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Businesstravel the


December/January 2016/17



BECAUSE I’M HAPPY Why keeping your travellers content pays dividends


Focus on the UAE Rail booking technology Talking travel: Kelly Hoppen BI N U SY IE DR ES : / Y OB U O RO K EE XR TSE N/ D PE AD ’ SG U/ I DT RE A TV OE LT L ME CR sS

Take control.

We believe travel is a strategic issue. And that’s why we don’t adopt a one size fits all approach. We combine experience, skills, services and technologies into a programme of action that fits your business. We’re continually measuring performance and moving our clients onto the next phase of efficiencies and savings in order to maximise their travel programmes. At HRG, we see ourselves as a passport to control.

So, where would you like to go? Tell us at or +44 (0)1252 881 000

A Hogg Robinson Group Company.

For the A to Z of A to B


Contents 14


DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016/17 Features


18 Traveller wellbeing 32 Rail booking technology 59 Extended feature: Travel management companies


Extended feature: Travel management companies 64 15

A comprehensive guide to the latest trends and developments, plus your quick reference guide to the TMCs that can help your company take o




Opening Shots


Everyone's Talking About... The Autumn Statement

11 Six of the Best... Celebrity-owned hotels 13 Spotlight: Airline sales strategies 14 Event report: GTMC Autumn Conference 15 Speaking Out: ABTA's Susan Parsons


16 The Knowledge: TMC implementation





22 The Conversation: Champa Magesh 24 The People Awards 27 The Debate:


Travel policies 29 Meet the Buyer: Rosie Mohammad 31 Picture This 39 Technology: Smartphone apps


41 Sustainability Carbon emissions 42 Talking Travel:


Kelly Hoppen

The Review

45 12 pages of news, views and the latest developments




85 On Business in Milan 87 On the Road


89 Meeting in Newcastle 90 New Kid on the Block 92 Focus on the UAE 96 Reality Check 98 The Final Word



#LIVELOCKE The lifestyle aparthotel that has transformed how you sleep in London.


033 0202 0900

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15 Leman Street, London, E1 8EJ, UK

11:05 21/11/2016 10:23


Welcome All change please


ou might have noticed something a little different about this issue of The Business Travel Magazine. That could be the bold new look, the more compact size or some of the new articles, but there's a good reason for the changes.

This issue, our 61st, marks the tenth anniversary of The Business Travel Magazine. It's an occasion we decided to celebrate by revisiting its content and design to produce an even better publication. We spoke to readers, suppliers and senior travel industry figures to help us fine tune our already award-winning publication and publish more of the news, views and advice that you want to hear about, with a look and style that makes it even more compelling. We hope you are impressed, and do let us know what you think. And there's more news! Our annual event, The Business Travel Conference, has a new home for 2017 – the impressive Hilton London Bankside – as well as a new format and later dates: September 19-20. The event will once again be limited to 200 business travel managers, bookers and PAs, so don't be slow to apply for your free place. Finally, nominations for The People Awards 2017 open on January 1. The awards have been widely praised for recognising the talent of individuals and teams in the travel industry rather than the companies for which they work, so check out the 16 categories and make your nominations now. On behalf of the team, we wish you a very healthy and happy 2017.

Businesstravel the




Emma Allen, Colin Ellson, Linda Fox, Roger Gardner, Gillian Upton & Angela Sara West STAFF JOURNALISTS

Benjamin Coren & Cameron Roberts EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Hartridge



Craig McQuinn



Louisa Horton, Ross Clifford & Monica Notarnicola JUNIOR DESIGNER

Zoe Tarrant


Clare Hunter


Steve Hunter


Cheryl Staniforth

Andy Hoskins, Editor


Martin Steady





Eye-catching images of the latest news and developments

citizenM has worked with design and architecture practice Concrete to create the distinctive look for Shoreditch, with contemporary design features throughout�

Š Richard Powers

Shoreditch style

citizen m The citizenM group has opened its third London property, with its new Shoreditch hotel joining those in Tower Hill and Bankside. The steadily growing brand, which promises to deliver "affordable luxury for the people", also has hotels in Glasgow, Amsterdam, Paris, Rotterdam and New York, with a series of new hotels to come. 6

Airport addition

yotel PARIS

Capital gains

montcalm london

Quirky budget hotel group Yotel has opened its fourth airport location at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, a move that also marks the launch of its YotelAir sub-brand.

The luxury Montcalm group has opened a sixth hotel in London, the Montcalm Royal London House, City of London. The 253-room hotel is located in Finsbury Square.

Suite sensation

Marriott county hall The Westminster Suite is the pick of the rooms at the newly refurbished Marriott County Hall hotel in London. The 135m2 room can also be used for private dining and boardroom-style events and it comes complete with views across the Thames to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.




"It is disappointing that the chancellor has failed to seize the opportunity to cut Air Passenger Duty today and demonstrate that the UK is open for business by doing so" Darren Caplan, Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association


The airline community remains absolutely committed to its campaign to reduce APD and ultimately abolish it. We believe the government is ignoring a key tool in its efforts to boost global competitiveness” Dale Keller, Chief Executive of The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK)


Adrian Williams, Director, Business Travel Direct

“It is reassuring to see the government recognises the need for continued investment in our infrastructure with the announcement that there will be an extra £1.1bn invested in our transport networks” Paul Wait, Chief Executive, GTMC



THE FASTEST WAY BETWEEN CENTRAL LONDON AND HEATHROW AIRPORT Ticket collection machines available at all terminals. To book contact your usual travel provider.


Six of the best celebrity-owned hotels 1


Tennis ace Andy Murray bought this luxury Perthshire property in 2013. Close to Gleneagles and his hometown of Dunblane, the hotel is set in 34 acres of gardens and woodlands and has 15 rooms, plus facilities for private dining and events for parties of between 10 and 60.

4 2



Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville are set to take their Hotel Football concept far and wide, it was announced in the autumn. Having opened their first hotel at Old Trafford 18 months ago, GG Hospitality has said it could open as many as 5,000 hotel rooms worldwide.


This stylish hotel was renovated in 2016 under the watchful eye of its owner and actress Elizabeth Hurley. The 56 room property in the Chelsea and Knightsbridge area of London is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and no two rooms are the same.



This boutique Covent Garden hotel is due to open in 2017 under the stewardship of Robert De Niro. It will be the Oscar-winner’s third property and his first in the UK.



Gordon Ramsay’s York & Albany in Camden is a neat package of hotel, restaurant, bar and deli situated close to Regents Park. There are nine stylish rooms in the converted regency townhouse, each featuring period antiques, fabrics and artwork.


Dublin's Clarence hotel originally opened in 1852 but was bought and transformed by U2 stars Bono and The Edge, opening in 1996 after a multimillion-pound refurbishment. Today the boutique hotel's 50 rooms and Temple Bar location continue to prove popular with visitors.




A closer look at industry developments

Spotlight on... Airline sales strategies

The airline industry is enjoying mixed fortunes but the need for carriers to evolve their business models and keep the customer satisfied is uniform Airlines need to change how they market their products and sell to their customers, and are facing the threat of disruption from three global trends – that was the unequivocal conclusion of a new study from Google and PwC's Strategy& division. The report, Connecting with the customer: how airlines must adapt their distribution business model, happened to be issued the

Airlines should transform their distribution model by developing partnerships with intermediaries and content providers”

day after easyJet posted a 28% decline in pre-tax profits, with PwC linking the two in the report's covering note. It outlined three trends that are “reshaping” the travel sector and threaten to weaken the connection between airlines and their customers: shifting customer behaviour on the retail and business sides; changing dynamics within direct and indirect sales channels; and the rise of digital technologies. To counter this, the report said, airlines will need to use all distribution channels available to them; strengthen their partnerships with intermediaries such as travel management companies, the GDS and OTAs; and collect as much data about their customers as they can through the likes of social media, loyalty programmes and booking habits. There is no doubt that airlines face challenges on all sides but, according to the report, traditional sales channels are likely to remain resilient. Travel management companies accounted for 16% of all airlines sales in 2013 and again in 2015, a figure that is predicted to rise to 17% by 2020. Although slight, the increase

makes TMCs the third fastest-growing channel over the period (up 7.4%) after direct online sales (9.9%) and direct offline sales (9.5%), while others lose their share. Airlines would be wise to align themselves with corporates' preferred intermediaries more closely than ever, it seems, on the proviso that TMCs themselves take advantage of new technology to expand their offering and remain essential partners. The combination is a win-win for companies whose lucrative business is needed by both parties, and perhaps they'll listen more closely to what business travellers and travel manager want in terms of product and functionality too. As Strategy& partner Alessandro Borgogna says, “To be closer to customers, airlines should increase their understanding of how consumer behaviour is changing in the retail and corporate sectors and affecting their businesses, and ultimately transform their travel distribution model by developing partnerships with travel intermediaries, technology and content providers, and adopting customer-centric strategies.”



GTMC Autumn Conference Time to get building Transport infrastructure and the impact of Brexit topped the bill at the GTMC Autumn Conference. Andy Hoskins reports The government must press ahead with transport infrastructure projects large and small to “correct decades of underinvestment” said Iain Stewart MP (pictured right) at the GTMC Autumn Conference. The Conservative MP and Member of the House of Commons Transport Committee said business leaders and the economy need confidence and that “one of the key things the government can do is go forward with investment in infrastructure projects. Not just expansion at Heathrow and HS2 but with smaller projects too”. “Financially it’s a good time to do it with interest rates currently low,” he added. “There’s still a bit of a road to travel before we get spades in the ground,” said Stewart, referring to the government’s approval to proceed with expansion at Heathrow. “We can’t let short term inconvenience and fear trump long-term objectives. As a country we have to take a more positive attitude towards transport. We’ve got to think more long-term.” Meanwhile, fellow conference speaker Carolyn McCall, easyJet CEO, reaffirmed the airline’s interest in operating from an

SAY WHAT? “No d*******s please.” All Blacks legend Sean Fitzpatrick advises businesses to introduce a ‘no d*******s’ in the workforce policy to streamline the path to success

expanded Heathrow Airport – but not at the expense of its Gatwick operations. “We have a total commitment to Gatwick. We have 60 aircraft there and by the end of January we’ll have a consolidated North terminal. There is no dilution in that commitment,” she said. McCall conceded the airline had had a tough year and also aired her concerns about the impact of Brexit and future






aviation legislation. On the corporate travel front she noted that TMCs are still booking direct with easyJet but could to access a wider range of fares through the GDS. Asked if there is a future in low-cost carriers feeding the long-haul networks of legacy airlines, she said: “There are things we are working on that may come to fruition but it would be simple.”

GETTING PERSONAL “TMCs need to use data to be more intuitive and tailor the customer experience around traveller values and preferences” Liz Emmott, Senior Sales Leader, Amadeus UK


Airport expansion Time to put the country first ABTA's Trade Relations Manager, Susan Parsons, comments on airport expansion in the South East The autumn announcement by the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, that the government was giving the go-ahead to a third runway at London Heathrow was an extremely important and welcome step towards building vital additional airport capacity in the UK. Increasing airport capacity is essential to the UK’s economy, growth and global competitiveness and the government now needs to work across party boundaries to achieve a political consensus that will ensure the new Heathrow runway is operational by 2025/26.

The need for us not just to maintain, but to further develop our ties with the rest of the world to aid both inbound and outbound traffic, is even more urgent” ABTA takes a long-term view and, having consulted with members on this issue, we believe that there is also a very strong argument for future expansion at London Gatwick. Heathrow is full, but Gatwick also operates at full capacity during peak periods. Additional capacity will mean that both airports can cope with growing passenger demand and also have the necessary resilience to deal effectively and efficiently with the disruption that occurs following events such as adverse weather conditions or industrial action. It was ironic that the day after the announcement was made, thick fog caused disruption at Heathrow as well as at London City Airport and, with an extremely harsh

winter being predicted, we may well see more of the same. The case for extra resilience and capacity could not have been made more graphically. In backing the third runway at Heathrow, the government has set out some conditions, which ABTA supports, including managing environmental impacts and delivering public transport infrastructure to support the increased demand. When it reported its findings in 2015, the Davies Commission stated clearly that costs should be managed in an effective and efficient way and that today’s passengers must not be expected to pay for a runway that won’t open until the mid-2020s, a view we firmly endorse. ABTA will be working with the government, as well as the opposition parties, to do all we can to ensure the momentum behind this decision continues and that we finally get the additional airport capacity this

country needs so vitally if it to prosper. With the ongoing economic uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, the need for us not just to maintain – but to further develop our ties with the rest of the world to aid both inbound and outbound traffic – is even more urgent. This means not focusing solely on the growing economic powerhouses served by long-haul routes, such as those in Asia, but also maintaining and improving our economic ties with the rest of Europe, which must still be a top priority. S U S A N PA R S O N S Susan Parsons is Trade Relations Manager at ABTA. She represents ABTA on a number of airline, airport and government groups both in the UK and Europe as well as working with other transport operators in the maritime and rail sectors.




How to... manage a smooth TMC implementation You’ve put a lot of effort into finding the right TMC, so now it’s time to get the implementation right. Elaine Kerrigan of NYS Corporate and a number of clients pass on their top tips to make it work


Before you get started, take time to get to know your TMC and help them understand your company culture. “Make sure the TMC understands how your processes work and how best to marry them with their own,” says Elaine Kerrigan, NYS Corporate's Implementation Executive. The TMC will then have the grounding they need to pull together a bespoke implementation plan covering all activities, proposed phases and the key roles and responsibilities of those involved. “Having support throughout the implementation was key for us,” says the Travel Category Manager for air traffic control service NATS. “Ultimately, everything ran smoothly and this was in no small way down to pre-implementation planning.”


“Information is vital for any implementation. For a system to run like clockwork, everything needs to be in place and every tiny detail connected so that it all works,” says Kerrigan. A good TMC will take on as much of the initial workload as they can and allocate only minimal actions to the client. The Operations Director for procurement specialist CASME adds, “We didn’t feel there was any pressure



on us to make our implementation happen, but rather we were led through the process.” The more information a TMC can elicit from a client the better, but essential details include contact information, authorisers, cost centre codes and the data required to create booker and traveller profiles.


“None of us like change – it brings difference and uncertainty. The best way to overcome change anxiety is through communication. Both the procurement team and your end-users need to know what’s going on and when it’s going to happen,” advises Kerrigan. Consider putting together a communications strategy that incorporates the likes of e-shots to staff as well as introducing key bookers to your TMC contacts.


If staff are going to be using an online booking tool then training is imperative even though most tools are now intuitive enough to be used right away. “Providing proper training helps ensure that bookers feel confident using the tools,” says Kerrigan. “It has also been shown to increase online adoption rates, as well as assisting with consolidation of spend and compliance.” TMCs can typically offer training through online WebEx, video self-training and face-to-face training. “Once our contract was implemented, initial in-house training

sessions were arranged with our staff. Also, new users are able to access online training modules which they have embraced and found easy to use,” says the Deputy Procurement Head for a client of NYS Corporate.


Few implementations are hitch-free and there will always be a little tweaking needed here and there. Ensure your TMC checks the systems that have been set up, including the addition of negotiated rates, preferred suppliers and travel policy. Run a series of test bookings and invoices to double check everyone is happy with how the processes work.

Traveller wellbeing

Shiny, happy

people An increasing focus on traveller wellbeing is good news for all concerned, says Andy Hoskins, who explores the concept of traveller friction


pare a thought for the business traveller that made 157 trips in a single year, or the hardy soul that clocked up 260,000 miles around the world all in the line of duty – that's the equivalent of taking a flight from London to Venice every single day of the year. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. They were among travel management company ATPI’s top 50 most travelled clients in 2015, who between them averaged some 90,000 miles a year on business. What sort of toll does that take on the traveller’s mental and physical wellbeing? It’s an extreme example, but resentment, fatigue and poor performance can all build up at far lower levels than this, and employers are increasingly aware of the need to monitor traveller welfare. Happy, healthy travellers are more productive people, it is reasoned. Keep your travellers happy and you’ll also reduce staff turnover – and the associated costs – and make yourself an attractive employer too. It all sounds very logical, but ‘traveller friction’ and the methods of measuring it using quantifiable data are in their infancy, despite the concept of general wellbeing having been on the table for many years. Like many business travel trends, it is the US that is leading the way. Last summer ARC, American Express Global Business Travel and tClara released a report called Traveller Friction – Insights from US Road Warriors. 18

It surveyed participants on the quality and quantity of their business travel trips, their employer’s corporate travel policy, the impact of travel on theirs and their families’ lives, their health, sleeping habits and emotions such as stress and fear. The report said that while generally satisfied with their travel environment, roughly four out of five survey participants want management to be more aware of business travel’s impact, offer attractive travel policies to frequent travellers regardless of rank, be more aware of their current tolerance for travel and show more appreciation for the travel they do. It found that traveller friction symptoms vary widely among regular travellers and that, for those nearing or at 'burnout', trip quality and travel culture matter more than trip quantity. Indeed, the most popular improvements sought by all travellers were found to be non-stop flights, better hotels and post-trip recovery time.

The report puts facts behind the theory that tough travel policies cost organisations in ways not measured by any travel budget”

The report concluded: “Attractive travel environments are clearly linked to essential business goals – better road warrior retention, stronger ability to recruit talent, higher productivity and more effective trips. These benefits must be considered against the cost of providing more accommodating and expensive travel policies.”

The foundations of friction

Scott Gillespie, Managing Partner at tClara, the Ohio-based specialist in travel benchmarking that partnered on the report, says “talent-sensitive” firms are undoubtedly taking traveller friction seriously. “You see this in their travel policies,” he says. “The more accommodating policies go a long way towards reducing traveller friction. The issue is to what extent are these firms actually measuring traveller friction and its costs?” Gillespie says the number of trips, nights spent away, time zones crossed, hours in flight, hours in economy class and hours flown during personal time are all viable metrics for calculating traveller friction. “Our study is the first to squarely address the important HR issues of high levels of travel and the impact on recruiting, retention, willingness to travel, and trip outcomes,” he says. “It puts facts behind the theory that says tough travel policies cost organisations in ways not measured by any travel budget.” Amex GBT’s Vice President and General 

Traveller wellbeing

The more accommodating corporate travel policies go a long way towards reducing traveller friction�


Traveller wellbeing

Manager for the UK, Jason Geall, believes more of its customers are focusing on the links between traveller experience, productivity and, ultimately, business growth. “A key measure corporates can take is to ensure there are clear channels in place to regularly review traveller feedback so that employers are always up-to-date with the priorities, preferences and attitudes of their travellers,” says Geall. He says corporates should also consider adjusting aspects of travel policy and broadening its range of suppliers, as well as being more lenient with where and when employees work after long trips.

Putting travellers first

One business with a relatively enlightened approach is Oil Spill Response. Travel Analyst at the company, Alice Linley-Munro, says, “We have a really strong policy on weekend working, for example. If you leave home before midday on a Sunday you get a day back in lieu which you are encouraged to take when you return – you can’t bank it.” She adds, “We have people on call to go away for three weeks at 60 minutes’ notice. Travel has a huge impact on their lives so we have to do our best for them.” But travel policies are often sector specific, with some more stringent than others. “Time off in lieu is not something we do formally but there is flexibility and discretion,” says the London-based travel manager at a major bank. “In some roles it’s just accepted that business travel eats into your personal time and weekends and there’s not much you can do about it.” Chris Pouney of business travel consultancy Nina & Pinta says that in some sectors, where projects are being shelved and staff laid off, traveller friction is not even on the agenda. He does however believe that interest in traveller wellbeing is generally on the rise in the UK. People are working longer, the retirement age is rising and the

The goal is to go to management and say ‘I can increase our sales simply by making our business travellers happier’” 20

government estimates that by 2020 a third of all workers will be over 50 so, he reasons, “the need to look after staff is more pertinent than ever”. He continues, “Frequent travel can have huge impacts on employee wellbeing and health, and procurement people understand the law of diminishing returns – you can only squeeze a lemon so much.” Pouney advises travel managers to work closely with HR to manage travel friction and advocates travel policies that vary according to traveller age, health and length of trip. “A one-size-fits-all travel policy is fairly unusual now,” he says. Evan Konwiser, Vice President Digital Travel at Amex GBT agrees. “Too often we see that the director who travels twice a year has a much better policy than the guy who travels 40 times a year. Why not rank employees by travel volumes?” While tailor-made or multi-level travel policies might sound like added complexity, it could be a battle more easily won with senior management than going down the road of changing preferred suppliers. “If you change contracts to increase the quality of your travel programme your costs will go up but, because the quality goes up, staff attrition goes down,” says Konwiser. “You end up holding on to employees longer, they’re happier and sales increase. The goal is to go to management and say ‘I can increase sales by making our business travellers happier’.” It’s a convincing argument but one that might need a little weight added before taking it to the boardroom. How about the cost of recruitment? “Substantial fees have to be paid to recruitment consultants to find the right people,” says Adrian Williams, Partnership & Marketing Director at Business Travel Direct. “These non-travel costs soon mount up and prove to be greater than the savings made by seeking the cheapest travel options.” It’s a careful balancing act, but the traveller who’s enjoyed the more seamless journey and some post-trip recovery time is a greater asset to a company than the disgruntled employee who’s come straight into the office after a red eye flight. No matter what metrics you try and apply to calculate traveller friction, it is obvious that happy, well looked after employees who feel valued will perform better and are more loyal to their employer.


wellbeing in numbers


19% of business

travellers feel stressed when asked to go on a business trip


of employees would like more flexibility, such as ‘time in lieu’ for travel


of millennial business travellers want their company to allow them to add leisure time onto business trips SOURCE: The Balanced Business Traveller (YouGov/American Express)


of business travellers report feeling nearly burned out


say a company’s travel policy is more or equally important as the job’s pay and responsibilities SOURCE: Traveller friction: Insights from US Road Warriors (ARC, Amex GBT, tClara)

25% of travel manages are developing new KPIs based on the traveller experience

48% of travel

managers report an increase in travellers’ work/life balance enquiries

SOURCE: Meet the Modern Business Traveller (ACTE)

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Managing Director, Amadeus UK & Ireland

Champa Magesh Amadeus' UK boss speaks to Benjamin Coren about the issues and developments that have dominated a whirlwind 18 months since joining the company


hampa Magesh is in a car on the way to the airport when I speak to her, bound for Amadeus' head office in Madrid. “I travel almost every week for business,” she says. “I understand the benefits of all the new technology available but there’s no substitute for meeting face-to-face in business.” And that is the sentiment that keeps the wheels of the travel industry – and Amadeus – turning. The global distribution system is a platform that powers the likes of airlines, travel management companies and numerous other travel sellers, delivering content to them and handling up to one billion transactions a day. “We have a very broad base of TMCs that we work for and we partner with leisure agents with a thriving business travel division. We provide content, mobile applications, payment solutions and

We're looking at how to personalise content within the GDS. This enables agents to tailor trips and personalise their offering” 22

automation solutions,” explains Magesh. She joined the company from American Express Global Business Travel just as Lufthansa announced its plans to introduce a DCC fee on all its bookings made via GDS systems. It was a move that re-ignited a debate about suppliers' distribution costs and the value of the GDS. “We’ve been clear since Lufthansa first introduced this that we don’t believe it is justified, but we do accept there are new ways of doing business” she says. Magesh argues that Amadeus is far more than a distribution platform, though, providing bespoke solutions and tapping into the trend for personalisation based on the context and lifestyle of customers rather than old-fashioned demographics. “We’re looking at how to personalise content within the GDS. In the past, travel agents have segmented customers as either leisure or business and by doing this, split up their customer base. What we are saying is that this way of thinking no longer applies today. The lines between business and leisure are starting to blur, which is why we are hearing the term ‘bleisure’ a lot more. “It’s about context of traveller experiences and the behaviour and choices that travellers make pre-trip, during the trip and post-trip. The idea is that this enables travel agents to tailor trips to customers and personalise their offering to the end traveller.”

The company is also evolving the way in which it displays content in its systems and is engaged in a number of NDC pilot projects with airlines to provide rich, personalised content to bookers. “We’re offering airlines many options to make ancillary services available. NDC is a technology standard, and standards are always welcome,” says Magesh. The company is growing and its latest financial results show increased revenue as it continues to invest in technology. In 2016 it launched its Selling Platform Connect, billing it as “the world’s first fully online GDS booking and fulfilment platform” and including the ability to switch between cryptic and graphic content. “The UK has always been an important market for us, and within this market we have been growing steadily,” says Magesh. “We have been very successful over the last couple of years and our new products have really resonated within the UK market. “From our perspective, we look at the environment for where the industry is going and we continue to bring solutions to help our customers grow their business. Technology is something you need to keep investing and innovating in.” She adds, somewhat tantalisingly, “There will be some exciting new launches in the year ahead as we continue to innovate and invest in the UK market.”


in brief... Tell us about your career in business travel. I’m more of a generalist and have worked in many different industries before travel, but at Amadeus we get a ringside view of the travel industry. American Express Global Business Travel was my first introduction to the industry. I’ve been very fortunate in working internationally and I’ve been responsible for markets in a variety of countries including Switzerland, India, America and the Middle East. People in the travel industry tend to have very long careers within it. Do you have a typical day at work? I don’t have a typical working day, which has been a feature of every role I’ve had. I balance my time between our shareholders, our people and our customers so my day can be very varied.

C ha m p a Ma g esh

What do you like to do in your down time? I love reading and yoga and I run when I can, as well spending time with my son. These are all things that help me keep a good worklife balance. I’ve travelled a lot and from a personal perspective I’ve learnt to appreciate the particulars of every place I’ve visited and getting to know the people and the culture.

Champa Magesh is the Managing Director for Amadeus UK and Ireland where she is responsible for overseeing business strategies across all channels in corporate and leisure travel. Prior to her appointment in June 2015 she was Vice President and General Manager UK & Switzerland at American Express Global Business Travel for 10 years. She has also held leadership roles at WorldPay and Cicso Systems and has worked in roles across a range of industries.



the winnerS taKe Flight!

The winners of The People Awards 2016 enjoyed a lightning visit to Shanghai courtesy of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts After a guided tour of Virgin Atlantic’s wonderful Clubhouse at Heathrow Airport our seven participants – each a winner at The People Awards 2016 – were surprised with an upgrade to the airline’s Upper Class cabin for the flight to Shanghai. The next two days were spent in a whirlwind of hotel visits, lunches, dinners and socialising with an afternoon educational session run by James McBrien of ClearwaterAdvisers thrown into the mix. Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts pulled out all the stops to make our stay and hotel visits in Shanghai very special and by the looks of everyone sleeping deeply on the return flight, a great time was had by all.

TRIP PARTICIPANTS Anna Piredda, Corporate Traveller Reservations Consultant of the Year Lindsey Lyons, Diversity Travel Reservations Team of the Year Dusko Kain, FCM Travel Solutions Account Manager of the Year Sam Munro, Corporate Travel Management Account Management Team of the Year Lucie Harrison, Click Travel Sales/Business Development Manager of the Year Auxi Castillo, Diversity Travel Operations Team of the Year Sarah Marin, Capita Travel and Events Rising Star

“It was a fabulous trip with a great group of people. It was enlightening, educational and entertaining – I loved it!” Lucie Harrison, Click Travel

“I’m grateful to everyone that took us to Shanghai – I loved the cosmopolitan feel of the city. The presentations we had brought to mind the everchanging face of the travel industry and how adaptable we all are, and I also learned a lot about management styles” Auxi Castillo, Diversity Travel

“I learned a lot about the Virgin and Shangri-La products and I really enjoyed the educational session with James McBrien. It was a wonderful trip” Anna Piredda, Corporate Traveller

THE PEOPLE AWARDS 2017 Nominations for The People Awards 2017 open on January 1st. There are 16 categories, including two new awards AGENCY CATEGORIES  Reservations Consultant of the year  Reservations Team of the year  Operations Manager of the year  Operations Team of the year  Account Manager of the year  Account Management Team of the year  Sales/Business Development Manager  Sales/Business Development Team  Meetings & Events Manager of the year  Meetings & Events Team of the year SUPPLIER CATEGORIES  Account Manager of the year  Account Management Team of the year  Sales/Business Development Manager  Sales/Business Development Team INDUSTRY CATEGORIES  Rising Star Award  Outstanding Achievement Award




Sarah Marin, Rising Star, The People Awards 2016 Sarah Marin of Capita Travel and Events discusses her career in travel and what the Rising Star accolade means to her Q How did you get into the business travel industry? I’m a relative newcomer to corporate travel, having joined Capita Travel and Events in 2009 as the customer service manager in Derby. I was attracted to the industry by the dynamic operational environment that it creates. I wanted to use my knowledge from other sectors to challenge and improve ways of working to drive operational excellence. I’m very determined to succeed but I’m also lucky to work for a company that supports new talent. My role expanded rapidly and, as Capita Travel and Events grew, I progressed from responsibility for 60 consultants in Derby to over 500 people across the UK as Director of Operations. Q What drives you? What do you like best about your job? I’m driven by looking for fresh ways to make a positive difference for customers and the business. We work in a complex service industry that’s both technology and service led. We have to address wellbeing, safety and experiences of travellers, alongside value and policies for companies of all shapes and sizes. I really enjoy being able to influence change and invest time in helping people learn and progress in this complex service environment. Understanding what a company and its customers are trying to achieve and then being adaptable is what helps companies improve. When you can demonstrate that ability, you can progress.

I’m looking forward to being part of the judging panel in 2017 and rewarding the hard work and success of the next Rising Star”

Q What do you think the industry’s biggest challenge is in the coming years? The biggest challenge, and one we’re working on to shape the future, is taking travel management wider than a transactional service proposition. Predictive data analytics gives us the opportunity to do much more and using wider expertise within Capita plc, we’re evolving our proposition. We must transform organisations’ approach to travel and meetings by building the capabilities and technologies that focus on avoiding travel and meetings spend that’s generated, particularly by UK organisations with many locations. Agencies should be helping achieve effective cost reduction by stemming demand and enabling alternatives to travel. And when they do, different financial relationships can make sure customers’ and agencies’ objectives are aligned – less travel and meetings spend resulting in commercial benefit for both.     Q Where do you see yourself in five years' time? I’d like to use what I’ve achieved at Capita Travel and Events and share and encourage

best practice within the wider travel and/or customer service world. I’m ambitious so I’m looking forward to gaining any new experiences that will help me progress my leadership career further. Q What has winning an award meant for you and your career? It’s satisfying to get recognition for my achievements and it has helped me develop my connections and networks, not just in the travel and events industry, but customer services too. And hopefully, that all brings career development and opportunity. Being part of the awards judging panel in 2017 is really exciting. I’m looking forward to being able to identify and reward the hard work and success of the next Rising Star. Q What advice would you give to someone entering The People Awards? Don’t be afraid to shout about success – your own or that of others. It shows drive and determination. But don’t assume that you’ve reached your pinnacle – as a leader, a great trait is to never stop learning and trying to improve.




Founder & CEO, Maiden Voyage


Many people feel companies should prioritise suppliers who pay special attention to the needs of female travellers”

GARY MCLEOD Managing Director, Traveleads


he female business travel s a travel management agenda isn’t about company we don’t advocate disempowerment of women separate travel policies for or ‘special treatment’. It’s female travellers, but simply about acknowledging consideration should always Carolyn Pearson the fact that there are sometimes be given to their security, especially when additional risks for women travellers travelling alone. and therefore companies need to reflect The potential risks and dangers that this in their travel policies. female travellers might face should be The prominence of duty of care on considered in terms of both practical the business travel agenda, planning and the religious, social combined with an increasing and cultural norms of overseas number of women travelling destinations. on business, means Some places can be companies really need to challenging for male and take this issue seriously. female travellers alike and For example, should duty of care should your lone female always be factored in, traveller have to hail a with an organisation cab late at night and asking “how do we head back to the mitigate risk?” hotel in an industrial We regularly meet estate on the city with clients to review fringes because it’s their travel policies and your preferred ensure it gives supplier? consideration under Overseas, there are specific topic headings even more potential where additional notes risks, including gendershould be included in Ensuring the safety of employees is a prerequisite specific cultural differences respect of female travellers. for all companies. We asked two experts how or diseases that affect fertility Companies should employ duty of care needs to be tailored to and pregnancy such as Zika. positive policies towards female female travellers Statistically women are at a travellers. Destinations can vary higher risk of sexual assault, which widely in terms of infrastructure, makes travelling to certain destinations security and dependability so if, for more challenging. Our research proves that example, a chauffeur-driven transfer in a women feel strongly about this issue. higher-risk destinations guarantees safety, In fact, three-quarters of our survey then this should override normal cost rules. respondents strongly agreed their And when it comes to accommodation, corporate travel programmes should take consider hotels that have female-only account of their specific needs as a female floors and advise travellers to take a rubber traveller. A similar figure agreed their door stop for extra security. Does the hotel company should prioritise suppliers who offer in-room dining or arrange table pay special attention to the needs of women. sharing with other solo female travellers? Organisations have a duty of care to all and Introducing elements of policy that are specific to female ignoring these issues means many companies travellers is a big topic, are failing women but companies need to address it. travellers.

Should companies have femalespecific travel policies?

If a chauffeurdriven transfer in a higher-risk destination helps guarantees safety, then this should override normal cost rules”

Gary McLeod



Registration open New dates • New venue • New format 19-20 September 2017 Hilton London Bankside, Southwark

The event for buyers and arrangers of business travel and meetings



ROSIE MOHAMMAD Rosie Mohammad is the strategic Travel Procurement Manager for international law firm Pinsent Masons. She explains what her role entails

We have a global travel policy with local variations. It needs to contain relevant and clear guidance to ensure it caters for regional differences”

Pinsent Masons is a full service international law firm. We are headquartered in London with office locations spread around the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. I’ve been working in my current role as the firm’s Travel Procurement Manager for 16 years although I have been with the firm for 27 years. My time is spent managing travel, our suppliers and our traveller community.  I have a global remit with a strategic focus. I manage all our TMC relationships, self-booking tools, hotel, airline and rail programmes and supplier negotiations.  In addition, I am also responsible for our travel risk management and carry out risk assessments for all travel to high-risk countries in collaboration with our security provider, International SOS. I also take the lead in shaping the firm’s travel policy and driving new cost-saving opportunities and initiatives.  We book travel in a number of ways. Our legal PAs are responsible for booking trips but many of our travellers also book their own travel via our online booking tools. For the travel risk function I engage with an internal risk advisor who works closely with me on the travel risk programme as well as the relationship with International SOS. 

programme. Having a strong relationship with your TMC is fundamental.

We have over 3,200 staff of which more than half travel frequently for company business. We have offices across the UK and most of our travel is domestic. Nearly two-thirds of our air bookings are UK domestic, 24% are "My favourite destination within Europe and 13% are for a holiday is Thailand international, primarily to the – Krabi and Koh Samui are Middle East, Asia, Australia tops for me. The people, the and North America. food and the massages...


I also lead a team of 'Travel Super Users'. This consists of key travel bookers across our UK offices. They are my agents of I feel relaxed just change who assist in We have a very managed and thinking about it!" spreading knowledge and mature travel programme. We delivering key messages. My work with two TMCs: Capita Travel & two account managers at Reed & Mackay Events which services our UK rail requireand Capita Travel & Events are invaluable ments and Reed & Mackay which services all and work very closely with me on our travel other aspects of travel for the UK, Europe

and Middle East. We use Reed & Mackay’s online booking tool for point-to-point domestic and European travel, as well as for our hotel needs. Since moving to their tool in May 2016 we are pleased to have achieved a 90% adoption level on these bookings. For rail travel we use Capita’s Railooto tool and have a 99% adoption rate that we are pleased with.   Pinsent Masons has a global travel policy with local variations. It is regularly reviewed and updated according to our business needs. The policy needs to contain relevant and clear guidance to ensure it caters for local as well as international differences. There also has to be some flexibility built into the policy for it to be successful. Departmental collaboration is also essential so I work very closely with the finance department on our travel and expense policy as well as linking in with key stakeholders across all our offices.    Our main challenge is to ensure our travellers book within our travel policy and through our appointed suppliers. We also have to make sure our travellers understand the potential risks when travelling on business. Of course we also have to control costs and manage spend, and deal with the usual ‘I’ve found it cheaper online’ issue that travellers seem to bring up on a regular basis. 





NUMBER ONE Bangkok was the most visited city in the world in 2016, with around 21.5 million overnight visitors, just beating London to the top spot. The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2016 ranked 132 cities worldwide and placed Paris third, Dubai fourth and New York fifth. The fastest-growing visitor destinations globally were Osaka, Chengdu and Abu Dhabi.







MOBILE Rail booking technology is on the move as the corporate world aims to keep pace with developments in the consumer arena, says Linda Fox

A 44%

of rail bookings will be made online by 2020 (SilverRail)

t last it feels as if there might just be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to rail booking technology. In general, we are now seeing more willingness to collaborate, perhaps driven by customer expectations of a better experience as well as the increasing use of mobile devices in everything we do. The desire to move things forward might also be driven by pressure from new companies coming into the industry and looking to upset the status quo. Noises from government about the need to embrace mobile technology and ensure travellers have the choice of going paperless will also help move the needle. In mid-October, the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, spoke on the need to improve the customer experience in the rail travel arena and to be committed to offering that choice by 2018. Head of Trainline for Business, Alidad Moghaddam, agrees that the will is there and says it’s now just a question of implementation. While rail has traditionally lagged behind other modes of transport, he now

sees many developments around easy payments, online fulfilment and the ability to provide data around bookings and spend, but acknowledges that it’s going to take a while to build momentum. The signs are positive, however, with Trainline figures showing 50% of routes it serves are now offering mobile ticketing as an option, with about 75% of business travellers taking advantage of that. The company has been making steady improvements especially in its mobile offering with, most recently, the launch of business profiles within its application. The functionality lets business travellers create a profile that enables them to bill business trips to their corporate account or company credit card. A portal for small-to-mediumsized businesses to manage their rail travel needs has also been unveiled. Trainline believes that what business customers want is not that different from the leisure sector in terms of day-to-day travel and a frictionless experience. “The most important thing is the ability to save time and save money on travel. If you’re an administrator you want to be 



easily able to understand where the team is travelling, monitor spend and get insight,” says Moghaddam. Trainline is not the only player pushing mobile developments, with Evolvi Rail Systems currently rolling out an integrated booking and ticketing fulfilment app as part of its latest technology release.

Leading lights


rail booking tips


• Plan and book your journey well in advance. Most people know what time they need to be somewhere so if this is pinned down it can save substantial sums. • Consider the timings of meetings and whether it really needs to be first thing at peak times. • Use management information to check for repeat offenders and encourage better booking behaviour through education. (Courtesy of Clarity Travel Management)

In many ways the rail booking market for business travel is dominated by these two players, Evolvi and Trainline. Evolvi, for example, works only through travel management companies, and claims to work with 180 TMCs that are licensed by the Rail Delivery Group (formerly ATOC). The company’s Trade Relations Director, Jon Reeve, says that in 2015, corporate travel spend over its system was just over £460million across 7.8 million tickets. Direct comparisons with Trainline are difficult because the company works directly with corporates as well as through TMCs. However, it says 13 of the largest TMCs use its booking tool or API in the UK. Other players include Raileasy and SilverRail, although a number of start-ups have come to light in the past few years, raising the question of whether the market might be ripe for disruption particularly when it comes to European rail. Loco2, for example, began three years ago with a desire to make booking a rail journey in Europe as easy as booking a flight. Captain Train is another example. The France-based online start-up for European inter-city rail was snapped up by Trainline in

March 2016 for a reported $169million. Captain Train is now Trainline Europe and the company has ambitions to create a seamless experience whether it’s via a booking tool or API.

Consumers are increasingly tech-savvy and this drives commercial policies that in turn influence the booking solutions out there” “What we’re moving towards is a single platform. Typically you would need to go to a train operating company for one portion, then Eurostar, then RENFE. We want a single platform,” says Trainline's Moghaddam. Evolvi is also rolling out European rail content in its system and these developments will continue, although barriers remain in terms of every country having different providers and solutions.

The status quo

Amadeus Rail’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Mirja Sickel, sums up the current state of play. “For the first time railways are seeing real competition which means they need to adjust and adapt to new commercial policies. Consumers are also evolving. They are tech-savvy which also drives commercial policies which in turn has influence on the booking solutions out there.” 






• SilverRail is enabling its employees to trial new ideas as part of its new SilverRail Labs platform, as well as show consumers and the wider industry what it is experimenting with. Current initiatives include a timelapse data clip of public transport usage over a day and a watch app prototype for commuters which will alert them to departure times, platform details, delays and journey alternatives. • Virgin Trains, in partnership with Trainline, is now enabling customers to add train tickets straight to their Apple Wallet for journeys on its West Coast network. The ‘web to wallet’ offering also sees the ticket automatically pop up as the departure time approaches. Future functionality will include pop-up information as passengers get closer to the departure station. • Inntel is enabling travellers to access a new mobile ticketing service with tickets delivered straight to their smartphones. Travellers book via Inntel and can then access a barcode via the Trainline phone app. • Blip Systems is using its BlipTrack technology to measure passenger behaviour. The technology uses sensors that detect mobile devices and then re-detects them to gauge how passengers are moving around stations and how long they spend in different areas. The system should help stations improve the flow of people through data on bottlenecks and where and when congestion might occur.

One other trend to watch is multi-modal with a number of newer entrants such as Rome2Rio, Kelbillet and GoEuro enabling travellers to compare different modes and options for transport in one portal. SilverRail said recently that it could see a future where online travel agencies provide options for the door-to-door journey including all modes of transport and the ability to book in a single transaction. Amadeus’ Sickel agrees that the technology needs to be developed to combine modes of transport and hotels in a seamless way because “travellers just want to be served on the go.”

market have felt more like a series of small gains as opposed to a giant leap. And the Holy Grail of seamless planning, booking, payment and fulfilment via digital in all its forms is a way off as the industry grapples with new methods of distribution and the need to come to the table and agree some standards. McDonald says there are a lot of trials going on using beacons and smartcards and other technologies with motivation from all As a general rule, tools brought to the parties to provide a better experience. consumer world create pressure for change For the time being the current players will in the more complex business travel world continue to dominate because they’re good and rail is no different, so bookers want at what they do around content, compliancy smooth, simple functionality that gets the and spend visibility. job done quickly. In addition, there’s risk and cost involved SilverRail’s Head of Business Development, in everyone going out and building their Sarah McDonald, points to the 60% own ‘seamless’ rail app. As Click Travel’s of Google searches for rail head of product engineering travel that originate on points out, no traveller needs mobile devices to more apps on their phone. support the theory What they need instead that consumer is a cohesive and behaviour will standardised approach drive that change. to their rail trips for ...needs of business rail For many years, business that their passengers developments in employers can adopt 1) cost visibility 2) room to sit the rail booking company-wide. or stand comfortably 3) Delays are clearly communicated

The Holy Grail of seamless planning, booking, payment and fulfilment via digital is a way off as the industry grapples with new methods of distribution”


(Rail Delivery Group)


Connecting business across the UK Arriva UK Trains’ network reaches far and wide; CrossCountry, Chiltern Railways, Grand Central, Arriva Trains Wales and Northern operate a range of services, from rural commuter lines to long distance and inter-urban journeys. Arriva UK Trains connects the three countries of Great Britain and collectively runs 4,186 services each weekday.

Connecting people and communities to what’s important to them.



We will always go the extra mile for our customers.





Delivering great service, on great journeys across Great Britain.

We provide great value and enjoyable journeys that help remove the limits on where businesses can go.


Doncaster Sheffield Lincoln Stoke-on-Trent Nottingham Birmingham


Cardiff Swansea

Aylesbury Stansted London



Hull Grimsby

Manchester Liverpool


We are passionate about making sure that your journey with us is a great experience.


York Preston Leeds

Blackpool Holyhead

Find out more at:

Newcastle Sunderland



tim e to po lis h up yo ur ac t, the e us in tra the on e u’r yo ce On r ha nd s are on a ste eri ng wh ee l, you en wh do to rd (Ha . ax rel d an dd le of of no wh ere ). Th en you ’ll mi the in wn do ing ch tou ’re you or ke up the wo rld . To bo ok you r sha to dy rea , red pa pre ly ful ive arr e. ge me nt com pa ny or vis it us on lin na ma vel tra r you t tac con t ke tic




app attack The world is awash with mobile apps but what functionality do business travellers really want? Linda Fox helps sort the wheat from the chaff

Back in September, the GBTA asked corporate travellers about the hotel technology they use while travelling for business, and in some ways the findings were surprising. Of course, the need for reliable free wifi was up there but travellers were also asked if they use hotel chain mobile applications and what they use them for. More than 60% said they have installed an app from one of the seven major hotel chains on a mobile device in the past year and 54% had at least two apps from the same chains. The travellers said they used the services predominantly for checking the status of a reservation, managing loyalty programmes or booking a room. However, they were less likely to use them to discover nearby facilities such as restaurants or things to do, with about 25% turning to them for this purpose. And less than 10% of travellers use the apps to order room service or contact hotel employees. The surprising thing here is that there are a number of start-ups, as well as established companies, bringing messaging-type

services to the market to help hotels drive guest engagement. is a good example. In May, the accommodation giant unveiled a chat service enabling hotels to interact with guests. It is also looking at how it may work with Facebook Messenger as a customer service tool. Some hotel groups, such as Starwood, are already using established messaging services such as WhatsApp and WeChat for customer engagement while Hyatt has trialled Facebook Messenger. The big question is whether business travellers actually want or need these services. In other words, is it a solution looking for a problem? It could be that these services don’t yet offer what business travellers actually want or they’re not yet integrated into existing corporate technology which makes them more of a distraction than anything else. Conichi is one start-up that is working in the space and trying to integrate on two fronts – with hotel property management systems on the one hand and existing corporate travel management technologies on the other. The Berlin-based company can integrate with hotel booking apps such as HRS, which has invested in the start-up. Conichi enables travellers to check-in to a property without visiting the front-desk, open their room door using a mobile device where hotels have enabled keyless technology and do an automated checkout with the hotel bill forwarded to the corporate. A hotel experience devoid of human interaction – is that really what business clients want?

The company says it’s already working with a number of large Germany-based corporates to extend the technology to their travellers. Initiatives around chat as a customer service tool, as well as those tying up more pieces of the trip are not the only areas of development in hotel technology. Marriott recently unveiled its 'M Beta' property in the US whereby the hotel in Charlotte acts as a live testing ground for new ideas. The company has also just kicked off Marriott TestBed, an accelerator for startups that are ready to go to market with products and service that look to improve the traveller experience. Going forward, it’s not hard to see how hotels will be able to provide a more relevant and personal service to guests as developments in artificial intelligence are married with chat tools and other customer service technologies.




ONE STEP AT A TIME A carbon offsetting scheme has been agreed upon by 65 countries but let's not get complacent, says Roger Gardner

The world of CO2 statistics and trajectories is a scary one. Scientific news a few months ago suggested that we have passed 400 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere and have already used up one degree celsius of warming against the 2100 target of no more than a two degree increase. That target for the end of the century, as agreed at the recent Paris UN climate meeting, has now come into force but there are clouds ahead with President-elect Donald Trump threatening to withdraw from the UN treaty. So what chance that the more stringent 1.5C target, to which nations committed themselves at Paris, will be met? The aviation sector has been pilloried for its unfettered growth being a significant contributor to future CO2 levels despite it only accounting for about 2% of current global CO2. Well, there are some good news stories in the aviation sector this year that may help to disconnect demand growth from CO2 growth. After years of procrastination over adopting market-based measures on climate change, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has finally come up trumps, with 65 states (representing 86% of international aviation activity) agreeing a historic carbonoffsetting scheme. The first six years of this voluntary scheme, which effectively starts in 2021, could lead to 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 being offset

through carbon units being bought and sold through schemes such as the UN Clean Development Mechanism. The ICAO scheme, known as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), is not expected by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to have any significant effect upon demand and thus it may not have a marked effect upon ticket price. The headline costs may be huge – estimated by IATA to be over $5billion by 2030 – but these represent only about 5% of projected revenues. So while this is a valuable commitment by the aviation industry, it must not be allowed to support a ‘business as usual’ mentality. It must be the beginning of worldwide movement as more states come on board. Controlling carbon needs to get into the DNA of the sector in the same way that driving down fuel burn has done. Another milestone for the aviation sector is its September agreement by ICAO to implement a CO2 standard that applies to new types from 2020 and all deliveries from 2023. This is based upon aircraft cruise altitude performance and a ‘transport’ efficiency factor that affects fuel burn per flight kilometre. This CO2 standard, like long-standing technology standards for noise and emissions that affect local communities, will increasingly

bring aviation into the mainstream of control mechanisms that are part of driving for long-term sustainability for society. Like the aviation offsetting proposal, this CO2 ‘technology’ standard was hard-fought and it may have little real effect in the short term. However, both these measures will doubtless be tightened incrementally as a result of internal and external pressures. They also mark a willingness by states and the sector to get serious about trying to meet broad goals. Through IATA, airlines collectively are aiming for carbon neutral growth from 2020 and a 50% reduction in their climate impact by 2050. Those goals may not be met, even with maximum possible use of sustainable alternative fuels, but they are focusing the attention of industry leaders. Good news indeed but more remains to be done if aviation is to become genuinely sustainable and make its proper contribution to the 1.5C emissions stabilisation target.




The influence of destinations on design

KELLY HOPPEN The Dragons’ Den investor, ‘queen of interior design’ and general globetrotter talks to Angela Sara West


lame-haired Kelly Hoppen’s contemporary design stamp is emblazoned on superyachts, private jets, hotels and commercial projects around the world, as well as the homes of celebrities such as close friends the Beckhams. Constantly in demand, the Dragons’ Den investor has her talented fingers in lots of pies. She is currently working on around 50 international projects and, when she’s not donning her design hat, she’s championing entrepreneurs and investing in innovative new businesses. Hoppen also collaborated with Lord Sugar recently and has a plethora of projects in the pipeline. “Travelling brings me so much inspiration,” says Hoppen. “I travel regularly to the Far East, America and Europe for work. I go to such wonderful places and everywhere inspires me. I love the Eastern philosophy, sense of tranquillity, harmony and way of life. I also adore Europe.”

I still love flying with British Airways. It’s the height of comfort, which is exactly what anyone would want while travelling” 42

Hoppen is currently in New York, a regular stop on her itinerary and one of her favourite destinations. Other recent business trips include travels to Mumbai and Moscow, a place that she loves and where her residential collaboration with YOO, in the city’s prestigious Golden Mile, has been heralded as one of the most exclusive addresses in the world. One of her latest projects, One Shenzhen Bay in China, is an extraordinary venture on a scale never seen before. Taking luxury to the highest level, four show flats are themed on Hong Kong, New York, Paris and London. “Hong Kong is high up on my list of favourite places – it’s such a vibrant city. I love The Upper House hotel in Hong Kong and the PuLi Hotel in Shanghai.” Closer to home, Hoppen designed Barcelona’s ‘talk-of-the-town’ boutique hotel Murmuri and rates Paris among her top destinations. “It has such fantastic culture, people, food and sights. Among my favourite Parisian restaurants are Le Voltaire and the chic La Société.” The designs have since changed, but one previous assignment entailed styling British Airways’ first class cabins. “I still love flying with BA. It’s the height of comfort, which is exactly what anyone would want while travelling,” she says. Her top travel tips? “Pack wisely, especially for a business trip, ignore any jet lag and stay in the time zone that you’re in. Read a

great book, watch a good movie, use a good moisturiser and drink lots of water. Amazing food and great company help, too! That’s about all you need.” She has, however, had to overcome one of her travel bugbears: “I am the most organised person in the world but I have been guilty of overpacking. Now I take my time when I pack, so I’m careful to take just what I need.” Does Hoppen miss her time as a Dragon on the popular BBC series, I ask. “I loved filming Dragons’ Den! I’m really pleased with the investments that I made as they’re all doing really well.” She has clocked up four decades in the design industry and collected the 'Oscar' of the industry, the Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year award, but says her greatest achievement was receiving her MBE for her services to interior design. “It was a huge honour to meet the Queen and be presented with such an award,” she says. What’s her secret to success, I ask. “It’s quite simple really; hard work and passion.  I love and am proud of what I do, so it’s easy to put all my efforts into it.” And her top tips for budding entrepreneurs? “Do your research, know your market and your unique selling proposition and be credible,” says Hoppen. “Most importantly, have self-belief. If you have confidence in your ability and designs, paired with determination, you’ll go far!”

KELLY HOPPEN Kelly Hoppen designs her own range of luxury products for the home. She is also an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and the government’s GREAT campaign, which showcases the very best Britain has to offer. Her latest book is House of Hoppen. /



ANA is Japan’s largest airline and one of only nine airlines to have been awarded a 5-star rating from Skytrax. ANA flies daily from London Heathrow’s Terminal 2 to Haneda, Tokyo’s most central airport. From Haneda, a hub for 40 of ANA’s domestic routes and 23 of its international routes, ANA also connects you to Sydney with a daily non-stop flight.




Review [ ROOM REPORT ]


THE NEWS & VIEWS THAT REALLY MATTER [ on the g ro u n d ]

[ meetin g p l ac e ]

Airlines wary of increasing fees at an expanded Heathrow

The Park Plaza group prepares for London expansion

The UK's rail network set for government investment

Cameron House splashes out on meetings and events spaces





[ the l o w d o w n ]





I The latest industry appointments p56






IN BRIEF AirPlus initiative

IT'S all change for The Business

Payments specialist AirPlus is working with Airbnb on an integrated solution for the booking, payment and billing of business-related travel. Due to be introduced during 2017, the system will capture spend across Airbnb's two million-plus rental options worldwide.

Lounging around

The world's largest independent lounge membership programme, Priority Pass, has reached a milestone of 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. The company has increased the size of its programme by over 130 lounges in the last 12 months.

Keeping track

Drum Cussac Group has made a major update to its traveller tracking app. The new version features a new interface, improved tracking options, new risk alerts, country reports and additional 'SOS' functionality.

Tailored bookings

NYS Corporate has launched conneX v2, an update to its 'totally tailorable' booking platform. The latest version features a wider range of customisable elements including client administration, messaging, training modules and the pre-trip approvals process.

Redfern goes SOLO

Travel management company Redfern has launched SOLO, a campaign to find the hotels that go 'above and beyond' to meet the needs of female business travellers.



Travel Conference in 2017 with the event moving to the London Hilton Bankside and taking place on September 19-20. Delegates at the popular annual event will also experience a new format, with open seminar and workshop spaces integrated with an exhibition of up to 60 leading

'SUBDUED' 2017 FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL UNCERTAINTY in the economy and future of business travel is likely to produce a “subdued” 2017 – but there are grounds for optimism too, according to a new report. Last year was a period of political and economic uncertainty that produced an “uneven” 2016, says the annual American Express Global Business Travel Forecast, which predicts “flat-to-moderate increases” globally across air, hotel and ground transportation costs. Global demand for air travel “remains at a record high” and persistently low fuel prices and strong competition should help keep airline fares in check. In the UK, short-haul fares are expected to fall by 2% and long-haul fares by 3% while hotel rates are set to rise marginally by 0.2%.

business travel suppliers. The free-to-attend two-day event will is limited to 200 verified travel managers, bookers and PAs and will feature a programme of around 12 seminars, interactive workshops and keynote speakers.


[ SAFETY & SECURITY ] >> Three-quarters of organisations do not have clear policies for staff using the likes of Airbnb and Uber, warns medical and travel security company INTERNATIONAL SOS. The company explores businesses' duty of care obligations with regard to the sharing economy in a new report >> A global IPSOS MORI survey of business leaders found 72% believed travelling became more dangerous in the last year and 57% believe it will become more perilous over the next 12 months >> Travel managers finding it difficult to keep travel safety training interesting can now turn to an online quiz. The tool from BETRAVELWISE is designed to test the knowledge of even the most well-travelled employee

predicted increase in 2017 business travel spend

Brexit is yet to hinder Europe's overall business travel market, says the GBTA's Western Europe Outlook. It predicts a 2.4% rise in business travel spend in the UK for the year ahead, slowing from 6.9% growth in 2016



IN BRIEF GD enhancement

Gray Dawes has turned to Traveldoo to deliver a fully integrated travel and expense solution as part of its online booking platform, GDBOOKOnline. The TMC became the first in the UK to adopt Traveldoo’s T&E technology.

Business Travel Show

The Business Travel Show has appointed 11 senior travel buyers to its advisory panel to help shape the show's content for the 2017 event and beyond. They include UK-based travel managers from Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Sodexo and Symantec. The event takes place on February 22-23.


TMCs must take the lead on technology TRAVEL management companies must adopt new and developing technology in order to stay relevant, said one speaker at the inaugural Advantage Business Travel Symposium. “The manner in which TMCs deliver service is going to change,” said Dean Forbes, CEO of travel technology specialist KDS. “The opportunity for TMCs is to create corporate value through the user experience and put themselves in the heart of things. “Mobile is where it's happening. The mobile has changed everyone's mentality. People want instant answers and solutions. We need to put a significant focus on the traveller experience.” Forbes said the user experience is crucial to keeping travellers on side, suggesting “slightly inferior content can be overcome by superior user experience”.

Advantage winners

The Advantage Travel Partnership handed out 17 awards to member companies and personnel at its first Big Celebration Lunch. The winners included Global Travel Management, which was names Business Travel Agent of the Year 2016; Virgin Atlantic, which took the Business Travel Partner of the Year (Air) accolade; and Meon Valley Travel which was named Most Supportive Business Travel Agent of the Year.

Green Gatwick

Gatwick Airport is aiming to reduce the carbon emissions of its on-airport taxi company by 75% per journey by 2020. The agreement with Airport Cars Gatwick will see the introduction of electric and hybrid vehicles, saving an estimated 2,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. A trial period begins soon.


G T M C U P D AT E Paul Wait Chief Executive, GTMC

There’s little doubt that Generation Y is influencing the way we do business. According to our own research, the proportion of business travellers under 30 has almost doubled in the last three years. Yet 61% of business travellers under 30 told us they are more likely to feel at risk if something goes wrong outside of business hours, compared to 25% of those over 50. This is in addition to the growing number of female business travellers. Industry research has shown that nearly half (47%) of women travel for business. We recently heard from Carolyn Pearson, Maiden Voyage’s CEO, at our annual conference. Given the organisation's Women In Business Travel report found that 77% of female travellers believe company travel programmes should account better for their gender needs, it’s clear that the wellbeing and safety of the growing number of lone female travellers and Gen Y alike must be a priority. As a new generation of business travellers emerges, it’s never been more important for companies, service providers and TMCs to understand changing employee expectations.








Airlines wary of Heathrow fees inTErnATionAL Airlines Group (IAG) welcomed the government’s approval for expansion at Heathrow but warns the airport must not increase its airline charges if it is to make the most of additional capacity. Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of IAG – British Airways’ parent company – says: “We’re pleased that a decision has finally been made but the cost of this project will make or break it. The government’s directive to cap customer charges at today’s level is fundamental. “Heathrow is the world’s most expensive hub airport so it’s critical that new capacity is affordable. We will be vigilant in ensuring that Heathrow does not raise charges to benefit its shareholders to the detriment of the travelling public.”

SingAPorE Airlines began its new Singapore-Manchester-Houston service in November, giving passengers in the North West non-stop flights to both destinations for the first time. The five-times-weekly service between Manchester and Houston is sIA’s first service between the UK and the United States. It previously operated to Houston via Moscow and from Singapore to Manchester via Munich. “Our new non-stop routes to Houston and Singapore from Manchester are the first outside of

iberia enters the premium economy market iBEriA will fit a new premium economy product on 37 of its long-haul aircraft from summer 2017. The seat will have a 37-inch pitch and recline 40% more than seats in the economy cabin. “Iberia is the sole airline that will offer this intermediate seating class on direct flights between Spain and Latin America, which should strengthen our leadership in this market,” says Iberia’s chief commercial Director, Marco sansavini.

[ TAKING OFF ] >> OMAN AIR will begin its new daily service from Manchester to Muscat on May 1, marking the carrier’s latest move in its programme of fleet and network expansion >> AEROFLOT launched a daily service from London Gatwick to Moscow in November. It has also introduced an additional daily flight from London Heathrow this winter, giving it a total of 32 flights a week between the two capital cities >> NORWEGIAN has introduced a three-times-weekly service from London Gatwick to Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik >> ETIHAD AIRWAYS will add a second daily flight between Dublin and Abu Dhabi from April 1 >> AIR CANADA ROUGE will launch a three-times-weekly service from London Gatwick to Vancouver in June


London and offer travellers more convenient travel to Texas,” says Singapore Airlines Vice President for Europe, Subhas Menon. Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport adds: “At a time when there is a lot of uncertainty following the Brexit vote and our ties with Europe, this new east and west route connecting America to Manchester and on to Asia clearly highlights the role we play with connecting the North to international markets, unlocking trade, tourist and economic opportunities.”


long-haul at Gatwick

Long-haul operations are up 21% at Gatwick Airport thanks to new services in 2016 to the likes of China, Peru, Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria and the United States. Belfast, Newquay and Inverness are the fastest-growing domestic destinations





gatwick's fine china connections


growing Chinese carrier Tianjin Airlines is increasing its twiceweekly service from Gatwick to Chongqing and Tianjin and introducing a new service to X’ian. Launched last summer, the Gatwick to Chongqing and Tianjin service will increase to threetimes-weekly from the summer, with the airline reporting strong sales on the service. Meanwhile, the airline’s new service from Gatwick to X’ian will take off in May. It will be served by an Airbus A330-200 with 18 business class and 242 economy class seats, with a total flight time of around 10 hours. Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, says: “Tianjin Airlines now connects Gatwick to three of China’s megacities, including the UK’s only direct flights to X’ian, home of the Terracotta Army, and Chongqing, southwest China’s commercial capital.”

The SkyTeam airline alliance has opened a lounge at Beijing Capital International Airport, its sixth communal facility worldwide. Elite Plus members and premium passengers flying with any of the 12 SkyTeam airlines serving the airport can access the facilities.

Royal Brunei

Royal Brunei Airlines is making inroads with the corporate market, drawing an increasing number of business travellers in the SME sector, it reports. The airline operates a daily service from London Heathrow via Dubai to Brunei, operated by B787 aircraft with an 18-seat business class cabin.

British Airways

British Airways will introduce wifi on shorthaul flights from summer 2017 following an agreement between parent company IAG and Inmarsat. Up to 341 short-haul aircraft will be fitted with the new system including 132 British Airways A320-family aircraft. By 2019, 90% of IAG fleets will be fitted with high quality connectivity.

Bliss Jet

Top 20 UK growth routes Rank

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20





Ryanair Ryanair Flybe Ryanair Ryanair Vueling Vueling British Airways Vueling KLM Flybe British Airways Flybe Flybe British Airways British Airways BMI Regional Germanwings easyJet Flybe

Belfast International-London Gatwick London Stansted-Oslo Gardermoen London City-Dusseldorf London Stansted-Sofia London Stansted-Hamburg London Luton-Barcelona London Luton-Amsterdam London City-Berlin Tegel London Gatwick-Paris CDG Southampton-Amsterdam Cardiff-London City Manchester-Bremen Birmingham-Rotterdam Jersey-London City London City-Bremen London Heathrow-Billund Southampton-Munich London Heathrow-Dusseldorf Manchester-Paris CDG Bristol-Jersey

300 164 146 125 119 118 117 117 106 103 98 97 95 93 88 81 75 71 71 67

56,700 30,996 11,38 23,625 22,491 21,240 21,260 11,368 19,080 8,240 7,644 3,104 7,410 4,464 2,816 10,636 3,675 10,224 11,652 4,556

analysis The table shows the top 20 services to/from the UK that are being operated this December 2016/January 2017 that were not operated in the corresponding months of the previous year, according to airline intelligence specialist OAG. Many of these are new routes that have been launched in the IATA winter schedules with effect from the first week of November. The frequency and seat capacity figures represent the quantities scheduled to be operated during the two-month period. Overall, Ryanair has added 91 new routes, 2,850 scheduled flights and over half a million seats, making them the largest contributor of new capacity to the UK data courtesy of OAG

US-based Bliss Jet will introduce "the first ultra-exclusive individually ticketed private jet service" linking New York and London" in January. It is selling individual tickets on the 14-seat private jet service for $11,995 each way between London Stansted and LaGuardia airports – less than the cost of private jets, it points out.

british airways will launch a four-times-weekly service from heathrow to new orleans on march 26. it will be the only non-stop service from europe to 'the big easy'

market for this period of time, notes OAG. Flybe are second in terms of growth with some 1,843 new scheduled flights, although some of this is down to how it has adjusted its network and is not all pure growth.






Park Plaza set for 40% London growth THE Park Plaza hotel group will become one of the largest upscale groups in London following a series of openings and expansion projects this winter. The new 494-room Park Plaza London Waterloo will open on the South Bank, featuring a restaurant and bar, café, spa, gym and swimming pool, free wifi and six meeting rooms with capacity for up to 310 delegates. And this will be followed by the new-build, 212-bedroom Park Plaza London Park Royal in Wembley. Meanwhile, renovations at its existing Park Plaza London Riverbank and Plaza on the River will see the addition of 155 guestrooms across the properties, taking the group's tally in the capital to over 3,100 across eight hotels.

ROTANA Hotels & Resorts will take another step towards its goal of operating 100 hotels by 2020 with 16 new properties slated to open by the end of 2017. The group has also reiterated its intent to open hotels in Western Europe and suggested a sixth brand is in the pipeline. It will open five properties in the UAE, four in Saudi Arabia, two in both Turkey and Iraq, and its first hotels in Iran and Oman. The additions, all new-build hotels, will take its portfolio to 75 properties by the end of 2017.

SACO DEBUTS NEW APARTHOTEL BRAND IN LONDON SERVICED apartment company SACO has opened the first of its new aparthotel properties. The Leman Locke property is located in Aldgate, London, and marks the debut of SACO's new Locke brand that aims to ‘blend the world of lifestyle hotels and serviced apartments’. The aparthotel comprises 105 studios and 63 onebedroom suites each with a bedroom and fully fitted kitchen and living area.

[ OPENINGS & ADDITIONS ] >> The UK's second HYATT PLACE hotel will open at London Heathrow early in 2017. It will be the fifth Hyatt-branded hotel in the UK >> THE ASCOTT LIMITED added more than 10,000 apartment units in 51 properties in 2016, taking the company’s portfolio to more than 52,000 units globally >> CITYSUITES will open its first property in Manchester this January with a model that it says will bridge the gap between hotels and serviced apartments. There are 237 self-contained apartments and guests can make bookings for stays ranging from a week to a year >> Aparthotel operator STAYCITY will open two properties in France in 2017, a 108-unit building in Marseille in February and a 144-unit property in Lyon later in the spring



“Europe remains an important market for Rotana and we are keen to expand our pipeline into this continent,” says Omer Kaddouri, Rotana President & CEO. “Rotana made its European debut last year with its entry into Turkey and our focus now is to open hotels in key European cities, including Paris, Barcelona, Frankfurt, as well as the UK.” Kaddouri adds, “We’d love to be in the UK by the end of the decade but we won’t rush into it.” He also indicated the group has a sixth brand under development.


room rate rises

Limited new hotel supply and modest economic recovery means hotel rates are forecast to rise by only 2% across Europe in the year ahead. Rate rises of up to 5% are predicted for the Unites States and Canada in Advito's 2017 Industry Forecast



IN BRIEF Marriott debut

Marriott has opened its first courtyard property in Glasgow following a multimillion refurbishment of the former Ramada Glasgow Airport Hotel. New features include a fitness centre, business centre with three meeting rooms and a 'GoBoard' featuring touchscreen technology.

BridgeStreet additions

Serviced apartment specialist BridgeStreet has signed a deal with Accor Hotels' onefinestay brand to offer its content to clients. In total it will offer 60,000 apartments in over 58 countries. AccorHotels bought onefinestay for £117million in April and committed a further £50million to expand it.


The booking app for business travellers Travel technology specialist Traveldoo launched a new hotel booking app for business travellers at the GBTA Conference in Frankfurt. The tool utilises parent company Expedia's expertise in the consumer market but can also incorporate users' negotiated rates, the ability to sort search results by corporate preference and an approval process. Bookings can also be integrated into TMC systems. “Consumers successfully use hotel booking apps on their smartphones all the time and we wanted to adapt the same experience for the corporate market,” says Daniel Fitzgerald, CPO of Traveldoo. “Current consumer applications don’t allow integration with the TMC, so bookings cannot be supported or used for rate negotiations, and there are issues around duty of care too.”

Independent loyalty

Wanup, a new loyalty scheme for guests of independent hotels, has launched in Europe and is aiming for a global membership of 7,000 hotels within the next two years. Members can work their way through different membership tiers and receive perks such as cash back, priority check-in, late check-out and free parking.

Lamington launch

The Room 2 brand of aparthotels has launched in London with a 16-room, six-storey townhouse in Hammersmith geared towards millenial travellers and the extended stay market. The brand will be expanded with two confirmed additional sites in Southampton next year and Chiswick in 2018.

ACCOR ADDS NEW BRAND TO ECONOMY PORTFOLIO ACCOR Hotels has unveiled a new brand that “blends the best of private-rental, hostel and hotel formats”. Called Jo&Joe, the brand targets millennial travellers and completes Accor’s collection of economy hotel brands. It expects to open in 50 locations by 2020, including the likes of Paris, Bordeaux, Warsaw, Budapest, and Rio de Janeiro. Venues will be close to public

transport and less than 15 minutes from major points of interest. Social and community-minded spaces feature strongly in the offering, while accommodation comes in various forms. ‘Together’ is a hostel-like offering while the ‘Yours’ category comprises more conventional rooms and apartments. Finally, the quirky ‘OOO!’ spaces are for guests travelling in groups.

I T M U P D AT E Simone Buckley Chief Executive, ITM

I’ve only recently taken up golf and surprisingly I quite enjoy it. I think it’s the challenge of getting that perfect hit when the club makes contact with the ball in the right place and you hear the clean ping. I’ve been taking lessons and a few days ago I had my first business meeting (ahem) on the golf course. I only played nine holes (pretty badly), but what I’ve learned is that when you have your eye on the green and visualise where the ball needs to fly and, no matter how good or bad your last shot was, you always have a chance of getting it right this time. You make tweaks and get tips and advice along the way from those more experienced than you and that understand what you are going through. It’s like managing a travel programme. You know where you're headed and you keep moving in the right direction, no matter how many bunkers you land in and how many times you find yourself up to your knees in grass. I’m thankful to my friends, the golfers, for helping me on my way. Just like I know our members are thankful for having each other to help on the fairway to a better travel programme.







Government promises transport investment Philip Hammond delivered his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor in November. Many within the business travel community were pleased with the news of high-priority investment in infrastructure, including the modernisation of the UK's railway network. "It is reassuring to see the government recognises the need for a continued investment in our infrastructure with the announcement that there will be an extra £1.1bn invested in our transport networks, particularly in rail," said GTMC Chief Executive, Paul Wait. However, others felt there was a missed opportunity to slash Air Passenger Duty (APD). Dale Keller, Chief Excutive of The Board of Airline Representative in the UK (BAR UK) said: "We believe the government is ignoring a key tool in its efforts to boost global competitiveness and to send a positive message that the UK is open for business as we head towards a post-Brexit future."

europcar takes steps towards zero emissions fleet EUROPCAR UK is adding hydrogen fuel vehicles to its fleet, a move underpinned by a €200,000 grant from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles that enables the company to harness Toyota’s hydrogen fuel technology. “We have a clear objective to create a zero emissions fleet and with support from the OLEV grant we are even closer to this important milestone”, says Gary Smith, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group. “This funding is part of a £35million package that marks the UK government’s commitment to boosting the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles and we are delighted to be the only private sector winner.” Europcar’s new Toyota Mirai vehicles will be implemented to support its recently acquired ground transportation business, Brunel.

business stays


St. Ermin’s Hotel, 2 Caxton Street, London SW1H OQW

@sterminshotel sterminshotel






A C T E U P D AT E Greeley Koch

Virgin Trains

Executive Director, ACTE

Virgin trains has reported a 7% increase in passengers travelling between England and Scotland on its East Coast route following the addition of 42 London-Edinburgh services per week. The timetable boost coincided with the start of a ÂŁ140million investment programme.

Enterprise Car Club

The per-hour hire division of Enterprise Rent-A-Car is proving popular with business customers. The service is available in around 20 UK cities including London, Liverpool, Nottingham, York and Birmingham where it has recently expanded its fleet for this sector.

Whitecar revolution

A new car rental company, Whitecar, has been launched to "redefine the self-drive car rental sector". The Heathrowbased company has a fleet consisting exclusively of Tesla Model S 90D vehicles with four-wheel drive and the largest battery in Tesla's offering, with a range of 300 miles per charge. The company is planning to expand to further sites in the UK and Germany in its first year.

Miles more spending

Members of the Miles & More loyalty scheme can now earn and spend miles with chauffeur transfer company Blacklane. After an initial sign-up bonus of between 1,000 and 2,000 miles, one mile is awarded for every euro spent with Blacklane across 200 cities.

european rail traVel reVolVes around maJor financial centres. 68% of eu rail JourneYs run to or from london, paris or frankfurt, new researcH from concur found

Route revealed for HS2's next phase ThE government has announced details of its preferred route for phase two of High Speed 2, due to open in 2033. On the western leg, HS2 will continue north from Crewe to Manchester airport, and from there to Manchester city centre, where a new HS2 station will be built. There will also be a connection with Liverpool and to the existing West Coast main line. On the eastern leg, HS2 will continue from the West Midlands to Toton, where a new HS2 station will be built to serve Nottingham, Derby and the wider region. The new line will also continue north from the East Midlands to South Yorkshire. The first phase of HS2, between London and Birmingham, is due to open in December 2026, and continue on from Birmingham to Crewe in 2027.

Not long ago, business travel managers were confronted by the shared economy in ground transportation. Many travel policies came to include the concept of a shared economy and many did not. Some travel managers just looked the other way. Just when we thought the issue was behind us, stories abound in self-driving cars being developed by major automobile manufacturers around the world. Some of these systems are quite advanced while others are still approaching the prototype stage. In the European Union, there is enthusiasm by a handful of countries while others want more concrete measures regarding liability and insurance laws. Three different European commissioners are heading up separate dialogues concerning digital development, transport impact and one on the internal market. In the US, Congress is seeking to influence the development of separate and proprietary self-driving systems through a common but voluntary 15-point recommendation. One thing is guaranteed: the business travel industry will be having discussions about driverless cars sooner rather than later.





RADISSON BLU EDWARDIAN, HEATHROW 140 Bath Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 5AW +44 (0)20 8757 7903 Owned and managed by Edwardian Hotels London






THE Jurys Inn Group is investing £75million across its portfolio,

Events get together

with around half of the sum

International Confex, the Event Production Show and *office are co-locating at London Olympia on March 1-2 in what looks set to become the largest event of its kind. Over 500 businesses and brands will exhibit at the event, including venues, technology companies and event support services.

Edinburgh openings

The Hilton Edinburgh Carlton hotel has unveiled an upscale meeting and events offering for up to 200 delegates. Previously operated as the Carlton Hotel, the property reopened under its new Hilton guise in the autumn and has since cut the tape on seven dedicated meeting spaces, all with natural daylight. The main event room, the Highland Suite, has panoramic views across the city.


Malmaison has introduced its Work + Play meetings and events concept at its Manchester hotel following the success of its introduction at the Malmaison Birmingham. The group has 15 hotels across the UK.

Hyatt overhaul

The Hyatt Regency London, The Churchill, has opened three newly refurbished 2nd floor meeting and events spaces: The Blenheim, Marlborough and Spencer Suites. The interiors have been designed to reflect the contemporary-classic style of the hotel's recent refurbishment which has seen its guestrooms and suites also refurbished.

directed towards its meetings and events facilities. The hotel group has increased its portfolio over the last 12 months and at the same time seen a shift in business from largely local, non-residential meetings to regional, national and international residential

Cameron House splashes the cash CAMERON House is in the midsts of a multimillion-pound refurbishment, with phase one including the overhaul of its public areas and event spaces. The five-star hotel, set on the banks of Scotland's Loch Lomond, has also revamped its five dining options that include the Cameron Grill, Great Scots Bar and its water's edge Boathouse restaurant. “This work represents the start of an exciting multimillionpound investment,” says Resort Director, Andy Roger. “We feel the changes celebrate the resort’s setting and bring a new level of luxury to our offering. Our new-look interiors match the warmth of our hospitality.” The hotel offers a range of activities for corporate groups including seaplane trips, golf and spa treatments.

meetings and events. Marc Webster, Head of Sales at Jurys Inn, says, “We have seen our meetings and events offering grow almost overnight. There has been an 80% increase in meeting rooms, growing from 205 meeting rooms to 364.”


meetings rates

[ OPENINGS & ADDITIONS ] >> REGUS has opened the doors to its second Belfast location, a 6,000ft2 facility located in Arnott House. It has also opened its fifth Bristol business centre and its first in Salisbury >> The DOUBLETREE by Hilton Glasgow Central has opened 12 meeting spaces and Scotland’s largest hotel meeting space, The Grand Ballroom, for up to 1,500 attendees >> The HILTON London Metropole has unveiled its new-look King’s Suite following a £1million refurbishment that has increased capacity up to 1,700 delegates for theatre-style events >> London's ATHENAEUM HOTEL & RESIDENCES in Mayfair has launched new meetings and event rooms as part of its multimillion-pound refurbishment

Meeting and event rates in London have decreased by 7% but nevertheless remain well above the global average, according to CWT's 2017 Meetings & Events Forecast. It says the average group size is set to rise 6% in 2017 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM









Grange St Paul's Hotel, London






JOINS: Hillgate Travel AS: Chief Operating Officer FROM: Capita Travel and Events

PROMOTED AT: Air New Zealand TO: General Manager UK and Europe FROM: Sales Development Manager UK

JOINS: Choice Hotels Europe AS: UK Managing Director FROM: Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Charles Forbes will oversee the operational team at Hillgate Travel. He has over 30 years' experience, including a number of senior roles and the founding of his own travel business.

Jo Copestake has held a variety of channel management roles since joining the Air New Zealand team in 2010. She is tasked with growing revenue on the flagship Auckland route.

Peter Till has been named UK MD for Choice Hotels Europe, where he will be responsible for the expansion of the group's portfolio and boosting services to current franchisees.




ITM RISK MANAGEMENT SUMMIT Pullman St Pancras Hotel, London


THE TBTM DINNER CLUB The Dorchester, London



APRIL 23-25


JOINS: Jurys Inn AS: MICE Sales Manager FROM: Belfry Hotel West Midlands

PROMOTED AT: Carlson Wagonlit Travel TO: Country Director UK & Ireland FROM: Country Director Nordic region

Adrian Keating will drive sales and revenue performance in his new role at Malaysia Airlines. He has more than 17 years' aviation experience with Etihad, easyJet and BA.

Sharon Jezeph has joined Jurys Inn as its MICE Sales Manager. She will promote events across the group, with a focus on the refurbished Hinckley Island and Oxford properties.

Johan Wilson has switched to the UK and Ireland following the promotion of Chris Bowen to CWT's Managing Director of Northern Europe. Wilson has been with CWT for eight years.

ALSO ON THE MOVE... HRS has boosted its senior management team in the UK and Ireland with the appointments of Andy Besent as Managing Director and Ian Blackie as Sales Director >> Julie Ornsby has been appointed to the Good Travel Management board as Operations Director and Wayne Durkin has joined the TMC as Head of Sales, Marketing and Account Management >> CTI has appointed Melanie Quinn as Commercial Director, having previously held the role of Director of Client Partnerships >> Angela Jacques and Pauric Gallagher have joined Qantas' UK sales team as Corporate Account Executives >> Chris Hellawell is Diversity Travel's new Head of Account Management >> 1 24/11/2016 15:05 Maria Georgiou has joined the Intercontinental London O2 as Business Development Executive



MAY 12-15


MAY 27




Grange Tower Bridge, London

JOINS: Malaysia Airlines AS: Regional Manager UK, Ireland & Europe FROM: Etihad Airways



JULY 15-19




NEW YEAR, NEW JOB! Recruitment specialists dedicated to the business travel industry

Boston / CMY

K • +44 (0)845 605 9055 • Untitled-4 1



24/11/2016 16:27

Business travel is changing.... and so are we. Are you?

For over sixty years we have provided buyers, managers and suppliers of business travel management the support and guidance they need for their careers and organisations to thrive.

In January 2017 we’re taking this to a whole new level with the launch of our fantastic new website and app. So no matter where you work within business travel, there’s never been a better time to join us.

Keep your finger on the pulse of business travel with ITM.

They're essential partners for many businesses but there's always room for imrovement. Find out about the latest news and trends In our comprehensive guide to

TRAVEL MANAGEMENT COMPANIES Introduction, 60-62 / What's new? 64 / Interview, 65 / Five reasons, 67 Technology, 68-69 / Beginner's guide, 71 / Trending, 72-73 / Reader's rant, 75 Back to the future, 77 / The Directory, 78-80 / Data, 82


TMCs / Introduction


POWERS Travel management companies are constantly evolving in order to remain an essential partner but their most basic function remains getting people from A to B, says Gillian Upton


he French have a phrase that sums up perfectly the current dynamics in the world of travel management companies: 'plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose' – the more things change, the more they stay the same. No matter how the industry develops, TMCs’ core services are still anchored in getting business travellers from one point to another in the most cost effective and seamless fashion, offering value for money and sewing up duty of care. “It’s the three Ss: service, savings and security,” says Tony McGetrick, Director of Sales & Marketing at BCD. The Institute of Travel Management's Chairman, Mark Cuschieri, adds: “We want control, compliance and monitoring so I can buy smarter and ensure it’s easier to book travel. That’s what buyers want.” While external developments are having an impact, TMCs' business models are still based on being all things to all men, marrying high-tech online booking processes with high-touch white glove, concierge-style service levels for offline. And they are still trying to educate buyers to focus on the 95% of spend rather than the 5% transaction fee. They are fare auditing up until point of arrival and buying more competitively-priced fares from other countries using virtual IATA licences. The fare auditing systems take into 60

account the re-booking and cancellation fee and are smarter than the airline’s yield management systems, but for how long? “Our fare auditing service gives us a USP and we’re seeing a lot of client wins because of it,” says Julie Oliver, Managing Director of Business Travel Direct. “We’re able to tell a different story apart from the booking and are able to talk to different clients that we wouldn’t have before.” Direct connect is the big worry for TMCs. Hotels are, for example, discounting to clients for a direct booking. The new NDC airline retailing standard presents other challenges although the tide appears to be swinging towards it being a positive move to improve the airline retailing experience. Some 18 of the world’s top 20 airline groups have now adopted NDC. British Airways, for example, already has corporate fares on the new NDC standard. Its debut matches the desire from travellers for a more personalised and easier experience that is comparable to their leisure booking experience and the move from travel management to traveller management, delivered in the palm of their hand. NDC will help take complexity out of the airline booking process too. Click Travel sees it as an opportunity for business processing improvements using one standardised

language. And the far richer visuals that is designed to deliver, including video and images of products, will increase up-selling. Graham Ross, Head of Sales at FCM Travel Solutions, plans to use NDC to “make a unique product range by bundling things together, and move us from agent to retailer. Our message will be, ‘You can book everything through us and it’s easy’.“ Corporates worry that the up-selling opportunities will lead to non-compliant travel but Festive Road Managing Partner, Caroline Strachan, counters: “Wouldn’t buyers prefer that challenge in a controlled environment than at check-in at the airport?” Selling ancillaries is a vital revenue stream for airlines and one that TMCs would like a slice of in terms of extra commission if they’re going to sell more on their behalf – but airlines’ need to reduce distribution

Introduction / TMCs

costs suggests that’s highly unlikely. Some of the smaller TMCs are being squeezed in other directions, by the new payment arrangements under BSP. Most TMCs are handling this well as advance warning allowed them to mitigate cash flow issues. This may change if the economic conditions shift. For example, if the credit worthiness of corporates in certain sectors change or if interest rates rise, the owners may conclude those monies standing behind the settlement credit terms would then be better deployed earning interest elsewhere. Disruptors in the supply chain such as Airbnb and Uber present further challenges in aggregating their data into one single platform for clients, while there are also new non-traditional challengers such as Lola and Upside to contend with, the latter offering gift cards based on purchasing decisions.

Technology is central to understanding traveller priorities, and it will be a key enabler for delivering a better service” Today’s forward-looking TMCs are evolving, again, and those that can’t afford to are looking for exit strategies. The TMCs who remain are investing in the one thing that will drive the industry into the next decade – technology that will bring disparate sources of bookings such into one single platform layered with policy restrictions, to help clients better manage spend.

“We see technology as the central method for understanding traveller needs and priorities, and it will be a key enabler for delivering a better, more personalised service for travellers,” says Christophe Tcheng, VP Core Products & Platform Architecture, American Express Global Business Travel. ITM's Cuschieri believes TMCs have “a huge opportunity to be a content aggregator. They need to review what they do. Their scope of services will be broad and technology will play a significant part of that.” It’s a big ask and requires deep pockets. Newly-acquired Portman Travel started early, some three years ago, and has Portman One, a bespoke piece of technology that brings GDS and non-GDS content to the desktop. It’s one product across all channels. Others are playing catch-up, which has triggered a rash of M&A activity in the 


TMCs / Introduction

marketplace (see p.72-73). We have seen BCD on a spending spree, buying Zibrant for its panEuropean events expertise, a Chinese TMC to expand into that burgeoning economy, and a US tech company, Get Going Inc. Meanwhile, Amex GBT acquired KDS for its travel and expense technology, Colpitts merged with Direct Travel, Business Travel Direct acquired Amity World Travel to add scale, Reed & Mackay re-financed with fresh venture capitalist funding, while just this year alone Wings acquired Grosvenor Travel in the UK and, most recently of all, Clarity Travel Management's owner bought Portman Travel and has merged the two TMCs.

There’s an urgent need for TMCs to significantly enhance their relationship with travellers and they need a range of technology providers too” “The next 12 to 18 months will be quite interesting,” says GTMC Chief Executive, Paul Wait. “Some businesses have reached maturity and they’ve got to embrace a digital transformation strategy. “There’s an urgent need for TMCs to significantly enhance their relationship with travellers and they need a range of technology providers. That’s quite a jump for some, as it requires a significant amount of investment to do that successfully. Unless you invest in your business, sell it,” says Wait. There is an upside. “It makes it quite exciting,” says Festive Road’s Caroline Strachan, a former

TMC head and travel manager. “Think what could happen in the next few years; it’s not about small fish being eaten by big fish but the slow fish being eaten by the fast fish.” Christophe Tcheng of Amex GBT – one of the 'big four' TMCs – agrees: “In the longer term, business success will be about owning the most innovative and cutting-edge technology. “ Arguably those fastest off the start line are the smaller TMCs, who are nimbler but don't necessarily have the deep pockets to invest heavily – but that's not the be all and end all. “It’s about the willingness to adapt. Bigger organisations just cannot do it as quickly,” observed Simon Ferguson, Managing Director, Northern Europe at Travelport at a recent Hays Independence Group conference. CTM's European Product Manager, Jon Smiles, adds: “The big boys are stuck, particularly now it’s the traveller experience that’s key and not a procurement experience.” Even if and when technology levels the playing field, TMCs will need to find other ways to level the playing field, but how? “Today they do it badly,” says Festive Road’s Strachan. “They all say the same, ‘We have the best people, the best service and the best technology’; it’s the same old answers.” She continues, “They should understand each individual customers’ positioning better. If it’s a pharma client then data provision and reporting is crucial. If it’s finance then data security is key. If it’s an employee-owned organisation then interactions should be the focus.” Travel buyers have higher expectations than ever before as to what TMCs can deliver. The opportunity is for TMCs to deliver a wider scope of services that clients cannot find in one place elsewhere, and reinforce the value TMCs can add to the process.


T H E F U ture ?


“There is resistance from TMCs to the trend of becoming point and click experts. They’ve got to become more than just a booking system. White glove service is the way to go,” says Advantage’s Director of Industry Affairs Ken McLeod. One TMC whose USP is white glove service is Travel Counsellors for Business, the 24/7 home-workingbased business model. “SMEs clients struggle to get high-end personal service,” says Andrew Perolls, Director of Corporate Travel. “Many TMCs push SMEs towards online but SME travel is often more complex than a larger client and it’s never just about the booking; they want more than that. They think of their TC as one of the team,” says Perolls. “It’s about how to use technology in the customer experience; we use videos in quotes for client hotel selection for example. Technology for us is more about keeping the customer connected pre- and post-trip.” The GTMC's Paul Wait sees two TMC types emerging: “A self-service, low-touch model and a concierge type of model with low technology. Either of those models can add value.”

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TMCs / What's new?


Attendees at the inaugural Advantage Business Travel Symposium were introduced to Sam, a personal assistant who can help travellers with their itineraries, amend schedules and deliver useful and timely information to them. Only Sam isn’t a person, it’s a chatbot that uses a mix of artificial intelligence and human input to deliver smart, relevant information to users’ mobile phones. The more someone uses the app, the more intelligent it becomes and the information delivered more personalised. Sam also integrates a company’s preferred door-to-door, security and expense providers. Cesc Vilanova, Head of Product at Sam, told attendees at the event that chatbots can be used to increase compliance with company travel policy and deliver

a better experience than open booking. “Travellers are currently getting a better user experience outside of TMC channels. Our goal is to reduce the number of bookings lost by TMCs,” he explained, adding that Sam is already working with a number of TMCs. FCM Travel Solutions is one such company, having already introduced Sam – Smart Assistant for Mobile – to its clients in the United States, with a UK launch due in 2017. “Sam is highly interactive and speaks to clients how and on which chat platform they prefer,” says FCM. “Sam picks up on cues, such as travel patterns and preferences, and updates travellers accordingly. So if it is your first time in a particular city, you will receive more information and recommendations than if it was a standing monthly trip.” The app also features a “call or SMS my consultant” button for those times when talking to a robot gets you nowhere.

T M C C O N T R AC T W I N S & R E N E WA L S • Diversity Travel has won more than £8million of business in the academic sector, including the London School of Economics, the Victoria & Albert Museum (pictured) and, most recently, the Universities of Bradford and Hull • NYS Corporate has been reappointed by the University of York following an eight-month-long, EU-wide tender process. It has additionally been reappointed by O2 to handle its meetings and events requirements • arrangeMY has been appointed by



Cancer Research UK to fulfil the charity’s transient accommodation, venue finding and event management needs • Inntel is now handling the travel, meetings and event needs of Equiniti and its 4,000 employees • Clarity Travel Management has won the business of the John Lewis Partnership, helping the TMC amass over £100million of new business in the 12 months prior to merging with Portman Travel • Simplexity Travel has been retained by Norwich City Football Club as its official travel management partner.

I’m yet to find a TMC that is perfect globally. Our policy is the same globally but the service provided is not – some of our regions are happy, some aren’t” So said Rosy Burnie, Office Manager at Luvata, at the Advantage Business Travel Symposium

Travel Counsellors reported a record-breaking September with corporate sales up 14% internationally and 12% in the UK year-on-year. “We’ve seen a return in client confidence following initial concerns over the impact of Brexit and recent terror attacks,” says UK Managing Director, Kirsten Hughes. Click Travel launched in November, a tool it bills as a “true self-service online travel solution for teams of any size”. It pulls together content from GDS systems, online travel agencies and directly from suppliers. Negotiated rates, travel policies and approval processes can all be integrated. Quintessentially Travel is making a move into the corporate market with the acquisition of Londonbased CJL Total Travel Management. The luxury travel specialist says the deal, sealed for an undisclosed sum, will take its annual turnover to £35million. Key Travel recently landed the Travelport GTMC Innovation Award. The TMC was recognised for its self-built online booking platform that has reaped impressive buy-in from reluctant users in the NGO and education sectors.

Interview / TMCs

SHEILENDRA TOMAR Sheilendra Tomar is Director of Business Development at Applehouse Travel. He tells TBTM about the TMC and the challenges his sector faces Q What is the number one thing that clients are asking for currently? Setting and implementing corporate travel policy; self-booking tool and expense management solutions; duty of care and risk management tools; and management information and compliance reports. Q Does size matter when it comes to selecting a travel management company? Multinational companies tend to gravitate towards the big TMCs as they have global focus and are looking for a global vendor. Sometimes they consider medium-sized TMCs when evaluation is based on regional basis. In general, SMEs usually prefer smaller to mid-sized TMCs. Q What problems do you frequently see in corporate travel programmes? A lack of top management support for the travel policy in an organisation and also a lack of structure to handle travel within an organisation. In some companies travel managers, PAs and sourcing managers are all handling travel and sometimes it's at cross-purposes.

Changes in the New Generation of IATA Settlement Systems for regional and global companies, increased focus on duty of care, diminishing margins and the changing global politico-social landscape are all challenging the cash flow of TMCs. They are elements that also force them to look globally and Applehouse Travel works regionally, including with clients across almost growing through all business sectors, including mergers, acquisitions pharmaceutical, oil & gas, retail, and alliances. IT, advertising, finance and

Q Name some of the challenges facing the TMC community currently. Increasing customisation and commitment to duty of care are big right now. This is primarily due to, respectively, the increased presence of investment banking. It is part Q Do you expect to techno-savvy suppliers of the £491million turnover and the changing politicosee further consolidation Southall Travel Group social fabric globally. Both in the TMC sector? involve real understanding of the Consolidation will be increasing client's travel needs and culture. in the future due to pressure on margins and lower ROI. Size will matter Q Is the changing distribution landscape when it comes to accessing preferential making your job as a TMC more difficult? fares and rates from suppliers, while a The changing distribution landscape is not regional presence is needed to service only a challenge but an opportunity. mid-size and multinational companies.


As well as further consolidation in the mid-size market due to diminishing returns, we also anticipate more TMCs offering leisure travel to their corporate clients” Q TMCs seem to be constantly evolving. What changes do you think we’ll see in the next few years? As well as more consolidation in the mid-size market due to diminishing returns, we also anticipate more TMCs offering leisure travel to their corporate clients and consolidation of business on a regional basis rather than a country specific or global basis. Q Finally, what sets Applehouse Travel apart from other TMCs in the market? Applehouse Travel is a one-stop solution to all services in the travel spectrum and we customise our solution to each and every client, offering personalised service through our own resources 24/7, online and offline. Our biggest differentiator are the people who service the customer at the account management and operational level. We can't be beaten on service as we dedicate in-house resources 24/7 and, being a brand of the Southall Travel group with a turnover of £491million, our price is always competitive.




BALANCING ACT How can you keep a watchful eye on your travellers as well as your costs?


ews headlines are dominated almost daily by terrorist attacks, health scares and flight disasters, so it’s not surprising that traveller tracking and risk management have become top priorities for corporates. How can you ensure your travellers feel safe, but also manage the cost of business travel effectively? Risk management and traveller safety are nothing new to Wings Travel Management. The company has carved a niche over the last 25 years as a trusted travel provider for corporates heading to high-risk destinations, particularly in the energy, construction and financial services sectors, where travel is an integral part of their business. “Wings has always been ahead of the curve in terms of giving clients critical safety support due to the nature of their travellers’ complex travel needs,” says Tony Sofianos, CEO, Wings Travel Management. “Each of our global offices in North America, South America, UK/Europe, Africa and the Middle East are wholly-owned and operated by us. This is a key point of difference to our competitors, most of whom use partner agencies or franchisees in high risk markets,” explains Sofianos. “ We also operate off our own single global technology platform to ensure that Wings’ staff worldwide can instantly access a client’s travel records – this is crucial for tracking and re-routing travellers.” But it’s not just about safety. Wings’ people are also experts in managing the cost of business travel for clients in people-critical industries – companies for whom travel is essential to their operations, even if there is a downturn in their market sector. These clients look to Wings to help scrutinise and reduce those costs wherever possible. “When the price of oil fell dramatically last year, many of our energy sector clients were forced to reduce costs across the board, including travel,” explains Sofianos. “Many of them asked us to generate savings of as

much as 20 per cent. Our determination to support clients and demonstrate value enabled us to identify, communicate and implement vital savings for them during this difficult time, without comprising on traveller safety,” says Sofianos. One such client commented: “The Wings team has been extremely supportive and as a result of their specialist knowledge of our industry and understanding of our organisation, together with their highly collaborative approach, we have successfully implemented vital cost saving initiatives.” Sofianos sums up: “There’s no doubt about it: our staff’s expertise, combined with wholly owned global offices and the latest technology, gives Wings the edge when it comes to supporting clients at all levels, whether that’s with their travel safety challenges, or cost challenges.” @WingsTravelMgmt

Wings has always been ahead of the curve in terms of giving clients critical safety support due to the nature of their travellers’ complex travel needs”

Five reasons / TMCs


USE A SELF-BOOKING TOOL Stuart Birkin, Director of Account Management at Corporate Travel Management (CTM) UK, names five reasons why your company should use a self-booking tool

1 3


If your company books at least 150 flights or transactions per annum which are straightforward point-to-point routes, you should use a self-booking tool. Primarily this applies to domestic or European routes – London to Frankfurt, for example – although more corporates are now using SBTs for long-haul, point-to-point travel too.  

KEEP IT SIMPLE An SBT is ideal if your company’s business travel bookings don’t involve complex itineraries or frequent changes. More corporates are becoming aware of the cost of changing tickets postdeparture. An SBT helps drive the behaviour that once booked it’s more difficult to change.


MAKING SAVINGS If you are looking for cost savings on transaction fees and airfares then an SBT should deliver. Online tools can drive airfare savings by up to 10% via visual guilt. A traveller is more likely to take a cheaper fare if it is staring them in the face on a screen rather than being told over the phone. This is particularly true if the SBT is set up correctly so that the traveller has to declare why they might not take a cheaper available fare.

Self-booking tools can help tackle leakage by delivering the experience that rogue bookers are looking for”

DO IT YOURSELF Self-booking tools are great for travellers who like to book their own travel. This is particularly relevant for the millennial generation who want to do everything via their smartphone and an SBT provides the facility for booking on the move. An SBT can also help tackle leakage. If travellers tend to go rogue and book direct with suppliers on the internet, an SBT provides the online experience they are looking for, but still captures all the data the corporate requires.

BEHIND THE SCENES A self-booking tool works really well when you have a TMC behind the scenes that can support your bookers and travellers with training. The TMC can also provide detailed reporting on adoption levels and identify rogue non-SBT users. A TMC can, in most cases, also bolt on an approval tool so the corporate can be assured that trips remain within policy.



TMCs / Technology

on the

BUTTON Travel technology is evolving at break-neck speed, propelled by those TMCs and sector specialists with the financial clout to develop their own solutions, writes Gillian Upton


ravel management companies that turn over more than £30million have sufficient funds to develop proprietary technology to future proof their companies, the theory goes. Below that thereshold, any hefty investment can be challenging. These smaller TMCs buy technology from third parties who they hope will give them the same flexibility and nimbleness as an in-house IT development team of their own could deliver. But it doesn’t stop there, outlines BCD Travel’s Director of Sales, UK & Ireland, Tony McGetrick. “For smaller TMCs to compete with the likes of Concur who invest millions in their product, is a challenge,” he says. “They need to constantly invest in newer versions and manage upgrades, otherwise the content suffers.“ Smaller TMCs have even more challenges. The Advantage Travel Partnership has a mix of smaller business and leisure agencies, including 64 corporates under the Focus Partnership umbrella. The company’s Director of Industry Affairs, Ken McLeod, warns of a widening chasm in the industry if certain things don’t change. 68

“There is a danger that unless technology becomes cheaper, small agencies won’t be able to keep up with it,” he says. And playing devil’s advocate he adds: “Clients ask for the ‘buzz’ stuff but do they really need it? Duty of care is the big thing – making sure clients know where their travellers are at any time.”

Online booking tools are still point-to-point and there's still not a really decent one out there. They're all OK but there's nothing great” Ian Scholes, Director of European Operations at Colpitts World Travel, says, “The technology lags behind the dream. We all know what we want but there isn’t a single unit that does the whole job, which falls into our hands – ie, the human solution. Technology plus travel management company equals solution.”

Online booking tools (OBTs) are ”still point-to-point and there’s still not a really decent one out there,” says McLeod. “They’re all OK but not great.”

Speeding things up

Built on legacy systems, online booking tools are the pinch point in the new wave of technological advances as they can be cumbersome and slow. Mark Cuschieri, Chairman of the Institute of Travel & Meetings, says it is the shortcomings of OBTs that often push buyers into direct booking with suppliers. One that claims to be industry leading is CTM's Lightning. As the name suggests, it’s a fast booking system. It is built in-house on an agile platform and was launched in September across Europe. It can process 1,000 bookings each day with a user experience that’s a cross between a leisure and a corporate interface. The tool integrates with Smart Forecaster (its fare forecasting tool), so users can search a greater range of dates and be informed which would be the cheapest date to fly. It is a game-changer in online booking tool technology, claims CTM.

Technology / TMCs

Mobile performance

There are other game-changing technologies out there, particularly on mobile platforms, which are proving the critical facilitator for delivering personalised service to the traveller. A rash of new smartphone apps out there are testament to the trend, providing a proactive service, sending relevant, realtime data such as flight information, gate changes and weather forecasts. Not all apps are useful, as statistics from Localytics testify. A survey of 2.7billion devices and 37,000 mobile and web apps, highlight that only 46% of users in the United States are still using apps one month after they downloaded it. That means over half of users, 54%, have churned and are no longer using the app one month after they downloaded it. Furthermore, 22% of users only use apps once, while 39% of users return to the app for 11 or more sessions. Nevertheless, apps are critical for those without the resource of a company armed with a team of PAs. Tim Clark, President of Emirates, reckons apps will help shift distressed inventory in the long run. Detractors point to the average of seven

A rash of new smartphone apps is testament to the trend of personalisation. They provide a proactive service with relevant and real-time information” changes per booking that makes it easier to pick up the phone. Variable wifi coverage around the world will also affect take-up.

Divided opinions

Adam Knights, Managing Director UK of the ATPI Group, questions the need for central booking capabiliy on an app. “You don’t worry about using your Apple Music app for music and then using your fitness app to track your health, so why do you need booking of rail and air, for example, integrated into one single app?” One standout app is BCD mobile – part of BCD’s generic TripSource offering – which delivers the booking in one place and drags content from other areas outside normal

channels too. Non-compliant bookings can also be dragged back into the app so that data can be collated, be reported on and acted on. “It’s the nirvana really,” says BCD's Tony McGetrick. Launched five months ago in the UK, it was built by Get Going Inc on open architecture that can be added to and acquired by BCD. There will be a TripSource hotel app – already available in the US and launching here in 2017 – that will bring content in from disparate sources such as the GDS, Expedia, and all direct-sell providers such as Travelodge and Premier Inn. It also links to HRS, and many other aggregators. “It’s a mini GDS in its own right,” says McGetrick. “It will work out for the end user who has the best deal.” The Roadmap app – claiming to be the ultimate all-in-one travel app – also fills the gap in the traveller centricity piece, pulling together the email for hotel check-in, the email for the taxi transfer and the BA app for check-in, all in one itinerary in your smartphone. “It’s very cool,” as Caroline Strachan, Managing Partner at Festive Road, succinctly puts it.


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Beginner's guide / TMCs

COUNTING THE COST TMCs charge for their services in a number of ways and changing distribution models could add costs, as TCG Consulting’s Paul Fernandez explains How do TMCs generally charge for their services? TMCs charge for their services – the processing of business travel transactions and/or programme management – in a number of ways. Fees can take many forms, including transaction based models, direct operating expense (DOE) + transaction hybrids, and broader management fee models. With corporates increasingly focused on obtaining the best available content, TMCs have needed to restructure their pricing models while remaining competitive and profitable in an evolving landscape. What’s the most frequently used model in your experience? Transaction fee (or fee for service) continues to be the most common model. The DOE + transaction fee and management fee models are fading largely because of a lack of cost transparency. Is there anything travel managers need to be particularly wary of? It’s important there is transparency in the revenues earned by client-negotiated agreements with suppliers. This area is often overlooked and should be reviewed. Returned or retained, there should be an open book policy or agreement for an audit of revenues. What might be charged as ‘extras’? Extra fees often include access to non-GDS content, amenities that require additional resources and enhanced

The cost of investing in technology to access non-GDS content is likely to be passed on to clients”

technology. In addition, organisations should negotiate and measure a very clear and specific account management fee structure. A recent study by TCG Consulting shows that an average of 17% of clients’ TMC costs are for account management support. Conducting a detailed analysis of your company’s travel patterns, transaction types, volumes and travellers’ booking behaviour will create the business case for which TMC fees provide value and which are misaligned with your organisation’s needs. Is the changing distribution landscape going to add cost? As the demand for full content tops client wish-lists, the significant investment in technology to access non-GDS and web-only content is likely to pressure TMCs to pass these costs on to clients. Organisations must assess the full impact of these costs in the broader context of the value of the service and overall relationship. An announcement from American Express

Global Business Travel to its clients this summer communicated additional fees for bookings made with some airlines – Ryanair, Eurowings and Vueling, for example – that do not follow the industry-standard approach to fare filing, payment or bookings. Do you foresee any imminent changes in fee set-ups? As the corporate travel ecosystem continues to evolve, and as traditional methods for cost optimisation produce diminishing returns, organisations are looking at new programme management approaches such as the integration of travel, meetings, payment and expenses using a total cost of ownership approach. As organisations continue the trend of unbundling supplier offerings, travel management companies will strive to strike a balance between the need to differentiate themselves and provide superior client service while still delivering revenue and profits.



TMCs / Trending



The number of mergers and acquisitions in the TMC market is picking up pace, but why now? Gillian Upton and Andy Hoskins report




aking the headlines at the beginning of November was the announcement from Clarity Travel Management that its owner would be purchasing Portman Travel and merging the two TMCs to create a £400million business. The figure puts the combined business among the top six or seven largest TMCs in the UK and diversifies its client-base, part of the rationale for the deal. Clarity's Chief Executive, Pat McDonagh, says the merger gives the business “increased buying power, international reach and expertise through a significant shareholding in Radius Travel, a broader base, market leading technology and best in class service.” Regarding the sectors in which the two TMCs work, he adds, “Clarity has a high level of public sector and higher education clients while Portman has more of an international flavour. Portman also has strength in professional and financial services and we have common success in the fashion and retail sector.” Asked if further acquisitions are in the pipeline, McDonagh says Clarity's owner, Mawasem Travel & Tourism, is interested in the “right opportunities at the right time, but

we will definitely see more mergers to come elsewhere in the industry.” So why is the trend currently accelerating? One leading M&A specialist broker, Argate Meridian, has introduced and brokered seven successful TMC acquisitions in the past three years in the UK and advised on a number of due diligence company acquisition programmes. The deal sizes have ranged from £15million to £150million. The company’s Managing Partner, Colin Goldney, explains: “The weakness of sterling provides an opportunity for international investors which at the moment seems to be outweighing any Brexit uncertainty. “Some take the view that a post-Brexit world will necessitate UK PLC doing a lot more long-haul corporate travel.” In addition, the exceptionally low level of commercial lending interest rates means funding is readily available. Clarity’s McDonagh agrees. “There’s a fair amount of private equity around at the moment and people are looking to part with it,” he says. “We’ll see mergers happening at all levels but, at the smaller end, TMCs are being challenged by both the move to more frequent remittance and the economic environment. Some are looking for an exit.” What’s more, the UK market is more attractive to potential investors than its

Trending / TMCs

continental European counterparts because the UK market has many business travelonly TMCs, says Goldney. “In other markets one is more often faced with potentially acquiring an enterprise which is a blend of both business and leisure travel, and not everyone wants a leisure arm,” he says.

Deals on the horizon

Goldney anticipates two notable acquisition deals within the next three to six months and potentially two or three SME deals too. Investor interest is in specialist agents with a presence in the MICE, marine and charity sectors and it remains strong regardless of company size. “We predict further thinning of the middle tier over the coming years. That is those with turnovers between £30million and £100million, with mergers within this tier,” says Goldney. “Acquisitions of TMCs with £10million to £25million turnover will then take the enlarged TMC into the next tier up, of £100million-plus turnover, and attract a growing interest from the multinational TMCs in that tier,” he explains. Goldney believes that for those TMCs in the £100million upwards tier, deals are increasingly dependent on a robust digital transformation strategy. He is positive about the prospects for the SME sector, particularly those that look after




The ATPI Group has over 100 offices worldwide and an annual global turnover of over £1.2billion. Parts of the business have been trading since 1936 but the group as it is known today was formed in 2002 through a series of mergers. Acquisitions in the US, France, Netherlands and Singapore have followed as it adopted a ‘buy and build’ strategy to stretch its reach globally. In the last three years it has bought Australia’s Voyager Travel and UK-based Griffin Travel which, combined with natural businss growth, took ATPI’s annual turnover from £720million in 2013 to £1.2billion in 2014. More deals have followed, with Malaysia’s DTC Travel acquired a year ago and both Melbournebased Plan B Travel and New Zealand’s Business World Travel added last summer.

clients with high-touch, offline business focused on local, regional and personalised service. “There is lots of opportunity for those companies out there to continue to grow,” he says. Nonetheless, he sees challenges for SMEs. “The challenge will be their exit strategy because if the middle tier thins out it will remove potential suitors to buy them as their volume will become less significant. In companies of £100million and below there is also the natural generational factor – a lot of people are coming to retirement age.”

Some take the view that a post-Brexit world will necessitate UK PLC doing a lot more long-haul business travel”

Growth by acquisition

One TMC which has added scale through acquisition is Business Travel Direct. Its purchase of Amity World Travel has springboarded it into a meaningful size and created a business travel solutions provider, says its Managing Director, Julie Oliver. “We’re now less about the booking and more about risk management, tracking and benchmarking and being a true partner to the client,” she says. “The client says, ‘We want a TMC for bookings’, but if technology allows clients to do that themselves we’ve got to remain relevant to them,” she explains. The company’s plan is to make up for less booking revenue by charging for different services. “It’s our new ecosystem,” says Oliver. Now at £80million, further acquisitions will take them to the £100million turnover tier. “Watch this space,” she says. Aiming for a similar figure is Gray Dawes. It acquired Travel Focus Limited in late 2015 and is believed to be close to sealing one or two further deals to take its annual turnover from £52million to around £100million. Another success story is Wings, which successfully turned 360 degrees in the last 18 months, from 70% oil and gas clients and 30% corporate, to 70% corporate and 30% oil and gas after the latter market shrank dramatically. Acquisitions helped accelerate the change, says CEO Tony Sofianos, doubling the size of the business in the last year. He aspires to a 50/50 split of client types through further acquisitions and a public listing in 2018. “We want to be known as a specialist and generalist TMC,” he says.


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Reader's rant / TMCs

HERE WE GO AGAIN... An anonymous travel manager bemoans TMCs’ revolving door of good account managers

TMCs seem to change their account managers every five minutes and it’s totally frustrating! No sooner have you built up a good relationship with someone who has a real understanding of your needs, they’re off. A good account manager is worth their weight in gold but unfortunately TMCs seem to lose them – or simply move them around clients – at an alarming rate. I get the impression they sometimes do it because they feel an account manager needs a fresh challenge but it just makes the client think the TMC isn’t interested in their business. Every client is different so TMCs shouldn’t think they can arbitrarily move their account managers round without it having a negative impact on their clients. You can spend a lot of time and effort building relationships with account managers who in turn are quick to respond and know your company’s idiosyncrasies. But when they move on – or are moved to another client – that whole process must start again. And when that happens you have no

choice of which account manager you’re appointed. It would be great to have a choice but normally you’re just left hoping for someone who you work well with and gets to grips quickly with your company's needs. The problem isn’t exclusive to TMCs, of course. It’s all suppliers. With one of the airlines I deal with, I was really surprised when I found out how many companies the account manager looked after. How can they have enough time to dedicate themselves to so many clients? I think they’re often overworked, but in the end it comes down to profits and money. On the flip side, I have also requested to change account managers on occasion if I felt they didn’t have enough experience or they would not get on with us. And usually the TMC or supplier is pretty accommodating, especially if you are a good client for them. More often than not, though, I think people don’t have the strength to ask for changes. TMCs need to make sure that when they employ people in the first place, they employ the best – that would help address the problem. I think they should also be thinking really carefully how they match account managers with clients. All suppliers should bare in mind that a good account manager is not only keeping customers happy but also protecting their brand.



February 2017 Business Travel Show

Back to the future / TMCs


ENDANGERED SPECIES In 2008 we reported on research that suggested TMC usage was declining, prompting some to forecast the demise of travel management companies. The GTMC sets the record straight


As reported in the March/April 2008 issue of The Business Travel Magazine: “Travel management companies are being shown the door,” said HRS’ Commercial Director, Grant Appleton, at the launch of the second annual edition of the UK Companies Business Travel Report. “Specialist agencies and booking direct are gaining ground and companies are increasingly brokering their own discounts direct with suppliers,” he added. “TMCs need to address their business models if they

want to be here in five years’ time.” The report, which surveyed 50 FTSE500 companies and 250 businesses with over 200 employees, revealed the number of companies using a single TMC has dropped by 14% to 47% over the past 12 months, while the number of FTSE500 companies that have decentralised their travel procurement now sits at 71%, up to 23% on 2007. Appleton argued the trend is fuelled by the rise in usage of specialist agencies in a ‘best in breed’ approach.

2008 NOW...

Paul Wait, Chief Executive of the GTMC, brings things up to date “This piece is an interesting read and couldn’t really be more wrong. Almost a decade on, more so than ever, TMCs are really showing their worth. “While technology has evolved to bring us into an era of multiple channels, multiple devices and multiple touch points for booking travel direct, businesses continue to recognise that TMCs provide valuable advice, insight and management information. “As we know, booking directly with a travel provider adds time and effort – and therefore cost – and amending that booking takes even longer. Furthermore, with duty of care becoming an increasingly important part of a business travel programme, booking direct without the support of a highly skilled team of experts is a risk that companies simply cannot take nowadays.

“Travel experts can negotiate the best deals and schedules while planning a trip that allows employees to be both as productive and comfortable as possible. The complexity of business travel planning is dealt with seamlessly by TMCs, something I am certain that if we review again in another ten years will continue to be recognised by businesses around the world.”

Booking direct without the support of a highly skilled team of experts is a risk that companies simply cannot take nowadays” THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


TMCs / The Directory

TMCs: Who does what

Your guide to a selection of leading travel management companies in the UK, including turnover and transaction figures and the sectors in which they have particular expertise

Travel management company ABT UK

Annual turnover

Annual transactions

Company size

Head office (UK)




10 staff / 2 offices



120 independent UK TMCs / 190 locations



135 staff / 4 offices (UK) and 52 offices globally





Specialist sectors served: online, gaming, IT, geophysical, telecoms, finance, medical, recruitment, energy, media Advantage Business Travel

£1.8billion (combined UK)

Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: Members serve all sectors of the economy Altour

£112million UK / $2.6billion globally

535,000 (UK)

Specialist sectors served: finance, law, media, offshore, manufacturing, fashion, insurance, music touring, film production, touring shows American Express Global Business Travel

£1.3billion+ UK / c.£24billion globally

Not disclosed

960 UK staff / 12,000 staff globally

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



46 staff / 1 office

Iver, Buckinghamshire


275 staff / 9 offices worldwide



55 staff plus 1 implant



2,187 staff / 100+ locations worldwide



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



Specialist sectors served: business, banking and finance, law, touring and entertainment, oil and gas, TV and film, events, sports, private clients ArrangeMy



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

£1.2billion globally

Not disclosed

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



15 staff / 2 offices



23 staff / 1 office



578 staff / 8 offices and 12,000 staff globally



Specialist sectors served: law, marine, finance, oil and gas, automotive Baxter Hoare Travel



Specialist sectors served: SMEs, food and drink, medical, pharmaceutical, media BCD Travel

£579million UK&I / $24billion globally

Not disclosed

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



32 staff / 4 offices

Richmond upon Thames


122 staff / 4 offices





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



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


Not disclosed

850 staff / 6 offices in the UK & Europe

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

$24.2billion (globally)

61.4 million (globally)

1,292 UK&I staff / 27 UK&I locations

Potters Bar, Hertfordshire




65 staff / 3 offices



140 staff / 3 offices





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



172 staff

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



Specialist sectors served: marine, oil and gas, corporate Colpitts World Travel


Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: oil and gas, pharmaceutical, life sciences, arts, financial services Corporate Travel Management (CTM)

£178million UK & Europe / £2bn globally

543,000 (UK)

280 staff / 17 UK & Europe offices and 2,200 staff globally

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



21 staff / 1 office

Specialist sectors served: education, public sector, chemical industry, media, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, engineering and sporting bodies




The Directory / TMCs

Travel management company CT Business Travel

Annual turnover

Annual transactions

Company size

Head office (UK)



Not disclosed

64 staff / 3 offices

Tunbridge Wells, Kent


Specialist sectors served: include but not limited to finance, media, technology, pharmaceutical, recruitment, energy, fashion, retail, education, insurance CTI – Trusted Travel Partner



145 staff / 6 offices



Specialist sectors served: all sectors including manufacturing, telecoms, professional services, energy, retail, technology, plus divisions for marine travel, MICE, sports travel and fashion CTM



65 staff / 2 offices

Redhill, Surrey


Specialist sectors served: SMEs, travel technology, education, government, security, retail DialAFlight Corporate Travel



125 staff / 4 offices




116 staff / 3 offices





3,000+ employees globally / 66 countries served



6 staff / 3 offices



Specialist sectors served: SMEs Diversity Travel


Specialist sectors served: charity, academic, not-for-profit, humanitarian, cultural and religious organisations EFR Travel



11 staff (corporate) / 3 offices (group total)

Specialist sectors served: manufacturing, property, legal, advertising, finance, sport Egencia

$5.42billion globally

Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: serves companies off all sizes and sectors Information supplied directly by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine. Annual turnover figures quoted refer only to business travel in cases where a company also deals in leisure travel

EQ Travel Management



Specialist sectors served: includes pharmaceuticals, biotech, clinical trials, finance, telecoms, engineering, construction, professional services, legal, manufacturing, utilities, oil and gas Eton Travel



70 staff / 2 offices

Eton, Berkshire


828 UK staff / 6,500 staff worldwide

New Malden, Surrey


Specialist sectors served: pharmaceutical, IT, finance FCM Travel Solutions (incorporating Corporate Traveller) Flightline Travel Management



Specialist sectors served: over 50 industries including energy, pharmaceutical, healthcare, financial, legal, engineering, SMEs, events, entertainment, sport £3.6million


6 staff / 1 office

Haddenham, Buckinghamshire


Amersham, Buckinghamshire


32 staff / 2 offices

Woking, Surrey


48 staff / 3 offices



97 staff / 3 offices

Colchester, Essex




Farnborough, Hampshire


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



75 staff / 1 office

Specialist sectors served: various, but particular experience in retail, automotive, oil and gas, pharmaceutical Global Travel Management



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



Specialist sectors served: SMEs, oil and gas, manufacturing, construction Gray Dawes Travel & Expense Management



Specialist sectors served: all sectors, but primarily finance, distribution, mining, telecoms Hillgate Travel



171 staff / 3 offices

Specialist sectors served: recognised as a City specialist – over 60% of clients in this area HRG

c.£16billion worldwide

Not disclosed

14,000 staff globally / locations in over 120 countries

Specialist sectors served: specialist staff for all sectors plus expertise in government, marine and energy, meetings, groups and events, sports, VIP services Ian Allan Travel



87 staff / 2 offices

Shepperton, Surrey


123 staff / 1 office



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



Specialist sectors served: finance, professional services, transport, logistics, media, distribution, manufacturing, specialist in meetings and event management and groups Kanoo Corporate



45 staff / 10 offices



265 staff / 8 offices



Petersfield, Hampshire


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



Specialist sectors served: not for profit, NGOs, charity, humanitarian, faith, missionary, academic organisations Meon Valley Travel Group



81 staff / 2 offices

Specialist sectors served: emergency medical assistance, insurance, retail, manufacturing, recruitment, oil and gas, travel club fulfilment, SMEs


TMCs / The Directory

Travel management company Midas Travel Management

Annual turnover

Annual transactions

Company size

Head office (UK)



Not disclosed

28 staff / 1 office



Liss, Hampshire








Specialist sectors served: all private sectors including finance, legal, communications, media Norad Travel Management



59 staff / 3 offices

Specialist sectors served: all sectors with particular specialities including marine, energy, yachting, shipping logistics NYS Corporate



66 staff / 1 office, supported by remote workers

Specialist sectors served: telecoms, finance, pharmaceutical, retail, industrial, healthcare, public sector Omega World Travel

£34million UK / £715million globally

Not disclosed

34 staff / 2 offices (UK) and 590 staff globally

Specialist sectors served: finance, private equity, pharmaceutical, engineering, media, oil and gas, marine, government Portman Clarity (merged November 2016) Redfern



700 staff / 18 offices across the UK, Ireland and Netherlands

Specialist sectors served: professional services, construction, manufacturing, retail, engineering, public sector, higher education, charity/NFP, sport, oil and gas, marine, MICE £310million


119 staff / 1 office



400 staff / 5 offices



25 staff / 3 offices

Handforth, Cheshire


14 staff / 1 office



7 offices



18 staff / 1 office

Dartford, Kent


20 staff / 2 offices



62 staff / 3 offices

Leamington Spa, Warwickshire




Specialist sectors served: clients across public, private and third sectors Reed & Mackay


Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: law, insurance, finance, energy, media Review Travel



Simplexity Travel Management


Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: Fashion, film, music, sport Statesman Travel Group


Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: finance, legal, media, advertising, technology, energy Sunways Business Travel


Not disclosed

Specialist sectors served: finance, accountancy, pharmaceutical, law, IT, insurance, film & TV production, building services, architecture, SMEs Thornton's Travel

Not disclosed


Specialist sectors served: SMEs, legal, engineering, media, public sector, insurance TMG Corporate



Specialist sectors served: construction, financial services, manufacturing, professional sport Travel Counsellors for Business

£114million globally


1,568 Travel Counsellors globally / 6 offices

Specialist sectors served: sports organisations, information and communication, finance, insurance, professional, technical, public administration, defence Traveleads



70 staff / 2 offices







45 staff / 3 offices



18 staff / 2 offices



42 staff / 2 offices



64 staff / 4 offices (UK) and 400 staff globally





Specialist sectors served: education, energy, technology, manufacturing, sport, media and broadcast, legal, finance Travel Leaders UK (incorporating Tzell UK and Protravel International UK) Uniglobe Travel


71 independent agents / 15 staff


Specialist sectors served: finance, legal, music touring, entertainment, fashion, medical repatriation £223million (UK)


46 UK locations

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



Specialist sectors served: all sectors served; specialising in business travel since 1980 West End Travel



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



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

£69million (UK)


Specialist sectors served: oil and gas, marine, security, finance, emerging markets Zip Travel

£750,000 Specialist sectors served: academic, MICE



3 staff / 1 office

Information supplied directly by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine. Annual turnover figures quoted refer only to business travel in cases where a company also deals in leisure travel

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

Looking after the people who look after your business Wants a VIP business and leisure travel service

Chooses his preferred airline for a consistent experience

Only stays in hotels with top health club facilities

Find out more •

Visit us at the Business Travel Show

TMCs / Data

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT “Reports of TMCs’ death have been greatly exaggerated,” so Mark Twain might have said if he were in the business travel industry. New research conducted by the Business Travel Show on behalf of The Business Travel Magazine suggests TMCs will remain essential partners to businesses for the foreseeable future – as long as they evolve. Indeed, the notion of TMCs being an industry dinosaur couldn’t be further from the truth. “For almost a decade TMCs have been warned they need to change or face the prospect of extinction,” says Business Travel Show Event Director, David Chapple. “Looking at the results of the survey, which show that 79% of buyers who use TMCs are happy with the service they receive and 89% believe they have a future, it’s apparent that TMCs have succeeded in adapting their service offering and are keeping their clients happy.” • The Business Travel Show takes place on February 22-23 (


YES 24%


NO 3%


Customer service – 32% Data provision and analysis – 25% Consulting and advice – 23% In no areas – 9% Others – 7% TMCs FALL SHORT...

A selection of travel managers’ anonymous comments from the BTS/TBTM survey LACKING VALUE

“We are running a tender process at the moment because we didn’t feel our current TMC contributed enough value to our cooperation. Our compliance was too low – we had too many people booking through other channels – so our agreements weren’t used. The TMC didn’t help us improve compliance despite knowledge of our dissatisfaction. We see TMCs as the experts and expect them to help us to improve compliance as part of the account management set up. The consequence is that we have started a tender process and expect to change to another TMC.”


“TMCs will remain indispensable if corporates focus on service and compliance, especially for international, multi-leg travel. Only the travel agent is able to manage the process.”





Survey respondents additionally cited the following subjects as areas where they feel their TMC falls short: support in negotiations, policing hotel rates, provision of content, global coverage, reporting and reconciling spend with invoices

“My moan about TMCs is the good cop/bad cop approach that seems to be taken in some instances when handling ‘difficult’ bookers who don’t like the policy, restrictions or process. The consultant appears to ‘blame’ the travel buyer – 'so and so says we must do this' – rather than explaining the policy and logic behind it. They do anything to deflect the issue from their door which therefore lands it squarely at mine. Where’s the partnership focus in this!”

The survey sample comprised over 100 travel managers and buyers, 60% of which were UK-based buyers with the remainder based in continental Europe. Over three-quarters had annual travel budgets of over £1million.




On business in…


The historic city of Milan in Italy’s

major attractions. The sleek Armani

brews. Il Foyer at the Four Seasons

northern Lombardy region is a

Hotel Milano is certainly in keeping

Hotel Milan is a relaxed and

financial hub that is home to the

with the city’s focus on fashion and

elegant lounge in a converted

national stock exchange.

features a business centre among

15th-century convent.

its amenities. 'Green' travellers may

Best known for its art, culture,



fashion and high-end restaurants

prefer the Bio City Hotel, which

and shops, the metropolis accounts

features the latest eco-friendly

Milan is served by three

for a large percentage of Italy’s

technology in a 1920s villa. It is close

airports. Malpensa is the largest,

business and hosts three Fortune 500

to the railway station and subway.

Linate is a smaller city airport and

companies. The city is currently


undergoing a major urban renewal

Orio al Serio (Bergamo) is located some distance from the city. The

and is home to a large number of

Visitors in Milan can expect to eat

Malpensa Express train departs every

media and advertising agencies and

well. There is naturally a plethora of

30 minutes from Malpensa Terminal

a growing number of internet

superb restaurants and historic cafes

1 to the city centre and is priced at

companies and start-ups.

across the city. Contraste offers fine

€10. If travelling by taxi there is a flat

dining with an experimental twist;

It is also an important industrial and manufacturing centre, particularly for the motor industry with Alfa Romeo and Pirelli having a major


presence. Additional key sectors include engineering and research in health and biotechnology developments.

Sapori Solari is a delicatessen

fee of €90 from Malpensa to Milan. The fare from Linate is between €10

restaurant with a brilliant

and €20. Alternatively, all three

selection of cured meats and

airports have regular bus departures

cheeses; or sample café

offering the best value at around €5.

culture at G.B. Bar with its impressive display of paninis.


MUST-SEE SIGHTS Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural, The Last Supper, can be seen in the

Dining tends to be a little later in

Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie,

Milan so pre-dinner drinks are

although booking in advance is

Most travellers will prefer to stay in

common and there are plenty of

required. No visit is complete with

the centre, which provides easy

happy hours, with spreads of

out taking in the city's impressive

access to most of the city’s major

prosciutto, mozzarella and salads.

gothic cathedral, Duomo di Milano


businesses and the central station.

Bar Martini by Dolce&Gabbana is

The world-famous Teatro alla Scala

a trendy option with an interior

features a superb opera programme

centrally based with good transport

garden and bistro. Beer enthusiasts

while shoppers should make for the

connections and a range of high-end

may want to head to Birrificio

Galleria Vittoria Emanuele shopping

amenities. Brera Apartments is also

Lambrate, which serves craft ales

arcade with its glass and iron dome,

located in the centre of Milan close to

from the region as well as their own

mosaics and marble floorways.

The luxury Mandarin Oriental is

Getting there There are plenty of flight options between the UK and Milan. Alitalia offers up to 28 weekly flights from London City and Heathrow to Milan Linate. British Airways provides flights between London Heathrow and both Milan Malpensa and Linate airports. EasyJet flies to Malpensa from Gatwick, Luton, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Carbon costs Return flights from London to Milan cover around 951kms and produces 0.18 tonnes of C02. Offset this with the CarbonNeutral starting from £1.80.



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Alan Crossland

On the road with

In the first of a series of interviews with regular business travellers, Alan Crossland of Oil Spill Response discusses his pet hates and preferences while on the road D E TA I L S Name: Alan Crossland. Position and company: Senior Spill Response Specialist, OSRL. Nature of your business: Advising on and preparing for potential oil spills around the world. Based in: Southampton usually, but currently Perth, Australia. Business trips per year: Usually between five and ten, although earlier this year I had an eight-hour turnaround in London between ten days in Dubai and a fortnight in Singapore. It was just enough time for a dash down CLEAN PANTS the M3 to pick up – ESSENTIAL! the post and some clean pants! Estimated annual mileage: I clocked up about 44,000 miles during a recent eight-month period. Regular destinations: Recently, largely the Middle East. Most recent trip: Flying out to Perth – it's a gorgeous city! Next trip: Probably back to the UK.

g o o d & b ad Memorable experience: My first trip in business class to Africa… ah, the leg room! Worst experience: Flying back from Africa and having a terrible reaction to the anti-mosquito spray in the aircraft cabin.

UPGRADED: Ah, the leg room!

SUPPLIERS Preferred airline or hotel: Air New Zealand definitely stands out for me. The Captain was hilarious and the service was excellent. Loyalty points – obsessive collector or not bothered? I'm not too bothered but they do come in handy from time to time. Favourite loyalty scheme: Gulf Air.

r o o m f o r i m pr ov e m e n t One thing that would improve business travel: Increased luggage allowances. Carting my PPE (personal protective equipment) around the world can sometimes only leave me



with enough room for undies and a toothbrush! Biggest business travel irritation: People spending ages unpacking all their onboard stuff in the plane cabin when standing in the aisles. It's massively infuriating! Pack light or go prepared? I usually have to go prepared because of the nature of my trips. I’m sometimes not too sure what I’m stepping into once I’ve grabbed my bags. Never leave home without: My Kindle – I’m a convert. I love my paperbacks but having one of these is very handy when travelling.

D E S T I N AT I ON S Happy never to go back to: Douala, Cameroon, simply because of the huge mosquitos. Send me back to: New Zealand. I love everything about the country!

Top overseas landmark: The Grand Mosque in Bahrain is a beautiful building.

S teppi n g ONBOA R D Flights: work, rest or play? Mostly recuperate and it’s a good opportunity to catch up on the latest films. Onboard connectivity – take it or leave it? Leave it. Onboard habits: I usually break out the Kindle and browse the film section. And I still love watching out of the window during take-off.

T R AV E L P O L I C Y Stick to the travel policy or bit of a maverick? The travel policy usually works pretty well. If you could change one thing about your travel policy… A lounge pass would be a great addition to the policy.




• City Centre Location • Up to 300 Bedrooms • • The Seahorse Bar & Restaurant • Meeting Rooms •

Call 028 9047 1066 or visit


Meeting in



The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Set against the sweeping steel arc of the Millennium Bridge,

Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 3BA 0191 440 4949 /

the vibrant city of Newcastle means

with a range of historic and modern venues in

©VisitEngland/Newcastle Gateshead Initiative

this revitalised city, writes Emma Allen

S M A L L B U T P E R F E C T LY F O R M E D Getting there Rail operators to Newcastle include Virgin Trains East Coast and First Transpennine Express, with trains from London taking just under three hours. The journey from both Edinburgh and Leeds to Newcastle takes around 90 minutes by train. Newcastle Central station is in the heart of the city centre. By air, Newcastle International Airport is served by direct daily flights from over 80 destinations including London, Aberdeen, Isle of Man, Cardiff, Bristol, Newquay, Exeter, Southampton, Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Jersey.


The Biscuit Factory

Life Science Centre

Bermondsey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1AP 0191 261 0015 /

Centre for Life, Times Square, Newcastle 0191 243 8216 /

The UK’s biggest commercial gallery

Part of Newcastle's pioneering

is based in the city’s up-and-coming

science village, the Life Science

creative quarter of Ouseburn.

Centre offers eight conference

Housed in a former Victorian

suites and rooms for hire, with its

warehouse, it offers a range of

flexible space able to host up to

contemporary areas split over two

1,200 delegates. Funky extras

floors. The newest event space, the

include a ride on the 4D Motion

Biscuit Room, has space for up to

Ride or a science

250 seated guests with a dance

cocktail workshop.

floor, stage and bar.

• The DDR is

• Half-day DDR from £15 (+VAT).

from £29.95.


©VisitEngland/Newcastle Gateshead Initiative

This vast converted mill is GREAT one of the region’s VIEWS OF most recognisable NEWCASTLE buildings. Its minimalist interior offers a blank canvas and there is a cinema, a host of meeting rooms, a rooftop restaurant for 200 standing, and private dining for up to 25. • Room hire from £160 (+VAT).

business. Art, nightlife and shopping combine



Tyneside Cinema

Crowne Plaza Newcastle

Slaley Hall

10-12 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 6QG 0191 227 5521 /

Hawthorn Square, Forth Street, Newcastle 0191 462 3333 /

Hexham, NE47 0BX 01434 673350 /

The sleek 251-bed Crowne Plaza opened last year in Newcastle’s emerging business district and, Art Deco Tyneside Cinema in with the largest conference and historic Grainger Town provides an banqueting space in the city unusual setting for presentations, centre, is already gaining workshops, conferences or NO HALF rave reviews. Nine highparties. It has six meeting MEASURES tech meeting rooms are rooms, the largest of which available including a seats 263, and there is a cocktail ground floor space for up bar and two cafes. Free guided to 1,000. The hotel also offers tours can be organised for groups. a smart gin bar, spa and restaurant. • DDR from £20 (+VAT). • The DDR is from £40. This independent and fully restored

The magnificent 1,000-acre Slaley Hall estate is just 24 miles from Newcastle city centre, but being in the heart of the countryside offers groups the chance to get active. Activities including 4x4 off-roading, clay pigeon shooting, paint balling and golf, and there are 11 meeting and event rooms for up to 350 people. Other facilities include 141 guestrooms, a health club, spa and three restaurants. • Overnight rates from £139.

©VisitEngland/Newcastle Gateshead Initiative

Further information Contact the Newcastle Gateshead Convention Bureau: Tel: 0191 440 5757; Email:; See: conferences




New kid on the block T H E P R I N C I PA L M A N C H E S T E R The lowdown: the Principal Manchester, formerly known as the Palace Hotel Manchester, reopened in November as part of the new Principal brand launch from the Starwood Capital Group. It is joined by the Principal York and Principal Edinburgh and further additions in 2017 will include properties in London, Glasgow and Cardiff. Style: “High-end urban lifestyle hotel group comprising distinctive, landmark properties.” Details: The Principal Manchester is a listed Victorian Gothic Revival building situated across the road from the city’s Oxford Road station and ten minutes from Manchester Piccadilly station. It has 270 bedrooms, restaurant, bar and 17 meeting and event rooms with capacity for up to 1,000 people. Quote: “The story of each hotel, its amazing history and architecture is the opposite of the mass-produced chain hotel, and provides us with a canvas on which to curate a unique sense of place,” says Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group. Rates: Rooms start from £119 including VAT. Day delegate rates are from £85.



Europe’s largest specialised exhibition and conference for buyers and managers of business travel.

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Focus on...

The United Arab Emirates is the UK's largest export market in the Gulf region and over 5,000 British companies operate in the country. Read on for your guide to travelling to and doing business in the UAE

UAE details Time zone: GMT +4hrs Currency: UAE Dirham Dialing code: +971 Climate: November to April are the cooler months Culture: Arabic is the official language of the UAE and the Islamic holy day is Friday See: and


United Arab Emirates

In an area of the world where political turmoil and conflict are often rife, the United Arab Emirates is an example of stability and commerce. “Sectarian, ideological, cultural and religious bigotry only fuel the fires of rage”, said the UAE’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “We cannot and will not allow this in our country. We need to study, preach and practice tolerance.” As good as his word, the UAE has appointed ministers of Tolerance, Youth and Happiness, notable firsts on the international stage. Quite what impact they’ll have on the nation’s international trade prospects remains to be seen, but the UK’s Department for International Trade already strikes a positive note about opportunities for UK plc.

The country’s capital, Abu Dhabi, and neighbouring Dubai are the business hubs, with Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm Al-Qaiwain and Sharjah completing this collection of seven emirates. Across the UAE, the Department sees diversification of the local

economy away from oil as offering much potential, particularly in education and training, nuclear development, financial services, healthcare, defence and security and airports and aerospace. And the Department highlights the British companies already operating in the UAE, including BP, Rolls-Royce, Shell, BAE systems and HSBC, as examples of what the UK can achieve. The World Bank, however, paints a less optimistic picture due to a slowdown in economic growth as a result of low oil prices and tightening monetary policy. On the other hand, it says, the country has major international hubs in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi that provide excellent access from around the world courtesy of two highly regarded airlines.


In fact, Abu Dhabi International Airport is in the process of major expansion, creating a dedicated home for Etihad Airways and its partners. It is due to open in 2017 and will increase overall capacity to 45 million passengers annually – almost double the 23 million passing through its terminals in 2015. Airport expansion is not the only significant project underway in the largest and most populated of the emirates. As well as a glut of new hotels, the long-awaited Louvre Abu Dhabi is due to open in 2017 as part of the Saadiyat Cultural District (see panel below). Further ahead, a Warner Bros. theme park will open on Yas Island in 2018, plus two new megamalls in the same year, each claiming too many ‘world firsts’ to mention.

In the New Year, keep your eyes peeled for a promotional campaign from the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. It will run across TV networks and digital channels, targeting seven key markets including the UK. The MICE market is among five areas the emirate is keen to push. Some 150km away, Dubai has recently opened the first phase of Dubai Opera; completed IMG world of Adventure – the largest indoor themed entertainment destination on earth – and the debut of Legoland Dubai is imminent, all providing meetings and events opportunities. Its Strategic Plan 2020 encompasses expansion at both Dubai World Central and Dubai International airports, with capacity at the latter increasing from 60 million to 90 million by 2018.

One to watch s a a d i yat i s l a n d Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island Cultural District is billed as “arguably the most ambitious cultural project ever conceived”. Once complete it will house the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first branch of the Louvre outside France; the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, designed by Frank Gehry and 12 times the size of its New York namesake; and the Zayed National Museum, designed by London-based Foster + Partners. Already at home on the island are the luxury St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas, plus the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the Manarat Al Saadiyat visitor centre and the UAE Pavilion, an events venue also designed by Foster + Partners. It’ll make quite an enclave of meetings and events venues once complete.



Factfile: United Arab Emirates venue menu Abu Dhabi's meetings and events market received a seal of approval when it hosted ABTA’s annual Travel Convention in October. The event took place at the five-star Yas Viceroy hotel and was attended by over 500 travel company managers, owners and industry leaders. Here's some highlights of Abu Dhabi's diverse portfolio of event venues. Lavish: At the time of its construction the Emirates Palace was the most expensive hotel ever built. It has over 40 meeting rooms, a ballroom, auditorium and a diverse range of pre- and post-function areas. High octane: There’s a wide range of venues at the Yas Marina Circuit where the Formula One season recently came to a close. Indoor options include the Media Centre, the GP Halls, the Paddock, Luna Lounge, Marina View rooms and Team Villas. Drinks receptions and dinners can be hosted trackside and, needless to say, there’s numerous high octane incentive activities on offer. Go big: They don’t come much bigger than ADNEC, Abu Dhabi’s premier events venue. The 133,000m2 event space comprises 12 event halls, two conference halls and 20 meeting rooms. Make a splash: After a day’s business at ADNEC, jump RIGHT in! take it poolside at the adjacent Aloft Hotel. Its rooftop Splash Garden surround the hotel’s pool and are available for dinners and drinks receptions. Historic: Head to the 19th century Al Jahili Fort (pictured below) in the Abu Dhabi's ‘Oasis City’ of Al Ain where dinners and receptions within its walls will leave a lasting impression.


Flights Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways flies to Abu Dhabi three-times-daily from London Heathrow, twice-daily from Manchester and five times a week from Edinburgh. In addition, British Airways operates a daily service. Dubai: Emirates operates 126 flights a week from the UK to Dubai: six services a day from Heathrow; three daily from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham; two per day from Glasgow; and a daily service from Newcastle. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Royal Brunei also fly between London and Dubai.

REGIONAL r o o m s Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Hotels & Resorts is working towards a goal of operating 100 hotels by 2020 and, although much of its growth is now overseas, the group operates no fewer than 25 hotels across Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It has 16 new hotels due to open by the close of 2017, including five in the UAE, and is also believed to have a sixth brand in the pipeline. In Abu Dhabi, its properties include the five-star Beach Rotana (pictured above) with 12 meeting and conference rooms and the highly rated Finz seafood restaurant. Rotana's presence in Dubai includes the five-star Al Bustan Rotana and the four-star Arjaan Dubai Media City comprising 167 apartments and suites.

head to the desert

opening for business A round-up of recent and forthcoming openings in the UAE. Abu Dhabi: Its first Four Seasons hotel opened in 2016 on Al Maryah Island (190 rooms, 1,290m2 of meetings and event space) • The five-star Bab Al Qasr Hotel opened last summer (677 rooms; one of the largest hotels in Abu Dhabi) • The 47-storey Grand Hyatt Abu After Hours Dhabi (428 rooms; 4,600m2 of Dune bashing: head out to the event space) was due to open by desert and tackle its giant, rolling the year’s end • The eye-catching sand dunes by 4WD or quad bike, Fairmont Marina Resort & followed by a meal under the stars. Residences is due to open in 2017. Take in the views: ascend the Dubai: The W Hotel Al Habtoor City world’s tallest building, the Burj opened in September, marking the Khalifa, for views across Dubai or brand’s debut in the UAE (356 hop onboard a Yellow Boats 2 rooms and suites; 1,000m of speedboat tour for a spin events space) • The new views from along Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. mid-scale Rove Downtown the top Culture: visit Abu Dhabi’s (pictured below) has 420 Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque rooms across 14 floors • The and look on in awe at its 82 luxury Palazzo Versace Dubai domes, 1,000 columns and opened at the end of 2016 (215 gleaming marble floors. rooms, 169 residences) • Further Shopping: visit the mega-malls upcoming openings include the of Dubai or head to a traditional Jumeirah Al Naseem, Viceroy Dubai souk to test one’s haggling skills. and Bulgari Resort & Residences. Yas Island: Abu Dhabi’s ‘entertainment island’ is home to the Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Waterworld, Yas Mall and the first Ferraribranded theme park. It claims both the world’s fastest rollercoaster (240kmh) and the tallest loop. Unwind: book in for a treatment at one of the UAE’s many worldclass spa facilities or get some fresh air and stretch those legs out on the golf course.


DINNER CLUB Senior figures from across the business travel industry once again enjoyed an evening of conversation, debate and networking at The Business Travel Magazine’s latest dinner event at The Dorchester Hotel, London, in September. Guest speaker for the evening was Carolyn Pearson, CEO of Maiden Voyage, whose talk on the challenges

facing female travellers gave everyone in the room much to think about – see page 27 for more on the topic. The evening was co-sponsored by ANA All Nippon Airways, Sabre, Airplus UK and The Lufthansa Group. If you would like to attend the next event in February and you are a senior travel buyer please email:




Reality check F L I G H T : C AT H AY PAC I F I C , B U S I N E S S C L A S S THE FLIGHT

Flight CX344 from

product, with a slightly longer seat pitch

London Gatwick's South Terminal to

but the same flatbed length and good

Hong Kong, flown by the airline's new

touch controls. There's more storage

A350-900 aircraft. This was the inaugural

space than previously and some clever

flight on the new four-times-weekly

design features such as a fold-out shelf

service that commenced in September.

that increases the sleeping area when in

It is the only service between Gatwick

flatbed position. However I did struggle

and Hong Kong and joins Cathay's five-

with an armrest that was reluctant to

times-daily service from Heathrow.

move up and down. The screen is 18.5


I had checked in online

inches and there's a second, smaller

and was travelling only with hand

handheld unit and screen, plus power

luggage so made straight for Gatwick's

points. A new function of the IFE system

Premium security channel. Business

are 'Do not disturb' and 'Wake up call'

class passengers can make use of the

notifications for cabin crew. It is the first

No.1 lounge. There was a carnival

aircraft in Cathay's fleet with wifi

atmosphere at the gate, where cake and

connectivity, costing from $9.95 for one

Champagne were distributed and

hour up to $19.95 for over six hours.

balloons hung to mark the occasion.


Menus and amenity

Premium passengers were boarded first

kits were handed out once we'd reached

and in plenty of time of time to settle in.

cruising altitude and drinks followed.


There are 38 forward-

Lunch was a choice of two starters, four


The new business class

shows some innovative touches and the


service was excellent, though crew were undoubtedly drilled to put on a good show for this inaugural flight. THE DETAILS

Cathay Pacific flies four

facing business class seats in a 1-2-1

mains, dessert and cheese and fruit.

configuration. I was in seat 15A, angled

Snacks such as a traditional British pork

Hong Kong. Return fares start from

towards the window, giving a reasonable

pie were available on demand and an

£3,579 in business class and £709 in

degree of privacy. It is the newest

excellent breakfast was served shortly

version of Cathay's business class

before arrival in Hong Kong.

times a week from London Gatwick to


Andy Hoskins


The luxury and lauded

bathroom area with twin basins, large

Upper House hotel is located on Hong

walk-in shower and a deep limestone-

Kong Island above the Pacific Place

clad bath tub set in the centre of the

shopping mall. The nearby Admiralty

room. A number of sleek sculptures

MTR station provides easy access to the

and eye-catching art works adorned

central business district – one stop

the space which was also brimming

away – and Kowloon. It is part of the

with power points, remote controls

design-led House Collective that is

and lighting options.

completed by sister properties The


The 49th level Café

Opposite House in Beijing and The

Gray bar and restaurant seemed

Temple House in Chengdu.

popular with guests and non-residents


I arrived early in the

alike thanks to the views and elegant

morning after an overnight flight, was

surrounds. There's also a fitness room

greeted by name at the ground floor

and a small outdoor space, The Lawn,

entrance and, thankfully, checked-in right

on level 6. It can be used for private

away and shown to my room.

events, as can the hotel's penthouses

price. There is nothing chintzy or dated

when not in use, a private dining room

here – the public areas are a lesson in


My room was huge and

filled with light from the vast windows

in the restaurant and a Skylounge area

that provide panoramic views across

across from the restaurant that also

Hong Kong harbour. The room was

serves as a reception and concierge.

divided into a large living space with an


This hotel has a


subtle but striking design and the hotel is something of a haven away from the hubbub below. Fantastic staff too. It's right up there among my favourites.

L-shaped sofa, table, chairs, large TV,

fantastic reputation and it did not fall

complimentary minibar, coffee machine

short of the hype surrounding it. The

Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong

and a copper sink; the bedroom area

rooms are vast, beautifully designed

Kong. Rates start from around £480

(with discreet notices that the view may

and full of gadgetry, and the views are

be two-way at times); and a generous

splendid, which is all reflected in the




The Upper House,

per night.

Andy Hoskins


Reality check H OT E L : C A N A RY R I V E R S I D E P L A Z A , L O N D O N THE HOTEL

This independent

with a safe, well-stocked minibar, kettle,

five-star hotel in London's Canary Wharf

large wardrobe, desk and flatscreen TV,

previously operated as a Four Seasons

but no iron and ironing board. The

hotel. Located on the banks of the

bathroom had a large tub, separate

Thames, it has 142 rooms over eight

walk-in shower and L'Occitane products.

floors and is a ten-minute walk from


Wifi access is free

Canary Wharf DLR and Underground

throughout the hotel and there's a

stations. There is an adjacent pier for

business centre for guests' use.

riverboat services into central London.

Meetings and events facilities include a


I arrived at the hotel a

two-storey ballroom (naturally lit and

little flustered having underestimated

capacity for receptions of up to 300

both the weight of my luggage and the

people) and three function rooms with

walk from Canary Wharf Underground

views across the Thames.

station. There was a cheery greeting


Breakfast, lunch and

from the doorman who took my bag

dinner are served at the Quadrato

from me and guided me to reception.

Restaurant, Bar and Lounge, where I

generally retained its high-end position

Check-in was swift and useful details

enjoyed an excellent three-course

and facilities in its new guise as an

were passed on regarding access to the

dinner albeit on an evening almost

independent hotel. And there's no

health club and the frequency of

bereft of other diners. A terrace and

services from the nearby riverboat pier.

gardens allows for al fresco dining


The first thing that

during the summer. Guests have


doubt its convenient location will see it continue to draw in business travellers. THE DETAILS

Canary Riverside Plaza,

struck me about the room was the large

complimentary access to the hotel's

bay windows and views south west

health club, comprising large pool,

London, E14 8RS. Rates start from

across London and the Thames. Decor

gym and fitness studios.

around £250 per night.

was in neutral tones and a little tired in places but the room was well appointed


46 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf,

The staff were

Andy Hoskins

unfailingly excellent and the hotel has


Flight VS250 from


Seating in Upper Class

London Heathrow's Terminal 3 (13.30

is arranged in Virgin Atlantic’s traditional

departure) to Shanghai Pudong (08.30

herringbone formation, with every seat

arrival local time), operated by a B787-9.

having direct aisle access. I was seated

I travelled in Upper Class, which had a

at the back of the cabin. The seat had a

1-1-1 configuration.

pop-up shelf for drinks and snacks as


Our group took

well as a larger pull-out dining table.

advantage of the chic fast check-in

Built in to the seat is an 11-inch TV

service offered in the Upper Class wing.

monitor with USB connection,

We glided through the private security

access to an extensive choice of films,

channel and within 10 minutes were

TV shows, music, games, flight

sipping drinks in the Virgin Clubhouse.

information and health tips. The seat


Spacious with a range

of seats, work stations, dining areas and a 14-metre bar, the Virgin Clubhouse

cleverly flips over to convert into a comfortable fully flat bed. THE SERVICE

No sooner had I

has the airline's typical flair. Other

reached my seat than a flight attendant

facilities included showers with

was offering a pre-departure beverage

Upper Class before but I was extremely

complimentary products and spa

with a choice of Champagne, fruit juice

impressed. The service and attention to

treatments such as haircuts and

or water. The evening meal menu

manicures. For those not looking to

offered a choice of two starters, three

work or eat, The Den offers a range of

mains and two desserts. Cheese and

distractions including a pool table, video

port was also available after dinner. The

games and televisions. I took advantage

extra bites menu available throughout

to Shanghai from London Heathrow.

of a traditional afternoon tea, finished

the flight included a selection of cakes, a

Return fares in Upper Class start from

off with a Virgin Redhead (that's a

salmon burger, smoked salmon salad or

cocktail, by the way).

Chinese tasting selection.



I’d not flown Virgin

detail offered by our flight attendants was second to none – nothing seemed too much trouble. THE DETAILS

Virgin Atlantic flies daily


David Clare




Have we got moos for you…


t was with a collective sigh of relief that Travelodge’s overdue annual list of randomness finally arrived in our inbox, for this rundown of questionable questions never fails to amuse. Among the unlikely guest queries handled by the budget group’s staff in recent months are: ‘Where can I find a good Liverpool tart?’, ‘What time do the dinosaurs come out at the Jurassic Coast?’ and ‘Can you arrange for me to be woken by the sound of bagpipes?’. And proving that it’s not just weekend budget breakers that struggle with some of life’s basics, Travelodge also dished the dirt on some of its business travellers, whose requests included: ‘Can you ensure there is a blue sky today as I have an important planning meeting?’, ‘Can you read the stock market trading figures out to me while I eat breakfast?’, ‘Can you tweet

THE TOP FIVE... BEST AND WORST U.S. AIRPORTS A study of the 30 busiest airports in the US has revealed the best and worst of the lot, ranked using data on the likes of delays, cancellations, wifi charges, security queues and distance from the city centre. New York's trio of airports did not fare well...


on my behalf while I attend a strategy day?’ and, in perhaps the greatest ever misconception of a budget hotel brand, ‘Does your Bank Travelodge have a helipad as my boss is flying into London late tonight and wants to be dropped off at the hotel?’.

Lederhosen and lattes


he lengths some airlines will go to for a bit of publicity, huh? Pictured here are a Bavarian ‘oompah’ band sending off Flybe’s inaugural flights from Southampton to Munich with a blast on the brass. Meanwhile, Aer Lingus recruited Marilyn Monroe to dish up coffees and sarnies on a wet Monday in Manchester to promote its services via Dublin to the US. The photos are crying out for witty captions, so drop us a line with your double entrendes and painful puns and we might just rustle up a prize for the winner – email competitions@ 98


The company has opened a new hotel at The Hub in Milton Keynes and gifted the city with a family of life-size model cows, as if it really needed any more. We had to mention this snippet simply to justify using the delightful image above.

1. Phoenix Sky Harbor 2. Portland International 3. San Diego International 4. Salt Lake City International 5. Honolulu International

WORST FIVE U.S. AIRPORTS 26. Detroit Airport 27. Chicago O’Hare Airport 28. Newark Liberty 29. New York JFK 30. New York LaGuardia

A Ryanair flight from Malta to Eindhoven was delayed for 24 hours in July, not because of a Samuel L. Jackson Snakes on a Plane crisis, but due to a considerably less frightening 'insects on the plane' incident. Among other events to have delayed flights in 2016 are missing cutlery (Thomas Cook), a collision with a baggage vehicle (Ryanair again) and simply a 'weird smell' (easyJet)

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The Business Travel Magazine December - January 2016:2017  
The Business Travel Magazine December - January 2016:2017  

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