TMC, airline and corporate – and those that can step into it are potentially paving the way for the corporate travel industry of the future”. She maintains that the issue is already slowing progress. Going forward, airlines will want to see a return on their investment in developing and delivering NDC content but it’s harder for agents to invest in and adopt something when the future picture remains unclear. That also leads to the belief from most in the TMC community that there will be more sticks than carrots when it comes to driving any new distribution process. However, many are seeing opportunities for agents too in terms of the ability to negotiate with airlines on a one-to-one basis around ancillaries, for example. Gray Dawes’ Bishop says it is up to agents to negotiate deals with carriers to make NDC capabilities work for them.

“I’m happy with this as it encourages us to invest knowing the returns are there. This is one of the drivers behind our retail strategy. We’re working with two universities on this. We need to get an ROI and this is a key component. If we help the airline sell high margin products and ancillaries, we should be rewarded,” says Bishop.

Taking it one step at a time

With so many twists and turns in the NDC journey, it’s easy to skip over other developments in distribution. IATA’s OneOrder is now on the radar, according to TMCs, who are keen to be involved at the early stages to ensure the industry works together. Deadman says it is being spoken about but believes there are other challenges to overcome first: ”For TMCs it will really force us to think about our proposition as many of the things we place value on will no longer exist. But it is important not to run before we can walk. It's easy to get seduced by technology without fully realising the problem you are trying to solve.

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TECHNOLOGY

BOOKING TOOLS

THE END-TO-END EXPERIENCE Booking tools deliver convenience and efficiency but aren’t always properly optimised, finds Linda Fox

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hile online booking tools are said to be the most frequently integrated element of the travel programme, it seems further integration can be left on the table. In a poll of travel buyers worldwide, carried out by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, 72% say their travel programme is only somewhat integrated. Findings from The Journey to Integrated Travel Management whitepaper, which is supported by American Express Global Business Travel, also reveal that many travel managers (22%) have no plans to integrate further, which seems surprising given the holy grail of end-to-end integration. After online booking tools, corporate cards and expense management platforms are the most commonly integrated elements of programmes. Perhaps travel managers perceive further integration as too challenging. Respondents cited a number of barriers to integration, including the business travellers themselves. Integrated systems and processes are not only a good thing in terms of existing technologies but also for bringing in newer tech. Companies which take strides to integrate existing systems should find it easier to add in new channels.

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Flight Centre Business Travel is one company that has thought about changing consumer expectations and the need for technology to keep up. The company’s new booking tool, HelloFCBT, was recently launched because it wanted to offer an online booking service. UK General Manager Joe Beevis says other elements, such as traveller tracking and FCM’s travel management app Sam, have also been built into the system. Beevis adds: “FCBT’s systems are all fully integrated and we have actively avoided developing a platform reliant on punch-outs. All air, hotel and rail bookings flow into the same platform for our travel consultants allowing effective travel management. “We’re introducing Sam to make this process even smoother for the customer. All bookings made both online and offline will integrate into Sam, providing a seamless automated itinerary management experience, whilst also keeping travellers up to date via various alerts.”

Despite challenges from travellers, the ACTE report found 34% of respondents believe travellers are also seen as a driver for integrated programmes, which perhaps suggests the ongoing need for managers to strike a balance between those reticent to adopt new ways of doing things and those demanding them. The report goes on to cite lack of internal and stakeholder support as further challengers to integration for 30% and lack of resources for 25%. However, 28% say incompatible systems are holding back further integration. The report also highlights the necessity of buy-in from internal and external stakeholders, with 62% of travel managers citing support from tech platform providers, 59% saying travel management companies and 39% citing payment providers as instrumental in helping achieve integration. It’s no surprise that travel managers see advantages in integrated systems, such as spend visibility and expenses control for 70%, duty of care for 58% and improvement in user experience, according to 65%. Leigh Bochicchio, Executive Director ACTE, says: “Having to navigate a constellation of tools and technology to plan a trip can hinder productivity for travellers. End-to-end travel programmes solve this issue, and at the end of the day, everyone wins: the traveller, the travel manager and the organisation as a whole.”

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18/03/2019 12:12 12/2/19 10:48 AM


TALKING TRAVEL

Pushing the boundaries

DOM JOLY The comedian, columnist and travel writer tells Angela Sara West about braving the Congo, deserts and celebrity-filled jungles

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ulling pranks on unsuspecting celebrities and members of the public on his pioneering Trigger Happy TV show, screened in over 80 countries, means boundary-pushing funnyman, Dom Joly, hears his globallyfamous catchphrases worldwide. “I get ‘HELLO!’ shouted at me in more languages than you might have thought possible,” he tells me. “And I still don’t have a good comeback!” His edgy exploits as a serial globe-trotter, seeking dangerous travel spots to satisfy his interest in the places most people avoid, has seen him hit some of the most hostile environments on earth: North Korea, Syria, Chernobyl... “I’m addicted to wanderlust. There is no bigger thrill for me than the first moments in a new destination, trying to work the place out and get a feel for it. I then embark on an adventure that allows my books to write themselves,” he says. Joly is also drawn to destinations with a dark past, and adores sharing stories of his amazing off-the-beaten-track adventures in his books and travelogues, aiming to challenge people’s perceptions of places often misrepresented and misunderstood. In his quest to visit the world's most unlikely tourist spots, he has skied the segregated slopes of Iran and taken in Chernobyl “before it became trendy”. Beirut-born Joly grew up in a warzone, with shells landing literally on his back doorstep, and went to the same school as Osama Bin Laden. His war-torn childhood and subsequent travels are both a source of inspiration for his comedy TV material, along 40

with his books, which captivatingly recount some of the scariest, strangest and most downright dangerous places he's encountered on his travels. With a distinct taste for deserts, he’s done the Sahara, the Mojave, The Gobi and the legendary Empty Quarter. The appeal? “I find deserts enormously relaxing,” he explains. “They’re the only places where I unwind. They are definitely my happy place.” Fearless Joly believes everyone should get out of their comfort zone and ‘lose themselves’ for a month. “Head to Morocco if

The Congo was hair-raising, Syria is a staggeringly beautiful country, and North Korea is like visiting another planet” you’re a lightweight; Algeria, if you’re serious about it,” he advises. The unrelenting explorer describes his latest book, The Hezbollah Hiking Club, recounting tales from his epic hike with two pals trekking the Lebanese Mountain Trail, from the Israeli border to the Syrian border, as a “love letter” to Lebanon. The highlights of reconnecting with the country so close to his heart? “I loved visiting the Hezbollah Resistance Museum, a kind of alternative Disneyland, and the Qadisha Valley, the jewel in Lebanon’s Crown.” He encourages readers to visit his homeland, but why should it be on our travel radar? “Lebanon, at its best, is a combination of the

South of France, California and Switzerland. Think pine forests, beaches, skiing, Roman ruins and the food… oh God, the food!” He’s felt most frightened while ‘monster hunting’ in the Congo, trekking through forests to a machete-wielding tribe whose permission he needed to reach a lake which is home to a mythical monster. It was no laughing matter when they got drunk on “jungle gin” and, after one attacked him, a petrified Joly escaped by canoe. “I’m most uneasy when I feel a complete loss of control. The Congo was hair-raising and very difficult to travel through as a solo traveller.” Cambodia, Syria and North Korea are among his favourite destinations, despite once being forced at gunpoint to go for tea after rejecting an invitation from a lorryload of Syrian Bedouin! “Mainly because there aren’t many other tourists about, although Cambodia is getting there. Syria is a staggeringly beautiful country and North Korea is like visiting another planet.” Joly’s experience on ‘The Island’ off Panama with Bear Grylls is the hardest thing he’s ever done. “The biggest high was just surviving. I didn’t eat a thing for two weeks and lost two and a half stone, which was a bonus. By day ten, I had lost all energy and was pretty useless, plus things weren’t helped by being eaten alive by sandflies.” And how was his experience down under, on ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here’? “Compared to the ‘The Island’ it was like an exotic spa holiday. It was the ultimate technology and social detox. I didn’t have to worry about anything for 21 days – except spiders and Gillian McKeith!”

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TALKING TRAVEL

MARKSTEEN ADAMSON

DOM JOLY Dom Joly’s book, The Hezbollah Hiking Club: A Short Walk Across The Lebanon, is out now, priced £20, from stanfords.co.uk. Dom will be speaking at Stanfords’ Travel Writers Festival at Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show, 30th January–2nd February 2020 at Olympia London. His tour, Holiday Snaps: Travel and Comedy In The Danger Zone, visits 52 venues next spring, starting in Kent in February. awaywithmedia.com

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AirPlus .com 11/27/19 02:58 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

Sustainability is the watchword at GBTA Conference

Airlines begin offsetting carbon emissions

[ I N T H E A IR ]

[ M E E TIN G PL AC E ]

[ O N TH E GROU N D ]

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IHG says 'Meet On Us' with new Voco brand

Europcar accelerates service upgrades

[ R OOM R E POR T ] Treehouse Hotel takes guests back to nature

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12/2/19 11:47 AM


THE REVIEW

T H E

“the awards are recognition of the people that turn the

L O W D O W N

BTA's investment plea to new government

few TRAVEL Policies are 'going green'

THE Business Travel Association has unveiled a ‘manifesto’ in which it urges the next government to invest in a range of infrastructure projects and sustainable travel initiatives. It calls for the new government to support the expansion of Heathrow Airport and ensure access to the expanded airport for 14 regional airports. It also recommends that the government sees through the delivery of HS2 as planned, to improve connectivity across the North, and to implement the rail operation and ticketing reform recommendations of the as yet unpublished Williams Review. There are also calls to reform APD and ultimately abolish it, to modernise UK airspace to help reduce pollution, and to encourage more investment in alternative fuels and the development of electric aircraft. “The government has been paralysed by Brexit,” says Clive Wratten, CEO of the BTA.

FOR all the talk of sustainability and responsible travel, few companies are actually taking action by implementing 'green' initiatives in their travel policies, according to new research. The findings from GBTA and Concur show only 27% of travel managers surveyed say their company encourages travellers to book with sustainable suppliers. Only 31% are currently working sustainable initiatives into travel policy and only 4% mandate travellers to select suppliers using sustainable practices. “While individual contributions to choosing sustainable and eco-conscious options around travel and consumerism is great and shows willing, it’s corporations that are capable of steering us toward a more sustainable future. But there’s much work to be done,” says Pierre-Emmanuel Tetaz, SVP & GM – EMEA, Concur.

wheels of our industry every single day”

avanti moves forward on west coast

Nominations open January 2020 thebusinesstravel peopleawards.com

Plaza Premium Group is investing $55million in 15 new lounges and hotels at 11 international airports. IT has recently opened Aerotel properties at Heathrow t3 and Beijing Daxing Airport and will open another at Sydney Airport in 2020

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avanti West Coast is the name of the new intercity operation from FirstGroup and Trenitalia who take over the franchise from Virgin Trains on December 8. Italian for 'forward', Avanti “reflects a mission to deliver an innovative railway service that is ready for today and fit for the future”, according to the new operators. The operators will refurbish 56 Pendolino trains, introduce a fleet of new trains and add 263 services per week by 2022. The 400-mile long route serves cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow as well as London and North Wales.

12/2/19 06:23 PM


THE REVIEW

T H E

L O W D O W N

IN BRIEF

ITM

Elite concur

scott davies Chief Executive

Travel management companies BCD and FCM have both achieved Elite partner level with SAP Concur. It is the highest level of engagement and collaboration attainable between any TMC and the travel, expense and invoice management solutions provider.

Areka sets the bar

Areka Consulting has added two benchmarking tools. The Travel Scan tool looks at ten dimensions of a company's travel programme and produces a roadmap with suggested actions. And its new Travel Index tool compares the travel spend of a client to similar organisations, comparing the ratio of spend versus the number of employees and travellers.

HRs pay platform

Hotel booking platform HRS has introduced a new corporate payment platform, Invisible Pay, a solution it believes could increase policy compliance by 30%. HRS says it helps address high levels of out-of-policy spend and insufficient use of preferred hotels by enhancing payment automation.

co2 reporting

TripActions has added carbon impact monitoring for clients using its booking platform. Users can access a new Carbon View element of its redesigned Admin Dashboard, which also enables users to purchase offsets through the organisation of their choice.

sustainability is the watchword at gBTA SUSTainaBiLiTY took centre stage at the GBTA Conference in Munich in November, as delegates addressed the urgent need to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Travel managers, TMCs and airlines aired their views, all espousing the need for action, but a show of hands revealed only a small minority of delegates have sustainable travel policies in place. Lonneke de Kort of bookdifferent.com said the WWF operates its travel policy with both monetary and CO2 emissions budgets, and that while “many companies offset air emissions, reducing emissions should be the goal”. “Try and avoid travel before thinking about compensating it, and make the most sustainable options your preferred suppliers,” she advised. “That helps incentivise them too.” United Airline’s Jake Cefolia told delegates that the carrier was concentrating on mitigating emissions using biofuels rather than offsetting. It is the only US airline to use biofuel in its regular operations, including to help sustainably power every flight from its Los Angeles hub. Lufthansa’s Jurgen Siebenrock said the airline has not seen any evidence of ‘flygskam’ – flight-shaming – in the form of passenger traffic decline as has been seen in Sweden. Boeing’s Randy Tinseth said: “I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of flying,” adding that there is no alternative to flying for around 80% of all flights. Tinseth said that while Boeing is investing in making more environmentally friendly aircraft, governments also need to take responsibility and invest in alternatives fuels and better airspace management. A poll of attendees showed 69% were confident in the industry’s ability to make the future more sustainable.

On a recent ITM Podcast, Amex GBT’s Martin Ferguson helped our listeners to be effective communicators with three key pointers, and the first is to know your audience. So many people at all levels of business focus too much on what they want to say and not enough on what their audience will value hearing. Martin’s second piece of advice is to be succinct and interesting. Most peoples’ attention spans are very short and their ability to retain information degrades very quickly over time. It’s always a good idea to pre-plan the three things you would like them to take away, in the knowledge that everything else you’re going to say will soon fade away into the ether! Finally, Martin suggests that speakers are true to their authentic self. Although it can be tempting to replicate the wit and style of that orator you admire, it just doesn’t come across naturally unless it’s the real you. There is nothing that will connect a speaker more with an audience than honesty and openness, including sharing if you’re nervous. In general, audiences want the speaker to be a success, so relax, be brief, act less and don’t forget to smile – it’s infectious!

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THE REVIEW

I N

T H E

A I R

AIRLINE BOSS SEEKS BUSINESS CLASS BAN

“it feels absolutely fantastic to win this award – it means so much – and we’ve had an amazing day!” Nominations open January 2020

Airline offsetting gaining momentum EASYJET has become the first major airline to operate net-zero carbon flights across its network following a move to offset emissions from the fuel it consumes. In a similar move, British Airways will begin offsetting carbon emissions for all UK domestic flights from January 2020 by investing in verified carbon reduction projects around the world including renewable energy, protection of rainforests and reforestation programmes. The initiative will cost easyJet around £25million per year – an expense that will not be passed on to customers through higher fares, an airline representative told The Business Travel Magazine. The airline will also continue investing in research into hybrid-electric aircraft with Airbus.

thebusinesstravel peopleawards.com

16 minutes The average security queue at Manchester Airport

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Manchester Airport has been named the worst UK airport for security queues in a survey by consumer watchdog Which?. Stansted (13.7 mins) and Luton (11.7 mins) airports were also among the worst large airports for security queues, while Heathrow Terminal 5 was the best performer (8.6 mins)

THE head of low-cost carrier Wizz Air, József Váradi, has suggested it would be more effective to get rid of business class than to impose ‘green taxes’ on flights as the airline industry tackles its contribution to carbon emissions. Speaking at World Travel Market in November, Váradi hit out at the French and Dutch governments for their plans to introduce environmental taxes, claiming it would only help sustain underperforming national airlines such as Air France/KLM. “Business class should be banned. These passengers account for twice the carbon footprint of an economy passenger, and the industry is guilty of preserving an inefficient and archaic model,” says Váradi. “A rethink is long overdue, and we call on fellow airlines to commit to a total ban on business class travel for any flight under five hours.”

ETIHAD AND BOEING LAUNCH 'GREENLINER' ETIHAD Airways and Boeing have launched a B787 ‘Greenliner’ that will be used to test products, services and initiatives to reduce carbon emissions whilst operating scheduled services. The aircraft will enter service in early 2020 and both partners will use it to explore and assess new environmental initiatives. Suppliers and regulators will also be invited to put forward new products and ideas. The Greenliner is expected to operate several flights using biofuels derived from saltwatertolerant plants following the first commercial service to use the fuel – an Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam earlier this year.

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12/2/19 06:45 PM


THE REVIEW

I N

T H E

A I R

IN BRIEF

BTA Clive Wratten

Air NZ axes LHR-LA

Chief Executive Officer

Air New Zealand will end its London Heathrow to Los Angeles service in October 2020 citing fierce competition across the Atlantic for its decision. The ‘flagship route’ was launched in 1982 but will be replaced by a threetimes-weekly service between New York and Auckland. It will become the carrier’s longest route by distance and the fifth longest globally.

Norwegian from LHR

Norwegian looks set to launch flights from Heathrow Airport in March having been granted three pairs of slots for the summer season. It will also increase its services from London Gatwick to San Francisco, Austin, Denver and Tampa, but reduce frequencies to Buenos Aires, Orlando, Rio de Janeiro and Miami.

AIR CHINA HAS LAUNCHED SERVICES BETWEEN LONDON GATWICK AND SHANGHAI, WHILE CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES HAS INCREASED ITS CAPACITY ON THE SAME ROUTE FROM THREE FLIGHTS A WEEK TO A DAILY SERVICE

Project sunrise

Qantas has operated a non-stop service between London Heathrow and Sydney, the second 'Project Sunrise' research flight into the viability of regular scheduled services on the route. The airline says it could come to fruition by 2023.

New ID for Flybe

Flybe will move forward under the name of Virgin Connect, it has been confirmed, following its acquisition by the Connect Airways consortium backed by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Aviation. A full rebrand is scheduled for 2020 together with the introduction of a new loyalty programme.

IAG lines up €1billion deal for Air Europa THE International Airlines Group (IAG) is poised to buy Air Europa for €1billion. It is the third largest airline in Spain after Iberia and Vueling, both of which are already owned by IAG, together with British Airways, Aer Lingus and Level. The group intends to transform its Madrid hub into a ‘true rival’ to Europe’s four largest hubs – Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Paris Charles De Gaulle. The deal, which is expected to complete in the second half of 2020, will also re-establish its market dominance on routes from Europe to Latin American and the Caribbean. Air Europa currently operates flights in 69 destinations, including frequent services between London Gatwick and its Madrid hub. The Air Europa brand ‘will initially be retained’ and will operate as a standalone profit centre within Iberia.

Flying the flag has long had all sorts of patriotic and political connotations – and it’s back in the news again. This time, it is Virgin Atlantic with a call for official status as the UK’s ‘second’ official flag carrier. At first glance, this seems little more than a marketing issue, but in reality having this status would give the airline the rights to around one-third of additional slots at an extended Heathrow. The likelihood of a third runway actually happening is still up in the air but, given we’re talking hypothetically, it is a move the BTA would be minded to support. It could open up a wealth of new routes and provide increased competition on those currently without it. Of course, there’s always a ‘but’. Could Virgin guarantee that it will blaze a trail to new destinations? And what if it didn’t become a flag carrier? In that case, extra Heathrow slots would likely be shared much wider, giving the likes of easyJet and even Ryanair a West London foothold. Perhaps the bigger issue is making sure that the cost of airport expansion doesn’t fall on airlines and impact fares. It is the government that really needs to ‘fly the flag’ for Britain and ensure this.

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THE REVIEW

R O O M

“we talk a lot about product and service, investments and developments in technology, but these

R E P O R T

The Londoner set for summer opening

britannia hotels named and shamed

The Londoner hotel is on course to open in June 2020 in one of the year's most eagerly anticipated additions to the capital's accommodation portfolio. Developed by Edwardian Hotels London and located near Leicester Square, the new-build 16-storey property will have 350 rooms and is being described as 'boutique in feel yet staggering in scale'. It will also have a penthouse with panoramic views, two private screening rooms, six restaurants and bars – including a ground floor tavern and a rooftop terrace – plus a ballroom for up to 864 guests and various meeting and event spaces. Its developers have secured a £175million Green Loan from HSBC UK to ensure the new hotel ”doesn’t just meet but exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance“.

Britannia Hotels has been ranked the worst large UK hotel chain for the seventh year in a row in a survey by Which? Travel. Guests are ten times more likely to award it a poor rating for cleanliness than any other hotel, while it achieved a one-star rating in nearly all categories – including bathrooms, bed comfort, facilities and value for money – and an overall score of 39%. The group’s solitary two-star achievement was in the customer service category. EasyHotel (58%) and Ibis Budget (60%) were the next poorest performers, but scored significantly better than Britannia. Meanwhile, Premier Inn retained its place at the top of the rankings but had to share the crown with Wetherspoon Hotels, with both groups scoring 79%. They were closely followed by Hilton Garden Inn (78%) and Radisson Blu Edwardian (77%), while Hilton Hampton (74%) was fifth.

awards are all about the people that

staycity takes wilde brand into berlin

make all of that come to life” Nominations open January 2020 thebusinesstravel peopleawards.com

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THe ibis Styles London Heathrow Airport East will open by the end of December. ITS interior design Reflects the local Art Deco architecture of the 'Golden Mile' including the Hoover building, the Gillette Factory and Firestone HQ

Aparthotel group Staycity has opened its second property under its Wilde brand in the German capital of Berlin, with a third to follow in Edinburgh in December. Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity, Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie is Staycity’s first property of any brand in Germany. The 48-unit development is part of a new scheme occupying what was the best-known crossing point of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. The new Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity, Edinburgh, Grassmarket has 128 studios and apartments in a central city location, at the foot of Edinburgh Castle.

12/2/19 06:34 PM


THE REVIEW

O RN O TO HM E RGE RP OO UR NT D

IN BRIEF Yotel goes Dutch

Budget hotel brand Yotel has opened its first city hotel in mainland Europe. The Yotel Amsterdam Noord, located close to the city's Centraal Station, has 202 rooms styled as ‘cabins’ with signature features such as adjustable space-saving beds. It is the brand’s second city centre hotel in Europe, following the opening of Yotel Edinburgh New Town. Yotel Porto, Glasgow and London are slated to open in early 2020.

Six up for Travelodge

LRA gets the Tripbam treatment

new identity signals locke acceleration

Reshopping specialist Tripbam has issued two service enhancements: Smart Sourcing and LRA Enforcement. The latter will help ensure clients’ negotiated terms on last room availability are honoured by their hotel partners. If the client’s agreed rates are not available to book, Tripbam will notify the non-compliant hotel and rebook the reservation at the corrected rate. Early use in trials has led to 3%-5% savings on overall hotel spend and a 90% increase in rate availability. Meanwhile, Smart Sourcing enables clients to source and add dynamic or static discounted rates at a particular hotel – at any time of year – when changes in volume in a particular location necessitate the addition of a new property. A pilot with ten Tripbam clients saw 74% of offers accepted at the rate and discount provided.

Serviced apartments specialist SACO has rebranded as Edyn, with its new group identity and online portal signalling a phase of rapid pan-European growth with nine new properties in the pipeline. Edyn will bring the group’s portfolio of hospitality brands – SACO, Locke, The Moorgate extended-stay serviced apartments in London and boutique aparthotel The Wittenberg in Amsterdam – together under a new group identity. Nine new properties under the Locke brand, comprising more than 1,500 aparthotel rooms across the UK and Europe, will open by 2022. “We’re on a journey of acceleration with the Locke brand and, as well as the pipeline of nine new destinations, we’re constantly looking for new opportunities across pan-European gateway and hub cities,” says Edyn Chief Executive Officer, Stephen McCall.

Budget hotel chain Travelodge has opened six new properties in the closing months of the year. The new properties in Chippenham, Edinburgh, London Dagenham and Beckton, Rochester and Sittingbourne represent an investment value of £45million.

Selina doubles up

Latin American hotel group Selina has opened its second UK property in the heart of Birmingham’s creative and historical Jewellery Quarter. The 39-room hotel follows hot on the heels of its first UK opening in Manchester, with a third expected to open in Liverpool.

City debuts

Hyatt will make its debut in the Czech Republic with the opening of the Andaz Prague hotel in 2021, while the Barceló Hotel Group has lined up its first hotel in Slovenia – a 151-room hotel with extensive conference space set to open in capital city Ljubljana in 2021.

manchester gets a taste of brooklyn treehouse hotel takes guests back to nature A new nature-inspired lifestyle hotel has opened in central London. Situated in Marylebone, Treehouse London features 95 guest rooms, including 15 suites. Interiors are designed to reflect the great outdoors, with quirky touches such as cuckoo clocks and sleeping bag throws. Every guest room has organic cotton sheets as well as locally-sourced bath and other products. In keeping with the

design, the hotel’s sustainable initiatives include using reclaimed wood, exposed rafters and a robust composting and recycling program. It is also committed to reducing single-use plastics. The hotel features a coffee lounge, restaurant and rooftop bar. The hotel has been developed by Sternlicht as a sister-brand to 1 Hotels and will be operated by Starwood Hotels.

A new design-led hotel will open in central Manchester in February. Named Brooklyn and featuring décor inspired by the New York borough, the Bespoke Hotels property is set within Manchester’s old industrial district and features 189 New York loft-style bedrooms. Bespoke Hotels’ Robin Sheppard, says: “We are thrilled to have secured this fantastic site in the heart of Manchester’s historic industrial thoroughfare of Portland Street. It is a perfect fit for Manchester, not solely in terms of the architectural grandeur and convenience of its location, but the abundant character of the city.”

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ThE rEViEW

M e e T I n g

P L A c e

millEnnials' sUsTainaBlE m&E sTancE “probably the best awards in travel. It’s so motivating for our staff to see their name in lights and socialise with industry peers”

ihg says 'meet on Us' with new Voco brand iHG Has launched a 'Meet On Us' campaign designed to drive groups and meetings business across its year-old Voco hotels brand. Aimed at occasional meeting planners, those booking more than ten guest rooms per night at any Voco hotel will be offered a complimentary meeting room. The promotion applies to all bookings made before 1st February 2020 for group stays, meetings or events taking place before 31st December 2020. The launch comes as IHG has set its sights on opening more than 200 Voco hotels over the coming 10 years. Since launching a year ago, IHG has opened Voco properties in Cardiff, Solihull and Oxford, as well as two in Australia (Gold Coast and Hunter Valley) and two in the Middle East (Riyadh and Dubai).

Nominations open January 2020 thebusinesstravel peopleawards.com

15-20%

Average food wastage at meetings and events

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The average event wastes between 15% and 20% of the food it produces, according to a report from Lime Venue Portfolio and BCD. "Food waste isn’t about ignorance, it’s about changing behaviour", it says, as the report addresses the 'Fear of Running Out' syndrome

sustainaBiLitY will be a key consideration for the meetings and events industry in 2020, says CWT Meetings & Events. As part of its M&E 2020 Future Trends report, the TMC has published a Future of Sustainable Events guide in which it says sustainability will be an ever more important business consideration for the $840billion industry. “It’s supported by the next generation of travellers – the millennials who are poised to become the biggest group of business travellers globally from 2024 onwards, and the centennials who are right behind them,” says says Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, CWT Meetings & Events. “They want to continue meeting in popular destinations, but they are also hyper aware of the need to adopt sustainable practices that respect the environment and local communities wherever they go.”

hallmark's nEW TEch for laTE BookErs HaLLMarK HotELs has launched a new online system to make meeting room bookings for up to 20 delegates quicker than ever, “for a new generation of last minute organisers”. The group has seen a 15% increase in small group meeting enquiries online. The new functionality - which works across 22 of the group's hotels nationwide – simply takes details of group size, preferred hotel, date and contact details for bookers to secure a meeting space at any time of day. Small group meetings account for almost 50% of all the group’s online meeting queries.

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THE REVIEW

O N

T H E

G R O U N D

efficiency drive from enterprise

IN BRIEF Bigger Bolt

Ride-hailing service Bolt has added an XL category, allowing users to request vehicles for up to seven passengers. Previously known as Taxify, the company launched in London in June this year and says it will offset emissions to ensure all passenger journeys are carbon neutral. As part of the initiative, it has launched a dedicated environmental impact fund with seed capital of €10million aimed at schemes that deliver global social and environmental benefits.

Taxi v Uber

Uber rides aren't always cheaper than catching a cab, according to research from Globehunters. It identified 11 cities worldwide where regular taxis are cheaper than Uber. They are Riyadh, Dammam City and Mecca in Saudi Arabia; the Iberian cities of Madrid, Porto and Lisbon; plus New York, Honolulu, Milan, Seoul and Agra.

Europcar accelerates service upgrades Europcar customers using its vehicle delivery and collection service will now receive a text message within a two-hour window of when their vehicle is due for drop-off or pick-up. “Something that many business users ask for was advance notice from the service agent of their delivery and collection time slot – much like consumers now receive for other deliveries,” explains Gary Smith, Managing Director, Europcar Mobility Group UK. Smith says the service will reduce the chance of missed deliveries and collections. The DeliverRight initiative will also see hand-held technology used to geo-stamp vehicle checks at the start and end of rentals “to provide greater transparency into all charges associated with hire, including mileage, fuel and damage”.

Virgin's farewell

After operating the West Coast intercity route for 22 years, Virgin Trains hands over to First Trenitalia on December 8 who will operate services under the name of Avanti. During its time running the service in partnership with Stagecoach, Virgin introduced Pendolino trains, a pioneering automated delay repay scheme, onboard streaming service, and become the first operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.

[ ground force ] >> Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Sweden has the most expensive airport parking in Europe at a rate of €9.28/£8.01 per hour, according to Taxi2Airport. Heathrow Airport is the second most expensive, with parking costing €8.69/£7.50 per hour >> Heathrow Express' new dynamic pricing structure means its popular £5.50 weekend-only fares are now available every day of the week during peak and off-peak periods, subject to availability and when booked in advance. Previously, the cheapest weekday fare was £12.50 >> Serco Caledonian Sleeper has completed the roll-out of its new overnight trains with the fleet now operating all services between London and Scotland.

Enterprise Car Club has partnered with Liftshare to increase access to shared vehicles for both car club members and business users. The ‘Shared Asset Model’ works on the principle that a car club vehicle is driven to work, shared with a colleague or colleagues. During the day the car is then available for use either by staff for company travel, removing the need for them to use their own vehicle, or by the general public. Additionally, the car is available as an Enterprise Car Club vehicle on a simple pay-as-you-go tariff at weekends and evenings. The two companies are already speaking to a number of private and public sector organisations about introducing the scheme. CEO of Liftshare, Ali Clabburn, says: “Enterprise’s Car Club offering aims to make the best use of resources, and our collaboration makes it much easier for those assets to be shared.”

ride-hailing shake-up for london UBER will continue to operate in London while it appeals Transport for London's decision not to grant it a new licence in the capital due to repeated safety failures. The appeal process could take several months but rival services are already lining up to take advantage in London. If Uber fails in its appeal it's likely that many of its drivers would move across to rival services such as Bolt, Kapten, Free Now and Ola, with the latter reportedly in the process of signing up more drivers ahead of a London launch.

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O N

T H E

M O V E

EVENTS DECEMBER 10-11

ASAP CONVENTION

JACOB SCHRAM

Etc Venues, Bishopsgate, London asapconvention.org.uk JANUARY

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL PEOPLE AWARDS Nominations open! thebusinesstravelpeopleawards.com FEBRUARY 13

TBTM DINNER CLUB London thebusinesstravelmag.com

MARK MUREN

RUTH HILTON

JOINS: Norwegian AS: Chief Executive Officer FROM: McKinsey

JOINS: British Airways AS: Head of Global Sales FROM: United Airlines

PROMOTED AT: TAG TO: Head of Commercial UK FROM: Head of Private Travel

Jacob Schram is the new CEO at low-cost airline Norwegian. He has previously held management roles at Circle K, Statoil Fuel & Retail (SFR), McDonalds and McKinsey.

Mark Muren has joined British Airways to head up global sales. He will oversee the airline’s relationships with agents, travel management companies and corporates.

Ruth Hilton is now looking after TAG's UK supplier relations, corporate sales and marketing teams, including all new business at the high-end travel management company.

FEBRUARY 26-27

BUSINESS TRAVEL SHOW Olympia London businesstravelshow.com MARCH 23

SPRING SPARKLE PA NIGHT

CLARE ACE

JOHN DAVEY

London thebusinesstravelmag.com MARCH 24

ITM SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT Melia White House, London itm.org.uk APRIL 26-28

ACTE GLOBAL SUMMIT New York City acte.org MAY 12-13

ANDREW CANTRELL

JOINS: Inntel AS: Head of Business Travel FROM: TMC background

JOINS: CAP Worldwide Serviced Apartments AS: Global Relations FROM: SACO

PROMOTED AT: Evolvi Rail Systems TO: Managing Director FROM: IT Director

Inntel has appointed John Davey as its new Head of Business Travel. His career in the business travel industry spans more than 25 years with a background in TMCs.

Clare Ace has joined the senior leadership team at CAP Worldwide, owned by Jo Layton and Andrew Hopgood. At SACO Ace held the role of Director of Global Supply and Revenue.

Andrew Cantrell has taken up the position of Managing Director at Evolvi, having been with the company 12 years and with more than 30 years' experience in operations.

MORE NEW ROLES... FairFly has appointed Ivan de Lantivy and Matt Roberts to lead business development in Europe >> Trevor Elswood is moving from Chief Commercial Officer to a non-executive position as an advisor for Capita Travel and Events >> Suzanne Horner, CEO of Gray Dawes Travel, will join Advantage Travel Partnership’s board this December 2019 >> De Vere has appointed Hayley Chilver to the newly created role of Operations Director >> Industry veteran Chris Crowley has joined travel management consultancy Nina & Pinta as Partner >> ATPI Group has promoted Claire McGuinness to lead the account management team for its specialist brand ATPI Marine & Energy >> 13225-Sirius-BritishTravelMag-AD-138x40.ai 1 11/05/2017 15:01 John Pelant has joined CWT as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

ITM CONFERENCE 2020 Brighton itmconference.org.uk MAY 15-18

ADVANTAGE CONFERENCE 2020 Madeira advantageconference.co.uk MAY 22 C

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL PEOPLE AWARDS

Park Plaza Westminster, London M thebusinesstravelpeopleawards.com Y

JULY 25-29

GBTA CONVENTION Denver, Colorado convention.gbta.org

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

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info@sirius-cv.com • 0845 605 9055 • www.sirius-cv.com Untitled-6 1

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with agency Consolidation, new entrants and evolving technology all shaking up the market, are TMCs suffering an identity crisis? FIND OUT MORE in OUR ANNUAL GUIDE TO

travel management companies Introduction, 54-56 / Debate, 58 / Service delivery, 60-64 Consolidation, 66-68 / Five reasons, 73 / New entrants, 75-78 Insight, 81 / The Directory, 82-85 / Data, 87

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PEAK

performance While their place in the business travel management ecosystem has often been called into question, Gillian Upton discovers TMCs still offer an indispensable service

T

here has never been a better time to use the services of a TMC. The industry is today so complex and dynamic that buyers are crying out for a provider to be the gateway. It's an industry that's constantly evolving too. Tech-based entrants are muddying the picture by disrupting the status quo, while mergers and acquisitions are frequently changing the names and positions on the TMC league table. It's the normal lifecycle of any industry, when owners of independents find an exit route to retire, attempt to fill a large hole in their balance sheet or find a short cut to more R&D funds. New ‘families’ of TMCs are emerging, offering services for all sizes and scope of corporates, be it national, regional or global, offline or online, or a hybrid of both. They are all things to all men, a one-stop-shop for the ever-increasing number of services demanded by buyers. The downside is that it paints them all vanilla, which is maybe why new buying patterns are emerging. Buyers are making brave and interesting moves in how and to whom they award their business. When BP awarded its global business to Egencia it caused shockwaves, partly because Egencia is widely perceived as an online provider. In fact, it's a fullservice TMC with its own technology. Nonetheless a big, global player dared to 54

award a business outside of the 'big three'. Similarly, UBS splitting its business across three providers, not one, throws up an interesting management challenge of how to create a seamless operation from direct relationships with, in this case, a single global data provider, a travel management company and an online booking tool. UBS is active in over 50 markets and was crystal clear in its travel objectives: “Acquiring the right information at the right time in the hands of the right person so they make the right decision, which means the need for simplification, personalisation and consultative support as long as it delivers value,” sums up Mark Cuschieri, UBS Global Head of Travel. What’s really critical to UBS is value and Cuschieri feels that automation and technology play a key part. “Automation should satisfy 70% of our business demands and the rest is complex, high-touch and disruption management,” he says.

Think again

The UBS move gives TMCs the chance to think differently. “Secondary and tertiary platforms such as Cytric and Concur can exist themselves and no longer need to be fixed into a TMC platform, so it changes how TMCs present themselves to their clients,” explains Chris Crowley, Partner for business travel consultants Nina & Pinta. 

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New 'families' of TMCs are emerging offering services for all sizes and scope of corporates, be it national, regional or global, offline or online, or a hybrid of both�

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The market is in free fall where almost anything goes. If 70% of volume is going through a booking tool then why not contract that out separately? Caroline Strachan, Managing Partner at Festive Road, sees the emergence of four ways for buyers to proceed in this new world order: the 'Closed Shop' route of appointing one TMC and all services coming through that TMC; the 'Open Provider' where a buyer appoints a TMC and the TMC appoints third party providers; the 'Department Store' approach, where a buyer appoints a TMC and any choice of data and expense provider; and 'BYO' where buyers build their own platform and say ”I need ten different services from ten providers” and appoint the likes of Skyscanner for airlines and Cornerstone for data provision, and so on. Once you choose the route, the selection process is still a challenge as not all TMCs can deliver all three core services well: strong inventory at the right price, interfacing with the traveller and overlaying the corporate requirements of policy, safety and security. Some smart buyers are cherry picking and stitching together the best of the best. Strachan believes TMCs must face up to the identity crisis they have created for themselves, break out the colour palette and differentiate themselves from the competition. ”TMCs have gone down lots of different paths so they need to decide who they really are and invest in those areas.” Some TMCs have not been idle in finding their point of difference and the smart ones are focusing on five services: traveller profiles; payments and expense integration; data aggregation; hotel programmes; and aligning themselves more to booking and expense ecosystems, such as Concur. “It is important to have unique differentiators no matter what size the TMC or what position a TMC holds in the rankings,” says Simone Buckley, CEO of Fello. Fello’s differentiator is offering the best of both high-touch service and technology. “Our platform allows us to do this quickly and economically, regardless of the size of the customer,” says Buckley.

approach, delivering a strong experience and putting the client first is something that will always be valued,” says Fred Stratford, Chief Executive of Reed & Mackay. A point of differentiation can be to satisfy something other than the three Cs that TMC selection is based around, which is culture, cost and capability. “Customers also want to see their TMC being actively innovative and driving ongoing technology improvements,” argues Donna Fitzgerald, Customer Solutions Director at Capita Travel & Events. “This leads to behaviour-driven savings from better planning, awareness and ability for individuals to make better decisions rather than just being compliant to a policy.” Frictionless travel is a current buzzword and no price can be put on support during travel disruption. ”Value can be achieved from a TMC's services in a variety of ways,” says CTM's CEO Europe, Debbie Carling, “including the often intangible value of reliable service and expert advice especially during unforeseen travel events.” TMCs are clearly moving away from being fulfilment-driven and instead to solutionsdriven organisations. “Our role has evolved and we’re good at it,” says Julie Oliver, MD of Business Travel Direct. “We can find solutions to problems and that’s really positive.“ Independent contractor Roger Peters reckons the “golden challenge“ for TMCs is to know how to consolidate technology and data, between booked, stayed and transacted bookings.

A point of differentiation can be to satisfy something other than the three Cs that TMC selection is based around: culture, cost and capability” How big you need to be to start benefitting from employing a TMC? Annual travel spend of £50,000 upwards or when you have 20 or more frequent travellers is one guideline. Online-based providers can give access to non-public rates and deliver basic reporting, which is critical to measuring and achieving cost efficiencies. The tipping point will depend on corporate resources – if they have PAs they may self-book for longer, for example. What’s to come in the TMC space is undoubtedly more change. Everybody’s watching what Amex GBT does with Neo for example, while BCD has taken the ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ approach and moved to a single source platform called Solutions Source, integrating potential rivals and disruptors such as Rocket Trip and Yapta into their travel programme after they have been vetted and approved. “Clients are keen to try new things and to shake the tree,” says Tony McGetrick, VP & Director of Sales & Marketing UK & Ireland at BCD. “But the end game is still the same – to save money and improve the ROI.”

Above and beyond

Buyers are looking for agility, which may be via one provider or multiple providers. “I don’t think any one model will prevail as we go forwards, but being flexible in our 56

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Travel TMCs /tech Debate / Five reasons

DENISE HARMAN

Vice President, Customer Management, Western Europe, CWT

A

We can innovate in a cost-effective way that niche players and starts-ups can't” Denise Harman

SIMONE BUCKLEY Chief Executive Officer, Fello

A

s the TMC market evolves, TMC doesn’t necessarily have the competition is constantly to either be big or niche. increasing too. This means However, in today’s world of that TMCs need to keep up rapid consolidation among with the rapidly evolving TMCs, a smaller TMC does needs of the corporate buyer and business need to have its own distinct point of traveller to stand out. difference, communicate that effectively Whether you're a global TMC, and live by it. And it also needs niche player or tech start up, to understand exactly which innovation is imperative for customers will most value those survival. With 79% of points of difference. travellers stating their Certainly there are some travel experience has an specialist sectors such as impact on their job marine, oil and gas, sport satisfaction, employers and NGOs that require now see traveller specialist expertise but productivity, both large and small satisfaction and TMCs have mastered retention more the art of providing important than cost. good services to Whichever mould, these niche scale or specialism customers. a TMC fits, investing At Fello, our point It’s often said that in a shrinking market travel meaningfully in of difference is our data quality and focus on the traveller management companies need to be big integrated service because we believe operators or be specialist operators in solutions to enhance that if the traveller is traveller wellbeing, duty happy, then the travel order to truly thrive. Two TMC of care and enabling manager can focus on representatives have their say organisations to drive delivering the benefits of decisions to transform their a well-managed travel business, is non-negotiable. programme rather than fireAs a scale technology player in fighting traveller service issues. the global corporate travel market, By blending the best automation CWT is invested in – and is investing and customer-facing travel technology more now than it ever has – to enable with an exemplary – and personal – seamless, end-to-end traveller experiences customer service we can free the travel across all channels. It's this breadth of manager to actually do their day job of technology investment that enables us to managing travel. deliver digital services that appeal to Not every travel management company corporate travellers, whose expectations thinks like this but there are plenty out have evolved at the pace of technology. there that do. While our point of And with this continued drive, deterdifference satisfies our clients' mination and data requirement and investment, we can outcontinues to deliver A smaller TMC does innovate in a costvalue to customers we need to have its own effective way that niche have a bright future, players and starts-ups even though we are a distinct point of difference” simply can't. relatively small TMC.

BE BIG OR

BE SPECIALIST!

Simone Buckley

58

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Travel smooth Book and manage all your business travel on one platform www.clicktravel.com/travel-smooth

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Simply booked. Smoothly travelled.

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TMCs / Service delivery

GREAT Expectations

Whatever you expect from your TMC, be clear about it right from the start, writes Gillian Upton

W

hich came first, the chicken or the egg? The causality dilemma neatly sums up a common issue between client and TMC, when what clients expect from TMCs after implementation depends on what they specified during the RFP. It's a flawed process which doesn’t always result in what the buyer wants. So, who’s to blame? Service delivery can be a deal breaker and it’s often not clear who or what caused the issue but Clive Wrattan, CEO of the Business Travel Association, which represents 80% of the TMC community, has an opinion. “Buyers need to give more time to TMCs before the beauty parade and TMCs need to be selective in what they pitch for.” He advises TMCs to be brave and declare that they can’t deliver on certain requirements. To move forward, TMCs must stop overselling and under-delivering. “It’s all smoke and mirrors with all of them,” sums up independent contractor Roger Peters. Gray Dawes, however, declined to pitch for the BP account and for very good 60

reasons. “I didn’t even look at the documents as it’s so out of our comfort zone,” says Dave Bishop, the TMC’s Commercial Director. “I don’t want to waste buyers’ time.”

The right fit

Best practice should be a clearly defined RFP with the minimum of relevant questions and issued only to those TMCs that can deliver. After all, it’s not worth including a high-tech TMC if the bulk of bookings are offline, for example, or a national TMC if the buyer is a regional or global player. Some TMCs, including Traveleads, prefer to take a more tailored approach. “We believe in having a personal partnership with our clients, which starts with getting to know them inside out,” says Sally Cassidy, Group Director of Sales. “This way, we tailor our service to exactly their needs, offering them something beyond the ordinary travel management solution.” Bringing in a new TMC is often linked to desired change, perhaps to improve online

adoption, to implement a self-booking tool, to consolidate supplier management, or modify travel policy. Whatever the reason, buyers should look for experience and success in the specific field with similarsized companies. The key driver for BP in finding a new TMC, for example, was the technology and consumer experience and Egencia was miles ahead on both counts. A TMC's capability, whether geographical spread and/or technological prowess, is one of the three Cs that will influence TMC selection. The other two are culture and cost. Technology is a major driver in terms of capability and proprietary technology is

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the desired option, but so is cultural fit. It's vital that the TMC aligns with company goals and ethos. “We see a direct correlation between an engaged, empowered and culturallyaligned workforce and the satisfaction of our customers,” says Debbie Carling, CEO Europe at CTM.

Cost factors

Opinions vary as to the importance of cost, which is often confused with value. “A travel management company should be able to easily demonstrate a positive return for the cost of their services, whether through achieved savings,

increased efficiencies, enhanced traveller safety or traveller wellbeing,” says Carling. “The value of a TMC's services should far outweigh the cost of those services.” In the past, size has mattered and global buyers have gravitated towards the 'big three' TMCs. The BP award demonstrated that this is no longer the case, but there are other considerations. Buyers might not want to be a dominant account in a small TMC because that TMC might not have the experience to manage it well enough. Conversely, being a small account in a large TMC might mean not receiving sufficient support. ”It’s important to evaluate where your 

Technology is a major driver in terms of capability and proprietary technology is the desired option, but so is fit. It's vital that the TMC aligns with company goals and ethos”

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In the past, size has mattered and global buyers have gravitated towards the 'big three' TMCs. The BP award demonstrated that this is no longer the case”

business will sit,” warns Wayne Durkin, Head of Sales and Account Management at Good Travel Management.

All down to penalties

Service level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) written into the contract will ensure that key objectives for that year are met – as long as they are properly policed – and they should not be added post-RFP. Otherwise this could muddy the water in terms of a TMC being able to accurately price the specification from the outset. “A good SLA should be succinct enough to be workable and focus on the key success metrics,” advises Scott Davies, CEO of ITM. He also warns that penalties within SLAs should be appropriate to focus teams on success but not so punitive that they end up driving fear and negativity within service teams. SLAs have gone beyond response times of, say, picking up the phone within a certain number of rings, partly because of the move away from telephone as a form of communication. That’s been taken over largely by in-app chat capability. SLAs now embrace savings, cost avoidance, traveller wellbeing, traveller satisfaction and, according to Douglas O’Neill, CEO of Inntel, also “external meeting room and event ROI and reduction of carbon footprint”. 62

SLAs differ by industry vertical. For example, professional service companies and legal firms demand more of a TMC, usually expecting the TMC to undertake all transactions. This will be reflected in the SLAs. Others will expect the travellers to do their own travel booking via a selfbooking tool, so SLAs need to reflect that particular requirement. “A bank may be concerned with traveller experience, as in premium cabins at the last minute, so a set of KPIs will focus on that, whereas a manufacturing firm may seek cost efficiencies and change their sourcing patterns and SLAs around that,” says Michael Valkerich, VP Global Customer Group, CWT. “Different organisations will invest in a TMC in different ways. We don’t believe in a single vision for each client.” Either way, SLAs mean nothing if the quality doesn’t provide good service. Johan Persson, Director of Account Management UK & Ireland at Amex GBT, points out that: “When people get through [from waiting on a call] and the service is fantastic, they’re not judged on speed, but on quality.” Click Travel identifies savings and they are written into the contract as a performance metric. ”With our client Veolia we did just that,” says MD Jill Palmer. “We marked them as red, amber and green, with green being the easiest, then Veolia’s internal 

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TMCs / Service delivery

audit department checked us every six months for the green-colour savings and we delivered each time.” What should be clarified in the contract is what level of account management is included and when that cuts off, triggering higher consultancy services. This early level of transparency will pay dividends later. Day-to-day account management should feel like an extension of the travel manager’s role and client team. Account managers should know the programme intimately, be driving it forward and optimising spend after analysing six months’ worth of data. Priorities will differ from client to client but basics should include review meetings, travel analysis reporting, technology implementation and training, loyalty programme management and supplier negotiations. TMCs should understand the company culture and be fully conversant with the programme vision. A poor level of account management is often at the root of a client moving TMCs, not service, underscoring the fact that although automation deals with the majority of bookings, it’s still a people business. Some TMCs treat their account managers as consultants who look after the totality of the account and that's part of the overall fee, while others separate it out as a lucrative income stream. That’s more likely to happen with larger clients when specialist services are required, such as programme improvement, benchmarking a programme by size or industry, formulating a strategic vision, innovation, global consistency and so on.

64

For example, an account manager could not be expected to source a full hotel programme single handedly. “When there is a new requirement from the client that is resource heavy and will not benefit another customer, this is where consultancy fees usually begin,” says Anne Marie Crawford, Head of Sales at Inntel. BCD's consultancy arm Advito specialises in complex air and hotel programmes across the globe and specific bespoke communications programmes to change traveller behaviour. ”There is a cost to providing this high-level and intelligent programme activity. If clients had to go out to the market and speak to a third party they would pay significantly more,” says Tony McGetrick, VP & Director of Sales & Marketing UK & Ireland at BCD. “We sell in the benefits and the genuine ROI.”

Flexible pricing

What you pay is a moot point. Pricing models are in a state of flux as buyers seek more consumer-based pricing models so the market is ripe for change. Transaction fees are the norm, but subscription-based pricing and trip-based pricing are likely to become more popular pay-as-you-go formulas which suit SMEs. “The key thing is that we have to be flexible about how we price our services,”

What you pay is a moot point. Pricing models are in a state of flux as buyers seek more consumerbased pricing models so the market is ripe for change” says Durkin at Good Travel Management. “It’s done on a case by case basis, driven by the client, and can make us more competitive.” The TMC is using trip-based pricing with clients in the renewable energy sector where travel is billable. Inntel is doing the same with some clients. Business Travel Direct is currently in discussion with some clients on pricing alternatives. “The subscription model really excites me if we are going to be more solutions-driven and not fulfilment-driven but it’s got to be a collaborative process as not one size fits all,” says the TMC's Managing Director Julie Oliver. As ever, the market is in a state of flux, the dynamics of which help move the industry forward, but it’s worth noting that the fundamentals of transparency and honesty remain the core values desired by buyers from their TMC suppliers.

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Delivering what really matters TM

Technology that works

Compliance and cost savings

Traveller safety and security

Consistent service worldwide

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TMCs / Consolidation

An acquired

TASTE

Mergers and acquisitions among TMCs continue unabated, but why is it happening and what does it mean for clients? Gillian Upton reports

C

harles Darwin’s theory of natural selection published in 1869 may not have had universal acceptance from many naturalists at the time but his theory of evolution – that only the strong survive – couldn’t be a better metaphor for the world of TMCs today. To say that there has been movement in the TMC marketplace is to underplay just how many travel management companies have disappeared recently. One industry observer reckons ten have either been bought or acquired over the last two years alone, including HRG, Giles Travel, Hillgate,

Portman, Amber Road, Ian Allan Travel and Business Travel Direct. We also know that Diversity Travel will be up for grabs in 2020 – a surprising announcement – and they certainly won’t be the last to seek a suitor. “Smaller players who don’t own their own technology will be vulnerable,” reckons Jill Palmer, Managing Director of Click Travel. “I can imagine four or five of those changing hands in the next 18 months.” Few believe that further consolidation will touch the 'big three' – Amex GBT, CWT and BCD – so the money is on the independents who need scale to thrive; those with a turnover under £100million. “Consolidation raises the bar for entry into the world of TMCs,” says Tony McGetrick, VP and Director of Sales and Marketing at BCD. “It takes a long time and deep pockets. We’re in 109 countries for example.”

Too many players

At well over 100 in number, there are too many TMCs operating in the UK, something not replicated in other countries, including our continental European cousins in the larger business travel markets of Germany and France. A cull is certainly in order for the health of the entire industry. In Darwinian terms, only TMCs with favourable adaptations will survive and that is exactly the 66

strategies being employed. The step-change in the market – chiefly around new technology and distribution flows – is the major trigger as scale is more important in times of disruption. Michael Valkerich, VP Global Customer Group for CWT, says: “Scale creates advantages so there is always going to be a current of acquisitions. The larger players do better when new changes come along as we can exert more authority.” Some TMC owner-managers are reaching retirement and are looking for an exit route, while others can no longer support their business structures, particularly in light of the huge investment required to develop or acquire new technology. Some become financially vulnerable when they lose a large spending client, the most recent example being Amber Road when it lost the BT account. The ever-decreasing income from the GDS as the airline distribution landscape evolves is another nail in their coffin. Dave Bishop, Commercial Director at the acquisitive TMC Gray Dawes, believes there are other strategies at play: “Consolidation can shortcut the R&D route to acquire the technology required as CTM did when it purchased Redfern. TMCs can take out a competitor and change the market dynamics, as Amex GBT did when it 

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Consolidation / TMCs

At well over 100 in number, there are too many TMCs operating in the UK, something not replicated in other countries� THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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TMCs / Consolidation

bought HRG and Reed & Mackay did when it bought Hillgate. That immediately gives you market dominance and you can charge a premium. Or you do it to buy scale if there are synergies with another TMC.” Aside from major league player HRG, the majority of the consolidated TMCs are smaller businesses because the current marketplace means it’s difficult for them to compete and stay relevant. They need to adapt, which means either selling up or growing, either organically or by acquisition.

Pros and cons

Consolidation isn’t all positive as the biggest impact can fall on the corporate buyer. Rolls-Royce, for example, selected HRG over Amex GBT in its last TMC RFP, only to find itself hooked up with Amex after the HRG acquisition under a five-year contract. There were many HRG clients playing a waiting game to see if service delivery would remain constant and some have not transitioned. In contrast, Reed & Mackay’s acquisition of Hillgate was seen differently, as a free technology upgrade and a win-win for buyers in terms of value-adds. These two successful high-touch, white glove providers were obvious partners: Hillgate with brilliant technology and Reed & Mackay with the better global reach. Group CEO Fred Stratford prefers to describe the deal as “joining forces” rather than an acquisition. Business Travel Direct has since moved to the group too. Consolidation is widely seen as a positive in the industry. In Darwin-like terms, it lets the strongest survive. One very happy TMC boss on the morning of the HRG announcement was Graham Ross, General Manager UK of FCM, who tweeted: “Good news, FCM is now the fourth-largest TMC in the world”. Consolidation certainly offers opportunity as TMCs jostle for position.

Some TMC managerowners are reaching retirement and are looking for an exit route, while others can no longer support their business structures” 68

Consolidation isn’t new to the industry either. There was a period around the early 2000s when major acquisitions and mergers also took place. What’s notably different in the current phase is the presence of venture capitalist and private equity firms with plenty of money to invest and support a TMC’s expansion plans. Travel Counsellors, for example, backed by independent European investment firm Vitruvian Partners, benefitted from a £6million investment in new technology. Since The Appointment Group (TAG) secured the backing of private equity firm Apiary Capital, it has been able to expand, acquiring SOS in the US for example. The injection of capital from private equity firm Inflexion to Reed & Mackay in 2016 has allowed a spate of acquisitions, including Gray’s Travel Management, TMC Frequent Flyer Travel Paris, Hillgate and Business Travel Direct. Gray Dawes has been particularly acquisitive, buying nine TMCs over the last four years, the most recent being Amber Road. It utilises an integration team before and after acquisition to ensure any new TMC is embedded seamlessly. ”We buy businesses where we know we can add value,” says Bishop. “Amber Road was a business that had been considerably

larger and we had offices in the same city (Manchester) so we consolidated there. We were using the same technology platform (Atriis) and the same GDS and back-off systems and we are both re-sellers of Concur, which is a strong value proposition. “We weren’t looking to make another acquisition but it gave us more scale in Manchester and the north west generally as Amber Road had an office in Leeds, which is an important area for us, so there were lots of synergies that worked for us.” Gray Dawes can now bid for larger pieces of business. Four years ago the company had a turnover of £27million and could only look for business under £5million. Anything larger would make travel managers nervous. Today, with a turnover of £200million, the TMC bids for accounts not greater than £20million, which represents around 10% of its business. “Otherwise it would leave a big hole in your revenue if you lost it,” cautions Bishop. The logic is there and Gray Dawes’ journey typifies current activity. Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, reckons consolidation drives change for the better. “The industry hasn’t crashed and burned; it’s just a period of disruption,” he says. The TMC community is doing what it has always done, adapting to survive.

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Glimpse the future of travel technology

Vist FCM at the Business Travel Show

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Stand B130

#btshowlondon

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Built Different, Built to Shine

We’re here to play global. Look around you - whether in the business lounge or onboard an early morning flight - and see the incredible tapestry woven from different cultures, generations, and mindsets that is created around you on the road. Business travel is truly global act. There, in seat 12A, is the CFO who wished his husband and children good morning and goodbye as he headed to the airport for a flight from London to Lisbon. Coming down the aisle is the young saleswoman listening to a meditation to calm her nerves as she embarks on her first onsite pitch meeting in Aman. Behind you, in line for coffee, was the team of five entrepreneurs arriving from Singapore for a startup incubator. The loud group of colleagues in the lobby high-fived their goodbyes after an

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incredible conference in California. Business travelers come from every corner of the globe and fly, drive, or take the train to distant cities and towns in search of new business, unprecedented deals, unexpected partnerships, and -- in the best of cases -- a new acquaintance. While we all go through the machinations of security and hear the same beat of the in-flight safety video, business travelers are individuals and each sets off with their own concerns, goals, anxieties, and objectives.

There is one thing, however, that unites every business traveler on the go -- a desire to do well while being productive and protected. We know that, because we know you. TripActions was built for the business traveler -- all of them, all the time -- which means we focused a few universal values to transcend time, place, and even purpose.

25/11/2019 10:30 11/27/19 02:50 PM


The Right to Choose: Unrivaled flight, train, lodging, and rental car choice across every continents means that business travelers have unlimited choice in date, time, and travel company. They can make decisions that are best for their health and personal lives while remaining aligned with company guidelines. The Power to Move Fast: TripActions integrates the latest machine learning technology to understand users’ preferences and reduce average booking time from 60 minutes down to six (while achieving an unprecedented 93% traveler satisfaction). We built an app that is as easy to use as the most popular consumer apps, which means there’s no barriers to booking quickly and finding what you need when you need it.

The Support to Succeed: Even the best planned trips come with a few surprises. A proactive global force of live travel agents available 24/7 365 ensures that business travelers are always supported -- before, during, and after their trip.

Our company reflects the global business traveler community -- as diverse, as driven, and as hopeful about a future that uses technology to empower the in-person meetings that make business and life worthwhile.

Being there in person is powerful, but how you get there matters. Finally there is solution that makes it possible to provide a great traveler experience while empowering travel and finance leaders to save and optimize their travel policy.

Business travel is a strategic lever for culture and growth no matter where or who is behind the company. We honor the diversity of our community by focusing on what we all care about and the factors that unite us. TripActions is truly built for all customers, all the time. Join us.

With nine global offices and more than 3,000 customers around the globe, we’ve sat alongside our customers (even taking the middle seat) to learn what matters most.

www.tripactions.com

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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

PUSHING NDC BOUNDARIES

A

Blue Cube Travel has been booking NDC content for over a year – now it’s spearheading a Triangle of Trust between airlines, TMCs and corporates

s 2019 draws to a close, the topic that has gained more momentum than ever in recent months is NDC (New Distribution Capability). Major TMCs and technology providers have all made a raft of announcements about going live with pilots and first NDC bookings. But are any of these solutions workable or genuinely going to give corporates access to NDC content any time soon? At ACTE’s recent global summit in Amsterdam, delegates attending the ‘NDC: loaded’ session were asked ‘Do you think NDC is live?’ Only five per cent of attendees put their hands up to say ‘yes’. That sums up the confusion in the marketplace and frustration among corporates. Blue Cube Travel is on a mission to help corporates make sense of it all. The independent travel management company has been booking NDC fares since June 2018 via its online booking tool, BC Online, powered by Atriis. This includes British Airways, Lufthansa and American Airlines. Coming soon will be Air France/KLM, United Airlines and Finnair. Blue Cube is also now piloting the ability to service

and amend NDC bookings with Atriis. Bex Deadman, Blue Cube Travel’s Commercial Director, who represents the TMC at high-level IATA NDC workshops, says: “There is no doubt that corporates in general are beginning to feel frustrated, as from their perspective they are trying to run a travel programme which utilises best available rates and gives parity. “From our perspective at Blue Cube, because we are a smaller independent TMC, we have been able to take a much more agile approach to integrating a workable NDC solution. “The larger TMCs are now suddenly announcing that they’ve made their first live NDC bookings, but Blue Cube has been making live bookings for over 18 months – we just didn’t shout about it publicly.” Not only has Blue Cube been quietly leading the way among SME TMCs in terms of NDC integration, but they have also been proactively positioning themselves as ‘educators’ on the topic, sharing knowledge

with industry peers and feedback with IATA implementation teams. “We are passionate about creating a ‘Triangle of Trust’ between airlines, TMCs and corporates, as we see this as the key to busting the myths around NDC and making it a reality across the corporate sector as a whole,” says Deadman. “There are two different aspects to NDC – the first is based on technology, booking functionality and the utopia it presents. This is where real progress is being made. “But the second is around the commercials between each party in the value chain – that’s the elephant in the room which is hindering progress. As an industry, we all want NDC to work, but there needs to be understanding between everyone involved. “Our aim now is to encourage open conversations, to bridge the gap between suppliers and corporates and spearhead mutual understanding for the benefit of our customers and the industry as a whole.”

bluecubetravel.co.uk / sales@bluecubetravel.co.uk / 020 8948 8188 BlueCube-2019.indd 1

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5 reasons / TMCs

[ FIVE REASONS TO... ]

CONSIDER GOING IT ALONE Neil Ruth, co-founder of Taptrip, argues the case for managing a corporate travel programme without the aid of a TMC

1 2

ENTRY

SPEED ,

TMCs often impose spend qualification thresholds or large booking fees. These are a potent barrier to entry for some companies, especially for SMEs looking to take their first steps into a co-ordinated travel and expenses strategy. Faced with these financial obstacles, many growth businesses choose to manage their own early travel needs and simply grow with the demands.

In an age where holidays can be booked with three taps on a screen and all your travel documents are on a smartphone, the fact that some TMCs still operate primarily via telephone conversations can feel archaic, especially when there are multiple trips to book or odd travel legs. Telephone conversations do not scale, and they impose a lot of informal process on the customer before they ring the TMC, especially compared to booking direct online.

3

BLEISURE Bleisure – adding leisure travel at the start or end of business trips – is a reality. In a recent survey by hotel group Great Hotels of the World, 75% of respondents said they had extended business trips for leisure purposes, and in most cases doing so multiple times in a year. Dealing direct with the travel or accommodation provider makes this far more accessible and easier to keep track of.

PERSONAL The relationship between many end users and their TMCs is highly transactional. This leaves little room for personalisation for frequent travellers and in many cases this personalisation is vital. It is not just about the preferences of the CEO, but any need for personalisation that is better handled by going direct to the suppliers.

5

EXPERIENCE Let’s be honest: using TMC software can suck. In an age of consumer grade user experience (UX) and highly intuitive apps, business users will simply not tolerate awkward processes, jargon-filled screens and ugly software. By comparison, a smartphone app that mimics their favourite social media layout and integrates with a management dashboard will win every time.

Business users will simply not tolerate awkward processes, jargon and ugly software”

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Benefits Flight booking Weather & traffic alerts Check-in reminder Travel alerts City guides Chat

Delivered by

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New entrants / TMCs

Making it

click

A breed of new technology-based travel management platforms are shaking up the global business travel market, writes Rob Gill

T

he user experience of online booking tools provided by traditional travel management companies has long been a bugbear of both buyers and travellers, with a typical comment being: 'why can’t these tools be as easy to use as consumer travel sites?' Quite reasonably, TMCs usually reply that their online booking tools are doing a lot more complex work than a consumer booking platform. This includes giving travellers access to negotiated rates with preferred suppliers, adding travel policy requirements and offering tracking abilities to improve duty-of-care. But TMCs are now facing renewed pressure from a new

breed of technology-orientated business travel specialists – including TravelPerk, TripActions and Lola – who are well funded and are already making inroads into the corporate market, particularly at the SME end of the spectrum. User experience, or UX as it is often called these days, is everything to these new entrants and the chief selling points for their platforms are their ease of use and access to a wider range of travel suppliers. This is also backed up by customer support services for travellers and providing the capabilities buyers are looking for, such as the inclusion of their travel policies, approvals processes, invoicing, tracking and reporting. 

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TMCs / New entrants

Content and user experience will be key, giving the end user confidence in the pricing, and the booking process leads to higher adoption levels” Richard Viner, UK Country Manager for Barcelona-based TravelPerk, says: “We are different from traditional TMCs because we offer a shopping and booking experience every bit as good as the one you have when booking your holidays. In some ways it’s even better, as we believe we’ve built the world’s largest bookable inventory.” TripActions says it can reduce the average booking time for a business trip from 60 to six minutes, as well as increasing adoption and traveller satisfaction rates, which in turn drives higher savings for the client. Ariel Cohen, TripActions co-founder and CEO, adds: “Business travellers expect the same convenience, choice and instant gratification they get as consumers, yet until now the vast majority of the corporate travel management industry has failed them. “We’re building on our history of innovation, reimagining the TMC to give enterprises and their travellers unheard of choice and transparency to earn their trust. “Travel managers no longer have to compromise; they can finally get a great user experience and scalable global infrastructure in a single platform.”

76

TMCs under threat?

With this influx of new tech-based competitors, are the traditional TMCs quaking in their boots? Or are the likes of TravelPerk and TripActions more of a competitor in the SME market than for larger global corporations looking for a multi-country or global approach to their travel management needs? Caroline Strachan, managing partner at consultancy Festive Road, says Expedia’s tech-based TMC Egencia was a forerunner to the new entrants now making their presence felt. “If I were a betting woman, I’d be sure to place a bet on the likes of TripActions and TravelPerk’s ability to run fast and solve problems legacy players haven’t even thought about,” she says. “Their ownership of every customer touchpoint is what will make the difference, whether it’s online, mobile or with an agent, the platform experience is all the same.” John Hobbs-Hurrell, international partnership manager for WIN Global Travel Network, believes the new tech-based players will “become just another competitor” over the next few years. “Content and user experience will be key, giving the end user confidence in the pricing, and the booking process leads to higher adoption levels,” says Hobbs-Hurrell. “TMCs will need to match that offering via their own solutions. Providing the customer choice, around-the-clock support and a blend of online and offline will ensure the traditional TMC remains a viable solution.” 

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TMCs / New entrants

Some traditional TMCs are also working with these newcomers. American Express Global Business Travel has been partnering with Lola for the past 12 months, a move which helped Lola to add “hundreds” of new SME customers in the first half of 2019. Meanwhile ATPI Group has been working with TripActions as a “fulfilment partner” to the technology platform since the start of 2018. “We are one of the global fulfilment partners for TripActions, currently ticketing and invoicing across seven markets with new markets being added every week due to their rapid growth,” explains Katie Skitterall, Director of Sales and Operations UK, for ATPI.

Brave new world

in 2019 and the number of employees set to reach 430 by the end of the year. There are also even newer competitors entering the market, such as Manchesterbased Taptrip, which launched in 2018 and won the Business Travel Disrupt Award at this year’s Business Travel Show. It offers a “free to use” platform combining personalised travel arrangements, expense management, live journey updates and management information. How this kind of burgeoning competition shapes the TMC market in the next few years will be one of the industry’s most fascinating trends. “As technology and content lead the way in the industry, these guys have the size and scale to be a threat to TMCs of all

shapes and sizes,” says ATPI’s Skitterall. Meanwhile Festive Road’s Strachan suggests a TMC’s ability to prosper will depend on deciding “which bit of the market you want to thrive in”. “If each TMC knows its strengths and identity, and then operates in that way, there is still room for many to succeed. What they can't all do is just chase the same customer with the same promises,” Strachan explains. At the very least, the tech-based newcomers should force traditional TMCs to speed up the improvement of their online booking tools and platforms. With this kind of market dynamic, maybe one day both buyers and travellers will stop moaning that they aren’t up to scratch.

So what’s next for these new entrants to the TMC world? Expect more rapid growth as the likes of TripActions, TravelPerk and Lola raise even more money for investors. In July, San Francisco-based TripActions raised another $250million from investors in its fourth round of fundraising – taking total investment to just under half a billion dollars. This latest cash injection means TripActions as a company is valued at a staggering $4billion; not bad for a company only launched in 2015. Unlike some of its competitors, TripActions is also looking beyond the SME market with the aim of capturing business from organisations of “every size”. Currently the company says it has 2,000 clients around the world with up to $1.1billion in annual travel spending, including clients such as WeWork, Lyft, SurveyMonkey and Sara Lee Frozen Bakery. Meanwhile TravelPerk raised another $60million this summer, taking total investment up to $134million, with revenues forecast to increase by 300%

If each TMC knows its strengths and identity, and then operates in that way, there is still room for many to succeed. What they can’t all do is chase the same customer with the same promises” 78

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HERE’S TO THE COOL, CALM AND CONNECTED. To a travel management platform that lets your business glide through. One that drills down deep to find you the best value. A savvy system that always keeps your staff up to date. So they stay connected. And never miss a connection. A platform where you can see everything clearly with complete business transparency. Here’s to working smarter. To travelling the world. Effortlessly. reedmackay.com

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We put innovation at the heart of your programme.

Š 2019 BCD Travel. All rights reserved.

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bcdtravel.com

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INSIGHT INSIGHT

TMC RFPs

moving time It could be a busy year for TMCs as buyers consider their next move, writes Chris Crowley of Nina & Pinta

M

any topics are hot on the agenda as we head into 2020, including NDC, data privacy and protection, sustainability, traveller wellbeing, meetings management, hotel programmes and traveller security, to name just a few. It promises to be a busy year by all accounts, with the global political climate almost as turbulent as the environmental one. Yet underneath all of this, a very familiar topic is gathering strength for many corporate travel managers – the selection and management of their TMC, technology and expense vendors for the years ahead. We don’t tend to publish contract life cycles as an industry. Its not really good business sense to begin with, but it’s also an area – especially in the TMC arena – where extensions, market developments, mergers and acquisitions can all play a part in moving the goalposts for

many corporate buyers. That being said, 2020 looks like being a very active year in the TMC Sourcing business. Why is that? A number of factors come into play here which are worth noting.

The need for choice

The bigger programmes have always been influenced by the need for choice. The acquisition of HRG by American Express Global Business Travel in 2018 had a significant impact on the perception of choice available to the larger customers. It’s hard to say how many RFP processes were delayed, but some most certainly

Priorities elsewhere

Many large programmes have been focussing on other areas, most notably end-to-end expense integration, security and hotel programme optimisation – not to mention the continuing shift to mobile and its impact across corporate policy in more areas than just travel.

Natural contract turnover

Another point of reference here is a more organic one. The majority of large programmes are more likely to retain their vendor (barring disaster or bad performance) for a second, and often third, contract. Most TMC contracts are usually positioned around a three-year term with a two-year extension (the 3+2). Assuming two retentions from the original contract, programmes that have been secure since the late 2000s will now be in a situation where good governance and market development simply forces an RFP process. For many corporate buyers this will be the first time in a few years they go to market for a TMC partner; in many cases they may be questioning if they need one at all. Given the factors above, 2020 is poised to be an interesting year for the travel consulting space. Chris Crowley Chris has recently joined travel consultancy Nina & Pinta. He has extensive experience across the industry including roles at HRS, BCD, Concorde Hotels and Accor Hotels.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

© mostafa meraji

2020 means

were. Emerging players such as TripActions were not necessarily ready for the big bids at that time, and there were areas of impact within the bigger TMC networks around content and profile management that needed to play out.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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TMCs / The 2020 Directory

TMCs 2020: Who does what

Your guide to a selection of leading travel management companies in the UK (A to G)

Information supplied directly by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine. Annual figures quoted refer to a TMC's most recent financial or calendar year and to UK corporate business only unless stated otherwise. *as at 30 September 2019

Travel management company

Annual turnover UK

Annual transactions

Online / Offline

Company size

Head office

Established

Alliance membership

ABT-UK

£9million

17,000

50% / 50%

10 staff / 1 office (400 staff globally)

London

2001

Advantage

Access Bookings Ltd

£50million

351,000

30% / 70%

207 staff / 7 offices

Lichfield, Staffordshire

1985

ACE Travel Management

£7.8million

22,500

80% / 20%

14 staff / 1 office

Brentwood, Essex

1992

American Express Global Business Travel

£190million

Not disclosed

Not disclosed

2,300+ FTE staff

London

2014

Applehouse Travel

£29.1million

59,300

17% / 83%

40 staff / 1 office

London

1984

arrangeMy

£32million

88,700

70% / 30%

64 staff / 2 offices / 1 implant

Worcester

1990

£1.29billion (globally)

4.78million

30% / 70%

1,850 staff / 100+ locations worldwide

London

2002

£5million

13,000

100% offline

8 staff / 1 office

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

1895

£674million ($27.1bn globally)

Not disclosed

55% / 45%

1,026 staff (13,800 globally) / 12 offices

London

1981

£36.4million

39,500

15% / 85%

36 staff / 3 offices

London

2003

Advantage

Business First Partnership Limited

£25million

60,000

20% / 80%

32 staff / 1 office

Beaconsfield, Bucks

1997

Radius Travel

Capita Travel and Events

£580million

4.1million

80% / 20%

707 staff / 5 offices

Derby

1972

Advantage / GlobalStar

Clarity

£441million

2.5million

Not disclosed

600 staff / 15 offices (UK&I & Netherlands)

Manchester

1959

Radius Travel

Click Travel

£237million

2.25million

97% / 3%

237 staff / 1 office

Birmingham

1999

Advantage

Clyde Travel Management

£60million (globally)

180,000

2% / 98%

90 staff / 5 offices (plus USA/India/Sweden)

Glasgow

1989

Advantage / WIN

Corporate Travel Management (CTM) Europe

£680million (Europe)

4.89million (Europe)

Not disclosed

2,600+ FTE staff across four continents*

London

1994

£33million

60,000

30% / 70%

85 staff / 3 offices

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

1988

$25billion (globally)

62million

Not disclosed

17,300+ staff across 153 offices globally

Minneapolis (global HQ)

1994

£148million

302,400

100% offline

130 staff / 4 offices

London

1980

£82.9million (globally)

234,000

36% / 64%

151 UK-based staff

Manchester

2008

£37million

41,600

11% / 89%

37 staff / 3 offices

Bushey, Hertfordshire

2002

$12billion (globally)

Not disclosed

92% / 8%

3,200+ staff globally across 65+ countries

London

2002

Eton Travel

£35million

104,400

40% / 60%

80 staff / 2 offices

Eton, Berkshire

1969

FCM Travel Solutions (inc. Corporate Traveller)

£849million

2.2million

46% / 54%

845 staff / 21 offices (6,500 staff globally)

New Malden, Surrey

2004

Fello

£30million

40,250

30% / 70%

41 staff / 1 office

London

2018

Advantage / GlobalStar

Flightline Travel Management

£5.65million

27,600

18% / 82%

10 staff / 1 office

Haddenham, Bucks

1999

Advantage

Global Travel Management Limited

£24.7million

39,400

22% / 78%

30 staff / 2 offices

Woking, Surrey

1997

Advantage / WIN

ATPI Baldwins Travel (BBTM) BCD Travel Blue Cube Travel

CT Travel Group CWT DialAFlight Corporate Travel Diversity Travel EFR Travel Egencia

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Advantage / WIN

Advantage / WIN

Advantage

Advantage

Advantage / WIN


The 2020 Directory / TMCs

● ●

● ●

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● ● ●

● ●

● ●

Utilities

Transport

Touring

Telecomms

Technology

● ●

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● ●

● ●

● ●

● ● ●

Sports

Retail

Recruitment

Professional services

Public sector

Pharmaceutical

● ●

● ●

● ●

Oil/Gas

NGOs

Media

Marine

Legal

Manufacturing

Insurance

Logistics

Health/Medical

General SMEs

Finance

● ●

● ●

● ●

Entertainment/TV/Film

Energy

Defence

Creative

Construction/Engineering

Charity

Advertising

Academic/Education

Business sectors in which clients operate or the TMC specialises in

● ●

● ●

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TMCs / The 2020 Directory

TMCs 2020: Who does what

Your guide to a selection of leading travel management companies in the UK (G to W)

Information supplied by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine. Annual figures quoted refer to a TMC's most recent financial or calendar year and to UK corporate business only unless stated otherwise. *inc. Altour, Pro Travel, Tzell & Colletts Travel

Travel management company

Annual turnover

Annual transactions

Online / Offline

Company size

Head office

Established

Alliance membership

Good Travel Management

£22.5million

66,000

27% / 73%

44 staff / 2 offices

Kingston Upon Hull

1833

UNIGLOBE

Gray Dawes Group (inc. Amber Road)

£200million

550,000

55% / 45%

242 staff / 7 offices

Colchester, Essex

1927

Advantage / Radius Travel

Harridge Business Travel

£17.4million

50,000

20% / 80%

23 staff / 2 offices

London

1983

Hotel and Travel Solutions (HTS)

£16.1million

Not disclosed

22% / 78%

26 staff / 1 office

Worcestershire

2010

Inntel Limited

£89million

410,000

73% / 27%

145 staff / 3 offices

Colchester, Essex

1984

Advantage / Radius Travel

£375million (globally)

Not disclosed

64% / 36%

600 staff / 15 offices (globally)

London

1980

Advantage

Meon Valley Business Travel Limited

£40million

120,000

40% / 60%

81 staff / 2 offices

Petersfield, Hampshire

2002

Advantage / WIN

MIDAS Travel Management

£23million

Not Disclosed

8% / 92%

25 staff / 1 office

London

1998

Advantage / WIN

Norad Travel Limited

£34million

112,000

5% / 95%

54 staff / 1 office

Liss, Hampshire

1981

Advantage

Omega Business Travel

£10million

25,000

10% / 90%

13 staff / 1 office

Hersham, Surrey

1982

Advantage

Omega World Travel

£39million

175,000

60% / 40%

25 staff UK (460 in 40 US locations)

London

1972

Advantage / GlobalStar

Quintessentially Corporate Travel Management

£20million

20,500

15% / 85%

30 staff / 1 office

London

1971

Advantage

Reed & Mackay (inc. Business Travel Direct)

£608million

1.6million

34% / 66%

511 staff / 10 offices

London

1962

Advantage

Review Travel Limited

£12.3million

89,000

34% / 66%

23 staff / 2 offices

Cheshire

1982

Advantage / WIN

Selective Travel Management

£91.2million

212,300

26% / 74%

130 staff (Belfast & Dublin)

Belfast

1972

Advantage / WIN / TSI

Simplexity Travel management Limited

£7.1million

27,000

100% offline

14 staff / 1 office

London

2011

Advantage / Virtuoso

Sunways Business Travel

£14million

35,000

10% / 90%

20 staff / 1 office

Longfield, Kent

1973

Advantage

TAG

£232.6million

471,300

6% / 94%

194 UK staff (380 staff globally)

London

1988

Advantage / Virtuoso

Trailfinders Corporate Travel

£33.5million

11,700

100% offline

1,080 staff / 34 offices

London

1970

Travel and Transport Statesman

£201.6million ($3.5bn globally)

512,000

47% / 53%

165 staff / 3 offices (1,750 staff globally)

London

1975

Travel Counsellors for Business

£170million

Not disclosed

100% offline

200+ Corp. Counsellors / 7 countries

Manchester

1994

Traveleads

£38million

105,000

38% / 62%

80 staff / 3 offices

Leeds

1971

Travel Leaders Group UK Ltd*

£252million

407,000

24% / 76%

362 staff / 6 offices

London

1999

Advantage / Virtuoso

Wayte Travel Management

£39million

86,000

100% offline

50 staff / 4 offices

London

1980

Advantage

£12.8million

32,000

100% offline

19 staff / 2 offices

London

1972

Wexas Travel Management

£27million

55,500

40% / 60%

45 staff / 2 offices

London

1970

Wings Travel Management

£108million

140,800

12% / 88%

75 staff / 4 offices

London

1992

Key Travel

West End Travel Ltd

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THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

Advantage

Advantage / Radius Travel

Advantage / ITMA


The 2020 Directory / TMCs

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

Utilities

● ●

● ●

● ● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

Transport

Touring

Telecomms

● ●

Technology

Sports

Retail

Recruitment

Public sector

● ●

● ●

Professional services

● ●

Pharmaceutical

Marine

Oil/Gas

Manufacturing

NGOs

Logistics

Media

Legal

Insurance

● ●

Health/Medical

General SMEs

Finance

Entertainment/TV/Film

Energy

Defence

Creative

Construction/Engineering

Charity

Advertising

Academic/Education

Business sectors in which clients operate or the TMC specialises in

● ●

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Disruptive t e c h n o l o g y? Whatever next. Travel technology moves fast. We keep ahead by embracing the very latest developments. So whether the future brings disruptive new tech, new data or new thinking, we’ll plug it straight in and continue to evolve, Bring it on.

Happy to help manage your business travel. +44 (0)20 7650 3106 | fello.co.uk

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Data / TMCs

Comings

AND GOINGS

Online adoption, TMC acquisitions, bleisure travel and more…

76

%

...of companies are generally supportive of bleisure travel if employees pay their way

Notable exceptions

2.4

the number of times a year, on average, that European business travellers extend a trip for pleasure

Amber Road (bought by Gray Dawes) Business Travel Direct (bought by Reed & Mackay)

(SOURCE: CWT)

37

%

...of business travellers feel the most stress before a trip when they’re planning, booking and organising travel

(SOURCE: CWT)

Three TMCs that have regularly featured in our annual Directory do not appear in this year's edition following their respective acquisitions. THEY ARE…

Ian Allan Travel (bought by Clarity)

The online adoption challenge What percentage of your travel bookings are made through an online booking tool?

(SOURCE: SAP CONCUR)

Don’t use an OBT

76-95%

26%

6%

96-100%

15%

Less than 50%

27%

Don’t know

1%

51-75%

94

%

25% ...of business travellers are willing to share PERSONAL INFORMATION to improve their business travel experience

(SOURCE: BTS)

(SOURCE: SAP CONCUR)

What’s

MOST EXCITING

G LOball

(SOURCE: BTS)

y AM ER IC AS AS IA -P AC IF IC EU ROP E

about business travel?

67

(SOURCE: SAP CONCUR)

30 % ...of travel managers have considered ditching their TMC and ‘going it alone’

%

...of business travellers believe their company lags behind when it comes to adopting the latest technologies

Visiting new destinations

33% 35% 34% 28%

Face-to-face 21% 18% 27% 16% networking Getting out of your work 18% 18% 13% 25% routine Meeting a colleague for 17% 16% 16% 19% THE first time (SOURCE: CWT)

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DEPARTURES

On the road with

Matthew Bagwell

Matthew Bagwell, the co-founder of footwear company Seven Feet Apart, shares his travel habits and preferences

DETAILS Name: Matthew Bagwell Position and company: Co-founder, Seven Feet Apart Based in: London and St Albans, UK Business trips per year: 4-6 Estimated annual mileage: around 5,000–8,000 miles Regular destinations: Porto, Portugal. Most recent trip: It was for a photoshoot in Porto. Next trip: March next year... for another photoshoot!

the day, not now I’m a startporto, up!). They understand where port entertainment and that gets its travelling is a significant part name of the trip. Loyalty points – obsessive collector or not bothered? I haven’t made the effort to become a collector. I need my loyalty to be engendered when I’m in the experience, not before or after it. Favourite loyalty scheme: I did fly Gold with Virgin, which comes with some great perks like the Clubhouse lounges.

STEPPING ONBOARD

Flights: work, rest or play? All three, although I need to be more mindful of my carbon footprint so the frequency may need to fall. Onboard connectivity – take it or leave it? Oh, please leave it. I don’t want to be plugged in when travelling. My flights to New York – monthly in my previous career – were pure escapism and a chance to read or watch films. Onboard habits: I love airline GOOD & BAD food and films, so I like to get Best business travel the absolute most out of i don't experience: I once flew to every flight. I’ll do a little bit want to be plugged in Necker Island for an of work or perhaps read a interview. When staff journal. If it’s a leisure trip, I’ll realised my destination - or turn the page of a new book to perhaps because Virgin Atlantic mark the start of my holiday. understood the concept of ‘jetset’ – I had the time of my life. DESTINATIONS Worst business travel experience: Happy never to go back to: I used Six failed landing attempts at to commute to Dusseldorf and stay Philadelphia in a snow white-out in a lacklustre hotel in the middle of before aborting to Washington. You nowhere. I’m not keen to return to know things are rough when people that barren industrial landscape. start praying. Send me back to: New York – it's invigorating. The city is constantly SUPPLIERS changing but that vibe and energy Preferred airline or hotel and why: never seem to change. And a trip to Virgin Atlantic Upper Class (back in Japan was one of the most

88

fascinating of my life. Top overseas landmark: The Colosseum in Rome. It’s spellbinding.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

don't pack too much!

locally. Too often, I’ve packed far too much and not worn it. Never leave home without: Running shoes – it’s my favourite way to get orientated in a new place. There's nothing like turning a corner in Rome and seeing something that’s stood there for thousands of years!

One thing that would improve business travel: Aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. More needs to be done to maintain the viability of sustainable flying. TRAVEL POLICY Biggest business travel irritation: Stick to the travel policy or a bit of Like for many, it's hand baggage a maverick? We don’t have one. allowances on short haul flights. I must get round to writing it! Pack light or go prepared? If you could change one Pack for the destination, not no travel thing about your travel for where you’re leaving policy...Yet policy: To be more carbonfrom. Take a passport and cards and a change of clothes. Much of the rest, you either don’t need or can buy

sensitive, so you only take a trip – anywhere - if there really is no viable alternative.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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DEPARTURES

Meeting in Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial hub of West Yorkshire and is a lively and affluent city. It’s also the largest financial and legal centre outside London, with more than 30 banks located here. Other strong industry sectors include manufacturing, engineering and medical

Leeds

Wow factor

Quirky venue

Leeds City Museum

Duke Studios

Swarthmore Leeds

This grand Grade II listed civic building, which was transformed into a state of the art museum in 2000, makes an impressive backdrop for gala dinners, receptions and ceremonies. The centrepiece is the stunning Brodrick Hall, a 401sqm atrium with balcony which can seat up to 360 guests, and there are a number of smaller meeting rooms available. Evening tours can also be arranged.

Less than a ten-minute walk from Leeds train station, this co-working space in the up and coming South Bank area has a number of interesting rooms for hire. The Event Room is the largest, and offers an industrial feel space for up to 250 people, while the cosy Not Bored Room can host up to 10 boardroom style. There is also the plant adorned Conservatory, which can seat 40 theatre-style.

Set in an attractive row of Georgian buildings, this education centre is a wellestablished budget venue with room hire available from £17 per hour. Seven light-filled meeting rooms are available for up to 40 people, a large hall can host up to 140 and there are several smaller breakout spaces. Electronic whiteboards, flipcharts and other AV equipment can be added.

Millennium Square, Leeds LS1 8BH visitleeds.co.uk/thedms

3 Sheaf Street, Leeds LS10 1HD duke-studios.com

2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD swarthmore.org.uk

making an impression

tech, writes Emma Allen

Small but perfectly formed

Getting there Frequent rail services from London to Leeds take just over two hours, with peak services running every 30 minutes. Motorway access is good, with Leeds sitting at the crossroads of the M1 and M62. Leeds Bradford Airport is eight miles from the city centre, and serves more than 75 destinations worldwide.

On a shoestring

Wired up

Out of town

Dakota Hotel

The Rose Bowl

The Leeds outpost of the chic boutique hotel chain offers a sophisticated city vibe, with 84 bedrooms decked out in muted tones of grey, and a buzzy Bar and Grill restaurant. There are two smart event spaces: the Boardroom, which can also be used for private dining, for up to 16 guests, and the Champagne room for parties of up to 20. There is also a cocktail bar with a heated outdoor terrace.

Surrounded by a 300-acre Part of Leeds Beckett University, estate, it’s easy to forget this the striking glass-clad Rose 18th-century mansion is Bowl is well located in the just a 30-minute taxi ride heart of the city centre. Looking from Leeds city centre. Offering state-of-the-art GOOD! There are nine flexible conferencing facilities, meeting rooms of varying design and AV, the venue’s sizes and the grand Oulton event space includes meeting Suite can accommodate up to rooms for up to 80 people, 350 people. The hotel also offers several auditoria and banqueting group teambuilding activities like for up to 300 dinner guests. A archery, golf and clay pigeon further 25 rooms are available shooting in its grounds. out of term for workshops.

Oulton Hall

8 Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5RN leeds.dakotahotels.co.uk

Portland Crescent, Leeds LS1 3HB leedsbeckett.ac.uk/conferencing

Rothwell Lane, Oulton, Leeds LS26 8HN oultonhall.co.uk

super chic boutique hotel

Further information Conference Leeds can assist with venue sourcing and accommodation. Contact 0113 378 1183 or see visitleeds.co.uk/conferences

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DEPARTURES

New kid on the block ruby lucy, london THE LOWDOWN

Munich-based

rooms. All come with sleep-inducing

carnival to town with its first UK

soundproofing, blackout curtains,

property, opening in January on

posh linen, and extra long and wide

London's Southbank. Defining itself

custom mattresses. Ruby Hotels

as 'lean luxury', the brand says it

plans to open a second hotel in the

focuses on the essentials – location,

capital by 2022, so watch this space.

fittings and design – but keeps it

that's a FACT

Every room comes

affordable by cutting out frills like

with its own Marshall guitar amp to

room service and overpriced

plug into. If you don't have your own

minibars. A three-minute walk from

guitar, you can borrow one from

Waterloo Station, the hotel's

reception (thank goodness for the

interiors – rich, dark tones with

soundproofing!).

bright brass, subtle stripes and

they said it

“The model

carnival-themed touches like drums

works because we accommodate

and juggling pins – are inspired by

luxury in a relatively condensed

the surrounding markets, galleries,

space, similar to luxury yachts, and

and theatre scene. There's a 24-hour

we forego unnecessary services.”

bar, communal work station, a library and 76 bedrooms, from cosy

90

'Nest' rooms to more spacious 'Loft'

Ruby Hotels is promising to bring the

rates

Rooms start

from around £110 per night.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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DEPARTURES

On business in...

Amsterdam

A city of waterways, boutiques and bicycles, Amsterdam may seem quaint but it’s also a forward-thinking European Capital of Innovation with an entrepreneurial mindset – and always on trend, writes Sasha Wood

spot the seven bridges

SLEEPING

AFTER HOURS

A hip and affordable business

Tucked inside the canal belt, the

bolthole seconds away from

area around Rembrandt

the Amstel River, citizenM Amstel is a good choice. A high-tech hotel with

dine at de plantage

high-end meeting rooms and co-working areas, it’s also

Getting there Eurostar services from London Kings Cross St Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal station take around four hours. Returning to London, passengers are required to change trains in Brussels, though a direct service begins on 15 December. EasyJet, BA, KLM and Flybe all fly direct from London and regional airports to Amsterdam with a flight time of around an hour. Further information For further visitor information see holland.com

MUST-SEE SIGHTS Board a Pure Boat tour outside Royal Theatre Carre on the Amstel River for

Square is a lively location

a leisurely tour of Amsterdam’s cute

for drinking, socialising and

and utterly charming canal belt. Many

dancing after hours. The

of the city’s museums are clustered

Flying Dutchman cocktail

neatly together in Museum Square.

bar serves up interesting

The Rijksmuseum houses a stellar

within walking distance of

artisanal creations. To extend your

collection of Van Goghs and

Amsterdam’s prime places of

evening, head to Claire, a club in

Rembrandts, and boutique art venue

interest for an inspiring break from

Rembrandt Square with a diverse

the Moco Museum showcases

work. Other picks include the Moxy

crowd, a good sound system and

subversive art from the likes of

Amsterdam Houthavens or, for

two rooms of thumping music

Banksy, inside a rambling old Dutch

longer stays, SACO's canalside

curated by local as well as

house. Elsewhere, Anne Frank’s House

Wittenberg aparthotel.

internationally-renowned DJs.

is a must-see memorial to the WWII heroine, but it’s very popular so be

EATING

GETTING DOWNTOwN

Overlooking the Amstel River,

Eurostar services deposit visitors

Bam Boa restaurant has relaxed

right in the heart of the city at

Scandi summer house vibes and

Amsterdam Centraal train station.

delicious food. Dining at De Plantage

Travellers flying into Schiphol

feels like eating in a greenhouse at

International Airport can take the

Kew. Although you might have to be

airport train into the centre of the

a little patient waiting to order, the

city, with a journey time of 15-20

gourmet Italian and Spanish inspired

minutes. Taxis and Ubers are

dishes are faultless.

readily available.

sure to book tickets in advance.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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DEPARTURES

Focus on...

The number one business travel destination with the world's largest economy, the USA's traditionally close relationship with the UK is ever more critical as we depart the EU trade bloc, fuelling more British business travel to the region than ever before, says Sasha Wood

the USA

Natural trading partners, the USA and the UK have historically been firm economic friends. Today we have $1.2trillion tied up in each other’s economies, and the USA is the UK’s largest export market for goods and services, accounting for 18.9% of total exports in the year ending March 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While the UK is dwarfed by the USA's juggernaut economy – the world's largest – it’s nevertheless the USA’s fourth largest export market, accounting for more trade than any other European nation by a wide

margin. Goods traded trans-Atlantic include electronics and food and drink. UK products are in demand in the USA and have a strong reputation for quality. Emerging categories include English sparkling wines, cheese, and gin, and UK services are also highly valued, with £65.2billion worth of services exported to the States between 2018 and 2019. Crucially, Britain is the USA’s largest international investor, representing 18% of foreign direct investment, more than Japan and Canada, and significantly more than the fastgrowing economies of India and China.

In fact, UK businesses support more than a million jobs across the Atlantic, including almost a quarter in manufacturing, a sector where the UK is the single biggest investor at $232billion, says the CBI. British companies create jobs in every State too, with the lion's share in Texas, followed by New York and California. US firms support a similar chunk of workers in the UK. The close relationship between the two nations is even more vital as the UK leaves the EU trading bloc, though there are signs that negotiating a fresh free trade agreement with the USA may take longer than first thought.

THE USA Time zones: GMT -4hrs (Eastern); GMT -5hrs (Central); GMT -6hrs (Mountain); GMT -7hrs (Pacific) Currency: US Dollar: £1 = $1.28. Exchange rates are approximate. Visas: UK passport holders can visit the USA for business for up to 90 days through the US Visa Waiver Program. Travellers will need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) online. This is usually valid for two years or until the passport expires. Dialling code: +1

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DEPARTURES

Addressing the anticipated shift, CBI's International Director, Ben Digby, is optimistic: "It is a source of great pride and credit to the UK and the USA that our two nations have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. "Trade is not all about free trade agreements – there is so much we can do now to improve it. The first priority is protecting what we’ve already got by ensuring

continuity in trade when the UK leaves the EU. Westminster and Washington must then focus on things that can be done now, such as mutual recognition of professional qualifications, greater regulatory collaboration and making the case for free trade together on the international stage... these are low hanging fruits." Among the region's key cities for international business, everyone wants a bite of the Big Apple. Globally New York is the biggest business travel destination according to data from Big Four TMC Egencia. British Airways’ On Business program for

SMEs shows the number of business travellers flying between London Gatwick and New York’s JFK airport rose by 10% in 2018 on what is traditionally a leisure route. What's more, nearly $5.5billion worth of goods were shipped to the UK from New York. While finance is obviously the mainstay of New York's Wall Streetbased businesses, and it's East Coast counterpart Boston thrives on high technology, down south it's black gold that's king. Houston no longer produces so much as co-ordinates the industry, acting as a chief technical

centre employing hundreds of thousands of highly-skilled engineers. Its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico also makes the area critical for trade. The famously forward-thinking City by the Bay, San Francisco has become a major international tech hub and also features in Egencia’s top 25 business destinations, along with Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles. There’s a clear mutual dependency between the Americans and the British that's only set to be cemented further post-Brexit. So it’s little wonder the USA remains the UK’s single biggest business travel destination.

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DEPARTURES

Factfile: the USA

• Information provided by Cirium (cirium.com) and named airlines

FLIGHTS AIR NEW ZEALAND: Flies Heathrow to Los Angeles (ends Oct 2020).

and Boston (summer); and Glasgow to New York (summer).

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Flies from Heathrow to Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Raleigh Durham, New York and, from March 2020, Boston. Also flies to Philadelphia from Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh,

NORWEGIAN: Flies Gatwick to Boston, LA, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco and Tampa.

BRITISH AIRWAYS: Serves the following US cities: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa and Washington. DELTA AIR LINES: Flies from Heathrow to Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Portland (summer) and Salt Lake City; from Edinburgh to New York

SINGAPORE AIRLINES: Flies from Manchester to Houston. UNITED: Flies Heathrow to New York, Chicago, Washington-Dulles, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco; from Manchester and Edinburgh to New York; and seasonally from Edinburgh to Chicago and Washington, and from Glasgow to New York. VIRGIN ATLANTIC: Flies from Heathrow to Atlanta, Boston, LA, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Seattle; from Manchester to Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, New York, Orlando and LA; and to Orlando from Gatwick, Glasgow and Belfast.

sleeping MARRIOTT: The world’s largest oldest international hotel brand. It hotel operator, Marriott has its HQ offers high-end accommodation in in Maryland. With 4,000 properties virtually every key US city. The in the USA, it has a presence in Willard InterContinental in every major city including Washington D.C. and Atlanta, San Francisco, InterContinental Chicago Chicago, Boston and Magnificent Mile are HILTON HAS Houston. In New York it housed in historic 272 hotels on has more than two dozen buildings while the home turf properties under brands InterContinental Boston including The Lexington Hotel has won several awards. and W New York – Times Square. BEST WESTERN: The three-star IHG: Pan American Airways opened hotel chain offers great value the first InterContinental Hotel accommodation across the States back in 1946, making it the world’s with more than 2,000 hotels in convenient locations such as airports and business districts, including Best Western Plus Houston Downtown and Hobby Airport Inn in Houston and similar properties in Dallas and Miami. HILTON: The famous brand founded in the USA has hotels in every major US city and continues to grow on its home turf with 272 properties and counting. The recently-revamped San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel (pictured) is a staple on the city's skyline.

94

Chicago's full of beans

off duty BOSTON: America’s oldest city is also one of its top tourist destinations with more than 62 historic sites, and nearly 2,000 restaurants. Follow the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail to tick off sites such as the Revolutionary War battleground. For panoramic views head to the Skywalk Observatory. NEW YORK: For first-time visitors, ascending the Empire State Building, visiting the Statue of Liberty and browsing the Met’s astounding art collection are absolute musts. But the city is awash with places such as Central Park and Fifth Avenue, made familiar by the movies.

MIAMI: Take in classic Miami architecture on South Beach’s Ocean Drive, enjoy a touch of colourful Cuban culture and music in Little Havana, or head to the Everglades National Park, an hour's drive away.

LOS ANGELES: LA’s tourist trail includes Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame follow and the Dolby theatre, CHICAGO: Visit boston's home to the Oscars. Millennium Park for freedom Tours past the homes of renowned public art such trail the rich and famous in as Cloud Gate (aka the Beverly Hills are popular. Bean), or the Chicago History Head to Santa Monica to soak Museum to see the story of the up LA’s seaside scene, including city, and sample a slice of famous weird and wonderful Venice Beach. deep dish Chicago pizza.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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Business across the pond? Enjoy amazing benefits from two amazing airlines. Business sorted. Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines are redefining transatlantic travel, creating a seamless experience that makes business travel a pleasure. And there are plenty of reasons to choose us when flying across the Atlantic. • Over 200 connections across North America • Both Virgin Atlantic and Delta are award-winning airlines • Super convenient co-locations at key US hubs like JFK and Atlanta • Sleep like a dream in your fully flat bed in Upper Class and Delta One® • WiFi way up high, on nearly all our transatlantic routes Find out more at virginatlantic.com

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DEPARTURES

Reality check HOTEL: WILDE A PAR T HOT E L BY STAYCIT Y L O NDO N COV E NT G AR DE N THE APARTHOTEL

This 106-room

studio was perfectly well set up for

aparthotel opened in 2018 and was the

longer stays, with a small sofa, table

first Wilde property from Staycity. It

and chairs, kitchenette with basin,

says its premium brand 'was inspired by

Nespresso coffee machine, SMEG kettle

Oscar Wilde'. It's in a prime location on

and toaster, microwave, hob, fridge,

the corner of the Strand and just a

mini dishwasher and 43-inch wall-

short walk from Charing Cross Station.

mounted TV. There was reasonable

The group has recently opened a

hanging space for clothes and a fairly

second Wilde aparthotel in Berlin with a

small but good quality shower room.

third opening imminently in Edinburgh.

Electric blinds and lighting were all

THE CHECK-IN

The small and simple

controlled by a touch panel by the bed,

lobby had a couple of self check-in

while a whatsapp number was available

units but a friendly member of staff

to contact staff with any queries. There

nevertheless completed the process for

was also a small basket full of crisps

me and showed me to my room.

and snacks that were available to buy.

THE ROOM

My studio room was

THE FACILITIES

of note. The property has been kept

windows and views of the busy Strand

simple and there's no bar, restaurant

below. Decor was understated with

or even communal space, although

just a splash of colour here and there.

discounted breakfast is available at

The bed, with Hypnos mattress, was

nearby Smith & Wollensky for £15 and

comfortable if a little high off the

there's a room service menu too.

ground – although I understood why

THE VERDICT

of the quirky artwork and touches

There are no facilities

nice and light, with floor-to-ceiling

I enjoyed my fleeting

when I eventually found the iron and

stay at this aparthotel and would

ironing board stashed away in the large

happily visit for longer. It was stylish

storage area beneath the bed. The

without trying too hard and I liked some

like copies of Oscar Wilde's books stacked on the bedside table. The

THIS WILDE APARTHOTEL WAS STYLISH WITHOUT TRYING TOO HARD

location is also a boon for business and leisure guests alike. THE DETAILS

Wilde Covent Garden,

11 Adam Street, London WC2N 6AA. Rates start from £229 per night for studios. 'Stay Sweet' members receive a 10% discount. staycity.com/wilde

Andy Hoskins

HOT E L : CIT IZE NM AM ST E L , AM ST E R DAM THE HOTEL

Perfectly pitched on

and nothing you don’t”. Immensely

the edge of Amsterdam’s canal belt, the

comfortable king-size beds are topped

new CitizenM is the brand’s third hotel

with crisp white Egyptian cotton sheets

in its home city, and is named after the

and fluffy soft pillows. The lighting,

river Amstel that flows close by.

television, blinds and climate are all

Inhabiting a smart 1920s building, it has

controlled by an easy-to-use iPad and I

88 stylish rooms, hip interiors and cool

spent a while playing with the novel

co-working spaces that help it stand out

room settings that allow guests to

from the crowd.

customise their environment according

THE CHECK-IN

The hotel has

embraced all the latest technology

to their mood. THE FACILITIES

A boutique business

including self-check-in kiosks that will

hotel, its arty communal areas are the

put an electronic room-key in your

perfect co-working space with an all-

hands within minutes. Nevertheless,

day café, bar and snack canteen in the

the desk is still manned by friendly

'Living Room' and plenty of cosy

CitizenM ‘ambassadors’ who were able

nooks. Designed by CitizenM’s

to check me into a free room when I

Amsterdam-based partner Concrete,

arrived early.

the hotel features original artworks,

THE ROOM

CitizenM doesn’t have

bookcases full of literature and stylish

room categories – they are usually the

ergonomic furniture by renowned

same except for the original artworks.

designers Vitra. There are also two

But for this hotel it developed two

meeting rooms that can accommodate

different room designs to fit with the

up to 16 people, and include AV

configuration of the building. Compact

equipment and cables, designer

minimalist rooms are functional but

furniture and blackboard and

design-led with “everything you need

whiteboard walls to write on.

96

THE VERDICT

A brilliant and

affordable alternative to more

A BRILLIANT AND AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE TO MORE TRADITIONAL HOTELS

traditional hotels, this is a relaxing bolthole for a business trip with a convenient location for exploring Amsterdam’s charming canal belt. THE DETAILS

Sarphatistraat 47, 1018

EW, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Rates start at £90 per night. For more information see citizenm.com

Sasha Wood

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

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12/2/19 06:10 PM


DEPARTURES

HOT E L : AM M AN M AR R IOT T , AM M AN, J O R DAN THE HOTEL

Set on the edge of

comfortable and the Egyptian cotton

central Amman between the bustling

sheets and airy duvet helped me get a

downtown and business districts, the

good night’s rest. The marble walk-in

Amman Marriott makes a convenient

rain shower and generous amenities

base for forays into its pleasantly

were ideal for the kind of regular

buzzing streets and souks of the city,

refreshing washes necessitated by the

while also having easy access to the

hot dusty heat in this part of the world.

Queen Alia International Airport via the

In Jordan, Marriott hotels offer Dead

city’s wide highways.

Sea mud products in its bathrooms,

THE CHECK-IN

I arrived in a large

group so we were invited to take a seat

which are a really nice perk. THE FACILITIES

Five-star facilities

in the grand reception area where the

include a lovely Arabian-style pool and

hotel manager joined us and handed us

terrace that’s an outdoor oasis of calm

room key cards individually. My suitcase

in the heart of the city, while the on-site

arrived at my room before I did, and

Oasis Health Club is an indoor haven

there was a sweet welcome gift of Dead

with a cool circular pool, saunas, steam

ten meetings and event rooms, the

Sea products waiting on my bed, as well

rooms and fluffy robes. Guests looking

largest of which has capacity for 400

as fresh fruit on the table.

for some peace and quiet or the finer

people for receptions.

THE ROOM

A welcome message

things in life can head to the elegant

on my huge flat-screen television read

Library Lounge and Cigar Bar for

‘Welcome Mr Wood’ which made me

premium tobacco and artisan cocktails.

chuckle. My room was bathed in light

I dined at the Italian Il Terrazzo

through wide windows overlooking the

restaurant that opens out onto the pool

city, with heavy curtains and ambient

area with live cooking stations serving

lighting for the evening. The king-sized

delicious Italian cuisine, including

pillow-topped bed was deeply

yummy gelato for dessert. There are

A WELL-LOCATED, COMFORTABLE AND RELIABLE RETREAT

THE VERDICT

This trusty Marriott

offers a reliable and comfortable retreat that’s well located for all the key spots in this thriving, inviting city. THE DETAILS

Issam Al-Ajlouni Street

11190, Amman, Jordan. Rates start at £87 per night. marriott.co.uk

Sasha Wood

HOT E L : F O U R SE ASO NS HAM PSHIR E THE HOTEL

This Four Seasons hotel

is set in a restored 18th century manor house on 500 acres of ground in

would be ready and then met and shown to it around 15 minutes later. THE ROOM

A light, spacious

Hampshire. It's a 15-minute drive from

room with 'classic' decor overlooking

Basingstoke and 45 minutes from

the hotel's central courtyard. There was

Heathrow Airport. I'd downloaded the

an enormous double bed, table and

Four Seasons app before my visit and

chairs, large walk-in closet, minibar,

successfully added my reservation,

coffee machine and a marble bathroom

enabling me to input an estimated arrival

with separate bath and shower.

time and make a dinner reservation

THE FACILITIES

Amenities include the

through the chat function – this was

spa, pools, tennis courts and activities

automatically added to my 'trip itinerary'.

such as croquet, a ropes course, horse-

Other bookings such as spa treatments

riding, fishing and clay pigeon shooting

and activities can also be arranged via

– a wide range is available for corporate

the app and added to an itinerary.

events. There's a number of event spaces including a ballroom, Fox Hollow

and staff on the door dressed in

and, although valet parking was available,

private dining room, a boardroom and

country attire setting the tone from

chose to park in the main car park a

even a canal boat, plus outdoor spaces

short walk from the main entrance. A

such as the Walled Garden. Dinner at

log fire greeted new arrivals in the busy

the hotel restaurant, Wild Carrot, was

reception area. Friendly staff swiftly

excellent. It was remarkably busy but

completed the check-in paperwork but

staff were abundant – and forthcoming

as the room wasn't ready I was shown

with recommendations from the menu.

THE CHECK-IN

I drove to the hotel

to The Library and invited to have a

THE VERDICT

It doesn't get much

drink. I was messaged via the app to let

more quintessentially English than this,

me know approximately when the room

with the long drive through the grounds

IT DOESN'T GET MUCH MORE QUINTESSENTIALLY ENGLISH THAN THIS

the start. A great country escape for impressive meetings and events, and the app is a useful addition too. THE DETAILS

Dogmersfield Park,

Chalky Lane, Dogmersfield, Hampshire RG27 8TD. Rates start from £315 per night in a Mews Room including breakfast. fourseasons.com/hampshire

Andy Hoskins

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

reality check.indd 97

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DEPARTURES

The final word

A royal apppointment...

I

s your dreary office getting you down through these long winter months? Then why not opt for a change of scenery and apply to work at Buckingham Palace with the Queen herself? In what might be considered the pinnacle of travel management, the Royal Family is looking for a Director of Royal Travel to help keep costs down on royal visits. Perhaps in response to the criticism of Harry and Meghan’s recent favouring of private jets, the successful candidate will “operate and purchase safe, efficient, cost effective and appropriate travel services for the official duties of Members of the Royal Family and their Households”. And they will have “overall responsibility for organising air travel and overseeing the operations of The Queen’s Helicopter Flight and usage of

Size isn’t everything! Global affairs magazine Monocle has ranked the world’s best ‘small’ cities with populations of up to 200,000 people. 1

Lausanne, Switzerland

2

Boulder, USA

3

Bergen, Norway

4

Hobart, Australia

5

Chigasaki, Japan

6

Bolzano, Italy

7

Bordeaux, France

8

Innsbruck, Austria

9

Porto, Portugal

10

scheduled train services and the Royal Train”, says the job description, which states the hours of work as 37.5 per week. It might be a little more complicated than booking the cheapest Ryanair flights from

Striking a chord

H

ave you ever wanted to spend the night in a giant guitar? Us neither. But there's no need to fret because the good (?!) news is that now you can! The new Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the world’s first hotel shaped like a guitar and seems to be hitting all the right notes with guests. The newly expanded hotel has 638 guest rooms – no strings attached – a 4.5-acre lagoon-style pool, a flagship casino and some 100 shows a year lined up. At 450 feet tall, the Florida skyline will never be the same again.

98

Keep it small

Aachen, Germany

London Stansted, but for any travel managers up to the challenge, there’s a starting salary of up to £85,000 up for grabs. But be quick… applications for the role close December 20 2019.

Absence does makes the hear grow fonder, according to a survey from Travelodge which found Britons who work away on business have happier relationships than those who don’t. In fact, as many as 40% of those who regularly work away from home describe their relationship as “extremely happy”, compared to just 28% of those who never go away on business. So next time your partner moans about you having to travel for work, let them know it’s for their own good.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

Final Word.indd 98

12/2/19 06:10 PM


Los Angeles Rio de Janeiro Mexico City Chicago

Oakwood® Knows Dublin Shanghai Dubai London Tokyo Berlin

Peter A. Prefers to be close to the office

Likes cooking, loves dishwashers

Enjoys jogging by the river

Desires a dining area fit for entertaining

No matter the journey, Oakwood® is always the perfect destination. Our global footprint, regional presence and local market knowledge gives us the flexibility to customise our serviced apartment solutions to best suit your business requirements, wherever your job may take you. That’s how we ensure every road leads to Oakwood®.

Wants room for relatives with weekends to spare

Call or visit us online to see how we can help you today.

Oakwood.com

+44 (0) 20 7749 4460

OakwoodUK@Oakwood.com

© Copyright 2018 Oakwood. All Rights Reserved

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Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

The Business Travel Magazine - December/January 2019  

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 2019  

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