The Business Travel Magazine December/January 2018/19

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73 <strong>December</strong>/<strong>January</strong> <strong>2018</strong>/<strong>19</strong><br />



<strong>The</strong> action TMCs are taking to<br />

stand out from the crowd<br />

+<br />

20<strong>19</strong> travel trends<br />

Premium economy<br />

UK hotel sector update<br />

Australia & New Zealand<br />




<strong>2018</strong>/<strong>19</strong><br />

Features<br />

18 20<strong>19</strong> travel trends<br />

32 Premium economy<br />

38 UK hotels update<br />

93<br />

79<br />

16<br />

6<br />

Extended feature<br />

<strong>Travel</strong><br />

management<br />

companies<br />

(p63-91)<br />

46<br />

32 15<br />

27<br />

48<br />

94<br />

10<br />

63 Extended feature:<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> management companies<br />

Arrivals<br />

6 Opening Shots<br />

9 Everyone's Talking About...<br />

Crossrail delays<br />

10 Six of the Best:<br />

Luxury hotels in Shanghai<br />

12 Event report: Advantage<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Symposium<br />

15 <strong>The</strong> Knowledge: making the<br />

most of corporate cards<br />

16 Speaking Out: why basic<br />

economy is a false economy<br />

Regulars<br />

20 <strong>The</strong> Conversation:<br />

Lord Andrew Adonis<br />

22 <strong>The</strong> Big Picture<br />

24 Meet the Buyer: Ana Gibson<br />

26 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People<br />

Awards: winner's interview<br />

27 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People<br />

Awards: <strong>2018</strong> winners' trip<br />

28 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People<br />

Awards 20<strong>19</strong>: the details<br />

46 Technology: Data consolidation<br />

48 Talking <strong>Travel</strong>: Zoe Lyons<br />

92 Event gallery: Autumn Sparkle<br />

22<br />

<strong>The</strong> Review<br />

51 Ten pages of news, views<br />

and the latest developments<br />

Departures<br />

93 New Kid on the Block<br />

18<br />

38<br />

92<br />

100<br />

94 Gadgets & Gear<br />

96 On the Road<br />

97 Meeting in... Milton Keynes<br />

99 On <strong>Business</strong> in... Berlin<br />

100 Focus on... Australia and<br />

New Zealand<br />

104 Reality Check<br />

106 <strong>The</strong> Final Word<br />




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5-Star rating from Skytrax for six consecutive years.<br />

ANA flies direct daily from London Heathrow’s<br />

Terminal 2 to Haneda, Tokyo’s most central airport.<br />

Haneda is home to 40 of our domestic routes and<br />

23 international routes. ANA also connects you to<br />

Sydney with a daily non-stop flight from Haneda.<br />

We Are Japan.<br />

anaskyweb.com<br />

#WeAreJapan<br />

WINNER<br />

Best Corporate Social<br />

Responsibility Programme<br />

WINNER<br />

<strong>Business</strong> Airline of the Year<br />

*By passenger numbers across all Japanese carriers


Welcome<br />

<strong>The</strong> guessing game<br />

Forecasting the rise or fall of business<br />

travel volumes, airfares and nightly<br />

rates for the next year is always<br />

fraught with difficulties, but never<br />

more so than in 20<strong>19</strong>, when any<br />

figures floated should be marked with<br />

a large caveat called Brexit. Of course the unpredictable circumstances<br />

have not prevented the usual round of forecasts being issued, most of<br />

which anticipate marginal increases in business travel costs for the<br />

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

in our 20<strong>19</strong> travel trends feature on pages 18-<strong>19</strong> and in our UK hotels<br />

update on pages 38-44.<br />

One thing we can say with confidence is that travel management<br />

companies will continue to be the crutch that props up the complex<br />

travel programmes of so many UK businesses. But it's not just a<br />

supporting role they are playing. In a sector that is slowly consolidating,<br />

good TMCs are diversifying their products and services and proving<br />

increasingly innovative. We take a look at the evolution of modern<br />

TMCs in our extended feature on pages 63-91.<br />

Elsewhere in this issue you'll find interviews with Labour Peer and<br />

former Transport Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis, travel buyer Ana<br />

Gibson, globe-trotting comedian Zoe Lyons, and Natalie Payne, winner<br />

of the Operations Manager of the Year award at <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

People Awards <strong>2018</strong>. Nominations for the 20<strong>19</strong> awards open on<br />

<strong>January</strong> 1 (see pages 28-29 for details). Good luck to everyone entering<br />

the awards and, on behalf of the team, we wish all readers a happy,<br />

healthy and successful 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

the<br />

<strong>Business</strong>travel<br />



EDITOR<br />

Andy Hoskins<br />

andy.hoskins@thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />


Catherine Chetwynd, Linda Fox, Rob Gill,<br />

Jools Stone, Gillian Upton,<br />

Kerry Reals & Angela Sara West<br />


Benjamin Coren<br />


Steve Hartridge<br />

SALES<br />


David Clare<br />

david.clare@thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />



Matt Bonner<br />


Louisa Horton & Monica Notarnicola<br />


Ross Clifford & Zoe Tarrant<br />


Clare Hunter<br />


Steve Hunter<br />



Martin Steady<br />

Andy Hoskins, Editor<br />



SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. T: 020 8649 7233<br />







©BMI PUBLISHING LTD <strong>2018</strong><br />






oPeNiNg shots<br />

Eye-catching images of the latest news and developments<br />

Kimpton Hotels<br />

fitZ is a hit<br />

IHG's boutique<br />

Kimpton Hotels brand<br />

has arrived in the UK<br />

with the launch of<br />

<strong>The</strong> Kimpton Fitzroy<br />

London. <strong>The</strong> Grade II<br />

listed building is set<br />

on Russell Square and<br />

has 334 guestrooms,<br />

ballroom and several<br />

bars and restaurants.<br />

It is one of several<br />

Principal hotels in<br />

the UK that will be<br />

relaunched under the<br />

Kimpton brand.<br />

A true homage to<br />

British history and<br />

design, the hotel is named<br />

after the original architect<br />

of the building, Charles<br />

Fitzroy Doll, a titan of British<br />

architecture in the Victorian<br />

and Edwardian eras”<br />


Hilton London Bankside<br />

fresh ideas<br />

<strong>The</strong> Hilton London<br />

Bankside has teamed<br />

up with multi-sensory<br />

design specialists<br />

Bompas & Parr to<br />

launch <strong>The</strong> Angora<br />

meeting room,<br />

featuring interactive<br />

screen technology,<br />

mood-improving<br />

lighting and a<br />

'creativity tea station'.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Impeccable Pig<br />

the whole hog<br />

An historic County<br />

Durham coach house<br />

has been converted into<br />

a ten-room, porcinethemed<br />

hotel, <strong>The</strong><br />

Impeccable Pig. Its luxury<br />

rooms include <strong>The</strong> Pigsty,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Whole Hog, Oinkers<br />

and Globe Trotter. It is<br />

part of the Ramside<br />

Estates portfolio.<br />

One Broad Street<br />

by the sea<br />

<strong>The</strong> One Broad Street<br />

hotel has opened in<br />

Brighton. <strong>The</strong> 'smart<br />

boutique hotel for the<br />

tech-savvy traveller'<br />

takes its design inspiration<br />

from 'New York<br />

City industrial loft<br />

minimalism' and the<br />

concept of biophilic<br />

design by incorporating<br />

greenery and natural<br />

materials.<br />



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Crossrail delays<br />








OF THIS<br />




Ewan Kassir, Head of Sales, Clarity<br />

Simon Wright, Former Crossrail<br />

Chief Executive<br />

“This project is already delivering benefits for<br />

the whole of the UK through its cross-country<br />

supply chain. Crossrail will be transformative<br />

and carry up to 200 million passengers a year”<br />

Jo Johnson MP, Former Minister of Transport<br />






Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan<br />

Our investigation will examine<br />

the causes of the cost increases<br />

and schedule delays,<br />

the terms of the<br />

additional funding<br />

and the governance<br />

of the programme”<br />

Spokesperson for the National Audit Office<br />




Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM,<br />

Chair of the Transport Committee<br />


“<strong>The</strong> public will be dismayed that yet again mismanagement<br />

of this project has meant an extra injection of taxpayers’<br />

money, which TfL will have to pay back. While we welcome<br />

the decision to enable the project to go forward as soon as<br />

possible, Transport for London and the Mayor have serious<br />

questions to answer about the shambles that is unfolding”<br />

Gareth Bacon AM, Chairman of the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee<br />





Six of the best...<br />

Luxury hotels in Shanghai<br />

1<br />

Shanghai Wonderland<br />

A hotel whose location lives up<br />

to its name, this recently opened<br />

property from Intercontinental is<br />

set in a former quarry to the<br />

southwest of Shanghai. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

are two floors above ground<br />

level, 16 that descend to the<br />

bottom of the quarry and two<br />

beneath water level.<br />

2<br />

3<br />

Bulgari Hotel Shanghai<br />

<strong>The</strong> Bulgari Hotel Shanghai<br />

opened last summer and is set<br />

across a section of a 48-storey<br />

tower and the restored Chamber<br />

of Commerce building that dates<br />

from <strong>19</strong>16. A rooftop restaurant<br />

has views across the city.<br />

Bellagio Shanghai<br />

Shanghai welcomed only the<br />

second Bellagio hotel worldwide<br />

when this property opened in<br />

June <strong>2018</strong>. Located close to<br />

<strong>The</strong> Bund, the hotel has 184<br />

guestrooms, four restaurants,<br />

spa and a grand ballroom.<br />

4<br />

W Shanghai<br />

<strong>The</strong> upscale Marriott brand made<br />

its debut in Shanghai in 2017<br />

with the opening of the W<br />

Shanghai – <strong>The</strong> Bund. Nearly all<br />

of the 374 stylish guestrooms<br />

have views of the Huangpu River<br />

and Pudong skyline. <strong>The</strong>re are<br />

five dining options and nearly<br />

6,000m 2 of events space.<br />

6<br />

amanyangyun<br />

Another <strong>2018</strong> addition to the<br />

city's high-end hotel stock, this<br />

peaceful resort just outside of<br />

downtown Shanghai has a series<br />

of suites and villas set in restored<br />

historic buildings. <strong>The</strong>re are five<br />

dining options, a spa and<br />

meetings and event spaces.<br />

5<br />

the Middle House<br />

Swire Hotels' latest addition<br />

to its House Collective, the<br />

Middle House is located in<br />

Shanghai’s historic Dazhongli<br />

neighbourhood and continues<br />

the company’s philosophy of<br />

‘intimate luxury delivered with<br />

highly personalised service’.<br />


Live <strong>Travel</strong> Space<br />

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We are creating a Live <strong>Travel</strong> Space for all<br />

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the traveller, fulfilling their every wish in real<br />

time. Our solutions, booked by the Amadeus<br />

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business travelers.<br />

Join us in the Live <strong>Travel</strong> Space!<br />

www.amadeus.com/livetravelspace<br />

Untitled-15 1 23/11/<strong>2018</strong> 09:55



<strong>The</strong> Advantage <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Symposium <strong>2018</strong><br />

Delegates heard keynote speeches from<br />

Lord Andrew Adonis and the University<br />

of Liverpool’s Paul Redmond at <strong>The</strong><br />

Advantage <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Symposium in<br />

November, while also being given the<br />

opportunity to ask a panel of travel<br />

buyers their burning questions.<br />

Benjamin Coren reports<br />

<strong>The</strong> day’s agenda tackled major issues<br />

affecting business travel including Brexit,<br />

traveller wellbeing, NDC and attracting new<br />

talent into the industry, with the event<br />

designed to provide delegates with<br />

actionable takeaways. <strong>The</strong> agenda had been<br />

devised based on feedback from the<br />

consortium's members.<br />

Neil Armorgie, Advantage Global Product<br />

Director and CEO of WIN, kicked off<br />

proceedings by revealing impressive<br />

growth: “In <strong>2018</strong> we added nearly<br />

£100million to our group turnover and<br />

there has also been significant investment<br />

into our meetings and events offering.”<br />

Armorgie talked about the consortium’s<br />

dedicated technology resource. “Fraser<br />

Nichol has taken on NDC to create a bigger<br />

picture for our members, and a summary<br />

booklet has been produced for members,<br />

shared just this week”, he added. Armorgie<br />

said the document is a line in the sand from<br />

when it was published following Lufthansa’s<br />

recent announcement that it would restrict<br />

its lowest fares to NDC channels.<br />

Former Transport Secretary Lord Andrew<br />

Adonis delivered a keynote on Brexit and<br />

the greater economic outlook, discussing<br />

what it may mean for the business travel<br />

industry and UK infrastructure. His<br />

takeaway message was: "In the short term<br />

nothing is going to change, so my message<br />

is to keep calm and carry on." He did<br />

however highlight potential long-term risks<br />

that businesses may face.<br />

Interactive 'Buyer Bootcamp' sessions<br />

gave delegates the chance to ask 'killer'<br />

questions via guided exercises. <strong>The</strong> session<br />

put the challenges that TMCs face centre<br />

stage with topics including attracting buyer<br />

attention and opening a dialogue with<br />

them, engaging with them, how to win<br />

business, approaching client reviews and<br />

preparing for them.<br />


"We've seen an increase in<br />

our membership of 6.9%<br />

which is ahead of the<br />

market. We've had a<br />

great year. Our<br />

mantra continues<br />

to be how we<br />

will benefit<br />

member<br />

shareholders"<br />


Neil Armorgie, Advantage<br />

Global Product Director<br />











Imelda Aspinall, UK <strong>Travel</strong> Manager, ITV<br />


"I think we will try to do it<br />

without visas and very rapidly<br />

we will end up having to<br />

introduce them. And the EU<br />

will reciprocate and do<br />

the same for British<br />

citizens travelling to<br />

those countries. We may<br />

eventually end up with<br />

an ESTA-type visa<br />

system"<br />

Lord Andrew<br />


Looking for a TMC?<br />

Find the perfect partnership<br />

with Advantage.<br />

Advantage <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong>, part of <strong>The</strong> Advantage <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Partnership, is the UK’s largest independent group of<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Management Companies in the UK.<br />

Together with its global division, WIN Global <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Network, Advantage has over 200 UK TMC locations and<br />

global partners in 70 countries, meaning Advantage can<br />

be sure to help you find the right TMC for your individual<br />

business needs.<br />

By using an Advantage <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> TMC you will<br />

benefit from:<br />

◊<br />

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An independent business offering personalised<br />

and attentive service around the clock<br />

Access to a global network of TMC partners,<br />

through the WIN Global <strong>Travel</strong> Network<br />

A consultative approach to managing your<br />

travel programme, making travel simple<br />

Access to leading technology and consolidated data<br />

<strong>The</strong> buying power of a combined turnover volume<br />

in excess of £3bn<br />

To find out more visit advantagemembers.com.<br />

Follow us @AdvantageHQ



How to...<br />

Make the most of corporate cards<br />

<strong>The</strong> Scout Association is a long-time user<br />

of corporate cards, but the ways in<br />

which it deploys them has changed<br />


<strong>The</strong> Scout Association<br />

provides youth work support to<br />

638,000 young people and adult<br />

volunteers across the UK. A longterm<br />

Barclaycard customer, its<br />

staff have typically used<br />

corporate cards for a<br />

range of travel and<br />

subsistence costs.<br />


“While the kinds of things<br />

we purchase with our<br />

cards have stayed<br />

consistent over the years,<br />

we have taken advantage<br />

of technological developments<br />

to speed up our reconciliation<br />

process with Barclaycard,” says <strong>The</strong> Scout<br />

Association’s Simon Carter.<br />

As a result, it now reconciles its corporate<br />

card expenses digitally every month. Carter<br />

explains: “We try to do everything<br />

electronically. We used to reconcile expenses<br />

by hand, but we conducted a study that<br />

showed it would save time – and therefore<br />

money – to move to digital reconciliation.”<br />

He continues: “As a charity, you want to<br />

put as much money as possible into your<br />

cause rather than the back office.”<br />


Every four years, the<br />

organisation sends 4,000<br />

young people from the UK<br />

to <strong>The</strong> World Scout<br />

Jamboree, which takes<br />

place in destinations all<br />

over the world – mostly<br />

recently in Japan in 2015.<br />

At the event, in addition to those who<br />

already had company credit cards, <strong>The</strong> Scout<br />

Association provided 40 staff with a pre-paid<br />

Barclaycard corporate card, which they used<br />

for car hire, food and other travel expenses.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> cards mean we can control costs<br />

really easily,” says Carter. “We can see what<br />

our teams are spending on, and we don’t<br />

have to provide them with lots of cash.”<br />


At times, corporate<br />

cards have also helped<br />

the team resolve<br />

challenging situations.<br />

“After a Jamboree we<br />

hosted in Thailand finished, we<br />

sent 400 young people on a home<br />

hospitality visit to Malaysia,” explains<br />

Carter. “I was woken up at 3am by a phone<br />

call from the head of our contingent in<br />

Malaysia saying that, for various reasons,<br />

the planned accommodation wasn’t<br />

available. I called our director of finance,<br />

who contacted the Barclaycard out-of-hours<br />

service, who in turn raised the credit card<br />

limit of the person on the spot to £25,000.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> leader of the contingent then<br />

sourced safe and secure hotel rooms for<br />

400 young people and their leaders. It<br />

was so simple.”<br />


Corporate cards are key to <strong>The</strong> Scout<br />

Association’s operations, whether it’s<br />

for resolving unexpected situations or<br />

simply paying for<br />

food and drink.<br />

“Cards make it<br />

easy to control<br />

costs and provide<br />

excellent visibility<br />

on spending,” says<br />

Carter. “<strong>The</strong> key<br />

thing for us is the<br />

flexibility they<br />

offer. We use a traditional purchase<br />

order process for most of our regular<br />

costs, but sometimes you simply don’t<br />

have time to wait – you need to pay for<br />

something there and then and a card<br />

makes that possible.”<br />





What price loyalty?<br />

Basic economy is a false economy<br />

<strong>The</strong>re’s a trade-off between the cheapest<br />

economy fares and corporate loyalty,<br />

says Peter Gerstle, who argues there’s<br />

more than one way to measure value<br />

Low-cost carriers are here to stay – that's a<br />

fact. According to the latest research from<br />

IATA, these ‘new model airlines’ now<br />

account for 28.3% of all passenger journeys<br />

– with US budget carrier SouthWest and<br />

Irish favourite Ryanair both topping the<br />

charts in terms of passengers carried.<br />

In response, so-called ‘legacy’ airlines have<br />

also begun to introduce stripped down<br />

economy fares for ‘price-sensitive’<br />

customers in their efforts to stay<br />

competitive. Emirates, once considered the<br />

bastion of luxury airlines, is the latest to<br />

consider basic economy fares that exclude<br />

‘perks’ like food and baggage allowance.<br />

But as more airlines embrace ‘basic<br />

economy’, what are the implications for<br />

business travellers and loyalty?<br />

Increasingly, many companies have a<br />

lowest available fare policy, or even a fare<br />

cap, and encourage their employees to<br />

consider the basic economy option.<br />

However, for businesses these policies are<br />

not without its risks.<br />

<strong>Business</strong> travellers holding these barebones<br />

tickets will have no choice in seat<br />

assignment, may not be permitted to stow a<br />

carry-on-bag in the overhead bins and will<br />

not be able to accrue as many – or any –<br />

frequent flier miles.<br />

If they desire what in the past<br />

have been considered the<br />

fundamentals of<br />

It’s a mistake to<br />

assume that someone<br />

travelling on a basic economy<br />

fare is not a potentially<br />

valuable customer”<br />

business travel, they will have to pay for<br />

them as add-ons. This is hardly a recipe for<br />

a productive, happy employee, especially if<br />

they are travelling for an important<br />

meeting, and may even end up costing a<br />

business more than a standard fare.<br />

In addition, what happens if a meeting<br />

overruns and an employee misses their<br />

flight? If the employee has a non-refundable<br />

ticket there may be may be no option but<br />

coughing up for a last-minute, walk-up fare.<br />

As savvy travel managers are now<br />

realising, insisting on basic economy tickets<br />

can cost you dearly. Short-term savings<br />

associated with the cheapest fares can<br />

easily be dwarfed through hidden costs and<br />

productivity losses.<br />

<strong>Business</strong> travel policies should be centred<br />

on value not just the lowest fare prices.<br />

Recognising customer loyalty and making<br />

considerations to accommodate an<br />

employee’s frequent flyer membership is<br />

particularly important.<br />

It not only has a positive contribution to<br />

the employee’s happiness and status, but it<br />

also plays an important role in getting fees<br />

waived for extras like checked bags or makes<br />

travellers eligible for upgrades. <strong>The</strong>se perks<br />

could make all the difference in how an<br />

employee performs in that big meeting.<br />

Airlines too must not assume that price is<br />

the only driver for a purchase – value is<br />

measured through an overall experience<br />

and has a significant impact on loyalty. It’s a<br />

mistake to assume that someone travelling<br />

on a basic economy fare is not a potentially<br />

valuable customer.<br />

<strong>The</strong> key is to really understand each<br />

customer and know why they are flying,<br />

every time they fly. Enabling customers to<br />

collect frequent flyer points on all flights,<br />

including basic economy fares, is an<br />

important part<br />

of this.<br />

With this<br />

deeper<br />

understanding,<br />

airlines can start to see<br />

the bigger picture. <strong>The</strong>y can<br />

recognise a frequent flyer even<br />

if their booking is made by a<br />

corporate travel manager and identify<br />

which customers present the best<br />

opportunity to create ongoing relationships<br />

that deliver additional revenue.<br />


Peter is Group Head of <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Products at <strong>The</strong> Collinson<br />

Group, a leading global<br />

consultancy in loyalty and<br />

benefits. <strong>The</strong> company has<br />

worked with major brands<br />

including Avios, Radisson<br />

Hotels, Visa and<br />

Mastercard.<br />


20<strong>19</strong> TRAVEL TRENDS<br />

back to the future<br />

It’s difficult to look beyond Brexit when scouting ahead for the big developments coming up in 20<strong>19</strong>,<br />

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

High five<br />

Watch out for these five hotels<br />

coming to London in 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Taking off<br />

Notable new route launches<br />

British Airways<br />

• Heathrow-Osaka<br />

four times a week from March 31<br />

• London City-Munich<br />

daily from Feb 16<br />

• Heathrow-Pittsburgh<br />

four times a week from April<br />

• Heathrow-Charleston<br />

twice a week from April 4<br />

(summer only)<br />

<strong>The</strong> Stratford<br />

1 This hotel will open as part of<br />

the highly anticipated Manhattan<br />

Loft Gardens skyscraper (below) in<br />

Stratford in April 20<strong>19</strong>. It promises<br />

to “seamlessly merge short-term<br />

stays with long-term hotel living”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Standard<br />

2 This trendy US brand will open<br />

its first international hotel in King’s<br />

Cross in 20<strong>19</strong> set in the Camden<br />

Town Annex building.<br />

Hard Rock Hotel<br />

3 Hard Rock will open its first UK<br />

hotel in London in the spring (above<br />

right) by converting the Cumberland<br />

Hotel into a 1,000-room property.<br />

Belmond Cadogan<br />

4 <strong>The</strong> luxury hotel group is due<br />

to open its second UK hotel in the<br />

spring, a 54-room hotel between<br />

Kensington and Chelsea.<br />

5<br />

Ruby Hotels<br />

<strong>The</strong> ‘lean luxury’ hotel brand<br />

(below) is due to open the London<br />

Southbank Outpost in summer<br />

20<strong>19</strong>. <strong>The</strong> fledgling group currently<br />

has six hotels across Germany and<br />

one in Austria.<br />

Virgin Atlantic<br />

• Manchester-Los Angeles<br />

three times weekly from May 26<br />

Delta Air Lines<br />

• Edinburgh-Boston<br />

daily from May 24<br />

Rooms for growth<br />

Hotel room supply is set to grow 8% in London in 20<strong>19</strong> and by<br />

5% across the rest of the UK<br />

With such a strong pipeline of hotels due to come on<br />

stream, we will need healthy demand growth to avoid<br />

a drop in occupancy percentages” says HVS Chairman, Russell Kett<br />


20<strong>19</strong> TRAVEL TRENDS<br />

Brexit: March 29<br />

iN? out? good deal? No deal?<br />

cliff edge? secoNd refereNdum?<br />

Uncertainty around<br />

the Brexit deal has<br />

not affected bookings and<br />

our business is up year on<br />

year. People will still need to<br />

do business whatever happens<br />

concerning the Brexit trade<br />

deal – if a company needs to<br />

travel in order to conduct<br />

business then they are still<br />

going to<br />

travel, even<br />

if airfares<br />

go up”<br />

Mel Phaure,<br />

Director, Blue<br />

Cube <strong>Travel</strong><br />

European airfares<br />

2% - the predicted rise in average<br />

ticket prices on regional routes<br />

1% - the predicted rise in average<br />

ticket prices for intercontinental travel<br />

“Negotiating a good deal<br />

with European airlines is<br />

becoming harder as they<br />

reduce discounts for all but<br />

their best-performing clients:<br />

those who either spend heavily<br />

on premium cabins of fullfare<br />

economy to long-haul<br />

destinations, or fly economy<br />

to markets where the airline<br />

wants to gain or defend<br />

market share”<br />

BCD 20<strong>19</strong> Industry Forecast<br />

Trend-setting<br />

technology<br />

dataart predicts 20<strong>19</strong> will see five<br />

maJor tech treNds takiNg travel aNd<br />

hospitality to the NeXt level<br />

Ai is set to reAch<br />

new heights<br />

Progression will ‘skyrocket’,<br />

helping improve customer service<br />

and save human resources<br />

oPen APis<br />

Proliferation of open APIs will<br />

enable better synchronisation<br />

between technology systems<br />

AugmenteD reAlity<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> and hospitality players have<br />

been slow to adopt AR but it will<br />

be at the forefront of marketing<br />

and personalisation in 20<strong>19</strong><br />

self-serVice<br />

Expect more tech that eliminates<br />

the need for customers to<br />

interact with a human to<br />

complete a transaction<br />

Voice Assist<br />

Use is already growing at an<br />

impressive rate and will be a vital<br />

component of the industry’s<br />

demand for efficiency<br />

ONE Order is<br />

the new NDC?<br />

Those tired of hearing about<br />

IATA’s NDC standard can look<br />

forward to hearing plenty about<br />

the organisation’s ONE Order<br />

programme in 20<strong>19</strong> – which in fact<br />

is made possible by NDC advances.<br />

“Today, an air booking creates both<br />

a passenger name record (PNR) and<br />

an electronic ticket, plus an<br />

electronic miscellaneous document<br />

for any ancillary purchases like<br />

checked bag fees. Under ONE Order,<br />

all these documents will be replaced<br />

with a single, retail-type digital order<br />

management process,”<br />

explains travel management<br />

company BCD.<br />

For passengers and their<br />

employers, the potential<br />

benefits include more<br />

coordinated disruption<br />

management when flights are<br />

delayed, better customer<br />

recognition, improved MI<br />

and better understanding of<br />

total trip cost<br />

THEbusinesstraVeLMag.COM<br />



Labour Peer & Former Transport Secretary<br />


<strong>The</strong> staunch Remainer speaks to Andy Hoskins ahead of his<br />

keynote address at the Advantage <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Symposium<br />

Keep calm and carry on," are Lord<br />

Andrew Adonis's words of advice<br />

for the travel industry as the UK<br />

moves towards its scheduled March 29<br />

departure from the European Union.<br />

"<strong>The</strong>re’s a lot of alarmism around at the<br />

moment and people are right to be<br />

concerned about the long-term future for<br />

the country if we Brexit, but people shouldn’t<br />

worry about going off a cliff edge next year.<br />

Parliament isn’t that stupid," he says.<br />

"In the long-term, however, Brexit will<br />

make us much less attractive to inward<br />

investment and it will start imposing<br />

impediments to trade and travel."<br />

Speaking before EU leaders had agreed<br />

the Brexit deal that will be voted on by<br />

parliament in <strong>December</strong>, Adonis says: "Any<br />

form of Brexit is bad for the country and we<br />

should have a referendum so people can<br />

give their view on what they really want."<br />

He believes there is "a serious chance" of<br />

the so-called People's Vote taking place in<br />

20<strong>19</strong> and claims: "Even Brexiters are coming<br />

round to this view as well – that this half-in,<br />

half-out deal that <strong>The</strong>resa May is proposing<br />

may actually be worse than staying fully in.<br />

Both sides regard it as a sell-out."<br />

He continues: "It's increasingly clear that<br />

the deal is going to hit the buffers and the<br />

question is what happens when it does."<br />

Adonis believes there are three possible<br />

scenarios the country could find itself in on<br />

March 29. Firstly, a continuation of Article<br />

50 – potentially under a new Prime Minister<br />

– in order to "get a credible deal over a<br />

longer period". Secondly, that the country<br />

will leave the EU but "with everything<br />

essentially still to be negotiated"; and lastly,<br />

the referendum he desires.<br />

So there's no chance of planes being<br />

grounded overnight and gridlocked ports?<br />

"That's a straight scare. It’s deplorable that<br />

the government has allowed the public to<br />

think this could happen. <strong>The</strong>re’s simply no<br />

way you're going to get 325 MPs – half the<br />

House – that are going to agree to us<br />

leaving the European Union with no deal<br />

and the country grinding to a halt."<br />

Having served as Transport Secretary<br />

under Gordon Brown's Labour government,<br />

the UK's air, road and rail networks are a<br />

subject close to his heart. He pioneered<br />

plans for High Speed 2 – the high-speed<br />

railway that will connect London with the<br />

Midlands and potentially cities further north<br />

– and offers unwavering support to the<br />

expansion of London Heathrow Airport.<br />

"I can't take credit for being a genius," he<br />

says of HS2. "All I was doing was copying<br />

With a third runway at<br />

Heathrow from 2028,<br />

soon after the opening of HS2,<br />

Adonis heralds a transport<br />

infrastructure revolution for<br />

England in the mid-2020s”<br />

what pretty much every developed country<br />

in the world has done over the last 50 years<br />

which is to build high-speed rail lines<br />

between the major cities."<br />

<strong>The</strong> London to Birmingham line is currently<br />

under construction – and is due to open in<br />

2026 – and he believes plans to extend it to<br />

Leeds and Manchester will happen "with or<br />

without Brexit".<br />

"Once the high speed lines get to Leeds<br />

and Manchester the journey times from<br />

London to Scotland will come down a lot.<br />

You’ll be able to do both of those trips<br />

[to Glasgow and Edinburgh] in 3.5 hours<br />

or less, which will make trains highly<br />

competitive with planes for the first time,"<br />

Adonis explains.<br />

And he says expansion at Heathrow is<br />

"vitally important for bringing inward<br />

investment into the country and for<br />

promoting business travel internationally<br />

including to new and emerging markets."<br />

He is also confident that, with parliament<br />

voting almost 10-1 in favour of expansion –<br />

and with a majority in all the political parties<br />

– it is a "done deal". He adds: "My view is<br />

that this is irreversible".<br />

With a third runway at Heathrow<br />

potentially operational from 2028, not long<br />

after the scheduled opening of HS2, Adonis<br />

heralds a "transport infrastructure<br />

revolution for England in the mid-2020s".<br />

Brexit or no Brexit, the UK's connectivity<br />

both at home and with foreign nations is set<br />

for a welcome shot in the arm.<br />



in brief...<br />

Expansion at Heathrow is<br />

set to go ahead and HS2<br />

is underway, but where is<br />

the country's transport<br />

network falling short?<br />

<strong>The</strong> northern cities are very<br />

badly connected and what I<br />

call HS3 – which is the eastwest<br />

line linking Liverpool,<br />

Manchester, Leeds,<br />

Newcastle and Hull – that’s<br />

hugely important and<br />

there’s still no proper plan<br />

for that. We’ve got big<br />

North-South improvements<br />

with HS2 underway but<br />

there’s no equivalent<br />

improvement taking place<br />

east to west in the North.<br />


Rt Hon Lord (Andrew) Adonis is a Labour peer, former<br />

Transport Secretary and former Chairman of the<br />

National Infrastructure Commission. Both as advisor<br />

and then minister, Andrew Adonis was a key architect<br />

of Tony Blair's public service reforms in education,<br />

health, local government, policing and transport. He is<br />

the author of books on parliamentary reform, the class<br />

system and the poll tax.<br />

According to your Twitter<br />

bio, you've been called a<br />

'twisted weasel' by Nigel<br />

Farage and a 'cave man'<br />

by Jacob Rees-Mogg – you<br />

seem to revel in being<br />

something of a villain...<br />

I do because I’m deliberately<br />

taking on Nigel Farage and<br />

Boris Johnson and Jacob<br />

Rees-Mogg because they're<br />

the chief Brexiters. So I<br />

relish an argument and a<br />

battle with them because<br />

the issues are so big for the<br />

country. Over the medium<br />

to long-term I think Brexit<br />

will be extremely damaging<br />

which is the reason I’m<br />

doing battle ferociously<br />

with the leading Brexiters.<br />

However much Boris<br />

Johnson, Nigel Farage, Kate<br />

Hoey and co dislike me,<br />

they dislike <strong>The</strong>resa May<br />

even more. <strong>The</strong>y are falling<br />

apart. <strong>The</strong> question is<br />

whether it falls apart in<br />

such a way that we can get<br />

a referendum and put a<br />

stop to Brexit.<br />




Copenhagen<br />



<strong>The</strong> Danish capital city<br />

has been named Lonely<br />

Planet’s number one<br />

city for 20<strong>19</strong>, propelled<br />

to the top by its “worldrenowned<br />

food scene”,<br />

craft beer culture and<br />

its reputation as a<br />

“design powerhouse”.<br />

In second place was<br />

Shenzhen – the ‘Silicon<br />

Valley of China’ – and in<br />

third was up-and-coming<br />

Serbian city Novi Sad.<br />






meet<br />


Ana Gibson is Supply Manager, <strong>Travel</strong>, at Hilti, having recently<br />

moved from the supplier side of the travel industry<br />

Hilti is a global company operating in<br />

120 countries with more than 27,000<br />

employees. We design and manufacture<br />

leading-edge technology, software and<br />

services which power the construction<br />

industry. I have been here since the end of<br />

July <strong>2018</strong> and am discovering every day<br />

what a great company it is to work for;<br />

people are at the forefront of everything<br />

Hilti does. <strong>The</strong> headcount is growing by 10%<br />

year on year and currently we have around<br />

950 staff in the UK. Around half of these<br />

have regular business trips and many more<br />

travel on an ad hoc basis.<br />

My career in travel started as soon as<br />

I graduated from university 15 years<br />

ago when I joined Emirates. I saw it as a<br />

temporary role, but once the “travel bug”<br />

gets hold of you, not many tend to leave the<br />

industry. Soon after joining, I moved into<br />

sales support and eventually corporate<br />

sales. After seven years, I swapped the hot<br />

climate of Dubai for Santa’s official airline,<br />

Finnair, as client manager.<br />

My main responsibilities are to help<br />

drive productivity, through sourcing and<br />

negotiating with suppliers. I also<br />

look at the spend patterns and<br />

look at how behaviour can<br />

be influenced to achieve<br />

cost savings. My role is<br />

based in the UK but<br />

I work closely with<br />

my counterparts in<br />

Northern Europe<br />

and the global<br />

procurement<br />

managers to benchmark<br />

our policy and activity<br />

against our peers.<br />

Employees are empowered to<br />

make their own travel bookings through<br />

our TMC and its online booking tool. Apart<br />

from the PAs to the Directors and MD, we<br />

do not have dedicated travel bookers<br />

except for when it comes to our Training<br />

School. This has a significant need for<br />

hotel accommodation, and once I have<br />

negotiated the contracts with the preferred<br />

suppliers, our HR Shared Services team are<br />

tasked with managing the booking process.<br />

We work closely with countries in<br />

Northern Europe so there is a lot<br />

of travel to key destinations<br />

such as Copenhagen, and<br />

Helsinki, as well as<br />


Dublin. Our global<br />

"I am originally from<br />

headquarters are<br />

Romania. My dad was born in a based in Schaan so we<br />

castle in Transylvania so I am a travel there via Zurich<br />

distant relative to Dracula! But – or via Munich is also<br />

unlike most vampires, I tend to common. We also try<br />

favour bright sunshine for to use digital solutions<br />

my holiday destinations" such as Skype and<br />

Microsoft Hubs to reduce<br />

the amount of corporate<br />

travel needed.<br />

We only use two TMCs globally, with the<br />

UK and US using one, and the rest another.<br />

We actively encourage employees to use<br />

the online booking tools provided. In the<br />

UK, our OBT adoption is around 87%.<br />

We have a strong travel policy in place<br />

which considers all aspects. As adherence<br />

to policy is high, I would say that it is very<br />

effective, but we are always looking for<br />

improvements. We want employees to have<br />

a positive and safe experience when they<br />

travel on business as employee wellbeing is<br />

very important to us as a company.<br />

My biggest challenge is to ensure the<br />

varied stakeholders’ needs are met. <strong>The</strong><br />

standards required are high and it can<br />

sometimes be a challenge to meet the<br />

expectations while adhering to the policy<br />

and the need to manage costs.<br />

We want employees<br />

to have a positive<br />

and safe experience when<br />

they travel on business as<br />

wellbeing is very important<br />

to us as a company”<br />



<strong>2018</strong> CHRISTMAS PARTY<br />



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

awards<br />

meet the winner<br />

Natalie Payne<br />

Fello’s Natalie Payne was named Operations Manager of the Year<br />

at <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People Awards <strong>2018</strong><br />

How did it feel to win<br />

the Operations Manager<br />

of the Year award?<br />

I was very surprised and<br />

obviously delighted! I<br />

knew it was a popular<br />

category as there is a lot<br />

of talent in our industry, so it was a huge<br />

honour to be recognised.<br />

Why did you decide to enter the awards<br />

or how did you come to be nominated?<br />

Fello Group CEO Simone Buckley did it –<br />

unbeknown to me! Simone recognised that<br />

while I had the job title of Team Leader, I<br />

had been performing the role of Operations<br />

Manager for over a year following the<br />

departure of the Head of Operations. It was<br />

particularly challenging during this time as<br />

Sandy Row <strong>Travel</strong> and World Club <strong>Travel</strong><br />

were merging, and we were preparing to<br />

launch our new brand, Fello.<br />

We were also without a managing director<br />

or CEO and had just won a large account to<br />

be serviced in the UK, US and Singapore. I<br />

found myself in charge of a global<br />

online and offline implementation,<br />

a team of<br />

consultants who were<br />

nervous about the<br />

merger, a GDS contract<br />

up for renewal, and a<br />

booking tool that was<br />

being phased out.<br />

Tell us about your<br />

role and the work<br />

you’ve done that<br />

clinched the award?<br />

I was responsible for the<br />

implementation of our largest-ever<br />

customer across three countries (two of<br />

which didn’t have offices) while retaining<br />

our customer base through a period of<br />

significant change. I also set up, recruited<br />

and trained our own in-house out-of-hours<br />

department, available 24/7.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> People Awards<br />

recognise outstanding<br />

individuals and teams across<br />

all aspects of the supplier<br />

element of corporate travel.<br />

Nominations for the 20<strong>19</strong><br />

awards open on<br />

<strong>January</strong> 1<br />

What do you particularly enjoy about<br />

your current role?<br />

I love working with a team and the diversity<br />

of the job. No two days are the same. I am<br />

constantly challenged to find<br />

solutions to ensure the team<br />

and I give the absolute<br />

highest level of service to<br />

all our clients.<br />

What do you think<br />

of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> People<br />

Awards, and of the<br />

winners’ event?<br />

It’s really important to<br />

acknowledge talent and<br />

hard work in our industry. It<br />

is motivating for the individuals<br />

concerned, but also for their team<br />

and organisation. When you are in an<br />

operational role you don’t get to attend as<br />

many industry events so it was really<br />

special to be at the awards with my peers.<br />

Being taken on a winners' trip to New York<br />

was also a fantastic privilege.<br />

It’s important to<br />

acknowledge talent<br />

and hard work. It is<br />

motivating for the individuals<br />

concerned, but also for their<br />

team and organisation”<br />

What impact do you think winning an<br />

award will have on your career?<br />

<strong>The</strong> award has really given me the<br />

confidence to progress, to constantly<br />

challenge myself and to aim high. Fello has<br />

big ambitions and I am looking forward to<br />

being part of the journey.<br />

What do you think are the business<br />

travel industry’s biggest challenges<br />

right now?<br />

As consumers we have so much access to<br />

content and so much choice. At Fello, our<br />

job is to ensure we get the best value for<br />

our clients based on their specific needs<br />

and preferences.<br />



<strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

People Awards <strong>2018</strong><br />

Winners trip<br />

to New York<br />

A bridge too far in<br />

Central Park<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People Awards Winners Trip ▼<br />

<strong>The</strong> winners of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

People Awards <strong>2018</strong> jetted off to New<br />

York for a short break in November,<br />

with flights courtesy of Virgin Atlantic<br />

and Delta Air Lines<br />

▲ 08.11.<strong>2018</strong><br />

Exclusive transport for<br />

our group of winners<br />

With thanks to our generous<br />

event partners<br />

Taking in the Manhattan skyline<br />

NOMINATIONS OPEN JANUARY 1, 20<strong>19</strong><br />




<strong>The</strong> annual awards recognising outstanding<br />

individuals & teams in business travel<br />

Now in its<br />

8th Year!<br />

NOMINATIONS OPEN JANUARY 1, 1, 20<strong>19</strong><br />


THE 20<strong>19</strong> CATEGORIES<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People Awards<br />

categories cover a range of roles for both<br />

suppliers and agency entrants. <strong>The</strong> judges<br />

are aware that companies have many<br />

different job titles to illustrate core business<br />

responsibilities such as sales, account<br />

management and business development.<br />

It is important that nominations are<br />

entered in the category with the description<br />

that is the most appropriate.<br />



• Reservations Consultant of the year<br />

Recognising the individual who has<br />

demonstrated excellent customer<br />

service, a can-do attitude and the ability<br />

to go the extra mile for both colleagues<br />

and customers.<br />

• Reservations Team of the year<br />

Recognising the team that has<br />

demonstrated excellent customer<br />

service, a can-do attitude and the ability<br />

to go the extra mile for their customers.<br />

• Operations Manager of the year<br />

Recognising the individual who has<br />

demonstrated the ability to provide<br />

excellent customer service using an<br />

innovative and strategic approach across<br />

operational management.<br />

• Operations Team of the year<br />

Recognising the team that has<br />

demonstrated the ability to provide<br />

excellent customer service using an<br />

innovative and strategic approach across<br />

operational management.<br />

• Account Manager of the year<br />

Recognising the individual who takes<br />

a proactive and consultative approach<br />

to their role in order to provide<br />

unrivalled customer service, care and<br />

value to their clients.<br />

• Account Management Team<br />

of the year<br />

Recognising the team that takes a<br />

proactive and consultative approach to<br />

providing unrivalled customer service,<br />

care and value to their clients.<br />

• Sales/<strong>Business</strong> Development Manager<br />

of the year<br />

Recognising the individual who has driven<br />

growth through outstanding sales results<br />

by the development and use of a creative<br />

and successful business strategy.<br />

• Sales/<strong>Business</strong> Development Team of<br />

the year<br />

Recognising the team that has driven<br />

growth through outstanding sales results<br />

by the development and use of a creative<br />

and successful business strategy.<br />


• Meetings & Events Manager of the year<br />

Recognising the individual who has<br />

demonstrated the ability to provide<br />

excellent customer service or<br />

event management and project<br />

management using an innovative,<br />

practical, strategic approach across<br />

the operational delivery of meetings<br />

and/or events.<br />

• Meetings & Events Team of the year<br />

Recognising the team or department<br />

that has demonstrated the ability to<br />

provide excellent customer service or<br />

event management and project<br />

management using innovative,<br />

practical, strategic approach across<br />

the operational delivery of meetings<br />

and/or events.<br />


(Air, accommodation, ground transport<br />

(car hire and rail), online booking tools,<br />

GDS, data management services)<br />

• Account Manager of the year<br />

Recognising the individual who<br />

demonstrates impeccable product<br />

knowledge and takes a proactive and<br />

consultative approach to their role in<br />

order to provide unrivalled customer<br />

service, care and value to a TMC, HBA<br />

and/or corporate customer.<br />

• Account Management Team of the year<br />

Recognising the team that demonstrates<br />

impeccable product knowledge and takes<br />

a proactive and consultative approach<br />

to their role in order to provide unrivalled<br />

customer service, care and value to a<br />

TMC, HBA and/or corporate customer.<br />

• Sales/<strong>Business</strong> Development Manager<br />

of the year<br />

Recognising the individual who has<br />

driven outstanding sales growth through<br />

the development and use of a creative<br />

and successful business strategy.<br />

• Sales/<strong>Business</strong> Development Team of<br />

the year<br />

Recognising the team that has driven<br />

outstanding sales growth through the<br />

development and use of a creative and<br />

successful business strategy.<br />


• Rising Star award<br />

Recognising an outstanding individual<br />

from any sector of the business travel<br />

industry who is under 35 years of age.<br />

Entrants should have demonstrated a<br />

desire to develop into a business<br />

leader of the future.<br />

• Best Newcomer<br />

Recognising an individual from any<br />

sector of business travel who has been<br />

involved in the industry for less than<br />

two years. This person will have shown<br />

an aptitude and appetite to develop<br />

their role in the sector.<br />

NOMINATIONS OPEN JANUARY 1, 20<strong>19</strong><br />


A smarter<br />

partnership<br />

Whether you’re heading to New York,<br />

LA or somewhere amazing in between,<br />

we’ll fly you there in style<br />

It’s the little things...<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>ling with us is about so much more than simply stepping<br />

on a plane. It’s about the entire experience from airport<br />

arrival to destination.<br />

We make flying for business as fuss-free as possible, with<br />

luxurious lounges, easy airport transfer options,<br />

combined, convenient schedules and bags checked<br />

through from start to finish for a seamless travel<br />

experience. Our mutual loyalty programmes and<br />

reciprocal lounge access* are a nice little touch<br />

too, as is our approach to customers, who we<br />

look after as individuals. Onboard Virgin<br />

Atlantic Upper Class and Delta One® we<br />

boast fully flat beds, perfect for refreshing,<br />

undisturbed sleep, and we’re the only<br />

fully WiFi ** connected transatlantic<br />

joint venture, keeping customers in<br />

touch with the outside world.

It all starts at London<br />

Heathrow, Terminal 3<br />

Upper Class and Delta One customers<br />

enjoy loads of brilliant benefits at<br />

Terminal 3, London Heathrow, where<br />

we’re co-located.<br />

Arrive in style<br />

Virgin Atlantic customers can arrive<br />

in style at the Upper Class Wing with<br />

our chauffeur driven car service^, while<br />

travellers on both airlines can take<br />

advantage of the Upper Class Wing<br />

by arriving in their own car or taxi.<br />

Breeze through<br />

the airport<br />

Navigating a busy airport has<br />

never been easier with Drive Thru<br />

Check In and our Private Security<br />

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on work, not their travel itinerary. <strong>The</strong><br />

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse provides the<br />

perfect stop off to continue working<br />

or simply wind down before a flight,<br />

while priority boarding gets customers<br />

settled in their seats quicker.<br />

Relaxation starts at<br />

ground level<br />

At London Heathrow, Delta SkyMiles®<br />

Diamond and Platinum Medallion®<br />

Members are invited to use the<br />

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, while Gold<br />

Medallion® Members can indulge in the<br />

No.1 <strong>Travel</strong>ler Lounge. Diamond and<br />

Platinum Medallion Members can also<br />

use the Private Security Channel and<br />

the Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge.<br />

Back in Blighty<br />

Get straight back to business in<br />

London Heathrow at the Virgin Atlantic<br />

Revivals Lounge with a hot shower,<br />

delicious breakfast and clothes<br />

pressing/mending service, and whisked<br />

off to onward destinations with a<br />

pre-booked chauffeur car*.<br />

Start spreading<br />

the news<br />

As well as our shared Heathrow hub we<br />

share a convenient flight schedule,<br />

providing eight flights to New York JFK<br />

daily and one flight to Newark. Flights<br />

are scheduled from London Heathrow<br />

throughout the day, and even depart<br />

every 30 minutes from New York JFK<br />

to London Heathrow during the early<br />

evening. We’re expanding services at<br />

a regional level too, with daily flights<br />

from Manchester, Edinburgh and<br />

Glasgow^^ to New York JFK, and we’re<br />

keeping customers connected to over<br />

200 North American destinations via<br />

Delta’s extensive network.<br />

Frequent flyer perks<br />

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Delta<br />

SkyMiles Members benefit from<br />

generous perks, brilliant news for<br />

frequent flyers. Naturally, members<br />

earn miles every time they fly, but<br />

they also scoop miles on each other’s<br />

services and across our partner<br />

airlines’ services too. So, Flying Club<br />

members earn miles on Delta flights,<br />

while SkyMiles Members earn<br />

Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs)<br />

on eligible Virgin Atlantic flights and<br />

can use their miles on eligible Virgin<br />

Atlantic flights too.<br />

That’s not all. Flying Club Gold<br />

members will earn 60% more of<br />

the base flown Flying Club miles<br />

when they travel on any Delta flight<br />

(Silver members receive 30% more)<br />

and enjoy Sky Priority® benefits when<br />

flying Delta, as well as gaining access<br />

to Delta Sky Club® on any Delta<br />

transatlantic ticket.<br />

Please contact your TMC for more information or to book<br />

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

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

premium economy<br />

rise<br />

of the middle class<br />

An increasing focus on employee welfare coupled with<br />

a more creative approach to cost-saving is breathing<br />

new life into premium economy, writes Kerry Reals<br />

Premium economy cabins have<br />

come of age. After a slow and<br />

steady rise in popularity since<br />

taking to the skies with Virgin Atlantic<br />

and EVA Air in the early <strong>19</strong>90s, the area<br />

between the highest- and lowest-yielding<br />

seats on the aircraft is now the centre of<br />

attention as airlines – and passengers –<br />

increasingly realise its potential.<br />

This previously slow-burning trend is<br />

rapidly becoming hotter as a growing list of<br />

airlines find the temptation of introducing a<br />

failsafe product, capable of performing well<br />

in both good and bad economic times, too<br />

difficult to resist.<br />

Sandwiched between business class and<br />

economy, the premium economy cabin<br />

provides a quieter, less cramped alternative<br />

to the back of the bus at a fraction of the<br />

cost of the pointier end, but with some of<br />

the elevated perks.<br />

For travel management companies this<br />

product, the 'compromise cabin', offers a<br />

sweet spot for cost-conscious corporations<br />

looking to keep employees happy and<br />

productive while simultaneously appeasing<br />

their finance divisions.<br />

However, TMCs “have to be able to adapt<br />

their business to these new dynamics” to<br />

ensure they can meet the evolving needs<br />

and expectations of their customers,<br />

according to Richard Johnson, Director<br />

Solutions Group EMEA and APAC at Carlson<br />

Wagonlit <strong>Travel</strong>.<br />

“Premium economy has an important role<br />

to play in the corporate travel market as<br />

companies seek to balance the need for<br />

strong cost management with a growing<br />

appreciation of the importance of traveller<br />

wellbeing and ensuring productivity when<br />

travelling for business, ” says Johnson.<br />

“This is likely to become even more<br />

important when we consider the rise of<br />

ultra-long-haul flights, where premium<br />

economy can be compelling for companies<br />

with tightly managed budgets.”<br />

Indeed, Singapore Airlines has eliminated<br />

the economy cabin entirely on its new ultralong-haul<br />

Newark-Singapore route. Having<br />

apparently decided that nobody in their<br />

right mind would want to fly in economy<br />

class non-stop for 18hr 45mins, the airline<br />

has configured the Airbus A350-900ULR<br />

aircraft deployed on this route in a twoclass<br />

layout, featuring 67 business class<br />

seats and 94 premium economy seats.<br />

Johnson believes premium economy<br />

“offers more comfort for a better price”<br />

on medium- to long-haul flights when<br />

compared to business or first class.<br />

However, investments in technology are<br />

key to enabling TMCs to provide their<br />

customers with a detailed comparisonshopping<br />

experience in a world of<br />

expanding premium economy options.<br />

“It’s becoming increasingly imperative for<br />

businesses to work with TMCs with strong<br />

technology partners, who are able to <br />


premium economy<br />

<strong>The</strong> number of<br />

airlines offering<br />

premium economy has grown<br />

from a small handful in the<br />

<strong>19</strong>90s to in excess of 25 today”<br />

Cathay Pacific<br />



premium economy<br />

ANA<br />

provide accurate and comprehensive<br />

content choices for their travellers,” he says.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> right technology can provide access<br />

to rich images of airline seat options and<br />

other airline products. This gives companies<br />

better value and coverage of available<br />

airline content,” Johnson adds.<br />

<strong>The</strong> number of airlines offering premium<br />

economy has grown from a small handful of<br />

trailblazers in the <strong>19</strong>90s to in excess of 25<br />

today, with new carriers jumping on board<br />

all the time. A trend that initially started in<br />

Europe and Asia with Virgin Atlantic and EVA<br />

Air has spread across the globe, with the<br />

latest converts being in North America and<br />

the Middle East.<br />

Virgin Atlantic’s popular premium<br />

economy cabin entered service in <strong>19</strong>92 and<br />

was branded Mid Class. <strong>The</strong> airline says it<br />

was aimed at “the cost-conscious business<br />

traveller, or leisure travellers looking to<br />

treat themselves”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> product was rebranded in <strong>19</strong>94 as<br />

Premium Economy and again in <strong>2018</strong> as<br />

Premium. It is available on all routes and all<br />

aircraft types across the carrier’s fleet.<br />

Premium upgrades<br />

Wise to the fact that its competitors are<br />

jumping on the bandwagon, Virgin Atlantic<br />

says it is “continually updating” its premium<br />

economy product. In addition to 21-inchwide<br />

leather seats with a 38-inch pitch,<br />

dedicated check-in and bag drop, a meal<br />

served on china crockery with real cutlery, a<br />

Norwegian<br />

glass of bubbly on boarding, an amenity kit<br />

and an extra checked baggage allowance,<br />

the airline has added more features designed<br />

to make its Premium cabin stand out.<br />

“When we introduced our Boeing 787<br />

aircraft in 2014 we introduced a Wander<br />

Wall at the front of the Premium cabin. We<br />

know customers like to stretch their legs<br />

and help themselves to snacks throughout<br />

the flight and the Wander Wall is a social<br />

space where they can socialise with their<br />

fellow travellers and chat to crew while<br />

helping themselves to complimentary<br />

snacks and refreshments,” says the airline.<br />

Virgin Atlantic has also spent the last 12<br />

months working with celebrity chef Donal<br />

Skehan to “reinvent” its in-flight dining<br />

experience. <strong>The</strong> new Dine with Donal dishes<br />

debuted in the airline’s Upper Class cabins<br />

in October and will be available in the<br />

Premium and Economy cabins next year.<br />

When the airline adds the Airbus A350 to<br />

its fleet in 20<strong>19</strong>, it will provide “a great<br />

opportunity to look at all our cabins and<br />

what they offer customers”. Details on what<br />

the premium economy cabin on the A350s<br />

will look like, however, remain strictly under<br />

wraps until the New Year.<br />

Fellow premium economy pioneer EVA Air<br />

is also attempting to differentiate its<br />

product as more airlines seek to emulate<br />

what it started in <strong>19</strong>92. <strong>The</strong> Taiwan-based<br />

carrier announced earlier this year that it<br />

has decided to “call it what it is” and rebrand<br />

the ’in-between cabin’ as Premium Economy.<br />

US carriers arrived<br />

very late to the<br />

premium economy party.<br />

First to turn up was<br />

American Airlines in 2016”<br />

It was previously known as Elite Class.<br />

Alongside the name change came two new<br />

amenity kits from skincare specialists Erno<br />

Laszlo and THANN, and new bedding too.<br />

Cathay Pacific, which introduced a<br />

premium economy product in March 2012,<br />

is also in the process of upgrading its<br />

offering. When the Hong Kong-based carrier<br />

added the Airbus A350-900 to its fleet in<br />

May 2016, it installed its second generation<br />

of premium economy seats. <strong>The</strong> new seats<br />

are also being rolled out across select<br />

routes served by its A350-1000 aircraft.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> A350 premium economy seat sets a<br />

new standard for Cathay Pacific,” says the<br />

carrier’s Marketing and Digital Sales<br />

Manager for the UK and Ireland, Paul<br />

Cruttenden. “It offers additional features<br />

including dedicated tablet holders that<br />

make it easy for passengers to enjoy<br />

entertainment content on their own devices,<br />

power outlets and USB power ports.<br />

“Each premium economy class seat has a<br />

full-length leg rest which, together with the<br />

ergonomically designed seat, allows more<br />

flexibility to adjust for optimal comfort.”<br />

Late arrivals<br />

While premium economy cabins have been<br />

springing up throughout Europe and Asia<br />

over the last quarter of a century, US<br />

airlines arrived late to the party. First to<br />

turn up was American Airlines, which began<br />

selling the new class towards the end of<br />

2016 across its international widebody fleet.<br />

Next was Delta Air Lines, which began<br />

rolling out its Premium Select product on<br />

certain international flights in late 2017.<br />

Delta’s Airbus A350s feature 48 Premium<br />

Select seats, sandwiched between 32 Delta<br />

One business class seats and 226 Main<br />

Cabin seats. United Airlines was the last US<br />

major to throw its hat into the ring when it<br />


premium economy<br />

Singapore Airlines<br />

announced earlier this year that it will<br />

launch a premium economy product,<br />

branded Premium Plus, in early 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> premium economy trend will head<br />

next to the Middle East, where Emirates<br />

will begin introducing the cabin on its new<br />

Airbus A380s in 2020. <strong>The</strong> Dubai-based<br />

carrier has been quiet on the details, but<br />

Emirates President Tim Clark said earlier<br />

this year that “it will be an Emirates<br />

premium economy, and it will be special”.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no indication yet that Gulf rival<br />

Qatar Airways plans to follow suit. Chief<br />

Executive Akbar Al Baker has previously<br />

ruled out the possibility of introducing<br />

premium economy. However, Abu Dhabibased<br />

Etihad Airways hinted earlier this<br />

year that it might enter the fray. If the trend<br />

does catch on in this region, Qatar Airways<br />

could find that it has no choice but to follow<br />

its regional competitors.<br />

Back in Europe, Finnair recently<br />

announced it will introduce premium<br />

economy on long-haul flights from 2020,<br />

but stopped short of releasing any details.<br />

Cost benefits<br />

For some, it is puzzling that it has taken so<br />

long for premium economy to catch on. But<br />

despite a slow start, a number of factors<br />

suggest it is the product’s time to shine.<br />

”In some ways it is surprising that it’s taken<br />

this long for the cabin to spread through<br />

the industry,” says Institute of <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Management Chief Executive Scott Davies.<br />

With premium economy seats selling for<br />

roughly double the amount charged in the<br />

economy class cabin, versus quadruple the<br />

amount for a business class seat,<br />

businesses ”can do double the number of<br />

trips with premium economy”, making it a<br />

very attractive product.<br />

Despite launching in the early <strong>19</strong>90s,<br />

premium economy did not really start to<br />

take off until 2009 when the global<br />

recession started to bite.<br />

“Airlines saw that many companies were<br />

cutting costs by reducing their business<br />

class policy. Consequently, instead of having<br />

corporate travellers fall down to economy,<br />

the airlines began to push premium<br />

economy,” says Eric Olson, Senior Consultant<br />

at American Express Global <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong>.<br />

Carriers also began to “entice companies<br />

who strictly bought economy seats with<br />

premium economy, in the hope that they<br />

would eventually upgrade,” adds Olson.<br />

However, online travel agencies and GDSs<br />

were initially “reluctant to incorporate it..<br />

due to an un-streamlined process which<br />

often required manual search”, meaning<br />

that adoption was slow.<br />

“We advise organisations that are<br />

interested in premium economy to climb on<br />

board sooner rather than later, as they are<br />

currently in a good position to negotiate a<br />

‘first-mover’ advantage with the airlines<br />

before premium economy takes off<br />

entirely,” says Olson, adding that premium<br />

economy could soon “become a prevalent<br />

option for corporates”.<br />

According to Raj Sachdave, Managing<br />

Partner at business travel consultancy Black<br />

Box Partnerships, travel policy in corporate<br />

markets is shifting when it comes to<br />

managing budgets. Premium economy<br />

products fit in well because they enable<br />

companies to “give an experience that ticks<br />

five out of eight boxes” normally associated<br />

with business class, but without the skyhigh<br />

price tag.<br />

“Another important point is that as<br />

millennials start rising through the corporate<br />

ranks they bring with them different<br />

expectations to their predecessors because<br />

they’ve been through the [economic] pain of<br />

the last ten years,” says Sachdave.<br />

”Airlines are getting ready for a<br />

refactoring of the classes,” he notes. While<br />

there will always be a level of demand from<br />

high net worth individuals for the highyielding<br />

business class seats, there is an<br />

increasing ”value and benefit of enjoying a<br />

comfortable experience without the bells<br />

and whistles”.<br />

<br />

Air Canada<br />



premium economy<br />

Carlson Wagonlit’s Johnson points to a<br />

market that is still very much in its infancy<br />

but with significant potential for growth.<br />

“Currently, we only see around a quarter of<br />

our clients with policies that allow their<br />

travellers to book the premium economy<br />

cabin class, which suggests that there’s still<br />

a lot of room for growth for premium<br />

economy in corporate travel,” he says.<br />

“Premium economy as an offer theoretically<br />

gives travel buyers a few more options in<br />

how they manage their policies on premium<br />

travel,” says Johnson.<br />

This includes the possibility of adopting<br />

a mix-and-match approach of flying<br />

employees in business class for overnight<br />

flights and premium economy for daytime<br />

flights, Johnson adds.<br />

Virgin Atlantic has seen evidence of this,<br />

noting that “we do see business travellers<br />

choosing to fly Premium on day flights and<br />

then investing in our Upper Class flat beds<br />

on night flights”.<br />

Johnson believes that premium economy<br />

is coming to the fore as employee welfare<br />

becomes more of an issue, with companies<br />

moving staff up from economy, rather than<br />

seeing it as a way of downgrading people<br />

from business class, a point backed up by<br />

Cathay Pacific.<br />

“We have seen little or no trading down<br />

on our London to Hong Kong route and find<br />

that with larger companies, business class is<br />

still permitted within their policies for flights<br />

of more than an eight-hour duration,” says<br />

Cathay's Cruttenden.<br />

“Where we find strong and growing<br />

demand for premium economy is from the<br />

SME market, which traditionally has a<br />

tighter travel budget. It is worth noting that<br />

some SMEs who were travelling in economy<br />

are now trading up to premium economy.”<br />

Looking to the future, premium economy<br />

cabins could follow the trend seen in<br />

business class and become even more<br />

luxurious, as airlines seek to outdo one<br />

another in the search for incremental<br />

business. ITM’s Davies certainly hopes so:<br />

“It might be a pipe dream but it’s possible to<br />

imagine bunk beds in premium economy as<br />

well as flat beds in business class,” he says.<br />

[ premium picks – how the airlines compare ]<br />

Aeroflot (Comfort Class) – Meals from<br />

business class menu; personal travel kit;<br />

reclining seats<br />

Air Canada (Premium Economy) – Ambient<br />

mood lighting; seat has 38-inch pitch and<br />

7-inch recline; in-seat power<br />

Air France (Premium Economy) – Seat<br />

reclines up to 130 degrees within fixed<br />

shell; noise-reducing headset<br />

Air New Zealand (Premium Economy) –<br />

41-inch pitch leather seat; winner of<br />

Skytrax Best Premium Economy <strong>2018</strong><br />

All Nippon Airways (Premium Economy)<br />

– Lounge access; business class dessert;<br />

38-inch seat pitch<br />

Alitalia (Premium Economy) – Dedicated<br />

check-in; 17 or 24 ergonomic seats with<br />

120-degree recline<br />

American Airlines (Premium Economy)<br />

– Complimentary beer, wine and<br />

spirits; bedding designed by sleep technology<br />

company Casper<br />

Austrian Airlines (Premium Economy) –<br />

Welcome drink; separate central armrest<br />

with fold-out table; 12-inch IFE screen<br />

British Airways (World <strong>Travel</strong>ler Plus) –<br />

Ongoing interiors upgrade to include<br />

greater seat recline and 60% larger seatback<br />

screen<br />

Cathay Pacific (Premium Economy) –<br />

Dedicated tablet holders; full-length leg rest;<br />

amenity kit; meals served on china plates<br />

China Airlines (Premium Economy) –<br />

39-inch pitch with fixed-back recline;<br />

12-inch HD monitor<br />

China Southern Airlines (Premium<br />

Economy) – 38-inch pitch reclining seats<br />

Delta Air Lines (Premium Select) –<br />

Dedicated in-cabin flight attendant;<br />

Tumi amenity kit<br />

El Al (Premium Class) – Meals served in<br />

porcelain dishes; 13-inch monitor<br />

EVA Air (Premium Economy) – Dedicated<br />

check-in; Haagen Dazs ice cream; Erno<br />

Laszlo and THANN amenity kits<br />

Japan Airlines (Premium Economy) –<br />

42-inch seat pitch with fixed-back<br />

recline; amenity kits include slippers<br />

LOT Polish Airlines (Premium Economy)<br />

– Dedicated check-in; meals from<br />

business class menu<br />

Lufthansa (Premium Economy) – Fruity<br />

welcome drink; lounge access (for<br />

additional charge); meals served on china plates<br />

Norwegian (Premium) – 43-inch pitch;<br />

lounge access; three-course meal<br />

SAS (SAS Plus) – Lounge access; free WiFi;<br />

three-course meal<br />

Singapore Airlines (Premium Economy) –<br />

Seat reclines up to 8 inches; option to<br />

reserve 'Book the Cook' dishes 24 hours in<br />

advance<br />

Qantas (Premium Economy) – Cabins<br />

have 32 to 40 seats and dedicated flight<br />

attendant; noise-cancelling headsets<br />

Thomas Cook Airlines (Premium Class)<br />

– 35-inch pitch with 6-inch recline; menu<br />

designed by celebrity chef James Martin<br />

TUI (Premium Club) – Lounge access;<br />

fast-track through security<br />

United Airlines (Premium Plus) –<br />

21-24 Premium Plus seats, depending on<br />

aircraft, being rolled out<br />

Vietnam Airlines (Premium Economy) –<br />

7/8-inch seat recline; 38-inch pitch on<br />

A350s, 42-inch pitch on B787s<br />

Virgin Atlantic (Premium) – Dedicated<br />

check-in and bag drop; welcome drink<br />

and newspaper; meals served on china plates<br />


Advertorial Feature<br />



New NDC Smart Offer effective 01 <strong>December</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> goal of Lufthansa Group airlines is to<br />

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trade partners and travel agents which is able<br />

to match the offerings the airlines can already<br />

provide to travellers via their own channels.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>lers are used to individualised offers<br />

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A new NDC Smart Offer for Austrian Airlines,<br />

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As from this date, the Economy Light (LGT)<br />

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Lufthansa Group airlines is an industry leader<br />

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Key Facts<br />

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UK hotels update<br />

Rooms<br />

boom<br />

Brexit is coming but so are thousands of new UK<br />

hotel rooms – but will this extra capacity benefit<br />

travel buyers in 20<strong>19</strong> and beyond, asks Rob Gill<br />

Premier Inn<br />

Forecasts about the likely movement<br />

in UK hotel prices during 20<strong>19</strong><br />

have arrived with a very big<br />

asterisk marked Brexit, particularly<br />

when it comes to the prospect of there<br />

being no deal between the UK and EU<br />

from March 29 onwards.<br />

But if we ignore that ominous cloud (as<br />

difficult as that may be), most predictions<br />

suggest that hotel rates in the UK will rise<br />

during 20<strong>19</strong>, although perhaps not as much<br />

as in other parts of Europe.<br />

BCD <strong>Travel</strong> is estimating an overall rise in<br />

UK rates of between 3% and 5%, while rival<br />

travel management company Carlson<br />

Wagonlit <strong>Travel</strong> (CWT) forecasts a 3.5% yearon-year<br />

increase, including a 4% hike for<br />

rates at “upscale” properties. This compares<br />

with CWT’s overall forecast for a 5.6% rise in<br />

rates across western Europe for 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) thinks that<br />

the increase in UK rates will be even more<br />

restrained with average daily rates (ADR) up<br />

by just £1 to £150 for London next year, and<br />

a similarly slow rise in the rest of the UK<br />

from an average rate of £72 to £73.<br />

More the merrier<br />

Whatever happens with Brexit, it is unlikely<br />

to derail – at least in the short term – the<br />

development and opening of an impressive<br />

array of new hotels around the UK.<br />

London is expected to see the addition of<br />

11,600 hotel rooms by 2020 on top of the<br />

existing 140,000 rooms in the capital,<br />

according to a report by promotional<br />

agency London & Partners and property<br />

manager JLL. Major projects include <strong>The</strong><br />

Londoner in Leicester Square, the former<br />

US embassy in Grosvenor Square being<br />

converted into a Rosewood property,<br />

Hard Rock Hotel London (taking over<br />

<strong>The</strong> Cumberland) and Art’otel London<br />

Battersea Power Station.<br />

But this extra capacity may not lead to<br />

lower rates for travel buyers, especially if<br />

the hurdle of a so-called “hard Brexit” is<br />

successfully avoided in the coming months.<br />

David Chappell, Technology Director at<br />

TMC Fello, says: “I doubt that the projected<br />

additional capacity will result in a lower<br />

price for the end user, as even with the<br />

uncertainty of Brexit, demand remains high<br />

and the combination of London being both<br />

a strong leisure and business destination<br />

will likely not see prices fall in the near to<br />

medium term.”<br />



Consolidation of<br />

the global hotel<br />

industry has not resulted in<br />

a reduction in the number<br />

of brands being operated by<br />

these growing giants. In fact,<br />

the opposite is true”<br />

However, hotel booking portal HRS says<br />

it has seen rates in London fall by 5% in<br />

<strong>2018</strong> following a “reduction in business<br />

investment due to uncertainty as Brexit<br />

nears” and adds that a period of “greater<br />

currency volatility would be unhelpful”.<br />

Outside London, PwC says there will be an<br />

estimated 21,760 new rooms introduced<br />

across the rest of the UK during 20<strong>19</strong>. Major<br />

growth is expected in Manchester with<br />

another 1,200 hotel rooms scheduled to be<br />

added in 20<strong>19</strong>, while there will also be<br />

significant new developments in other key<br />

cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow,<br />

Aberdeen and Liverpool.<br />

UK-orientated budget brands, such as<br />

Premier Inn and <strong>Travel</strong>odge, continue to<br />

lead the way in terms of openings.<br />

Whitbread-owned Premier Inn currently has<br />

13,000 UK rooms in the “pipeline”, while<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge opened its 395-room flagship<br />

London City hotel earlier this year, which<br />

will be among 20 new openings for the<br />

brand during <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

But it’s not just these low-cost brands<br />

opening new properties, CWT has estimated<br />

there will be more than 70 independent<br />

boutique-style hotels opening across the UK<br />

by the end of 20<strong>19</strong> adding 6,100 rooms.<br />

Budget-boutique brand Point A Hotels is<br />

typical, adding Edinburgh and London<br />

Kensington to its existing portfolio of seven<br />

properties in June and July respectively.<br />

Despite more rooms coming on to the<br />

market, Alwyn Burrage, Supplier Relations<br />

Manager at ATPI UK, agrees there is<br />

“upward pricing pressure” with higher<br />

labour costs helping to push up rates.<br />

“London is doing extremely well – tourism<br />

is always a factor,” he says. “We see<br />

Manchester levelling off as more capacity<br />

comes into market but with some hotels<br />

moving upmarket on rates and product.<br />

“Bristol is the fastest-growing city for<br />

mid-week rates with Hinkley Point C<br />

[construction of a new nuclear power<br />

station] being a factor. Birmingham rates<br />

are rising with HS2 and more corporate<br />

relocations into the area – such as HSBC –<br />

are also pushing up rates.”<br />

Penny Munn, Head of Supplier Relations<br />

for Corporate <strong>Travel</strong> Management (CTM),<br />

adds: “<strong>The</strong> feeling from our hotel partners is<br />

that they are absolutely maximising their<br />

revenues where business is strong, but<br />

there are deals to be done where business<br />

is softer, especially in the regions.”<br />

What's in a name?<br />

<strong>The</strong> consolidation of the global hotel<br />

industry – as illustrated by Marriott’s<br />

acquisition of Starwood and Accor’s buying<br />

spree of smaller hotel groups such as<br />

Movenpick – has not resulted in a reduction<br />

in the number of brands being operated by<br />

these growing hotel giants. In fact, the<br />

opposite is true.<br />

Indeed, Marriott shows no desire to<br />

reduce its current portfolio of 30 brands,<br />

and the name of the game seems to be in<br />

driving product differentiation through<br />

myriad brands as a way of capturing more<br />

business and maintaining higher hotel<br />

rates. For example, InterContinental Hotels<br />

Group (IHG) has launched a new upscale<br />

“conversion” brand called voco, which<br />

includes the former Principal St David’s<br />

Hotel in Cardiff.<br />

This trend is also evident in the UK budget<br />

sector where both Premier Inn and<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge have launched new sub-brands.<br />

Premier Inn has already established its Hub<br />

by Premier Inn brand which offers rooms<br />

around 45% smaller than in its standard<br />

properties at around 11.4m 2 . While the new<br />

ZIP by Premier Inn brand will offer even<br />

smaller rooms (8.5m 2 ) when it launches in<br />

Cardiff next year.<br />

Brands focused on offering smaller rooms<br />

(often without windows) are nothing new in<br />

the UK, with the likes of easyHotels,<br />

Malmaison<br />

Macdonald Hotels<br />

Zip by Premier Inn<br />





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Some brands<br />

offer dynamic rate<br />

programmes to accommodate<br />

a broad range of audiences.<br />

But multiple studies prove<br />

they are not the best avenue to<br />

the lowest corporate rate”<br />

YotelAir and Z Hotels already well<br />

established in this market. A report by<br />

property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton<br />

found that 18% of new UK hotel rooms in<br />

<strong>2018</strong> were of “compact size”, which was an<br />

annual record for the industry.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge, meanwhile, has gone the<br />

other way with the launch of its enhanced<br />

SuperRooms, which are billed as being a<br />

“premium economy” product featuring<br />

in-room coffee machines, mood lighting and<br />

pillow choices. <strong>The</strong>se upgraded rooms form<br />

a major part of the new <strong>Travel</strong>odge Plus<br />

properties, which also feature bar cafes.<br />

Consultant Raj Sachdave, Managing<br />

Partner at Black Box Partnerships, also cites<br />

Marriott’s Moxy brand as offering a<br />

“differentiated product and service” from<br />

the company’s more mainstream brands.<br />

“Moxy’s a really interesting brand because<br />

they are almost in B locations,” he adds.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y may not be in the centre of a city but<br />

Art'otel Battersea Power Station<br />

the pitch to the traveller is that they will get<br />

a much smarter experience than a property<br />

in that A location.”<br />

Dual-branded properties continue to be<br />

a leading trend for the big players in the<br />

market such as Accor, Marriott and IHG – a<br />

recent example is IHG’s new Crowne Plaza/<br />

Holiday Inn Express at Heathrow’s Terminal<br />

4, which has a combined 761 rooms.<br />

<strong>The</strong> price to pay<br />

One of the biggest debates around hotel<br />

sourcing is whether traditional corporate<br />

rates are still the best avenue for travel<br />

buyers – particularly in a world where hotels<br />

are using increasingly sophisticated dynamic<br />

pricing strategies and have been pushing<br />

for more direct bookings from both<br />

business and leisure travellers.<br />

Rachel Newns, Hotel Programme Manager<br />

at FCM <strong>Travel</strong> Solutions, says: “A fixed rate<br />

programme still forms the core for many UK<br />

organisations. In high-volume locations they<br />

offer better value to companies than<br />

dynamic pricing and offer companies the<br />

opportunity to better predict their future<br />

travel spend.<br />

Jurys Inn<br />

“However, many customers are focusing<br />

effort into their top travel destinations and<br />

then using dynamic pricing to provide<br />

greater coverage in the form of chain-wide<br />

or regional dynamic discounts.”<br />

A lot of organisations are opting for this<br />

two-tier strategy by looking for negotiated<br />

rates on their highest volume hotels or<br />

chains, and then using dynamic pricing for<br />

the rest of their programme. But it’s not<br />

always a simple choice as different rates<br />

may have different inclusions and conditions.<br />

Chris Crowley, HRS’s Vice President EMEA,<br />

says: “Some brands offer dynamic rate<br />

programmes to accommodate a broad<br />

range of audiences. But our multiple studies<br />

on a variety of corporate programmes have<br />

proven that dynamic rates are not the best<br />

avenue to the lowest corporate rate.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> quest for the lowest rate can often<br />

impact the flexibility and ancillary items<br />

attached to a rate – these are items that are<br />

often important to business travellers.”<br />

Hotel companies’ enthusiasm for dynamic<br />

pricing and direct bookings may also seem<br />

to be a challenge to the traditional RFP<br />

procurement process.<br />

<br />




<strong>The</strong> RFP process helps<br />

and supports hotels by<br />

underpinning their revenue<br />

strategy because they are<br />

getting guaranteed business”<br />

Steve Fitz-Costa, AccorHotels’ Director of<br />

Sales – <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong>, states the case for<br />

the hotels: “Shifting to a high percentage of<br />

dynamic pricing has huge benefits. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

are significant costs associated with<br />

applying a detailed RFP across many<br />

destinations – both monetary and time.<br />

“Corporates need availability in all of their<br />

destinations and dynamic pricing offers a<br />

high level of availability while at the same<br />

time delivering a guaranteed discount<br />

based on their total global spend.”<br />

While Accor operates a “blended model”<br />

featuring both negotiated and dynamic<br />

prices, Fitz-Costa adds: “While RFPs secure<br />

a rate year-round, regardless of spikes in<br />

prices, this could mean that in the event<br />

of a drop, travel buyers could be seeing<br />

their contracted rates higher on certain<br />

days of the week.”<br />

But Black Box’s Raj Sachdave doesn’t think<br />

the days of the RFP are numbered because<br />

they can still be advantageous for hotels. He<br />

says: “<strong>The</strong> RFP process helps and supports<br />

hotels by underpinning their revenue<br />

strategy because they are essentially getting<br />

guaranteed business. Hotels are still hungry<br />

for RFPs. If you don’t participate, then you’re<br />

throwing away that guaranteed business.”<br />

Integration game<br />

Another growing issue has been in how to<br />

incorporate the likes of Premier Inn and<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge, whose businesses are essentially<br />

built around direct bookings, into corporate<br />

booking platforms.<br />

Technology is the obvious answer, with<br />

content from these budget brands now fed<br />

into online booking tools through API links.<br />

“<strong>Travel</strong>odge content is readily available<br />

through booking channels depending on<br />

the tool chosen and the price plan – GDS or<br />

booking fee – that the client wishes to pay,”<br />

Rosewood Grosvenor Square<br />

says ATPI’s Alwyn Burrage. “<strong>The</strong> same<br />

can be said of Premier Inn, whose entire<br />

inventory is accessible through API-linked<br />

tools. We see this increasing as major hotel<br />

chains look to reduce distribution costs<br />

through web and API connectivity.”<br />

David Chappell, Fello’s Technology<br />

Director, adds: “From a buyer’s perspective,<br />

it’s about ease of access and then return of<br />

data. If it fulfils your business need and you<br />

can book it easily – either direct or via<br />

intermediaries – then so long as you can<br />

see what’s being booked in the<br />

management information, the choice of<br />

supplier or access point to booking<br />

becomes less about the actual content and<br />

more about duty of care and policy control.”<br />

If hotels with direct booking strategies<br />

weren’t enough, the market has become<br />

further complicated by major online travel<br />

agencies such as Expedia and Booking.com<br />

moving their tanks on to the turf of the<br />

traditional managed travel sector.<br />

“OTAs are increasing the amount and<br />

choice of content available to corporate<br />

travellers,” says FCM’s Rachel Newns.<br />

“This doesn’t necessarily change what <br />

[ TIPS & TRICKS ]<br />

BCD <strong>Travel</strong> advises travel buyers to adopt a<br />

flexible hotel programme, including both<br />

dynamic pricing and negotiated rates. <strong>The</strong><br />

TMC also says organisations should only<br />

agree to a deal with minimum room night<br />

requirements if the hotel guarantees last<br />

room availability. Booking cheaper nonrefundable<br />

rates can also make sense for<br />

travellers who are “unlikely” to cancel.<br />

RoomIt by CWT says buyers can shave<br />

1%-2% off their hotel programme costs by<br />

using price tracking tools to monitor rates.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y should also encourage travellers to<br />

stay within the managed programme by<br />

allowing them to earn points and bonus<br />

incentives on their bookings.<br />

HRS advises using a data-driven sourcing<br />

programme comparing rates from<br />

preferred suppliers, chains and<br />

independent hotel groups. Rates should<br />

also be audited to ensure negotiated rates<br />

are being delivered by hotel companies.<br />





UK hotels: 10<br />

Apex Hotels is a family-owned collection of ten<br />

upscale hotels in London, Bath, Edinburgh,<br />

Glasgow and Dundee.<br />

rural properties. Most hotels have facilities for<br />

meetings, incentives and conferences, while<br />

Macdonald runs <strong>The</strong> Club loyalty scheme for<br />

guests and Club Corporate to reward PAs,<br />

event organisers and corporate bookers.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge<br />

corporates actually choose to book,<br />

but meets the desire for more choice.<br />

Content is a key request from corporate<br />

customers at the moment.”<br />

Newns continues: “Direct advertising and<br />

inducements to book direct are impacting<br />

many companies’ adherence to their travel<br />

programme. This means that tracked<br />

volume may drop even if actual travel<br />

spend has increased or stayed the same.<br />

This makes it harder to negotiate ongoing<br />

rates and benefits.”<br />

HRS’s Chris Crowley acknowledges the<br />

“consumerisation” of business travel but<br />

adds that the move by the OTAs into the<br />

market has forced the managed travel<br />

industry to “up its game”.<br />

“While leisure sites still facilitate plenty of<br />

business travel bookings, the change we see<br />

today is that the travel managers and<br />

procurement leaders overseeing managed<br />

programmes have a better understanding<br />

of the ramifications when travellers book<br />

outside of appropriate channels,” he says.<br />

Whatever Brexit brings in the coming<br />

months, these distribution debates and<br />

strategies will carry on regardless.<br />

Meanwhile the trend for smaller hotel<br />

rooms at UK properties looks set to<br />

continue, although this shrinking process<br />

may not necessarily help to bring overall<br />

room rates down – at least, not if you<br />

believe the predictions of the various 20<strong>19</strong><br />

hotel industry forecasts.<br />

DE VERE<br />

UK hotels: 17<br />

De Vere Hotels (formerly De Vere Venues) runs<br />

a series of country house hotels around the<br />

UK, as well as conference and event centres<br />

such as De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms<br />

in London and De Vere East Midlands<br />

Conference Centre.<br />


UK hotels: 17<br />

Operates five brands – Amba, Guoman, Thistle,<br />

Thistle Express and Hard Rock London –<br />

primarily in London where it has more than<br />

5,000 rooms. <strong>The</strong> big move in 20<strong>19</strong> will see<br />

giant Marble Arch property <strong>The</strong> Cumberland<br />

being converted into London’s first Hard Rock<br />

Hotel with 1,000 rooms – it is scheduled to<br />

open in spring 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />


UK hotels: 17<br />

London-based independent hotel group with<br />

all of its upmarket properties in the UK capital<br />

except for one hotel in Bracknell, Berkshire.<br />

Grange offers Club Service upgrades for<br />

business travellers to access its business<br />

lounges, as well as an Executive Club<br />

loyalty scheme.<br />


UK hotels: 38<br />

<strong>The</strong> mid-range chain with around 8,000 rooms<br />

in its portfolio was purchased by Swedish firm<br />

Pandox and Israel’s Fattal Group in <strong>December</strong><br />

2017. Jurys’ UK operations now include seven<br />

properties under the Leonardo brand. Jurys<br />

<strong>Business</strong> Booker is an online booking service<br />

offering negotiated rates for companies<br />

booking direct.<br />


UK hotels: 45<br />

This upscale group has hotels across England<br />

and Scotland, including both city centre and<br />


UK hotels: 34<br />

Frasers Hospitality Group acquired these sister<br />

boutique-style brands in 2015 with plans for<br />

further expansion in the UK. Currently there<br />

are 15 Malmaison and <strong>19</strong> Hotel du Vin<br />

properties. Malmaison plans to open new<br />

properties in Edinburgh, York and<br />

Bournemouth in the next couple of years.<br />


UK hotels: 795<br />

Premier Inn continues its rapid expansion with<br />

another 13,000 rooms in its UK pipeline on top<br />

of its current stock of 74,000 rooms. <strong>The</strong><br />

budget brand also operates ten Hub by<br />

Premier Inn hotels in London and Edinburgh<br />

with smaller bedrooms and is trialling even<br />

smaller rooms at its new ZIP brand, which is<br />

due to make its debut in Cardiff in March<br />

20<strong>19</strong>. <strong>The</strong> brand also operates its <strong>Business</strong><br />

Booker online tool for the corporate market.<br />


UK hotels: 550<br />

Fellow budget brand <strong>Travel</strong>odge currently has<br />

around 42,000 rooms. Aggressive expansion<br />

has seen 20 properties opening in <strong>2018</strong><br />

including its new flagship 395-room <strong>Travel</strong>odge<br />

London City which debuted in July.<br />

With an eye on the corporate market, the<br />

company is offering an enhanced product<br />

through “premium economy” SuperRooms and<br />

its <strong>Travel</strong>odge Plus “budget chic” format<br />

which has been rolled out at six<br />

hotels so far.<br />


UK hotels: 29<br />

This group of contemporary UK hotels has a<br />

strong presence in UK cities outside London<br />

including four properties in Manchester and<br />

two in both Birmingham and Leeds. Village<br />

<strong>Business</strong> Club offers meeting spaces, hotdesks,<br />

wifi, food and refreshments, and is available<br />

at eight hotels.<br />





Corporates would be wise to tackle their data sources head on and put<br />

traveller experience at the heart of their programmes, says Linda Fox<br />

An interesting<br />

report<br />

emerged<br />

from ACTE and BCD<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> recently<br />

saying that<br />

despite the tons<br />

of data that the<br />

corporate travel<br />

community has<br />

access to, the metrics<br />

used to determine the<br />

success of a trip are not<br />

necessarily effective.<br />

According to the report, travel managers<br />

continue to use decade-old factors such<br />

as spend and savings data and booking<br />

statistics to measure the return-oninvestment<br />

of trips. And this is despite how<br />

much technology and booking channels<br />

have advanced in recent years as well as<br />

the fact that there are newer and more<br />

effective ways to help measure ROI.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Quality Management in Corporate<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> study, which surveyed about 300<br />

travel managers, reveals that while 87%<br />

of them felt it’s important to measure<br />

traveller wellbeing, only 21% are actually<br />

using it as a metric.<br />

Measuring the traveller engagement with<br />

a TMC or travel department is also<br />

highlighted as important by 90% of travel<br />

managers, but only 37% use it.<br />

Many an airline, travel<br />

management company or hotel<br />

boss has talked of the power<br />

of data at any number of<br />

conferences in recent<br />

months, but what's the<br />

point if you can’t<br />

harness it?<br />

Thankfully, the chat<br />

isn't all lip service.<br />

A number of<br />

travel technology<br />

companies and TMCs have launched data<br />

tools in recent months. Some such as<br />

Egencia’s Analytics Studio are about helping<br />

corporates understand and analyse their<br />

data to uncover patterns and correlations<br />

– all with a view to making savings.<br />

Similarly, CWT <strong>Travel</strong> Consolidator aims<br />

to capture every part of company’s travel<br />

and expense spend to help travel<br />

managers make more informed decisions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> TMC says that algorithms within the<br />

tool consolidate and clean-up the data –<br />

for accuracy purposes – which is gathered<br />

from air, hotel and transport spend as well<br />

as expense and HR data.<br />

Also flexing its data muscles is <strong>Travel</strong>port.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company has joined forces with IBM<br />

on a data platform called <strong>Travel</strong> Manager.<br />

<strong>The</strong> platform uses artificial intelligence to<br />

help corporate travel managers and their<br />

agency partners increase spend visibility<br />

and improve efficiency.<br />

It uses <strong>Travel</strong>port and IBM data as well<br />

as data from other sources such as social<br />

media. <strong>The</strong> company says the technology<br />

will enable the corporate travel community<br />

to analyse the impact on spend of booking<br />

travel a week in advance.<br />

With annual corporate travel spend set<br />

to rise from $1.3trillion annually now to<br />

$1.6trillion by 2020, travel managers and<br />

TMCs need to get a grip on their data.<br />

As the ACTE/BCD report highlights, the<br />

industry could benefit from following other<br />

industries such as online retail and put<br />

the customer experience – or traveller<br />

experience – at the heart of everything.<br />

While 87% of travel<br />

managers feel it’s<br />

important to measure traveller<br />

wellbeing, only 21% are actually<br />

using it as a metric”<br />

46<br />




<strong>The</strong> Level at Meliá White House is a new concept of a boutique hotel within a hotel;<br />

offering exceptional services for the discerning traveller. Whether for business or<br />

leisure, guests will experience a personalised service to make their stay an<br />

unforgettable experience.<br />

Private check-in with drinks welcome<br />

Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout<br />

Luxury bath amenities<br />

24hr room service<br />

Packing and unpacking of luggage<br />

Pressing of one shirt per day<br />

Complimentary access to the exclusive<br />

Level Lounge; a private area where guests<br />

can enjoy a selection of drinks and<br />

snacks throughout the day<br />

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


Gigging the globe<br />


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

as a castaway on Survivor and her laughable life on the world’s comedy circuit<br />

On the comedy circuit, she’s shared<br />

the bill with Robin Williams, and<br />

when not Live At <strong>The</strong> Apollo,<br />

she’s on our screens or airwaves alongside<br />

Alan Davies, Frank Skinner, Dara O’Briain,<br />

John Bishop or Jason Manford.<br />

We’ve also watched the Mock <strong>The</strong> Week<br />

regular win Celebrity Mastermind and learn<br />

useful life lessons during her castaway<br />

experience for the first series of Survivor.<br />

“I loved the sea and got quite good at spear<br />

fishing. I learned that, with practice, I was able<br />

to hold my breath for ages… and that ‘hell’ is<br />

other people,” says Lyons.<br />

Time on the remote Malaysian island of<br />

Pulau Tiga pushed this quick-witted comic to<br />

her physical and mental limits, leaving her<br />

most unamused. “<strong>The</strong> low points were hunger,<br />

bugs and rats… lots and lots of rats. So much<br />

of anything like that is mind over matter. I<br />

absolutely started to unravel by the end. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

was one night when I started to hear voices –<br />

that’s when I knew I’d probably had enough.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> side-splitting stand-up survived to take<br />

the world’s stages by storm. International<br />

tours have seen her exporting laughter around<br />

the globe. “I have gigged all over Australia and<br />

New Zealand, the Middle East, the Far East and<br />

lots of places in Europe,” she says.<br />

Her time Down Under, where she has gigged<br />

in nearly every state, particularly stood out for<br />

her. “I loved touring Australia. It’s just the<br />

vastness of the place and the variety of<br />

landscapes.” Her tour took in a few remote<br />

outback towns. “We were basically the only<br />

people there who weren’t working the mines.”<br />

Currently chortling her way around Britain<br />

on her UK tour, it’s a different hotel three or<br />

four nights a week, and she is particularly<br />

looking forward to a good laugh up north:<br />

“I’m especially excited about Cumbria. I haven’t<br />

spent much time in that part of the country.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Irish funny girl recently revisited her<br />

roots for her Radio 4 series Zoe Lyons: Passport<br />

Paddy. “We went from Cork through County<br />

Tipperary and Waterford to Dunmore East,<br />

where I grew up. We finished in Dublin, where<br />

we recorded a little gig. It was a lot of fun and<br />

bizarre to go back to my old school. <strong>The</strong><br />

memories came flooding back,” says Lyons.<br />

My travels these days<br />

entirely focus on<br />

scuba diving. I’m planning<br />

next year’s trip to Baja, to dive<br />

in the sea of Cortez”<br />

Lyons also enjoyed a trip to Jamaica this year,<br />

to film a TUI advert and share stories with<br />

fellow comedian Mark Watson. “<strong>The</strong> whole<br />

experience was so much fun. Working with<br />

Mark was hilarious. It was a dream job.”<br />

Recently she has been cooking up a storm as<br />

a contestant on this year’s Celebrity Masterchef,<br />

making the semi-finals. And she favours local<br />

cuisine on her travels. “I love food so much<br />

and always try to seek out something<br />

authentic wherever I am. Markets are always<br />

good, particularly if they also serve hot food.<br />

I ate myself stupid in Madrid,” she laughs.<br />

As for restaurants, she says a certain Swiss<br />

eatery – <strong>The</strong> Kronenhalle in Zürich, with its<br />

legendary bar – offers the real feel-good<br />

factor. She also knows the best bar for a spot<br />

of stand-up… and singing. “<strong>The</strong> Tug Bar in<br />

Wasilla, Alaska. I spent the funniest night of my<br />

life there singing karaoke with my wife and<br />

brother.” As for culture and a warm welcome,<br />

she recommends Amsterdam. “I love the art<br />

and adore the people.”<br />

A big fan of British Airways, she never flies<br />

without her noise-cancelling headphones. Her<br />

top travel tip? “Pack light; you won’t wear half<br />

the stuff you take anyway,” she says.<br />

When back in Blighty, culture vulture Lyons<br />

heads to London for a break, theatre visit and<br />

restaurant exploration. Back in her home town<br />

of Brighton, she lives a mere stone’s throw<br />

away from her favourite place to chill. “I love<br />

walking my dog on the beach every day. I<br />

never tire of looking at the sea.”<br />

Overseas, you’ll find her mainly underwater,<br />

putting her new-found breath-holding skills to<br />

good use. “My travels abroad these days<br />

almost entirely focus on scuba diving. I’m now<br />

planning next year’s trip to Baja, to dive in the<br />

sea of Cortez.” You’ll sometimes also spot her<br />

up a snowy peak too. “I love being outside and<br />

am mad about skiing. <strong>The</strong> last few trips have<br />

been to Austria. France is great, but some<br />

places are so expensive these days you need<br />

to take out a mortgage for lunch!”<br />

Brexit is no laughing matter, so she’s taking it<br />

seriously. How will it impact on travel? “We just<br />

don’t know, but I have taken the precaution<br />

of getting an Irish passport. <strong>Travel</strong>ling for<br />

business might become more complicated if<br />

you need a visa for every trip to Europe.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> best thing about her business travels? “It<br />

opens your eyes to nature, to politics, and to<br />

other human beings. It’s no lie to say that my<br />

passport is my most precious possession.”<br />




Lyons is currently on tour with her new show, Entry<br />

Level Human. Gigs nationwide until March 20<strong>19</strong>. For<br />

further information, visit: zoelyons.co.uk<br />



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the<br />

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[ the lowdown ]<br />

<strong>Business</strong>es shun sharing<br />

economy travel policies<br />

p52<br />

[ the room report ]<br />

Whitbread introduces no-frills<br />

brand ZIP by Premier Inn<br />

p56<br />

[ on the ground ]<br />

All-electric airport shuttle<br />

service hits the road<br />

p58<br />

[ meeting place ]<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge targets UK's major<br />

event venues in new expansion<br />

p59<br />

[ in the air ]<br />

British Airways dances on<br />

down to Charleston<br />

p54<br />

O N T H E M O V E I<br />

<strong>The</strong> latest industry appointments p60<br />




T H E L O W D O W N<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>lers<br />

confess to<br />

card abuse<br />

Nearly 40% of business<br />

travellers admit to using<br />

corporate cards for personal<br />

purchases, according to a Carlson Wagonlit <strong>Travel</strong> study.<br />

<strong>The</strong> figure is highest among European and US travellers,<br />

where 46% of business travellers surveyed confessed to<br />

using company-issued cards for buying personal items<br />

despite it being widely banned. While six in ten travellers<br />

said their employer issues them with a corporate credit card,<br />

nearly half always use their personal card when on business.<br />

“If companies don’t want to issue credit cards – which is<br />

understandable – virtual credit cards are a useful<br />

compromise,” says Christophe Renard, Vice President of<br />

CWT Solutions Group.<br />

lure of hotel loyalty points<br />

causes compliance issue<br />

over two-thirds of travel managers say enforcing travel<br />

policy compliance is among the most challenging<br />

aspects of their job, with the pulling power of hotel<br />

loyalty programmes remaining problematic.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new research from GBTA and RoomIt by CWT<br />

reveals that compliance, reducing costs and boosting<br />

traveller satisfaction are the top tasks for buyers.<br />

Although 78% of travellers say they are satisfied with<br />

their rate allowances for booking hotels, there is still<br />

evidence of employees booking out of policy to stay at<br />

preferred properties or collect loyalty points.<br />

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of travellers say that if<br />

they should have the ability to earn loyalty points, while<br />

51% would risk being reprimanded if it meant they<br />

could book a hotel where they could earn points.<br />

St. Ermin’s Hotel, 2 Caxton Street,<br />

London SW1H OQW +44 (0) 207 222 7888<br />

www.sterminshotel.co.uk<br />

sterminshotel<br />

<strong>Business</strong> & leisure<br />

in equal measure<br />

<strong>Business</strong> stays like<br />

Untitled-5 1 16/11/<strong>2018</strong> 08:26


T H E L O W D O W N<br />

M&As<br />

Gray Dawes adds Giles<br />

<strong>The</strong> Gray Dawes Group<br />

has acquired fellow TMC<br />

Giles <strong>Travel</strong> – and a<br />

second acquisition is<br />

expected to be announced<br />

before the year’s end.<br />

<strong>The</strong> addition of Giles<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> and its specialist<br />

MICE, leisure and brand<br />

marketing divisions will<br />

take Gray Dawes’ annual<br />

turnover to in excess of<br />

£150million and employee<br />

numbers to over 200.<br />

Raptim has the Key<br />

London-based Key <strong>Travel</strong><br />

and Holland’s Raptim<br />

Humanitarian <strong>Travel</strong> are<br />

merging their operations<br />

to form the world’s largest<br />

‘third sector’ travel<br />

management company.<br />

Focusing exclusively on<br />

the humanitarian,<br />

faith-based and academic<br />

sectors, the combined<br />

business will have annual<br />

sales in the region of<br />

£350million.<br />

EFR moves for WD<br />

<strong>The</strong> EFR <strong>Travel</strong> Group has<br />

acquired Glasgow’s WD<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>, accelerating EFR’s<br />

annual turnover to around<br />

£50million, of which<br />

approximately £38m<br />

derives from corporate<br />

travel. Established in <strong>19</strong>95,<br />

WD <strong>Travel</strong> serves clients<br />

across a range of sectors<br />

including shipping,<br />

oil and gas, advertising,<br />

bioscience and IT.<br />

Sabre eyes Farelogix<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> technology provider<br />

Sabre is poised to acquire<br />

airline technology<br />

specialist Farelogix.<br />

Sabre says the deal will<br />

accelerate delivery of its<br />

NDC-enabled retailing,<br />

distribution and fulfilment<br />

solutions.<br />

Hammond Budget is<br />

mixed bag for sector<br />

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s last Budget before Brexit<br />

elicited both praise and criticism from travel industry players.<br />

Hammond announced 30% growth in infrastructure<br />

spending and a £30billion package to improve England’s<br />

roads, while extending the use of e-passport gates at<br />

airports to citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, New<br />

Zealand and Japan – a move that won widespread support<br />

from the TMC community and airlines.<br />

GTMC Chief Executive Adrian Parkes said further increases<br />

in the long-haul APD rate should “be reconsidered with<br />

Brexit fast approaching”, while Louise Goalen, HBAA<br />

Chairwoman, said: “<strong>The</strong>re is not enough to address the<br />

major talent gap we are facing”. UKinbound’s Chairman,<br />

Mark McVay, added that cuts to APD and VAT would raise<br />

more revenue for the government in the long term.<br />

only 21% of businesses address<br />

sharing economy services in their<br />

travel and expense policies, according<br />

to research by chrome river.<br />

25% plan to incorporate it in the<br />

future and 54% have no plans to<br />

cover it in their travel policy<br />

© AIrBNB<br />

dynamic<br />

travel policy<br />

is the future<br />

new technology will transform<br />

traditional travel policies,<br />

according to BCD <strong>Travel</strong>'s second<br />

of six Inform research papers.<br />

Today’s travellers don’t look at<br />

policy documents, can easily book<br />

outside of company guidelines<br />

and see no motive for following<br />

the rules, notes the report, yet<br />

companies rely on travel policies<br />

to achieve the greatest return on<br />

travel investment and to keep<br />

employees safe on the road.<br />

Companies must therefore<br />

implement new technology to<br />

replace today's static, predefined<br />

policies with dynamic, intuitive and<br />

personalised behaviour management<br />

engines, the report advises.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> days of using travel policy<br />

as a blunt instrument are<br />

numbered. Technology is already<br />

changing travel policy by giving<br />

travel managers the ability to<br />

nudge travellers toward compliant<br />

choices via more dynamic, sensitive<br />

and personalised methods,” says<br />

BCD <strong>Travel</strong>'s Mike Eggleton.<br />

travelperk<br />

WIns funding<br />

for groWTH<br />

<strong>Business</strong> travel platform<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>Perk has secured a<br />

£39million investment from top<br />

tech investors and is adding bases<br />

in Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris<br />

following the opening of a London<br />

office. <strong>The</strong> new funding for the<br />

Barcelona-based company<br />

includes investments from<br />

Kinnevik, Yuri Milner and Tom<br />

Stafford, and will enable Europe's<br />

fastest-growing Software as a<br />

Service company to expand into<br />

new markets and accelerate<br />

growth as it aims to become the<br />

world’s largest corporate travel<br />

management platform.<br />




I N T H E A I R<br />



New summer routes<br />

from BA and Delta<br />

BRITISH Airways and Delta Air Lines have both announced<br />

additional transatlantic services for summer 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

BA will launch a twice-weekly route from London Heathrow<br />

to Charleston for the summer from April 4 – the first direct<br />

service between Europe and the South Carolina city.<br />

BA recently announced the introduction of a four-per-week<br />

service from Heathrow to Pittsburgh, also commencing in<br />

April. Charleston flights will be operated by a Boeing 787-8<br />

Dreamliner with return fares in World <strong>Travel</strong>ler starting from<br />

£600, £928 in World <strong>Travel</strong>ler Plus and £1,920 in Club World.<br />

Delta, meanwhile, will double its flights from Edinburgh<br />

next summer by adding a new service to Boston from May<br />

24. It already operates a daily flight to New York.<br />

LONDON'S Heathrow Airport has<br />

extended its network to China to<br />

11 destinations as services<br />

commenced to Shenzhen.<br />

Shenzhen Airlines has launched<br />

a three-times-weekly service to<br />

the city, an emerging economic<br />

powerhouse dubbed China’s<br />

Silicon Valley. <strong>The</strong> destination was<br />

also recently ranked second on<br />

Lonely Planet’s list of top ten cities<br />

to visit in 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

Since the start of <strong>2018</strong> Heathrow<br />

has more than doubled its services<br />

to China, growing the network<br />

from five destinations – Hong<br />

Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou<br />

and Qingdao – to 11, having<br />

also welcomed services to<br />

Chongqing, Wuhan, Sanya,<br />

Changsa, Xi’an and now Shenzhen.<br />

<strong>The</strong> service is Shenzhen Airlines’<br />

first long-haul route, and offers<br />

connections to its network of 210<br />

domestic routes. Part-owned by<br />

Air China and a member of Star<br />

Alliance, the airline is operating<br />

from Heathrow’s Terminal 2.<br />

Located across the border from<br />

Hong Kong, Shenzhen is one of<br />

China's richest cities and has a<br />

population of over 12 million.<br />



ICELANDAIR Group is poised to purchase rival Wow<br />

air and says the deal will allow both carriers to<br />

“strengthen their international competitiveness”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> airlines will continue to operate under separate<br />

brands but will have a combined share of the<br />

transatlantic market of around 3.8%. <strong>The</strong> deal is<br />

subject to approval by Icelandair Group’s shareholders<br />

and competition authorities.<br />

[ TAKING OFF ]<br />

ROYAL BRUNEI AIRLINES' services between London Heathrow<br />

and Brunei are now non-stop between the destinations, with the<br />

airline having dropped the previous stop in Dubai. Services<br />

continue on to Melbourne >> EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES will launch<br />

a three-times-weekly services between Manchester and Tel Aviv on<br />

May 26, 20<strong>19</strong> >> SAS will begin operating a twice-weekly service<br />

from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Copenhagen from June 28,<br />

20<strong>19</strong>. Passengers will be able to connect to a network of over 20<br />

onward destinations in Europe, Asia and North America >><br />

FLYBMI has increased capacity on its routes from Newcastle to<br />

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

29.6%<br />

Airline revenues derived<br />

from premium passengers<br />

Premium class<br />

passengers accounted<br />

for 5.1% of total<br />

international air traffic<br />

for the first eight months<br />

of the year but generated<br />

29.6% of total passenger<br />

revenues, according<br />

to IATA. Premium<br />

passenger demand has<br />

grown faster than its<br />

economy counterpart<br />



I N T H E A I R<br />

IN BRIEF<br />


FlyArystan plans<br />

Kazakhstan’s national<br />

carrier Air Astana has<br />

unveiled plans to launch a<br />

low-cost airline in 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

Called FlyArystan, it will<br />

take off in the first half of<br />

the year and use Airbus<br />

A320 aircraft on largely<br />

domestic routes. It expects<br />

to add regional and<br />

international routes ‘in the<br />

mid-term’. Fares will be<br />

around half of what Air<br />

Astana offers today.<br />

Finnair revamp pledge<br />

Finnair is promising a new<br />

premium economy cabin<br />

on long-haul flights. <strong>The</strong><br />

product will not take to the<br />

skies until the end of 2020,<br />

with details released in<br />

due course.<br />

Etihad lounge tie-up<br />

Etihad Airways has<br />

partnered with No1<br />

Lounges to launch a<br />

contemporary airport<br />

lounge brand called ‘<strong>The</strong><br />

House’. <strong>The</strong> project will<br />

begin at London Heathrow<br />

where the current Etihad<br />

Airways lounge will be<br />

rebranded.<br />

Emirates takes AI path<br />

Emirates is close to<br />

launching the world’s first<br />

“biometric path” which<br />

will deliver a “truly<br />

seamless airport journey”<br />

at its hub in Dubai<br />

International Airport.<br />

Utilising the latest<br />

biometric technology<br />

– including facial and iris<br />

recognition – Emirates<br />

passengers will soon be<br />

able to check-in for<br />

their flight, complete<br />

immigration formalities,<br />

enter the Emirates lounge<br />

and board their flights<br />

“simply by strolling<br />

through the airport”.<br />






Gatwick adds capacity<br />

with ‘standby’ option<br />

GATWICK Airport has unveiled plans to increase capacity by<br />

utilising its existing standby runway. Under the airport’s<br />

planning agreements it can only be used when the main<br />

runway is closed for maintenance or emergencies. However,<br />

the 40-year deal will come to an end in 20<strong>19</strong> meaning the<br />

runway could be used for departing flights alongside the<br />

main runway by 2020.<br />

Local campaign group Communities Against Gatwick Noise<br />

and Emissions (CAGNE) has opposed the move, although the<br />

airport says its will not result in more noise.<br />

Gatwick also intends to use technology to increase the<br />

capacity of the main runway, as well as safeguarding land<br />

earmarked for a new runway, claiming it is "in the national<br />

interest", despite not having any current plans to build.<br />

Adrian Parkes<br />

Chief Executive, GTMC<br />

As I write my last column of<br />

<strong>2018</strong>, I can reflect positively<br />

on our achievements this<br />

year, but also recognise<br />

ongoing challenges for our<br />

industry on the horizon.<br />

<strong>The</strong> most obvious one is<br />

Brexit. However, despite the<br />

uncertainty across so many<br />

industries, we are confident<br />

our members are ready to<br />

advise, manage and deliver<br />

the travel requirements of UK<br />

Plc, whatever the outcome.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Autumn Budget<br />

revealed measures we<br />

welcome, with the announcement<br />

to extend the use of<br />

E-gates to visitors from the<br />

US, Canada, Australia, New<br />

Zealand and Japan, and the<br />

APD short-haul rate freeze.<br />

We share the wider<br />

disappointment with the<br />

increase of long-haul APD<br />

rates and feel the government<br />

is overlooking the<br />

importance of air travel as a<br />

driving force of economic<br />

growth at a time when we<br />

should be trading globally<br />

and encouraging airlines to<br />

add new routes and capacity.<br />

We will continue to campaign<br />

hard. Our parliamentary<br />

dinner brought together 11<br />

MPs and over 40 TMC<br />

representatives for a lively<br />

debate, not only around<br />

Brexit, APD and Heathrow,<br />

but also infrastructure and<br />

regional connectivity dev-<br />

elopments for the sector.<br />




R O O M R E P O R T<br />



ZIP by Premier Inn<br />

targets fleeting guests<br />

WHITBREAD has unveiled details of its new no-frills hotel<br />

concept called ZIP by Premier Inn. <strong>The</strong> first property, located<br />

in the Roath district of Cardiff, is due to open in early 20<strong>19</strong><br />

and will feature 138 scaled-back rooms.<br />

Promising “Basics done brilliantly”, rooms will be around<br />

half the size of a standard Premier Inn room at 8.5m 2<br />

and include ensuite bathrooms, twin beds with Hypnos<br />

mattresses that can be pushed together, free wifi, TVs and<br />

air conditioning. Prices start at £<strong>19</strong> per night.<br />

Whitbread plans to locate the properties on the outskirts<br />

of major towns and cities around the UK and is targeting<br />

short-stay, value-conscious guests who are looking to “zip in<br />

and zip out”. Rooms are now available to book online.<br />

HOTEL rooms in the UK are getting<br />

smaller and compact rooms<br />

accounted for nearly one-fifth of all<br />

room openings in <strong>2018</strong>, according<br />

to commercial property consultancy<br />

Lambert Smith Hampton.<br />

Its report, Do Disturb: Disruption<br />

& Innovation in the Hotel Market,<br />

finds that the compact hotel room<br />

concept, which typically prioritises<br />

location, design quality and hi-tech<br />

features over room size, is gaining<br />

traction in major UK cities.<br />

More than 4,000 rooms were<br />

delivered in new compact hotels<br />

during 2017-18 and there are a<br />

further 5,000 compact rooms in<br />

the development pipeline. Overall,<br />

there has been a 95% increase in<br />

the number of compact hotel<br />

rooms delivered since 2016.<br />

<strong>The</strong> report cites the growth of<br />

brands such as Hub by Premier<br />

Inn, Motel One, Z Hotels, Moxy,<br />

easyHotels and Point A.<br />

“Not only do these cleverly<br />

designed rooms appeal to the<br />

younger end of the hotel customer<br />

base but they have enabled<br />

hoteliers to provide affordable<br />

bedrooms in high value locations,”<br />

says LSH's Nick Boyd.<br />



INTERCONTINENTAL Hotels Group (IHG) will launch its<br />

Avid brand in Europe with the opening of 15 hotels in<br />

Germany. “Avid hotels has seen strong signings in the<br />

US, Canada and Mexico, making it IHG’s most successful<br />

new brand launch since Holiday Inn Express back in<br />

<strong>19</strong>90,” says Kenneth Macpherson, Chief Executive<br />

Officer, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. <strong>The</strong> brand<br />

promises the "essentials done exceptionally well".<br />


<strong>The</strong> opening of the 366-room ATHENS MARRIOTT HOTEL marks<br />

the brand's return to the Greek capital >> Aparthotel operator<br />

ADAGIO has opened a new location in Brentford, West London, as<br />

part of the Kew Eye Tower GWQ Development >> ACCORHOTELS<br />

has opened the Mercure Leeds Centre Hotel, bringing the number<br />

of UK Mercure properties to 80 >> <strong>The</strong> MANDARIN ORIENTAL<br />

WANGFUJING will open early in 20<strong>19</strong> – the group's first hotel in<br />

the Chinese capital >> <strong>The</strong> ABU DHABI EDITION opened in<br />

November, marking the Marriott brand's arrival in the Middle East<br />

>> THE DUPONT CIRCLE HOTEL, Washington DC, will relaunch this<br />

spring following a refurbishment by <strong>The</strong> Doyle Collection.<br />

£73<br />

<strong>The</strong> average hotel rate<br />

outside of London in 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Average daily rates at<br />

hotels across the UK -<br />

excluding London - are<br />

predicted to rise 1.2%<br />

to £73, according to<br />

PwC's 20<strong>19</strong> UK Hotels<br />

Forecast. London rates<br />

are set to rise just 0.8%,<br />

to £150 per night, with<br />

'uncertainty not helping<br />

business demand'.<br />

Occupancy levels will<br />

remain unchanged<br />



R O O M R E P O R T<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

SACO cottons on<br />

Serviced apartment<br />

operator SACO has opened<br />

its third Locke aparthotel<br />

– a 160-studio property in<br />

the heart of Manchester.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Whitworth Locke<br />

location – a former cotton<br />

mill – is set around a<br />

central atrium and<br />

features a crossfit gym,<br />

coffee house, cocktail bar<br />

and co-working spaces.<br />

SACO has also opened a<br />

27-studio aparthotel, <strong>The</strong><br />

Moorgate, in London.<br />

NH Hotels FastPass<br />

NH Hotels is rolling out<br />

FastPass, a programme<br />

enabling guests to<br />

check-in, select their room<br />

and check-out online. <strong>The</strong><br />

group claims it is the first<br />

urban hotel group in<br />

Europe to offer the<br />

combination of functionality.<br />

<strong>The</strong> implementation<br />

process will be delivered<br />

in two phases and by<br />

20<strong>19</strong> FastPass will be<br />

available in some 330 of<br />

the group’s hotels.<br />

Staybridge goes Dutch<br />

IHG has opened its first<br />

Staybridge Suites in the<br />

Netherlands, Staybridge<br />

Suites <strong>The</strong> Hague –<br />

Parliament. <strong>The</strong> 101-suite<br />

aparthotel is situated<br />

opposite the world’s oldest<br />

parliament building still in<br />

use, the Binnenhof.<br />

Dual-brand landmark<br />

<strong>The</strong> Arora Group's<br />

dual-branded Crowne<br />

Plaza and Holiday Inn<br />

property at London<br />

Heathrow's Terminal 4<br />

opened at the end of<br />

October. It is the largest<br />

hotel opening in the UK in<br />

<strong>2018</strong> and the largest hotel<br />

directly connected to a<br />

British airport terminal.<br />

Openings put London<br />

rates under pressure<br />

LONDONʼS average room rates dipped in <strong>2018</strong> and a spate<br />

of new openings in the next year will add further competition.<br />

According to the London Hotel Development Monitor <strong>2018</strong>,<br />

the average rate for the first half of the year fell 1% to £141.<br />

<strong>The</strong> report from JLL and London & Partners says over<br />

11,000 new hotel rooms are expected to open in the capital<br />

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

new hotel stock falls into the upscale segment, while upper<br />

upscale openings will account for 22% and economy hotels<br />

will make up 26% of growth.<br />

"<strong>The</strong>re has been a slight decline in hotel performance since<br />

late 2017 as London absorbed additional supply," says the<br />

report, which anticipates rising visitor numbers will help<br />

prop up average rates as the city's hotel supply grows.<br />



HILTON has announced the<br />

launch of an affordable lifestyle<br />

brand named Motto by Hilton.<br />

It will open Motto properties in<br />

popular neighbourhoods and<br />

prime locations within cities across<br />

Europe, the Americas, the Middle<br />

East and Asia Pacific.<br />

Properties will have competitive<br />

rates and various multi-purpose<br />

spaces. Rooms will average around<br />

163 square feet and feature<br />

space-saving elements such as<br />

wall-beds, segmented shower<br />

and toilet stalls and stowable<br />

multifunctional furniture.<br />

Temperature, lighting and TVs will<br />

all be controlled via the Hilton<br />

Honors mobile app.<br />

In the UK, the first 100-bed Motto<br />

by Hilton will be located in<br />

Marylebone, London. Construction<br />

is due to start in <strong>January</strong> 20<strong>19</strong>, with<br />

a scheduled opening date of 2020.<br />


Scott Davies<br />

Chief Executive, ITM<br />

At a recent ITM event a group<br />

of buyers evaluated a number<br />

of TMCsʼ pitch presentations<br />

from senior figures within<br />

these organisations – and the<br />

feedback was interesting.<br />

While the presentations<br />

were polished and the<br />

presenters showed how<br />

passionate they were, two<br />

things stood out.<br />

Firstly, Powerpoint. As an<br />

industry, we’ve got to find<br />

other ways to communicate<br />

– try anything to stand out.<br />

Secondly, the travel buyers<br />

expressed frustration that<br />

many of the USPs presented<br />

weren’t unique at all.<br />

Aside from client-specific<br />

criteria and the obvious<br />

boxes to be ticked, a TMC<br />

sales pitch to a buyer needs<br />

to achieve the following:<br />

1) Culture matching is<br />

essential, but don’t just<br />

describe your company<br />

culture – demonstrate it so<br />

the client knows what it will<br />

feel like to work with you.<br />

2) Know the maximum of<br />

three things you want the<br />

client to take away, and<br />

prove them convincingly.<br />

3) Be energetic & memorable!<br />

Note I didn’t mention service<br />

models, shareholders, NDC,<br />

chatbots, content, pricing,<br />

etc. You can get to this stuff<br />

but, if you don’t do the<br />

above, prepare to be very<br />

quickly forgotten!<br />




O N T H E G R O U N D<br />



All-electric shuttle<br />

service hits the road<br />

AIRPORT shuttle operator, Driven, is taking to the roads this<br />

month, claiming to be the only all-electric rideshare service<br />

in Europe. <strong>The</strong> new company operates a fleet of Tesla<br />

Model X vehicles to appeal to companies implementing<br />

more sustainable travel programmes.<br />

It is targeting both the leisure and corporate market and,<br />

for the latter, has developed a travel management<br />

application that enables companies to book trips and track<br />

activity and costs. <strong>The</strong> tool also provides detailed reporting<br />

and highlights potential savings. Pre-booked door-to-door<br />

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

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

locations within three hours of major UK airports.<br />

COMPANIES from multinationals<br />

to SMEs can sign up to Europcar’s<br />

new online account service.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tool is designed to streamline<br />

the process for opening and<br />

managing an account and has<br />

been developed in direct response<br />

to business customers’ needs for<br />

seamlessness and speed.<br />

Europcar says companies can<br />

open an account in as little as<br />

three minutes. Once registered,<br />

users can instantly access<br />

applicable rates to corporate<br />

accounts with a discount of up to<br />

20% applied to bookings without<br />

any annual fees. <strong>The</strong> service<br />

is currently available in ten<br />

countries, including the UK,<br />

France, Spain, Portugal, Italy,<br />

Ireland, Australia, New Zealand,<br />

Switzerland and Belgium.<br />

Europcar hopes the service<br />

will strengthen its position with<br />

corporates. <strong>The</strong> vehicle hire<br />

company operates multiple<br />

brands including Europcar,<br />

Goldcar, which focuses on<br />

low-cost hire, and Ubeeqo, which<br />

specialises in fleet and mobility<br />

solutions for the business and<br />

end-customers market.<br />



ENTERPRISE Holdings has more than tripled its car<br />

hire capacity at Manchester Airport following a move<br />

to a new, larger location at the airport’s car rental<br />

village. <strong>The</strong> expansion follows several years of<br />

double-digit growth in demand from renters through<br />

the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and<br />

Alamo Rent A Car brands. It will also enable<br />

customers to access a wider range of vehicles.<br />

[ ON THE ROAD ]<br />

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

UK government-backed consortium to launch autonomous vehicle<br />

(AV) services in London by 2021. Designed to complement existing<br />

public transport, the service will be app-based, on demand and<br />

based on ride-sharing. Vehicles will be low-emission and rides will<br />

be priced at a level to generate demand without impacting other<br />

public transport >> Train operator GRAND CENTRAL has teamed<br />

up with CrossCountry, Transpennine Express and Northern to<br />

offer reduced fares for passengers connecting between the<br />

operators' services. <strong>The</strong> new through-ticketing deals are issued as<br />

a single ticket and are available up to 12 weeks in advance.<br />

21%<br />

Eurostar's business<br />

travel boom<br />

<strong>The</strong> number of business<br />

passengers travelling on<br />

Eurostar services rose<br />

21% in the third quarter<br />

of <strong>2018</strong>, helping propel<br />

overall passenger<br />

numbers up 12% and<br />

sales revenue by 17%.<br />

Meanwhile, leisure<br />

traffic has been boosted<br />

by the operator's new<br />

services between the UK<br />

and the Netherlands<br />



M E E T I N G P L A C E<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

New Hyatt M&E tool<br />

Hyatt Hotels has launched<br />

Hyatt Planner Portal, a tool<br />

for meeting and events<br />

bookers to manage the<br />

entire planning process,<br />

from enquiries, booking<br />

and contracts to attendee<br />

information and costings.<br />

<strong>The</strong> portal also contains<br />

information on upcoming<br />

and past events, giving<br />

users the ability to review<br />

details, access event history<br />

and generate reports. <strong>The</strong><br />

portal is invitation-only<br />

and will be available across<br />

Hyatt’s global portfolio<br />

in early 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

Inntel shakes it up<br />

Meetings and travel<br />

management company<br />

Inntel has 'broken the<br />

mould' by establishing<br />

specialist teams, distinguishing<br />

between Simple<br />

Meetings, Strategic<br />

Meetings and Events for<br />

the first time. “Our<br />

bespoke approach puts our<br />

clients’ business objectives<br />

centre stage and improves<br />

attendee experience,” says<br />

Inntel's Douglas O’Neill.<br />

IHG gets Social<br />

InterContinental Hotels<br />

Group (IHG) has partnered<br />

with meetings platform<br />

Social Tables to launch a<br />

groups and meetings shop<br />

and digital RFP experience.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tool incorporates<br />

meetings and events<br />

spaces across the Intercontinental,<br />

Crowne Plaza,<br />

Kimpton and Holiday Inn<br />

brands, with information<br />

on the venues including<br />

room capacities, floor<br />

plans and interactive maps,<br />

along with image galleries<br />

and nearby attractions. <strong>The</strong><br />

partnership has already<br />

seen users submit over<br />

15,000 RFPs to IHG.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge sets sights<br />

on key M&E venues<br />

TRAVELODGE is set to invest £100million in targeting the<br />

UK’s largest conference and events centre locations. With<br />

the recent opening of a new property at Telford International<br />

Centre, the budget hotel chain now operates hotels close to<br />

20 of the UK’s largest conference centres, and it is now<br />

searching for a further ten sites.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UK events sector is a growing market, contributing<br />

£42billion to the economy in terms of direct spend by event<br />

delegates, attendees and organisers. “Due to the growing<br />

volume of events taking place across the country, there is a<br />

shortage of good quality and low-cost accommodation close<br />

to event venues,” says <strong>Travel</strong>odge's Paul Harvey.<br />

<strong>The</strong> group has experienced strong growth from business<br />

customers over the last three years and they now account<br />

for more than half of all sales.<br />

[ NEW & IMPROVED ]<br />

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

will open on the Greenwich Peninsula in summer 20<strong>19</strong>. <strong>The</strong><br />

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

RSA HOUSE has completed a nine-month overhaul of its Vaults<br />

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

VINE HOTELS has added vegan delegate menus across its<br />

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

EVENTS @ NO6, opens for business in London this <strong>January</strong>, close<br />

to Aldgate and Aldgate East tube stations.<br />


Greeley Koch<br />

Executive Director, ACTE<br />

We end the year – and begin<br />

another – facing a challenge:<br />

how to truly measure the<br />

success of a business trip.<br />

Not by the old yardsticks of<br />

savings and compliance, but<br />

by, well, we’re not sure what.<br />

Or how. But we do know it<br />

must happen soon.<br />

According to an ACTE Global<br />

survey of travel managers,<br />

most respondents want a<br />

better way to evaluate their<br />

travel programmes. While 87%<br />

of respondents said traveller<br />

wellness and productivity<br />

should be considered, only<br />

21% actually do so.<br />

Rules and money are still<br />

the go-to criteria for 80% of<br />

managers, despite their<br />

wanting new methodology.<br />

Despite knowing that good<br />

travel programmes help<br />

retention and recruitment.<br />

Despite knowing that<br />

changes will make their<br />

travellers more profitable.<br />

Figuring out what and how<br />

to calibrate will be a<br />

monumental endeavour.<br />

<strong>The</strong> only, and best, way<br />

forward is by working<br />

together – discussing<br />

research, talking to peers and<br />

attending conferences.<br />

Just because something is<br />

easily quantifiable doesn’t<br />

mean it’s worth quantifying.<br />

Make your metrics work for<br />

your travellers, not just your<br />

company’s financial analyst.<br />




O N T H E M O V E<br />

EVENTS<br />

DECEMBER 6<br />


ETC Venues Bishopsgate, London<br />

asapconvention.org.uk<br />

DECEMBER 11<br />


JOINS: Amex GBT<br />

AS: Vice President & General Manager UK<br />

FROM: Hogg Robinson Group<br />

PROMOTED AT: Marriott International<br />

TO: President & MD, Europe<br />

FROM: President, Franchise Service<br />

JOINS: Inntel<br />

AS: Head of Account Management<br />

FROM: Click <strong>Travel</strong><br />


Grange St Paul's Hotel, London<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

James Stevenson has switched<br />

from his previous role as HRG<br />

Global Sales Director as part of<br />

Liam Brown will step in to<br />

oversee European business in<br />

20<strong>19</strong>, taking over from the<br />

Justin Bullock has joined Inntel<br />

and is tasked with delivering<br />

exceptional levels of manage-<br />

JANUARY 1<br />

on-going moves to integrate<br />

retiring Amy McPherson.<br />

ment for high value, long-term<br />


Nominations open!<br />

the business with Amex GBT<br />

and strengthen UK operations.<br />

Dubliner Brown has worked in<br />

the US for the last 30 years.<br />

partnerships with clients. He<br />

has worked for several TMCs.<br />

thepeopleawards.co.uk<br />

FEBRUARY 20-21<br />


Olympia London<br />

businesstravelshow.com<br />

MARCH 21<br />


Hard Rock Hotel, London<br />

itm.org.uk<br />

MARCH 25<br />


Hotel Cafe Royal<br />

itm.org.uk<br />

APRIL 7-9<br />


Chicago<br />

acte.org<br />


JOINS: Fello<br />

AS: Technology Director<br />

FROM: Gray Dawes<br />

Industry specialist David<br />

Chappell will focus on tech<br />

innovation at Fello as the<br />

recently launched brand seeks<br />

to develop its reputation for<br />

'traveller-first' service.<br />

PROMOTED AT: <strong>Travel</strong>eads<br />

TO: Head of Sales<br />

FROM: Sales Director West of Scotland<br />

Independent TMC <strong>Travel</strong>eads<br />

has promoted Sally Cassidy to<br />

Head of Sales after seeing<br />

growth of 20% in the last year.<br />

She will oversee the building of<br />

a larger sales team.<br />

JOINS: ATPI Group<br />

AS: UK <strong>Business</strong> Development Manager<br />

BACKGROUND: Various TMC positions<br />

Ian Davies joins the ATPI Group<br />

to strengthen the long-term<br />

strategy for the sales team<br />

and increase new business. He<br />

has over 20 years' experience<br />

in the travel industry.<br />

APRIL 30 - MAY 1<br />


Hilton Metropole, Brighton<br />

itm.org.uk<br />

MAY 17-20<br />


Cadiz, Spain<br />

advantageconference.co.uk<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAY 24<br />


London<br />

thebusinesstravelpeopleawards.com<br />

AUGUST 3-7<br />


Chicago<br />

gbta.org<br />


ITM Conference 20<strong>19</strong><br />

30 April - 1 May, Brighton<br />

ITM’s flagship event will bring together leading speakers, case<br />

studies and networking to help you identify ways to ELEVATE your<br />

programme, effectiveness and career.<br />

Go beyond your expectations; ELEVATE your impact.<br />


in partnership with<br />

Early bird discount<br />

ends 15th Feb

Can business travel<br />

really be simple?<br />

Quick and easy set up<br />

On - the - go access<br />

Simple booking<br />

Personalised service<br />

24/7/365<br />

Discover how simple it can be:<br />

www.amexglobalbusinesstravel.com/takeoff<br />

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

(American Express). “American Express Global <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong>,” “American Express,” and the American Express logo are trademarks of American<br />

Express and are used under limited license.<br />

Untitled-3<br />

LMO Ad v10.indd<br />

1<br />

1<br />

<strong>19</strong>/11/<strong>2018</strong><br />

25/09/<strong>2018</strong><br />

11:33<br />


consolidation among TMCs is not<br />

breeding complacency –– instead,<br />

renewed competition is bringing<br />

out the best in innovation and<br />

diversification. Find out more in<br />

our annual guide to<br />

travel<br />

management<br />

companies<br />

Introduction, 64-67 / Technology, 69-73<br />

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

Beginner's Guide, 84 / <strong>The</strong> Directory, 85-88 / Data, 91<br />



TMCs / Introduction<br />

natural<br />

selection<br />

Demand for travel continues to rise, yet businesses<br />

are increasingly choosing their TMC on factors<br />

other than cost. Gillian Upton looks at how the<br />

market is adapting to changing conditions<br />

Various sets of data from the GTMC<br />

show bullish figures for air, rail<br />

and hotel bookings over the last<br />

year – of roughly 6%, 9% and 5% increases<br />

respectively. Combine that with a 5-8%<br />

growth in travel and it adds up to a<br />

healthy picture for the business travel<br />

supply chain.<br />

It’s no wonder that the TMC sector is<br />

witnessing so much activity in terms of<br />

consolidation and M&A activity, as players<br />

jostle for position, a bigger slice of the action,<br />

an improved bottom line and bid to stay<br />

ahead of the curve.<br />

However, with that growth comes a greater<br />

need for a clear offering to the corporate<br />

client; rather than being all things to all men,<br />

a TMC must now differentiate itself from its<br />

fierce competitors.<br />

Fulfilment, traveller tracking, duty of care,<br />

personalisation, data privacy though GDPR,<br />

data analysis, out of hours provision and<br />

consistent service are all givens; a TMC today<br />

must identify its target audience and become<br />

a trusted partner, marrying capabilities to<br />

the client company culture.<br />

Yvonne Moya, a Principal of Festive Road,<br />

takes the view that TMCs are at something of<br />

a crossroads, not knowing which way to turn.<br />

“Just looking around the industry, TMCs have<br />

an absolute identity crisis,” she says. “Issuing<br />

a ticket is not good enough as a corporate is<br />

not looking for that anymore. I’m hearing<br />

this from my clients and we realise this from<br />

when we run RFPs.<br />

“What makes that TMC different for me? A<br />

lot don’t know where to place themselves.<br />

You can be a high-touch TMC, a transactional<br />

service TMC or one offering full content. Will<br />

TMCs be brave enough to say, ‘Who do I<br />

want to reach out to?’ <strong>The</strong>y have to tailormake<br />

their offering to the corporate, adapt<br />

to their needs. <strong>The</strong>y need to ask themselves,<br />

‘Who are we and who do we want to be’?“<br />

Moya says that clients are certainly tired of<br />

TMCs over-promising during the tender<br />

process, and believes that a new business<br />

model is beginning to emerge involving a<br />

more collaborative approach with the supply<br />

chain, including other TMCs. “<strong>The</strong>y need to<br />

be partners in the value chain,” says Moya.<br />

Subscription-based charging is one new<br />

business model that might have legs, where<br />

clients pay by the number of users rather<br />

than per transaction.<br />

Moya’s views resonate with the move away<br />

from a ‘one size fits all‘ approach to travel<br />

programmes and global solutions. Rather<br />

than one global provider around the world,<br />

corporates are opting to find the right TMC<br />

partner by region.<br />

”If the capability and cultural perspective<br />

is right then the commercials will follow. If<br />

there is really a benefit then why wouldn’t<br />

I pay for it?“, she argues. Meanwhile independent<br />

consultant Chris Pouney agrees that<br />


Introduction / TMCs<br />

“flexing to buyers’ specific requirements“ is<br />

the way ahead for TMCs, so too “providing a<br />

suite of technology which is best in class<br />

that’s at least as good as in the consumer<br />

world”, he adds.<br />

Technology is key for any good TMC,<br />

particularly if they are to answer the typical<br />

claim that a client can get a rate cheaper on<br />

the internet via an OTA.<br />

Rate auditing tools, benchmarking<br />

software, APIs, apps, AI-enabled chatbots,<br />

blockchain, augmented reality, being NDCcompliant;<br />

these are all part of the armoury<br />

of a forward-thinking, technology-driven<br />

TMC. You could easily add another:<br />

managing business disruption, for new<br />

entrants are adding complexity to the<br />

market by the day.<br />

This increased complexity in the market<br />

has been TMCs’ saviour as they have become<br />

true consultants in finding solutions to the<br />

changes and shouldering the responsibility.<br />

TMCs have an identity<br />

crisis. Just issuing a<br />

ticket is not good enough as<br />

a corporate is not looking for<br />

that anymore”<br />

“Organisations that procure travel of any<br />

size tend to need a trusted partner to<br />

decode, simplify, transact and serve on their<br />

behalf,” says ITM Chief Executive, Scott<br />

Davies. “It’s not possible to describe the array<br />

of services a TMC provides in one sentence,<br />

from omni-channel content aggregation to<br />

AI-enhanced mobile booking and servicing,<br />

to traveller wellbeing products.<br />

“Strong TMCs are highly adaptable and<br />

agile problem-solvers and proactive strategic<br />

business partners. I sound like a PR company<br />

for TMCs but I believe this.”<br />

One of the converted is Richard Childs,<br />

Group Procurement Category Manager at<br />

Biffa, and he is clear of the benefits he<br />

receives. “I couldn’t do without a TMC.<br />

Improving compliance has been a big thing<br />

over the years and generally we have tighter<br />

controls now compared with five to ten years<br />

ago,” he says. <strong>The</strong> company’s online adoption<br />

stands at an impressive 90%, for example.<br />

“All the data we can get out is extremely<br />

useful and post the 9/11 attack and the<br />

bombs in London and Manchester, traveller<br />

tracking is a real safeguard and wellbeing<br />

issue for us. That makes a big difference.”<br />

Biffa’s travel spend is small beer – at<br />

£2.5million a year – compared to say fuel (at<br />

£50million), so doesn’t justify the cost of<br />

employing someone specifically to look after<br />

it. “As far as the time and effort is concerned,<br />

a TMC is more cost effective for me. <strong>The</strong> fee<br />

that I pay is peanuts for the whole service,”<br />

he says. “It’s worth it as it would cost me<br />

more to employ someone.”<br />

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Introduction / TMCs<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re is only so much time a corporate<br />

travel manager has,” adds Vanessa Griffiths<br />

of Rok Consulting. “<strong>The</strong>ir role is more of a<br />

trusted advisor and far more strategic. It’s a<br />

360-degree partnership.<br />

“Generally TMCs are ploughing so much<br />

time and energy into newly evolving<br />

technologies so they can truly be a strategic<br />

partner to a corporate. <strong>The</strong> good TMCs are<br />

investing in key areas such as AI, predictive<br />

messaging and blockchain. And we are now<br />

seeing the larger TMCs v the good TMCs.”<br />

Sizing things up<br />

Carol Neil, Global <strong>Travel</strong> Manager at Fidelity<br />

International, believes technology has levelled<br />

the playing field in the TMC marketplace so<br />

that size does not matter as long as firms<br />

have good foresight in terms of what buyers<br />

want and continue to leverage opportunities.<br />

Other aspects also come to the fore.<br />

“Because of technology it’s not about bread<br />

and butter agency services anymore, but<br />

more of a consultancy approach,” she says.<br />

“We want support with apps and to be able<br />

to make the traveller's entire experience in<br />

terms of connectivity, safety and speed of<br />

service more seamless. We also want to<br />

ensure that the TMCs’ global landscape is<br />

integrated, consistent and that buyers feel<br />

they are working with one partner instead of<br />

several. <strong>The</strong>re is also the complexity still<br />

around NDC and how the TMCs will be able<br />

to support the buyers in unravelling and<br />

embracing this within their company.<br />

Neil continues: “It is also about the insights<br />

the TMC can bring, working with the buyers<br />

collaboratively, building systems with our<br />

requirements in mind and addressing travel<br />

challenges together. Ultimately this brings<br />

out the best in both client and TMC and<br />

therefore makes cost one of many deciding<br />

factors and not the predominant one.”<br />

It’s clear that corporates understand the<br />

value message and no longer focus on the<br />

cost of transaction. “If a TMC can prove their<br />

value proposition then every corporate is<br />

willing to pay a service fee,” says Moya.<br />

Less is more<br />

Corporates also have great choice in the<br />

marketplace, be it for a national, regional or<br />

global player. According to the ITM there are<br />

at least 75 TMCs in the UK, of all shapes and<br />

sizes, and arguably consolidation in the<br />

market will result in better TMCs rather than<br />

less choice. Reed & Mackay Group Chief<br />

Executive, Fred Stratford, believes the upshot<br />

will be fewer, stronger TMCs and a more<br />

streamlined RFP process in having fewer<br />

TMCs on a tender list.<br />

Arguably, it is the smaller TMCs who may<br />

not have the reach who will find the going<br />

tough in the future. “Some of them will look<br />

to join up as you need money to stay in the<br />

game. It’s a difficult choice: do they want to<br />

stay independent or not?“ says Stratford.<br />

Entirely new entrants are rare but one new<br />

name is Fello, which was brought together in<br />

February <strong>2018</strong> from the merger of two other<br />

firms, World Club <strong>Travel</strong> and Sandy Row<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>. Clear in its proposition to provide<br />

white glove service, it has hedge funds,<br />

reinsurers and asset management firms on<br />

its books. Group Chief Executive Simone<br />

Buckley says the margin Fello makes leaves<br />

enough to invest in technology. To date it’s<br />

been a mix of in-house developed<br />

technology and third-party providers.<br />

“Content is so difficult to get hold of so we<br />

check everything that comes through,” says<br />

Buckley. “<strong>The</strong> other massive difference for us<br />

is that once the booking is done our job<br />

begins. We check the traveller in, we notify of<br />

any flight changes and don’t send an invoice<br />

until they’ve returned so we can include all<br />

ancillary spend at the hotel, for example. We<br />

add as much value after the booking is made<br />

as before the booking is made.”<br />

Access to content and duty of care are<br />

pushing more unmanaged companies to<br />

TMCs. “It’s also their buying power, cyber<br />

security and to keep an eye on efficiency of<br />

their workforce,” says GTMC Chief Executive<br />

Adrian Parkes. “<strong>The</strong>re is a growing trend of<br />

SMEs placing their trust in TMCs. Outsourcing<br />

for them is much easier.”<br />

And he adds that it’s not all about online<br />

provision. “<strong>The</strong>re’s still a lot of offline out<br />

there. It’s a sector where lots of things go<br />

wrong and bookings get changed a lot so<br />

there is still demand for service.”<br />



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Technology / TMCs<br />

Let the<br />

TECH<br />

do the talking<br />

<strong>The</strong>re's much hype around chatbots<br />

and AI, but TMCs need to get the basics<br />

right first, writes Catherine Chetwynd<br />

Given the increasing<br />

use of AI and<br />

chatbots, it is not<br />

unreasonable for travel<br />

managers to expect their TMC<br />

to be able to provide technology<br />

that manages bookings and duty<br />

of care, delivers forensically<br />

analysed MI, allows employees to<br />

administer their travel while on the<br />

move and keeps a record of all these<br />

things in one place.<br />

On top of all that, the technology that<br />

TMCs supply has to be consumer grade –<br />

bookers and travellers expect to be able to<br />

run their business lives with the same ease<br />

as their personal lives.<br />

Corporate travel<br />

programmes are<br />

increasingly hungry for tools<br />

that simplify life on the road<br />

for their employees and that<br />

increase both trip and job<br />

satisfaction”<br />

<strong>The</strong>se days, recruiting and retaining talent<br />

also features. “Technology aggregates data to<br />

form a story about travel policy and global<br />

travel,” says Managing Partner at Black Box<br />

Partnership, Raj Sachdave.<br />

“TMCs are putting the unstructured<br />

elements of a travel programme into a<br />

structured format to address a number of<br />

questions, including what impact travel has<br />

on the performance of an organisation –<br />

productivity, absenteeism, fatigue, retention,<br />

wellbeing.” It has got personal.<br />

Yannis Karmis, Senior Vice President of<br />

Product Planning & Development for BCD<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>, agrees: “<strong>Travel</strong> technology is driven by<br />

digital expectations and traveller demands to<br />

reduce trip friction and enable self-service<br />

across multiple devices.<br />

“Corporate travel programmes are hungry<br />

for tools that simplify life on the road for<br />

their employees and increase trip – and job –<br />

satisfaction,” says Karmis.<br />

He continues: “A recent study from Airlines<br />

Reporting Corp. suggests that road warriors<br />

travelling under a cost-focused corporate<br />

programme are twice as likely to consider<br />

leaving a company than those whose<br />

corporate programmes are focused on the<br />

traveller’s needs.”<br />



TMCs / Technology<br />

Investing in tech<br />

Achieving all this is challenge enough but to<br />

do it and keep up with the rattling pace at<br />

which technology moves requires a massive<br />

investment of time and money.<br />

Some TMCs employ large teams to do the<br />

R&D themselves; some buy it in, on the basis<br />

that their core expertise is managing travel,<br />

not technology; and some do a combination<br />

of the two. Commercial Director of travel<br />

management company Gray Dawes, David<br />

Bishop, managed to marry up the two by<br />

working at Atriis for four years to launch the<br />

product Gray Dawes has bought.<br />

“If you only have an internal team, you risk<br />

missing out on innovative technology being<br />

developed on the market, and if you only<br />

partner with external developers, teams<br />

may lack the first-hand overview of your<br />

company’s inner workings,” says Director,<br />

Product & Services Marketing, EMEA for<br />

Carlson Wagonlit <strong>Travel</strong>, Dan Kelly.<br />

At the top of the aspiration list is for travel<br />

bookers to be able to see exactly the same<br />

information as their travel agent and at the<br />

same time. This means bringing all data<br />

sources into one platform.<br />

Gray Dawes’ YourTrip does exactly that,<br />

providing a huge hub that aggregates GDS,<br />

NDC, hotels, ground transportation, parking,<br />

rail and more. Not only does this provide<br />

excellent MI, it also brings efficiencies.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>lers like to<br />

fragment their<br />

purchasing. <strong>The</strong>y might book<br />

a flight with an agent, use a<br />

booking tool to book their<br />

hotel and use a mobile website<br />

to book ground transport”<br />

“<strong>Travel</strong>lers like to fragment their purchasing.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y might book a flight with an agent, go to<br />

an online booking tool to research and book<br />

hotels and use a mobile website to book<br />

ground transportation,” says David Bishop<br />

“And because we have one view of the trip,<br />

we won’t have to ask questions to which we<br />

already know the answer, which really<br />

frustrates clients.” And in the event of a trip<br />

cancellation, agents have a view of the whole<br />

trip and one element lurking on another<br />

booking site does not get forgotten.<br />

<strong>The</strong> app conundrum<br />

Although many TMCs have invested<br />

considerably in providing a versatile mobile<br />

app, “<strong>The</strong> whole idea of having everything<br />

pinned on an app makes me quite nervous,”<br />

says Bishop.<br />

“A lot of people download apps but<br />

adoption by travellers is really low. <strong>The</strong> one<br />

exception to that is Concur. YourTrip’s mobile<br />

enabled website gives a lot more functionality<br />

and we get to market quicker as it is updated.”<br />

Gray Dawes is now testing a<br />

communications platform to work with<br />

YourTrip and give travellers numerous ways<br />

to communicate with agents and book – sms,<br />

Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat.<br />

Potential launch is Q1 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

And if, for example, snow disrupts<br />

travel, this technology allows agents<br />

to let travellers know<br />

simultaneously, in their<br />

preferred channel, that they<br />

are on the case. “We can<br />

spend more time managing<br />

travel instead of managing<br />

phone calls,” says Bishop.<br />

An inhouse approach<br />

Reed & Mackay has a booking<br />

tool, R&M mobile, analytics,<br />

schedule reporting, approval and<br />

R&M protect on one platform, which gives<br />

both agent and customer concurrent access<br />

to all information. <strong>The</strong> TMC builds its<br />

technology in house.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> disadvantage of building your own<br />

technology can be complexity and finding<br />

the talent. It isn’t necessarily a travel<br />

company’s core competency and it might<br />

take up a disproportionate amount of your<br />

budget compared to takings,” says Global IT<br />

Director, Antoine Boatwright.<br />

On the upside, “You move at your own<br />

pace to evolve the technology, not at the<br />

pace of your supplier, when you are at their<br />

mercy regarding what functionality you get<br />

and that affects the service you might deliver.”<br />

And when client requirements are exacting,<br />

bespoke is the only way. One Reed & Mackay<br />

client’s employees travel frequently in the<br />

former Soviet Union and the company needs<br />

to know the age of the plane its people are<br />

travelling on, whether it is still under<br />

maintenance and whether the airline has a<br />

monopoly on that route and if that plane is<br />

the only option.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y don’t want employees flying on high<br />

risk planes,” he says. And that kind of<br />

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Blue Cube is celebrating 15 years of exceptional service but there's<br />

no resting on its laurels for this travel management company<br />

As <strong>2018</strong> draws to a close, Blue Cube<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> is reflecting on a landmark<br />

year. Not only did the company<br />

mark its 15th anniversary, but Blue Cube<br />

continued to grow its reputation as a<br />

leading independent travel management<br />

company providing exceptionally<br />

personal business travel services.<br />

Blue Cube was founded by co-directors<br />

Mel Phaure, Neil Fraser and Kenny Stirling in<br />

2003, with just the three of them operating<br />

from a basement in West London. <strong>The</strong>y had<br />

just one client and a turnover of £500,000 in<br />

their first year but, today, the TMC has 35<br />

staff, four offices, an annual turnover of<br />

£35million and a client portfolio ranging<br />

from high net worth individuals to<br />

FTSE 100 companies.<br />

“Our business philosophy is<br />

rooted in giving our clients<br />

extraordinarily high levels of<br />

personal service,” explains<br />

Mel Phaure. “Every TMC will<br />

say that they provide<br />

personal service, but we<br />

believe that our dedication<br />

to ensuring every aspect of<br />

our clients’ travel is as flawless<br />

as possible is what sets us apart.<br />

“We are a company that truly cares<br />

about both our staff and our clients and that<br />

is evidenced by our growth over the last 15<br />

years and our exceptionally high client<br />

retention levels. All of our new business has<br />

come via recommendation – in fact, our very<br />

first client is still a client today.”<br />

Although 80% of Blue Cube’s clients<br />

prefer personalised offline servicing,<br />

the TMC is also committed to offering<br />

best-in-class technology to those looking<br />

for an online solution to complement their<br />

offline requirements.<br />

Over the last year Blue Cube has invested<br />

heavily in enhancing its technology solutions.<br />

This includes BC Online powered by<br />

Atriis, a new NDC IATA level 3-ready<br />

global online booking tool which<br />

gives Blue Cube clients a more<br />

user-friendly experience,<br />

superior functionality and is<br />

fully PCI DSS Compliant.<br />

BC Online allows clients to<br />

roll-out a single online<br />

booking tool worldwide with<br />

local support from Blue Cube’s<br />

global partners.<br />

Last but not least, Blue Cube <strong>Travel</strong><br />

has topped off <strong>2018</strong> by winning the<br />

Advantage <strong>Travel</strong> Partnership’s Most<br />

Engaged TMC of the Year Award, as well as<br />

the Advantage/WIN ‘Hotel Hero’ Award.<br />

“Blue Cube has come a long way since<br />

2003,” says Mel Phaure. “But we still have so<br />

much more to offer and will keep investing<br />

in our people and technology to ensure our<br />

approach to business travel management<br />

continues to flourish.”<br />

bluecubetravel.co.uk / sales@bluecubetravel.co.uk / 020 8948 8188

Technology / TMCs<br />

detail is not available from proprietary tools<br />

– R&M built the wherewithal to provide it.<br />

Boatwright is a protagonist of apps. “A<br />

desktop tends to be optimised for professional<br />

use and a mobile app is generally<br />

for travellers who are en route. <strong>The</strong> use<br />

cases are different and they do not need to<br />

be the same,” he says.<br />

“A mobile responsive website is inevitably<br />

a compromise because a mobile screen is<br />

four inches by five inches. We have<br />

optimised each form factor – website and<br />

app – for how it is used.”<br />

Meeting in the middle<br />

BCD combines in-house design and build<br />

with third party partnerships. <strong>The</strong> company<br />

bought the assets of start-up GetGoing,<br />

which formed the basis of the TripSource<br />

Hotels booking platform. TripSource<br />

simplifies travel for employees while keeping<br />

them on the straight and narrow, all available<br />

through mobile devices and voice-enabled<br />

technology such as Alexa.<br />

Programme intelligence platform<br />

DecisionSource (built inhouse) allows travel<br />

managers to monitor spend and travel live,<br />

using reporting and analytics.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>se optimisations are fed into the<br />

TripSource platform and into the hands of<br />

travellers seamlessly for maximum<br />

efficiency,” says BCD's Karmis.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tool includes a security map that<br />

displays traveller locations and informs travel<br />

managers of potential risks worldwide, who<br />

can then send out hazard alerts via<br />

TripSource and ask travellers potentially at<br />

risk to 'check in'. In addition, BCD works with<br />

start-ups whose technology is available via a<br />

shop, SolutionSource, where clients can<br />

choose tools according to their needs.<br />

Also giving one view for client and agent<br />

is Clarity’s Go2Book platform, providing<br />

tracking, communication with travellers,<br />

booking and more, plus MI from new<br />

Go2Insight+, launched in February.<br />

“Using cutting-edge technology such as IBM<br />

Watson, we have created a data aggregator<br />

which can take in multiple data sources,<br />

mine them and deliver new insights to the<br />

client within a fraction of the time it takes a<br />

traditional management information tool,”<br />

says Head of Sales, Ewan Kassir.<br />

Clarity has integrated rail travel into its app<br />

so that travellers are notified of delays via<br />

the app, “giving a single destination for all<br />

itineraries, travel info and<br />

updates”, Kassir explains.<br />

<strong>The</strong> digital TMC<br />

Elevating technology to art form<br />

and aiming to become the first<br />

digital TMC is CWT.<br />

“It is about making bold<br />

investments in innovation<br />

and our people to enhance<br />

and improve the<br />

traveller/attendee<br />

experience by integrating<br />

our tools and the data we<br />

have access to, to<br />

deliver more<br />

intelligence and<br />

content,” says Kelly.<br />

“This allows clients to<br />

communicate with<br />

travellers more<br />

effectively and pulls more<br />

and more of them into<br />

compliant booking paths.”<br />

Data is everything and facilitates<br />

personalisation, the travel industry’s<br />

Using cutting-edge<br />

technology such as<br />

IBM Watson, we have created<br />

a data aggregator which can<br />

take in multiple data sources,<br />

mine them and deliver new<br />

insights rapidly”<br />

latest fixation, and CWT is constantly<br />

updating its offer. Most recent innovations<br />

include revving up for the next phase of a<br />

chatbot pilot to give instant messaging in<br />

CWT’s mobile app and a travel consolidator,<br />

which enables organisations to aggregate<br />

disparate sources of data – such as travel,<br />

card, expense and HR data – to identify<br />

hidden costs and rogue spend. It allows<br />

travel managers to improve compliance and<br />

identify missed savings opportunities to<br />

increase negotiating power with suppliers.<br />

One outstanding example of CWT’s digital<br />

dexterity is RoomIt, a home-built hotel<br />

distribution business, giving travellers rooms,<br />

tariffs, amenities and loyalty programmes<br />

sourced from retail sites, negotiated rates<br />

and other large content providers.<br />

“During 2017, year-on-year hotel revenue<br />

growth was up 13%, underlining the<br />

importance of better content and hotel<br />

booking capabilities,” says Kelly.<br />

Start-up sensations<br />

In addition to home-grown efforts, CWT also<br />

partners with tech start-ups via incubator<br />

Plug and Play, as well as buying in third-party<br />

tools. An example is Yapta, which allows<br />

agents to look for lower air and hotel rates<br />

once trips have been booked, allowing<br />

rebooking where appropriate and without<br />

any effect on the traveller.<br />

Even those whose idea of technology is a<br />

Bakelite telephone are benefitting from<br />

TMCs’ labours of digital love and leading a<br />

more informed, efficient and safer business<br />

life; and their travel managers are profiting<br />

both administratively and financially.<br />

<strong>The</strong> drive to have more, better analysed<br />

and fully aggregated data and enhanced<br />

functionality ensures that in every sense,<br />

everyone is on the same page.<br />



TMCs / Trending<br />

When two become<br />

one<br />

<strong>The</strong> growth potential of TMCs is underlined by<br />

increasing M&A activity, writes Gillian Upton<br />

It’s an interesting time to be a TMC,<br />

particularly if, as the owner, you are<br />

looking for an exit route. <strong>The</strong>re is<br />

plenty of money sloshing around venture<br />

capitalists and private equity firms as<br />

they have learned healthy profits can be<br />

made from investing in the sector.<br />

<strong>The</strong> activity of late has spread across<br />

generally owner-managed businesses of a<br />

certain size and maturity, with three<br />

transactions announced in November alone.<br />

Giles <strong>Travel</strong> is the latest TMC to be<br />

absorbed by the fast-growing Gray Dawes<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Group which, for the fourth<br />

consecutive year, has announced an autumn<br />

acquisition. It will take its annual turnover<br />

beyond £150million – and a second deal is<br />

expected to be announced in <strong>December</strong>.<br />

Meanwhile, ‘third sector’ specialist, Key<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>, acquired the Netherlands’ Raptim<br />

Humanitarian <strong>Travel</strong> to give the business a<br />

combined turnover in the region of<br />

£350million. And then there's the EFR <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Group, which snapped up Glasgow's WD<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>, with the deal becoming EFR’s third<br />

takeover in four years.<br />

Also this year, <strong>The</strong> Appointment Group<br />

(TAG) has received investment from Apiary<br />

Capital – a UK lower mid-market private<br />

equity firm. Explains Partner Nicki Boyd: “<strong>The</strong><br />

attraction to TAG for us was a high level of<br />

repeat customers. <strong>The</strong>y’re high-end, hightouch<br />

customers – many of them rock stars –<br />

with complicated travel requirements.<br />

“We liked the fact that once TAG has<br />

provided great travel service and met their<br />

complex demands – certain amenities for a<br />

pet companion, position in a hotel with<br />

empty adjoining rooms, an opening window –<br />

then they will be loyal and come back time<br />

and time again.”<br />

Apiary has already made its mark on TAG. It<br />

has put in place an experienced CEO to take<br />

care of the day-to-day business and made<br />

the first of what it plans to be many smaller<br />

acquisitions – SOS in the US, which specialises<br />

in the touring arms of production crews.<br />

Aligned dancing<br />

<strong>The</strong> TAG investment typifies a trend in the<br />

sector and we are likely to see more of it,<br />

although GTMC Chief Executive Adrian<br />

Parkes, believes it’s not a new trend at all.<br />

“It’s no different to any other period,” he says.<br />

“It’s been happening for a very long time. In<br />

the early 2000s there were some major<br />

acquisitions and mergers.”<br />

One thing the activity does reflect is a<br />

healthy market, particularly as the investments<br />

and acquisitions are not all inter-UK.<br />

This October, <strong>Travel</strong> & Transport of the US<br />

acquired Radius <strong>Travel</strong> in order to expand its<br />

global footprint, for example.<br />

“It’s an interesting time,” says Parkes. “I<br />

judge the health of the industry on the<br />

positive TMC data I’m seeing, the huge<br />

amount of investment that is taking place<br />

and the opportunity that it gives TMCs to<br />

expand and create new business models.”<br />

Apiary’s Boyd flags up two reasons for the<br />

increased M&A activity: “<strong>The</strong>re’s now a<br />

successful track record of private equity<br />

investment in travel and others see there is<br />

money being made,” she says.”<strong>The</strong>re is a lot<br />

of money out there to be deployed.”<br />

Secondly, she believes that the spectre of<br />

Brexit has not deterred investment. ”<strong>Travel</strong><br />

has become a major part of people’s lives,<br />

and it will be after our exit from Europe too.<br />

<strong>The</strong> worst case is that people trade down –<br />

and corporate travel bounces back quickly.”<br />

ITM's Chief Executive Scott Davies agrees<br />

that “leveraging increased scale” has driven<br />

the large recent transactions and they have<br />

been powered by growth-seeking private<br />

equity financing.<br />

Independent European investment firm<br />

Vitruvian Partners saw potential in <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Counsellors. Ten years of successive growth<br />

was attractive, so too the company’s loyal<br />

band of clients thanks to its customer-first<br />

approach. <strong>The</strong> investment from Vitruvian in<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors has already translated to a<br />

£6million spend on new technology.<br />

“It will provide tools such as dedicated<br />

account management support and bespokebuilt<br />

technology platforms for our travel<br />

counsellors so that they can concentrate on<br />

the most important job of all – caring for<br />

clients and giving them the best travel<br />

experience possible,” explains General<br />

Manager Mark Wilson.<br />

<br />


Trending / TMCs<br />

<strong>The</strong>re’s now a<br />

successful track<br />

record of private equity<br />

investment in travel<br />

and others see there is<br />

money being made”<br />



Untitled-3 1 <strong>19</strong>/11/<strong>2018</strong> 14:44

Trending / TMCs<br />

Last summer mid-market private equity<br />

house Endless acquired a majority stake in<br />

Manchester-based CTI. Partner Mathew<br />

Deering was drawn to the company’s<br />

customer base and people and said at the<br />

time: “We believe that with fresh investment<br />

and hands-on support from Endless, CTI is<br />

capable of delivering strong sales and profit<br />

growth in future. This is an exciting<br />

opportunity in a consolidating sector and we<br />

also intend to pursue bolt-on acquisitions as<br />

part of our investment strategy.” CTI has<br />

since rebranded as Amber Road.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se investments are helping to drive the<br />

sector forward as TMCs require an almost<br />

bottomless pit of capital expenditure in<br />

technology to keep ahead of the game. <strong>The</strong><br />

home page of Endless, for example, boasts of<br />

having access to up to £80million for each<br />

investment and being able to complete the<br />

deal in an average of 28 days. It’s a pretty<br />

persuasive message.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> buyers are viewing Reed & Mackay’s<br />

acquisition of Hillgate, for example, as a free<br />

technology upgrade and it’s unlikely that<br />

there will be any fall-out from this particular<br />

joining of two “friendly but fierce competitors”,<br />

as the company’s Group Chief Executive,<br />

Fred Stratford, describes them.<br />

Reed & Mackay already has investment<br />

from mid-market private equity firm<br />

Inflexion. Its mission is to ”invest in high<br />

growth, entrepreneurial businesses with<br />

ambitious management teams and to work<br />

with them to deliver growth”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company plans to support Reed &<br />

Mackay’s team as its drives organic growth,<br />

both in the UK and selected international<br />

markets, and seek targeted acquisitions to<br />

support expansion of the company’s<br />

international footprint.<br />

Now it’s the turn of two successful hightouch,<br />

white glove providers of travel to<br />

merge. Hillgate has brilliant technology and<br />

Reed & Mackay the better global reach,<br />

across 40 countries. Both are known for their<br />

high levels of service.<br />

“We can bring the best of both worlds and a<br />

consistent offering to clients,” says Stratford.<br />

“It’s pretty compelling and clients are excited.”<br />

In this case, “joining forces” as Stratford<br />

prefers to call the acquisition, seems like a<br />

win-win for clients.<br />

<strong>The</strong> market is less positive about another,<br />

much larger acquisition, that of American<br />

Express GBT and HRG. No-one saw this one<br />

coming and all eyes are on the combined<br />

company which aims to cater to both SMEs<br />

and multinational clients.<br />

Investments drive<br />

the sector forward<br />

– TMCs require an almost<br />

bottomless pit of capital for<br />

technology to stay ahead”<br />

<strong>The</strong> rationale for the purchase was<br />

threefold, explains Elyes Mrad, Managing<br />

Director International of American Express<br />

GBT: “We were taking a company with a<br />

footprint complementary to ours, with good<br />

technology, and quality people across<br />

technology, management and consultancy.<br />

Those three gave us a better company to<br />

serve the customer.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> plan is to become local in each of<br />

the countries they serve and not position<br />

themselves as a vast global concern.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> feedback from customers is good,”<br />

says Mrad. “Three months in and so far so<br />

good; customers don’t see the difference.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y’ll have one team instead of two around<br />

the negotiating table.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> companies are fully integrated in terms<br />

of management and all customer-facing staff,<br />

much of which was done beforehand; the<br />

technology will take a little longer with a goal<br />

of Q2 2020 although items such as the<br />

mobile app will integrate by the end of <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ‘sell’ to the clients, says Mrad, is “better<br />

tools to put in front of customers; it’s the best<br />

of what is out there”.<br />

Other travel management companies are<br />

hoping they might pick up clients not wishing<br />

to stay with the new mega-operation.<br />

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

one buyer, who preferred to stay anonymous.<br />

“It’s a big beast that will take a long time to<br />

unravel and integrate. On the upside, it’s a<br />

massive opportunity to pick up clients who<br />

don’t want to be part of such a large travel<br />

management company.”<br />

Carol Neil, Global <strong>Travel</strong> Manager at Fidelity,<br />

argues that size is no longer an issue –<br />

technology is helping with that: “You don’t<br />

have to automatically go to the big boys<br />

anymore; it’s not about the size but matching<br />

company cultures, aligning requirements<br />

globally with that of the TMC and building<br />

relationships. Don’t shy away from the<br />

smaller TMCs out there as they’re very<br />

hungry and eager to grab business and bend<br />

and flex with you,” she advises.<br />

“Get in with them and understand how you<br />

can continue to grow and/or enhance your<br />

travel programme with them.”<br />


Losing track of who’s buying who in the<br />

TMC market? Below is a rundown of M&A<br />

activity in the last three years.<br />

<strong>2018</strong><br />

• EFR <strong>Travel</strong> Group > WD <strong>Travel</strong><br />

• Gray Dawes > Giles <strong>Travel</strong><br />

• Key <strong>Travel</strong> > Raptim Humanitarian <strong>Travel</strong><br />

• Reed & Mackay > Hillgate <strong>Travel</strong><br />

• American Express GBT > HRG<br />

2017<br />

• Gray Dawes > CTM Chelsea TM<br />

• Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and Events > NYS Corporate<br />

• Meon Valley > Longreach <strong>Travel</strong><br />

• <strong>Travel</strong> & Transport > Statesman <strong>Travel</strong> Group<br />

2016<br />

• Clarity > Portman<br />

• Direct <strong>Travel</strong> > Colpitts World <strong>Travel</strong><br />

• Wings <strong>Travel</strong> > Grosvenor TM<br />

• CTM > Redfern<br />

• Gray Dawes > <strong>Travel</strong> Management Group<br />

• Gray Dawes > Cambridge <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />



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Untitled-4 1 16/11/<strong>2018</strong> 08:22

Diversification / TMCs<br />

mixing<br />

it up<br />

TMCs must offer personalised services and<br />

add value to prosper, writes Jools Stone<br />

In theory, booking your own travel<br />

has never been easier, so one might<br />

wonder why there are so many TMCs<br />

not only operating but apparently<br />

thriving today. In the UK alone they<br />

account for 93% of managed business<br />

travel bookings.<br />

Perhaps the answer lies in their ability to<br />

adapt and innovate. Gone are the days<br />

when a TMCʼs role was simply to save<br />

money for clients, manage travel<br />

policies and take the onerous<br />

business of booking trips out<br />

of the hands of travellers.<br />

Increasingly, TMCs are offering added-value<br />

and differentiating themselves with niche<br />

services, new sub-divisions and enhanced<br />

tools and technology.<br />

But just as technology has eased the<br />

burden of booking business travel, the<br />

world has changed to present fresh<br />

challenges. <strong>The</strong> ever-present threat of<br />

terrorism and political instability in certain<br />

countries has heightened the need for<br />

companies to look out for their staff on the<br />

road, placing added emphasis on their legal<br />

duty of care responsibilities.<br />

TMCs have risen to this challenge in a<br />

variety of ways, creating sophisticated tech<br />

that helps clients stay one step ahead.<br />

“Successful travel managers must remain<br />

relevant to their customersʼ needs,” says<br />

Adam Knights, Regional Managing Director<br />

for UK, France and Benelux at ATPI Group.<br />

Its <strong>Travel</strong>ler Tracking system is a useful tool<br />

for handling most duty of care scenarios<br />

which may arise.<br />

“With traditional tracking technology it<br />

can be difficult to determine ownership<br />

over a traveller’s whereabouts; there can be<br />

doubts over who’s on call, for example. Our<br />

system bridges this gap by combining <br />



TMCs / Diversification<br />

high quality customer service with traveller<br />

location monitoring and communication.”<br />

When disaster strikes, knowing exactly<br />

where your staff are and establishing clear<br />

lines of communication with them is crucial.<br />

“In the event of a major emergency, travel<br />

managers could struggle to define next<br />

steps. Our tool offers a 24/7 messaging<br />

service where an alert can be quickly<br />

communicated to individual travellers. <strong>The</strong>ir<br />

exact location can be identified using GPS<br />

via our ‘Locate Meʼ app.”<br />

This technology offers peace of mind,<br />

helping clients mitigate risk and maintain an<br />

audit trail of all communications.<br />

Data in droves<br />

As well as keeping travellers safe and clients<br />

in touch, technology can also be harnessed<br />

for more strategic purposes. To this end<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Direct has developed<br />

SMARTInsight, a predictive tool that<br />

promises to take the guess work out of<br />

travel policy changes.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tool lets corporates model the impact<br />

of any changes to their corporate travel<br />

policy, accelerating the decision-making<br />

process, thus helping travel managers<br />

become more proactive.<br />

BTDʼs Managing Director, Julie Oliver,<br />

explains: “We see SMARTInsight as the next<br />

generation of analytics,” she says. “Rather<br />

than overwhelming travel managers with<br />

mountains of reports, we amalgamate the<br />

data into this tool and simplify the analysis.<br />

“We can use the tool to model various<br />

scenarios and get instant answers. In the<br />

past, we would have needed to crunch the<br />

numbers and go back to the client with the<br />

information,” Oliver explains.<br />

Casting the net<br />

<strong>The</strong> needs of travellers have certainly<br />

become more varied and complex in recent<br />

years, making a one-size-fits-all approach<br />

largely redundant. Some TMCs have found<br />

success by catering for growing niche<br />

industries with very specific needs.<br />

<strong>The</strong> needs of travellers<br />

have certainly become<br />

more varied and complex<br />

in recent years, making a<br />

one-size-fits-all approach<br />

largely redundant”<br />

One such example is Corporate <strong>Travel</strong>ler,<br />

which launched a new Production, Sport &<br />

Creative division in May this year. This was<br />

built on its existing client base.<br />

“We already handled corporate travel<br />

requirements for 300 clients in these<br />

industries, but wanted to offer more,” says<br />

UK General Manager, Andy Hegley. “Now<br />

we can provide the specialist ‘high-touchʼ<br />

expertise they need to meet their needs<br />

from start to finish.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> TMC's TV and film production clients<br />

keep them busy, travelling across the<br />

globe to some remote and challenging<br />

destinations. “Weʼve had clients filming<br />

penguins in Antarctica or elephants in<br />

Botswana. It's vital that their production<br />

equipment arrives at their destination on<br />

time and in one piece.<br />

“A film crew of three could be travelling<br />

with 80 bags, so we make sure their<br />

baggage is loaded on to the aircraft, even if<br />

their airline suddenly announces a baggage<br />

embargo at check-in.”<br />

For musicians, meanwhile, it's not<br />

uncommon to book separate airline seats<br />

for a passenger and their cellos or violin<br />

that can't be placed in the hold.<br />

<strong>The</strong> numbers add up<br />

When it comes to procurement, data insight<br />

is what gives certain TMCs the edge. FCM<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Solutions launched 4th Dimension<br />

(4D) this year. <strong>The</strong>y describe this as a ‘nonbiased<br />

consulting service providing<br />

corporates with outsourced, project-based<br />

analytics to drive programme efficiency and<br />

smarter procurement.ʼ<br />

As Jo Greenfield, UK General Manager of<br />

FCM explains, this was very much driven by<br />

client demand: “<strong>Business</strong> travel is constantly<br />

evolving,” says Greenfield. “To remain<br />

successful in a competitive market we must<br />

constantly innovate. <strong>The</strong> launch of 4D has<br />

taken our capabilities to the next level,<br />

providing clients with deep-dive analytics<br />

and bespoke solutions.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> 4D team helps clients rethink their<br />

hotel programmes, for example, which are<br />

now no longer simply about securing the<br />

best rate. “Five years ago, corporates were<br />

still very much focussed on cost savings, <br />


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TMCs / Diversification<br />

Five years ago<br />

corporates were<br />

focused on cost savings. Now<br />

other commercial factors are<br />

becoming more important”<br />

especially after the 2008 downturn,”<br />

says Greenfield. “But despite uncertainty<br />

around Brexit and the need to maintain<br />

savings, other commercial factors are<br />

becoming more important.<br />

”Corporates are now using their hotel<br />

programmes to drive staff loyalty, reflect<br />

their CSR strategies and support traveller<br />

wellbeing too.”<br />

Gaining traction<br />

Matters like these, some of which perhaps<br />

once seemed more aspirational, are rapidly<br />

becoming essential in certain sectors, such<br />

as the pharmaceutical industry.<br />

Pharma salaries are generally high, so<br />

loyalty incentives offer useful ways to<br />

attract and retain top talent. That’s precisely<br />

where smart travel policies and hotel<br />

programmes play a key role.<br />

<strong>The</strong> 4D team carried out a major audit of a<br />

pharma client’s hotel programme, taking<br />

account of the range and standard of hotel<br />

properties and the full cost.<br />

This factored in not just average daily<br />

rates, but extras such as premium wifi,<br />

breakfast and transfers – basically anything<br />

which could engender employee loyalty,<br />

while also being mindful of the industry’s<br />

strict bribery guidelines.<br />

Another 4D client in the construction<br />

sector had a business strategy strongly<br />

informed by sustainability and social<br />

enterprise. <strong>The</strong> priority was to employ<br />

local people and support local communities,<br />

so naturally its corporate hotel programme<br />

needed to reflect this.<br />

4D therefore developed an accommodation<br />

programme that incorporated hotels with a<br />

similar ethos of social enterprise, so that<br />

the client’s hotel spend actually benefited<br />

local communities.<br />

It seems that one way to retain loyalty in<br />

20<strong>19</strong>’s crowded TMC marketplace is to truly<br />

engage with clients’ issues and mirror their<br />

values, as if they actually worked there.<br />

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TMCs / Beginner's guide to...<br />

APIs for TMCs<br />

How can TMCs use APIs to power your corporate travel programme?<br />

<strong>The</strong> ATPI Group’s Adam Knights has some of the answers<br />

In a world where everyone is connected<br />

and technology is ubiquitous, ensuring<br />

you are up to speed and making the<br />

most of the latest developments can be a<br />

full-time job. Likewise, with innovation<br />

coming at such a pace, new terminology<br />

seems to surface on a daily basis. For<br />

travel, APIs are now being spoken about<br />

widely across the industry.<br />

Oh no, another acronym!<br />

Don’t panic, APIs – Application<br />

Programme Interfaces – are<br />

designed to make things easier for us all.<br />

And in corporate travel these systems are<br />

helping transform the way companies<br />

operate. APIs are simply gateways linking<br />

different software applications. Think about<br />

how, on your smartphone, apps connect to<br />

the internet and send a request to a server.<br />

That is done via an API.<br />

Metaphorically speaking<br />

<strong>The</strong> simplest way to imagine<br />

them at work is as a waiter in a<br />

restaurant. <strong>The</strong> menu tells you the food you<br />

could choose and the kitchen is ready to<br />

prepare the dishes you want. But it is the<br />

waiter that takes your request, connects<br />

with the chefs and brings the plates back<br />

to your table. Without that link you do not<br />

get served.<br />

Silent partners<br />

Typically APIs are going about their<br />

business without people knowing.<br />

We don’t question the magic that lets us log<br />

on to different websites using our Facebook<br />

password, for example. <strong>The</strong> important thing<br />

for TMCs is ensuring that what we develop,<br />

or choose to partner with, is compatible with<br />

how businesses and travellers operate.<br />

Putting it into practice<br />

APIs open up a wealth of<br />

possibilities. Firstly, businesses –<br />

including travel management companies –<br />

can be nimble and act quickly by using APIs<br />

to create new products and partnerships or<br />

add new tools and services. <strong>The</strong>ir use drives<br />

innovation by cutting development time.<br />

Additionally, APIs can connect different<br />

divisions of a business seamlessly, which<br />

gives access to all sorts of valuable data.<br />

For corporate travel managers, that could<br />

be marrying a traveller’s spend with their<br />

historic performance or sales figures to see<br />

the return-on-investment for each trip.<br />

Connecting the cloud<br />

APIs are becoming increasingly<br />

important in new innovations, too.<br />

As businesses move their operations to the<br />

cloud, it will be APIs that manage the highs<br />

and lows in demand. <strong>The</strong>y also offer valuable<br />

security benefits, since the connections<br />

between parties are limited.<br />

Plugging into potential<br />

In travel, APIs are being used<br />

extensively, especially on consumer<br />

sites such as Skyscanner, where one set of<br />

results are returned from multiple sites.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>lers in a corporate world will be used<br />

to this type of interface – they will have<br />

used it in their private life or have selfbooking<br />

tools that act in a similar way.<br />

Technology-based services such as Uber<br />

have seen the benefit of this. <strong>Business</strong><br />

travellers may use Uber personally, and<br />

therefore find themselves travelling and<br />

booking out of scope of their travel policy<br />

by using Uber around the world when on<br />

business. If a TMC has an open API policy,<br />

they can add Uber for <strong>Business</strong>. This means<br />

all the data tools a solid corporate travel<br />

reporting function needs can be integrated<br />

very simply.<br />

Offering this rich detail and breadth of<br />

choice is vital for TMCs if they are to prosper.<br />

APIs are definitely here to stay so if you<br />

aren’t familiar with what they are and, more<br />

importantly, what they can do to support<br />

your travel programme, there is no better<br />

time than the present to find out more.<br />


TMCs 20<strong>19</strong>: Who does what<br />

Your guide to a selection of leading travel management companies in the UK<br />

<strong>The</strong> Directory / TMCs<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> management company Annual turnover Annual transactions Company size Head office (UK) Established<br />

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

Specialist sectors served: all sizes and sectors served including telecommunications, legal, technology and online gaming<br />

Ace <strong>Travel</strong> Management £8.5million 20,000 11 staff Brentwood, Essex <strong>19</strong>92<br />

Specialist sectors served: corporate travel, meetings, incentives conferences and events, luxury leisure<br />

Advantage <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> £3.2billion Not disclosed 120 independent UK TMCs / <strong>19</strong>0 locations London <strong>19</strong>78<br />

Specialist sectors served: members serve all sectors of the economy<br />

Amber Road £72million Not disclosed 128 staff / 3 offices Manchester <strong>19</strong>83<br />

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

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

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

Applehouse <strong>Travel</strong> £29.3million 56,400 40 staff / 1 office London <strong>19</strong>84<br />

Specialist sectors served: finance, information technology, energy, SMEs, retail<br />

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

<strong>The</strong> Appointment Group (TAG) £<strong>19</strong>0million 400,000 321 staff / 9 offices worldwide London <strong>19</strong>88<br />

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

ArrangeMy £21million 65,500 55 staff plus 1 implant Worcester <strong>19</strong>90<br />

Specialist sectors served: car manufacturing, retail, charity, care<br />

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

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

BCD <strong>Travel</strong> £636million UK&I / $25.7billion globally Not disclosed 858 staff / 16 offices and c.13,500 staff globally London <strong>19</strong>81<br />

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

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

Specialist sectors served: technology, finance, law, oil & gas, retail<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Direct £115million 402,000 152 staff Langley, Berkshire <strong>19</strong>70<br />

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, services, security, defence, multinationals, marine, education, medical, retail<br />

Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and Events<br />

£570million+ Not disclosed 750 staff / 6 UK offices Derby <strong>19</strong>72<br />

(including NYS Corporate)<br />

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

Carlson Wagonlit <strong>Travel</strong> $23.2billion (globally) 60million (globally) 1,160 UK&I staff / 18,750 global staff Potters Bar, Hertfordshire <strong>19</strong>80<br />

Specialist sectors served: all sizes and sectors, including finance, media, manufacturing, energy, pharmaceutical, telecoms<br />

Clarity £441million c.2.5million Not disclosed Manchester <strong>19</strong>59<br />

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

Click <strong>Travel</strong> £205million 1.85million 252 staff Birmingham <strong>19</strong>99<br />

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

Clyde <strong>Travel</strong> Management £48million 215,000 90 staff / 6 offices Glasgow <strong>19</strong>89<br />

Specialist sectors served: marine, oil & gas, corporate<br />

Corporate <strong>Travel</strong> Management (CTM) £653million (Europe) 4.7million 457 staff in Europe / 2,700 staff globally London <strong>19</strong>94<br />

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



TMCs / <strong>The</strong> Directory<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> management company Annual turnover Annual transactions Company size Head office (UK) Established<br />

CT <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> £27.1million Not disclosed 80 staff / 3 offices Tunbridge Wells, Kent <strong>19</strong>88<br />

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

DialAFlight Corporate <strong>Travel</strong> £134million 280,000 130 staff / 4 offices London <strong>19</strong>80<br />

Specialist sectors served: SMEs<br />

Diversity <strong>Travel</strong> £68million Not disclosed 154 staff Manchester 2007<br />

Specialist sectors served: charities, academic organisations, not-for-profit<br />

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

Specialist sectors served: legal, property, finance, retail, advertising, sports<br />

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

Specialist sectors served: serves companies off all sizes and sectors<br />

Eton <strong>Travel</strong> Group £35.3million 147,000 80 staff / 2 offices Eton, Berkshire <strong>19</strong>69<br />

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, pharmaceutical, IT, retail, finance, legal, music, groups<br />

FCM <strong>Travel</strong> Solutions<br />

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

(incorporating Corporate <strong>Travel</strong>ler)<br />

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

Fello £23million 21,500 40 UK staff London <strong>2018</strong><br />

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

Flightline <strong>Travel</strong> Management £6.2million 29,800 9 staff / 1 office Haddenham, Buckinghamshire <strong>19</strong>96<br />

Specialist sectors served: law, automobile, finance, manufacturing, medical, aircraft, public relations<br />

Global <strong>Travel</strong> Management £26million 50,300 32 staff / 2 offices Woking, Surrey <strong>19</strong>97<br />

Specialist sectors served: brewing, medical, media, SMEs<br />

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

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, marine, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction<br />

Gray Dawes Group<br />

£170million 521,000 210 staff / 6 offices Colchester, Essex <strong>19</strong>27<br />

(incorporating Giles <strong>Travel</strong>)<br />

Specialist sectors served: finance, fashion, energy, construction, professional sport<br />

Harridge Group £14.5million 47,900 26 staff / 1 office London <strong>19</strong>83<br />

Specialist sectors served: business travel, corporate and private events<br />

Ian Allan <strong>Travel</strong> £49million 187,700 91 staff / 2 offices Shepperton, Surrey <strong>19</strong>64<br />

Specialist sectors served: corporate, academic, charity, humanitarian, not for profit, events<br />

Inntel £73million 355,000 144 staff / 3 offices Feering, Essex <strong>19</strong>84<br />

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

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

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, corporate, leisure, groups, incentives<br />

Key <strong>Travel</strong> £209million 486,000 385 staff / 8 offices London <strong>19</strong>80<br />

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

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


Unwrapping soon!<br />

Early in the New Year, we’re launching something<br />

new in the world of meetings and events.<br />

In the meantime, if you need any assistance with your meetings and events,<br />

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

0<strong>19</strong>04 420 810<br />

hello@nysgroup.com<br />

nysgroup.com<br />

NYS is a specialist brand of Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and Events Limited. Registered in England: 01094729.<br />

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

TMCs / <strong>The</strong> Directory<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> management company Annual turnover Annual transactions Company size Head office (UK) Established<br />

Meon Valley <strong>Travel</strong> Group £40million 100,000 67 staff Petersfield, Hampshire 2002<br />

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

Norad <strong>Travel</strong> Management £34.2million 141,000 54 staff / 4 offices Liss, Hampshire <strong>19</strong>81<br />

Specialist sectors served: all sectors with particular specialities including marine, energy, yachting, shipping logistics<br />

Omega World <strong>Travel</strong> £38million (UK) 155,000 (UK) 24 UK staff / 2 UK offices (450 US staff / 50 US offices) London <strong>19</strong>72<br />

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

Reed & Mackay<br />

(incorporating Hillgate <strong>Travel</strong>)<br />

£600million 1million+ 646 UK staff / 5 UK offices (4,000 staff globally / 140 locations) London <strong>19</strong>62<br />

Specialist sectors served: professional services, legal, finance, insurance, technology, marine, offshore<br />

Review <strong>Travel</strong> £15.5million 138,500 29 staff / 4 offices Handforth, Cheshire <strong>19</strong>84<br />

Specialist sectors served: legal, finance, media, credit agencies, sport, education, manufacturing, construction<br />

Selective <strong>Travel</strong> Management £65million <strong>19</strong>8,800 110 staff Belfast <strong>19</strong>72<br />

Specialist sectors served: SMEs, higher education, charity and voluntary, government<br />

Simplexity <strong>Travel</strong> Management £6.9million Not disclosed 12 staff Mayfair, London 2011<br />

Specialist sectors served: all sectors<br />

Statesman <strong>Travel</strong> Group £176.2million Not disclosed 158 staff / 3 offices, 1 implant London <strong>19</strong>75<br />

Specialist sectors: finance, legal, advertising, technology, media, energy, architecture<br />

Sunways <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> £13million 22,500 20 staff / 1 office Dartford, Kent <strong>19</strong>73<br />

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

<strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors for <strong>Business</strong> £145million 120,000 200 Corporate <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors Manchester <strong>19</strong>94<br />

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

<strong>Travel</strong>eads £38.2million 125,000 70 staff / 2 offices Leeds <strong>19</strong>71<br />

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

<strong>Travel</strong> Leaders UK (including Altour<br />

£555million Not disclosed 1,000+ employees London 2017<br />

International, Barrhead <strong>Travel</strong>, Colletts<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>, Protravel and Tzell UK)<br />

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

Uniglobe <strong>Travel</strong> £245million 580,000 40 UK locations London <strong>19</strong>81<br />

Specialist sectors served: media, IT, marine, telecoms, finance, legal, fashion, pharmaceutical<br />

Wayte <strong>Travel</strong> Management £38.5million 80,000 50 staff / 4 offices London <strong>19</strong>80<br />

Specialist sectors served: oil & gas, finance, manufacturing, legal<br />

West End <strong>Travel</strong> £12.7million 31,800 <strong>19</strong> staff / 2 offices London <strong>19</strong>72<br />

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

Wexas <strong>Travel</strong> Management £26million 52,000 45 staff / 2 offices London <strong>19</strong>70<br />

Specialist sectors served: tech, finance, retail, legal, creative, group travel<br />

Wings <strong>Travel</strong> Management £103million 128,087 75 staff / 4 offices UK (450 staff globally / 16 offices globally) London <strong>19</strong>92<br />

Specialist sectors served: energy, marine, security, engineering, specialist finance, travel-critical companies<br />

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


Connecting the dots<br />

on global travel programmes<br />

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Get the full picture of<br />

this global organisation at<br />

atpi.com/globaltravel<br />

Find us on<br />

stand B440

Breaking<br />

the mould<br />

Experience the difference<br />

fcmtravel.co.uk<br />


Data / TMCs<br />


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

treating them as a strategic partner rather than simply a preferred supplier or<br />

approved vendor. Delegates at <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference were polled on<br />

their TMC relations and needs, while a recent BTS survey delivers further insight<br />

What best describes how you<br />

feel about CONSOLIDATION<br />

among TMCs?<br />

47%<br />

It’s an accepted and inevitable<br />

development if the sector is to evolve<br />

35%<br />

It combines the best of two TMCs<br />

and delivers an improved offering<br />

8%<br />

It’s not good for anyone<br />

involved or affected<br />

10%<br />

Not applicable<br />



61 % 54 % 39 % 38 % 23 %<br />

Technology<br />

Customer service<br />

Consulting/advice<br />

Cost/ROI<br />

What do you think is<br />

the most important<br />


when choosing a TMC?<br />

70 %<br />


9 %<br />


9 %<br />


4 %<br />

SIZE<br />

4 %<br />

COST<br />




BUSINESS IN 20<strong>19</strong>?<br />

4 %<br />

£<br />


31 %<br />

Data<br />

Other<br />










68 % COST SAVINGS<br />





45 % A LOT<br />

42 % A LITTLE<br />

10 % IT WON’T<br />

3 % NOT SURE<br />

23%<br />

Are you HAPPY<br />

with the service<br />

you receive from<br />

your TMC?<br />

47 % Yes<br />

10 % No<br />

43 %<br />

Don't use a TMC<br />




A new lease of life for<br />

ground coffee beans<br />

PA & EA networking evening<br />

Autumn<br />

Sparkle<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference<br />

hosted Autumn Sparkle, an exclusive<br />

event for PAs and EAs, at Bankside<br />

Hotel, London, in October.<br />

Attendees enjoyed complimentary<br />

drinks, food, massages and<br />

manicures, and had the chance to<br />

win some fabulous prizes courtesy of<br />

the generous partners.<br />

A warm welcome at<br />

Bankside Hotel<br />

Autumn Sparkle ▼<br />

Cooking demos<br />

from hotel chefs<br />

▲ 22.10.<strong>2018</strong><br />

With thanks to all<br />

our sponsors<br />

Autumn Sparkle<br />

PA & EA Networking Evening<br />

Cup cakes from Q Apartments<br />

Brought to you by<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference<br />

With thanks to the host venue<br />



New kid on the block<br />

Vintry & Mercer, London<br />

THE LOWDOWN This chic 92-room<br />

hotel opens in the City of London this<br />

February complete with roof terrace,<br />

all-day restaurant and underground<br />

speakeasy bar. It is set back on<br />

Garlick Hill, a two-minute walk from<br />

Cannon Street and Mansion House<br />

stations. <strong>The</strong> hotel has a gym, three<br />

private event rooms – <strong>The</strong> Library,<br />

Drawing Room and Music Room –<br />

and breakout area. It is a sister<br />

property to the capital’s Ampersand<br />

Hotel and a member of Small Luxury<br />

Hotels of the World.<br />

that's a FACT Vintry & Mercer is<br />

named after two of the City’s historic<br />

guilds, trading since the 1300s in wine<br />

and silks respectively. Its modern<br />

credentials include running on 100%<br />

renewable electricity.<br />

they said it “Vintry & Mercer<br />

is nestled in the heart of the City,<br />

among the livery halls, guilds and<br />

narrow streets that line the banks of<br />

the Thames. This is where past and<br />

present intersect, where the long<br />

traditions of trade and commerce<br />

come to life. <strong>The</strong> rich cultural<br />

influences of two of the City’s historic<br />

guilds – Vintry and Mercer – can be<br />

seen throughout the hotel with its<br />

carefully considered design.”<br />

Rates Standard rooms<br />

start from £175 per night.<br />




<strong>The</strong> best new... Gadgets & gear<br />

time flies<br />

British Airways and watchmakers Bremont<br />

have teamed up to launch a limited edition<br />

timepiece that incorporates the metal from<br />

one of the most iconic planes in history –<br />

Concorde. <strong>The</strong> Bremont Supersonic contains<br />

aluminium from the G-BOAB Concorde,<br />

known as Alpha Bravo, and is limited to 300<br />

in stainless steel (£9,495), 100 in rose gold<br />

(£16,995) and 100 in white gold (£17,995).<br />



high five: camera phones<br />



slim pickings<br />

<strong>The</strong> Slim Wallet is the latest addition to<br />

Stuart + Lau’s range of leather goods and<br />

travel accessories. <strong>The</strong> full-grain Italian<br />

leather and suede wallet has an RFID<br />

blocking interlayer and a back sleeve for<br />

easy access to metro cards. It is available in<br />

eight colours and is priced around £100.<br />

Keep fit<br />

<strong>The</strong> latest addition to the<br />

Fitbit family is the Versa.<br />

A more affordable<br />

version of the Fitbit<br />

Iconic, this smartwatch is<br />

priced around £179 and,<br />

with a rounded face<br />

design, resembles a more<br />

traditional watch than<br />

regular Fitbit trackers.<br />

<strong>The</strong> device tracks major<br />

workout types, is<br />

waterproof, has a fourday<br />

battery charge and a<br />

companion app.<br />



Huawei P20 PRO <strong>The</strong> P20 Pro has a<br />

lighter price tag than the iPhone or<br />

Samsung Galaxy, but it stands head to<br />

head with its excellent camera and<br />

impressive battery life.<br />

Google pixel 3 Keen photographers<br />

will marvel at the quality of photos taken<br />

with this phone with its 12.2 megapixel<br />

sensor on the back and two 8 megapixel<br />

sensors on the front. <strong>Travel</strong>lers will also<br />

find its wireless charging capability<br />

useful on the road.<br />

THE BEST<br />

iphone xs <strong>The</strong> latest from Apple<br />


features an edge-to-edge 5.8 inch YOUR POCKET<br />

super retina display and a 12<br />

megapixel dual lens camera. <strong>The</strong><br />

device is powerful with a fast processor.<br />

samsung galaxy S9 PLUS With a huge<br />

6.2 inch curved screen and a dual-lens<br />

camera noted for quality low-light shots,<br />

the phone is ideal for those after a great<br />

camera and a big screen.<br />

oneplus 6T At the budget<br />

end of the scale is the latest<br />

from OnePlus. It features a<br />

huge 6.41 inch screen with<br />

HDR support and a 16<br />

megapixel camera. <strong>The</strong><br />

device also features Fast<br />

Charge enabling users to<br />

fully charge the phone in<br />

half an hour.<br />


20-21 February 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Olympia, London<br />



TRAVEL<br />

Europe’s largest<br />

specialised event<br />

for business travel<br />

professionals.<br />

9,000<br />

attendees<br />

400+<br />

hosted<br />

buyers<br />

3,500<br />

pre-scheduled<br />

hosted buyer<br />

appointments<br />

Countless<br />

networking<br />

opportunities<br />

Register for free at www.businesstravelshow.com<br />

Using code TBTM<strong>19</strong><br />

Untitled-1 1 20/11/<strong>2018</strong> 09:03


On the road with Michael Struck<br />

Ruby Hotels founder and CEO Michael Patrick Struck<br />

might have a sweet spot for Sugarloaf, but it certainly<br />

doesn't run to chicken feet...<br />

day encompasses totally<br />

different places and settings.<br />

RIO'S<br />

Recently my day started<br />


with a very early morning<br />

IS A SWEET<br />

run through the sleeping<br />

SPOT<br />

streets of Mayfair and closed<br />

with a walk along the warm seaside<br />

in bustling Barcelona.<br />

Worst business travel experience:<br />

Has to be a business dinner in<br />

Guangzhou which involved eating<br />

chicken feet and other ‘interesting’<br />

specialities, to be polite.<br />


Name: Michael Patrick Struck<br />

Position & Company: Founder and<br />

CEO of Ruby Hotels. We operate<br />

five properties at the moment and<br />

we have a further nine under<br />

construction or in the planning<br />

stages. We've also just started<br />

Ruby Works, which offers flexible<br />

work spaces.<br />

Based in: Munich, Germany.<br />

<strong>Business</strong> trips per year: 50.<br />

Estimated annual mileage:<br />

100,000.<br />

Regular destinations: London,<br />

Paris, Milan, Copenhagen.<br />

Most recent trip: Tokyo.<br />

Next trip: New York.<br />

GOOD & BAD<br />

Best business travel<br />

experience: This is pretty hard to<br />

call. I particularly like it when one<br />





Preferred airline or hotel and<br />

why: Emirates, simply for its<br />

consistently excellent onboard<br />

service quality.<br />

Loyalty points – obsessive<br />

collector or not bothered?<br />

Honestly, I'm not bothered. I think<br />

these things tend to take care of<br />

themselves.<br />

Favourite loyalty scheme:<br />

None in particular.<br />


Flights: work, rest or play?<br />

Work. I find being literally<br />

above it all is helpful with<br />

certain tasks.<br />

Onboard connectivity –<br />

take it or leave it? I like having<br />

this new option for emergencies ,<br />

but am too much of a savings fox<br />

to use it while prices for it<br />

remain so high.<br />

Onboard habits: I loosen my<br />

shoe laces, put on some noisecancelling<br />

earphones and sit<br />

back to enjoy take-off.<br />


Happy never to go<br />

back to: Helsinki. My<br />

last experience<br />

involved being there during a<br />

serious snow storm.<br />

Send me back to: Rome, anytime.<br />

Top overseas landmark: Sugarloaf<br />

Mountain, Rio de Janeiro.<br />


One thing that would improve<br />

business travel: Wifi on the tube<br />

in London would be really great, as<br />

would a Ruby hotel in every major<br />

city, obviously!<br />

Biggest business travel<br />

irritation: <strong>Business</strong><br />

hotels that are run of<br />

the mill, soulless and<br />

unnecessarily expensive.<br />

In fact, that is part of the<br />

reason we started Ruby<br />

Hotels, since we do the opposite.<br />

DO AS I SAY...<br />

AND AS I DO!<br />



Pack light or go<br />

prepared? I’d like to<br />

say both, but since I don’t<br />

do much in the way of travel<br />

preparations, I guess it will have<br />

to be ‘light’.<br />

Never leave home without: My<br />

running shoes.<br />


Stick to the travel policy or a bit<br />

of a maverick? Our business is<br />

about offering lean luxury to<br />

guests so I always follow the<br />

policy. For me, it’s a role<br />

model thing.<br />

If you could change one<br />

thing about your travel<br />

policy... Nothing, or else I<br />

would have done it already!<br />



Meeting in Milton Keynes<br />

Milton Keynes was once a<br />

collection of towns and<br />

villages, but was<br />

transformed into a 'New<br />

City' in the <strong>19</strong>60s as part<br />

of a government scheme<br />

to relieve London's<br />

housing congestion. Now<br />

an economic success<br />

story, Milton Keynes is<br />

home to organisations<br />

including Santander,<br />

Volkswagen, Network Rail<br />

and Mercedes Benz.<br />

Wow factor<br />

<strong>The</strong> Arena MK<br />

This significant exhibitions and<br />

event venue opened in 2014<br />

and can host up to 3,500 for a<br />

conference. It has numerous<br />

offices, bars and green rooms<br />

spread across three floors. <strong>The</strong><br />

space is pillarless and totally<br />

customisable. <strong>The</strong> venue also<br />

provides banqueting menus<br />

and in-house production if<br />

required. Due to the versatility<br />

of the space, call for a quote.<br />

Stadium Way, Bletchley,<br />

Milton Keynes, MK1 1ST<br />

0844 902 7777 / arenamk.com<br />

big, bold and<br />

beautiful<br />

Quirky venue<br />

National Museum<br />

of Computing<br />

Events are hosted within its<br />

galleries and displays, which<br />

include WWII's famous Enigma<br />

codebreaker. Facilities include<br />

a 40-seater meeting room with<br />

three large screens, buffet<br />

catering options and wifi<br />

throughout. Corporate events<br />

have the option of private tours<br />

with experts and so are priced<br />

according to requirements.<br />

Bletchley Park, Bletchley,<br />

Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB<br />

0<strong>19</strong>08 374 708 / tnmoc.com<br />

On a shoestring<br />

<strong>The</strong> National<br />

Badminton Centre<br />

<strong>The</strong> world-class badminton<br />

club can cater for meetings of<br />

up to 100 delegates and rooms<br />

can be set up in a range of<br />

configurations. Conference<br />

rooms feature AV, flipchart,<br />

pens, tea and coffee, and a<br />

buffet lunch is included. Room<br />

hire for the smallest room<br />

starts from £145 per day. DDRs<br />

are available from £29.95.<br />

Bradwell Road, Great Holm, Milton<br />

Keynes, MK8 9LA / 0<strong>19</strong>08 268 479 /<br />

badmintonengland.com<br />

Small but perfectly formed<br />

Wired up<br />

Out of town<br />

Getting there<br />

<strong>The</strong> city benefits from<br />

direct mainline train services<br />

from London Euston which<br />

take less than an hour. By car,<br />

Milton Keynes is accessible via<br />

the M1 and the journey time<br />

from London is upwards of<br />

an hour.<br />

Further information<br />

Contact Destination<br />

Milton Keynes for advice on<br />

organising a conference or<br />

event. Destinationmilton<br />

keynes.co.uk has details of<br />

venues and accommodation<br />

available. Call 0<strong>19</strong>08 688 293<br />

or email info@destination<br />

miltonkeynes.co.uk<br />

Woughton House –<br />

Mgallery by Sofitel<br />

Situated just outside of town,<br />

this elegant hotel has four<br />

meeting rooms and a<br />

Clubhouse Suite able to host up<br />

to 250. A day meeting for ten<br />

starts at £390 and includes AV<br />

facilities, wifi, pastries and<br />

buffet lunch. <strong>The</strong>re are also<br />

breakout spaces indoors and<br />

out, plus walking trails to enjoy.<br />

Newport Road, Woughton on the<br />

Green, Milton Keynes, MK6 3LR<br />

0<strong>19</strong>08 661 9<strong>19</strong> / sofitel.accorhotels.<br />

com/mgallery/milton-keynes<br />

escape to the<br />

country<br />

Venue Cranfield<br />

<strong>The</strong> facility comprises four<br />

flexible venues in one,<br />

which are suitable for<br />

conferences, meetings,<br />

and accommodation.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are over 65 rooms<br />

in all, suitable for up to 250<br />

delegates. <strong>The</strong>re is high-speed<br />

wifi, a 24-hour reception,<br />

exercise and leisure areas and<br />

a licenced bar and restaurant.<br />

Enquire for DDRs.<br />

Duncan Road, Wharley End, Cranfield,<br />

Bedfordshire, MK43 0HG<br />

01234 754 885 / venuecranfield.co.uk<br />

meetings<br />

to the four<br />

Whittlebury Hall<br />

<strong>The</strong> 254-room hotel is located<br />

20 minutes north of the<br />

city and comprises 20<br />

conference and training<br />

suites, 28 syndicate<br />

rooms, an executive<br />

boardroom and three<br />

private dining rooms. Event<br />

organisers can also make use<br />

of the two banqueting and<br />

conference suites that can hold<br />

up to 500 delegates. DDRs are<br />

from £31 plus VAT.<br />

Whittlebury, Towcester, NN12 8WP<br />

01327 857 857 / whittlebury.com<br />




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German destinations and enjoy the best<br />

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On business in... Berlin<br />

<strong>The</strong> German capital –<br />

once divided by the<br />

Berlin Wall – is today<br />

known for its wealth of<br />

modern and historical<br />

landmarks, arts scene,<br />

festivals and nightlife.<br />

A centre of<br />

History<br />

Getting there<br />

British Airways, easyJet,<br />

Eurowings and Ryanair between<br />

them operate services from<br />

several destinations around the<br />

UK to the German capital,<br />

including Heathrow, Gatwick,<br />

Luton, East Midlands, Liverpool,<br />

Newcastle, Manchester,<br />

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Bristol.<br />

Further information<br />

For details on meetings<br />

and events and visiting Berlin,<br />

see visitberlin.de/en, email<br />

convention@visitberlin.de or<br />

call +49 (0)30 26 47 48-400.<br />


Luxury options include the Berlin<br />

Marriott Hotel, DORMERO Hotel, the<br />

refurbished Ritz-Carlton or Grand<br />

Hyatt Berlin. At the budget end of the<br />

scale consider the centrally located<br />

Aga’s Hotel, Azimut Hotel in City<br />

West, multiple Motel One properties<br />

or the super-budget easyHotel. <strong>The</strong><br />

Hilton and InterContinental groups<br />

are well represented in the city.<br />

EATING<br />

For Bavarian fare try out<br />

Clubrestaurant am Wannsee or<br />

Restaurant Schlossgarten for hearty<br />

German food. La Caleta is well<br />

known for Mediterranean dining.<br />

Lia’s Kitchen is a vegetarian restaurant<br />

and Grill Royal is a gourmet<br />

steakhouse popular with visiting<br />

VIPs. For Michelin-star dining try<br />

the double-starred Rutz.<br />

after hours<br />

Berlin is packed with trendy bars<br />

open until the early hours. <strong>The</strong><br />

Green Door in Shönenberg is a<br />

popular cocktail bar requiring<br />

visitors to ring a bell for entry.<br />

Becketts Kopf follows a similar<br />

speakeasy model in Prenzlauer<br />

Berg. For a traditional Bavarian<br />

beer hall try Hofbräu<br />

Wirsthaus or Löwenbräu am<br />

Gendarmenmarkt beer hall in<br />

the centre of the city.<br />


Berlin has two airports, Shönefeld<br />

and Tegel, which are both well<br />

connected to the city centre. From<br />

Shönefeld airport there is a railway<br />

station with connections to the city<br />

centre and a number of bus routes.<br />

Tegel Airport has four BVG bus<br />

stops outside terminals A and B.<br />

Both terminals have taxi ranks.<br />


<strong>The</strong> historic Brandenburg Gate is<br />

not to be missed. Remnants of the<br />

Berlin Wall remain, and visitors can<br />

see a line through the city where it<br />

once stood. Checkpoint Charlie is a<br />

reminder of Berlin during the cold<br />

war era. Also visit the Reichstag<br />

Building and the Berlin<br />

Zoological Gardens.<br />

Amazing<br />

Architecture<br />




Focus on... Australia & New Zealand<br />

A shared language plus<br />

similarities in the legal<br />

and administrative<br />

systems make trade<br />

between the UK and its<br />

Commonwealth<br />

cousins Down Under<br />

relatively simple, writes<br />

Benjamin Coren<br />

UK businesses looking for new<br />

opportunities overseas might<br />

overlook Australia and New<br />

Zealand, simply because the two<br />

nations seem so far away. In reality,<br />

actually being on the other side of<br />

the world matters little. Our shared<br />

history and heritage easily outweigh<br />

the perceived problems, making<br />

both countries the ideal place to<br />

test products.<br />

<strong>The</strong> numbers add up. Australia is<br />

the 13th-largest economy, while its<br />

citizens boast the second-highest<br />

wealth per capita. Meanwhile, New<br />

Zealand is already the UK's fifthlargest<br />

two-way trading partner.<br />

Those making the leap should be<br />

aware of certain challenges, of<br />

course. Australia has very strict<br />

biosecurity regulations that need to<br />

be considered for imports of<br />

certain products and packaging.<br />

And visiting is time-consuming –<br />

it can take 24 hours to fly there;<br />

factor in the time and cost when<br />

sending products to market. <strong>The</strong><br />

time difference of seven to 11<br />

hours can also make international<br />

business calls difficult.<br />

Trade minister Graham Stuart<br />

headed to Australia and New<br />

Zealand earlier this year as the<br />

Department for International Trade<br />

(DIT) kicked off its opening<br />

consultations about future trade<br />

relationships post-Brexit.<br />

Stuart promoted opportunities<br />

for UK firms in NZ infrastructure<br />

and launched a joint UK-Australia<br />

investment report, which shows the<br />

UK is now the second-largest<br />

Time zones: Australia has<br />

five time zones ranging<br />

from GMT +8hrs in the west to<br />

GMT +11hrs in the east.<br />

Currency: Australian Dollar:<br />

£1 = AUD1.80. New Zealand<br />

Dollar: £1 = NZD1.95;<br />

Dialling codes: Australia +61.<br />

New Zealand: +64.<br />

Visas: To enter Australia, UK<br />

citizens require a valid passport<br />

and an approved ETA (apply<br />

online). British travellers can<br />

enter New Zealand for up to six<br />

months with no visa.<br />



destination globally for<br />

Australian investment.<br />

Appearing alongside<br />

Australian Minister for Trade,<br />

Tourism and Investment,<br />

Steven Ciobo, he highlighted<br />

the investment ties between<br />

the UK and Australia – which<br />

grew 22% between 2010 and<br />

2017 to more than £63billion.<br />

“We’ve taken a major step<br />

towards building our bilateral<br />

trading relationships with<br />

Australia and New Zealand –<br />

two of our closest international<br />

partners – by opening consultations<br />

on our potential future agreements,”<br />

said Stuart.<br />

“Combined, their investment into<br />

the UK delivered 95 new projects<br />

last year, creating almost 2,500<br />

British jobs. <strong>The</strong>se consultations<br />

will examine new possibilities for<br />

British exporters in the region,<br />

especially in technology and<br />

infrastructure,” he added.<br />

Ciobo added that Australia and<br />

the UK were committed to working<br />

together aross diverse industries<br />

“from defence to infrastructure”.<br />

“Both countries offer large, open<br />

and flexible economies as well as<br />

an ideal location from which to<br />

access other regional opportunities,<br />

be it in Europe or Asia.”<br />

Top exports to Australia and<br />

New Zealand include vehicles,<br />

machinery and mechanical parts,<br />

print products, pharmaceuticals,<br />

gems and precious metals, as well<br />

as plastics, furniture and iron and<br />

steel products.<br />



Factfile: Australia & New Zealand<br />


British Airways: operates<br />

flights to Sydney via Singapore,<br />

which depart daily from<br />

London Heathrow. <strong>The</strong> airline<br />

operates connecting codeshare<br />

flights to Australia and New<br />

Zealand via Hong Kong, Doha,<br />

Singapore or Sydney.<br />

hit the<br />

heights in<br />

auckland<br />

Emirates: flies to Australia<br />

and New Zealand via its Dubai<br />

hub. <strong>The</strong> carrier operates over<br />

120 non-stop flights per week<br />

from eight UK airports to<br />

Dubai. From Dubai, Emirates<br />

offers 28 flights a week to<br />

Sydney, 21 a week to Brisbane<br />

and Melbourne, 14 a week to<br />

Perth and Auckland and seven<br />

a week to both Adelaide and<br />

Christchurch, New Zealand.<br />

Qatar AIRWAyS: flies to<br />

Australia and New Zealand via<br />

its Doha hub. From London<br />

Heathrow, there are convenient<br />

connections in Doha to services<br />

to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth,<br />

Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra.<br />

Qantas: flies daily from<br />

London Heathrow to Sydney<br />

via Singapore. <strong>The</strong> airline also<br />

operates a non-stop daily<br />

service from London to Perth<br />

with onward connections<br />

throughout Australia. Qantas<br />

also flies to Brisbane via<br />

Singapore and offers a wealth<br />

of domestic connections. New<br />

Zealand flights operate from<br />

the east coast.<br />

Royal Brunei: the airline<br />

has introduced daily non-stop<br />

services from London to Brunei<br />

– cutting out the previous stop<br />

in Dubai – which then fly on to<br />

Melbourne.<br />

Etihad: offers services to<br />

Australia and New Zealand via<br />

its Abu Dhabi hub. One-stop<br />

services are operated from<br />

Heathrow to Sydney,<br />

Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane<br />

and Adelaide alongside onestop<br />

services to Auckland and<br />

Christchurch in New Zealand.<br />

Singapore AIRLINES offers<br />

daily services from Heathrow<br />

to its Singapore hub where<br />

regular onward flights are<br />

available and ANA operates a<br />

daily service from Heathrow to<br />

Sydney via Tokyo Haneda,<br />

among other one-stop options.<br />

off duty<br />

no<br />

shortage of<br />

Brisbane, australia:<br />

options<br />

Brisbane’s South Bank is a<br />

hot-spot for eating out and<br />

entertaining, or find peace and<br />

quiet in the Botanic Gardens.<br />

Sydney, australia:<br />

Sydney Opera House and<br />

the Harbour Bridge should<br />

australian<br />

to its core<br />

Canberra, australia:<br />

As the seat of Australian<br />

government, it is worth<br />

be top of the list. Head to<br />

Bondi Beach for surfing and to<br />

Darling Harbour for dining.<br />

visiting Parliament House and<br />

its associated Museum of<br />

Democracy (in the old<br />

Parliament building). <strong>The</strong> city is<br />

Melbourne, australia:<br />

Architecture buffs will get a kick<br />

out of the stunning design of<br />

the City Library and Flinders<br />

also home to the National<br />

Gallery of Australia, Australian<br />

War Memorial and striking<br />

National Museum of Australia.<br />

Street railway station. <strong>The</strong> city's<br />

Yarra River offers plenty of nice<br />

spots for a stroll.<br />

Christchurch,<br />

new zealand: Go punting on<br />

the Avon through the heart of<br />

the city, then get a taste of<br />

colonial life at Mona Vale, an<br />

early <strong>19</strong>00s homestead with<br />

gardens, riverside walks and a<br />

restaurant. <strong>The</strong> Christchurch<br />

Gondola offers panoramic<br />

views of the city and coastline.<br />

Perth, australia: Visit<br />

Freemantle Prison to find out<br />

more about convict life in<br />

Australia. <strong>The</strong> nearby Swan<br />

Valley region is well known for<br />

food and wine.<br />

Auckland, new zealand:<br />

Take a trip up the 60-storey<br />

Sky Tower, which also features<br />

a revolving restaurant and<br />

bungee jumping. Shopping on<br />

Main and Queen Streets.<br />



Reality check<br />



Flight AA100 from<br />

of fruit plate, yoghurt and croissant was<br />

New York’s JFK Terminal E to London<br />

served just under an hour before arrival.<br />

Heathrow Terminal 3, departing at 06.15<br />

THE SEAT<br />

A bottle of water and<br />

and arriving at 06.50 (local times), and<br />

comfort pack (with Casper blanket and<br />

operated by a B777-300. I was flying in<br />

lumber pillow, Cole Haan amenity kit,<br />

American Airlines' Premium Economy.<br />

and headset) were awaiting me in the<br />


I was unable to<br />

seat. I travelled in seat 16D which has<br />

check-in online but the airline’s check-in<br />

the extra leg room in front on the bulk<br />

area at T3 was efficient and straight-<br />

head. <strong>The</strong> seat was roomy and controls<br />

forward and the queue through security<br />

for the recline and foot rest were simple.<br />

relative short. Boarding was at Gate 8<br />

<strong>The</strong> screen was stowed within the seat<br />

and was done in seat location groups to<br />

but popped out easily and the IFE<br />

ensure efficient loading.<br />

system offered a comprehensive choice.<br />


I had pre-ordered my<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was a small storage compartment<br />

meal choice online and it was delivered<br />

and fold-out tray stowed in the arm rest,<br />

quickly – so quickly, in fact, that I was<br />

plus a USB charging point.<br />


American Airlines<br />

half way through eating it before the<br />


<strong>The</strong> aircraft felt new<br />

operates up to four direct flights a day<br />

drinks service arrived! <strong>The</strong> meal was<br />

excellent with a good-sized chicken<br />

portion served with a side salad and the<br />

best bread roll I’ve had onboard, plus a<br />

good chocolate dessert, cheese and<br />

crackers. All was presented well with<br />

and the Premium Economy seat was<br />

definitely comfortable and well-thought<br />

through. <strong>The</strong> meal quality was excellent<br />

and the amenities supplied with the<br />

seat were good quality and useful,<br />

especially the lumbar pillow. <strong>The</strong> staff<br />






from London Heathrow to New York<br />

(JFK), and up to 10 a day when including<br />

the flights operated by joint business<br />

partner British Airways. Fares start from<br />

£270 in Basic Economy, £330 in the<br />

Main Cabin, £789 in Premium Economy,<br />

ceramic crockery and linen napkin. A<br />

were efficient if a little brusque in their<br />

£1,593 in Flagship <strong>Business</strong> and £3,143<br />

second drinks service was offered after<br />

trays had been cleared, and a breakfast<br />

service but overall the journey was a<br />

good experience.<br />

in Flagship First. aa.co.uk<br />

Julie Baxter<br />



Staycity Aparthotels<br />

consisted of a living area with flat<br />

in Birmingham’s Newhall Square has<br />

screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen<br />

142 one-bedroom and 24 two-bedroom<br />

with hob, microwave, cooking utensils<br />

apartments that can accommodate up<br />

and dishwasher, plus a dining area,<br />

to six people. Situated in the city's<br />

bedroom with king-size bed and<br />

historical Jewellery Quarter, the<br />

bathroom. I was particularly impressed<br />

property is less than a 10-minute walk<br />

with the powerful and roomy shower<br />

from Birmingham city centre and New<br />

and may have indulged for slightly<br />

Street Train Station and a five-minute<br />

longer than necessary as a result.<br />

walk from the bars and restaurants of<br />

Hairdryers were also provided in<br />

bustling Broad Street.<br />

the bedroom.<br />


As the hotel is<br />


<strong>The</strong>re is a fitness<br />

situated in a busy area, street parking<br />

centre on-site along with a café –<br />

is not an option. <strong>The</strong>re is limited space<br />

breakfast is available at an additional<br />

available in the on-site car park or,<br />

cost. If you did want to cook your<br />

alternatively, a 24-hour NCP car park is<br />

own meals, there is a grocery shop<br />


88 Charlotte Street,<br />

just next door. Both options cost £12<br />

conveniently located next door to the<br />

Birmingham, B3 1PW. Check-in is<br />

per night for the privilege. Once inside,<br />

I received a warm and friendly<br />

welcome at the reception desk along<br />

with what seemed a genuine interest in<br />

how my journey had been. I was given<br />

my room key and breakfast options<br />

aparthotel. <strong>The</strong>re is free wifi access<br />

throughout the property.<br />

THE VERDICT Perfect for a short stay<br />

in Birmingham for those that want to<br />

be self-sufficient. Staff were friendly<br />

and helpful and made you feel very<br />




TO BE SELF-<br />


from 3pm and check-out by 11am.<br />

Nightly rates start from £71 for a onebedroom<br />

apartment. Staycity has over<br />

3,000 apartments across ten different<br />

cities in the UK, Ireland and France,<br />

and has recently launched sub-brand<br />

and guided to the lift.<br />

welcome upon arrival. <strong>The</strong> location<br />

Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity. Tel:<br />

THE ROOM My compact and<br />

modern one-bedroom apartment<br />

is within easy access of some of<br />

Birmingham’s main attractions.<br />

0121 237 5600; see staycity.com<br />

Jessica Pook<br />





Flight BI0003 from<br />

18 larger-than-average business class<br />

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, to<br />

seats are in a 2-2-2 configuration and<br />

London Heathrow T4. Departing at<br />

each contoured seat converts to a fully<br />

00.15 and arriving at 07.20 the following<br />

flat bed. Passengers were offered a<br />

morning, this new direct service is<br />

plush duvet, fluffy pillow and a mattress<br />

operated by B787 Dreamliner aircraft<br />

topper for added comfort. An amenity<br />

with a cabin of 18 business class seats<br />

kit contained the usual items along with<br />

ahead of the economy cabin.<br />

some Harnn products, while slippers<br />


Royal Brunei<br />

and noise-reducing headphones were<br />

Airlines has a separate open check-in<br />

also provided. Inflight entertainment<br />

lounge for their <strong>Business</strong> and Royal<br />

was on offer through the 15.4-inch<br />

Skies members featuring comfortable<br />

touchscreen monitor. <strong>The</strong>re was some<br />

seating and magazines. <strong>The</strong>re were no<br />

storage at seat level and ample<br />

queues so check in was swift and I was<br />

overhead cabin space too.<br />

handed a pass to access the newly<br />


Once seated I was<br />

upgraded Sky Lounge. After quickly<br />

offered a fresh juice or mineral water<br />


This was the final leg of<br />

passing through security and passport<br />

(no alcohol is served onboard) and a<br />

my journey with the airline and I felt like<br />

control I went straight to the lounge.<br />

steaming hot towel. An on-demand<br />

a VIP throughout the journey. <strong>The</strong><br />

Due to the late hour only a snack menu<br />

was provided which included savoury<br />

pastries, sushi and sandwiches, plus<br />

fruits and desserts. Showers, free wifi<br />

menu was presented so you could<br />

order from this at any point during the<br />

flight, up to 90 minutes prior to landing.<br />

Due to the late take off I enjoyed soup<br />




spacious set up of the business class<br />

cabin ensures you arrive as relaxed and<br />

as refreshed as possible.<br />

THE DETAILS <strong>Business</strong> class return<br />

and charging points were all available.<br />

with accompaniments and, prior to<br />

flights from London Heathrow to<br />

THE SEAT<br />

<strong>The</strong> first impression<br />

arrival, a full hot breakfast from a menu<br />

Bendar Seri Begawan start from £2,948<br />

on walking into the business class cabin<br />

was just how generous the space is. <strong>The</strong><br />

featuring several choices. <strong>The</strong> service<br />

was ultra-polite throughout the flight.<br />

inclusive of taxes. flyroyalbrunei.com<br />

Kirsty Hicks<br />



10 Castle Street is a<br />

marble-clad en-suite bathroom was<br />

Grade II listed country house hotel in<br />

quite stunning and included a separate<br />

Cranborne, Dorset. Set in stunning<br />

shower and a freestanding bath, plus<br />

grounds, it has recently been remodelled<br />

Temple Spa toiletries. An added bonus<br />

and has nine individually designed and<br />

were the stunning views across the<br />

furnished guestrooms. Bournemouth<br />

property's manicured lawns and gardens.<br />

Airport is 15 miles away.<br />


Within the house<br />


My room wasn't ready<br />

were two bars, a billiards room and<br />

when I arrived, but the receptionist went<br />

various lounges including one outside<br />

through the check-in process and then<br />

which can easily double up as a meeting<br />

offered to store my bags whilst I enjoyed<br />

space – each of them offered a unique<br />

a welcome drink in the bar.<br />

atmosphere and design. <strong>The</strong> elegant<br />

THE ROOM<br />

My room on the<br />

restaurant also offered a ‘tasting room’<br />

second floor was nicely designed and<br />

where guests can sit and watch the chefs<br />

decorated with white and cream colours<br />

at work. <strong>The</strong> food is all locally sourced<br />

complemented by dark wood furniture<br />

including from a vegetable garden within<br />


This was a wonderful<br />

and red seats. It featured a superbly<br />

the grounds. <strong>The</strong>re was complimentary<br />

country house experience and the<br />

comfortable super king-sized bed, work<br />

wifi throughout the property but mobile<br />

property has obviously been lovingly<br />

desk, and a separate seating area with<br />

sofa, two single armchairs and a coffee<br />

table situated in front of a fireplace.<br />

Also provided were bathrobes, slippers,<br />

phone signal wasn’t great – but that<br />

could be seen as a positive. Numerous<br />

activities can be arranged including wine<br />

tasting, game shooting, screenings, artist<br />




restored. It would be ideal for external<br />

meetings or a company get together.<br />

THE DETAILS 10 Castle Street,<br />

Cranborne, Wimborne, BH21 5PZ.<br />

coffee and tea-making facilities, a<br />

talks and private parties. <strong>The</strong> property is<br />

Rates start from £265 (B&B). Day<br />

hairdryer, iPod docking station, DAB<br />

available for exclusive use. <strong>The</strong>re are<br />

delegate rates are £60 and the 24-hour<br />

radio, Smart TV and ample storage space<br />

including two chest of drawers. <strong>The</strong><br />

plans for a spa to be opened in the not<br />

too distant future.<br />

rate is £285. 10castlestreet.com<br />

David Clare<br />



<strong>The</strong> final word<br />

Brits’ pressing issues<br />

Hilton Garden Inn is<br />

taking the unusual<br />

step of launching an<br />

Ironing Club for its guests<br />

after research found that<br />

pressing clothes and linen is<br />

Brits’ greatest simple pleasure.<br />

According to the hotel group,<br />

72% of us love firing up the iron<br />

and letting off some steam to<br />

help ‘decompress’, while twothirds<br />

believe ironing is more<br />

relaxing than yoga or meditation.<br />

Almost half (44%) say it’s the<br />

satisfying smoothing of creases<br />

that makes it such a pleasure,<br />

while 43% say it’s the excuse to<br />

stand still for a while, coupled<br />

with the repetitive motion of the<br />

iron. Meanwhile, 40% say the<br />

soothing sound of the steam is<br />

what really does it for them.<br />

Guests at the Hilton Garden<br />

Inn London Heathrow Airport<br />

can book into organised Ironing<br />

Club sessions as part of a pilot<br />

ahead of the scheme’s wider<br />

roll-out across the UK. “Guests<br />

are encourage to wear loose,<br />

comfortable clothing,” says the<br />

hotel group, “and soothing music<br />

will be played throughout”.<br />

Tal Shefer, Brand Head, Hilton<br />

Garden Inn, EMEA, says: “We<br />

know that today’s travellers<br />

are looking for unique ways to<br />

unwind. Our research reveals<br />

that ironing is one of the nation’s<br />

top simple pleasures, alongside<br />

enjoying freshly-brewed coffee<br />

and a lie-in.”<br />

THE TOP 10…<br />


Check out the world's most<br />

stunning public libraries on<br />

your travels, as identified by<br />

Wordery and Instagram<br />

1 Seattle Public Library (below)<br />

2 Bodleian Library, Oxford<br />

3 Vancouver Public Library<br />

4 Real Gabinete Português de<br />

Leitura, Rio de Janeiro<br />

5 <strong>The</strong> Public Library, Stuttgart<br />

6 <strong>The</strong> Morgan Library, NYC<br />

7 Bibliotheca Alexandrina,<br />

Egypt<br />

8 Stockholm Public Library<br />

9 George Peabody Library,<br />

Baltimore<br />

10 Richard J. Riordan Central<br />

Library, Los Angeles<br />

Out with the old...<br />

Move over Great<br />

Pyramid of Giza<br />

and the Hanging<br />

Gardens of Babylon – a new<br />

Seven Urban Wonders of the<br />

World has been identified<br />

and there’s one UK entrant<br />

on the list… but it might not<br />

be the one you expect.<br />

London’s Camden Market is<br />

joined on the new list by the<br />

Sydney Opera House, Tokyo’s<br />

Tsukiji Fish Market, <strong>The</strong> Bund<br />

in Shanghai, the Louvre in Abu<br />

Dhabi, Temple Street Night<br />

Market in Hong Kong and<br />

Albertina in Vienna. <strong>The</strong> super<br />

seven was compiled by<br />

LikeWhere on behalf of Hilton<br />

and drew on smart data and<br />

crowdsourced suggestions.<br />

While it might seem daft to don a pair of<br />

stilettos to explore the ancient wonders of<br />

Greece, the wearing of high heels is in any<br />

case banned at the country’s archaeological<br />

sites in order to protect them from damage.<br />

<strong>The</strong> rule is among some unlikely laws highlighted<br />

by travel website Smart Lemur. In<br />

Iran, for example, it’s illegal for men to walk<br />

the streets wearing ponytails or mullets, and<br />

in Burundi, president Pierre Nkurunziza<br />

decided that jogging is a<br />

subversive protest against<br />

the government.<br />


20<strong>19</strong><br />

September 17th-18th<br />

Registration open from<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1<br />

<br />

<strong>The</strong> FREE event for<br />

buyers and arrangers<br />

of business travel and<br />

meetings<br />

Hilton London<br />

Bankside, Southwark<br />

For further information about attending as a delegate or exhibitor<br />

contact Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

20<strong>19</strong><br />

September 17th-18th

Making <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> affordable<br />

10<br />

Years<br />

Making business travel affordable<br />

since 2008<br />

Your business is our business<br />

At Applehouse, we know that business travel is essential for company growth, as<br />

well as benefitting the UK economy through increased trade (Oxford Economics<br />

Research 2016).<br />

We understand the importance of achieving a balance between returns on<br />

investment, traveller satisfaction and budgetary requirements, all incorporated<br />

within a duty of care culture.<br />

We don’t just get you there, we help you before, during and after your trip,<br />

with our all day, every day service.<br />

Call us today to find out more about our services, discuss how we can assist you<br />

or simply for a free quotation.<br />

0207 355 8509 | sales@applehousetravel.co.uk | www.applehousetravel.co.uk

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