THE RIGHT FIT
Find the perfect TMC partner with our essential pull-out guide
Travel risk management People Awards 2022 Nominations now open for the BUsiness travel People Awards
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Choose FREE NOW for Business. Safe, seamless & sustainable business travel. Every single trip is carbon offset Choose from the largest fleet of electric vehicle options in the UK Remove the stress of manually expensing taxi receipts
MARCH-APRIL 2022 Features
15 Rail: UK domestic rail operators
are working hard to attract the corporate market but there are still barriers to break through 22 Rail Insight: Why business travel chiefs were disappointed by the Integrated Rail Plan
INSIDE THI S I SSUE
Your 2022 guide to
Travel Management Companies
Up front 6
Opening shots: Eye-catching images of the latest openings and developments
Everyone's Talking About: The industry's talent shortage
Speaking Out: GSA's Lee Whiteing urges the industry to
embrace the new ISO 31030
10 News and trends, plus comment from the BTA and the ITM
For everything you need to know about TMCs, see our pull-out guide
24 Reality check: We check out a dog-friendly country estate,
apartment concepts in Dublin and London, and a fun, musicthemed hotel in Ibiza 26 Gallery: The Dinner Club 27 Final word: The lighter side of
2022 TMC Guide
Introduction: Overview of the key trends in the TMC space
Service: The pandemic's impact on TMC service levels
10 Sustainability: How TMCs are helping you meet your carbon
reduction targets 14 TMC Directory: Our annual listing of the key players 18 Duty of care: Renewed impetus and the TMC's role 22 RFP Guide: 10 top tips to take the pain out of the RFP process
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Welcome Stronger together
he power of collaboration has been an overriding theme throughout the pandemic and is being demonstrated once again as governments and businesses around the world unite to support the people of the Ukraine.
The full ramiﬁcations of this desperately sad situation will be felt in time, but what provides us all with hope is that even those who don't always see eye to eye are willing to put their diﬀerences aside and unite in times of adversity. Requiring trust, communication, respect and compromise, when partnerships work well they can help overcome almost any obstacle. In the last few years, the relationship between corporates and TMCs has been put under immense pressure by challenges on both sides – new complexities of travel, a reduced workforce, decimated talent pool and changing working practices to name but a few. In the new era, having the right TMC partner is more vital than ever, so take time to read our essential 24-page pull-out TMC Guide and Directory in this issue. Our 2022 guide covers recent TMC consolidation, new service requirements, how TMCs are helping corporates meet duty of care, and how to take the pain out of an RFP. It also explores how TMCs are supporting corporates in their eﬀorts to cut their carbon footprint. As the BTA says in its recent ESG report, sustainability requires industry collaboration on a scale we have not previously seen. Our May/June issue will be dedicated to responsible business travel, exploring how we can take the lead on sustainability, DE&I and wellbeing. In the meantime, our new-look weekly newsletter, out every Wednesday, will keep you up to date with sustainability matters and more. If you haven't already signed up, go to thebusinesstravelmag.com/subscribe.
Bev Fearis CONTRIBUTORS
April Waterston, Charlotte Flach & Gillian Upton EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
ADVERTISING SALES PUBLISHER / COMMERCIAL HEAD
DESIGN & PRODUCTION DESIGNERS
Matt Bonner and Caitlan Francis PRODUCTION & STUDIO MANAGER
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: 501 THE RESIDENCE, NO. 1 ALEXANDRA TERRACE, GUILDFORD, GU1 3DA, 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 2022 COVER IMAGE: iSTOCK.COM / OVEREARTH OTHER IMAGES SOURCED FROM SUPPLIERS, iSTOCK.COM, BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM AND UNSPLASH.COM
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TRADE PUBLICATION — ONLINE
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thebusinesstravelmag.com NEWS / FEATURES / RESOURCES / PEOPLE / REVIEWS / EVENTS / VIDEOS / PODCASTS
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ARRIVALS OPENING SHOTS
Eye-catching images of the latest news and developments
Interiors mirror the neighbourhood's new grown-up feel while the buzz and vibrance of Shoreditch are retained in the hotel's public spaces”
One Hundred Shoreditch
Lore Group – the people who brought us Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam – have opened One Hundred Shoreditch, a 258room hotel in this buzzy neighbourhood. The hotel's rooftop bar promises to bring the feel of a 'private garden' with views across East London. 6
Hotel Indigo Omaha
Moxy Manchester City
The bar doubles as a check-in desk and the first cocktail is free at the Moxy Manchester City. Located in the heart of the city's vibrant Spinningfields quarter, the quirky hotel has 146 bedrooms, a 24-hour eaterie, nightly DJs, and a digital ‘Guestbook’ wall streaming photos and videos. Rooms start from £99 a night – and dogs are welcome too.
Prohibition era-inspired cocktails, crafted from local ingredients and spirits, will be served in the speakeasy, Anna’s Place, at the Hotel Indigo Omaha Downtown in Nebraska, one of the latest US openings from this boutique brand from hotel giant IHG. The hotel's 90 guest rooms are modern with "rich, textural elements".
Hotel La Tour
Milton Keynes will get a new £39 million hotel in April courtesty of British privately-owned group, Hotel La Tour, which previously had a hotel in Birmingham. A stylish 14th-floor restaurant will serve contemporary British food while guests enjoy the panoramic views over Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com
UP FRONT hot topic
Everyone's talking about... the talent shortage “There was already a predicted talent shortage looming and Covid has accelerated this” Lynne Griffiths, CEO, Sirius Talent Solutions
“The way to avoid a talent crisis is to earn a reputation for doing the right thing by your staff” Scott Pawley, Managing Director, Global Travel Management
It’s tough. It’s definitely a candidate’s market. As an employer, you’ve got to try and sell your business to people. There is less loyalty now and they need to feel the company fits their requirements Edward Rom, founder and CEO EFR Travel Group
If you just can’t move on salary and benefits, can you offer some form of flexible working? Anything that can be seen as adding value in one way or another may just help you get the people you are looking for” Claire Muge, Sales Director, Travel Trade Recruitment
The business travel sector has looked after its people and, where necessary, helped them find jobs in other industries. As we recover from the pandemic we must reassert why we’re a great industry to work in, look after our people and prioritise bringing in new talent Clive Wratten, CEO, Business Travel Association
“Recruiting lost talent is essential and there’s an opportunity to recruit individuals with fresh new perspectives, not just on travel but also on areas such as sustainability and duty of care” Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO, Advantage Travel Partnership
3/7/22 06:35 PM
UP FRONT SPEAKING OUT
IGNORE AT YOUR PERIL Failing to act now on the new ISO 31030 could be the biggest risk of all, warns GSA's Lee Whiteing
ince the launch of the long-awaited ISO 31030 last year, it is fast becoming one of the most talked about subjects in travel risk management. Developed from the existing ISO 31000, in collaboration with GSA’s Bob Quick, it addresses all aspects of corporate travel. It covers everything from authorisation, planning and policy to accommodation, transport and traveller assessment. It's the only clear framework travel managers can use to create consistent and comprehensive travel risk management strategies. Although there has already been much conversation around the new ISO, the importance of this new framework really cannot be overstated. It not only provides a guide to the creation of a complete risk management strategy but guarantees that employee safety secures the right level of recognition and investment within a business.
The advice is now written in black and white. If read and implemented correctly, it will be the biggest asset for a travel manager. However, if ignored, it could become the biggest risk of all. No wonder it's become so widely talked about. Talking, however, is just the first step. As business travel returns in the coming the months, the standard must be read, understood and implemented. According to our recent poll over half of the participants still have not read the ISO despite their awareness of its importance. This clearly needs to change.
The ISO has been developed to be easily accessible and understood by all. It is what the business travel community has needed for a long time and will help to reinforce the systems that are already in place, as well as identifying the gaps. As we move further into 2022, the new standard is giving travel managers the tools to navigate the ever-changing travel risk landscape. The shake-up of the industry due to Covid-19 has given rise to new areas of risk. The standard, however, will help relieve this uncertainty. As well as highlighting areas for improvement, the survey we conducted also delivered some positive takeaways. The majority of the people do, in fact, have plans to embed the ISO 31030 into their organisation in 2022. This is a significant and positive reassurance as workers return to the office. With the backing of the new standard behind them, travel managers will be able to create new and improved risk management programmes. We hope that as we continue to draw attention to this important subject, we will encourage wider understanding and adoption of these essential measures across the travel industry – creating enough momentum for meaningful change in 2022 and beyond.
iSTOCK.COM / JOECICAK
LEE WHITEING Lee Whiteing is Commercial Director at Global Secure Accreditation (GSA), responsible for commercial strategy, marketing and sales. Before that he spent over two decades at HSBC, most recently as Head of Global Travel Operations.
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THE NEWS REVIEW
O N L I N E
F O R
L A T E S T
N E W S
European spending spree continues for TripActions TRIPACTIONS has continued its rapid expansion in Europe with the acquisition of two TMCs. It has bought Berlin-based Comtravo and Gothenburg-based Resia AB. The deals follow the purchase of UK-based high-touch TMC Reed & Mackay in May 2021 and bring the group's European investment up to more than $400m. Comtravo CEO Michael Riegel has become General Manager of TripActions EMEA. A spokeswoman for TripActions said all Resia staff, including its management, will stay onboard under Riegel's leadership.
TripActions said it was seeing positive signs of recovery in the European region with a sharp rise in corporate travel, particularly in sales and marketing and in 'team travel' where internal teams meet for collaboration. TripActions continues its European roll-out of Liquid, its corporate card and expense management solution. The card monitors business spend and can be loaded with travel policies and spending controls based on role, expense category, business context and other criteria.
bookings almost back to pre-covid levels, says TMC group Travel Counsellors has recorded a bounce-back in corporate bookings, reporting that sales in February 2022 were back to 92% of 2019 levels. It says sales of business trips for January and February combined hit £18million, which represents 82% of pre-pandemic sales. Kieran Hartwell, Managing Director Corporate Travel, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see this surge, similar to what we've also seen in the leisure market."
Brussels chosen for GBTA conference THE GBTA is to hold its next European Conference in the Belgian capital, Brussels. It will be the first time it has held the event in the city. The 2022 conference, in partnership with VDR, will take place on November 8-10. In another first for the association, there will be a Sustainability Summit on day one. Due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, the 2021 conference was postponed from December to the end of February/beginning of March this year. According to the GBTA, more than 550 people attended the conference and 20% of delegates were buyers. The Brussels conference will take place at The Square Convention Centre, in the historic heart of the city and close to the centre of European government.
Rail Sustainability Business Travel Lunch Forum
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO ATTEND: MAY 17 2022, THE CALEDONIAN CLUB LONDON Spaces are limited to senior corporate buyers. For more information or to register your interest in attending, please contact Kirsty Hicks: Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk This event is kindly sponsored by SWR.
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THE NEWS REVIEW
T H E B U S I N E S S T R A V E L m A G . C O m
IN BRIEF uber direct
Uber for Business has integrated with corporate travel software Etta, powered by Deem, to enable business travellers to request on-demand and reserved rides with Uber for Business directly within the Etta desktop and mobile corporate travel booking platform, alongside bookings for flights and hotels.
Flying Butler is expanding in London with the launch of two new properties. Flying Butler Kensington has one- and twobedroom apartments, some with private outside space, while a property in Canning Town has one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with private balconies and a penthouse suite with a substantial terrace with panoramic city views.
Nominations open for people awards 2022 eNTRIeS are now open for the 2022 Business Travel People Awards, which this year includes six new categories. These are: Travel Technology Innovator, Sustainability Champion, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion, Travel Buyer of the Year, TMC of the Year, and a special award chosen by the Judges' Chair, Leigh Cowlishaw. The awards, now in their 11th year, recognise outstanding individuals and teams in business travel. Nominations will close at midnight on April 25, after which judging will take place to select the finalists. Winners will be announced at a glittering evening ceremony on September 13 at the Leonardo Royal City Hotel London.
Private aviation group Vista Global Holding has entered into an agreement to acquire Air Hamburg’s operating platform and maintenance services. Air Hamburg is the largest private jet operator in Europe when based on the number of flights flown.
EFR Travel Group has revamped its website so that it now covers all of its corporate and leisure brands. In the last four years, the 20-year-old company's corporate travel management arm has acquired CSR Travel, WDT and, most recently, Matrix Travel Management in 2021.
new faces join judging panel for this year's people awards FOUR new industry experts have joined the esteemed panel of judges for the prestigious Business Travel People Awards this year. Last year’s Rising Star, Jennifer Robinson, Client Services Counsellor Synergy Global Housing, and Shining Star, Dani Ives Partnership Project Manager Focus Travel Partnership, will join the panel, along with Independent Consultant Bex Deadman and GBTA EMEA Head of Communications Nikki Stimson.
ITm Scott davies Chief Executive
One of the great questions currently facing our industry is this: how do you measure the value of a face-to-face meeting versus a virtual one? In ITM's 2022 Trending Survey, almost two-thirds of buyers said they were now directly involved in their company’s conversation about the rationale and ROI of in-person meetings. I have always been in awe of the multi-talented, versatile, corporate chameleons that travel managers and buyers need to be. Now they have this new brief: the meeting value consultant. The financial and, increasingly, the environmental cost of travel can be routinely assessed. Quantifying the other side of the equation – the human and commercial benefit of bringing people together – has not been robustly achieved, but many bright minds are on the case. The critical nature of this new angle for travel buyers leads us to wonder what will be the characteristics that are sought when looking for the next generation of talent? Given how central the remit is becoming to organisational culture and people strategy, will we see more buyers of with less or even no travel background? We’ll be watching with interest!
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THE NEWS REVIEW
S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y
VIRGIN SIGNS SAF DEAL for Heathrow
IN BRIEF Eco rewards
Wizz Air has unveiled a new car rental reward scheme to reward customers who choose to rent more eco-friendly vehicles with its partner Rentalcars.com. Passengers will receive up to a 10% cashback reward when opting to rent an electric or hybrid vehicle via Green Motion, a provider of lower carbon emissions car rental options.
Etihad Airways has launched a dedicated sustainability-focused corporate rewards programme: Corporate Conscious Choices. It is designed to facilitate and deliver corporate partner sustainability goals through carbon offsetting, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) investments and green surcharge fares.
easyjet has launched carbon emissions reportinG for its corporate customers, sharing facts based on real flown data to help them reduce their footprint and identify cost savings.
Swiss is to become the first airline to use solar aviation fuel to help power its flights, working with Switzerland-based Synhelion to use ‘sun-toliquid’ solar kerosene.
Synergy Global Housing has partnered with GreenFeet as part of a pledge to reduce its global carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. It will utilise GreenFeet’s technology platform to streamline the collection, measurement and interpretation of carbon emissions data to identify key areas across its global operations to reduce its carbon footprint.
TravelPerk unveils GreenPark API TravelPerk has launched GreenPerk API, a sustainabilityfocussed open API-based service. Claiming an industry-first, TravelPerk said GreenPerk API provides direct access to “the most comprehensive data and analytics available” about a business’s carbon footprint across all travel verticals including flights, accommodation, rail and car hire. Building on TravelPerk’s GreenPerk product, the tool allows users to measure their carbon footprint and build strategies to cost-effectively reduce emissions and help them reach net zero. Businesses and travel management platforms that integrate GreenPerk API can also make use of data gathering, analytical insights and access to offsetting.
VIRGIN Atlantic has signed an agreement with Neste Oyi for the supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to be delivered to London Heathrow in the first half of 2022. The deal, which is for 2.5 million litres/2,000 metric tonnes of SAF, is an important step towards the airline’s target of 10% SAF by 2030. Made from sustainably-sourced, renewable waste and residue raw materials, in its neat form SAF cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% of life cycle, compared to traditional fossil jet fuel. Holly Boyd-Boland, the airline's VP Corporate Development, said: "This supply is the beginning of commercial SAF at scale for us and whilst only enough to operate 140 London-New York flights, it’s a starting point."
industry must ACT NOW on sustainabilitY THE BTA is calling for the travel industry to urgently prioritise sector-wide collaboration to ensure sustainable development. The appeal was made as the BTA published its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Responsibilities report. Titled ‘We Can’t Do It Alone’, it features interviews with over 30 stakeholders across the business travel industry, with input from hotels, aviation, rail and technology sectors. The report is structured by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as drawn by the United Nations (UN). Clive Wratten, BTA CEO, said: “It is critical that we take collective responsibility for our ESG activity as we recover from the pandemic, and now we have a focus to streamline these efforts."
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THE NEWS REVIEW
T H E B U S I N E S S T R A V E L m A G . C O m
Travel companies cut ties with Russia DISTRIBUTION giants Sabre and Amadeus have joined a fast-growing number of travel-related companies taking action in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Both have begun suspending the sales of Aeroflot flights in their global distribution systems and are ceasing other commercial projects in Russia. Expedia has stopped all sales into and out of Russia, issuing a statement saying: “We are saddened by what continues to unfold in Ukraine and will continue to do what we can to support impacted travellers, partners, and our team members with families and friends in the affected areas.” Aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing have also cut off support services for Russian airlines.
BuSINESS TRaVEL coNfIdENcE RISES BuT NEW fEaRS EmERgE CONFIDeNCe in the recovery of business travel rose sharply in February but the war in Ukraine has given rise to new concerns. According to the latest GBTA poll, 82% of global members feel their employees are “willing” or “very willing” to travel for business in the current environment, compared to 64% in the January poll. Just over half said they will want to travel around the same amount as before the pandemic and 13%
said they will want to travel more. Just under a third said they want to travel “somewhat or much less”. But a delegate poll taken at the end of the GBTA Conference in Berlin a few weeks later showed concern for the impact of geo-political tensions. Around half of delegates said they fear this will be the next shock to the industry, followed by a financial or economic crisis (23%) and sustainability (19%).
B T A C O m m EBNT TA U P D AT E
Living and thriving with covid-19 Is this the beginning of the new normal? None of us can be quite certain, but with travel restrictions continuing to lift around the world a cautious optimism abounds. Our Business Travel Tracker, in partnership with Travelogix, is showing a gradual but real increase in international travel. The UAE has already returned to pre-pandemic levels, highlighting the pent-up demand for international business travel. My optimism is centred around the most recent All Party Parliamentary Group for Business Travel. The Aviation Minister, Robert Courts MP, addressed our group and aﬃrmed that the Government is working on a toolkit for future variants of Covid-19 that keeps our borders open. This has been a key ask from the BTA and its members. We await the details but have been in close collaboration with the Minister and feel the whole travel industry is finally being heard. With the relaxing of all Covid-19 rules, it is inevitable that agendas are shifting. It’s essential the BTA remains
attuned and relevant to the Government’s agenda as we look to post-Covid recovery. The recent levelling-up White Paper offered little for our membership and we’re working with the Government and our rail partners to put the domestic corporate travel agenda at the heart of the practical delivery of the Minister’s promises. At the start of March, we unveiled an industry-first White Paper looking at our combined commitment to the 17 UN Goals around ESG. In the aftermath of COP26 and looking to the future, this is an essential step in working together. I am about to embark on a UK tour to get advice from experts around the goals our industry can contribute to most. In September, we will set-out actionable targets. We have weathered the hurricane together and must prepare to do so again. We are only as strong as our weakest link. So, I ask you all to work together, set aside differences and prioritise the corporate traveller as we rebuild the economy, our reputation as a global Britain and build our companies back up once more.
clive Wratten Chief Executive Oﬃcer
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THE NEWS REVIEW
T H E
M O V E
EVENTS APRIL 27-28 2022
ITM CONFERENCE Birmingham Hilton Metroopole itm.org.uk
APRIL 29-MAY 2 2022
ADVANTAGE TRAVEL CONFERENCE Savoy Palace Hotel, Madeira advantageconference.co.uk
PROMOTED AT: Festive Road FROM: Consultant TO: Client Solutions Lead
JOINS: TakeTwo Travel Solutions AS: Vice President European Sales FROM: Clyde Travel Management
JOINS: FREE NOW AS: Senior Corporate Sales Manager FROM: Searchmetrics
Katie Virtue, who joined Festive Road in late 2018, has been promoted to the role of Client Solutions Lead to develop solutions for the consultancy ﬁrm's global customer base.
Recently-formed TMC, TakeTwo Travel Solutions, has hired Peter Scarr as Vice President European Sales. He was previously Sales Manager at Clyde Travel Management.
Kristina Stapulionyte has joined FREE NOW as Senior Corporate Sales Manager. She was previously at BridgeStreet but brieﬂy left the industry to join tech ﬁrm Searchmetrics.
MAY 17 2022
BUSINESS TRAVEL LUNCH FORUM on Rail Sustainability The Caledonian Club, London thebusinesstravelmag.com
MAY 19 2022
DINNER CLUB Corinthia Hotel, London thebusinesstravelmag.com
JUNE 29-30 2022
BUSINESS TRAVEL SHOW ExCel London
KA REN FARRELL
JOINS: Sabre AS: Country Director UK FROM: Amadeus
JOINS: Choice Hotels EMEA AS: Director Marketing, Brand and Loyalty FROM: Accor
JOINS: CWT AS: Senior VP Talent & Rewards FROM: Boehringer Ingelheim
Sabre has appointed Nisha Botevyle as Country Director UK. She joins from Amadeus where she was most recently Airline Partnership Manager for Western Europe.
Nick Bosworth, who was formerly global brand leader for Accor brand Mövenpick, has joined Choice Hotels EMEA as Director of Marketing, Brand and Loyalty.
Karen Farrell has joined CWT as Senior Vice President, Talent & Rewards. She was previously Vice President, Total Rewards US for pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim.
AUGUST 14-17 2022
GBTA CONVENTION San Diego Convention Centre convention.gbta.org
OCTOBER 11 2022
ALSO ON THE MOVE... >> Alison Carpenter, previously CWT Director of Supply Chain Partners, has joined Serko as Head of Client Success EMEA >> ATPI Sports Events has appointed Niels Grevenstuk, formerly Head of International Brand Partnerships at AFC Ajax, as Commercial Head of Global Sports Business >> Julian Mills has rejoined ATPI as Director of Corporate Sales, Nikki Regan has returned from American Express GBT to become Head of Group Commercial Strategy and Head of Sales James Draper has been promoted to UK Sales Director >> Alto Vita has appointed Brian Friedman, founder of The Forum for Expatriate Management, as Non-Exec Board Adviser >> Heathrow Express has promoted Business Development Manager Mark Eastwood to Commercial Strategy Lead >>
DINNER CLUB Corinthia Hotel, London thebusinesstravelmag.com
E X P E RTS AT TA L E NT R ECR U I T MENT, D E V E LO P M E NT A ND R E T ENT I ON.
NOVEMBER 8-10 2022
GBTA EUROPE CONFERENCE
Dedicated to the business travel sector.
Square Convention Centre, Brussels europeconference.gbta.org
Contact us to discuss our solutions. +44 (0)1932 562007 | email@example.com | www.siriustalent.co.uk Untitled-2 1
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TRAVEL MANAGEMENT COMPANIES YOUR 2022 GUIDE
HAVING THE RIGHT TMC PARTNER IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER IN THE NEW ERA OF BUSINESS TRAVEL. HERE'S OUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE AND DIRECTORY.
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1992 – 2022
NEW WORLD NEW POSSIBILITIES
GLOBAL TRAVEL MANAGEMENT COMPANY
ISTOCK.COM / VERONIQUE DUPLAIN
BEST TRAVEL PARTNER OF THE YEAR
Travel Partner of the Year Global TMC
At Wings Travel Management we make the complex easy. We keep your travellers on the move while staying focused on their safety, giving you total peace of mind. We build trust by delivering consistently exceptional service through a single gateway to the world.
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF SERVICE Our continuously growing network of business hubs will provide you and your travellers with all the benefits and knowledge of a local Travel Management Company, accessible from anywhere in the world. From data integrity, to quality assurance and risk management. Whatever the local conditions, nobody does it better.
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Introduction / TMCs
Service levels 6-8 ■ Sustainability 10-12 ■ The Directory 14-16 ■ Duty of care 18-20 ■ RFP guide 22
C OM I N G F UL L C I RC L E
ISTOCK.COM / VERONIQUE DUPLAIN
Consolidation and the arrival of newcomers has dramatically changed the TMC landscape but haven’t we seen it all before, asks Gill Upton
round 100 TMCs are operating in the UK in 2022, roughly the same as before Covid. The names may be different, as consolidation and new entrants have changed the line-up, but what a result! Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, as the French would say. Take Two, Equinox and Coco+ have entered the fray while others have succumbed to takeovers, including Omega
Busines Travel, Eton Travel Group, Reed and Mackay, Click Travel and Egencia. Meanwhile CWT has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with new investors and money to spend and Agiito (non-core to parent Capita) remains up for grabs. Barry Fleming, former Head of Marketing for Blue Cube Travel, believes history is repeating itself. “Recent new entrants might be catching
the buyers’ eye but let’s not forget that 20 years ago Egencia was the disruptive newbie on the block. Now it’s owned by the world’s largest TMC (American Express Global Business Travel).” Clients looking to build new tech solutions caused some of the volatility as TMCs scooped up tech companies, including NexTravel, Shep, Troovo, Roadmap, Pana and Lola. The rapid growth of mobile-first
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TMCs / Introduction
tech solutions group TripActions says it all. “Where other companies use people to solve issues we use tech solutions,” says Ciara Govern, Chief Customer Officer. Chris Thelen has made the decision that big isn’t necessarily beautiful and is effectively re-creating Chambers, his former small boutique TMC, as Take Two. “I question whether corporates feel that their existing TMC knows them personally anymore or what they need as travel returns. Our reason for launching TakeTwo was because there is a clear gap in the market for a client-centric, independentlyowned TMC who can deliver bespoke service to international SME clients where travel is a vital component of how their business operates. “We have won business in recent months because clients felt that their incumbent TMC didn’t know them or seem to care about their needs. As an independentlyowned business, we are also not shackled by VC-ownership or the mega TMC model of call centres or online chatbots.” Priorities certainly changed for TMCs over the last 18 months, having to do more with less resources, so service levels suffered. "Many TMCs have restructured and service may be delivered slightly differently to before the pandemic, so perhaps you no longer have a dedicated team," says Clarity CEO Pat McDonagh. Industry observers agree that 2022 will not see the end of M&E activity. BTA CEO Clive Wratten says: “There is a more volatile time to come I think. Size doesn’t really matter.” ITM CEO Scott Davies agrees: “There‘s no reason to think that it won’t continue, organically or through acquisition.” Adam Knights, ATPI Managing Director Europe and Middle East, advises clients to always ask TMCs about their ownership structure, “particularly if you’re about to sign a three-year contract”.
reopening of offices in the spring? Volumes are increasing now that border restrictions are easing and approval levels relax, compounding the challenges of a reduced workforce, decimated talent pool, cash flow issues, selling-in new financial models and demand for more flexible working practices. “Established TMCs will understand what size and shape they need to be and both parties need to look at what good looks like now,” says Steve Banks, CCO at Agiito. “It’s incumbent to have good communication and to know where the pinch points are.” Julie Cope, Managing Director TakeTwo Travel Solutions, says too many corporates are reporting long wait times on the phone, slow turnaround of email requests and poor customer service in general. She advises travel buyers to talk to their TMC about their service level agreement and address whether their TMC can still comply with the agreed terms
We have won business in recent months because clients felt that their incumbent TMC didn’t know them or seem to care about their needs”
Corporates are understandably nervous and need to continue to be patient when it comes to service levels, something that Carol Fergus, Director of Global Travel at
The recovery stage is the next acid test for TMCs. Do they have the right staffing levels to match client demand as corporate travel ramps up to coincide with the expected 4
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Introduction / TMCs
Fidelity, believes will happen. “Work with your TMC,” she advises. “Have a discussion, as it will depend on what was originally contracted. It will take a while for them to ramp up.” Corporates have much to consider. Trip volume is low but the cost of each trip is higher while more advice is needed pre-trip regarding duty of care and sustainability to reassure travellers. Clarity's McDonagh says now, more than ever, TMCs must maintain high levels of service to instill confidence among their corporate clients. Technology is still crucial, he says, but it must be underpinned by the support of experienced and knowledgeable people. "Our industry is navigating its way back to recovery, requiring a level of adaptability never experienced before," he adds.
A different service provision may be needed and if it’s not delivered that frustration may turn into an RFP. In ITM's ‘Appetite to RFP’ survey, 21% of buyers said they intend to RFP for a TMC this year, which compares favourably with 36% in 2019, so it may be more a case of benchmarking than moving. “Buyers can find themselves taking on a new service partner and it’s difficult. It’s going to be a tricky time,” says BTA’s Wratten. “Working together is key as we come out of this. Most TMCs are now in recruitment mode and they’ve got to stay ahead of the curve.” Fred Stratford, CEO of Reed and Mackay, knows this more than most after his company was acquired by TripActions. His strategy is simple: “It's vital to stay in touch with clients and engage with them through the process. Tell them what’s next and what the road map is." With this in mind, Reed and Mackay recently held a client event for 800 people to communicate their plans for 2022. The whole travel infrastructure is being re-built by TMCs, says Kevin Harrison, MD of Good Travel Management. “More and more things are chargeable.
We need to monetise duty of care solutions, sustainability and support in those areas, and projects to deliver improvements in travel processes that were previously worked through by account management that are now evolving into travel consultancy.” TMCs are looking for different skillsets for account managers, broader than purely relationship management as they deal with HR, risk and finance departments. Some are setting up new departments, such as Reed and Mackay’s Advisory Team. “Clients no longer want just a booking service,” says CEO Stratford. "We are like a professional services-based company.” In the meantime, buyers are getting a really good deal, says ATPI’s Knights. “They’re taking up a lot of resource for the same fee,” he says. Which brings us back to the thorny issue of unsustainable TMC pricing models and the question of whether fees must be increased, not just to reflect the new travel complexities but also to help TMCs cover the cost of an industry-wide talent shortage. "Salary levels have already increased and we see them increasing further," says Lynne Griffiths, CEO of Sirius Talent Solutions. "Financial models are being revisited."
Buyers can find themseles taking on a new service partner and it's difficult. It's going to be a tricky time. Most TMCs are in recruitment mode and they've got to stay ahead of the curve” THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM
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TMCs / Service
GIVE and take
TMC service levels will need adjusting as travel returns, requiring trust, communication and patience on both sides, says Gill Upton
o-one would disagree that the business travel industry is resilient; it has come through ash clouds, terrorist attacks, tsunamis and more and still bounces back. Covid struck hard in 2020 and it took until last September for TMCs to see signs of recovery but in the intervening months the pandemic cut deep. TMCs swiftly reduced headcount and prioritised core areas of technology, marketing and account management. Bookings became far more complex due to the additional requirements and offline dominated as hand-holding became the new norm. Crucially, communications with clients ramped up with largely honest and
transparent dialogue as, predictably, service levels were impacted. "We had to take headcount out and look at our cost base,” says Donna Fitzgerald, Chief Operating Officer at Agiito. "We were fine through 2020 as furlough helped, but 2021 was more volatile until business ramped up in September.” Moreover, Fitzgerald says suppliers didn’t have enough people in their workforces. "That impacted what should have been a simple one phone-call booking,” she says. Those TMCs with marine and energy clients – the likes of Good, ATPI and Wings for example – escaped lightly because those sectors remained buoyant throughout the pandemic. For others with exclusively
corporate clients, it was a different picture. Buyers have been accommodating the service level dip as very often they were in the same boat. "We made sure that we didn’t set unrealistic timeframes,” says Kevin Harrison, MD of Good Travel Management. Carol Fergus, Global Travel Director at Fidelity, says many buyers have been complaining. Her company rolled out a new TMC a month after lockdown and the TMC hasn’t had the opportunity to date to deliver a ‘proper’ service. "We have a few more bookings now and they’re struggling with the amount of information that’s required of them. It’s a re-visit of what are the rules of the game and managing resources," she says.
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Service / TMCs
Buyers have been accommodating the service level dip as very often they were in the same boat” THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com
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TMCs / Service
It's all about having trust and confidence in your TMC. Ultimately, corporates can't cut their TMC any slack as they need more support than ever before” "It's about addressing what the service needs to be in the new Covid era, as well as managing the expectations of travellers." If discussions between client and TMC during Covid have been pragmatic then the relationships should survive the next challenge of returning business. "It’s all about having trust and confidence in your TMC," says Julie Cope, MD of Take Two. But she adds: "Ultimately, corporates can’t cut their TMC any slack as they need more support than ever before." Most agree that it is a short-term situation while TMCs are in recovery stage. On a positive front, TMCs report that Covid has helped foster closer relationships with their clients, and across a wider stakeholder group, which has articulated the value of TMCs. Recruiting for the current ramp-up in business is nonetheless challenging as the talent pool has been decimated with skilled workers transferring their customer service expertise elsewhere, naturally nervous about returning to travel. To help fill the gap, both Blue Cube and Agiito are resuming their apprenticeship schemes to attract a younger generation to the industry. ATPI has just taken on eight 17-year-olds in its Lowestoft offices. Other TMCs are collaborating with universities to woo youngsters into the business. Arguably, it’s the smaller and more agile TMCs who are returning more quickly, which probably aligns with a client base more focussed on domestic travel. “Recruitment remains a challenge,” adds Good’s Harrison, “as you can’t flood a market with new recruits.” James Beagrie, Managing Director Meon Valley, says many TMCs hung on to their good people. "So the challenge now is that there are good and bad out there, and how the hell do you tell the difference?" he asks. "Some interview like James Bond and turn out to be Mr Bean!"
The real stress test for TMCs will come when business returns in greater volumes; most predict 2022 will only reach 60-70% of 2019 levels.
The switch back to online bookings will happen, “once the content is relevant and up to date,” believes Agiito’s Fitzgerald. Chris Pouney of Severnside Consulting believes it will return once restrictions disappear. "We won’t be going back to all phone bookings," he says. "TMCs have to be less reliant on people as it’s technology that gives them the flex." Fidelity’s Fergus is planning to push the OBT in the next few months, with a goal of 30% bookings online by the year-end, significantly revised down from the company’s pre-Covid goal of 75%. She advises corporates to look at their SLAs: "Revisit your service provision as this was then and this is now and it may come with a price tag. We need to challenge and revisit and work with your TMC as they need to build in that flexibility. "There is real uncertainty still and I will look at anything that makes sense as it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. But it can’t be an opportunity to make more money." New financial models are being actively discussed on a solution-finding basis as no travel means no transaction fees for TMCs. "Large clients in sourcing exercises are exploring subscription and hybrid models or
everything grouped into one PNR," says Katie Virtue, Festive Road Global Client Solutions Lead. TakeTwo’s CEO Chris Thelen reckons the subscription model is interesting, but adds: "I don’t see it replacing management or transaction fees entirely. "Traditionally in business travel there have been TMCs providing a regular travel management service and those providing white glove VIP services, I believe there is something in the middle," he says. An ITM survey showed that 50% of buyers are open to new financial models but on a temporary basis as they do want them to be correctly resourced to help the comeback.
Alongside hybrid TMC remuneration solutions is another change, albeit a shortterm one, to shorter payment terms while TMCs have minimal income. "I believe 30-day payment terms, or longer in some instances, will become a thing of the past," says Julian Munsey, Sales Director at Meon Valley Travel. He believes a weekly billing cycle with settlement by direct debit could become the new norm. Looking forward, BTA CEO Clive Wratten believes the biggest challenge for 2022 is Government instability. "It's not knowing what’s coming over the horizon," he says. "The ever-changing rules are the killer in the industry as it destroys confidence. We can’t carry on like this forever."
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SAY …pioneering sustainable travel and events programmes Discover our CO2 measurement, reduction and offset service at
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TMCs / Sustainability
TMCs are expanding their services to help clients reduce their carbon footprint, says Gill Upton
ast summer Trees4Travel was a start-up carbon offset company with three staff. By the end of January numbers had swelled to 40 plus, with 34 live clients and 50 other corporates queuing to sign contracts. By the year-end owner Nico Nicholas predicts they will have 500 global clients. If this particular sustainability partner‘s expansion trajectory is anything to go by, the message is getting through that sustainability is no longer a box-ticking exercise. But in the post-Covid world – and with the 2030 50% reduction in carbon target looming – offsetting cannot be the only activity. Paying to plant a few trees or an entire forest will not help reach the 2030
target, let alone the 2050 net zero target. Travel reduction has to happen in tandem and TMCs are helping clients to justify every trip. For them it’s a crucial new revenue stream that will help in their recovery as consultancy divisions provide more of the advice rather than account managers providing it for free. Many TMCs are appointing a sustainability lead to drive this new dedicated service. ATPI, for example, has launched a sustainability division called Halo to help clients reach their sustainability goals and is working directly with providers rather than through brokers for offsetting. “We give clients the ideas and solutions,” says the company’s Adam Knights.
Whichever way corporates jump, TMCs are key to navigating the critical path to sustainability”
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Sustainability / TMCs
Agiito’s consultancy has switched focus from cost savings to sustainability, while TravelPerk has acquired UK travel sustainability consultancy Susterra. It has integrated the company’s data analytics technology into TravelPerk’s platform so its clients can gain insights into their travel spend and behaviour. American Express GBT has joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, a standard-setting and accreditation alliance created jointly by the United Nations and conservation organisations which aims to promote green suppliers. CWT has unveiled investment plans for new capabilities. "This year we plan to introduce built-in sustainability and traveller
wellbeing initiatives to help our customers make even better-informed decisions," says Erik Magnuson, CWT Vice President Product Management, Mobility & Payment. "This is in response to clear customer demand for sustainability information at point-of-booking, to help reinforce responsible travel choices. Our 2021 global survey found 87% of our customers requested this, while 85% have company goals in relation to sustainability reduction." A sustainability-focussed TMC called COCO+ has entered the market this year. It provides a carbon-offsetting platform aligned with ClimateCare, which finances, develops and manages carbon reduction projects around the world.
Whichever way corporates jump, TMCs are key to navigating the critical path to sustainability. TMCs can analyse data to measure current carbon footprint, set science-based targets and evaluate the supply chain. They can also advise on lowcarbon emitting suppliers, provide access to partnerships and programmes such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) options, develop ESG-compliant travel programmes, report on progress against targets and ultimately help change the behaviour of business travellers. “The booking process needs to encourage and promote these changes,” says Ewan Kassir, Head of Global Sales at Clarity.
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TMCs / Sustainability
Booking technology must display CO2 data at point of sale, that data must be captured to drive change, any carbon footprint must be policed and budgets set by department or individual and be reported monthly. The CO2 impact of meetings and events must be measured. Agiito customers, for example, have the ability to book trips based on CO2 statistics and not cost. “That way we empower the booker,” says CCO Steve Banks. “Trip data by CO2 has long been available and now we’re being asked for it by departments and by individuals. We can make that available in real-time and aggregate that into their profile.” A change in sustainability strategy must start from the top, says Barry Fleming, former Head of Marketing for Blue Cube Travel. “That might mean reducing travel, enforcing less impactful forms of travel on certain journeys, building a preferred supplier programme which considers sustainability credentials and maybe even setting departments a CO2 budget that they need to keep within, alongside a spend budget.” Justification of travel is the new norm and a White paper by the BTA, published in February, sets out what a sustainable journey looks like and benchmarks where each sector of the industry is at. “The most impact you can make in a company is before they book and get into
an OBT,” says Chris Truss of Reed and Mackay. “This sector is incredibly new so there is no right or wrong way forward."
Leading by example
Nicola Cox, Director at Midas Travel Management, suggests clients increase general awareness by making it part of their company ethos and core values. "Look at internal behaviours, knowledge and address the buy-in gap," she advises. The success of any sustainability strategy will hinge on the greening of the supply chain, as this impacts the modal shift fundamental to travel reduction. Suppliers are under pressure to clean up their act but gathering data is challenging. Best estimates are still the norm in some sectors. For example, OBTs show carbon emissions by aircraft type but cannot yet figure in load factors and tail winds. Air is usually the biggest chunk of any travel spend and purchasing SAF is one way to support sustainability targets. TripActions has partnered with Neste to offer its clients (including Reed and Mackay) the option to purchase this lower-emission alternative fuel. While SAF doesn’t take the problem away it does help reduce carbon impact until electric aircraft become the norm. The groundswell of demand is enormous and TMCs are proving they are the crucial link in the chain to achieve carbon goals.
Suppliers are under pressure to clean up their act but gathering data is challenging”
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Rebooting business travel
How hotel booking tech can debug buyers’ travel programmes
uty of care, traveller wellbeing and sustainability ranked amongst travel managers’ chief priorities heading into 2022. You’ve spent months vetting lodging suppliers to align with your ESG objectives, establishing service level agreements and negotiating inclusive rates to improve trip quality and travel experience. But if out-of-policy hotel bookings still plague your travel programme, the answer could lie in your TMC’s booking technology.
Duty of Care
Centralised travel information is vital for traveller visibility and duty of care. One of the main reasons business travellers book out-ofchannel hotel stays is because they have access to richer content and better rates online than through a designated travel management partner. Using a hotel booking technology that consolidates multi-channel content and rates into a single integrated platform puts your TMC on a level playing field. Delivering this content consistently, both offline and online via API
to your business’s preferred online booking tool, further reduces the likelihood of rogue bookings. Additionally, growing demand for personalisation is being met by advanced AI and machine learning capabilities. Sophisticated booking technologies not only anticipate overnight opportunities but proactively serve TMC consultants relevant, in-policy hotel options based on your travellers’ booking preferences.
Technology that provides your TMC with richer content offers benefits for traveller wellbeing, too. Better content means TMC agents can quickly and easily recommend hotel options with amenities best suited to travellers’ wellness needs. Integrating information on enhanced hygiene protocols and health and safety certifications further boosts traveller reassurance and your business’s ability to deliver on its wellbeing objectives.
Rate volatility is making the traditional RFP increasingly redundant. From a sustainability perspective, however, RFPs offer travel managers an opportunity to identify suppliers that align with their corporate’s ESG objectives. But that’s only part of the equation. You still need to be able to effectively drive bookings to those properties. That’s where your TMC’s choice of hotel booking technology becomes important. Being able to preference suppliers means you can prioritise ESGaligned properties. And, with travel managers increasingly looking at responsible sourcing, the pressure is on TMCs and their technology to be able to configure any direct suppliers, such as smaller, eco-conscious properties and social enterprises, into their booking platform.
HotelHub provides TMCs with simple, secure, seamless hotel technology to meet their corporate clients’ travel sourcing requirements. Supporting some of the world’s leading travel management companies, HotelHub’s smart tech delivers unparalleled efficiencies, choice and automation of corporate hotel bookings. hotelhub.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
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TMCs / The 2022 Directory
TMCs 2022: WHO DOES WHAT
Your guide to a selection of leading travel management companies in the UK (A to H) Travel Management Company
300 staff globally
Online / Oﬄine
50% / 50%
Advantage, Focus, Lufthansa City Centre
Specialises in ﬁnance, telecomms, pharma, online gaming and online security. In the last 12 months, developed its duty of care technology system, which includes traveller tracking, pre-trip and on-trip alerts, destination alerts, automatic updates on risk changes and dedicated traveller group communications.
ACE TRAVEL ATG UK
10 UK staff
20% / 80%
Advantage, The Allstar Travel Group (ATG)
Specialises in pharma, automotive, manufacturing, media, maritime, ﬁnance and technology. Recently appointed the oﬃcial UK partner for The Allstar Travel Group (ATG) and launched an online booking tool suitable for SMEs and an expanded technology suite to meet demands of both the SME and global travel market.
390 UK staff
65% / 35%
Specialises in public sector, utilities, logistics and infrastructure, construction, engineering, oil and gas, ﬁnance, manufacturing, retail, professional services, and health and social care. Appointed its ﬁrst Chief Technology Oﬃcer, launched a new mobile booking app, optimised its online booking tools, such as Meetingspro, which now shows live availability. Improved CO2 comparisons on booking tool and partnered with Trees4Travel.
AMERICAN EXPRESS GBT
2,200 UK staff, 16,500 globally
London / New York
Specialises in professional and ﬁnancial services, pharma, media, entertainment, legal, government, utilities, energy, mining, marine, technology, communications, retail and manufacturing. Acquired Egencia and the Ovation Travel Group, including Lawyers Travel and Chartwell Travel. Created B2B travel platform with Apollo Strategic Growth Capital. Committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, signed SAF partnership with Shell and launched Workspace.
35 UK staff
18% / 82%
30% / 70%
Advantage, Focus, ABC
Specialises in information technology, ﬁnance, legal, pharma, education, automobiles and FMCG. Developed its proprietary self-booking tool for corporate customers.
58 UK staff
Specialises in charity, care, apprenticeships, construction, insurance, technology, retail and sport. Launched AMBER, a bespoke course, event and user management platform with an automated accommodation allocation system.
300 UK staff, 2,200 globally
60% / 40%
Specialises in marine and energy, media and entertainment, sports travel and events, corporate events, mining and resources, cruising, yachting and corporate travel. Developed TripStax for travel management, which centralises proﬁle, booking and invoice data. ATPI is an investor in TapTrip, which has developed an online booking tool for clients and Vessul, a crew management solution for the marine and energy sector. BALDWINS BUSINESS TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
4 UK staff
0% / 100%
Has focussed on providing accurate and detailed information with regards to Covid-related travel restrictions via several platforms including its monthly newsletter Travelcase.
London + Utrecht
64% / 36%
Specialises in automotive, aerospace and defence, ﬁnance, FMCG, entertainment, TV and ﬁlm, media, manufacturing, pharma, retail and technology. Created BCD Alert, a mobile app which provides 24/7 coverage of active travellers against destination risk and incidents, and BCD Pay to automate corporate travel payment, reconciliation and invoice management.
BEYOND BUSINESS TRAVEL
60% / 40%
Advantage Global Network, Focus
Specialises in ﬁlm and TV, manufacturing, energy, construction, engineering, information technology, food and drink and ﬁnancial services. Launched a new expense product and fulﬁlment partnership with SAP Concur for corporate clients. Hired a new Head of Global Technology to improve client experience.
BLUE CUBE TRAVEL
30 UK staff
30% / 70%
Advantage, Advantage Global Network
Specialises in architecture, automotive, consultancy and professional services, energy, entrepreneurs and start-ups, information technology, insurance services, legal, pharma and healthcare, and retail. Realigned its new business strategy and resources to champion SMEs.
450 staff in 5 countries
71% / 29%
Numerous Clarity-led partnerships
Specialises in professional services, public sector, sports, higher education, construction & infrastructure, charity and NGO, energy & marine and retail. Implemented UN Sustainability Development goals and launched enhanced CO2 reporting and Clarity Rooms, providing best available rates for domestic and international properties.
CLYDE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
60 staff in 9 locations globally
10% / 90%
Advantage, Focus, Radius
Specialises in marine, oil and gas, renewables, professional services, information technology services and manufacturing. Launched Consort, a proprietary booking technology and achieved IATA NDC maturity certiﬁcation. It became the oﬃcial partner for the Nordic region for Radius.
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The 2022 Directory / TMCs
Information supplied by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine.
Travel Management Company
CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT (CTM) EUROPE
2,200 staff globally
Online / Oﬄine
69% / 31%
Specialises in sports, energy, public sector, professional services, oil and gas, marine, retail, technology, ﬁnance and entertainment. Launched a new version of Lightning so CTM customers can assign monthly, quarterly or annual carbon budgets by region, department or individual traveller.
300 UK staff, 7 locations globally
Specialises in entertainment, energy, manufacturing, healthcare and pharma, mining, engineering, marine, ﬁnance and technology. Launched Melon travel management platform. Already live in North America, Melon will be rolling out to new customers in the UK and other international markets in the coming months.
CT BUSINESS TRAVEL
82 UK staff
30% / 70%
60% / 40%
Continued with the development of its wholly-owned booking technology and the creation of its CT Insight client data platform.
12,000 staff in 150 locations globally
Specialises in energy, resources, marine, defence, government, professional, ﬁnancial services, media, entertainment, life sciences, technology and telecoms. Has a dedicated meetings division, consulting arm CWT Solutions Group and hotel booking solution, RoomIt. Invested in messaging third-party integration, self-service ﬂight cancellation, myCWT mobile and web self-service enhancements, Travel Essentials Covid content and hotel hygiene measures for myCWT.
DIALAFLIGHT CORPORATE TRAVEL
130 UK staff
0% / 100%
26% / 74%
Advantage, Lufthansa City Center
Specialises in SME and across all sectors. Continued to invest in its staﬀ and recruitment over the last 12 months, in particular its 24/7 support team.
144 staff/ 3 ofﬁces globally
Specialises in humanitarian, non-for-proﬁt, charity, NGO, academic and student groups. The ﬁrst UK TMC to launch travel restrictions tool, Sherpa. Relaunched its student groups with its own brand identity, launched Diversity Study Trips, launched a brand-new consumer website and integrated rail into its online booking platform.
EFR TRAVEL LTD
50 UK staff
Specialises in corporate travel, luxury holidays, golf holidays, and private aircraft charter. In the last four years has acquired Matrix Travel, CSR Travel and WD Travel. Recently launched a new website for all brands. Became Oﬃcial Travel Agent Partner for The Legends Tour and partnered with Lamb Associates to oﬀer England cricket tour holidays.
ETON TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
85 UK staff + 1 ofﬁce in Ireland
20% / 80%
Advantage, GBT Travel Partner Network
Specialises in corporate travel management for SMEs in pharmaceutical, information technology, ﬁnance, retail, manufacturing, legal and consulting, sport, entertainment, MICE and VIP travel. Acquired by Chris Thelen, entrepreneur and CEO of TakeTwo Travel Solutions in January 2021. Placed a renewed focus on all partnerships, particularly with American Express GBT and SAP Concur.
170 UK staff, 90 locations globally
Specialises in professional and ﬁnancial services, established technology, legal, construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, and government. Rolled out its new omni-channel platform and developed FCM’s Smart Assistant for Mobile (Sam) from a mobile-only app to a fully-ﬂedged digital assistant.
GLOBAL TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
21 UK staff
18% / 82%
Specialises in UK-based SMEs, high net-worth individuals, virtual PAs, automotive and aviation, brewing, business consultancy, entertainment, fashion, professional sport and emerging digital industries. Launched PinPoint, a duty of care, traveller tracking and Covid tool, and Your Concierge, a virtual assistant for travellers. Partnered with Trees4Travel and launched YouTube channel, Global Travel Management Matters.
GOOD TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
30 UK staff
20% / 80%
Advantage, Altour, Lufthansa City Center
Specialises in SME business travel, marine and energy, and events and exhibitions. Became an independent contractor in Altour, joined the global network for Lufthansa City Center and launched GT Events, a new division oﬀering specialist services to exhibitions, trade fairs and trade missions.
GRAY DAWES TRAVEL LTD
159 UK staff
60% / 40%
Specialises in construction and engineering, retail, luxury, energy, creative, marine, pharma, manufacturing, education and sports. Launched new programmes and tools including TRAVELLER TOOLKIT, with destination tracker and travel checklist, YOURTRIP+, incorporating GrapeVine's AI engine, wellbeing programme PODIUM, and sustainability initiative LEGACY.
HARRIDGE BUSINESS TRAVEL
15 UK staff
20% / 80%
Specialises in business and ﬁrst class travel. Remained an independent run, family-owned company despite the challenges of Covid.
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TMCs / The 2022 Directory
TMCs 2022: WHO DOES WHAT
Your guide to a selection of leading travel management companies in the UK (I to W) Travel Management Company
92 UK staff
Online / Oﬄine
75% / 25%
Advantage, Focus, Radius
Specialises in rail and rail services, construction, utilities, telecomms, ﬁnancial services, membership organisations, insurance, freight and manufacturing. Implemented its proprietary online booking tool, LOGiC and updated meetings management portal LOGiC Meetings. Integrated Re-open EU data and supplier Covid-Safe policies in its online booking tool.
INTERNOVA TRAVEL GROUP
672 UK staff
30% / 70%
Incorporates ALTOUR UK, Global Travel Collection UK, Barrhead Corporate and Your Event Solutions. Specialises in ﬁnance, private equity, insurance, law, marine, media, music, touring and entertainment, oil and gas and group travel. Introduced Exlog and Sherpa. Launched multi GDS platforms oﬀering Sabre, Galileo, Amadeus and a sustainability programme in partnership with Thrust Carbon.
150 staff in 9 countries
50% / 50%
Specialises in humanitarian, academic, and faith-based travel. Invested in digitalisation including a new agent booking platform, sales/service cloud and enhancements to proprietary OBT. Launched 'Do good' hotel rates, Carbon Free Hotel Rooms in partnership with Expedia, a Sustainable Travel Programme, an Enhanced Travel Risk Programme, and Student Travel portals for universities.
MEON VALLEY TRAVEL
35 UK staff
50% / 50%
Specialises in insurance, banking, ﬁnance, emergency medical assistance and repatriations, FMCG, retail, luxury brands and services, recruitment, oil, gas and marine and others. Introduced programmes across 2021 including diversity and inclusion, duty of care, and sustainability. LOVEMEON launched in 2022.
MIDAS TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
50 UK staff
85% / 15%
Specialises in ﬁnance, professional services, SMEs, advertising, media and creative, construction and manufacturing, technology, telecomms, retail, legal and pharma. Focused on establishing and maintaining key travel partnerships for suppliers, visas, duty of care and sustainability.
NORAD TRAVEL LTD
28 UK staff
20% / 80%
Specialises in all commercial sectors. Made continuous updates to duty of care systems and contributed to consortium eﬀorts to lobby governmental departments as part of the BTA. Introduced new upgrades to underpin current tech.
OMEGA WORLD TRAVEL
21 UK staff, 350 globally
20% / 70%
Advantage, Focus, GlobalStar
Specialises in ﬁnancial services, oil and gas, pharma, engineering, media, banking, government, education, design and advertising. Introduced its complex Covid Concierge and Testing Services to support the oil and gas industry.
8 UK staff
30% / 70%
Specialises in logistics, print and wholesale foods. Nurtured relationships with airlines and hotel partners to oﬀer competitive rates and value on premium airfares and negotiated rates.
22 UK staff, 2 in the US
90% / 10%
Specialises in ﬁnancial services, oil and gas, legal, media, advertising, lifestyle, high-net-worth individuals and private family oﬃces. Introduced Focus PinPoint, QCTM Online Proﬁle Management solution and Dynamic Scripting.
REED & MACKAY
500 UK staff, 230 globally
R&M's International Partnership
Specialises in law, insurance, ﬁnance, marine, energy, oil and gas and media. Was acquired by TripActions, launched partnership to oﬀer Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel to all clients. Added meeting booking capability R&M/Meet. Extended Meetings, Events and Group Travel services across the TripActions Group and launched Advisory Services.
55% / 45%
Specialises in engineering, manufacturing, sport, legal, professional services, technology, media, and oil and gas. Introduced Focus Pinpoint and partnered with Trees4Travel.
SELECTIVE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
85 UK and Ireland staff
27% / 73%
Specialises in higher education, government, manufacturing, and ﬁnancial. Introduced online booking platforms, proﬁle suite, management information platform and duty of care platforms. Has integrated directly with multiple clients’ ﬁnance systems.
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The 2022 Directory / TMCs
Information supplied by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine.
Travel Management Company
SIMPLEXITY TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
14 UK staff + 2 independents
100% / 0%
Advantage, Focus, Virtuoso
Specialises in SMEs, sports, TV, music and media, events, and group travel. Developed its online booking tool and managed to get through Covid without making any of its staﬀ redundant.
SUNWAYS BUSINESS TRAVEL
15 UK staff
20% / 80%
Specialises in ﬁnance, insurance, manufacturing support, information technology, architecture, commodities trading, media, and accountancy. Launched a Sustainable Business Travel Brand and new partnership with Trees4Travel. New partnerships with Amadeus Cytric and Jyrney.
242 staff in 12 ofﬁces globally
4% / 96%
Specialises in entertainment, production, VIP, ﬁnancial services, investment management, professional services, talent, and conference and incentive travel. Developed TAG Digital and implemented new enterprise-level security tools from Microsoft Azure for digital security.
TAKETWO TRAVEL SOLUTIONS
50 staff globally in 3 locations
20% / 80%
Specialises in high-net-worth individuals and VIPs, meeting, events and group travel, charity, entertainment, academia and luxury leisure travel. Partnered with PSNGR1 on interactive digital booking platform. Partnered with SAP Concur and launched a global Meetings and Events division in December 2021, expanding into the Irish market in January 2022. TRAVEL COUNSELLORS FOR BUSINESS
270 in UK head ofﬁce, 1,400 TCs
0% / 100%
Specialises in ﬁnance, pharma, sports, manufacturing, professional services, marine, entertainment, oil and gas, construction and F&B. Integrated NDC content via API directly into Phenix. Launched Green Leaf sustainable certiﬁcation for hotel suppliers and Trees4Travel CO2 reporting and oﬀsetting. Launched a new partnership with GlobalStar and launched Traveldoo.
800 staff globally
97% / 3%
Specialises in tech, software, telecoms, manufacturing, transportation, ﬁnance, business services, retail, healthcare and medical supplies, consumer services, governments and organisations, media and online entertainment and energy. Acquired Susterra and ClickTravel and launched TravelPerk Events and GreenPerks API.
2,000 staff globally in 12 locations
90% / 10%
Acquired Reed & Mackay and launched TravelXen 2.0 and Lemonade. Rolled out Team Travel, a tool that allows for small group bookings directly in the platform, plus a partnership with Neste on Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Acquired Comtravo in Germany and Resia in Sweden.
45 UK staff
10% / 90%
Specialises in groups, sports, oil and gas, manufacturing and engineering, professional services, production companies, VIP, FMCG, motoring, and education. Rebranded from Traveleads. Launched the Ventur Traveller App and enhanced its CO2 and Risk Management platforms. Launched Ventur Luxury Travel.
WAYTE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
41 UK staff
Stoke on Trent
0% / 100%
Specialises in ﬁnancial, mining, marine, pharma, banking, manufacturing, law, construction, recruitment and entertainment. Launched a new London oﬃce and an online management information suite.
WEST END TRAVEL
17 UK staff in 2 locations
0% / 100%
35% / 65%
Specialises in academic, charity, defence, entertainment, ﬁnance, health/medical, legal, media, sports and transport.
WEXAS TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
61 UK staff
Specialises in legal, ﬁnancial, information technology, software, luxury, retail, telecomms, aviation, creative, media, start-ups, oil and gas, and groups. Worked to drive and increase its NDC adoption.
WINGS TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
47 UK staff, 322 globally
12% / 88%
Specialises in banking and ﬁnancial services, energy, legal and professional, marine, media, pharma, private equity investment, public sector, sports and telecomms. Introduced new traveller smartPhone app, Wings Mobile, and traveller tracking and security service, Wings Alert.
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TMCs / Duty of care
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Duty of care / TMCs
Lines of duty
Duty of care has grown in significance amid Covid and TMCs are responding, says Gill Upton
he Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2017 was a wake-up call for many corporates in terms of the health and safety of their employees. With no upper limit set on penalties, the act prioritised employee welfare. Five years on, the complexities of travelling in the Covid age have renewed that impetus. Corporates were already demanding reports to flag up road warriors taking too many red-eye flights or multiple back-toback trips. Today employers need to instil confidence in their travellers by minimising travel stress, which means 24/7 support, instant travel alerts and constant contact throughout the journey by email, SMS, social
Some road warriors can’t wait to get back but there are those who don’t ever want to get back and would prefer to walk their lockdown puppy"
media and phone. Companies need to know if border controls have changed, for example, and support their travellers with relevant information. All this has served to reinforce the value of the TMC. ”TMCs are the great simplifiers of the complex and can help put their arms around it,” says ITM CEO Scott Davies. Industry observers believe incentives and schemes such as gamification may return to cajole reluctant travellers. “Some road warriors can’t wait to get back but there are those who don’t ever want to get back and would prefer to walk their lockdown puppy,” says Simone Buckley, VP Marketing EMEA at TripActions. TripActions is using free UberEats as an incentive to get their own staff to return to TripActions offices. “You need to give people time,” adds Buckley. “They have changed their work-life balance during Covid and there is a moral obligation not to put people under pressure to travel again.” ITM’s Davies believes the definition of duty of care has widened during Covid to a traveller’s work-life balance, prompting a more gently, gently approach, which has
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TMCs / Duty of care
triggered innovation and fresh demand for different services. Midas Travel, for example, has noted an upsurge in the use of Fastrack VIP, meet and greet, chauffeurs and private jets. The company’s online booking tool now displays a ‘joy factor’ offering a rating based on comfort, ease and value. Clients are requesting access to duty of care platforms to assess risk levels, track travellers and to keep in touch. The TMC has also augmented its existing country risk profile maps to show Covid restrictions. “Technology has adapted to incorporate the new requirements,” says Nicola Cox, Director. “And travellers need more info on the go than ever, so mobile apps have also seen a resurgence.” At the Focus Partnership of 49 mainly business-focussed TMCs, PinPoint was launched in 2021 to provide travel tracking and an update this spring provides a Brexit report to check which travellers are reaching their 90-day limit for travel in the EU. “Following Covid, corporates are really taking this seriously,” says Dani Ives, Focus Partnership Project Manager. Last month TripActions launched a wellness dashboard which shows number of hours flown, type of flight and class of travel and allows a corporate to set flight limits per traveller. “You could drill into the data before but now the demand is for automatic reports,” explains Buckley. Agiito has effectively replaced the client company intranet with a portal that hosts wellbeing and health tips for downtime, such as walking options at destinations. Information and advisory are the buzzwords. “We’re back to more business as usual and both parties need to look at what good looks like. In an ideal world you don’t create traveller burn-out and we’re guiding employees to take the best options,” says Steve Banks, Agiito CCO. Reed & Mackay is doing something similar, says Ian Ferguson, Partner, Advisory Services. “We increased our point-of-sale health and wellbeing intelligence, partnered with numerous specialists to create an ecosystem of care for our clients and increased our Incident Management resource.” The TMC also created an Advisory Services division to help clients navigate the complex landscape via various modules, including a
traveller hearts and minds analysis and a 30-point policy benchmarking for post-Covid travel service. Agiito is busy revising policies so they dictate items such as no car hire allowed after alighting from flights of 10 hours or more and the pros and cons of day versus night flights. “We’re challenging clients to ask whether the policy is allowing travellers to be refreshed and able to work," adds Banks. He points to improvements in the supply chain, such as hotel programmes with wellbeing at their heart offering good leisure facilities and female traveller awareness programmes. Ultimately he predicts that duty of care in this new Covid era will see travel policies become selling tools in recruitment programmes. “Travel allows people to do their jobs and candidates want to know the class they can travel before they decide whether to join a new company.” Travelling execs are also expecting TMCs to provide a similar booking experience to the one they enjoy outside the workplace. “The corporate travel sector has been a bit behind the B2C world in this respect,” says Flight Centre CTO EMEA, David Owens. With this in mind, FCm and sister TMC Corporate Traveller have been developing their respective platforms to give users the freedom to book through the likes of Expedia and booking.com but with the duty of care controls, tracking and reporting that travel bookers require.
Travel allows people to do their jobs and candidates want to know the class they can travel before they decide whether to join a new company” David Zimmer, Global Head of Travel Experience & Optimisation for CWT, says technology is playing a key role. "We’ve created hybrid human-bot messaging capabilities that go beyond ‘pure chat’ and leverage both the speed of an AI-powered bot and the intuition of an agent to support travellers," he explains. "Additionally, deploying flexible connectivity technologies and API platforms allow TMCs to more easily integrate new content and services like safety and security partners and additional Covid-relevant data layers for better travel insights and decisions." AI capabilities, such as machine learning and natural language processing, are also helping CWT to quickly identify and interpret instantly the urgency and intent of a call, email or message. But Zimmer admits human connectivity is also vital. "A well-connected, professional and empathetic travel counsellor can make the difference between a good trip and a challenging one, particularly when the travel environment is so changeable," he adds.
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With us, it’s personal Travel management with integrity
After 53 years of providing a premium corporate travel service to small and medium size businesses, we’ve acquired a reputation for reliability and going the extra mile. If we didn’t, why would so many companies place their trust in us? Eton Travel Management is a TMC with traditional service values, powered by clever technology and a modern outlook. As you’d expect, we’re very hands on. That’s because we take a genuine interest in all our clients. We’ve got the expertise, knowledge and tech needed to manage your personal and company travel, keeping your travellers safe and your travel policies up to date.
If that’s the kind of service you prefer, we’re looking forward to welcoming you.
Making it personal www.etontravel.com
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TMCs / Insight
R F P G ui d e
10 wayS to ease the pain It's a process often dreaded by buyers and TMCs but follow these tips and your next RFP should be easier
Engage with stakeholders
In order to understand how your travel needs have changed, speak to all the relevant people and departments within your business, such as HR, IT, finance, security, C-Suites, PAs and, of course, your frequent travellers. Ask them what is currently working well and what isn’t.
Establish your priorities
Share the current pain points
istock.com / joecicak
Based on these conversations, draw up a list of your key requirements and decide what is a ‘nice to have’ and a ‘must have’. Rank your requirements in order of priority.
Even if you’re not 100% sure what you need from a new TMC, if you’re going out to tender you will hopefully have a good idea of what’s wrong with your current one. Don’t be afraid to share this with your new prospects. Be honest. It will help them understand what you require and know whether they can make a difference. 22
Don’t jump straight in
Keep it relevant
Make use of virtual and video
Make sure your first interaction with a potential TMC partner is not sending the RFP. Make contact first, even if it’s just a phone call, but ideally meet face-to-face. In the new era, this is likely to be more than just a transactional relationship so culture fit is key.
Keep your RFP document to a size that reflects the size and complexities of your travel account. There’s no point asking hundreds of questions and requesting tonnes of information unless it’s going to be useful, particularly when time and resources are precious. Try to avoid using a standard template too. Each company’s requirements will be different so it doesn't make sense to send a standard RFP document containing irrelevant questions.
Try before you buy
Keep up to speed
If possible, spend some time in the TMC’s offices to get a feel for the company culture. You’ll know very quickly if it’s a culture that suits your own. Ask if you can contact some of the TMC’s existing clients to ask for their feedback. You’ll get a more honest response than a written reference. Test a TMC by creating a scenario, perhaps asking them to evaluate and suggest how you can improve a particular aspect of your travel programme.
Mergers and acquisitions have stepped up in the pandemic so keep track of what’s happening in the TMC landscape by reading the trade press. If you’ve got a TMC in mind, put their name into the search button on The Business Travel Magazine's website, thebusinesstravelmag.com, to see recent developments, such as changes of ownership, key appointments or investment in new products. And, of course, use our annual TMC Guide and Directory.
Don’t get fixated with pricing
Negotiating pricing can be the most complex and time-consuming part of the RFP process so unless your relationship will be purely transactional leave it until as late as possible in the selection process, when you will have a better idea of who the strongest contenders are.
Meeting in person is clearly ideal, but make use of virtual technology if you want to gain access to more people within the TMC, such as teams in different parts of the country or overseas. Consider accepting video proposals too. It will help you get a better feel for the company’s culture and whether it will fit with yours.
Be mindful that responding to an RFP is a huge task for TMCs, particularly in the current climate where they’ve had to scale back on their teams and resources are low. Responding to an RFP can require a big investment and for potentially no return, so be realistic with timeframes and the amount of information you require.
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
ven before pandemic pressures came along, the TMC RFP was a process neither side enjoyed. Described as a “pain point” in a recent White Paper by the Business Travel Association, RFPs can be costly, timeconsuming, unnecessarily complex and often not fit for purpose. As business travel comes back, what you want and need from your TMC might have changed considerably, but with reduced resources on both sides it’s more vital than ever to get the selection process right. If you’re about to embark on an RFP, here are 10 top tips to help you get the best result.
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A pioneer of modern nursing Florence Nightingale introduced effective sanitisation in military hospitals during the Crimea War in 1854 and laid the foundations of modern nursing. Surprisingly, the ‘Lady of the Lamp’ was a sharp statistician too. Her ability to visualise data revealed in one study that 89% of 18,000 military deaths were from preventable diseases not battle. This helped revolutionise military medical care but also
shaped civilian hospital nursing the world over.
DIAGRAM OF THE
ST GU AU R BE EM
T EP S
IN THE ARMY IN THE EAST
U A RY
WOUNDS OTHER CAUSES
Businesses get judged by how they look after their employees How many corporate websites declare ‘our people are our most valuable asset’? So, when did we lose sight of treating business travellers with appropriate due care and attention? Whether you are a global corporation or a fledgling SME business, is the mental and physical wellbeing of your travellers truly a priority? Global opportunities have driven expansion at an unprecedented rate, and expectations for travellers being available 24/7 wherever they are in the world have increased dramatically. But the cost to human capital has also escalated. And the downsides of reduced productivity, demotivated employees, and mental burnout often undermine business goals, risking project disruption and potentially dissatisfied customers.
Blue Cube is pioneering a shift in corporate expectations, moving away from a narrow cost-driven focus to treating travel as an investment. And the best way to invest in future success is to look after your people, especially when they travel on business. We’re here to help you integrate traveller wellbeing into your travel programme as a crucial part of a wider approach to making travel safer, productive, and more sustainable.
TO FIND OUT MORE TALK TO US ON 0208 948 8188 - OR EMAIL email@example.com
Is your TMC distracted ? sustainable? collaborative? responsive? too big ? viable? If your TMC isn’t delivering, there is an alternative. TakeTwo is the next generation TMC. We work with companies for whom travel is mission-critical and who need great tech and the personal touch.
Discover a new different mytaketwo.com
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BR E A K IN G D O W N B A RR I ER S When it comes to corporate travel, is the rail industry sending the right signals? April Waterston investigates
re-Covid, logging onto my local train line’s delay repay portal had become as much a part of my monthly finance schedule as paying the mortgage. My personal experience with rail travel was tainted by frustration, expense and anxiety about unreliability and, in those early months of 2020, risk. However, still I seldom considered another travel option for both my daily commute and domestic travel within the UK. The environmentalist within me couldn’t justify the carbon emissions from driving and, with the chance I could nab a table seat for my laptop, there were hours of uninterrupted productivity to be gained. It seems that corporate travellers and travel buyers share many of my concerns.
“For corporates with high levels of domestic travel, the key blockers at the moment to choosing rail over air or car are primarily cost, reliability of services, speed and value,” says Scott Davies, CEO, ITM. “Buyers are looking for a positive overall experience for their travellers when it comes to onboard rail product and a regular, reliable timetable.” Davies believes the challenge is finding the right balance between pricing and employee productivity. “Travellers want to be able to work effectively on the train, so seating space and reliable and fast WiFi are essential, along with timetables that mean they don’t have to wait for long periods between services on key routes. “However, the cost of peak time rail tickets
and reliability of services just does not provide sufficient value when compared with alternative air travel or going by car,” he adds. Clive Wratten, CEO for the Business Travel Association, agrees price is the sticking point. “The key issues for domestic corporate rail travel involve the product offered and the
Buyers are looking for a positive overall experience for their travellers, in terms of onboard rail product and a regular, reliable timetable” THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM
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price paid for it. Alternatives such as car hire are currently more attractive due to price, safety and convenience. “The rail industry needs to evolve with a strong offering at a sensible price point to entice business travellers back post-Covid. "In doing this, station facilities must be upgraded, with ticketing services advanced to improve the ease of journey and reposition rail as the primary choice of corporate domestic transport.”
The existing infrastructure is not the only barrier for corporate travel. Raj Sachdave, Managing Partner at Black Box Partnerships, thinks it’s important to consider what other service providers – like car rental companies, for example – are doing to entice and retain market share. “When we look at some of the barriers in terms of services technology and content distribution, TMCs have done a pretty good job of integrating rail into online booking tools and their core service provision. “However, sometimes not having access to all products and the full set of data from the industry challenges the delivery of a good customer experience. There are a couple of blind spots for the rail industry that have to be addressed. It needs to work with TMCs more closely to ultimately grow market share and and to keep customers happy.”
Despite these areas for improvement, rail still has a clear advantage when you throw the issue of sustainability into the mix. Meeting carbon reduction targets means some of ITM’s buyer members are now encouraging rail travel over air for certain domestic routes, according to ITM's Davies. “Sustainability will be the driving factor and rail will be front and centre in corporate travel policies," he says. “The move to green car rental fleets will present short- to medium-term challenges due to insufficient electric vehicles and charging points – this will potentially push business travellers towards train travel options instead. “The mass use of sustainable aviation fuel is still a way off, meaning rail will be a more attractive sustainable option short term.” Research from Trainline Partner Solutions (TPS) shows the vast majority of business travellers (75%) want to reduce their reliance on air travel for business because of the impact it has on the environment. To this end, communicating the environmental benefits of rail travel is key. LNER commissioned OnePoll to conduct independent research and analysis to uncover perceptions about rail, aviation
There are a couple of blind spots for the rail industry that need to be addressed. It needs to work with TMCs more closely to ultimately grow market share and to keep customers happy” 16
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and car travel, and whether or not they reflect the reality. The gap between perception and reality was, surprisingly, widest when comparing the carbon emissions of rail with other ways to travel. According to LNER, a passenger journey on an Azuma train emits 97% fewer emissions than a journey of the same length on a typical aircraft used on domestic routes, yet less than 10% of those travellers surveyed were able to identify the extent to which this was the case. David Horne, LNER Managing Director, said: “We're confident that if we continue to promote rail as a productive, fast and sustainable mode of travel we will see more business customers choose our services. “Recent research has shown that the productive time enjoyed by customers on our services is estimated to be worth £610 million to the UK economy every year."
One company aiming to make it easier for corporates to book rail travel – and be more aware of its sustainable credentials – is Egencia. In recognition of the growing demand for sustainable travel choices, Egencia ramped up investment in its rail product in 2021. Recent and upcoming features include more rail alternatives to air travel on its air versus rail display, which provides travellers and travel arrangers with the ability to compare and select rail alternatives for the same air route to reduce the impact of business travel carbon emissions. John Sturino, the company's VP Product & Technology, says: “Many businesses across the world, both big and small, are continuing to set higher and more aggressive targets for sustainability. In response, we are designing
rail V11.indd 18
innovative self-service solutions that empower our customers to reduce carbon emissions by offering alternative transport options – allowing them to save time and money while making conscious decisions on how they travel in the future.”
Sustainability will be the driving factor and rail will be be front and centre in corporate travel policies”
In the Covid era, traveller safety remains paramount and rail travel may be safer than we expect. American Express Global Business Travel and Black Box Partnership’s 2020 Let’s Go By Train white paper quotes evidence from the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) that estimates the risk of contracting coronavirus on a train as less than 0.01% – or 1 in 11,000 journeys. This level of risk halves if passengers practice social distancing and wear face masks – which of course is less frequently the case now that rules in the UK have been relaxed and passenger numbers are increasing. TransPennine Express (TPE) continues to build on its 'reassurance campaign', including enhanced cleaning, encouraging the wearing of face coverings in England and promoting digital channels. It also continues to support the ‘Book with Confidence’ industry initiative, offering flexibility around advance tickets with feefree changes if customers need to amend their bookings due to their travel plans changing. Susie Palmer, Business Account Manager at TPE, outlines how the train line is working with the business travel community to identify how it can support and encourage rail travel. “Collectively as an industry, through the Rail Delivery Group, we are reviewing how we can adapt to the current customer demands through improved customer experience, products and further developing our digital proposition. “Collaboratively with some of the other train operating companies, to drive the recovery strategy, we will be sponsoring a rail zone area at the upcoming ITM conference to support corporates with discussions around developing their sustainable travel programmes. “In early spring this year, we will be launching a new groups proposition, offering a dedicated groups function to support the growing demand in this sector.
3/7/22 05:31 PM
RECONNECTING BUSINESS WHEN YOU’RE READY TO MEET IN PERSON, TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE.
Our services are running with larger cleaning teams, to clean our trains more often. With more seats, free Wi-Fi and extra plug points, we’ll keep you connected on the go.
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"In addition, we have noticed a trend with the SME market being more agile and starting to travel more, so later this year we will be developing a solution to support this client base.”
South Western Railway (SWR) is also supporting business travellers through its corporate anytime fare and has introduced its Business Direct booking tool for SMEs offering discounted travel on the SWR network and allowing greater flexibility. "Business Direct users can also map their CO2 footprint and compare it against the same journey if they had taken a plane or diesel or petrol vehicle,” explains Joe Thurgood, SWR Sales Manager. “We are making ongoing adjustments to our timetable to make it more attractive, and ongoing cleaning and sanitisation onboard are in place to help passengers feel safer.” Great Western Railway (GWR) is “keen to welcome our business customers back and help them arrive ready for those allimportant face to face meetings,” says Phil Delany, Commercial Director. The train operator has introduced a flexiseason ticket to help commuters who have changed their working patterns since the pandemic. It has also improved its SME B2B product for direct bookings and has upgraded its First Class lounge. “From a marketing perspective, we are running B2B campaigns to remind people of the advantages of train travel – for example, arriving ready for those key meetings by being able to work and prepare on one of our high-speed trains,” adds Delany. “We will continue to work with industry associations and our TMC partners to promote GWR to the corporate market.”
Grand Central has launched its Real-Time Journey Dashboard application, provided by Whoosh. Users access the app via a QR code and benefit from real-time updates directly to their personal device. This can include live train running information, station departure boards, refreshments delivered straight to your seat, goodwill gestures for service disruption, and onward travel departure details. Real-Time Journey Dashboard also trialled on Network Rail from early January 2022. Finally, Avanti is boosting its offer to draw passengers back onboard. Roger Williams, Chairman of the International Rail Catering Group, explains: “Like all travel operators around the world, Avanti’s customer base shrunk dramatically during the last two years, but that hasn’t dampened its enthusiasm for bringing forward fresh onboard concepts. “The new Standard Premium class, for example, offers roomier seats, a guaranteed tabletop giving useful work or leisure space, free Wi-Fi with access to Avanti media and an At-seat App to allow passengers to order café bar food and refreshments from the comfort of their seat. “These enhancements have coincided with a recent uplift in passenger confidence in train travel, especially amongst discerning leisure customers – a signal perhaps of a new dawn in passenger growth.”
The rail industry needs to evolve with a strong offering at a sensible price to entice business travellers back post-Covid”
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Be in control of your
Business Travel SWR business direct allows you to book your business rail travel how you want to book your business rail travel • No Fees
• Control Your Travel Policy
• Book Rail Travel Anywhere in Mainland UK
• Save Money
• E-Ticket options
• And More
• Book London Underground add-ons with ease
• Simple but in-depth reporting
Visit southwesternrailway.com/train-tickets/business-travel for more information
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TRANSPORT PLAN derailed Despite the hype, the UK's new Integrated Rail Plan got a lukewarm response, says April Waterston
ur plan is ambitious, deliverable and backed by the largest single government investment ever made in our rail network,” boasted Transport Secretary Grant Shapps when he unveiled the UK’s new Integrated Rail Plan in November 2021. “It will deliver punctual, frequent and reliable journeys for everyone, wherever they live. Our plans go above and beyond the initial ambitions of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail by delivering benefits for communities no matter their size, right across the North and Midlands, up to 10 to 15 years earlier,” he continued. The UK Government's long-awaited £96 billion package of rail construction and upgrades for the Midlands and the North promises to “transform” both east to west and north to south routes with three new high-speed lines.
In some cases, claims the Government, journey times will be halved. For example, an HS2 East line will run direct from central Nottingham to Birmingham in just 26 minutes, compared to the current journey time of 1hr 14 minutes. Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will connect Leeds and Manchester in 33 minutes, down from 55 minutes now, and HS2 will run from London to Manchester in 1hr 11 minutes. But business travel experts are less impressed with the revised plans. “The integrated rail plan proposals are positive but overall it’s disappointing when you consider the benefits that HS2 would bring in comparison – not just with faster journey times, but the economic benefits involved with levelling up,” says Joshua Collier, Head of Proposition Rail & Ground Transportation at TMC Agiito. “The main benefit of having HS2 wasn't necessarily the journey time reductions but
the fact that services would be operating on new infrastructure, away from existing non-high-speed trains which would free up more capacity to better more communities throughout the country. “The drawback of the Integrated Rail Plan is that upgrades will take place on existing infrastructure as opposed to brand new infrastructure being delivered. This means that while in theory trains will be able to go faster, the same challenges will exist as they do today in that the Rail network is at capacity in the amount of services that can run at any one time. “Sadly, I see the trade off here being that quicker journey times will come as a result of the scaling back of local and regional services, further driving people towards car usage as their rail options do not serve their needs. The experience of people living in the East of the country (Yorkshire and the North East) compared to those in the west that benefit from HS2 will be significant.” Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, is equally dismayed. “The BTA is actively engaging with the Retail Rail Review to ensure that the needs of the business traveller are recognised and met across the UK Rail Plan. However, despite this, the Government’s recent backtrack and subsequent cancellation of central features to HS2 is a major concern for the viability of the Plan and disappointment to the TMC industry. “Therefore, as the improvements to capacity, infrastructure and service promised by HS2 to support connected Britain and level-up the North diminish, so too does railways’ strength as the UK’s primary domestic travel option.”
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Imagine being able to read the room again.
Work meetings are better when you’re there in person. Book at GWR.com, on our app, or at a station.
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Reality check HOT E L : DE V E R E L AT IM E R E STAT E THE HOTEL
De Vere is a rare breed
large dog crate and had to rearrange
because its hotels target the MICE and
the furniture to find a cosy space. Our
corporate market but also allows dogs.
newly-refurbished Deluxe Room was a
In fact, it actively promotes itself as a
warm olive green, with wildlife photos
dog-friendly brand. Latimer Estate is set
on the walls. It was a bit hot untiI we
in 30 acres of countryside in the Chess
worked out how to turn the radiator down.
Valley, a 10-minute drive from the M25
and 30 minutes from Heathrow (on a
conference facilities come in numerous
good day). It's essentially three hotels in
shapes, sizes and styles. There’s free,
one – the original Mansion House and
superfast WiFi throughout the hotel and
two more modern buildings, Latimer
also up to 100m in the grounds. Smart
Mews and Waterhouse Suite, all with
Base, a new package aimed at business
extensive MICE facilities and sharing the
guests, includes unlimited free coffee.
same beautiful estate grounds. We stayed in
We ate at the main
restaurant, 1838. It was busy, mainly
Mansion House so checked in at its
with extended family groups (the hotel
was pretty crowded with local members
separate, newly-refurbished reception.
offers great leisure deals too), which
and the steam room was closed. The
The reception staff weren’t at all fazed
gave it a relaxed, informal atmosphere.
by Flo (our dog) sniffing around the
The young waiting staff worked super
furniture. Our room was up two short
fast and the timing of our three courses
flights of stairs (there's also a lift).
was spot on. It was one of the best (and
A De Vere-branded dog
best value) hotel meals I’ve had in many
changing rooms were small (only one
DE VERE ACTIVELY PROMOTES ITSELF AS A DOG-FRIENDLY BRAND
toilet), a bit cold and need sprucing up. THE VERDICT
A top-notch conference
hotel, great for dog owners, but needs a bit of cash splashed on the pool and spa.
bed and bowl were by the bedroom
years, particularly the De Vere 'posh'
door. I was expecting the room to smell
prawn cocktail. The grounds and
Chesham HP5 1UG, devere.co.uk/
of past four-legged guests, but it didn’t
walking trails are amazing. The only
latimer-estate, 01494 41231, Superior
at all. We’d brought our own rather
disappointment was the pool, which
Rooms £124. Bev
Church Ln, Latimer,
APAR T HOT E L : ZANZIBAR L O CK E , DU BL IN THE APARTHOTEL
a work desk, chaise lounge, smart TV
December 2000, this 160-key aparthotel
with Chromecast and, boxed in behind
sprawls over four classic Georgian
glass and its own door, a fully-equipped
townhouses, one of them once home to
Smeg kitchen. Stairs led to another
a favourite Dublin nightspot, the
spacious loft bedroom area. Several
Zanzibar. On Dublin's 'north side', it is
nice touches included a bedside 'Sleep
opposite the River Life, next to
With Me' box with bed socks and a
Ha'Penny Bridge, a three-minute walk
facemask. Excellent soundproofing
from a tram stop and a five-minute walk
ensured a good night’s sleep.
from the nightlife of Temple Bar. THE CHECK-IN
Rebecca and Erica
condusive for working but the spacious
were full of smiles, welcomed me by
and airy lobby area is set up for ‘hot
name, had my card keys waiting and
desking’, with several ‘co-working’
explained the layout of the building, the
workstations and USB ports, and cosy
Covid house rules and (many) nearby
sofas with their own work tables. Each
attractions. A very impressive start.
apartment has its own Wi-Fi code, which
available) and workout area, plus North
becomes a personal code for use
Seven for coffee and breakfast items.
My twin duplex studio
(suite 2.27) was, in a word, huge! Behind the heavy entrance door a small
throughout the property. THE FACILITIES
Wooden stairs lead
A BEDSIDE 'SLEEP WITH ME' BOX HAS BED SOCKS AND A FACEMASK
Stylish, classy, cosy,
eclectic, bright, breezy and functional in
entrance area led to a second door that
past a bar to a split-level drinking/dining
opened to a large living and dining area,
area with a funky cocktail bar (like an
with post-industrial chic exposed
Hawaiian tiki bar) and the Baraza
brickwork, a wooden floor and big
restaurant, serving small plates of
windows with river and city views.
modern comfort food with surprising
Understated neutral colours gave it a
twists (eg pork belly with Asian greens).
lockeliving.com. Rates from £125.
warm and ultra-modern feel. There was
There's a bijou gym (yoga classes
a city where apartment hotels are still rare. Dublin is right on your doorstep. THE DETAILS
34-37 Ormond Quay
Lower, North City, Dublin, D01 H3V5, +353 1 4363 701, askzanzibar@
Reality Check V10.indd 24
3/7/22 08:46 PM
APAR T M E NT : 10 CU R ZO N ST R E E T BY M ANSL E Y THE APARTMENT
If you're looking for
second floor. It had a hallway leading to
a London address to impress clients,
two bedrooms (one twin, one double), a
this is it. Nestled in the heart of Mayfair,
lounge/dining room, bathroom and a
just off Piccadilly and a short jog to
compact kitchen. The decor was simple
Green Park and Hyde Park, it’s also right
and classic and the rooms were bright
opposite Shepherd Market, the buzzy
due to the large windows. Refreshingly
cobbled square that's the perfect place
(unlike many hotels) the windows can
to wine and dine clients too.
be opened wide to let the air through.
The check-in is
Double-glazing blocked out the traffic
actually in Mansley’s other Mayfair
noise. It was spotlessly clean and
apartment building, directly opposite at
there's daily housekeeping. The only
no. 44. I was met by the charming
thing missing in the kitchen was a
Alberto, who told me the reception is
dishwasher but apparently Mansley
manned 9am-7pm but there's someone
plans to add one when the apartment is
on duty 24/7 if required. He gave me a
next due for a refresh, probably around
key card for entry to the main door and
2024. Most other Mansley apartment
longer stays. Umbrellas (made from
to my apartment. There’s also an option
kitchens have them.
recycled plastic) are provided for rainy
to download an app for keyless entry.
Alberto accompanied me across to no.
speedy and I could sit and work quite
10 and carried my welcome pack of
comfortably at the round dining table.
breakfast cereals and jam. Fresh milk
days. There's no lift.
The Wi-Fi was
The flat-screen TV
and selection of tea bags/coffee/hot
had all the usual channels plus some
chocolate were already in the kitchen.
foreign language options and was easy
REFRESHINGLY, THE WINDOWS CAN BE OPENED WIDE TO LET THE AIR THROUGH
The central location is
hard to beat and I had a fantastic night’s sleep. My only tiny gripe was a lack of space for my toiletries in the bathroom. THE DETAILS
10 Curzon St, London
to operate. The shower was powerful,
W1J 5HH, bymansley.com, 0800 304
apartments on three floors. Mine was a
bathroom towels were super soft and
7160, studios from £179, one-bed £229,
newly-refurbished two-bed on the
little extras like bathrobes are nice for
two-bed £349. Bev
There are five
HOT E L : HAR D R O CK HOT E L IBIZA THE HOTEL
The first Hard Rock
pool shared between a small number of
Hotel to open in Europe (back in 2014)
rooms. Mine was a Studio Suite Gold,
this fun, glamorous resort hotel is at the
somewhere in the middle, with a
smarter end of Ibiza’s famous party
fabulous Jacuzzi bath with a floor-to-
beach, Playa d’en Bossa, a six-minute
ceiling window. The view was best at
drive from Ibiza Town and the same
night when the resort below was neon-
from the island’s airport (don’t worry,
lit. Nice touches included an Ipod dock
there’s good sound insulation in the
and oversized mini-bar.
bedrooms for both). Like other Hard
With the choice of
Rock hotels, there’s a music theme with
six restaurants, seven bars, a beach
rock memorabilia displayed throughout
club (get there early to secure a bed),
(eg. Elvis' bathrobe) and you can even
two enormous pools, a separate spa
rent a Fender Guitar (with headphones)
pool, spa, well-equipped gym, and daily
to rock out in your bedroom.
live music events (even during the
We took a late flight
buffet breakfast), it’s tempting never to
from Gatwick so arrived close to
leave the hotel. Our beach club lunch
midnight but the grand, sparkly lobby,
was a highlight, both for the fresh,
in rich reds, silver and gold, was still
exquisitely presented seafood and for
lively with people coming and going.
the fabulous people-watching.
Instead of a room key we were given a wristband with a chip inside. THE ROOM
There are 493 rooms
For meetings and
events there’s 1000m2 of space, including the 600 m2 Conventions
the-art meetings tech and high-speed Wi-Fi add to the business credentials.
YOU CAN EVEN RENT A FENDER GUITAR (WITH HEADPHONES) TO ROCK OUT IN YOUR BEDROOM
The perfect spot for
incentives and high-end product launches, this music-themed hotel could be tacky but it's not. THE DETAILS
Platja d'en Bossa, s/n,
and suites, most with balconies. They
Centre. But most event organisers will
range from standard doubles in the
want to make use of the thousands of
main eight-storey tower to swim-up
metres of outdoor space, including
ibiza/ Deluxe Silver rooms from £134.
rooms with a terrace opening onto a
Ibiza's highest rooftop terrace. State-of-
07817 Sant Jordi de ses Salines, Ibiza, +34 971 92 76 91, hardrockhotels.com/
Reality Check V10.indd 25
3/7/22 08:46 PM
The Business Travel Magazine
The first Dinner Club of 2022 saw buyers, TMCs and suppliers gather at The Corinthia Hotel London for champagne, a three-course dinner, networking and an engaging afterdinner talk. The invitation-only event, which is held three times a year, has become a highlight in the industry’s social calendar. The February event was kindly sponsored by Sixt Rent-ACar, Premier Inn, Reside Worldwide and South Western Railway.
Tables all ready at the Corinthia Hotel
The Dinner Club ▼
The evening began with a champagne reception ▲ 8.2.2022
Guest speaker Jacqueline Starr, CEO Rail Delivery Group
For more photos from the event visit thebusinesstravelmag.com
With thanks to our event sponsors
PHOTOS BY PHILL GAMMON
In association with
Travega Travel Marketing Solutions Worldwide
Dinner Club v8.indd 26
3/7/22 09:00 PM
The final word
Making a clean getaway
ever work with children, animals or robot vacuum cleaners. Isn't that how the saying goes? Well, it does now at the Travelodge Cambridge Orchard Park, where one of the budget chain's 7,500 new custom-made 'RoboVac Buddies' decided it wanted a break for it and slipped, unnoticed, out the front door. Despite a frantic search by the hotel's staff and an appeal for its wherabouts on social media, the work-shy high-tech device wasn't found until the next day. It was discovered by a fellow cleaner (a human one) under a hedge in the hotel's front drive No other details were divulged but we'd like to imagine that a few empty cans of Heineken and a half-eaten kebab were found nearby – always signs of a good night out. Annoyingly the rogue robot's
fancy a workation? If, like many, you're now working remotely, why not make the most of it? Based on factors such as price, health and safety, weather, social life and ease of working, here are the top 10 countries for a workation in 2022: 1
Research by Kayak
escape hit the headlines before the Travelodge public relations team had the chance to unveil the group's army of RoboVac Buddies to the world's media. When the press release arrived in our inbox a few weeks later, it
See it, say it, mute it
new initiative by rail chiefs to cut back on so-called 'tannoy spam' will be music to the ears of frequent train users. The DfT is working closely with the Rail Delivery Group, passenger groups and train operators to see whether the "vast number" of on-board announcements could be reduced to give passengers some peace and quiet. But safety announcements will stay, which means sadly we won't be saying goodbye to the British Transport Police campaign 'See it. Say it. Sorted', once branded the the most annoying slogan of the century.
pointed out that usually, at the end of their shift, the RoboVac Buddies are "tucked into their custom made team bunk beds for some much needed R&R". Well, that's what they think anyway...
Office hours have become somewhat blurred by the shift to remote working since Covid hit but it seems even those back in the office find it hard to switch off. A poll of 2,000 UK office workers by internet access and hosting specialist Fasthosts found that every day 49.2% of Brits receive one to five workrelated emails outside of their office hours and one in seven receive up to 10. More shocking is that 67% of Brits generally reply to these emails and 16% say they reply no matter what. So much for work-life balance. THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com
Final Word v9.indd 27
3/7/22 06:14 PM
The Business Travel People Awards 2022 has six new categories: Travel Buyer of the Year, TMC of the Year, Travel Technology Innovator, Sustainability Champion, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion and a special Chair's Award
Join us to find out the winners and celebrate success at the 2022 awards ceremony at the Leonardo Royal City Hotel, 7-11pm, Tuesday September 13 2022.
3/7/22 09:59 PM