The Business Travel Magazine December/January 2018/19

online.magazines

73 December/January 2018/19

RAISING

THEIR GAME

The action TMCs are taking to

stand out from the crowd

+

2019 travel trends

Premium economy

UK hotel sector update

Australia & New Zealand

BUSINESS TRAVEL DESIGN TEAM OF THE YEAR


ARRIVALS

Contents DECEMBER/JANUARY

2018/19

Features

18 2019 travel trends

32 Premium economy

38 UK hotels update

93

79

16

6

Extended feature

Travel

management

companies

(p63-91)

46

32 15

27

48

94

10

63 Extended feature:

Travel management companies

Arrivals

6 Opening Shots

9 Everyone's Talking About...

Crossrail delays

10 Six of the Best:

Luxury hotels in Shanghai

12 Event report: Advantage

Business Travel Symposium

15 The Knowledge: making the

most of corporate cards

16 Speaking Out: why basic

economy is a false economy

Regulars

20 The Conversation:

Lord Andrew Adonis

22 The Big Picture

24 Meet the Buyer: Ana Gibson

26 The Business Travel People

Awards: winner's interview

27 The Business Travel People

Awards: 2018 winners' trip

28 The Business Travel People

Awards 2019: the details

46 Technology: Data consolidation

48 Talking Travel: Zoe Lyons

92 Event gallery: Autumn Sparkle

22

The Review

51 Ten pages of news, views

and the latest developments

Departures

93 New Kid on the Block

18

38

92

100

94 Gadgets & Gear

96 On the Road

97 Meeting in... Milton Keynes

99 On Business in... Berlin

100 Focus on... Australia and

New Zealand

104 Reality Check

106 The Final Word

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

3


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ARRIVALS

Welcome

The guessing game

Forecasting the rise or fall of business

travel volumes, airfares and nightly

rates for the next year is always

fraught with difficulties, but never

more so than in 2019, when any

figures floated should be marked with

a large caveat called Brexit. Of course the unpredictable circumstances

have not prevented the usual round of forecasts being issued, most of

which anticipate marginal increases in business travel costs for the

year ahead. Find out more about what's in store for the next 12 months

in our 2019 travel trends feature on pages 18-19 and in our UK hotels

update on pages 38-44.

One thing we can say with confidence is that travel management

companies will continue to be the crutch that props up the complex

travel programmes of so many UK businesses. But it's not just a

supporting role they are playing. In a sector that is slowly consolidating,

good TMCs are diversifying their products and services and proving

increasingly innovative. We take a look at the evolution of modern

TMCs in our extended feature on pages 63-91.

Elsewhere in this issue you'll find interviews with Labour Peer and

former Transport Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis, travel buyer Ana

Gibson, globe-trotting comedian Zoe Lyons, and Natalie Payne, winner

of the Operations Manager of the Year award at The Business Travel

People Awards 2018. Nominations for the 2019 awards open on

January 1 (see pages 28-29 for details). Good luck to everyone entering

the awards and, on behalf of the team, we wish all readers a happy,

healthy and successful 2019.

the

Businesstravel

MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL

EDITOR

Andy Hoskins

andy.hoskins@thebusinesstravelmag.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Catherine Chetwynd, Linda Fox, Rob Gill,

Jools Stone, Gillian Upton,

Kerry Reals & Angela Sara West

STAFF JOURNALIST

Benjamin Coren

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Hartridge

SALES

PUBLISHER

David Clare

david.clare@thebusinesstravelmag.com

DESIGN & PRODUCTION

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Matt Bonner

LEAD DESIGNERS

Louisa Horton & Monica Notarnicola

DESIGNERS

Ross Clifford & Zoe Tarrant

PRODUCTION & STUDIO MANAGER

Clare Hunter

PRODUCTION CONTROLLER

Steve Hunter

BMI PUBLISHING

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Martin Steady

Andy Hoskins, Editor

(Print) ISSN 1754-8543. THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY

BMI PUBLISHING LTD: SUFFOLK HOUSE, GEORGE STREET, CROYDON,

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AND BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

5


ARRIVALS

oPeNiNg shots

Eye-catching images of the latest news and developments

Kimpton Hotels

fitZ is a hit

IHG's boutique

Kimpton Hotels brand

has arrived in the UK

with the launch of

The Kimpton Fitzroy

London. The Grade II

listed building is set

on Russell Square and

has 334 guestrooms,

ballroom and several

bars and restaurants.

It is one of several

Principal hotels in

the UK that will be

relaunched under the

Kimpton brand.

A true homage to

British history and

design, the hotel is named

after the original architect

of the building, Charles

Fitzroy Doll, a titan of British

architecture in the Victorian

and Edwardian eras”

6 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


Hilton London Bankside

fresh ideas

The Hilton London

Bankside has teamed

up with multi-sensory

design specialists

Bompas & Parr to

launch The Angora

meeting room,

featuring interactive

screen technology,

mood-improving

lighting and a

'creativity tea station'.

The Impeccable Pig

the whole hog

An historic County

Durham coach house

has been converted into

a ten-room, porcinethemed

hotel, The

Impeccable Pig. Its luxury

rooms include The Pigsty,

The Whole Hog, Oinkers

and Globe Trotter. It is

part of the Ramside

Estates portfolio.

One Broad Street

by the sea

The One Broad Street

hotel has opened in

Brighton. The 'smart

boutique hotel for the

tech-savvy traveller'

takes its design inspiration

from 'New York

City industrial loft

minimalism' and the

concept of biophilic

design by incorporating

greenery and natural

materials.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

7


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ARRIVALS

EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT...

Crossrail delays

“THE ELIZABETH

LINE IS ONE OF THE MOST

“TECHNOLOGY COMPLEX AND CHALLENGING DOESN’T

RESCUE INFRASTRUCTURE YOU BUT PROJECTS IT PROVIDES EVER

CONFIDENCE UNDERTAKEN IN AND THE VISIBILITY. UK AND NOW YOUR IN

TMC ITS FINAL SHOULD STAGES. HAVE WE HAVE THE MADE PROCESS HUGE

AND PROGRESS PROCEDURES WITH THE TO DELIVERY RUN REPORTS

OF THIS

AND INCREDIBLE HELP YOU PROJECT REACH BUT WE THOSE NEED

AFFECTED FURTHER TIME BY TO AN COMPLETE INCIDENT” THE

TESTING OF THE NEW RAILWAY”

Ewan Kassir, Head of Sales, Clarity

Simon Wright, Former Crossrail

Chief Executive

“This project is already delivering benefits for

the whole of the UK through its cross-country

supply chain. Crossrail will be transformative

and carry up to 200 million passengers a year”

Jo Johnson MP, Former Minister of Transport

“I AM DEEPLY ANGERED AND DISAPPOINTED AT

THE DELAY TO THE OPENING OF THE ELIZABETH

LINE, WHICH IS MADE WORSE BY THE LENGTH OF

THE DELAY AND HOW LATE IN THE PROJECT IT

WAS ANNOUNCED”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

Our investigation will examine

the causes of the cost increases

and schedule delays,

the terms of the

additional funding

and the governance

of the programme”

Spokesperson for the National Audit Office

“WE ARE DETERMINED THAT THE FAILURES IN

GOVERNANCE AND TRANSPARENCY AT CROSSRAIL

MUST END IMMEDIATELY, AND CANNOT BE REPLICATED

Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM,

Chair of the Transport Committee

IN FUTURE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS”

The public will be dismayed that yet again mismanagement

of this project has meant an extra injection of taxpayers’

money, which TfL will have to pay back. While we welcome

the decision to enable the project to go forward as soon as

possible, Transport for London and the Mayor have serious

questions to answer about the shambles that is unfolding”

Gareth Bacon AM, Chairman of the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

9


ARRIVALS

SIX OF THE BEST

Six of the best...

Luxury hotels in Shanghai

1

Shanghai Wonderland

A hotel whose location lives up

to its name, this recently opened

property from Intercontinental is

set in a former quarry to the

southwest of Shanghai. There

are two floors above ground

level, 16 that descend to the

bottom of the quarry and two

beneath water level.

2

3

Bulgari Hotel Shanghai

The Bulgari Hotel Shanghai

opened last summer and is set

across a section of a 48-storey

tower and the restored Chamber

of Commerce building that dates

from 1916. A rooftop restaurant

has views across the city.

Bellagio Shanghai

Shanghai welcomed only the

second Bellagio hotel worldwide

when this property opened in

June 2018. Located close to

The Bund, the hotel has 184

guestrooms, four restaurants,

spa and a grand ballroom.

4

W Shanghai

The upscale Marriott brand made

its debut in Shanghai in 2017

with the opening of the W

Shanghai – The Bund. Nearly all

of the 374 stylish guestrooms

have views of the Huangpu River

and Pudong skyline. There are

five dining options and nearly

6,000m 2 of events space.

6

amanyangyun

Another 2018 addition to the

city's high-end hotel stock, this

peaceful resort just outside of

downtown Shanghai has a series

of suites and villas set in restored

historic buildings. There are five

dining options, a spa and

meetings and event spaces.

5

the Middle House

Swire Hotels' latest addition

to its House Collective, the

Middle House is located in

Shanghai’s historic Dazhongli

neighbourhood and continues

the company’s philosophy of

‘intimate luxury delivered with

highly personalised service’.

10 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


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Untitled-15 1 23/11/2018 09:55


ARRIVALS

EVENT REPORT

The Advantage Business

Travel Symposium 2018

Delegates heard keynote speeches from

Lord Andrew Adonis and the University

of Liverpool’s Paul Redmond at The

Advantage Business Travel Symposium in

November, while also being given the

opportunity to ask a panel of travel

buyers their burning questions.

Benjamin Coren reports

The day’s agenda tackled major issues

affecting business travel including Brexit,

traveller wellbeing, NDC and attracting new

talent into the industry, with the event

designed to provide delegates with

actionable takeaways. The agenda had been

devised based on feedback from the

consortium's members.

Neil Armorgie, Advantage Global Product

Director and CEO of WIN, kicked off

proceedings by revealing impressive

growth: “In 2018 we added nearly

£100million to our group turnover and

there has also been significant investment

into our meetings and events offering.”

Armorgie talked about the consortium’s

dedicated technology resource. “Fraser

Nichol has taken on NDC to create a bigger

picture for our members, and a summary

booklet has been produced for members,

shared just this week”, he added. Armorgie

said the document is a line in the sand from

when it was published following Lufthansa’s

recent announcement that it would restrict

its lowest fares to NDC channels.

Former Transport Secretary Lord Andrew

Adonis delivered a keynote on Brexit and

the greater economic outlook, discussing

what it may mean for the business travel

industry and UK infrastructure. His

takeaway message was: "In the short term

nothing is going to change, so my message

is to keep calm and carry on." He did

however highlight potential long-term risks

that businesses may face.

Interactive 'Buyer Bootcamp' sessions

gave delegates the chance to ask 'killer'

questions via guided exercises. The session

put the challenges that TMCs face centre

stage with topics including attracting buyer

attention and opening a dialogue with

them, engaging with them, how to win

business, approaching client reviews and

preparing for them.

MEMBERSHIP BOOST

"We've seen an increase in

our membership of 6.9%

which is ahead of the

market. We've had a

great year. Our

mantra continues

to be how we

will benefit

member

shareholders"

12 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

Neil Armorgie, Advantage

Global Product Director

COLD CALLING

"IT'S ALL DOWN TO PERSONAL

PREFERENCE – I PREFER

HUMAN CONTACT. COLD

CALLING IS A LITTLE HIT AND

MISS AND COLD EMAILS ARE

NOT READ AT ALL. IT'S

ALWAYS GOOD TO GET SOME

FACE-TO-FACE TIME IN AT

INDUSTRY EVENTS"

Imelda Aspinall, UK Travel Manager, ITV

POST-BREXIT VISAS

"I think we will try to do it

without visas and very rapidly

we will end up having to

introduce them. And the EU

will reciprocate and do

the same for British

citizens travelling to

those countries. We may

eventually end up with

an ESTA-type visa

system"

Lord Andrew

Adonis


Looking for a TMC?

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with Advantage.

Advantage Business Travel, part of The Advantage Travel

Partnership, is the UK’s largest independent group of

Travel Management Companies in the UK.

Together with its global division, WIN Global Travel

Network, Advantage has over 200 UK TMC locations and

global partners in 70 countries, meaning Advantage can

be sure to help you find the right TMC for your individual

business needs.

By using an Advantage Business Travel TMC you will

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An independent business offering personalised

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Access to a global network of TMC partners,

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A consultative approach to managing your

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Access to leading technology and consolidated data

The buying power of a combined turnover volume

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To find out more visit advantagemembers.com.

Follow us @AdvantageHQ


ARRIVALS

THE KNOWLEDGE

How to...

Make the most of corporate cards

The Scout Association is a long-time user

of corporate cards, but the ways in

which it deploys them has changed

THE BACKGROUND

The Scout Association

provides youth work support to

638,000 young people and adult

volunteers across the UK. A longterm

Barclaycard customer, its

staff have typically used

corporate cards for a

range of travel and

subsistence costs.

STREAMLINING

“While the kinds of things

we purchase with our

cards have stayed

consistent over the years,

we have taken advantage

of technological developments

to speed up our reconciliation

process with Barclaycard,” says The Scout

Association’s Simon Carter.

As a result, it now reconciles its corporate

card expenses digitally every month. Carter

explains: “We try to do everything

electronically. We used to reconcile expenses

by hand, but we conducted a study that

showed it would save time – and therefore

money – to move to digital reconciliation.”

He continues: “As a charity, you want to

put as much money as possible into your

cause rather than the back office.”

GO PRE-PAID

Every four years, the

organisation sends 4,000

young people from the UK

to The World Scout

Jamboree, which takes

place in destinations all

over the world – mostly

recently in Japan in 2015.

At the event, in addition to those who

already had company credit cards, The Scout

Association provided 40 staff with a pre-paid

Barclaycard corporate card, which they used

for car hire, food and other travel expenses.

The cards mean we can control costs

really easily,” says Carter. “We can see what

our teams are spending on, and we don’t

have to provide them with lots of cash.”

NEW LIMITS

At times, corporate

cards have also helped

the team resolve

challenging situations.

“After a Jamboree we

hosted in Thailand finished, we

sent 400 young people on a home

hospitality visit to Malaysia,” explains

Carter. “I was woken up at 3am by a phone

call from the head of our contingent in

Malaysia saying that, for various reasons,

the planned accommodation wasn’t

available. I called our director of finance,

who contacted the Barclaycard out-of-hours

service, who in turn raised the credit card

limit of the person on the spot to £25,000.

The leader of the contingent then

sourced safe and secure hotel rooms for

400 young people and their leaders. It

was so simple.”

THE BENEFITS

Corporate cards are key to The Scout

Association’s operations, whether it’s

for resolving unexpected situations or

simply paying for

food and drink.

“Cards make it

easy to control

costs and provide

excellent visibility

on spending,” says

Carter. “The key

thing for us is the

flexibility they

offer. We use a traditional purchase

order process for most of our regular

costs, but sometimes you simply don’t

have time to wait – you need to pay for

something there and then and a card

makes that possible.”

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

15


ARRIVALS

SPEAKING OUT

What price loyalty?

Basic economy is a false economy

There’s a trade-off between the cheapest

economy fares and corporate loyalty,

says Peter Gerstle, who argues there’s

more than one way to measure value

Low-cost carriers are here to stay – that's a

fact. According to the latest research from

IATA, these ‘new model airlines’ now

account for 28.3% of all passenger journeys

– with US budget carrier SouthWest and

Irish favourite Ryanair both topping the

charts in terms of passengers carried.

In response, so-called ‘legacy’ airlines have

also begun to introduce stripped down

economy fares for ‘price-sensitive’

customers in their efforts to stay

competitive. Emirates, once considered the

bastion of luxury airlines, is the latest to

consider basic economy fares that exclude

‘perks’ like food and baggage allowance.

But as more airlines embrace ‘basic

economy’, what are the implications for

business travellers and loyalty?

Increasingly, many companies have a

lowest available fare policy, or even a fare

cap, and encourage their employees to

consider the basic economy option.

However, for businesses these policies are

not without its risks.

Business travellers holding these barebones

tickets will have no choice in seat

assignment, may not be permitted to stow a

carry-on-bag in the overhead bins and will

not be able to accrue as many – or any –

frequent flier miles.

If they desire what in the past

have been considered the

fundamentals of

It’s a mistake to

assume that someone

travelling on a basic economy

fare is not a potentially

valuable customer”

business travel, they will have to pay for

them as add-ons. This is hardly a recipe for

a productive, happy employee, especially if

they are travelling for an important

meeting, and may even end up costing a

business more than a standard fare.

In addition, what happens if a meeting

overruns and an employee misses their

flight? If the employee has a non-refundable

ticket there may be may be no option but

coughing up for a last-minute, walk-up fare.

As savvy travel managers are now

realising, insisting on basic economy tickets

can cost you dearly. Short-term savings

associated with the cheapest fares can

easily be dwarfed through hidden costs and

productivity losses.

Business travel policies should be centred

on value not just the lowest fare prices.

Recognising customer loyalty and making

considerations to accommodate an

employee’s frequent flyer membership is

particularly important.

It not only has a positive contribution to

the employee’s happiness and status, but it

also plays an important role in getting fees

waived for extras like checked bags or makes

travellers eligible for upgrades. These perks

could make all the difference in how an

employee performs in that big meeting.

Airlines too must not assume that price is

the only driver for a purchase – value is

measured through an overall experience

and has a significant impact on loyalty. It’s a

mistake to assume that someone travelling

on a basic economy fare is not a potentially

valuable customer.

The key is to really understand each

customer and know why they are flying,

every time they fly. Enabling customers to

collect frequent flyer points on all flights,

including basic economy fares, is an

important part

of this.

With this

deeper

understanding,

airlines can start to see

the bigger picture. They can

recognise a frequent flyer even

if their booking is made by a

corporate travel manager and identify

which customers present the best

opportunity to create ongoing relationships

that deliver additional revenue.

PETER GERSTLE

Peter is Group Head of Travel

Products at The Collinson

Group, a leading global

consultancy in loyalty and

benefits. The company has

worked with major brands

including Avios, Radisson

Hotels, Visa and

Mastercard.

16 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


2019 TRAVEL TRENDS

back to the future

It’s difficult to look beyond Brexit when scouting ahead for the big developments coming up in 2019,

but there are of course plenty of other openings, launches and trends on the horizon too...

High five

Watch out for these five hotels

coming to London in 2019

Taking off

Notable new route launches

British Airways

• Heathrow-Osaka

four times a week from March 31

• London City-Munich

daily from Feb 16

• Heathrow-Pittsburgh

four times a week from April

• Heathrow-Charleston

twice a week from April 4

(summer only)

The Stratford

1 This hotel will open as part of

the highly anticipated Manhattan

Loft Gardens skyscraper (below) in

Stratford in April 2019. It promises

to “seamlessly merge short-term

stays with long-term hotel living”.

The Standard

2 This trendy US brand will open

its first international hotel in King’s

Cross in 2019 set in the Camden

Town Annex building.

Hard Rock Hotel

3 Hard Rock will open its first UK

hotel in London in the spring (above

right) by converting the Cumberland

Hotel into a 1,000-room property.

Belmond Cadogan

4 The luxury hotel group is due

to open its second UK hotel in the

spring, a 54-room hotel between

Kensington and Chelsea.

5

Ruby Hotels

The ‘lean luxury’ hotel brand

(below) is due to open the London

Southbank Outpost in summer

2019. The fledgling group currently

has six hotels across Germany and

one in Austria.

Virgin Atlantic

• Manchester-Los Angeles

three times weekly from May 26

Delta Air Lines

• Edinburgh-Boston

daily from May 24

Rooms for growth

Hotel room supply is set to grow 8% in London in 2019 and by

5% across the rest of the UK

With such a strong pipeline of hotels due to come on

stream, we will need healthy demand growth to avoid

a drop in occupancy percentages” says HVS Chairman, Russell Kett

18 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


2019 TRAVEL TRENDS

Brexit: March 29

iN? out? good deal? No deal?

cliff edge? secoNd refereNdum?

Uncertainty around

the Brexit deal has

not affected bookings and

our business is up year on

year. People will still need to

do business whatever happens

concerning the Brexit trade

deal – if a company needs to

travel in order to conduct

business then they are still

going to

travel, even

if airfares

go up”

Mel Phaure,

Director, Blue

Cube Travel

European airfares

2% - the predicted rise in average

ticket prices on regional routes

1% - the predicted rise in average

ticket prices for intercontinental travel

“Negotiating a good deal

with European airlines is

becoming harder as they

reduce discounts for all but

their best-performing clients:

those who either spend heavily

on premium cabins of fullfare

economy to long-haul

destinations, or fly economy

to markets where the airline

wants to gain or defend

market share”

BCD 2019 Industry Forecast

Trend-setting

technology

dataart predicts 2019 will see five

maJor tech treNds takiNg travel aNd

hospitality to the NeXt level

Ai is set to reAch

new heights

Progression will ‘skyrocket’,

helping improve customer service

and save human resources

oPen APis

Proliferation of open APIs will

enable better synchronisation

between technology systems

AugmenteD reAlity

Travel and hospitality players have

been slow to adopt AR but it will

be at the forefront of marketing

and personalisation in 2019

self-serVice

Expect more tech that eliminates

the need for customers to

interact with a human to

complete a transaction

Voice Assist

Use is already growing at an

impressive rate and will be a vital

component of the industry’s

demand for efficiency

ONE Order is

the new NDC?

Those tired of hearing about

IATA’s NDC standard can look

forward to hearing plenty about

the organisation’s ONE Order

programme in 2019 – which in fact

is made possible by NDC advances.

“Today, an air booking creates both

a passenger name record (PNR) and

an electronic ticket, plus an

electronic miscellaneous document

for any ancillary purchases like

checked bag fees. Under ONE Order,

all these documents will be replaced

with a single, retail-type digital order

management process,”

explains travel management

company BCD.

For passengers and their

employers, the potential

benefits include more

coordinated disruption

management when flights are

delayed, better customer

recognition, improved MI

and better understanding of

total trip cost

THEbusinesstraVeLMag.COM

19


THE CONVERSATION

Labour Peer & Former Transport Secretary

LORD ANDREW ADONIS

The staunch Remainer speaks to Andy Hoskins ahead of his

keynote address at the Advantage Business Travel Symposium

Keep calm and carry on," are Lord

Andrew Adonis's words of advice

for the travel industry as the UK

moves towards its scheduled March 29

departure from the European Union.

"There’s a lot of alarmism around at the

moment and people are right to be

concerned about the long-term future for

the country if we Brexit, but people shouldn’t

worry about going off a cliff edge next year.

Parliament isn’t that stupid," he says.

"In the long-term, however, Brexit will

make us much less attractive to inward

investment and it will start imposing

impediments to trade and travel."

Speaking before EU leaders had agreed

the Brexit deal that will be voted on by

parliament in December, Adonis says: "Any

form of Brexit is bad for the country and we

should have a referendum so people can

give their view on what they really want."

He believes there is "a serious chance" of

the so-called People's Vote taking place in

2019 and claims: "Even Brexiters are coming

round to this view as well – that this half-in,

half-out deal that Theresa May is proposing

may actually be worse than staying fully in.

Both sides regard it as a sell-out."

He continues: "It's increasingly clear that

the deal is going to hit the buffers and the

question is what happens when it does."

Adonis believes there are three possible

scenarios the country could find itself in on

March 29. Firstly, a continuation of Article

50 – potentially under a new Prime Minister

– in order to "get a credible deal over a

longer period". Secondly, that the country

will leave the EU but "with everything

essentially still to be negotiated"; and lastly,

the referendum he desires.

So there's no chance of planes being

grounded overnight and gridlocked ports?

"That's a straight scare. It’s deplorable that

the government has allowed the public to

think this could happen. There’s simply no

way you're going to get 325 MPs – half the

House – that are going to agree to us

leaving the European Union with no deal

and the country grinding to a halt."

Having served as Transport Secretary

under Gordon Brown's Labour government,

the UK's air, road and rail networks are a

subject close to his heart. He pioneered

plans for High Speed 2 – the high-speed

railway that will connect London with the

Midlands and potentially cities further north

– and offers unwavering support to the

expansion of London Heathrow Airport.

"I can't take credit for being a genius," he

says of HS2. "All I was doing was copying

With a third runway at

Heathrow from 2028,

soon after the opening of HS2,

Adonis heralds a transport

infrastructure revolution for

England in the mid-2020s”

what pretty much every developed country

in the world has done over the last 50 years

which is to build high-speed rail lines

between the major cities."

The London to Birmingham line is currently

under construction – and is due to open in

2026 – and he believes plans to extend it to

Leeds and Manchester will happen "with or

without Brexit".

"Once the high speed lines get to Leeds

and Manchester the journey times from

London to Scotland will come down a lot.

You’ll be able to do both of those trips

[to Glasgow and Edinburgh] in 3.5 hours

or less, which will make trains highly

competitive with planes for the first time,"

Adonis explains.

And he says expansion at Heathrow is

"vitally important for bringing inward

investment into the country and for

promoting business travel internationally

including to new and emerging markets."

He is also confident that, with parliament

voting almost 10-1 in favour of expansion –

and with a majority in all the political parties

– it is a "done deal". He adds: "My view is

that this is irreversible".

With a third runway at Heathrow

potentially operational from 2028, not long

after the scheduled opening of HS2, Adonis

heralds a "transport infrastructure

revolution for England in the mid-2020s".

Brexit or no Brexit, the UK's connectivity

both at home and with foreign nations is set

for a welcome shot in the arm.

20 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


THE CONVERSATION

in brief...

Expansion at Heathrow is

set to go ahead and HS2

is underway, but where is

the country's transport

network falling short?

The northern cities are very

badly connected and what I

call HS3 – which is the eastwest

line linking Liverpool,

Manchester, Leeds,

Newcastle and Hull – that’s

hugely important and

there’s still no proper plan

for that. We’ve got big

North-South improvements

with HS2 underway but

there’s no equivalent

improvement taking place

east to west in the North.

LORD ANDREW ADONIS

Rt Hon Lord (Andrew) Adonis is a Labour peer, former

Transport Secretary and former Chairman of the

National Infrastructure Commission. Both as advisor

and then minister, Andrew Adonis was a key architect

of Tony Blair's public service reforms in education,

health, local government, policing and transport. He is

the author of books on parliamentary reform, the class

system and the poll tax.

According to your Twitter

bio, you've been called a

'twisted weasel' by Nigel

Farage and a 'cave man'

by Jacob Rees-Mogg – you

seem to revel in being

something of a villain...

I do because I’m deliberately

taking on Nigel Farage and

Boris Johnson and Jacob

Rees-Mogg because they're

the chief Brexiters. So I

relish an argument and a

battle with them because

the issues are so big for the

country. Over the medium

to long-term I think Brexit

will be extremely damaging

which is the reason I’m

doing battle ferociously

with the leading Brexiters.

However much Boris

Johnson, Nigel Farage, Kate

Hoey and co dislike me,

they dislike Theresa May

even more. They are falling

apart. The question is

whether it falls apart in

such a way that we can get

a referendum and put a

stop to Brexit.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

21


THE BIG PICTURE

Copenhagen

MORE THAN

MERMAIDS

The Danish capital city

has been named Lonely

Planet’s number one

city for 2019, propelled

to the top by its “worldrenowned

food scene”,

craft beer culture and

its reputation as a

“design powerhouse”.

In second place was

Shenzhen – the ‘Silicon

Valley of China’ – and in

third was up-and-coming

Serbian city Novi Sad.

22 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


ADRIA AIRWAYS • AEGEAN AIRLINES • AIR CANADA • AIR CHINA • AIR INDIA • AIR NEW ZEALAND • ANA • ASIANA AIRLINES • AUSTRIAN • AVIANCA • AVIANCA BRASIL

BRUSSELS AIRLINES • COPA AIRLINES • CROATIA AIRLINES • EGYPTAIR • ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES • EVA AIR • LOT POLISH AIRLINES • LUFTHANSA • SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES

SHENZHEN AIRLINES • SINGAPORE AIRLINES • SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS • SWISS • TAP AIR PORTUGAL • THAI • TURKISH AIRLINES • UNITED


MEET THE BUYER

meet

ANA GIBSON

Ana Gibson is Supply Manager, Travel, at Hilti, having recently

moved from the supplier side of the travel industry

Hilti is a global company operating in

120 countries with more than 27,000

employees. We design and manufacture

leading-edge technology, software and

services which power the construction

industry. I have been here since the end of

July 2018 and am discovering every day

what a great company it is to work for;

people are at the forefront of everything

Hilti does. The headcount is growing by 10%

year on year and currently we have around

950 staff in the UK. Around half of these

have regular business trips and many more

travel on an ad hoc basis.

My career in travel started as soon as

I graduated from university 15 years

ago when I joined Emirates. I saw it as a

temporary role, but once the “travel bug”

gets hold of you, not many tend to leave the

industry. Soon after joining, I moved into

sales support and eventually corporate

sales. After seven years, I swapped the hot

climate of Dubai for Santa’s official airline,

Finnair, as client manager.

My main responsibilities are to help

drive productivity, through sourcing and

negotiating with suppliers. I also

look at the spend patterns and

look at how behaviour can

be influenced to achieve

cost savings. My role is

based in the UK but

I work closely with

my counterparts in

Northern Europe

and the global

procurement

managers to benchmark

our policy and activity

against our peers.

Employees are empowered to

make their own travel bookings through

our TMC and its online booking tool. Apart

from the PAs to the Directors and MD, we

do not have dedicated travel bookers

except for when it comes to our Training

School. This has a significant need for

hotel accommodation, and once I have

negotiated the contracts with the preferred

suppliers, our HR Shared Services team are

tasked with managing the booking process.

We work closely with countries in

Northern Europe so there is a lot

of travel to key destinations

such as Copenhagen, and

Helsinki, as well as

OUT OF THE OFFICE

Dublin. Our global

"I am originally from

headquarters are

Romania. My dad was born in a based in Schaan so we

castle in Transylvania so I am a travel there via Zurich

distant relative to Dracula! But – or via Munich is also

unlike most vampires, I tend to common. We also try

favour bright sunshine for to use digital solutions

my holiday destinations" such as Skype and

Microsoft Hubs to reduce

the amount of corporate

travel needed.

We only use two TMCs globally, with the

UK and US using one, and the rest another.

We actively encourage employees to use

the online booking tools provided. In the

UK, our OBT adoption is around 87%.

We have a strong travel policy in place

which considers all aspects. As adherence

to policy is high, I would say that it is very

effective, but we are always looking for

improvements. We want employees to have

a positive and safe experience when they

travel on business as employee wellbeing is

very important to us as a company.

My biggest challenge is to ensure the

varied stakeholders’ needs are met. The

standards required are high and it can

sometimes be a challenge to meet the

expectations while adhering to the policy

and the need to manage costs.

We want employees

to have a positive

and safe experience when

they travel on business as

wellbeing is very important

to us as a company”

24 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE

2018 CHRISTMAS PARTY

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11

THE GRANGE ST PAUL'S, LONDON

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


awards

meet the winner

Natalie Payne

Fello’s Natalie Payne was named Operations Manager of the Year

at The Business Travel People Awards 2018

How did it feel to win

the Operations Manager

of the Year award?

I was very surprised and

obviously delighted! I

knew it was a popular

category as there is a lot

of talent in our industry, so it was a huge

honour to be recognised.

Why did you decide to enter the awards

or how did you come to be nominated?

Fello Group CEO Simone Buckley did it –

unbeknown to me! Simone recognised that

while I had the job title of Team Leader, I

had been performing the role of Operations

Manager for over a year following the

departure of the Head of Operations. It was

particularly challenging during this time as

Sandy Row Travel and World Club Travel

were merging, and we were preparing to

launch our new brand, Fello.

We were also without a managing director

or CEO and had just won a large account to

be serviced in the UK, US and Singapore. I

found myself in charge of a global

online and offline implementation,

a team of

consultants who were

nervous about the

merger, a GDS contract

up for renewal, and a

booking tool that was

being phased out.

Tell us about your

role and the work

you’ve done that

clinched the award?

I was responsible for the

implementation of our largest-ever

customer across three countries (two of

which didn’t have offices) while retaining

our customer base through a period of

significant change. I also set up, recruited

and trained our own in-house out-of-hours

department, available 24/7.

The Business

Travel People Awards

recognise outstanding

individuals and teams across

all aspects of the supplier

element of corporate travel.

Nominations for the 2019

awards open on

January 1

What do you particularly enjoy about

your current role?

I love working with a team and the diversity

of the job. No two days are the same. I am

constantly challenged to find

solutions to ensure the team

and I give the absolute

highest level of service to

all our clients.

What do you think

of The Business

Travel People

Awards, and of the

winners’ event?

It’s really important to

acknowledge talent and

hard work in our industry. It

is motivating for the individuals

concerned, but also for their team

and organisation. When you are in an

operational role you don’t get to attend as

many industry events so it was really

special to be at the awards with my peers.

Being taken on a winners' trip to New York

was also a fantastic privilege.

It’s important to

acknowledge talent

and hard work. It is

motivating for the individuals

concerned, but also for their

team and organisation”

What impact do you think winning an

award will have on your career?

The award has really given me the

confidence to progress, to constantly

challenge myself and to aim high. Fello has

big ambitions and I am looking forward to

being part of the journey.

What do you think are the business

travel industry’s biggest challenges

right now?

As consumers we have so much access to

content and so much choice. At Fello, our

job is to ensure we get the best value for

our clients based on their specific needs

and preferences.

26 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


GALLERY

The Business Travel

People Awards 2018

Winners trip

to New York

A bridge too far in

Central Park

The Business Travel People Awards Winners Trip ▼

The winners of The Business Travel

People Awards 2018 jetted off to New

York for a short break in November,

with flights courtesy of Virgin Atlantic

and Delta Air Lines

▲ 08.11.2018

Exclusive transport for

our group of winners

With thanks to our generous

event partners

Taking in the Manhattan skyline

NOMINATIONS OPEN JANUARY 1, 2019

THEBUSINESSTRAVELPEOPLEAWARDS.COM


RECOGNISING EXCELLENCE

IN BUSINESS TRAVEL

The annual awards recognising outstanding

individuals & teams in business travel

Now in its

8th Year!

NOMINATIONS OPEN JANUARY 1, 1, 2019

THEBUSINESSTRAVELPEOPLEAWARDS.COM


THE 2019 CATEGORIES

The Business Travel People Awards

categories cover a range of roles for both

suppliers and agency entrants. The judges

are aware that companies have many

different job titles to illustrate core business

responsibilities such as sales, account

management and business development.

It is important that nominations are

entered in the category with the description

that is the most appropriate.

TRAVEL MANAGEMENT COMPANIES

AND HOTEL BOOKING AGENCIES

• Reservations Consultant of the year

Recognising the individual who has

demonstrated excellent customer

service, a can-do attitude and the ability

to go the extra mile for both colleagues

and customers.

• Reservations Team of the year

Recognising the team that has

demonstrated excellent customer

service, a can-do attitude and the ability

to go the extra mile for their customers.

• Operations Manager of the year

Recognising the individual who has

demonstrated the ability to provide

excellent customer service using an

innovative and strategic approach across

operational management.

• Operations Team of the year

Recognising the team that has

demonstrated the ability to provide

excellent customer service using an

innovative and strategic approach across

operational management.

• Account Manager of the year

Recognising the individual who takes

a proactive and consultative approach

to their role in order to provide

unrivalled customer service, care and

value to their clients.

• Account Management Team

of the year

Recognising the team that takes a

proactive and consultative approach to

providing unrivalled customer service,

care and value to their clients.

• Sales/Business Development Manager

of the year

Recognising the individual who has driven

growth through outstanding sales results

by the development and use of a creative

and successful business strategy.

• Sales/Business Development Team of

the year

Recognising the team that has driven

growth through outstanding sales results

by the development and use of a creative

and successful business strategy.

MICE CATEGORIES

• Meetings & Events Manager of the year

Recognising the individual who has

demonstrated the ability to provide

excellent customer service or

event management and project

management using an innovative,

practical, strategic approach across

the operational delivery of meetings

and/or events.

• Meetings & Events Team of the year

Recognising the team or department

that has demonstrated the ability to

provide excellent customer service or

event management and project

management using innovative,

practical, strategic approach across

the operational delivery of meetings

and/or events.

SUPPLIER CATEGORIES

(Air, accommodation, ground transport

(car hire and rail), online booking tools,

GDS, data management services)

• Account Manager of the year

Recognising the individual who

demonstrates impeccable product

knowledge and takes a proactive and

consultative approach to their role in

order to provide unrivalled customer

service, care and value to a TMC, HBA

and/or corporate customer.

• Account Management Team of the year

Recognising the team that demonstrates

impeccable product knowledge and takes

a proactive and consultative approach

to their role in order to provide unrivalled

customer service, care and value to a

TMC, HBA and/or corporate customer.

• Sales/Business Development Manager

of the year

Recognising the individual who has

driven outstanding sales growth through

the development and use of a creative

and successful business strategy.

• Sales/Business Development Team of

the year

Recognising the team that has driven

outstanding sales growth through the

development and use of a creative and

successful business strategy.

INDUSTRY CATEGORIES

• Rising Star award

Recognising an outstanding individual

from any sector of the business travel

industry who is under 35 years of age.

Entrants should have demonstrated a

desire to develop into a business

leader of the future.

• Best Newcomer

Recognising an individual from any

sector of business travel who has been

involved in the industry for less than

two years. This person will have shown

an aptitude and appetite to develop

their role in the sector.

NOMINATIONS OPEN JANUARY 1, 2019

THEBUSINESSTRAVELPEOPLEAWARDS.COM


A smarter

partnership

Whether you’re heading to New York,

LA or somewhere amazing in between,

we’ll fly you there in style

It’s the little things...

Travelling with us is about so much more than simply stepping

on a plane. It’s about the entire experience from airport

arrival to destination.

We make flying for business as fuss-free as possible, with

luxurious lounges, easy airport transfer options,

combined, convenient schedules and bags checked

through from start to finish for a seamless travel

experience. Our mutual loyalty programmes and

reciprocal lounge access* are a nice little touch

too, as is our approach to customers, who we

look after as individuals. Onboard Virgin

Atlantic Upper Class and Delta One® we

boast fully flat beds, perfect for refreshing,

undisturbed sleep, and we’re the only

fully WiFi ** connected transatlantic

joint venture, keeping customers in

touch with the outside world.


It all starts at London

Heathrow, Terminal 3

Upper Class and Delta One customers

enjoy loads of brilliant benefits at

Terminal 3, London Heathrow, where

we’re co-located.

Arrive in style

Virgin Atlantic customers can arrive

in style at the Upper Class Wing with

our chauffeur driven car service^, while

travellers on both airlines can take

advantage of the Upper Class Wing

by arriving in their own car or taxi.

Breeze through

the airport

Navigating a busy airport has

never been easier with Drive Thru

Check In and our Private Security

Channel, enabling travellers to focus

on work, not their travel itinerary. The

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse provides the

perfect stop off to continue working

or simply wind down before a flight,

while priority boarding gets customers

settled in their seats quicker.

Relaxation starts at

ground level

At London Heathrow, Delta SkyMiles®

Diamond and Platinum Medallion®

Members are invited to use the

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, while Gold

Medallion® Members can indulge in the

No.1 Traveller Lounge. Diamond and

Platinum Medallion Members can also

use the Private Security Channel and

the Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge.

Back in Blighty

Get straight back to business in

London Heathrow at the Virgin Atlantic

Revivals Lounge with a hot shower,

delicious breakfast and clothes

pressing/mending service, and whisked

off to onward destinations with a

pre-booked chauffeur car*.

Start spreading

the news

As well as our shared Heathrow hub we

share a convenient flight schedule,

providing eight flights to New York JFK

daily and one flight to Newark. Flights

are scheduled from London Heathrow

throughout the day, and even depart

every 30 minutes from New York JFK

to London Heathrow during the early

evening. We’re expanding services at

a regional level too, with daily flights

from Manchester, Edinburgh and

Glasgow^^ to New York JFK, and we’re

keeping customers connected to over

200 North American destinations via

Delta’s extensive network.

Frequent flyer perks

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Delta

SkyMiles Members benefit from

generous perks, brilliant news for

frequent flyers. Naturally, members

earn miles every time they fly, but

they also scoop miles on each other’s

services and across our partner

airlines’ services too. So, Flying Club

members earn miles on Delta flights,

while SkyMiles Members earn

Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs)

on eligible Virgin Atlantic flights and

can use their miles on eligible Virgin

Atlantic flights too.

That’s not all. Flying Club Gold

members will earn 60% more of

the base flown Flying Club miles

when they travel on any Delta flight

(Silver members receive 30% more)

and enjoy Sky Priority® benefits when

flying Delta, as well as gaining access

to Delta Sky Club® on any Delta

transatlantic ticket.

Please contact your TMC for more information or to book

* At certain membership levels. ** From £4.99. ^ Chauffeur driven car service available at most destinations with selected Upper Class fares.

Also available to book at a preferential rate. Mileage restrictions apply. ^^ Seasonal daily service from Glasgow to New York JFK.


premium economy

rise

of the middle class

An increasing focus on employee welfare coupled with

a more creative approach to cost-saving is breathing

new life into premium economy, writes Kerry Reals

Premium economy cabins have

come of age. After a slow and

steady rise in popularity since

taking to the skies with Virgin Atlantic

and EVA Air in the early 1990s, the area

between the highest- and lowest-yielding

seats on the aircraft is now the centre of

attention as airlines – and passengers –

increasingly realise its potential.

This previously slow-burning trend is

rapidly becoming hotter as a growing list of

airlines find the temptation of introducing a

failsafe product, capable of performing well

in both good and bad economic times, too

difficult to resist.

Sandwiched between business class and

economy, the premium economy cabin

provides a quieter, less cramped alternative

to the back of the bus at a fraction of the

cost of the pointier end, but with some of

the elevated perks.

For travel management companies this

product, the 'compromise cabin', offers a

sweet spot for cost-conscious corporations

looking to keep employees happy and

productive while simultaneously appeasing

their finance divisions.

However, TMCs “have to be able to adapt

their business to these new dynamics” to

ensure they can meet the evolving needs

and expectations of their customers,

according to Richard Johnson, Director

Solutions Group EMEA and APAC at Carlson

Wagonlit Travel.

“Premium economy has an important role

to play in the corporate travel market as

companies seek to balance the need for

strong cost management with a growing

appreciation of the importance of traveller

wellbeing and ensuring productivity when

travelling for business, ” says Johnson.

“This is likely to become even more

important when we consider the rise of

ultra-long-haul flights, where premium

economy can be compelling for companies

with tightly managed budgets.”

Indeed, Singapore Airlines has eliminated

the economy cabin entirely on its new ultralong-haul

Newark-Singapore route. Having

apparently decided that nobody in their

right mind would want to fly in economy

class non-stop for 18hr 45mins, the airline

has configured the Airbus A350-900ULR

aircraft deployed on this route in a twoclass

layout, featuring 67 business class

seats and 94 premium economy seats.

Johnson believes premium economy

“offers more comfort for a better price”

on medium- to long-haul flights when

compared to business or first class.

However, investments in technology are

key to enabling TMCs to provide their

customers with a detailed comparisonshopping

experience in a world of

expanding premium economy options.

“It’s becoming increasingly imperative for

businesses to work with TMCs with strong

technology partners, who are able to

32 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


premium economy

The number of

airlines offering

premium economy has grown

from a small handful in the

1990s to in excess of 25 today”

Cathay Pacific

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

33


premium economy

ANA

provide accurate and comprehensive

content choices for their travellers,” he says.

The right technology can provide access

to rich images of airline seat options and

other airline products. This gives companies

better value and coverage of available

airline content,” Johnson adds.

The number of airlines offering premium

economy has grown from a small handful of

trailblazers in the 1990s to in excess of 25

today, with new carriers jumping on board

all the time. A trend that initially started in

Europe and Asia with Virgin Atlantic and EVA

Air has spread across the globe, with the

latest converts being in North America and

the Middle East.

Virgin Atlantic’s popular premium

economy cabin entered service in 1992 and

was branded Mid Class. The airline says it

was aimed at “the cost-conscious business

traveller, or leisure travellers looking to

treat themselves”.

The product was rebranded in 1994 as

Premium Economy and again in 2018 as

Premium. It is available on all routes and all

aircraft types across the carrier’s fleet.

Premium upgrades

Wise to the fact that its competitors are

jumping on the bandwagon, Virgin Atlantic

says it is “continually updating” its premium

economy product. In addition to 21-inchwide

leather seats with a 38-inch pitch,

dedicated check-in and bag drop, a meal

served on china crockery with real cutlery, a

Norwegian

glass of bubbly on boarding, an amenity kit

and an extra checked baggage allowance,

the airline has added more features designed

to make its Premium cabin stand out.

“When we introduced our Boeing 787

aircraft in 2014 we introduced a Wander

Wall at the front of the Premium cabin. We

know customers like to stretch their legs

and help themselves to snacks throughout

the flight and the Wander Wall is a social

space where they can socialise with their

fellow travellers and chat to crew while

helping themselves to complimentary

snacks and refreshments,” says the airline.

Virgin Atlantic has also spent the last 12

months working with celebrity chef Donal

Skehan to “reinvent” its in-flight dining

experience. The new Dine with Donal dishes

debuted in the airline’s Upper Class cabins

in October and will be available in the

Premium and Economy cabins next year.

When the airline adds the Airbus A350 to

its fleet in 2019, it will provide “a great

opportunity to look at all our cabins and

what they offer customers”. Details on what

the premium economy cabin on the A350s

will look like, however, remain strictly under

wraps until the New Year.

Fellow premium economy pioneer EVA Air

is also attempting to differentiate its

product as more airlines seek to emulate

what it started in 1992. The Taiwan-based

carrier announced earlier this year that it

has decided to “call it what it is” and rebrand

the ’in-between cabin’ as Premium Economy.

US carriers arrived

very late to the

premium economy party.

First to turn up was

American Airlines in 2016”

It was previously known as Elite Class.

Alongside the name change came two new

amenity kits from skincare specialists Erno

Laszlo and THANN, and new bedding too.

Cathay Pacific, which introduced a

premium economy product in March 2012,

is also in the process of upgrading its

offering. When the Hong Kong-based carrier

added the Airbus A350-900 to its fleet in

May 2016, it installed its second generation

of premium economy seats. The new seats

are also being rolled out across select

routes served by its A350-1000 aircraft.

The A350 premium economy seat sets a

new standard for Cathay Pacific,” says the

carrier’s Marketing and Digital Sales

Manager for the UK and Ireland, Paul

Cruttenden. “It offers additional features

including dedicated tablet holders that

make it easy for passengers to enjoy

entertainment content on their own devices,

power outlets and USB power ports.

“Each premium economy class seat has a

full-length leg rest which, together with the

ergonomically designed seat, allows more

flexibility to adjust for optimal comfort.”

Late arrivals

While premium economy cabins have been

springing up throughout Europe and Asia

over the last quarter of a century, US

airlines arrived late to the party. First to

turn up was American Airlines, which began

selling the new class towards the end of

2016 across its international widebody fleet.

Next was Delta Air Lines, which began

rolling out its Premium Select product on

certain international flights in late 2017.

Delta’s Airbus A350s feature 48 Premium

Select seats, sandwiched between 32 Delta

One business class seats and 226 Main

Cabin seats. United Airlines was the last US

major to throw its hat into the ring when it

34 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


premium economy

Singapore Airlines

announced earlier this year that it will

launch a premium economy product,

branded Premium Plus, in early 2019.

The premium economy trend will head

next to the Middle East, where Emirates

will begin introducing the cabin on its new

Airbus A380s in 2020. The Dubai-based

carrier has been quiet on the details, but

Emirates President Tim Clark said earlier

this year that “it will be an Emirates

premium economy, and it will be special”.

There is no indication yet that Gulf rival

Qatar Airways plans to follow suit. Chief

Executive Akbar Al Baker has previously

ruled out the possibility of introducing

premium economy. However, Abu Dhabibased

Etihad Airways hinted earlier this

year that it might enter the fray. If the trend

does catch on in this region, Qatar Airways

could find that it has no choice but to follow

its regional competitors.

Back in Europe, Finnair recently

announced it will introduce premium

economy on long-haul flights from 2020,

but stopped short of releasing any details.

Cost benefits

For some, it is puzzling that it has taken so

long for premium economy to catch on. But

despite a slow start, a number of factors

suggest it is the product’s time to shine.

”In some ways it is surprising that it’s taken

this long for the cabin to spread through

the industry,” says Institute of Travel

Management Chief Executive Scott Davies.

With premium economy seats selling for

roughly double the amount charged in the

economy class cabin, versus quadruple the

amount for a business class seat,

businesses ”can do double the number of

trips with premium economy”, making it a

very attractive product.

Despite launching in the early 1990s,

premium economy did not really start to

take off until 2009 when the global

recession started to bite.

“Airlines saw that many companies were

cutting costs by reducing their business

class policy. Consequently, instead of having

corporate travellers fall down to economy,

the airlines began to push premium

economy,” says Eric Olson, Senior Consultant

at American Express Global Business Travel.

Carriers also began to “entice companies

who strictly bought economy seats with

premium economy, in the hope that they

would eventually upgrade,” adds Olson.

However, online travel agencies and GDSs

were initially “reluctant to incorporate it..

due to an un-streamlined process which

often required manual search”, meaning

that adoption was slow.

“We advise organisations that are

interested in premium economy to climb on

board sooner rather than later, as they are

currently in a good position to negotiate a

‘first-mover’ advantage with the airlines

before premium economy takes off

entirely,” says Olson, adding that premium

economy could soon “become a prevalent

option for corporates”.

According to Raj Sachdave, Managing

Partner at business travel consultancy Black

Box Partnerships, travel policy in corporate

markets is shifting when it comes to

managing budgets. Premium economy

products fit in well because they enable

companies to “give an experience that ticks

five out of eight boxes” normally associated

with business class, but without the skyhigh

price tag.

“Another important point is that as

millennials start rising through the corporate

ranks they bring with them different

expectations to their predecessors because

they’ve been through the [economic] pain of

the last ten years,” says Sachdave.

”Airlines are getting ready for a

refactoring of the classes,” he notes. While

there will always be a level of demand from

high net worth individuals for the highyielding

business class seats, there is an

increasing ”value and benefit of enjoying a

comfortable experience without the bells

and whistles”.


Air Canada

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

35


premium economy

Carlson Wagonlit’s Johnson points to a

market that is still very much in its infancy

but with significant potential for growth.

“Currently, we only see around a quarter of

our clients with policies that allow their

travellers to book the premium economy

cabin class, which suggests that there’s still

a lot of room for growth for premium

economy in corporate travel,” he says.

“Premium economy as an offer theoretically

gives travel buyers a few more options in

how they manage their policies on premium

travel,” says Johnson.

This includes the possibility of adopting

a mix-and-match approach of flying

employees in business class for overnight

flights and premium economy for daytime

flights, Johnson adds.

Virgin Atlantic has seen evidence of this,

noting that “we do see business travellers

choosing to fly Premium on day flights and

then investing in our Upper Class flat beds

on night flights”.

Johnson believes that premium economy

is coming to the fore as employee welfare

becomes more of an issue, with companies

moving staff up from economy, rather than

seeing it as a way of downgrading people

from business class, a point backed up by

Cathay Pacific.

“We have seen little or no trading down

on our London to Hong Kong route and find

that with larger companies, business class is

still permitted within their policies for flights

of more than an eight-hour duration,” says

Cathay's Cruttenden.

“Where we find strong and growing

demand for premium economy is from the

SME market, which traditionally has a

tighter travel budget. It is worth noting that

some SMEs who were travelling in economy

are now trading up to premium economy.”

Looking to the future, premium economy

cabins could follow the trend seen in

business class and become even more

luxurious, as airlines seek to outdo one

another in the search for incremental

business. ITM’s Davies certainly hopes so:

“It might be a pipe dream but it’s possible to

imagine bunk beds in premium economy as

well as flat beds in business class,” he says.

[ premium picks – how the airlines compare ]

Aeroflot (Comfort Class) – Meals from

business class menu; personal travel kit;

reclining seats

Air Canada (Premium Economy) – Ambient

mood lighting; seat has 38-inch pitch and

7-inch recline; in-seat power

Air France (Premium Economy) – Seat

reclines up to 130 degrees within fixed

shell; noise-reducing headset

Air New Zealand (Premium Economy) –

41-inch pitch leather seat; winner of

Skytrax Best Premium Economy 2018

All Nippon Airways (Premium Economy)

– Lounge access; business class dessert;

38-inch seat pitch

Alitalia (Premium Economy) – Dedicated

check-in; 17 or 24 ergonomic seats with

120-degree recline

American Airlines (Premium Economy)

– Complimentary beer, wine and

spirits; bedding designed by sleep technology

company Casper

Austrian Airlines (Premium Economy) –

Welcome drink; separate central armrest

with fold-out table; 12-inch IFE screen

British Airways (World Traveller Plus) –

Ongoing interiors upgrade to include

greater seat recline and 60% larger seatback

screen

Cathay Pacific (Premium Economy) –

Dedicated tablet holders; full-length leg rest;

amenity kit; meals served on china plates

China Airlines (Premium Economy) –

39-inch pitch with fixed-back recline;

12-inch HD monitor

China Southern Airlines (Premium

Economy) – 38-inch pitch reclining seats

Delta Air Lines (Premium Select) –

Dedicated in-cabin flight attendant;

Tumi amenity kit

El Al (Premium Class) – Meals served in

porcelain dishes; 13-inch monitor

EVA Air (Premium Economy) – Dedicated

check-in; Haagen Dazs ice cream; Erno

Laszlo and THANN amenity kits

Japan Airlines (Premium Economy) –

42-inch seat pitch with fixed-back

recline; amenity kits include slippers

LOT Polish Airlines (Premium Economy)

– Dedicated check-in; meals from

business class menu

Lufthansa (Premium Economy) – Fruity

welcome drink; lounge access (for

additional charge); meals served on china plates

Norwegian (Premium) – 43-inch pitch;

lounge access; three-course meal

SAS (SAS Plus) – Lounge access; free WiFi;

three-course meal

Singapore Airlines (Premium Economy) –

Seat reclines up to 8 inches; option to

reserve 'Book the Cook' dishes 24 hours in

advance

Qantas (Premium Economy) – Cabins

have 32 to 40 seats and dedicated flight

attendant; noise-cancelling headsets

Thomas Cook Airlines (Premium Class)

– 35-inch pitch with 6-inch recline; menu

designed by celebrity chef James Martin

TUI (Premium Club) – Lounge access;

fast-track through security

United Airlines (Premium Plus) –

21-24 Premium Plus seats, depending on

aircraft, being rolled out

Vietnam Airlines (Premium Economy) –

7/8-inch seat recline; 38-inch pitch on

A350s, 42-inch pitch on B787s

Virgin Atlantic (Premium) – Dedicated

check-in and bag drop; welcome drink

and newspaper; meals served on china plates

36 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


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UK hotels update

Rooms

boom

Brexit is coming but so are thousands of new UK

hotel rooms – but will this extra capacity benefit

travel buyers in 2019 and beyond, asks Rob Gill

Premier Inn

Forecasts about the likely movement

in UK hotel prices during 2019

have arrived with a very big

asterisk marked Brexit, particularly

when it comes to the prospect of there

being no deal between the UK and EU

from March 29 onwards.

But if we ignore that ominous cloud (as

difficult as that may be), most predictions

suggest that hotel rates in the UK will rise

during 2019, although perhaps not as much

as in other parts of Europe.

BCD Travel is estimating an overall rise in

UK rates of between 3% and 5%, while rival

travel management company Carlson

Wagonlit Travel (CWT) forecasts a 3.5% yearon-year

increase, including a 4% hike for

rates at “upscale” properties. This compares

with CWT’s overall forecast for a 5.6% rise in

rates across western Europe for 2019.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) thinks that

the increase in UK rates will be even more

restrained with average daily rates (ADR) up

by just £1 to £150 for London next year, and

a similarly slow rise in the rest of the UK

from an average rate of £72 to £73.

More the merrier

Whatever happens with Brexit, it is unlikely

to derail – at least in the short term – the

development and opening of an impressive

array of new hotels around the UK.

London is expected to see the addition of

11,600 hotel rooms by 2020 on top of the

existing 140,000 rooms in the capital,

according to a report by promotional

agency London & Partners and property

manager JLL. Major projects include The

Londoner in Leicester Square, the former

US embassy in Grosvenor Square being

converted into a Rosewood property,

Hard Rock Hotel London (taking over

The Cumberland) and Art’otel London

Battersea Power Station.

But this extra capacity may not lead to

lower rates for travel buyers, especially if

the hurdle of a so-called “hard Brexit” is

successfully avoided in the coming months.

David Chappell, Technology Director at

TMC Fello, says: “I doubt that the projected

additional capacity will result in a lower

price for the end user, as even with the

uncertainty of Brexit, demand remains high

and the combination of London being both

a strong leisure and business destination

will likely not see prices fall in the near to

medium term.”

38 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


UK HoTELS UPDATE

Consolidation of

the global hotel

industry has not resulted in

a reduction in the number

of brands being operated by

these growing giants. In fact,

the opposite is true”

However, hotel booking portal HRS says

it has seen rates in London fall by 5% in

2018 following a “reduction in business

investment due to uncertainty as Brexit

nears” and adds that a period of “greater

currency volatility would be unhelpful”.

Outside London, PwC says there will be an

estimated 21,760 new rooms introduced

across the rest of the UK during 2019. Major

growth is expected in Manchester with

another 1,200 hotel rooms scheduled to be

added in 2019, while there will also be

significant new developments in other key

cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow,

Aberdeen and Liverpool.

UK-orientated budget brands, such as

Premier Inn and Travelodge, continue to

lead the way in terms of openings.

Whitbread-owned Premier Inn currently has

13,000 UK rooms in the “pipeline”, while

Travelodge opened its 395-room flagship

London City hotel earlier this year, which

will be among 20 new openings for the

brand during 2018.

But it’s not just these low-cost brands

opening new properties, CWT has estimated

there will be more than 70 independent

boutique-style hotels opening across the UK

by the end of 2019 adding 6,100 rooms.

Budget-boutique brand Point A Hotels is

typical, adding Edinburgh and London

Kensington to its existing portfolio of seven

properties in June and July respectively.

Despite more rooms coming on to the

market, Alwyn Burrage, Supplier Relations

Manager at ATPI UK, agrees there is

“upward pricing pressure” with higher

labour costs helping to push up rates.

“London is doing extremely well – tourism

is always a factor,” he says. “We see

Manchester levelling off as more capacity

comes into market but with some hotels

moving upmarket on rates and product.

“Bristol is the fastest-growing city for

mid-week rates with Hinkley Point C

[construction of a new nuclear power

station] being a factor. Birmingham rates

are rising with HS2 and more corporate

relocations into the area – such as HSBC –

are also pushing up rates.”

Penny Munn, Head of Supplier Relations

for Corporate Travel Management (CTM),

adds: “The feeling from our hotel partners is

that they are absolutely maximising their

revenues where business is strong, but

there are deals to be done where business

is softer, especially in the regions.”

What's in a name?

The consolidation of the global hotel

industry – as illustrated by Marriott’s

acquisition of Starwood and Accor’s buying

spree of smaller hotel groups such as

Movenpick – has not resulted in a reduction

in the number of brands being operated by

these growing hotel giants. In fact, the

opposite is true.

Indeed, Marriott shows no desire to

reduce its current portfolio of 30 brands,

and the name of the game seems to be in

driving product differentiation through

myriad brands as a way of capturing more

business and maintaining higher hotel

rates. For example, InterContinental Hotels

Group (IHG) has launched a new upscale

“conversion” brand called voco, which

includes the former Principal St David’s

Hotel in Cardiff.

This trend is also evident in the UK budget

sector where both Premier Inn and

Travelodge have launched new sub-brands.

Premier Inn has already established its Hub

by Premier Inn brand which offers rooms

around 45% smaller than in its standard

properties at around 11.4m 2 . While the new

ZIP by Premier Inn brand will offer even

smaller rooms (8.5m 2 ) when it launches in

Cardiff next year.

Brands focused on offering smaller rooms

(often without windows) are nothing new in

the UK, with the likes of easyHotels,

Malmaison

Macdonald Hotels

Zip by Premier Inn

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

39


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UK HoTELS UPDATE

Some brands

offer dynamic rate

programmes to accommodate

a broad range of audiences.

But multiple studies prove

they are not the best avenue to

the lowest corporate rate”

YotelAir and Z Hotels already well

established in this market. A report by

property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton

found that 18% of new UK hotel rooms in

2018 were of “compact size”, which was an

annual record for the industry.

Travelodge, meanwhile, has gone the

other way with the launch of its enhanced

SuperRooms, which are billed as being a

“premium economy” product featuring

in-room coffee machines, mood lighting and

pillow choices. These upgraded rooms form

a major part of the new Travelodge Plus

properties, which also feature bar cafes.

Consultant Raj Sachdave, Managing

Partner at Black Box Partnerships, also cites

Marriott’s Moxy brand as offering a

“differentiated product and service” from

the company’s more mainstream brands.

“Moxy’s a really interesting brand because

they are almost in B locations,” he adds.

They may not be in the centre of a city but

Art'otel Battersea Power Station

the pitch to the traveller is that they will get

a much smarter experience than a property

in that A location.”

Dual-branded properties continue to be

a leading trend for the big players in the

market such as Accor, Marriott and IHG – a

recent example is IHG’s new Crowne Plaza/

Holiday Inn Express at Heathrow’s Terminal

4, which has a combined 761 rooms.

The price to pay

One of the biggest debates around hotel

sourcing is whether traditional corporate

rates are still the best avenue for travel

buyers – particularly in a world where hotels

are using increasingly sophisticated dynamic

pricing strategies and have been pushing

for more direct bookings from both

business and leisure travellers.

Rachel Newns, Hotel Programme Manager

at FCM Travel Solutions, says: “A fixed rate

programme still forms the core for many UK

organisations. In high-volume locations they

offer better value to companies than

dynamic pricing and offer companies the

opportunity to better predict their future

travel spend.

Jurys Inn

“However, many customers are focusing

effort into their top travel destinations and

then using dynamic pricing to provide

greater coverage in the form of chain-wide

or regional dynamic discounts.”

A lot of organisations are opting for this

two-tier strategy by looking for negotiated

rates on their highest volume hotels or

chains, and then using dynamic pricing for

the rest of their programme. But it’s not

always a simple choice as different rates

may have different inclusions and conditions.

Chris Crowley, HRS’s Vice President EMEA,

says: “Some brands offer dynamic rate

programmes to accommodate a broad

range of audiences. But our multiple studies

on a variety of corporate programmes have

proven that dynamic rates are not the best

avenue to the lowest corporate rate.

The quest for the lowest rate can often

impact the flexibility and ancillary items

attached to a rate – these are items that are

often important to business travellers.”

Hotel companies’ enthusiasm for dynamic

pricing and direct bookings may also seem

to be a challenge to the traditional RFP

procurement process.


THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

41


UK HoTELS UPDATE

The RFP process helps

and supports hotels by

underpinning their revenue

strategy because they are

getting guaranteed business”

Steve Fitz-Costa, AccorHotels’ Director of

Sales – Business Travel, states the case for

the hotels: “Shifting to a high percentage of

dynamic pricing has huge benefits. There

are significant costs associated with

applying a detailed RFP across many

destinations – both monetary and time.

“Corporates need availability in all of their

destinations and dynamic pricing offers a

high level of availability while at the same

time delivering a guaranteed discount

based on their total global spend.”

While Accor operates a “blended model”

featuring both negotiated and dynamic

prices, Fitz-Costa adds: “While RFPs secure

a rate year-round, regardless of spikes in

prices, this could mean that in the event

of a drop, travel buyers could be seeing

their contracted rates higher on certain

days of the week.”

But Black Box’s Raj Sachdave doesn’t think

the days of the RFP are numbered because

they can still be advantageous for hotels. He

says: “The RFP process helps and supports

hotels by underpinning their revenue

strategy because they are essentially getting

guaranteed business. Hotels are still hungry

for RFPs. If you don’t participate, then you’re

throwing away that guaranteed business.”

Integration game

Another growing issue has been in how to

incorporate the likes of Premier Inn and

Travelodge, whose businesses are essentially

built around direct bookings, into corporate

booking platforms.

Technology is the obvious answer, with

content from these budget brands now fed

into online booking tools through API links.

Travelodge content is readily available

through booking channels depending on

the tool chosen and the price plan – GDS or

booking fee – that the client wishes to pay,”

Rosewood Grosvenor Square

says ATPI’s Alwyn Burrage. “The same

can be said of Premier Inn, whose entire

inventory is accessible through API-linked

tools. We see this increasing as major hotel

chains look to reduce distribution costs

through web and API connectivity.”

David Chappell, Fello’s Technology

Director, adds: “From a buyer’s perspective,

it’s about ease of access and then return of

data. If it fulfils your business need and you

can book it easily – either direct or via

intermediaries – then so long as you can

see what’s being booked in the

management information, the choice of

supplier or access point to booking

becomes less about the actual content and

more about duty of care and policy control.”

If hotels with direct booking strategies

weren’t enough, the market has become

further complicated by major online travel

agencies such as Expedia and Booking.com

moving their tanks on to the turf of the

traditional managed travel sector.

“OTAs are increasing the amount and

choice of content available to corporate

travellers,” says FCM’s Rachel Newns.

“This doesn’t necessarily change what

[ TIPS & TRICKS ]

BCD Travel advises travel buyers to adopt a

flexible hotel programme, including both

dynamic pricing and negotiated rates. The

TMC also says organisations should only

agree to a deal with minimum room night

requirements if the hotel guarantees last

room availability. Booking cheaper nonrefundable

rates can also make sense for

travellers who are “unlikely” to cancel.

RoomIt by CWT says buyers can shave

1%-2% off their hotel programme costs by

using price tracking tools to monitor rates.

They should also encourage travellers to

stay within the managed programme by

allowing them to earn points and bonus

incentives on their bookings.

HRS advises using a data-driven sourcing

programme comparing rates from

preferred suppliers, chains and

independent hotel groups. Rates should

also be audited to ensure negotiated rates

are being delivered by hotel companies.

42 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


UK HoTELS UPDATE

[ LEADING UK HOTEL BRANDS ]

APEX HOTELS

UK hotels: 10

Apex Hotels is a family-owned collection of ten

upscale hotels in London, Bath, Edinburgh,

Glasgow and Dundee.

rural properties. Most hotels have facilities for

meetings, incentives and conferences, while

Macdonald runs The Club loyalty scheme for

guests and Club Corporate to reward PAs,

event organisers and corporate bookers.

Travelodge

corporates actually choose to book,

but meets the desire for more choice.

Content is a key request from corporate

customers at the moment.”

Newns continues: “Direct advertising and

inducements to book direct are impacting

many companies’ adherence to their travel

programme. This means that tracked

volume may drop even if actual travel

spend has increased or stayed the same.

This makes it harder to negotiate ongoing

rates and benefits.”

HRS’s Chris Crowley acknowledges the

“consumerisation” of business travel but

adds that the move by the OTAs into the

market has forced the managed travel

industry to “up its game”.

“While leisure sites still facilitate plenty of

business travel bookings, the change we see

today is that the travel managers and

procurement leaders overseeing managed

programmes have a better understanding

of the ramifications when travellers book

outside of appropriate channels,” he says.

Whatever Brexit brings in the coming

months, these distribution debates and

strategies will carry on regardless.

Meanwhile the trend for smaller hotel

rooms at UK properties looks set to

continue, although this shrinking process

may not necessarily help to bring overall

room rates down – at least, not if you

believe the predictions of the various 2019

hotel industry forecasts.

DE VERE

UK hotels: 17

De Vere Hotels (formerly De Vere Venues) runs

a series of country house hotels around the

UK, as well as conference and event centres

such as De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms

in London and De Vere East Midlands

Conference Centre.

GLH HOTELS

UK hotels: 17

Operates five brands – Amba, Guoman, Thistle,

Thistle Express and Hard Rock London –

primarily in London where it has more than

5,000 rooms. The big move in 2019 will see

giant Marble Arch property The Cumberland

being converted into London’s first Hard Rock

Hotel with 1,000 rooms – it is scheduled to

open in spring 2019.

GRANGE HOTELS

UK hotels: 17

London-based independent hotel group with

all of its upmarket properties in the UK capital

except for one hotel in Bracknell, Berkshire.

Grange offers Club Service upgrades for

business travellers to access its business

lounges, as well as an Executive Club

loyalty scheme.

JURYS INN

UK hotels: 38

The mid-range chain with around 8,000 rooms

in its portfolio was purchased by Swedish firm

Pandox and Israel’s Fattal Group in December

2017. Jurys’ UK operations now include seven

properties under the Leonardo brand. Jurys

Business Booker is an online booking service

offering negotiated rates for companies

booking direct.

MACDONALD HOTELS & RESORTS

UK hotels: 45

This upscale group has hotels across England

and Scotland, including both city centre and

MALMAISON/HOTEL DU VIN

UK hotels: 34

Frasers Hospitality Group acquired these sister

boutique-style brands in 2015 with plans for

further expansion in the UK. Currently there

are 15 Malmaison and 19 Hotel du Vin

properties. Malmaison plans to open new

properties in Edinburgh, York and

Bournemouth in the next couple of years.

PREMIER INN

UK hotels: 795

Premier Inn continues its rapid expansion with

another 13,000 rooms in its UK pipeline on top

of its current stock of 74,000 rooms. The

budget brand also operates ten Hub by

Premier Inn hotels in London and Edinburgh

with smaller bedrooms and is trialling even

smaller rooms at its new ZIP brand, which is

due to make its debut in Cardiff in March

2019. The brand also operates its Business

Booker online tool for the corporate market.

TRAVELODGE

UK hotels: 550

Fellow budget brand Travelodge currently has

around 42,000 rooms. Aggressive expansion

has seen 20 properties opening in 2018

including its new flagship 395-room Travelodge

London City which debuted in July.

With an eye on the corporate market, the

company is offering an enhanced product

through “premium economy” SuperRooms and

its Travelodge Plus “budget chic” format

which has been rolled out at six

hotels so far.

VILLAGE HOTELS

UK hotels: 29

This group of contemporary UK hotels has a

strong presence in UK cities outside London

including four properties in Manchester and

two in both Birmingham and Leeds. Village

Business Club offers meeting spaces, hotdesks,

wifi, food and refreshments, and is available

at eight hotels.

44 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


TECHNOLOGY

[ TRAVELLER EXPERIENCE ]

DATA FROM ALL DIRECTIONS

Corporates would be wise to tackle their data sources head on and put

traveller experience at the heart of their programmes, says Linda Fox

An interesting

report

emerged

from ACTE and BCD

Travel recently

saying that

despite the tons

of data that the

corporate travel

community has

access to, the metrics

used to determine the

success of a trip are not

necessarily effective.

According to the report, travel managers

continue to use decade-old factors such

as spend and savings data and booking

statistics to measure the return-oninvestment

of trips. And this is despite how

much technology and booking channels

have advanced in recent years as well as

the fact that there are newer and more

effective ways to help measure ROI.

The Quality Management in Corporate

Travel study, which surveyed about 300

travel managers, reveals that while 87%

of them felt it’s important to measure

traveller wellbeing, only 21% are actually

using it as a metric.

Measuring the traveller engagement with

a TMC or travel department is also

highlighted as important by 90% of travel

managers, but only 37% use it.

Many an airline, travel

management company or hotel

boss has talked of the power

of data at any number of

conferences in recent

months, but what's the

point if you can’t

harness it?

Thankfully, the chat

isn't all lip service.

A number of

travel technology

companies and TMCs have launched data

tools in recent months. Some such as

Egencia’s Analytics Studio are about helping

corporates understand and analyse their

data to uncover patterns and correlations

– all with a view to making savings.

Similarly, CWT Travel Consolidator aims

to capture every part of company’s travel

and expense spend to help travel

managers make more informed decisions.

The TMC says that algorithms within the

tool consolidate and clean-up the data –

for accuracy purposes – which is gathered

from air, hotel and transport spend as well

as expense and HR data.

Also flexing its data muscles is Travelport.

The company has joined forces with IBM

on a data platform called Travel Manager.

The platform uses artificial intelligence to

help corporate travel managers and their

agency partners increase spend visibility

and improve efficiency.

It uses Travelport and IBM data as well

as data from other sources such as social

media. The company says the technology

will enable the corporate travel community

to analyse the impact on spend of booking

travel a week in advance.

With annual corporate travel spend set

to rise from $1.3trillion annually now to

$1.6trillion by 2020, travel managers and

TMCs need to get a grip on their data.

As the ACTE/BCD report highlights, the

industry could benefit from following other

industries such as online retail and put

the customer experience – or traveller

experience – at the heart of everything.

While 87% of travel

managers feel it’s

important to measure traveller

wellbeing, only 21% are actually

using it as a metric”

46

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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


TALKING TRAVEL

Gigging the globe

ZOE LYONS

Angela Sara West talks to multi-award-winning comedian, Zoe Lyons, about cracking up

as a castaway on Survivor and her laughable life on the world’s comedy circuit

On the comedy circuit, she’s shared

the bill with Robin Williams, and

when not Live At The Apollo,

she’s on our screens or airwaves alongside

Alan Davies, Frank Skinner, Dara O’Briain,

John Bishop or Jason Manford.

We’ve also watched the Mock The Week

regular win Celebrity Mastermind and learn

useful life lessons during her castaway

experience for the first series of Survivor.

“I loved the sea and got quite good at spear

fishing. I learned that, with practice, I was able

to hold my breath for ages… and that ‘hell’ is

other people,” says Lyons.

Time on the remote Malaysian island of

Pulau Tiga pushed this quick-witted comic to

her physical and mental limits, leaving her

most unamused. “The low points were hunger,

bugs and rats… lots and lots of rats. So much

of anything like that is mind over matter. I

absolutely started to unravel by the end. There

was one night when I started to hear voices –

that’s when I knew I’d probably had enough.”

The side-splitting stand-up survived to take

the world’s stages by storm. International

tours have seen her exporting laughter around

the globe. “I have gigged all over Australia and

New Zealand, the Middle East, the Far East and

lots of places in Europe,” she says.

Her time Down Under, where she has gigged

in nearly every state, particularly stood out for

her. “I loved touring Australia. It’s just the

vastness of the place and the variety of

landscapes.” Her tour took in a few remote

outback towns. “We were basically the only

people there who weren’t working the mines.”

Currently chortling her way around Britain

on her UK tour, it’s a different hotel three or

four nights a week, and she is particularly

looking forward to a good laugh up north:

“I’m especially excited about Cumbria. I haven’t

spent much time in that part of the country.”

The Irish funny girl recently revisited her

roots for her Radio 4 series Zoe Lyons: Passport

Paddy. “We went from Cork through County

Tipperary and Waterford to Dunmore East,

where I grew up. We finished in Dublin, where

we recorded a little gig. It was a lot of fun and

bizarre to go back to my old school. The

memories came flooding back,” says Lyons.

My travels these days

entirely focus on

scuba diving. I’m planning

next year’s trip to Baja, to dive

in the sea of Cortez”

Lyons also enjoyed a trip to Jamaica this year,

to film a TUI advert and share stories with

fellow comedian Mark Watson. “The whole

experience was so much fun. Working with

Mark was hilarious. It was a dream job.”

Recently she has been cooking up a storm as

a contestant on this year’s Celebrity Masterchef,

making the semi-finals. And she favours local

cuisine on her travels. “I love food so much

and always try to seek out something

authentic wherever I am. Markets are always

good, particularly if they also serve hot food.

I ate myself stupid in Madrid,” she laughs.

As for restaurants, she says a certain Swiss

eatery – The Kronenhalle in Zürich, with its

legendary bar – offers the real feel-good

factor. She also knows the best bar for a spot

of stand-up… and singing. “The Tug Bar in

Wasilla, Alaska. I spent the funniest night of my

life there singing karaoke with my wife and

brother.” As for culture and a warm welcome,

she recommends Amsterdam. “I love the art

and adore the people.”

A big fan of British Airways, she never flies

without her noise-cancelling headphones. Her

top travel tip? “Pack light; you won’t wear half

the stuff you take anyway,” she says.

When back in Blighty, culture vulture Lyons

heads to London for a break, theatre visit and

restaurant exploration. Back in her home town

of Brighton, she lives a mere stone’s throw

away from her favourite place to chill. “I love

walking my dog on the beach every day. I

never tire of looking at the sea.”

Overseas, you’ll find her mainly underwater,

putting her new-found breath-holding skills to

good use. “My travels abroad these days

almost entirely focus on scuba diving. I’m now

planning next year’s trip to Baja, to dive in the

sea of Cortez.” You’ll sometimes also spot her

up a snowy peak too. “I love being outside and

am mad about skiing. The last few trips have

been to Austria. France is great, but some

places are so expensive these days you need

to take out a mortgage for lunch!”

Brexit is no laughing matter, so she’s taking it

seriously. How will it impact on travel? “We just

don’t know, but I have taken the precaution

of getting an Irish passport. Travelling for

business might become more complicated if

you need a visa for every trip to Europe.”

The best thing about her business travels? “It

opens your eyes to nature, to politics, and to

other human beings. It’s no lie to say that my

passport is my most precious possession.”

48 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


TALKING TRAVEL

ZOE LYONS

Lyons is currently on tour with her new show, Entry

Level Human. Gigs nationwide until March 2019. For

further information, visit: zoelyons.co.uk

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

49


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THE REVIEW

the

Review

THE NEWS & VIEWS

THAT REALLY MATTER

[ the lowdown ]

Businesses shun sharing

economy travel policies

p52

[ the room report ]

Whitbread introduces no-frills

brand ZIP by Premier Inn

p56

[ on the ground ]

All-electric airport shuttle

service hits the road

p58

[ meeting place ]

Travelodge targets UK's major

event venues in new expansion

p59

[ in the air ]

British Airways dances on

down to Charleston

p54

O N T H E M O V E I

The latest industry appointments p60

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

51


THE REVIEW

T H E L O W D O W N

Travellers

confess to

card abuse

Nearly 40% of business

travellers admit to using

corporate cards for personal

purchases, according to a Carlson Wagonlit Travel study.

The figure is highest among European and US travellers,

where 46% of business travellers surveyed confessed to

using company-issued cards for buying personal items

despite it being widely banned. While six in ten travellers

said their employer issues them with a corporate credit card,

nearly half always use their personal card when on business.

“If companies don’t want to issue credit cards – which is

understandable – virtual credit cards are a useful

compromise,” says Christophe Renard, Vice President of

CWT Solutions Group.

lure of hotel loyalty points

causes compliance issue

over two-thirds of travel managers say enforcing travel

policy compliance is among the most challenging

aspects of their job, with the pulling power of hotel

loyalty programmes remaining problematic.

The new research from GBTA and RoomIt by CWT

reveals that compliance, reducing costs and boosting

traveller satisfaction are the top tasks for buyers.

Although 78% of travellers say they are satisfied with

their rate allowances for booking hotels, there is still

evidence of employees booking out of policy to stay at

preferred properties or collect loyalty points.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of travellers say that if

they should have the ability to earn loyalty points, while

51% would risk being reprimanded if it meant they

could book a hotel where they could earn points.

St. Ermin’s Hotel, 2 Caxton Street,

London SW1H OQW +44 (0) 207 222 7888

www.sterminshotel.co.uk

sterminshotel

Business & leisure

in equal measure

Business stays like

Untitled-5 1 16/11/2018 08:26


THE REVIEW

T H E L O W D O W N

M&As

Gray Dawes adds Giles

The Gray Dawes Group

has acquired fellow TMC

Giles Travel – and a

second acquisition is

expected to be announced

before the year’s end.

The addition of Giles

Travel and its specialist

MICE, leisure and brand

marketing divisions will

take Gray Dawes’ annual

turnover to in excess of

£150million and employee

numbers to over 200.

Raptim has the Key

London-based Key Travel

and Holland’s Raptim

Humanitarian Travel are

merging their operations

to form the world’s largest

‘third sector’ travel

management company.

Focusing exclusively on

the humanitarian,

faith-based and academic

sectors, the combined

business will have annual

sales in the region of

£350million.

EFR moves for WD

The EFR Travel Group has

acquired Glasgow’s WD

Travel, accelerating EFR’s

annual turnover to around

£50million, of which

approximately £38m

derives from corporate

travel. Established in 1995,

WD Travel serves clients

across a range of sectors

including shipping,

oil and gas, advertising,

bioscience and IT.

Sabre eyes Farelogix

Travel technology provider

Sabre is poised to acquire

airline technology

specialist Farelogix.

Sabre says the deal will

accelerate delivery of its

NDC-enabled retailing,

distribution and fulfilment

solutions.

Hammond Budget is

mixed bag for sector

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s last Budget before Brexit

elicited both praise and criticism from travel industry players.

Hammond announced 30% growth in infrastructure

spending and a £30billion package to improve England’s

roads, while extending the use of e-passport gates at

airports to citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, New

Zealand and Japan – a move that won widespread support

from the TMC community and airlines.

GTMC Chief Executive Adrian Parkes said further increases

in the long-haul APD rate should “be reconsidered with

Brexit fast approaching”, while Louise Goalen, HBAA

Chairwoman, said: “There is not enough to address the

major talent gap we are facing”. UKinbound’s Chairman,

Mark McVay, added that cuts to APD and VAT would raise

more revenue for the government in the long term.

only 21% of businesses address

sharing economy services in their

travel and expense policies, according

to research by chrome river.

25% plan to incorporate it in the

future and 54% have no plans to

cover it in their travel policy

© AIrBNB

dynamic

travel policy

is the future

new technology will transform

traditional travel policies,

according to BCD Travel's second

of six Inform research papers.

Today’s travellers don’t look at

policy documents, can easily book

outside of company guidelines

and see no motive for following

the rules, notes the report, yet

companies rely on travel policies

to achieve the greatest return on

travel investment and to keep

employees safe on the road.

Companies must therefore

implement new technology to

replace today's static, predefined

policies with dynamic, intuitive and

personalised behaviour management

engines, the report advises.

The days of using travel policy

as a blunt instrument are

numbered. Technology is already

changing travel policy by giving

travel managers the ability to

nudge travellers toward compliant

choices via more dynamic, sensitive

and personalised methods,” says

BCD Travel's Mike Eggleton.

travelperk

WIns funding

for groWTH

Business travel platform

TravelPerk has secured a

£39million investment from top

tech investors and is adding bases

in Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris

following the opening of a London

office. The new funding for the

Barcelona-based company

includes investments from

Kinnevik, Yuri Milner and Tom

Stafford, and will enable Europe's

fastest-growing Software as a

Service company to expand into

new markets and accelerate

growth as it aims to become the

world’s largest corporate travel

management platform.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

53


THE REVIEW

I N T H E A I R

SHENZHEN AIRLINES INTRODUCES

TECH HUB WITH LONG-HAUL FIRST

New summer routes

from BA and Delta

BRITISH Airways and Delta Air Lines have both announced

additional transatlantic services for summer 2019.

BA will launch a twice-weekly route from London Heathrow

to Charleston for the summer from April 4 – the first direct

service between Europe and the South Carolina city.

BA recently announced the introduction of a four-per-week

service from Heathrow to Pittsburgh, also commencing in

April. Charleston flights will be operated by a Boeing 787-8

Dreamliner with return fares in World Traveller starting from

£600, £928 in World Traveller Plus and £1,920 in Club World.

Delta, meanwhile, will double its flights from Edinburgh

next summer by adding a new service to Boston from May

24. It already operates a daily flight to New York.

LONDON'S Heathrow Airport has

extended its network to China to

11 destinations as services

commenced to Shenzhen.

Shenzhen Airlines has launched

a three-times-weekly service to

the city, an emerging economic

powerhouse dubbed China’s

Silicon Valley. The destination was

also recently ranked second on

Lonely Planet’s list of top ten cities

to visit in 2019.

Since the start of 2018 Heathrow

has more than doubled its services

to China, growing the network

from five destinations – Hong

Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou

and Qingdao – to 11, having

also welcomed services to

Chongqing, Wuhan, Sanya,

Changsa, Xi’an and now Shenzhen.

The service is Shenzhen Airlines’

first long-haul route, and offers

connections to its network of 210

domestic routes. Part-owned by

Air China and a member of Star

Alliance, the airline is operating

from Heathrow’s Terminal 2.

Located across the border from

Hong Kong, Shenzhen is one of

China's richest cities and has a

population of over 12 million.

ICELANDAIR SNAPS UP LOW-COST

RIVAL FOR TRANSATLANTIC PUSH

ICELANDAIR Group is poised to purchase rival Wow

air and says the deal will allow both carriers to

“strengthen their international competitiveness”.

The airlines will continue to operate under separate

brands but will have a combined share of the

transatlantic market of around 3.8%. The deal is

subject to approval by Icelandair Group’s shareholders

and competition authorities.

[ TAKING OFF ]

ROYAL BRUNEI AIRLINES' services between London Heathrow

and Brunei are now non-stop between the destinations, with the

airline having dropped the previous stop in Dubai. Services

continue on to Melbourne >> EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES will launch

a three-times-weekly services between Manchester and Tel Aviv on

May 26, 2019 >> SAS will begin operating a twice-weekly service

from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Copenhagen from June 28,

2019. Passengers will be able to connect to a network of over 20

onward destinations in Europe, Asia and North America >>

FLYBMI has increased capacity on its routes from Newcastle to

Brussels and Stavanger by 30% to meet a year-round rise in demand.

29.6%

Airline revenues derived

from premium passengers

Premium class

passengers accounted

for 5.1% of total

international air traffic

for the first eight months

of the year but generated

29.6% of total passenger

revenues, according

to IATA. Premium

passenger demand has

grown faster than its

economy counterpart

54 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


THE REVIEW

I N T H E A I R

IN BRIEF

GTMC UPDATE

FlyArystan plans

Kazakhstan’s national

carrier Air Astana has

unveiled plans to launch a

low-cost airline in 2019.

Called FlyArystan, it will

take off in the first half of

the year and use Airbus

A320 aircraft on largely

domestic routes. It expects

to add regional and

international routes ‘in the

mid-term’. Fares will be

around half of what Air

Astana offers today.

Finnair revamp pledge

Finnair is promising a new

premium economy cabin

on long-haul flights. The

product will not take to the

skies until the end of 2020,

with details released in

due course.

Etihad lounge tie-up

Etihad Airways has

partnered with No1

Lounges to launch a

contemporary airport

lounge brand called ‘The

House’. The project will

begin at London Heathrow

where the current Etihad

Airways lounge will be

rebranded.

Emirates takes AI path

Emirates is close to

launching the world’s first

“biometric path” which

will deliver a “truly

seamless airport journey”

at its hub in Dubai

International Airport.

Utilising the latest

biometric technology

– including facial and iris

recognition – Emirates

passengers will soon be

able to check-in for

their flight, complete

immigration formalities,

enter the Emirates lounge

and board their flights

“simply by strolling

through the airport”.

BRITISH AIRWAYS HAS OPENED THE

DOORS TO ITS NEW-LOOK FIRST LOUNGE AT

NEW YORK JFK'S TERMINAL 7. IT IS THE

AIRLINE’S FIRST LONG-HAUL LOUNGE TO

SHOWCASE THE NEW DESIGN DIRECTION

Gatwick adds capacity

with ‘standby’ option

GATWICK Airport has unveiled plans to increase capacity by

utilising its existing standby runway. Under the airport’s

planning agreements it can only be used when the main

runway is closed for maintenance or emergencies. However,

the 40-year deal will come to an end in 2019 meaning the

runway could be used for departing flights alongside the

main runway by 2020.

Local campaign group Communities Against Gatwick Noise

and Emissions (CAGNE) has opposed the move, although the

airport says its will not result in more noise.

Gatwick also intends to use technology to increase the

capacity of the main runway, as well as safeguarding land

earmarked for a new runway, claiming it is "in the national

interest", despite not having any current plans to build.

Adrian Parkes

Chief Executive, GTMC

As I write my last column of

2018, I can reflect positively

on our achievements this

year, but also recognise

ongoing challenges for our

industry on the horizon.

The most obvious one is

Brexit. However, despite the

uncertainty across so many

industries, we are confident

our members are ready to

advise, manage and deliver

the travel requirements of UK

Plc, whatever the outcome.

The Autumn Budget

revealed measures we

welcome, with the announcement

to extend the use of

E-gates to visitors from the

US, Canada, Australia, New

Zealand and Japan, and the

APD short-haul rate freeze.

We share the wider

disappointment with the

increase of long-haul APD

rates and feel the government

is overlooking the

importance of air travel as a

driving force of economic

growth at a time when we

should be trading globally

and encouraging airlines to

add new routes and capacity.

We will continue to campaign

hard. Our parliamentary

dinner brought together 11

MPs and over 40 TMC

representatives for a lively

debate, not only around

Brexit, APD and Heathrow,

but also infrastructure and

regional connectivity dev-

elopments for the sector.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

55


THE REVIEW

R O O M R E P O R T

COMPACT ROOMS CONTINUE TO

MAKE BIG IMPACT, SAYS REPORT

ZIP by Premier Inn

targets fleeting guests

WHITBREAD has unveiled details of its new no-frills hotel

concept called ZIP by Premier Inn. The first property, located

in the Roath district of Cardiff, is due to open in early 2019

and will feature 138 scaled-back rooms.

Promising “Basics done brilliantly”, rooms will be around

half the size of a standard Premier Inn room at 8.5m 2

and include ensuite bathrooms, twin beds with Hypnos

mattresses that can be pushed together, free wifi, TVs and

air conditioning. Prices start at £19 per night.

Whitbread plans to locate the properties on the outskirts

of major towns and cities around the UK and is targeting

short-stay, value-conscious guests who are looking to “zip in

and zip out”. Rooms are now available to book online.

HOTEL rooms in the UK are getting

smaller and compact rooms

accounted for nearly one-fifth of all

room openings in 2018, according

to commercial property consultancy

Lambert Smith Hampton.

Its report, Do Disturb: Disruption

& Innovation in the Hotel Market,

finds that the compact hotel room

concept, which typically prioritises

location, design quality and hi-tech

features over room size, is gaining

traction in major UK cities.

More than 4,000 rooms were

delivered in new compact hotels

during 2017-18 and there are a

further 5,000 compact rooms in

the development pipeline. Overall,

there has been a 95% increase in

the number of compact hotel

rooms delivered since 2016.

The report cites the growth of

brands such as Hub by Premier

Inn, Motel One, Z Hotels, Moxy,

easyHotels and Point A.

“Not only do these cleverly

designed rooms appeal to the

younger end of the hotel customer

base but they have enabled

hoteliers to provide affordable

bedrooms in high value locations,”

says LSH's Nick Boyd.

IHG BRINGS AVID BRAND TO EUROPE

WITH AMBITIOUS GERMAN PLANS

INTERCONTINENTAL Hotels Group (IHG) will launch its

Avid brand in Europe with the opening of 15 hotels in

Germany. “Avid hotels has seen strong signings in the

US, Canada and Mexico, making it IHG’s most successful

new brand launch since Holiday Inn Express back in

1990,” says Kenneth Macpherson, Chief Executive

Officer, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. The brand

promises the "essentials done exceptionally well".

[ OPEN FOR BUSINESS ]

The opening of the 366-room ATHENS MARRIOTT HOTEL marks

the brand's return to the Greek capital >> Aparthotel operator

ADAGIO has opened a new location in Brentford, West London, as

part of the Kew Eye Tower GWQ Development >> ACCORHOTELS

has opened the Mercure Leeds Centre Hotel, bringing the number

of UK Mercure properties to 80 >> The MANDARIN ORIENTAL

WANGFUJING will open early in 2019 – the group's first hotel in

the Chinese capital >> The ABU DHABI EDITION opened in

November, marking the Marriott brand's arrival in the Middle East

>> THE DUPONT CIRCLE HOTEL, Washington DC, will relaunch this

spring following a refurbishment by The Doyle Collection.

£73

The average hotel rate

outside of London in 2019

Average daily rates at

hotels across the UK -

excluding London - are

predicted to rise 1.2%

to £73, according to

PwC's 2019 UK Hotels

Forecast. London rates

are set to rise just 0.8%,

to £150 per night, with

'uncertainty not helping

business demand'.

Occupancy levels will

remain unchanged

56 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


THE REVIEW

R O O M R E P O R T

IN BRIEF

SACO cottons on

Serviced apartment

operator SACO has opened

its third Locke aparthotel

– a 160-studio property in

the heart of Manchester.

The Whitworth Locke

location – a former cotton

mill – is set around a

central atrium and

features a crossfit gym,

coffee house, cocktail bar

and co-working spaces.

SACO has also opened a

27-studio aparthotel, The

Moorgate, in London.

NH Hotels FastPass

NH Hotels is rolling out

FastPass, a programme

enabling guests to

check-in, select their room

and check-out online. The

group claims it is the first

urban hotel group in

Europe to offer the

combination of functionality.

The implementation

process will be delivered

in two phases and by

2019 FastPass will be

available in some 330 of

the group’s hotels.

Staybridge goes Dutch

IHG has opened its first

Staybridge Suites in the

Netherlands, Staybridge

Suites The Hague –

Parliament. The 101-suite

aparthotel is situated

opposite the world’s oldest

parliament building still in

use, the Binnenhof.

Dual-brand landmark

The Arora Group's

dual-branded Crowne

Plaza and Holiday Inn

property at London

Heathrow's Terminal 4

opened at the end of

October. It is the largest

hotel opening in the UK in

2018 and the largest hotel

directly connected to a

British airport terminal.

Openings put London

rates under pressure

LONDONʼS average room rates dipped in 2018 and a spate

of new openings in the next year will add further competition.

According to the London Hotel Development Monitor 2018,

the average rate for the first half of the year fell 1% to £141.

The report from JLL and London & Partners says over

11,000 new hotel rooms are expected to open in the capital

city by 2020 – an increase of 8%. It also notes that a third of

new hotel stock falls into the upscale segment, while upper

upscale openings will account for 22% and economy hotels

will make up 26% of growth.

"There has been a slight decline in hotel performance since

late 2017 as London absorbed additional supply," says the

report, which anticipates rising visitor numbers will help

prop up average rates as the city's hotel supply grows.

HILTON HOPES LIFESTYLE LAUNCH

WILL BE A MOTTO TO REMEMBER

HILTON has announced the

launch of an affordable lifestyle

brand named Motto by Hilton.

It will open Motto properties in

popular neighbourhoods and

prime locations within cities across

Europe, the Americas, the Middle

East and Asia Pacific.

Properties will have competitive

rates and various multi-purpose

spaces. Rooms will average around

163 square feet and feature

space-saving elements such as

wall-beds, segmented shower

and toilet stalls and stowable

multifunctional furniture.

Temperature, lighting and TVs will

all be controlled via the Hilton

Honors mobile app.

In the UK, the first 100-bed Motto

by Hilton will be located in

Marylebone, London. Construction

is due to start in January 2019, with

a scheduled opening date of 2020.

ITM UPDATE

Scott Davies

Chief Executive, ITM

At a recent ITM event a group

of buyers evaluated a number

of TMCsʼ pitch presentations

from senior figures within

these organisations – and the

feedback was interesting.

While the presentations

were polished and the

presenters showed how

passionate they were, two

things stood out.

Firstly, Powerpoint. As an

industry, we’ve got to find

other ways to communicate

– try anything to stand out.

Secondly, the travel buyers

expressed frustration that

many of the USPs presented

weren’t unique at all.

Aside from client-specific

criteria and the obvious

boxes to be ticked, a TMC

sales pitch to a buyer needs

to achieve the following:

1) Culture matching is

essential, but don’t just

describe your company

culture – demonstrate it so

the client knows what it will

feel like to work with you.

2) Know the maximum of

three things you want the

client to take away, and

prove them convincingly.

3) Be energetic & memorable!

Note I didn’t mention service

models, shareholders, NDC,

chatbots, content, pricing,

etc. You can get to this stuff

but, if you don’t do the

above, prepare to be very

quickly forgotten!

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

57


THE REVIEW

O N T H E G R O U N D

EUROPCAR URGES COMPANIES

TO SIGN UP TO NEW ACCOUNTS

All-electric shuttle

service hits the road

AIRPORT shuttle operator, Driven, is taking to the roads this

month, claiming to be the only all-electric rideshare service

in Europe. The new company operates a fleet of Tesla

Model X vehicles to appeal to companies implementing

more sustainable travel programmes.

It is targeting both the leisure and corporate market and,

for the latter, has developed a travel management

application that enables companies to book trips and track

activity and costs. The tool also provides detailed reporting

and highlights potential savings. Pre-booked door-to-door

trips cost from £9 per person for a 40-minute trip. All drivers

are employed by Driven and the 24/7 operation serves all

locations within three hours of major UK airports.

COMPANIES from multinationals

to SMEs can sign up to Europcar’s

new online account service.

The tool is designed to streamline

the process for opening and

managing an account and has

been developed in direct response

to business customers’ needs for

seamlessness and speed.

Europcar says companies can

open an account in as little as

three minutes. Once registered,

users can instantly access

applicable rates to corporate

accounts with a discount of up to

20% applied to bookings without

any annual fees. The service

is currently available in ten

countries, including the UK,

France, Spain, Portugal, Italy,

Ireland, Australia, New Zealand,

Switzerland and Belgium.

Europcar hopes the service

will strengthen its position with

corporates. The vehicle hire

company operates multiple

brands including Europcar,

Goldcar, which focuses on

low-cost hire, and Ubeeqo, which

specialises in fleet and mobility

solutions for the business and

end-customers market.

ENTERPRISE TRIPLES ITS PRESENCE

AT MANCHESTER AIRPORT

ENTERPRISE Holdings has more than tripled its car

hire capacity at Manchester Airport following a move

to a new, larger location at the airport’s car rental

village. The expansion follows several years of

double-digit growth in demand from renters through

the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and

Alamo Rent A Car brands. It will also enable

customers to access a wider range of vehicles.

[ ON THE ROAD ]

>> ADDISON LEE GROUP has been selected to lead a £15million

UK government-backed consortium to launch autonomous vehicle

(AV) services in London by 2021. Designed to complement existing

public transport, the service will be app-based, on demand and

based on ride-sharing. Vehicles will be low-emission and rides will

be priced at a level to generate demand without impacting other

public transport >> Train operator GRAND CENTRAL has teamed

up with CrossCountry, Transpennine Express and Northern to

offer reduced fares for passengers connecting between the

operators' services. The new through-ticketing deals are issued as

a single ticket and are available up to 12 weeks in advance.

21%

Eurostar's business

travel boom

The number of business

passengers travelling on

Eurostar services rose

21% in the third quarter

of 2018, helping propel

overall passenger

numbers up 12% and

sales revenue by 17%.

Meanwhile, leisure

traffic has been boosted

by the operator's new

services between the UK

and the Netherlands

58 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


THE REVIEW

M E E T I N G P L A C E

IN BRIEF

New Hyatt M&E tool

Hyatt Hotels has launched

Hyatt Planner Portal, a tool

for meeting and events

bookers to manage the

entire planning process,

from enquiries, booking

and contracts to attendee

information and costings.

The portal also contains

information on upcoming

and past events, giving

users the ability to review

details, access event history

and generate reports. The

portal is invitation-only

and will be available across

Hyatt’s global portfolio

in early 2019.

Inntel shakes it up

Meetings and travel

management company

Inntel has 'broken the

mould' by establishing

specialist teams, distinguishing

between Simple

Meetings, Strategic

Meetings and Events for

the first time. “Our

bespoke approach puts our

clients’ business objectives

centre stage and improves

attendee experience,” says

Inntel's Douglas O’Neill.

IHG gets Social

InterContinental Hotels

Group (IHG) has partnered

with meetings platform

Social Tables to launch a

groups and meetings shop

and digital RFP experience.

The tool incorporates

meetings and events

spaces across the Intercontinental,

Crowne Plaza,

Kimpton and Holiday Inn

brands, with information

on the venues including

room capacities, floor

plans and interactive maps,

along with image galleries

and nearby attractions. The

partnership has already

seen users submit over

15,000 RFPs to IHG.

Travelodge sets sights

on key M&E venues

TRAVELODGE is set to invest £100million in targeting the

UK’s largest conference and events centre locations. With

the recent opening of a new property at Telford International

Centre, the budget hotel chain now operates hotels close to

20 of the UK’s largest conference centres, and it is now

searching for a further ten sites.

The UK events sector is a growing market, contributing

£42billion to the economy in terms of direct spend by event

delegates, attendees and organisers. “Due to the growing

volume of events taking place across the country, there is a

shortage of good quality and low-cost accommodation close

to event venues,” says Travelodge's Paul Harvey.

The group has experienced strong growth from business

customers over the last three years and they now account

for more than half of all sales.

[ NEW & IMPROVED ]

>> A new multi-million-pound event space, MAGAZINE LONDON,

will open on the Greenwich Peninsula in summer 2019. The

riverbank venue will offer 5,393m 2 of flexible space >> London's

RSA HOUSE has completed a nine-month overhaul of its Vaults

events space, now with capacity for up to 200 delegates >>

VINE HOTELS has added vegan delegate menus across its

portfolio of seven UK venues >> A new purpose-built venue,

EVENTS @ NO6, opens for business in London this January, close

to Aldgate and Aldgate East tube stations.

ACTE UPDATE

Greeley Koch

Executive Director, ACTE

We end the year – and begin

another – facing a challenge:

how to truly measure the

success of a business trip.

Not by the old yardsticks of

savings and compliance, but

by, well, we’re not sure what.

Or how. But we do know it

must happen soon.

According to an ACTE Global

survey of travel managers,

most respondents want a

better way to evaluate their

travel programmes. While 87%

of respondents said traveller

wellness and productivity

should be considered, only

21% actually do so.

Rules and money are still

the go-to criteria for 80% of

managers, despite their

wanting new methodology.

Despite knowing that good

travel programmes help

retention and recruitment.

Despite knowing that

changes will make their

travellers more profitable.

Figuring out what and how

to calibrate will be a

monumental endeavour.

The only, and best, way

forward is by working

together – discussing

research, talking to peers and

attending conferences.

Just because something is

easily quantifiable doesn’t

mean it’s worth quantifying.

Make your metrics work for

your travellers, not just your

company’s financial analyst.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

59


THE REVIEW

O N T H E M O V E

EVENTS

DECEMBER 6

ASAP CONVENTION

ETC Venues Bishopsgate, London

asapconvention.org.uk

DECEMBER 11

JAMES STEVENSON LIAM BROWN JUSTIN BULLOCK

JOINS: Amex GBT

AS: Vice President & General Manager UK

FROM: Hogg Robinson Group

PROMOTED AT: Marriott International

TO: President & MD, Europe

FROM: President, Franchise Service

JOINS: Inntel

AS: Head of Account Management

FROM: Click Travel

TBTM CHRISTMAS PARTY

Grange St Paul's Hotel, London

thebusinesstravelmag.com

James Stevenson has switched

from his previous role as HRG

Global Sales Director as part of

Liam Brown will step in to

oversee European business in

2019, taking over from the

Justin Bullock has joined Inntel

and is tasked with delivering

exceptional levels of manage-

JANUARY 1

on-going moves to integrate

retiring Amy McPherson.

ment for high value, long-term

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL PEOPLE AWARDS

Nominations open!

the business with Amex GBT

and strengthen UK operations.

Dubliner Brown has worked in

the US for the last 30 years.

partnerships with clients. He

has worked for several TMCs.

thepeopleawards.co.uk

FEBRUARY 20-21

BUSINESS TRAVEL SHOW

Olympia London

businesstravelshow.com

MARCH 21

ITM TRAVEL RISK SUMMIT

Hard Rock Hotel, London

itm.org.uk

MARCH 25

ITM BUSINESS TRAVEL SHOWCASE

Hotel Cafe Royal

itm.org.uk

APRIL 7-9

ACTE GLOBAL SUMMIT

Chicago

acte.org

DAVID CHAPPELL SALLY CASSIDY IAN DAVIES

JOINS: Fello

AS: Technology Director

FROM: Gray Dawes

Industry specialist David

Chappell will focus on tech

innovation at Fello as the

recently launched brand seeks

to develop its reputation for

'traveller-first' service.

PROMOTED AT: Traveleads

TO: Head of Sales

FROM: Sales Director West of Scotland

Independent TMC Traveleads

has promoted Sally Cassidy to

Head of Sales after seeing

growth of 20% in the last year.

She will oversee the building of

a larger sales team.

JOINS: ATPI Group

AS: UK Business Development Manager

BACKGROUND: Various TMC positions

Ian Davies joins the ATPI Group

to strengthen the long-term

strategy for the sales team

and increase new business. He

has over 20 years' experience

in the travel industry.

APRIL 30 - MAY 1

ITM CONFERENCE

Hilton Metropole, Brighton

itm.org.uk

MAY 17-20

ADVANTAGE CONFERENCE

Cadiz, Spain

advantageconference.co.uk

ALSO ON THE MOVE... Jon Colley has joined IHG as Head of Development, UK and Ireland, responsible for

accelerating growth in the key market >> Heathrow Express has announced two new senior appointments

with Les Freer becoming Director and Sophie Chapman appointed Head of Operations >> Derek Sharp

is Carlson Wagonlit Travel's new Managing Director of meetings and events business >> The New Forest

Hotels group has hired Garry Baldwin as Head of Group Operations >> Tracy Gehlan has joined Hertz

International as Chief Operations Officer based in London >> Air Charter Service has hired George Rolls as

Director, Private Jets >> Stan Berteloot has joined US-based consultancy Dots & Lines

MAY 24

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL PEOPLE AWARDS

London

thebusinesstravelpeopleawards.com

AUGUST 3-7

GBTA CONVENTION

Chicago

gbta.org

60 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


ITM Conference 2019

30 April - 1 May, Brighton

ITM’s flagship event will bring together leading speakers, case

studies and networking to help you identify ways to ELEVATE your

programme, effectiveness and career.

Go beyond your expectations; ELEVATE your impact.

CONFERENCE

in partnership with

Early bird discount

ends 15th Feb


Can business travel

really be simple?

Quick and easy set up

On - the - go access

Simple booking

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24/7/365

Discover how simple it can be:

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American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is a joint venture that is not wholly owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries

(American Express). “American Express Global Business Travel,” “American Express,” and the American Express logo are trademarks of American

Express and are used under limited license.

Untitled-3

LMO Ad v10.indd

1

1

19/11/2018

25/09/2018

11:33

09:40


consolidation among TMCs is not

breeding complacency –– instead,

renewed competition is bringing

out the best in innovation and

diversification. Find out more in

our annual guide to

travel

management

companies

Introduction, 64-67 / Technology, 69-73

Trending: M&As, 74-77 / Diversification, 79-82

Beginner's Guide, 84 / The Directory, 85-88 / Data, 91

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

63


TMCs / Introduction

natural

selection

Demand for travel continues to rise, yet businesses

are increasingly choosing their TMC on factors

other than cost. Gillian Upton looks at how the

market is adapting to changing conditions

Various sets of data from the GTMC

show bullish figures for air, rail

and hotel bookings over the last

year – of roughly 6%, 9% and 5% increases

respectively. Combine that with a 5-8%

growth in travel and it adds up to a

healthy picture for the business travel

supply chain.

It’s no wonder that the TMC sector is

witnessing so much activity in terms of

consolidation and M&A activity, as players

jostle for position, a bigger slice of the action,

an improved bottom line and bid to stay

ahead of the curve.

However, with that growth comes a greater

need for a clear offering to the corporate

client; rather than being all things to all men,

a TMC must now differentiate itself from its

fierce competitors.

Fulfilment, traveller tracking, duty of care,

personalisation, data privacy though GDPR,

data analysis, out of hours provision and

consistent service are all givens; a TMC today

must identify its target audience and become

a trusted partner, marrying capabilities to

the client company culture.

Yvonne Moya, a Principal of Festive Road,

takes the view that TMCs are at something of

a crossroads, not knowing which way to turn.

“Just looking around the industry, TMCs have

an absolute identity crisis,” she says. “Issuing

a ticket is not good enough as a corporate is

not looking for that anymore. I’m hearing

this from my clients and we realise this from

when we run RFPs.

“What makes that TMC different for me? A

lot don’t know where to place themselves.

You can be a high-touch TMC, a transactional

service TMC or one offering full content. Will

TMCs be brave enough to say, ‘Who do I

want to reach out to?’ They have to tailormake

their offering to the corporate, adapt

to their needs. They need to ask themselves,

‘Who are we and who do we want to be’?“

Moya says that clients are certainly tired of

TMCs over-promising during the tender

process, and believes that a new business

model is beginning to emerge involving a

more collaborative approach with the supply

chain, including other TMCs. “They need to

be partners in the value chain,” says Moya.

Subscription-based charging is one new

business model that might have legs, where

clients pay by the number of users rather

than per transaction.

Moya’s views resonate with the move away

from a ‘one size fits all‘ approach to travel

programmes and global solutions. Rather

than one global provider around the world,

corporates are opting to find the right TMC

partner by region.

”If the capability and cultural perspective

is right then the commercials will follow. If

there is really a benefit then why wouldn’t

I pay for it?“, she argues. Meanwhile independent

consultant Chris Pouney agrees that

64 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Introduction / TMCs

“flexing to buyers’ specific requirements“ is

the way ahead for TMCs, so too “providing a

suite of technology which is best in class

that’s at least as good as in the consumer

world”, he adds.

Technology is key for any good TMC,

particularly if they are to answer the typical

claim that a client can get a rate cheaper on

the internet via an OTA.

Rate auditing tools, benchmarking

software, APIs, apps, AI-enabled chatbots,

blockchain, augmented reality, being NDCcompliant;

these are all part of the armoury

of a forward-thinking, technology-driven

TMC. You could easily add another:

managing business disruption, for new

entrants are adding complexity to the

market by the day.

This increased complexity in the market

has been TMCs’ saviour as they have become

true consultants in finding solutions to the

changes and shouldering the responsibility.

TMCs have an identity

crisis. Just issuing a

ticket is not good enough as

a corporate is not looking for

that anymore”

“Organisations that procure travel of any

size tend to need a trusted partner to

decode, simplify, transact and serve on their

behalf,” says ITM Chief Executive, Scott

Davies. “It’s not possible to describe the array

of services a TMC provides in one sentence,

from omni-channel content aggregation to

AI-enhanced mobile booking and servicing,

to traveller wellbeing products.

“Strong TMCs are highly adaptable and

agile problem-solvers and proactive strategic

business partners. I sound like a PR company

for TMCs but I believe this.”

One of the converted is Richard Childs,

Group Procurement Category Manager at

Biffa, and he is clear of the benefits he

receives. “I couldn’t do without a TMC.

Improving compliance has been a big thing

over the years and generally we have tighter

controls now compared with five to ten years

ago,” he says. The company’s online adoption

stands at an impressive 90%, for example.

“All the data we can get out is extremely

useful and post the 9/11 attack and the

bombs in London and Manchester, traveller

tracking is a real safeguard and wellbeing

issue for us. That makes a big difference.”

Biffa’s travel spend is small beer – at

£2.5million a year – compared to say fuel (at

£50million), so doesn’t justify the cost of

employing someone specifically to look after

it. “As far as the time and effort is concerned,

a TMC is more cost effective for me. The fee

that I pay is peanuts for the whole service,”

he says. “It’s worth it as it would cost me

more to employ someone.”


THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

65


there’s

always a way

When it comes to

managing business

travel, finding the

best way is our job,

not yours.

This is business

travel you can

look forward to.

Happy to help.

+44 (0)20 7650 3100 | fello.co.uk


Introduction / TMCs

There is only so much time a corporate

travel manager has,” adds Vanessa Griffiths

of Rok Consulting. “Their role is more of a

trusted advisor and far more strategic. It’s a

360-degree partnership.

“Generally TMCs are ploughing so much

time and energy into newly evolving

technologies so they can truly be a strategic

partner to a corporate. The good TMCs are

investing in key areas such as AI, predictive

messaging and blockchain. And we are now

seeing the larger TMCs v the good TMCs.”

Sizing things up

Carol Neil, Global Travel Manager at Fidelity

International, believes technology has levelled

the playing field in the TMC marketplace so

that size does not matter as long as firms

have good foresight in terms of what buyers

want and continue to leverage opportunities.

Other aspects also come to the fore.

“Because of technology it’s not about bread

and butter agency services anymore, but

more of a consultancy approach,” she says.

“We want support with apps and to be able

to make the traveller's entire experience in

terms of connectivity, safety and speed of

service more seamless. We also want to

ensure that the TMCs’ global landscape is

integrated, consistent and that buyers feel

they are working with one partner instead of

several. There is also the complexity still

around NDC and how the TMCs will be able

to support the buyers in unravelling and

embracing this within their company.

Neil continues: “It is also about the insights

the TMC can bring, working with the buyers

collaboratively, building systems with our

requirements in mind and addressing travel

challenges together. Ultimately this brings

out the best in both client and TMC and

therefore makes cost one of many deciding

factors and not the predominant one.”

It’s clear that corporates understand the

value message and no longer focus on the

cost of transaction. “If a TMC can prove their

value proposition then every corporate is

willing to pay a service fee,” says Moya.

Less is more

Corporates also have great choice in the

marketplace, be it for a national, regional or

global player. According to the ITM there are

at least 75 TMCs in the UK, of all shapes and

sizes, and arguably consolidation in the

market will result in better TMCs rather than

less choice. Reed & Mackay Group Chief

Executive, Fred Stratford, believes the upshot

will be fewer, stronger TMCs and a more

streamlined RFP process in having fewer

TMCs on a tender list.

Arguably, it is the smaller TMCs who may

not have the reach who will find the going

tough in the future. “Some of them will look

to join up as you need money to stay in the

game. It’s a difficult choice: do they want to

stay independent or not?“ says Stratford.

Entirely new entrants are rare but one new

name is Fello, which was brought together in

February 2018 from the merger of two other

firms, World Club Travel and Sandy Row

Travel. Clear in its proposition to provide

white glove service, it has hedge funds,

reinsurers and asset management firms on

its books. Group Chief Executive Simone

Buckley says the margin Fello makes leaves

enough to invest in technology. To date it’s

been a mix of in-house developed

technology and third-party providers.

“Content is so difficult to get hold of so we

check everything that comes through,” says

Buckley. “The other massive difference for us

is that once the booking is done our job

begins. We check the traveller in, we notify of

any flight changes and don’t send an invoice

until they’ve returned so we can include all

ancillary spend at the hotel, for example. We

add as much value after the booking is made

as before the booking is made.”

Access to content and duty of care are

pushing more unmanaged companies to

TMCs. “It’s also their buying power, cyber

security and to keep an eye on efficiency of

their workforce,” says GTMC Chief Executive

Adrian Parkes. “There is a growing trend of

SMEs placing their trust in TMCs. Outsourcing

for them is much easier.”

And he adds that it’s not all about online

provision. “There’s still a lot of offline out

there. It’s a sector where lots of things go

wrong and bookings get changed a lot so

there is still demand for service.”

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

67


How do we make

sure your people

don’t miss out

on the important

things in life?

Hearts & Minds is about how we combine hard metrics with

human understanding, technology with local knowledge, the

brightest analysts with the best account managers. We want

to change business travel, bringing hearts & minds together,

improving experience without increasing cost.

DOWNLOAD

THE

MANIFESTO

NOW

claritybusinesstravel.com/

hearts-and-minds

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QUALITY

EFFICIENCY

SECURITY


Technology / TMCs

Let the

TECH

do the talking

There's much hype around chatbots

and AI, but TMCs need to get the basics

right first, writes Catherine Chetwynd

Given the increasing

use of AI and

chatbots, it is not

unreasonable for travel

managers to expect their TMC

to be able to provide technology

that manages bookings and duty

of care, delivers forensically

analysed MI, allows employees to

administer their travel while on the

move and keeps a record of all these

things in one place.

On top of all that, the technology that

TMCs supply has to be consumer grade –

bookers and travellers expect to be able to

run their business lives with the same ease

as their personal lives.

Corporate travel

programmes are

increasingly hungry for tools

that simplify life on the road

for their employees and that

increase both trip and job

satisfaction”

These days, recruiting and retaining talent

also features. “Technology aggregates data to

form a story about travel policy and global

travel,” says Managing Partner at Black Box

Partnership, Raj Sachdave.

“TMCs are putting the unstructured

elements of a travel programme into a

structured format to address a number of

questions, including what impact travel has

on the performance of an organisation –

productivity, absenteeism, fatigue, retention,

wellbeing.” It has got personal.

Yannis Karmis, Senior Vice President of

Product Planning & Development for BCD

Travel, agrees: “Travel technology is driven by

digital expectations and traveller demands to

reduce trip friction and enable self-service

across multiple devices.

“Corporate travel programmes are hungry

for tools that simplify life on the road for

their employees and increase trip – and job –

satisfaction,” says Karmis.

He continues: “A recent study from Airlines

Reporting Corp. suggests that road warriors

travelling under a cost-focused corporate

programme are twice as likely to consider

leaving a company than those whose

corporate programmes are focused on the

traveller’s needs.”

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

69


TMCs / Technology

Investing in tech

Achieving all this is challenge enough but to

do it and keep up with the rattling pace at

which technology moves requires a massive

investment of time and money.

Some TMCs employ large teams to do the

R&D themselves; some buy it in, on the basis

that their core expertise is managing travel,

not technology; and some do a combination

of the two. Commercial Director of travel

management company Gray Dawes, David

Bishop, managed to marry up the two by

working at Atriis for four years to launch the

product Gray Dawes has bought.

“If you only have an internal team, you risk

missing out on innovative technology being

developed on the market, and if you only

partner with external developers, teams

may lack the first-hand overview of your

company’s inner workings,” says Director,

Product & Services Marketing, EMEA for

Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Dan Kelly.

At the top of the aspiration list is for travel

bookers to be able to see exactly the same

information as their travel agent and at the

same time. This means bringing all data

sources into one platform.

Gray Dawes’ YourTrip does exactly that,

providing a huge hub that aggregates GDS,

NDC, hotels, ground transportation, parking,

rail and more. Not only does this provide

excellent MI, it also brings efficiencies.

Travellers like to

fragment their

purchasing. They might book

a flight with an agent, use a

booking tool to book their

hotel and use a mobile website

to book ground transport”

Travellers like to fragment their purchasing.

They might book a flight with an agent, go to

an online booking tool to research and book

hotels and use a mobile website to book

ground transportation,” says David Bishop

“And because we have one view of the trip,

we won’t have to ask questions to which we

already know the answer, which really

frustrates clients.” And in the event of a trip

cancellation, agents have a view of the whole

trip and one element lurking on another

booking site does not get forgotten.

The app conundrum

Although many TMCs have invested

considerably in providing a versatile mobile

app, “The whole idea of having everything

pinned on an app makes me quite nervous,”

says Bishop.

“A lot of people download apps but

adoption by travellers is really low. The one

exception to that is Concur. YourTrip’s mobile

enabled website gives a lot more functionality

and we get to market quicker as it is updated.”

Gray Dawes is now testing a

communications platform to work with

YourTrip and give travellers numerous ways

to communicate with agents and book – sms,

Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat.

Potential launch is Q1 2019.

And if, for example, snow disrupts

travel, this technology allows agents

to let travellers know

simultaneously, in their

preferred channel, that they

are on the case. “We can

spend more time managing

travel instead of managing

phone calls,” says Bishop.

An inhouse approach

Reed & Mackay has a booking

tool, R&M mobile, analytics,

schedule reporting, approval and

R&M protect on one platform, which gives

both agent and customer concurrent access

to all information. The TMC builds its

technology in house.

The disadvantage of building your own

technology can be complexity and finding

the talent. It isn’t necessarily a travel

company’s core competency and it might

take up a disproportionate amount of your

budget compared to takings,” says Global IT

Director, Antoine Boatwright.

On the upside, “You move at your own

pace to evolve the technology, not at the

pace of your supplier, when you are at their

mercy regarding what functionality you get

and that affects the service you might deliver.”

And when client requirements are exacting,

bespoke is the only way. One Reed & Mackay

client’s employees travel frequently in the

former Soviet Union and the company needs

to know the age of the plane its people are

travelling on, whether it is still under

maintenance and whether the airline has a

monopoly on that route and if that plane is

the only option.

They don’t want employees flying on high

risk planes,” he says. And that kind of


70 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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Technology / TMCs

detail is not available from proprietary tools

– R&M built the wherewithal to provide it.

Boatwright is a protagonist of apps. “A

desktop tends to be optimised for professional

use and a mobile app is generally

for travellers who are en route. The use

cases are different and they do not need to

be the same,” he says.

“A mobile responsive website is inevitably

a compromise because a mobile screen is

four inches by five inches. We have

optimised each form factor – website and

app – for how it is used.”

Meeting in the middle

BCD combines in-house design and build

with third party partnerships. The company

bought the assets of start-up GetGoing,

which formed the basis of the TripSource

Hotels booking platform. TripSource

simplifies travel for employees while keeping

them on the straight and narrow, all available

through mobile devices and voice-enabled

technology such as Alexa.

Programme intelligence platform

DecisionSource (built inhouse) allows travel

managers to monitor spend and travel live,

using reporting and analytics.

These optimisations are fed into the

TripSource platform and into the hands of

travellers seamlessly for maximum

efficiency,” says BCD's Karmis.

The tool includes a security map that

displays traveller locations and informs travel

managers of potential risks worldwide, who

can then send out hazard alerts via

TripSource and ask travellers potentially at

risk to 'check in'. In addition, BCD works with

start-ups whose technology is available via a

shop, SolutionSource, where clients can

choose tools according to their needs.

Also giving one view for client and agent

is Clarity’s Go2Book platform, providing

tracking, communication with travellers,

booking and more, plus MI from new

Go2Insight+, launched in February.

“Using cutting-edge technology such as IBM

Watson, we have created a data aggregator

which can take in multiple data sources,

mine them and deliver new insights to the

client within a fraction of the time it takes a

traditional management information tool,”

says Head of Sales, Ewan Kassir.

Clarity has integrated rail travel into its app

so that travellers are notified of delays via

the app, “giving a single destination for all

itineraries, travel info and

updates”, Kassir explains.

The digital TMC

Elevating technology to art form

and aiming to become the first

digital TMC is CWT.

“It is about making bold

investments in innovation

and our people to enhance

and improve the

traveller/attendee

experience by integrating

our tools and the data we

have access to, to

deliver more

intelligence and

content,” says Kelly.

“This allows clients to

communicate with

travellers more

effectively and pulls more

and more of them into

compliant booking paths.”

Data is everything and facilitates

personalisation, the travel industry’s

Using cutting-edge

technology such as

IBM Watson, we have created

a data aggregator which can

take in multiple data sources,

mine them and deliver new

insights rapidly”

latest fixation, and CWT is constantly

updating its offer. Most recent innovations

include revving up for the next phase of a

chatbot pilot to give instant messaging in

CWT’s mobile app and a travel consolidator,

which enables organisations to aggregate

disparate sources of data – such as travel,

card, expense and HR data – to identify

hidden costs and rogue spend. It allows

travel managers to improve compliance and

identify missed savings opportunities to

increase negotiating power with suppliers.

One outstanding example of CWT’s digital

dexterity is RoomIt, a home-built hotel

distribution business, giving travellers rooms,

tariffs, amenities and loyalty programmes

sourced from retail sites, negotiated rates

and other large content providers.

“During 2017, year-on-year hotel revenue

growth was up 13%, underlining the

importance of better content and hotel

booking capabilities,” says Kelly.

Start-up sensations

In addition to home-grown efforts, CWT also

partners with tech start-ups via incubator

Plug and Play, as well as buying in third-party

tools. An example is Yapta, which allows

agents to look for lower air and hotel rates

once trips have been booked, allowing

rebooking where appropriate and without

any effect on the traveller.

Even those whose idea of technology is a

Bakelite telephone are benefitting from

TMCs’ labours of digital love and leading a

more informed, efficient and safer business

life; and their travel managers are profiting

both administratively and financially.

The drive to have more, better analysed

and fully aggregated data and enhanced

functionality ensures that in every sense,

everyone is on the same page.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

73


TMCs / Trending

When two become

one

The growth potential of TMCs is underlined by

increasing M&A activity, writes Gillian Upton

It’s an interesting time to be a TMC,

particularly if, as the owner, you are

looking for an exit route. There is

plenty of money sloshing around venture

capitalists and private equity firms as

they have learned healthy profits can be

made from investing in the sector.

The activity of late has spread across

generally owner-managed businesses of a

certain size and maturity, with three

transactions announced in November alone.

Giles Travel is the latest TMC to be

absorbed by the fast-growing Gray Dawes

Travel Group which, for the fourth

consecutive year, has announced an autumn

acquisition. It will take its annual turnover

beyond £150million – and a second deal is

expected to be announced in December.

Meanwhile, ‘third sector’ specialist, Key

Travel, acquired the Netherlands’ Raptim

Humanitarian Travel to give the business a

combined turnover in the region of

£350million. And then there's the EFR Travel

Group, which snapped up Glasgow's WD

Travel, with the deal becoming EFR’s third

takeover in four years.

Also this year, The Appointment Group

(TAG) has received investment from Apiary

Capital – a UK lower mid-market private

equity firm. Explains Partner Nicki Boyd: “The

attraction to TAG for us was a high level of

repeat customers. They’re high-end, hightouch

customers – many of them rock stars –

with complicated travel requirements.

“We liked the fact that once TAG has

provided great travel service and met their

complex demands – certain amenities for a

pet companion, position in a hotel with

empty adjoining rooms, an opening window –

then they will be loyal and come back time

and time again.”

Apiary has already made its mark on TAG. It

has put in place an experienced CEO to take

care of the day-to-day business and made

the first of what it plans to be many smaller

acquisitions – SOS in the US, which specialises

in the touring arms of production crews.

Aligned dancing

The TAG investment typifies a trend in the

sector and we are likely to see more of it,

although GTMC Chief Executive Adrian

Parkes, believes it’s not a new trend at all.

“It’s no different to any other period,” he says.

“It’s been happening for a very long time. In

the early 2000s there were some major

acquisitions and mergers.”

One thing the activity does reflect is a

healthy market, particularly as the investments

and acquisitions are not all inter-UK.

This October, Travel & Transport of the US

acquired Radius Travel in order to expand its

global footprint, for example.

“It’s an interesting time,” says Parkes. “I

judge the health of the industry on the

positive TMC data I’m seeing, the huge

amount of investment that is taking place

and the opportunity that it gives TMCs to

expand and create new business models.”

Apiary’s Boyd flags up two reasons for the

increased M&A activity: “There’s now a

successful track record of private equity

investment in travel and others see there is

money being made,” she says.”There is a lot

of money out there to be deployed.”

Secondly, she believes that the spectre of

Brexit has not deterred investment. ”Travel

has become a major part of people’s lives,

and it will be after our exit from Europe too.

The worst case is that people trade down –

and corporate travel bounces back quickly.”

ITM's Chief Executive Scott Davies agrees

that “leveraging increased scale” has driven

the large recent transactions and they have

been powered by growth-seeking private

equity financing.

Independent European investment firm

Vitruvian Partners saw potential in Travel

Counsellors. Ten years of successive growth

was attractive, so too the company’s loyal

band of clients thanks to its customer-first

approach. The investment from Vitruvian in

Travel Counsellors has already translated to a

£6million spend on new technology.

“It will provide tools such as dedicated

account management support and bespokebuilt

technology platforms for our travel

counsellors so that they can concentrate on

the most important job of all – caring for

clients and giving them the best travel

experience possible,” explains General

Manager Mark Wilson.


74 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Trending / TMCs

There’s now a

successful track

record of private equity

investment in travel

and others see there is

money being made”

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

75


Untitled-3 1 19/11/2018 14:44


Trending / TMCs

Last summer mid-market private equity

house Endless acquired a majority stake in

Manchester-based CTI. Partner Mathew

Deering was drawn to the company’s

customer base and people and said at the

time: “We believe that with fresh investment

and hands-on support from Endless, CTI is

capable of delivering strong sales and profit

growth in future. This is an exciting

opportunity in a consolidating sector and we

also intend to pursue bolt-on acquisitions as

part of our investment strategy.” CTI has

since rebranded as Amber Road.

These investments are helping to drive the

sector forward as TMCs require an almost

bottomless pit of capital expenditure in

technology to keep ahead of the game. The

home page of Endless, for example, boasts of

having access to up to £80million for each

investment and being able to complete the

deal in an average of 28 days. It’s a pretty

persuasive message.

Travel buyers are viewing Reed & Mackay’s

acquisition of Hillgate, for example, as a free

technology upgrade and it’s unlikely that

there will be any fall-out from this particular

joining of two “friendly but fierce competitors”,

as the company’s Group Chief Executive,

Fred Stratford, describes them.

Reed & Mackay already has investment

from mid-market private equity firm

Inflexion. Its mission is to ”invest in high

growth, entrepreneurial businesses with

ambitious management teams and to work

with them to deliver growth”.

The company plans to support Reed &

Mackay’s team as its drives organic growth,

both in the UK and selected international

markets, and seek targeted acquisitions to

support expansion of the company’s

international footprint.

Now it’s the turn of two successful hightouch,

white glove providers of travel to

merge. Hillgate has brilliant technology and

Reed & Mackay the better global reach,

across 40 countries. Both are known for their

high levels of service.

“We can bring the best of both worlds and a

consistent offering to clients,” says Stratford.

“It’s pretty compelling and clients are excited.”

In this case, “joining forces” as Stratford

prefers to call the acquisition, seems like a

win-win for clients.

The market is less positive about another,

much larger acquisition, that of American

Express GBT and HRG. No-one saw this one

coming and all eyes are on the combined

company which aims to cater to both SMEs

and multinational clients.

Investments drive

the sector forward

– TMCs require an almost

bottomless pit of capital for

technology to stay ahead”

The rationale for the purchase was

threefold, explains Elyes Mrad, Managing

Director International of American Express

GBT: “We were taking a company with a

footprint complementary to ours, with good

technology, and quality people across

technology, management and consultancy.

Those three gave us a better company to

serve the customer.”

The plan is to become local in each of

the countries they serve and not position

themselves as a vast global concern.

The feedback from customers is good,”

says Mrad. “Three months in and so far so

good; customers don’t see the difference.

They’ll have one team instead of two around

the negotiating table.”

The companies are fully integrated in terms

of management and all customer-facing staff,

much of which was done beforehand; the

technology will take a little longer with a goal

of Q2 2020 although items such as the

mobile app will integrate by the end of 2018.

The ‘sell’ to the clients, says Mrad, is “better

tools to put in front of customers; it’s the best

of what is out there”.

Other travel management companies are

hoping they might pick up clients not wishing

to stay with the new mega-operation.

“I don’t get the Amex/HRG merger,” says

one buyer, who preferred to stay anonymous.

“It’s a big beast that will take a long time to

unravel and integrate. On the upside, it’s a

massive opportunity to pick up clients who

don’t want to be part of such a large travel

management company.”

Carol Neil, Global Travel Manager at Fidelity,

argues that size is no longer an issue –

technology is helping with that: “You don’t

have to automatically go to the big boys

anymore; it’s not about the size but matching

company cultures, aligning requirements

globally with that of the TMC and building

relationships. Don’t shy away from the

smaller TMCs out there as they’re very

hungry and eager to grab business and bend

and flex with you,” she advises.

“Get in with them and understand how you

can continue to grow and/or enhance your

travel programme with them.”

[ GETTING TOGETHER ]

Losing track of who’s buying who in the

TMC market? Below is a rundown of M&A

activity in the last three years.

2018

• EFR Travel Group > WD Travel

• Gray Dawes > Giles Travel

• Key Travel > Raptim Humanitarian Travel

• Reed & Mackay > Hillgate Travel

• American Express GBT > HRG

2017

• Gray Dawes > CTM Chelsea TM

• Capita Travel and Events > NYS Corporate

• Meon Valley > Longreach Travel

Travel & Transport > Statesman Travel Group

2016

• Clarity > Portman

• Direct Travel > Colpitts World Travel

• Wings Travel > Grosvenor TM

• CTM > Redfern

• Gray Dawes > Travel Management Group

• Gray Dawes > Cambridge Business Travel

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

77


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Untitled-4 1 16/11/2018 08:22


Diversification / TMCs

mixing

it up

TMCs must offer personalised services and

add value to prosper, writes Jools Stone

In theory, booking your own travel

has never been easier, so one might

wonder why there are so many TMCs

not only operating but apparently

thriving today. In the UK alone they

account for 93% of managed business

travel bookings.

Perhaps the answer lies in their ability to

adapt and innovate. Gone are the days

when a TMCʼs role was simply to save

money for clients, manage travel

policies and take the onerous

business of booking trips out

of the hands of travellers.

Increasingly, TMCs are offering added-value

and differentiating themselves with niche

services, new sub-divisions and enhanced

tools and technology.

But just as technology has eased the

burden of booking business travel, the

world has changed to present fresh

challenges. The ever-present threat of

terrorism and political instability in certain

countries has heightened the need for

companies to look out for their staff on the

road, placing added emphasis on their legal

duty of care responsibilities.

TMCs have risen to this challenge in a

variety of ways, creating sophisticated tech

that helps clients stay one step ahead.

“Successful travel managers must remain

relevant to their customersʼ needs,” says

Adam Knights, Regional Managing Director

for UK, France and Benelux at ATPI Group.

Its Traveller Tracking system is a useful tool

for handling most duty of care scenarios

which may arise.

“With traditional tracking technology it

can be difficult to determine ownership

over a traveller’s whereabouts; there can be

doubts over who’s on call, for example. Our

system bridges this gap by combining

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

79


TMCs / Diversification

high quality customer service with traveller

location monitoring and communication.”

When disaster strikes, knowing exactly

where your staff are and establishing clear

lines of communication with them is crucial.

“In the event of a major emergency, travel

managers could struggle to define next

steps. Our tool offers a 24/7 messaging

service where an alert can be quickly

communicated to individual travellers. Their

exact location can be identified using GPS

via our ‘Locate Meʼ app.”

This technology offers peace of mind,

helping clients mitigate risk and maintain an

audit trail of all communications.

Data in droves

As well as keeping travellers safe and clients

in touch, technology can also be harnessed

for more strategic purposes. To this end

Business Travel Direct has developed

SMARTInsight, a predictive tool that

promises to take the guess work out of

travel policy changes.

The tool lets corporates model the impact

of any changes to their corporate travel

policy, accelerating the decision-making

process, thus helping travel managers

become more proactive.

BTDʼs Managing Director, Julie Oliver,

explains: “We see SMARTInsight as the next

generation of analytics,” she says. “Rather

than overwhelming travel managers with

mountains of reports, we amalgamate the

data into this tool and simplify the analysis.

“We can use the tool to model various

scenarios and get instant answers. In the

past, we would have needed to crunch the

numbers and go back to the client with the

information,” Oliver explains.

Casting the net

The needs of travellers have certainly

become more varied and complex in recent

years, making a one-size-fits-all approach

largely redundant. Some TMCs have found

success by catering for growing niche

industries with very specific needs.

The needs of travellers

have certainly become

more varied and complex

in recent years, making a

one-size-fits-all approach

largely redundant”

One such example is Corporate Traveller,

which launched a new Production, Sport &

Creative division in May this year. This was

built on its existing client base.

“We already handled corporate travel

requirements for 300 clients in these

industries, but wanted to offer more,” says

UK General Manager, Andy Hegley. “Now

we can provide the specialist ‘high-touchʼ

expertise they need to meet their needs

from start to finish.”

The TMC's TV and film production clients

keep them busy, travelling across the

globe to some remote and challenging

destinations. “Weʼve had clients filming

penguins in Antarctica or elephants in

Botswana. It's vital that their production

equipment arrives at their destination on

time and in one piece.

“A film crew of three could be travelling

with 80 bags, so we make sure their

baggage is loaded on to the aircraft, even if

their airline suddenly announces a baggage

embargo at check-in.”

For musicians, meanwhile, it's not

uncommon to book separate airline seats

for a passenger and their cellos or violin

that can't be placed in the hold.

The numbers add up

When it comes to procurement, data insight

is what gives certain TMCs the edge. FCM

Travel Solutions launched 4th Dimension

(4D) this year. They describe this as a ‘nonbiased

consulting service providing

corporates with outsourced, project-based

analytics to drive programme efficiency and

smarter procurement.ʼ

As Jo Greenfield, UK General Manager of

FCM explains, this was very much driven by

client demand: “Business travel is constantly

evolving,” says Greenfield. “To remain

successful in a competitive market we must

constantly innovate. The launch of 4D has

taken our capabilities to the next level,

providing clients with deep-dive analytics

and bespoke solutions.”

The 4D team helps clients rethink their

hotel programmes, for example, which are

now no longer simply about securing the

best rate. “Five years ago, corporates were

still very much focussed on cost savings,

80 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


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TMCs / Diversification

Five years ago

corporates were

focused on cost savings. Now

other commercial factors are

becoming more important”

especially after the 2008 downturn,”

says Greenfield. “But despite uncertainty

around Brexit and the need to maintain

savings, other commercial factors are

becoming more important.

”Corporates are now using their hotel

programmes to drive staff loyalty, reflect

their CSR strategies and support traveller

wellbeing too.”

Gaining traction

Matters like these, some of which perhaps

once seemed more aspirational, are rapidly

becoming essential in certain sectors, such

as the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharma salaries are generally high, so

loyalty incentives offer useful ways to

attract and retain top talent. That’s precisely

where smart travel policies and hotel

programmes play a key role.

The 4D team carried out a major audit of a

pharma client’s hotel programme, taking

account of the range and standard of hotel

properties and the full cost.

This factored in not just average daily

rates, but extras such as premium wifi,

breakfast and transfers – basically anything

which could engender employee loyalty,

while also being mindful of the industry’s

strict bribery guidelines.

Another 4D client in the construction

sector had a business strategy strongly

informed by sustainability and social

enterprise. The priority was to employ

local people and support local communities,

so naturally its corporate hotel programme

needed to reflect this.

4D therefore developed an accommodation

programme that incorporated hotels with a

similar ethos of social enterprise, so that

the client’s hotel spend actually benefited

local communities.

It seems that one way to retain loyalty in

2019’s crowded TMC marketplace is to truly

engage with clients’ issues and mirror their

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Experience the award-winning customer service of Travel

Counsellors for yourself and contact us today.

8

Winner

Finalist

Best

Travel Management Company

(£50-£200 million UK annual sales)


TMCs / Beginner's guide to...

APIs for TMCs

How can TMCs use APIs to power your corporate travel programme?

The ATPI Group’s Adam Knights has some of the answers

In a world where everyone is connected

and technology is ubiquitous, ensuring

you are up to speed and making the

most of the latest developments can be a

full-time job. Likewise, with innovation

coming at such a pace, new terminology

seems to surface on a daily basis. For

travel, APIs are now being spoken about

widely across the industry.

Oh no, another acronym!

Don’t panic, APIs – Application

Programme Interfaces – are

designed to make things easier for us all.

And in corporate travel these systems are

helping transform the way companies

operate. APIs are simply gateways linking

different software applications. Think about

how, on your smartphone, apps connect to

the internet and send a request to a server.

That is done via an API.

Metaphorically speaking

The simplest way to imagine

them at work is as a waiter in a

restaurant. The menu tells you the food you

could choose and the kitchen is ready to

prepare the dishes you want. But it is the

waiter that takes your request, connects

with the chefs and brings the plates back

to your table. Without that link you do not

get served.

Silent partners

Typically APIs are going about their

business without people knowing.

We don’t question the magic that lets us log

on to different websites using our Facebook

password, for example. The important thing

for TMCs is ensuring that what we develop,

or choose to partner with, is compatible with

how businesses and travellers operate.

Putting it into practice

APIs open up a wealth of

possibilities. Firstly, businesses –

including travel management companies –

can be nimble and act quickly by using APIs

to create new products and partnerships or

add new tools and services. Their use drives

innovation by cutting development time.

Additionally, APIs can connect different

divisions of a business seamlessly, which

gives access to all sorts of valuable data.

For corporate travel managers, that could

be marrying a traveller’s spend with their

historic performance or sales figures to see

the return-on-investment for each trip.

Connecting the cloud

APIs are becoming increasingly

important in new innovations, too.

As businesses move their operations to the

cloud, it will be APIs that manage the highs

and lows in demand. They also offer valuable

security benefits, since the connections

between parties are limited.

Plugging into potential

In travel, APIs are being used

extensively, especially on consumer

sites such as Skyscanner, where one set of

results are returned from multiple sites.

Travellers in a corporate world will be used

to this type of interface – they will have

used it in their private life or have selfbooking

tools that act in a similar way.

Technology-based services such as Uber

have seen the benefit of this. Business

travellers may use Uber personally, and

therefore find themselves travelling and

booking out of scope of their travel policy

by using Uber around the world when on

business. If a TMC has an open API policy,

they can add Uber for Business. This means

all the data tools a solid corporate travel

reporting function needs can be integrated

very simply.

Offering this rich detail and breadth of

choice is vital for TMCs if they are to prosper.

APIs are definitely here to stay so if you

aren’t familiar with what they are and, more

importantly, what they can do to support

your travel programme, there is no better

time than the present to find out more.

84 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


TMCs 2019: Who does what

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

The Directory / TMCs

Travel management company Annual turnover Annual transactions Company size Head office (UK) Established

ABT UK £8million 15,000 8 staff / 1 office London 2001

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

Ace Travel Management £8.5million 20,000 11 staff Brentwood, Essex 1992

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

Advantage Business Travel £3.2billion Not disclosed 120 independent UK TMCs / 190 locations London 1978

Specialist sectors served: members serve all sectors of the economy

Amber Road £72million Not disclosed 128 staff / 3 offices Manchester 1983

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

American Express Global Business Travel $32.7billion globally (2017) Not disclosed 16,000 staff globally London 2014

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

Applehouse Travel £29.3million 56,400 40 staff / 1 office London 1984

Specialist sectors served: finance, information technology, energy, SMEs, retail

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

The Appointment Group (TAG) £190million 400,000 321 staff / 9 offices worldwide London 1988

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

ArrangeMy £21million 65,500 55 staff plus 1 implant Worcester 1990

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

ATPI Group £1.29billion globally 4.68million 1,700 staff / 100+ locations worldwide London 2002

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

BCD Travel £636million UK&I / $25.7billion globally Not disclosed 858 staff / 16 offices and c.13,500 staff globally London 1981

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

Blue Cube Travel £35.3million 38,000 39 staff / 3 offices Kew 2003

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

Business Travel Direct £115million 402,000 152 staff Langley, Berkshire 1970

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, services, security, defence, multinationals, marine, education, medical, retail

Capita Travel and Events

£570million+ Not disclosed 750 staff / 6 UK offices Derby 1972

(including NYS Corporate)

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

Carlson Wagonlit Travel $23.2billion (globally) 60million (globally) 1,160 UK&I staff / 18,750 global staff Potters Bar, Hertfordshire 1980

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

Clarity £441million c.2.5million Not disclosed Manchester 1959

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

Click Travel £205million 1.85million 252 staff Birmingham 1999

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

Clyde Travel Management £48million 215,000 90 staff / 6 offices Glasgow 1989

Specialist sectors served: marine, oil & gas, corporate

Corporate Travel Management (CTM) £653million (Europe) 4.7million 457 staff in Europe / 2,700 staff globally London 1994

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

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

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TMCs / The Directory

Travel management company Annual turnover Annual transactions Company size Head office (UK) Established

CT Business Travel £27.1million Not disclosed 80 staff / 3 offices Tunbridge Wells, Kent 1988

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

DialAFlight Corporate Travel £134million 280,000 130 staff / 4 offices London 1980

Specialist sectors served: SMEs

Diversity Travel £68million Not disclosed 154 staff Manchester 2007

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

EFR Travel £27.6million 34,900 55 staff / 3 offices Bushey, Hertfordshire 2002

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

Egencia $11.7billion globally Not disclosed 3,200+ employees globally / 65+ countries London 2002

Specialist sectors served: serves companies off all sizes and sectors

Eton Travel Group £35.3million 147,000 80 staff / 2 offices Eton, Berkshire 1969

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

FCM Travel Solutions

£727million 1.8million 843 UK staff / 6,500 staff worldwide New Malden, Surrey 2004

(incorporating Corporate Traveller)

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

Fello £23million 21,500 40 UK staff London 2018

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

Flightline Travel Management £6.2million 29,800 9 staff / 1 office Haddenham, Buckinghamshire 1996

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

Global Travel Management £26million 50,300 32 staff / 2 offices Woking, Surrey 1997

Specialist sectors served: brewing, medical, media, SMEs

Good Travel Management £22million 60,000 48 staff / 3 offices Hull 1833

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

Gray Dawes Group

£170million 521,000 210 staff / 6 offices Colchester, Essex 1927

(incorporating Giles Travel)

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

Harridge Group £14.5million 47,900 26 staff / 1 office London 1983

Specialist sectors served: business travel, corporate and private events

Ian Allan Travel £49million 187,700 91 staff / 2 offices Shepperton, Surrey 1964

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

Inntel £73million 355,000 144 staff / 3 offices Feering, Essex 1984

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

Kanoo Corporate £30million 36,000 40 staff / 8 offices London 2007

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

Key Travel £209million 486,000 385 staff / 8 offices London 1980

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

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

86 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Unwrapping soon!

Early in the New Year, we’re launching something

new in the world of meetings and events.

In the meantime, if you need any assistance with your meetings and events,

speak to a member of our team - they won’t give away the surprise just yet.

01904 420 810

hello@nysgroup.com

nysgroup.com

NYS is a specialist brand of Capita Travel and Events Limited. Registered in England: 01094729.

Registered office: 30 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LR. Part of Capita Plc.


TMCs / The Directory

Travel management company Annual turnover Annual transactions Company size Head office (UK) Established

Meon Valley Travel Group £40million 100,000 67 staff Petersfield, Hampshire 2002

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

Norad Travel Management £34.2million 141,000 54 staff / 4 offices Liss, Hampshire 1981

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

Omega World Travel £38million (UK) 155,000 (UK) 24 UK staff / 2 UK offices (450 US staff / 50 US offices) London 1972

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

Reed & Mackay

(incorporating Hillgate Travel)

£600million 1million+ 646 UK staff / 5 UK offices (4,000 staff globally / 140 locations) London 1962

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

Review Travel £15.5million 138,500 29 staff / 4 offices Handforth, Cheshire 1984

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

Selective Travel Management £65million 198,800 110 staff Belfast 1972

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

Simplexity Travel Management £6.9million Not disclosed 12 staff Mayfair, London 2011

Specialist sectors served: all sectors

Statesman Travel Group £176.2million Not disclosed 158 staff / 3 offices, 1 implant London 1975

Specialist sectors: finance, legal, advertising, technology, media, energy, architecture

Sunways Business Travel £13million 22,500 20 staff / 1 office Dartford, Kent 1973

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

Travel Counsellors for Business £145million 120,000 200 Corporate Travel Counsellors Manchester 1994

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

Traveleads £38.2million 125,000 70 staff / 2 offices Leeds 1971

Specialist sectors served: energy, sport, medical, legal, media & broadcast, education, charity, finance, technology, manufacturing

Travel Leaders UK (including Altour

£555million Not disclosed 1,000+ employees London 2017

International, Barrhead Travel, Colletts

Travel, Protravel and Tzell UK)

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

Uniglobe Travel £245million 580,000 40 UK locations London 1981

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

Wayte Travel Management £38.5million 80,000 50 staff / 4 offices London 1980

Specialist sectors served: oil & gas, finance, manufacturing, legal

West End Travel £12.7million 31,800 19 staff / 2 offices London 1972

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

Wexas Travel Management £26million 52,000 45 staff / 2 offices London 1970

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

Wings Travel Management £103million 128,087 75 staff / 4 offices UK (450 staff globally / 16 offices globally) London 1992

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

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

88 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Connecting the dots

on global travel programmes

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Get the full picture of

this global organisation at

atpi.com/globaltravel

Find us on

stand B440


Breaking

the mould

Experience the difference

fcmtravel.co.uk

@FCM_UK


Data / TMCs

RELATIONSHIP GOALS

What’s the key to a fruitful relationship with your TMC? Some would say it’s

treating them as a strategic partner rather than simply a preferred supplier or

approved vendor. Delegates at The Business Travel Conference were polled on

their TMC relations and needs, while a recent BTS survey delivers further insight

What best describes how you

feel about CONSOLIDATION

among TMCs?

47%

It’s an accepted and inevitable

development if the sector is to evolve

35%

It combines the best of two TMCs

and delivers an improved offering

8%

It’s not good for anyone

involved or affected

10%

Not applicable

IN WHICH AREA/S DO YOU THINK TMCs

FAIL TO DELIVER A SATISFACTORY SERVICE?

61 % 54 % 39 % 38 % 23 %

Technology

Customer service

Consulting/advice

Cost/ROI

What do you think is

the most important

SELECTION CRITERIA

when choosing a TMC?

70 %

SERVICE

9 %

CULTURE

9 %

TECHNOLOGY

4 %

SIZE

4 %

COST

TO WHAT EXTENT DO

YOU THINK BREXIT

WILL AFFECT YOUR

BUSINESS IN 2019?

4 %

£

FINANCIAL STABILITY

31 %

Data

Other

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR

CURRENT TMC RELATIONSHIP?

45 % STRATEGIC PARTNER

24 % PREFERRED SUPPLIER

30 % APPROVED VENDOR

AS A TRAVEL BOOKER OR

MANAGER, WHAT IS YOUR

BIGGEST FOCUS RIGHT NOW?

74 % DUTY OF CARE AND WELLBEING

68 % COST SAVINGS

55 % NEW/IMPROVED PROCESS

50 % NEW TECHNOLOGY

27 % SHAPING TRAVEL POLICY

18 % SOURCING NEW SUPPLIERS

45 % A LOT

42 % A LITTLE

10 % IT WON’T

3 % NOT SURE

23%

Are you HAPPY

with the service

you receive from

your TMC?

47 % Yes

10 % No

43 %

Don't use a TMC

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM

91


EVENT REVIEW

A new lease of life for

ground coffee beans

PA & EA networking evening

Autumn

Sparkle

The Business Travel Conference

hosted Autumn Sparkle, an exclusive

event for PAs and EAs, at Bankside

Hotel, London, in October.

Attendees enjoyed complimentary

drinks, food, massages and

manicures, and had the chance to

win some fabulous prizes courtesy of

the generous partners.

A warm welcome at

Bankside Hotel

Autumn Sparkle ▼

Cooking demos

from hotel chefs

▲ 22.10.2018

With thanks to all

our sponsors

Autumn Sparkle

PA & EA Networking Evening

Cup cakes from Q Apartments

Brought to you by

The Business Travel Conference

With thanks to the host venue

92 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


DEPARTURES

New kid on the block

Vintry & Mercer, London

THE LOWDOWN This chic 92-room

hotel opens in the City of London this

February complete with roof terrace,

all-day restaurant and underground

speakeasy bar. It is set back on

Garlick Hill, a two-minute walk from

Cannon Street and Mansion House

stations. The hotel has a gym, three

private event rooms – The Library,

Drawing Room and Music Room –

and breakout area. It is a sister

property to the capital’s Ampersand

Hotel and a member of Small Luxury

Hotels of the World.

that's a FACT Vintry & Mercer is

named after two of the City’s historic

guilds, trading since the 1300s in wine

and silks respectively. Its modern

credentials include running on 100%

renewable electricity.

they said it “Vintry & Mercer

is nestled in the heart of the City,

among the livery halls, guilds and

narrow streets that line the banks of

the Thames. This is where past and

present intersect, where the long

traditions of trade and commerce

come to life. The rich cultural

influences of two of the City’s historic

guilds – Vintry and Mercer – can be

seen throughout the hotel with its

carefully considered design.”

Rates Standard rooms

start from £175 per night.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

93


DEPARTURES

The best new... Gadgets & gear

time flies

British Airways and watchmakers Bremont

have teamed up to launch a limited edition

timepiece that incorporates the metal from

one of the most iconic planes in history –

Concorde. The Bremont Supersonic contains

aluminium from the G-BOAB Concorde,

known as Alpha Bravo, and is limited to 300

in stainless steel (£9,495), 100 in rose gold

(£16,995) and 100 in white gold (£17,995).

TRACK YOUR

FITNESS

high five: camera phones

A TIMEPIECE

WITH HERITAGE

slim pickings

The Slim Wallet is the latest addition to

Stuart + Lau’s range of leather goods and

travel accessories. The full-grain Italian

leather and suede wallet has an RFID

blocking interlayer and a back sleeve for

easy access to metro cards. It is available in

eight colours and is priced around £100.

Keep fit

The latest addition to the

Fitbit family is the Versa.

A more affordable

version of the Fitbit

Iconic, this smartwatch is

priced around £179 and,

with a rounded face

design, resembles a more

traditional watch than

regular Fitbit trackers.

The device tracks major

workout types, is

waterproof, has a fourday

battery charge and a

companion app.

FASHION AND

FUNCTION

Huawei P20 PRO The P20 Pro has a

lighter price tag than the iPhone or

Samsung Galaxy, but it stands head to

head with its excellent camera and

impressive battery life.

Google pixel 3 Keen photographers

will marvel at the quality of photos taken

with this phone with its 12.2 megapixel

sensor on the back and two 8 megapixel

sensors on the front. Travellers will also

find its wireless charging capability

useful on the road.

THE BEST

iphone xs The latest from Apple

CAMERAS IN

features an edge-to-edge 5.8 inch YOUR POCKET

super retina display and a 12

megapixel dual lens camera. The

device is powerful with a fast processor.

samsung galaxy S9 PLUS With a huge

6.2 inch curved screen and a dual-lens

camera noted for quality low-light shots,

the phone is ideal for those after a great

camera and a big screen.

oneplus 6T At the budget

end of the scale is the latest

from OnePlus. It features a

huge 6.41 inch screen with

HDR support and a 16

megapixel camera. The

device also features Fast

Charge enabling users to

fully charge the phone in

half an hour.

94 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


20-21 February 2019

Olympia, London

REVITALISE

BUSINESS

TRAVEL

Europe’s largest

specialised event

for business travel

professionals.

9,000

attendees

400+

hosted

buyers

3,500

pre-scheduled

hosted buyer

appointments

Countless

networking

opportunities

Register for free at www.businesstravelshow.com

Using code TBTM19

Untitled-1 1 20/11/2018 09:03


DEPARTURES

On the road with Michael Struck

Ruby Hotels founder and CEO Michael Patrick Struck

might have a sweet spot for Sugarloaf, but it certainly

doesn't run to chicken feet...

day encompasses totally

different places and settings.

RIO'S

Recently my day started

SUGARLOAF

with a very early morning

IS A SWEET

run through the sleeping

SPOT

streets of Mayfair and closed

with a walk along the warm seaside

in bustling Barcelona.

Worst business travel experience:

Has to be a business dinner in

Guangzhou which involved eating

chicken feet and other ‘interesting’

specialities, to be polite.

DETAILS

Name: Michael Patrick Struck

Position & Company: Founder and

CEO of Ruby Hotels. We operate

five properties at the moment and

we have a further nine under

construction or in the planning

stages. We've also just started

Ruby Works, which offers flexible

work spaces.

Based in: Munich, Germany.

Business trips per year: 50.

Estimated annual mileage:

100,000.

Regular destinations: London,

Paris, Milan, Copenhagen.

Most recent trip: Tokyo.

Next trip: New York.

GOOD & BAD

Best business travel

experience: This is pretty hard to

call. I particularly like it when one

ALL ABOUT

THE BLUE SKY

THINKING

SUPPLIERS

Preferred airline or hotel and

why: Emirates, simply for its

consistently excellent onboard

service quality.

Loyalty points – obsessive

collector or not bothered?

Honestly, I'm not bothered. I think

these things tend to take care of

themselves.

Favourite loyalty scheme:

None in particular.

STEPPING ONBOARD

Flights: work, rest or play?

Work. I find being literally

above it all is helpful with

certain tasks.

Onboard connectivity –

take it or leave it? I like having

this new option for emergencies ,

but am too much of a savings fox

to use it while prices for it

remain so high.

Onboard habits: I loosen my

shoe laces, put on some noisecancelling

earphones and sit

back to enjoy take-off.

DESTINATIONS

Happy never to go

back to: Helsinki. My

last experience

involved being there during a

serious snow storm.

Send me back to: Rome, anytime.

Top overseas landmark: Sugarloaf

Mountain, Rio de Janeiro.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

One thing that would improve

business travel: Wifi on the tube

in London would be really great, as

would a Ruby hotel in every major

city, obviously!

Biggest business travel

irritation: Business

hotels that are run of

the mill, soulless and

unnecessarily expensive.

In fact, that is part of the

reason we started Ruby

Hotels, since we do the opposite.

DO AS I SAY...

AND AS I DO!

TAKING IT

IN MY STRIDE

Pack light or go

prepared? I’d like to

say both, but since I don’t

do much in the way of travel

preparations, I guess it will have

to be ‘light’.

Never leave home without: My

running shoes.

TRAVEL POLICY

Stick to the travel policy or a bit

of a maverick? Our business is

about offering lean luxury to

guests so I always follow the

policy. For me, it’s a role

model thing.

If you could change one

thing about your travel

policy... Nothing, or else I

would have done it already!

96 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


DEPARTURES

Meeting in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes was once a

collection of towns and

villages, but was

transformed into a 'New

City' in the 1960s as part

of a government scheme

to relieve London's

housing congestion. Now

an economic success

story, Milton Keynes is

home to organisations

including Santander,

Volkswagen, Network Rail

and Mercedes Benz.

Wow factor

The Arena MK

This significant exhibitions and

event venue opened in 2014

and can host up to 3,500 for a

conference. It has numerous

offices, bars and green rooms

spread across three floors. The

space is pillarless and totally

customisable. The venue also

provides banqueting menus

and in-house production if

required. Due to the versatility

of the space, call for a quote.

Stadium Way, Bletchley,

Milton Keynes, MK1 1ST

0844 902 7777 / arenamk.com

big, bold and

beautiful

Quirky venue

National Museum

of Computing

Events are hosted within its

galleries and displays, which

include WWII's famous Enigma

codebreaker. Facilities include

a 40-seater meeting room with

three large screens, buffet

catering options and wifi

throughout. Corporate events

have the option of private tours

with experts and so are priced

according to requirements.

Bletchley Park, Bletchley,

Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB

01908 374 708 / tnmoc.com

On a shoestring

The National

Badminton Centre

The world-class badminton

club can cater for meetings of

up to 100 delegates and rooms

can be set up in a range of

configurations. Conference

rooms feature AV, flipchart,

pens, tea and coffee, and a

buffet lunch is included. Room

hire for the smallest room

starts from £145 per day. DDRs

are available from £29.95.

Bradwell Road, Great Holm, Milton

Keynes, MK8 9LA / 01908 268 479 /

badmintonengland.com

Small but perfectly formed

Wired up

Out of town

Getting there

The city benefits from

direct mainline train services

from London Euston which

take less than an hour. By car,

Milton Keynes is accessible via

the M1 and the journey time

from London is upwards of

an hour.

Further information

Contact Destination

Milton Keynes for advice on

organising a conference or

event. Destinationmilton

keynes.co.uk has details of

venues and accommodation

available. Call 01908 688 293

or email info@destination

miltonkeynes.co.uk

Woughton House –

Mgallery by Sofitel

Situated just outside of town,

this elegant hotel has four

meeting rooms and a

Clubhouse Suite able to host up

to 250. A day meeting for ten

starts at £390 and includes AV

facilities, wifi, pastries and

buffet lunch. There are also

breakout spaces indoors and

out, plus walking trails to enjoy.

Newport Road, Woughton on the

Green, Milton Keynes, MK6 3LR

01908 661 919 / sofitel.accorhotels.

com/mgallery/milton-keynes

escape to the

country

Venue Cranfield

The facility comprises four

flexible venues in one,

which are suitable for

conferences, meetings,

and accommodation.

There are over 65 rooms

in all, suitable for up to 250

delegates. There is high-speed

wifi, a 24-hour reception,

exercise and leisure areas and

a licenced bar and restaurant.

Enquire for DDRs.

Duncan Road, Wharley End, Cranfield,

Bedfordshire, MK43 0HG

01234 754 885 / venuecranfield.co.uk

meetings

to the four

Whittlebury Hall

The 254-room hotel is located

20 minutes north of the

city and comprises 20

conference and training

suites, 28 syndicate

rooms, an executive

boardroom and three

private dining rooms. Event

organisers can also make use

of the two banqueting and

conference suites that can hold

up to 500 delegates. DDRs are

from £31 plus VAT.

Whittlebury, Towcester, NN12 8WP

01327 857 857 / whittlebury.com

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

97


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DEPARTURES

On business in... Berlin

The German capital –

once divided by the

Berlin Wall – is today

known for its wealth of

modern and historical

landmarks, arts scene,

festivals and nightlife.

A centre of

History

Getting there

British Airways, easyJet,

Eurowings and Ryanair between

them operate services from

several destinations around the

UK to the German capital,

including Heathrow, Gatwick,

Luton, East Midlands, Liverpool,

Newcastle, Manchester,

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Bristol.

Further information

For details on meetings

and events and visiting Berlin,

see visitberlin.de/en, email

convention@visitberlin.de or

call +49 (0)30 26 47 48-400.

SLEEPING

Luxury options include the Berlin

Marriott Hotel, DORMERO Hotel, the

refurbished Ritz-Carlton or Grand

Hyatt Berlin. At the budget end of the

scale consider the centrally located

Aga’s Hotel, Azimut Hotel in City

West, multiple Motel One properties

or the super-budget easyHotel. The

Hilton and InterContinental groups

are well represented in the city.

EATING

For Bavarian fare try out

Clubrestaurant am Wannsee or

Restaurant Schlossgarten for hearty

German food. La Caleta is well

known for Mediterranean dining.

Lia’s Kitchen is a vegetarian restaurant

and Grill Royal is a gourmet

steakhouse popular with visiting

VIPs. For Michelin-star dining try

the double-starred Rutz.

after hours

Berlin is packed with trendy bars

open until the early hours. The

Green Door in Shönenberg is a

popular cocktail bar requiring

visitors to ring a bell for entry.

Becketts Kopf follows a similar

speakeasy model in Prenzlauer

Berg. For a traditional Bavarian

beer hall try Hofbräu

Wirsthaus or Löwenbräu am

Gendarmenmarkt beer hall in

the centre of the city.

GETTING DOWNTOwN

Berlin has two airports, Shönefeld

and Tegel, which are both well

connected to the city centre. From

Shönefeld airport there is a railway

station with connections to the city

centre and a number of bus routes.

Tegel Airport has four BVG bus

stops outside terminals A and B.

Both terminals have taxi ranks.

MUST-SEE SIGHTS

The historic Brandenburg Gate is

not to be missed. Remnants of the

Berlin Wall remain, and visitors can

see a line through the city where it

once stood. Checkpoint Charlie is a

reminder of Berlin during the cold

war era. Also visit the Reichstag

Building and the Berlin

Zoological Gardens.

Amazing

Architecture

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com

99


DEPARTURES

Focus on... Australia & New Zealand

A shared language plus

similarities in the legal

and administrative

systems make trade

between the UK and its

Commonwealth

cousins Down Under

relatively simple, writes

Benjamin Coren

UK businesses looking for new

opportunities overseas might

overlook Australia and New

Zealand, simply because the two

nations seem so far away. In reality,

actually being on the other side of

the world matters little. Our shared

history and heritage easily outweigh

the perceived problems, making

both countries the ideal place to

test products.

The numbers add up. Australia is

the 13th-largest economy, while its

citizens boast the second-highest

wealth per capita. Meanwhile, New

Zealand is already the UK's fifthlargest

two-way trading partner.

Those making the leap should be

aware of certain challenges, of

course. Australia has very strict

biosecurity regulations that need to

be considered for imports of

certain products and packaging.

And visiting is time-consuming –

it can take 24 hours to fly there;

factor in the time and cost when

sending products to market. The

time difference of seven to 11

hours can also make international

business calls difficult.

Trade minister Graham Stuart

headed to Australia and New

Zealand earlier this year as the

Department for International Trade

(DIT) kicked off its opening

consultations about future trade

relationships post-Brexit.

Stuart promoted opportunities

for UK firms in NZ infrastructure

and launched a joint UK-Australia

investment report, which shows the

UK is now the second-largest

Time zones: Australia has

five time zones ranging

from GMT +8hrs in the west to

GMT +11hrs in the east.

Currency: Australian Dollar:

£1 = AUD1.80. New Zealand

Dollar: £1 = NZD1.95;

Dialling codes: Australia +61.

New Zealand: +64.

Visas: To enter Australia, UK

citizens require a valid passport

and an approved ETA (apply

online). British travellers can

enter New Zealand for up to six

months with no visa.

100 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


DEPARTURES

destination globally for

Australian investment.

Appearing alongside

Australian Minister for Trade,

Tourism and Investment,

Steven Ciobo, he highlighted

the investment ties between

the UK and Australia – which

grew 22% between 2010 and

2017 to more than £63billion.

“We’ve taken a major step

towards building our bilateral

trading relationships with

Australia and New Zealand –

two of our closest international

partners – by opening consultations

on our potential future agreements,”

said Stuart.

“Combined, their investment into

the UK delivered 95 new projects

last year, creating almost 2,500

British jobs. These consultations

will examine new possibilities for

British exporters in the region,

especially in technology and

infrastructure,” he added.

Ciobo added that Australia and

the UK were committed to working

together aross diverse industries

“from defence to infrastructure”.

“Both countries offer large, open

and flexible economies as well as

an ideal location from which to

access other regional opportunities,

be it in Europe or Asia.”

Top exports to Australia and

New Zealand include vehicles,

machinery and mechanical parts,

print products, pharmaceuticals,

gems and precious metals, as well

as plastics, furniture and iron and

steel products.

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com 101


DEPARTURES

Factfile: Australia & New Zealand

FLIGHTS

British Airways: operates

flights to Sydney via Singapore,

which depart daily from

London Heathrow. The airline

operates connecting codeshare

flights to Australia and New

Zealand via Hong Kong, Doha,

Singapore or Sydney.

hit the

heights in

auckland

Emirates: flies to Australia

and New Zealand via its Dubai

hub. The carrier operates over

120 non-stop flights per week

from eight UK airports to

Dubai. From Dubai, Emirates

offers 28 flights a week to

Sydney, 21 a week to Brisbane

and Melbourne, 14 a week to

Perth and Auckland and seven

a week to both Adelaide and

Christchurch, New Zealand.

Qatar AIRWAyS: flies to

Australia and New Zealand via

its Doha hub. From London

Heathrow, there are convenient

connections in Doha to services

to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth,

Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra.

Qantas: flies daily from

London Heathrow to Sydney

via Singapore. The airline also

operates a non-stop daily

service from London to Perth

with onward connections

throughout Australia. Qantas

also flies to Brisbane via

Singapore and offers a wealth

of domestic connections. New

Zealand flights operate from

the east coast.

Royal Brunei: the airline

has introduced daily non-stop

services from London to Brunei

– cutting out the previous stop

in Dubai – which then fly on to

Melbourne.

Etihad: offers services to

Australia and New Zealand via

its Abu Dhabi hub. One-stop

services are operated from

Heathrow to Sydney,

Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane

and Adelaide alongside onestop

services to Auckland and

Christchurch in New Zealand.

Singapore AIRLINES offers

daily services from Heathrow

to its Singapore hub where

regular onward flights are

available and ANA operates a

daily service from Heathrow to

Sydney via Tokyo Haneda,

among other one-stop options.

off duty

no

shortage of

Brisbane, australia:

options

Brisbane’s South Bank is a

hot-spot for eating out and

entertaining, or find peace and

quiet in the Botanic Gardens.

Sydney, australia:

Sydney Opera House and

the Harbour Bridge should

australian

to its core

Canberra, australia:

As the seat of Australian

government, it is worth

be top of the list. Head to

Bondi Beach for surfing and to

Darling Harbour for dining.

visiting Parliament House and

its associated Museum of

Democracy (in the old

Parliament building). The city is

Melbourne, australia:

Architecture buffs will get a kick

out of the stunning design of

the City Library and Flinders

also home to the National

Gallery of Australia, Australian

War Memorial and striking

National Museum of Australia.

Street railway station. The city's

Yarra River offers plenty of nice

spots for a stroll.

Christchurch,

new zealand: Go punting on

the Avon through the heart of

the city, then get a taste of

colonial life at Mona Vale, an

early 1900s homestead with

gardens, riverside walks and a

restaurant. The Christchurch

Gondola offers panoramic

views of the city and coastline.

Perth, australia: Visit

Freemantle Prison to find out

more about convict life in

Australia. The nearby Swan

Valley region is well known for

food and wine.

Auckland, new zealand:

Take a trip up the 60-storey

Sky Tower, which also features

a revolving restaurant and

bungee jumping. Shopping on

Main and Queen Streets.

102 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


DEPARTURES

Reality check

AMERICAN AIRLINES, PREMIUM ECONOMY

THE FLIGHT

Flight AA100 from

of fruit plate, yoghurt and croissant was

New York’s JFK Terminal E to London

served just under an hour before arrival.

Heathrow Terminal 3, departing at 06.15

THE SEAT

A bottle of water and

and arriving at 06.50 (local times), and

comfort pack (with Casper blanket and

operated by a B777-300. I was flying in

lumber pillow, Cole Haan amenity kit,

American Airlines' Premium Economy.

and headset) were awaiting me in the

THE PRE-BOARDING

I was unable to

seat. I travelled in seat 16D which has

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

the extra leg room in front on the bulk

area at T3 was efficient and straight-

head. The seat was roomy and controls

forward and the queue through security

for the recline and foot rest were simple.

relative short. Boarding was at Gate 8

The screen was stowed within the seat

and was done in seat location groups to

but popped out easily and the IFE

ensure efficient loading.

system offered a comprehensive choice.

THE SERVICE

I had pre-ordered my

There was a small storage compartment

meal choice online and it was delivered

and fold-out tray stowed in the arm rest,

quickly – so quickly, in fact, that I was

plus a USB charging point.

THE DETAILS

American Airlines

half way through eating it before the

THE VERDICT

The aircraft felt new

operates up to four direct flights a day

drinks service arrived! The meal was

excellent with a good-sized chicken

portion served with a side salad and the

best bread roll I’ve had onboard, plus a

good chocolate dessert, cheese and

crackers. All was presented well with

and the Premium Economy seat was

definitely comfortable and well-thought

through. The meal quality was excellent

and the amenities supplied with the

seat were good quality and useful,

especially the lumbar pillow. The staff

THE AMENITIES

SUPPLIED WITH

THE SEAT WERE

GOOD QUALITY

AND USEFUL

from London Heathrow to New York

(JFK), and up to 10 a day when including

the flights operated by joint business

partner British Airways. Fares start from

£270 in Basic Economy, £330 in the

Main Cabin, £789 in Premium Economy,

ceramic crockery and linen napkin. A

were efficient if a little brusque in their

£1,593 in Flagship Business and £3,143

second drinks service was offered after

trays had been cleared, and a breakfast

service but overall the journey was a

good experience.

in Flagship First. aa.co.uk

Julie Baxter

STAYCITY APARTHOTELS, BIRMINGHAM

THE APARTHOTEL

Staycity Aparthotels

consisted of a living area with flat

in Birmingham’s Newhall Square has

screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen

142 one-bedroom and 24 two-bedroom

with hob, microwave, cooking utensils

apartments that can accommodate up

and dishwasher, plus a dining area,

to six people. Situated in the city's

bedroom with king-size bed and

historical Jewellery Quarter, the

bathroom. I was particularly impressed

property is less than a 10-minute walk

with the powerful and roomy shower

from Birmingham city centre and New

and may have indulged for slightly

Street Train Station and a five-minute

longer than necessary as a result.

walk from the bars and restaurants of

Hairdryers were also provided in

bustling Broad Street.

the bedroom.

THE CHECK-IN

As the hotel is

THE FACILITIES

There is a fitness

situated in a busy area, street parking

centre on-site along with a café –

is not an option. There is limited space

breakfast is available at an additional

available in the on-site car park or,

cost. If you did want to cook your

alternatively, a 24-hour NCP car park is

own meals, there is a grocery shop

THE DETAILS

88 Charlotte Street,

just next door. Both options cost £12

conveniently located next door to the

Birmingham, B3 1PW. Check-in is

per night for the privilege. Once inside,

I received a warm and friendly

welcome at the reception desk along

with what seemed a genuine interest in

how my journey had been. I was given

my room key and breakfast options

aparthotel. There is free wifi access

throughout the property.

THE VERDICT Perfect for a short stay

in Birmingham for those that want to

be self-sufficient. Staff were friendly

and helpful and made you feel very

PERFECT FOR A

SHORT STAY AND

THOSE THAT WANT

TO BE SELF-

SUFFICIENT

from 3pm and check-out by 11am.

Nightly rates start from £71 for a onebedroom

apartment. Staycity has over

3,000 apartments across ten different

cities in the UK, Ireland and France,

and has recently launched sub-brand

and guided to the lift.

welcome upon arrival. The location

Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity. Tel:

THE ROOM My compact and

modern one-bedroom apartment

is within easy access of some of

Birmingham’s main attractions.

0121 237 5600; see staycity.com

Jessica Pook

104 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


DEPARTURES

ROYAL BRUNEI AIRLINES, BUSINESS CLASS

THE FLIGHT

Flight BI0003 from

18 larger-than-average business class

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, to

seats are in a 2-2-2 configuration and

London Heathrow T4. Departing at

each contoured seat converts to a fully

00.15 and arriving at 07.20 the following

flat bed. Passengers were offered a

morning, this new direct service is

plush duvet, fluffy pillow and a mattress

operated by B787 Dreamliner aircraft

topper for added comfort. An amenity

with a cabin of 18 business class seats

kit contained the usual items along with

ahead of the economy cabin.

some Harnn products, while slippers

THE PRE-BOARDING

Royal Brunei

and noise-reducing headphones were

Airlines has a separate open check-in

also provided. Inflight entertainment

lounge for their Business and Royal

was on offer through the 15.4-inch

Skies members featuring comfortable

touchscreen monitor. There was some

seating and magazines. There were no

storage at seat level and ample

queues so check in was swift and I was

overhead cabin space too.

handed a pass to access the newly

THE SERVICE

Once seated I was

upgraded Sky Lounge. After quickly

offered a fresh juice or mineral water

THE VERDICT

This was the final leg of

passing through security and passport

(no alcohol is served onboard) and a

my journey with the airline and I felt like

control I went straight to the lounge.

steaming hot towel. An on-demand

a VIP throughout the journey. The

Due to the late hour only a snack menu

was provided which included savoury

pastries, sushi and sandwiches, plus

fruits and desserts. Showers, free wifi

menu was presented so you could

order from this at any point during the

flight, up to 90 minutes prior to landing.

Due to the late take off I enjoyed soup

I FELT LIKE A

VIP THROUGHOUT

THE JOURNEY

spacious set up of the business class

cabin ensures you arrive as relaxed and

as refreshed as possible.

THE DETAILS Business class return

and charging points were all available.

with accompaniments and, prior to

flights from London Heathrow to

THE SEAT

The first impression

arrival, a full hot breakfast from a menu

Bendar Seri Begawan start from £2,948

on walking into the business class cabin

was just how generous the space is. The

featuring several choices. The service

was ultra-polite throughout the flight.

inclusive of taxes. flyroyalbrunei.com

Kirsty Hicks

10 CASTLE STREET, DORSET

THE HOTEL

10 Castle Street is a

marble-clad en-suite bathroom was

Grade II listed country house hotel in

quite stunning and included a separate

Cranborne, Dorset. Set in stunning

shower and a freestanding bath, plus

grounds, it has recently been remodelled

Temple Spa toiletries. An added bonus

and has nine individually designed and

were the stunning views across the

furnished guestrooms. Bournemouth

property's manicured lawns and gardens.

Airport is 15 miles away.

THE FACILITIES

Within the house

THE CHECK-IN

My room wasn't ready

were two bars, a billiards room and

when I arrived, but the receptionist went

various lounges including one outside

through the check-in process and then

which can easily double up as a meeting

offered to store my bags whilst I enjoyed

space – each of them offered a unique

a welcome drink in the bar.

atmosphere and design. The elegant

THE ROOM

My room on the

restaurant also offered a ‘tasting room’

second floor was nicely designed and

where guests can sit and watch the chefs

decorated with white and cream colours

at work. The food is all locally sourced

complemented by dark wood furniture

including from a vegetable garden within

THE VERDICT

This was a wonderful

and red seats. It featured a superbly

the grounds. There was complimentary

country house experience and the

comfortable super king-sized bed, work

wifi throughout the property but mobile

property has obviously been lovingly

desk, and a separate seating area with

sofa, two single armchairs and a coffee

table situated in front of a fireplace.

Also provided were bathrobes, slippers,

phone signal wasn’t great – but that

could be seen as a positive. Numerous

activities can be arranged including wine

tasting, game shooting, screenings, artist

THE PROPERTY HAS

OBVIOUSLY BEEN

LOVINGLY RESTORED

restored. It would be ideal for external

meetings or a company get together.

THE DETAILS 10 Castle Street,

Cranborne, Wimborne, BH21 5PZ.

coffee and tea-making facilities, a

talks and private parties. The property is

Rates start from £265 (B&B). Day

hairdryer, iPod docking station, DAB

available for exclusive use. There are

delegate rates are £60 and the 24-hour

radio, Smart TV and ample storage space

including two chest of drawers. The

plans for a spa to be opened in the not

too distant future.

rate is £285. 10castlestreet.com

David Clare

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM 105


DEPARTURES

The final word

Brits’ pressing issues

Hilton Garden Inn is

taking the unusual

step of launching an

Ironing Club for its guests

after research found that

pressing clothes and linen is

Brits’ greatest simple pleasure.

According to the hotel group,

72% of us love firing up the iron

and letting off some steam to

help ‘decompress’, while twothirds

believe ironing is more

relaxing than yoga or meditation.

Almost half (44%) say it’s the

satisfying smoothing of creases

that makes it such a pleasure,

while 43% say it’s the excuse to

stand still for a while, coupled

with the repetitive motion of the

iron. Meanwhile, 40% say the

soothing sound of the steam is

what really does it for them.

Guests at the Hilton Garden

Inn London Heathrow Airport

can book into organised Ironing

Club sessions as part of a pilot

ahead of the scheme’s wider

roll-out across the UK. “Guests

are encourage to wear loose,

comfortable clothing,” says the

hotel group, “and soothing music

will be played throughout”.

Tal Shefer, Brand Head, Hilton

Garden Inn, EMEA, says: “We

know that today’s travellers

are looking for unique ways to

unwind. Our research reveals

that ironing is one of the nation’s

top simple pleasures, alongside

enjoying freshly-brewed coffee

and a lie-in.”

THE TOP 10…

STUNNING LIBRARIES

Check out the world's most

stunning public libraries on

your travels, as identified by

Wordery and Instagram

1 Seattle Public Library (below)

2 Bodleian Library, Oxford

3 Vancouver Public Library

4 Real Gabinete Português de

Leitura, Rio de Janeiro

5 The Public Library, Stuttgart

6 The Morgan Library, NYC

7 Bibliotheca Alexandrina,

Egypt

8 Stockholm Public Library

9 George Peabody Library,

Baltimore

10 Richard J. Riordan Central

Library, Los Angeles

Out with the old...

Move over Great

Pyramid of Giza

and the Hanging

Gardens of Babylon – a new

Seven Urban Wonders of the

World has been identified

and there’s one UK entrant

on the list… but it might not

be the one you expect.

London’s Camden Market is

joined on the new list by the

Sydney Opera House, Tokyo’s

Tsukiji Fish Market, The Bund

in Shanghai, the Louvre in Abu

Dhabi, Temple Street Night

Market in Hong Kong and

Albertina in Vienna. The super

seven was compiled by

LikeWhere on behalf of Hilton

and drew on smart data and

crowdsourced suggestions.

While it might seem daft to don a pair of

stilettos to explore the ancient wonders of

Greece, the wearing of high heels is in any

case banned at the country’s archaeological

sites in order to protect them from damage.

The rule is among some unlikely laws highlighted

by travel website Smart Lemur. In

Iran, for example, it’s illegal for men to walk

the streets wearing ponytails or mullets, and

in Burundi, president Pierre Nkurunziza

decided that jogging is a

subversive protest against

the government.

106 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


2019

September 17th-18th

Registration open from

December 1


The FREE event for

buyers and arrangers

of business travel and

meetings

Hilton London

Bankside, Southwark

For further information about attending as a delegate or exhibitor

contact Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk

thebusinesstravelconference.com

2019

September 17th-18th


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since 2008

Your business is our business

At Applehouse, we know that business travel is essential for company growth, as

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Research 2016).

We understand the importance of achieving a balance between returns on

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