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The Business Travel Magazine April/May 2019

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75 <strong>April</strong>/<strong>May</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

fit for<br />

purpose<br />

Why traveller wellbeing should<br />

be shaping your travel policy<br />

EXTENDED FEATURE: RAIL TRAVEL (p55-78)<br />

+<br />

Focus on Canada<br />

Serviced apartments<br />

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

Talking <strong>Travel</strong>: Kevin McCloud


For us it’s A to Z,<br />

not just A to B<br />

Booking? That’s the easy bit.<br />

When it comes to travel –<br />

not just booking travel,<br />

but planning, anticipating<br />

and overseeing every aspect<br />

of a trip – Fello is all<br />

about the details.<br />

Happy to help manage your business travel.<br />

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


ARRIVALS<br />

Contents APRIL/MAY<br />

<strong>2019</strong><br />

38<br />

10<br />

34<br />

37<br />

It's a complex industry but managing<br />

your rail spend can be mastered<br />

(p55-78)<br />

60<br />

Extended feature<br />

Rail<br />

travel<br />

£<br />

9<br />

72 6<br />

20<br />

24<br />

Features<br />

14 <strong>Travel</strong>ler wellbeing:<br />

Are companies doing enough?<br />

24 Serviced apartments:<br />

Going from strength to strength<br />

38 Consultants: How expertise can<br />

transform your programme<br />

55 Extended feature: Rail travel<br />

Arrivals<br />

6 Opening Shots<br />

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

Aviation emissions<br />

9 <strong>The</strong> Knowledge:<br />

Boosting traveller satisfaction<br />

10 Six of the Best:<br />

Rooftop venues in London<br />

11 Speaking Out: Data security<br />

Regulars<br />

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

Awards: Meet the winner<br />

19 Event report: Advantage Focus<br />

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

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

34 Event preview:<br />

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

36 Technology:<br />

Disruption detection<br />

37 Meet the Buyer:<br />

Key Assets' Suzanne Wade<br />

40 Talking <strong>Travel</strong>: Kevin McCloud<br />

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

43 Ten pages of news, views<br />

and the latest developments<br />

77<br />

82<br />

40 83<br />

Departures<br />

80 On the Road:<br />

Alon Baranowitz<br />

81 Meeting in: Liverpool<br />

82 New Kid on the Block:<br />

Dakota Manchester<br />

83 On <strong>Business</strong> in: Singapore<br />

84 Focus on: Canada<br />

88 Reality Check<br />

90 Final Word<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

3


ARRIVALS<br />

Welcome<br />

Indicative notes<br />

I'd been expecting to use this page to reflect<br />

on the UK's departure from the European<br />

Union – we even pushed our deadline back<br />

in order to accommodate coverage of the<br />

early aftermath. In hindsight, perhaps we<br />

should have known better than to have<br />

banked on the ongoing Brexit saga (or should that be 'fiasco'?) being<br />

resolved by now. Indeed, even back in September last year, a poll of<br />

delegates at our annual event, <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference, showed<br />

nearly two-thirds thought the UK would not leave 'on time' on March 29.<br />

A second poll revealed only 10% of delegates thought Brexit would not<br />

affect their business.<br />

One travel business that has suffered from "uncertainty around Brexit"<br />

– as well as other economic headwinds – is regional airline Flybe. As its<br />

Chief Executive Christine Ourmières-Widener says in an interview in this<br />

issue (pages 20-21), if she had handled a process within her business as<br />

badly as <strong>The</strong>resa <strong>May</strong> and her government have then she would have<br />

been out of a job a long time ago. <strong>The</strong>n again, perhaps dogged Mrs <strong>May</strong><br />

will be unemployed by the time you read these words.<br />

While Westminster is seemingly absorbed in just one issue, it is reassuring<br />

that life goes on elsewhere in government and this autumn will see the<br />

publication of a white paper that is the "culmination of the biggest and<br />

widest review of the railways for a generation". Rail travel is one of the<br />

most complex cost areas for many businesses, but our extended feature<br />

on the subject (pages 55-78) shines a light on spend management and the<br />

latest developments from operators. Full steam ahead!<br />

the<br />

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

MAGAZINE<br />

EDITORIAL<br />

EDITOR<br />

Andy Hoskins<br />

andy.hoskins@thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

CONTRIBUTORS<br />

Emma Allen, Catherine Chetwynd,<br />

Linda Fox, Dave Richardson,<br />

Gillian Upton & Angela Sara West<br />

JOURNALIST<br />

Sasha Wood<br />

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR<br />

Steve Hartridge<br />

SALES<br />

PUBLISHER<br />

David Clare<br />

david.clare@thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

DESIGN & PRODUCTION<br />

SENIOR DESIGNER<br />

Louisa Horton<br />

DESIGNERS<br />

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PRODUCTION & STUDIO MANAGER<br />

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Steve Hunter<br />

BMI PUBLISHING<br />

MANAGING DIRECTOR<br />

Matt Bonner<br />

CEO<br />

Martin Steady<br />

Andy Hoskins, Editor<br />

(Print) ISSN 1754-8543. THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY<br />

BMI PUBLISHING LTD: SUFFOLK HOUSE, GEORGE STREET, CROYDON,<br />

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

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COVER PHOTO BY TIM GOEDHART ON UNSPLASH<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

5


ARRIVALS<br />

OPENING SHOTS<br />

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

<strong>The</strong> scope and detail<br />

of this renovation is<br />

designed to ensure this iconic<br />

London establishment is<br />

recognised as one of the finest<br />

hotels in the world”<br />

Mandarin Oriental<br />

hot stuff<br />

<strong>The</strong> Mandarin Oriental<br />

Hyde Park in London<br />

will fully reopen to<br />

guests on <strong>April</strong> 15,<br />

finally completing<br />

the most extensive<br />

restoration in its 117-<br />

year history. All 181<br />

rooms have been<br />

upgraded, along with<br />

its ballroom, spa and<br />

public areas, and two<br />

new penthouses have<br />

been added. Work<br />

was delayed after a<br />

roof fire last June.<br />

6 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Sheraton<br />

new look<br />

Sheraton Hotels and<br />

Resorts has unveiled a<br />

new communal lobby<br />

concept to be rolled<br />

out across Europe.<br />

<strong>The</strong> spaces will include<br />

a ‘community tableʼ<br />

where guests can<br />

work, eat or drink, as<br />

well as private booths<br />

and a coffee bar.<br />

Lowry Manchester<br />

class act<br />

Manchesterʼs most<br />

expensive suite has had<br />

a £700,000 facelift. <strong>The</strong><br />

five-star <strong>The</strong> Lowry Hotel<br />

took three months to<br />

refresh its 2,228ft 2<br />

penthouse, which is a<br />

favourite of A-list<br />

celebrities and royalty.<br />

<strong>The</strong> suite is priced at<br />

£4,000 a night.<br />

Ascott Citadines<br />

mixing it up<br />

Ascott has extended<br />

its Citadines serviced<br />

apartment brand with<br />

the launch of Citadines<br />

Connect – a line of<br />

business hotels with<br />

selected services. <strong>The</strong><br />

properties, debuting in<br />

Sydney and New York,<br />

feature mobile keys, self<br />

check-in kiosks, a Grab<br />

‘nʼ Go F&B offering and<br />

gyms open 24/7.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

7


ARRIVALS<br />

EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT...<br />

Aviation emissions<br />

RYANAIR<br />

IS THE ONLY<br />

“TECHNOLOGY AIRLINE NAMED DOESN’T AMONG<br />

RESCUE EUROPE’S YOU TOP BUT TEN IT POLLUTERS,<br />

PROVIDES<br />

CONFIDENCE A CHART OTHERWISE AND VISIBILITY. COMPRISED YOUR<br />

TMC OF COAL-FIRED SHOULD HAVE POWER THE PLANTS. PROCESS<br />

AND PROCEDURES TO RUN REPORTS<br />

HOWEVER EMISSIONS ARE<br />

AND HELP YOU REACH THOSE<br />

GROWING MORE RAPIDLY AT<br />

AFFECTED BY AN INCIDENT”<br />

EIGHT Ewan Kassir, OTHER Head of AIRLINES,<br />

Sales, Clarity<br />

EU DATA SUGGESTS<br />

“Aviation is Europe’s biggest climate failure.<br />

<strong>The</strong> worst thing we can do is to put all our<br />

hopes in an offsetting scheme that gives<br />

airlines a license to grow indefinitely”<br />

Andrew Murphy, Aviation Manager, Transport & Environment<br />

“AS AN INDUSTRY IT’S IMPORTANT WE WORK TOGETHER TO<br />

REDUCE THE SECTOR’S ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT. IT’S<br />

REFRESHING TO SEE SO MANY GTMC MEMBERS AND PARTNERS<br />

INVESTING IN SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIES, BUT WE ENCOURAGE<br />

MORE TO DO SO IN ORDER TO FUTURE-PROOF THE SECTOR”<br />

Adrian Parkes, Chief Executive Officer, GTMC<br />

As we prepare<br />

to expand our<br />

airport, we’re working<br />

with airlines to<br />

encourage fierce<br />

competition for the top<br />

spot of the ‘Fly Quiet &<br />

Green’ league table”<br />

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability<br />

Michael Gill,<br />

Executive<br />

Director,<br />

Air Transport<br />

Action Group<br />

“IT IS ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT TO SAY THAT<br />

AIRLINES ARE NOT TAKING CLIMATE ACTION<br />

SERIOUSLY. AIRLINES ARE HEAVILY ENGAGED IN<br />

SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVING FUEL EFFICIENCY”<br />

“Ryanair is the greenest airline in Europe. Our CO2<br />

per passenger km is 67g, which is 25% lower than<br />

the other big European airlines. Our environmental<br />

policy commits to further reducing this to 61.4g by<br />

2030 – 31% lower than other big airlines in Europe”<br />

Ryanair spokesperson<br />

8 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


ARRIVALS<br />

THE KNOWLEDGE<br />

How to...<br />

Boost traveller satisfaction<br />

Networking platform LinkedIn was<br />

seeking ways to boost the satisfaction of<br />

its business travellers. Read on to<br />

discover how it went about it.<br />

THE BACKGROUND<br />

LinkedIn recognised that<br />

traveller satisfaction should<br />

be at the forefront of<br />

thinking for travel<br />

procurement today, using<br />

travel policy as a carrot to<br />

attract new talent.<br />

Around 8,000 LinkedIn<br />

employees take regular<br />

business trips, the bill<br />

for which exceeds $40million. But with<br />

LinkedIn's travel policy being just four years<br />

old there were some kinks to be ironed out.<br />

“LinkedIn has a 'non-mandate culture'<br />

where employees take ownership of their<br />

actions,” says LinkedIn's Global <strong>Travel</strong> and<br />

Event Operations Manager, Leslie Hadden.<br />

“While there is a travel policy, it's basically<br />

just a guide and it wasn't always clear which<br />

suppliers travellers should use. And when<br />

they used their own alternatives it could cost<br />

the company more.”<br />

Critically, however, all these issues led to a<br />

situation where only 64% of LinkedIn's<br />

travelling community were satisfied with<br />

their experiences.<br />

THE RESEARCH<br />

<strong>The</strong> first step towards<br />

solving a problem is to<br />

make sure you fully<br />

understand it, so LinkedIn<br />

needed to know who its<br />

travellers were, why they<br />

travel, and what information, services,<br />

and amenities they needed to<br />

best achieve their business<br />

travel goals.<br />

To this end, the company launched a<br />

survey and asked all their travelling<br />

employees to complete it. Once it had the<br />

data, LinkedIn could break down the<br />

various issues their people were having and<br />

begin devising solutions.<br />

“Segregating the groups and really<br />

listening gave us a very good understanding<br />

of our travellers,” says Hadden. “We<br />

learned that 44% of LinkedIn travellers are<br />

in sales, products and services who travel<br />

often and care about their budget.<br />

“But in addition to the road warriors,<br />

there are travel arrangers, new travellers,<br />

executives and people in the finance<br />

department who have an interest in travel.<br />

And we learned that travellers were<br />

interested in exploring new accommodation<br />

and travel options – like Airbnb and Uber –<br />

when they were on the road.”<br />

THE SOLUTION<br />

LinkedIn set about<br />

addressing each issue. A<br />

new platform, <strong>Travel</strong>In,<br />

allowed the company to<br />

deliver travel messaging<br />

more effectively than<br />

before. In addition, the<br />

inSider platform also<br />

allowed messages to be shared socially<br />

between the company's travellers. <strong>The</strong><br />

in-house booking tool was<br />

streamlined<br />

and upgraded with new guidelines and<br />

advice, with satisfaction in booking trips<br />

rising 13% as a result. Within 18 months,<br />

overall traveller satisfaction in the LinkedIn<br />

travel experience had risen to 84%, with<br />

reports of dissatisfaction or extreme<br />

dissatisfaction down to just 4%.<br />

THE CONCLUSION<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>ler satisfaction is<br />

going to continue to be a<br />

hot topic as we move<br />

through <strong>2019</strong>. LinkedIn has<br />

shown that by simply<br />

listening, things can be set back on course.<br />

“People are starting to really love our<br />

programme. <strong>The</strong>y're noticing that we're<br />

communicating with them and connecting<br />

with them,” says Hadden. “My goal is to<br />

make travellers happier and more<br />

productive on the road and traveller<br />

engagement is at the heart of that.”<br />

• LinkedIn's Global <strong>Travel</strong> Manager,<br />

Leslie Hadden, will be hosting a session<br />

on <strong>Travel</strong>er Satisfaction: Finding <strong>The</strong><br />

Balance Between Experience, Productivity<br />

and Cost at ProcureCon <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>2019</strong>, taking<br />

place in <strong>May</strong> at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas,<br />

Henderson, <strong>May</strong> 14-15. For more<br />

information see procurecontravel.com<br />

ADEOLU ELETU<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

9


ARRIVALS<br />

SIX OF THE BEST<br />

Six of the best...<br />

Rooftop venues in London<br />

1<br />

THE TRAFALGAR ST JAMES<br />

<strong>The</strong> go-to central London rooftop,<br />

the Trafalgar St James hotel’s<br />

smart-yet-relaxed bar looks out<br />

over Trafalgar Square. It’s a great<br />

place for cocktails and there are<br />

even cashmere blankets to keep<br />

guests warm on chilly nights.<br />

<strong>The</strong> glass-enclosed ‘Room’ is<br />

available for private events.<br />

2<br />

3<br />

THE BILTMORE, MAYFAIR<br />

Set to become another sky-high<br />

central London staple, the new<br />

Biltmore hotel’s rooftop bar will<br />

open in well-heeled <strong>May</strong>fair this<br />

spring. <strong>The</strong> sheltered alfresco<br />

terrace lets visitors take in the<br />

sights whatever the weather.<br />

12TH KNOT, SEA CONTAINERS,<br />

SOUTHBANK<br />

Part of the nautical-themed Sea<br />

Containers hotel, this recently<br />

revamped rooftop bar has a<br />

playful design with space to host<br />

receptions and cocktail parties<br />

for up to 300 people.<br />

4<br />

VINTRY & MERCER’S ROOF<br />

TERRACE, CITY<br />

Named after two historic guilds<br />

and nestled above the city’s<br />

atmospheric old trade halls, the<br />

roof terrace of the City’s newest<br />

boutique hotel is full of charm<br />

with a conservatory-style dining<br />

space and a pretty bar leading to<br />

a patio with views of St Paul's.<br />

6<br />

THE STRATFORD AT MANHATTAN<br />

LOFT GARDENS, STRATFORD<br />

<strong>The</strong> Stratford opens soon, and<br />

with it a terraced restaurant<br />

and garden, Allegra, on the 7th<br />

floor. Higher up, there will be a<br />

sheltered alfresco enclave on the<br />

25th floor complete with fire pits,<br />

barbecues and bar.<br />

5<br />

THE STANDARD LONDON,<br />

KING’S CROSS<br />

Hip US brand Standard Hotels<br />

is opening its London outpost<br />

this spring. Three new storeys<br />

have been added to its revamped<br />

Brutalist home in King's Cross,<br />

topped by a precipitous bar<br />

accessed by an exterior lift.<br />

10 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


ARRIVALS<br />

SPEAKING OUT<br />

Data security<br />

<strong>The</strong> numbers add up<br />

In a digital world that demands more<br />

rigorous requirements around data<br />

privacy and security, Elyes Mrad considers<br />

the challenges that organisations face<br />

when building more robust systems<br />

We have become accustomed to hearing<br />

about major data breaches in the travel<br />

industry, and although it may appear that<br />

cybercrime is increasingly prolific, it is a more<br />

complex picture than that.<br />

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation<br />

(GDPR), which came into force last year,<br />

brought in universal breach notification<br />

obligations, while all US states have also<br />

passed breach notification laws. So to some<br />

degree, the apparent rise is because we have<br />

better visibility on cybercrime. But it’s also<br />

true that today those carrying out data<br />

attacks are increasingly better organised and<br />

resourced, so attacks are more sophisticated<br />

and harder to prevent.<br />

GDPR has reinforced the fact that we are<br />

an industry that cares for people on the<br />

move, and part of that care is protecting<br />

their data. So we all need to understand our<br />

responsibilities and what we can do to<br />

mitigate risk at individual, organisational and<br />

at industry level.<br />

When selecting a supplier, it’s vital you put<br />

them through their paces on their privacy<br />

ELYES MRAD<br />

Elyes Mrad is International Senior<br />

Vice President and Managing<br />

Director at American Express<br />

Global <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> (GBT). Elyes<br />

heads up commercial business in<br />

EMEA and APAC and is responsible<br />

for driving growth and client<br />

retention strategies in<br />

these regions.<br />

regime – and you should shine the spotlight<br />

on your TMC in particular. Your TMC needs to<br />

share traveller data with a vast network of<br />

travel partners all around the world, so it’s<br />

essential they have a highly robust thirdparty<br />

assessment programme to ensure<br />

those partners meet security standards.<br />

All your suppliers should be able to show<br />

expertise, transparency and a robust compliance<br />

framework. If they have a compliance<br />

regime such as Binding Corporate Rules,<br />

which are approved by the EU data<br />

A traveller's PNR<br />

reveals a lot of<br />

information, yet people often<br />

treat printed itineraries<br />

rather carelessly”<br />

protection authorities, you know you’re<br />

dealing with a company that takes it<br />

seriously. Your attitude with new suppliers<br />

should be: ‘Don’t just tell me what your policy<br />

is; show me and prove you have all the right<br />

controls in place.’<br />

Another area that needs attention is your<br />

strategy for managing a data breach. GDPR<br />

places breach notification obligations – to<br />

individuals and authorities – on the data<br />

‘controller’, rather than the ‘processor’.<br />

If your TMC is contracted as a controller,<br />

you’re in a good position because you have<br />

removed a source of liability from your own<br />

organisation. But if your TMC is contracted as<br />

a processor, the obligation to notify of a<br />

breach remains with you – and you need<br />

clear internal strategies for handling such<br />

notifications procedures.<br />

What else can we do to minimise risk?<br />

Insider threats are one of the biggest factors<br />

in data attacks, not usually because an<br />

employee is deliberately doing wrong, but<br />

because they inadvertently give access or<br />

information to the bad guys.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is plenty that organisations of all<br />

sizes can do to mitigate this risk, such as<br />

building an identity and access management<br />

programme that minimises privileged access<br />

to sensitive data and monitors activity of<br />

those accessing it.<br />

Another vital area is education. For example,<br />

phishing – fraudulent emails disguised as<br />

genuine requests from trustworthy entities –<br />

is becoming more pervasive and convincing.<br />

So you should put rigorous, regular phishing<br />

training and testing in place, including<br />

sending sample phishing emails to employees.<br />

For organisations with limited resources,<br />

advice on phishing is freely available online<br />

and can be shared with employees.<br />

Another area where education can reduce<br />

risk is in training travellers to be more vigilant<br />

with their own data. A traveller’s passenger<br />

name record (PNR) reveals a lot of potentially<br />

sensitive information about that person, and<br />

where they are travelling from and to, yet<br />

people often treat printed itineraries carelessly<br />

rather than as confidential material. <strong>The</strong><br />

same awareness should be applied to<br />

working on laptops in public places.<br />

But while cybercrime makes the headlines,<br />

remember to look beyond the digital<br />

environment at traveller behaviour and<br />

vigilance. Think about this: long before the<br />

advent of the internet, how many company<br />

secrets have leaked out via lively discussions<br />

in planes, trains and bars? Safeguarding<br />

private and sensitive information should be<br />

everybody’s business.<br />

SARA KURFESS<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

11


awards<br />

meet the winner<br />

Martin Hayes-Gleave<br />

Clarity’s Martin Hayes-Gleave was named MICE Manager of the Year<br />

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

How did it feel to be<br />

named MICE Manager<br />

of the Year at the<br />

awards?<br />

It was a real shock to<br />

hear my name read out!<br />

It was such a surprise<br />

and honour to be nominated, so a win was<br />

completely unexpected.<br />

Tell us about your role and the work<br />

you’ve done that clinched the award.<br />

Working in the MICE business, there's<br />

always plenty to do. Not only does my role<br />

involve managing the team, but I also deal<br />

directly with clients helping to find suitable<br />

venues, manage the event logistics and<br />

working with creative directors to bring<br />

events to life.<br />

What do you particularly enjoy about<br />

your role in the industry?<br />

I love that this role challenges me as I'm<br />

not the kind of person that likes to do the<br />

same thing over and over again. Being part<br />

of the MICE sector means there's plenty of<br />

variety in the work we do. I also enjoy<br />

working not just with my own<br />

team, but with the wider<br />

Clarity business.<br />

What do you think of<br />

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

People Awards and<br />

of the winners event<br />

in particular?<br />

It was a spectacular<br />

afternoon, not just for<br />

me but for Clarity as a<br />

whole as we scooped four<br />

awards in total. <strong>The</strong> event<br />

isn't my usual scene, but the<br />

whole experience was quite humbling. And<br />

the awards are a great way of recognising<br />

the hard work of the people who are often<br />

behind the scenes, rather than the suppliers<br />

and agencies themselves.<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 />

This year’s award winners<br />

will be announced on<br />

Friday 24th <strong>May</strong><br />

What impact do you think winning an<br />

award will have on your career?<br />

Having been nominated by my colleagues<br />

for the award, it has made me feel<br />

really valued and definitely gave<br />

me a confidence boost.<br />

Winning the award has<br />

given me an opportunity<br />

to shine within the<br />

business and get my<br />

name out there in the<br />

wider industry.<br />

What do you think<br />

are the industry’s<br />

biggest challenges?<br />

I think there are a number<br />

of challenges ahead such as<br />

budget constraints. And of course<br />

with the uncertainty of Brexit we have<br />

plenty to prepare for as we book a number<br />

of our meetings and events in Europe. It's a<br />

challenge, but it's one we are absolutely<br />

ready to take it on!<br />

[ NEW DIRECTIONS ]<br />

Members of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People<br />

Awards team recently visited the University of<br />

Greenwich to talk to travel and tourism<br />

students about the business travel and events<br />

industry. <strong>The</strong> event follows last year's<br />

commitment to promoting the industry as an<br />

exciting career path for today's students, who<br />

had the opportunity to pick the brains of<br />

some industry veterans. As part of the<br />

continuing collaboration some of the students<br />

will attend this year's awards ceremony in<br />

London this <strong>May</strong>.<br />

12 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


AWARDS<br />

BE THE FIRST TO FIND OUT THE WINNERS AT THE<br />

BUSINESS TRAVEL PEOPLE AWARDS LUNCHTIME CEREMONY<br />

FRIDAY MAY 24<br />

GRANGE TOWER BRIDGE HOTEL LONDON<br />

With nominations closed and now in the hands of<br />

the judges, you can look forward to the winners<br />

ceremony being held at London’s Grange Tower<br />

Bridge Hotel on Friday <strong>May</strong> 24.<br />

Tables for 10 people cost £950, tables of 12 cost<br />

£1,140 and individual places can be booked for<br />

£99 (all costs exclude VAT).<br />

Enjoy a drinks reception courtesy of Evolvi Rail<br />

Systems, a fantastic three-course lunch with wine<br />

and a post-lunch drinks party sponsored by ANA<br />

All Nippon Airways as we recognise outstanding<br />

individuals and teams from across the business<br />

travel industry.<br />

RECOGNISING EXCELLENCE<br />

IN BUSINESS TRAVEL<br />

BOOK NOW AT<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELPEOPLEAWARDS.COM


<strong>Travel</strong>ler wellbeing<br />

SOUL<br />

purpose<br />

How far should a company go to ensure the<br />

wellbeing of its business travellers? Catherine<br />

Chetwynd examines some of the latest measures<br />

Gone are the days when companies<br />

took the view that employees<br />

who travelled a lot on business<br />

accepted the job on that basis and they<br />

could put up or shut up.<br />

Now, traveller wellbeing is a serious<br />

consideration that requires taking a holistic<br />

view of the individual and is part of duty of<br />

care. It is also a commercial imperative –<br />

employees whose wellbeing is taken into<br />

account perform better; in fact, Nuffield<br />

Health reports that FTSE 100 companies that<br />

monitor wellbeing outperform those who<br />

don’t by more than 10%.<br />

In an article entitled Mental health: a state of<br />

wellbeing, the World Health Organization<br />

defines the condition: “Health is a state of<br />

complete physical, mental and social<br />

wellbeing and not merely the absence of<br />

disease or infirmity.”<br />

Although a traveller’s health is ultimately<br />

the responsibility of the individual, they need<br />

to be equipped with the wherewithal to look<br />

after themselves so that the stresses and<br />

strains of corporate travel do not take their<br />

toll. Such strains include disruption to<br />

routine, difficulty sleeping, the crossing of<br />

time zones and associated effects of jetlag,<br />

too much alcohol and no exercise, eating<br />

badly and being away from home, friends<br />

and family. If staff are exhausted, ill, lonely,<br />

stressed and/or unhappy, they can hardly<br />

perform at their best, and that is before<br />

looking at consequences that include<br />

hypertension, obesity and heart disease, plus<br />

mental health problems such as burnout.<br />

All these things are highlighted in <strong>The</strong><br />

importance of business traveller wellbeing in<br />

mitigating risk, written by Dr Lucy Rattrie for<br />

Drum Cussac, which presents a compelling<br />

argument for companies to care about<br />

traveller wellbeing as part of a risk<br />

management strategy.<br />

But looking after travellers’ wellbeing is<br />

difficult because it means different things to<br />

different people and definitions vary within<br />

companies as well. Someone with a strict<br />

training regimen may want to stay in a hotel<br />

with a first class gym, where someone else<br />

may prefer the more sedentary ability to<br />

stream entertainment on a device through<br />

the TV in their room.<br />

<strong>The</strong> requirements of a non-travelling<br />

employee will differ from those of a road<br />

warrior, and flexibility is key: “Even within<br />

that, there are different types – a 22-year-old<br />

travelling salesman, a 35-year-old traveller<br />

mum and a 60-year-old whose kids have left<br />

home,” says Lucy Rattrie. “Most important is<br />

for the travel manager to ensure the support<br />

they offer is tailored to travellers’ needs, so<br />

individuals can choose from a menu.”<br />

Often, small gestures go a long way and<br />

offering a company subscription to a<br />

meditation or mindfulness app might make<br />

the difference between stressed out and<br />

chilled out to some.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> cost is £4-£5 per month per employee<br />

and the benefit to mental health will far<br />

outweigh increasing the hotel rate cap by<br />

£10-£20 per night,” says Head of UK Marketing<br />

for <strong>Travel</strong> and Transport Statesman, Josh<br />

Gunn, whose company has a wellbeing<br />

council and champion, and promotes it<br />

internally. “It is also important to evaluate<br />

company culture and what will fit into that<br />

when you incorporate wellbeing. If you do<br />

something that does not fit, there is a risk it<br />

will be seen as a token gesture,” he says.<br />

Everything a traveller does has an impact<br />

on their wellbeing:<br />

planning a trip,<br />

booking it, doing it<br />

and returning<br />

home, only to have<br />

to catch up in the<br />

office and with family<br />

and friends.<br />

“A better traveller experience<br />

means greater engagement with<br />

the traveller and ultimately greater<br />

compliance, which is the driver to<br />

achieving a corporate client’s goals of<br />

savings, efficiency, productivity and visibility<br />

for both duty of care and supplier leverage,”<br />

says Vice President <strong>Travel</strong>ler Care UK for<br />

14 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


<strong>Travel</strong>ler wellbeing<br />

Evaluate company<br />

culture and what<br />

will fit into that. If you do<br />

something that does not fit,<br />

there is a risk it will just be<br />

seen as a token gesture"<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

15


<strong>Travel</strong> and Events<br />

We’re with you,<br />

every step of the way.<br />

<strong>The</strong> safety and wellbeing of your travellers is vitally important to us. With<br />

duty of care being a particular focus for organisations today, we help ensure<br />

you have complete peace of mind by providing access to 24/7/365 support,<br />

helping your travellers, wherever or whenever they need us.<br />

This, combined with our Intelligent traveller tracking technology, supports<br />

your organisation when the safety of your employees is paramount.<br />

We appreciate that travelling on business can often be a stressful affair, but<br />

it doesn’t have to be. We harness the power of behavioural science, which<br />

supports our Smarter working approach to help you cut down on traveller<br />

‘friction’.<br />

We’d love to talk to you about your requirements and how we might be<br />

able to improve wellbeing within your organisation. Speak to a member of<br />

our team to find out more:<br />

0330 390 0340<br />

travelevents@capita.co.uk<br />

capitatravelevents.co.uk<br />

Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and Events Limited. Registered office 30 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LR.<br />

Registered in England No. 01094729. Part of Capita plc. www.capita.co.uk. All rights reserved.


<strong>Travel</strong>ler wellbeing<br />

American Express GBT, Richard Stabbins.<br />

GBT research published last year found that<br />

94% of UK travellers cited reasons of health<br />

and wellbeing as a justification for booking<br />

business travel out of policy.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se days, how a travel policy is constructed<br />

and communicated plays a role in<br />

recruitment and retention, as Clive Wratten,<br />

CEO of Amber Road explains: “Employers<br />

increasingly realise that a joined up<br />

approach to traveller wellbeing not only aids<br />

productivity whilst travelling for business,<br />

but has a positive impact on retention.<br />

“It’s also starting to boost recruitment too<br />

as we know that the coming generation of<br />

employees rate wellbeing at work as one of<br />

the top five reasons for choosing the<br />

company they work for,” he adds.<br />

While some businesses see a more<br />

flexible travel policy as a<br />

key part of delivering<br />

a wellbeing programme, others are wary of<br />

the financial implications that could result.<br />

Matt Holman, Head of <strong>Travel</strong>ler Experience<br />

at Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and Events, expands:<br />

“While some customers do see investing in<br />

wellbeing as exactly that [a relaxed or more<br />

flexible policy], we are equally working with<br />

others to continue to bring down costs and<br />

enhance wellbeing.”<br />

He continues: “Allowing flexibility in the<br />

policy will help to engage the travellers<br />

better. If they feel supported, trusted and<br />

able to make decisions that also benefit<br />

their mental wellbeing then the company<br />

will benefit in the long-term.”<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>ler wellbeing should be all about<br />

“prevention and preparation”, says Amber<br />

Road's Wratten. “Employees are corporate<br />

athletes so their physical and mental<br />

wellbeing is crucial to having them operate<br />

at the highest level.”<br />

Wratten says some clients are now<br />

building extra time into travel schedules,<br />

some are encouraging healthier practices<br />

on the road – including better diet and<br />

more exercise – and, inevitably, others are<br />

attempting to use data to monitor employee<br />

health and productivity.<br />

Capita's Holman says many clients are<br />

giving greater consideration to 'trip<br />

intensity' – how often and for how long<br />

people are travelling – and building more<br />

recovery time in post-trip.<br />

Katie Skitterall, ATPI's Director of Sales and<br />

Operations UK, paints a similar picture:<br />

“Intelligence and reporting on the number<br />

of flights taken outside business hours<br />

enables our customers to shape policy,<br />

so that a travel policy can be amended.<br />

Or if a corporate feels that a traveller’s<br />

wellbeing is impacted by their travel,<br />

procedures can be put in place.”<br />

Allowing flexibility<br />

in the policy will help<br />

engage travellers and make<br />

them feel supported"<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

17


Xxxxxxx <strong>Travel</strong>ler Xxxxxxxx wellbeing<br />

If someone is<br />

physically ill it is<br />

usually very visible but if<br />

someone is a bit tired, day in<br />

day out for years, then that is<br />

also going to take its toll"<br />

Providing travellers with some quality<br />

basics is easy for companies to do and<br />

removes a lot of stress from the traveller:<br />

access to lounges, regardless of class flown;<br />

reliable, high-speed wifi in hotels – not just<br />

for working but so that travellers can Skype/<br />

Facetime with family; convenient online or<br />

mobile check-in – these are all services that<br />

can be easily and inexpensively organised.<br />

Some clients of Areka Consulting removed<br />

from policy the need to refuel cars to reduce<br />

traveller friction when returning vehicles.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y decided that refuelling isn’t a big<br />

ticket item compared to the stress of finding<br />

the petrol station and the extra 15 minutes<br />

it takes to do it,” says Areka Managing<br />

Partner, Louise Miller.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> policies are not necessarily<br />

becoming less strict but they are becoming<br />

more flexible to allow for the variety of<br />

individuals on the move. And although the<br />

corporate emphasis is still on cost saving,<br />

there can be a corollary. Downgrading longhaul<br />

travel from business class to economy<br />

can save a lot of money but if someone who<br />

is travelling in economy has to go straight<br />

into a meeting on arrival, they are not going<br />

to give their best or get the best out of the<br />

meeting. This can be mitigated by giving<br />

them time to recover on arrival and a day<br />

off when they get back, rather than going<br />

straight into the office.<br />

When it comes to accommodation, location<br />

rightly comes first. It needs to be in a safe<br />

area and close to the people or site that<br />

travellers are visiting.<br />

“People pick accommodation because it is<br />

in the right place but they go back because<br />

of the service they get,” says Hotel Product<br />

Manager for FCM, Rachel Newns. Loyalty<br />

schemes also play a part. “One customer<br />

encourages hotels to boost employees to a<br />

higher status. <strong>Travel</strong>lers are happy with the<br />

additional benefits and are loyal to the<br />

programme, plus the hotel chain is getting<br />

the business and leakage is reduced.”<br />

Measuring travellers’ wellbeing is essential<br />

to caring for it but people may not want to<br />

answer numerous questions about their trip<br />

on return. In addition, if they are feeling<br />

tired and negative and depressed, they may<br />

not want to discuss it or do not even view it<br />

as a problem – it just goes with the territory.<br />

“If someone is physically ill there is big<br />

focus on it but if someone is a bit tired, day<br />

in day out for years, it is going to take its toll.<br />

You don’t have to be physically or mentally<br />

unwell to need some support,” says Lucy<br />

Rattrie. <strong>The</strong> advantage of companies<br />

providing an external person to talk to is<br />

that they are impartial and people will often<br />

speak freely to them when they might not<br />

do so to someone in the office.<br />

It is important that travel managers do not<br />

try to tackle this alone. Firstly, it is too great<br />

a task, and secondly, it should involve HR,<br />

senior executives, procurement and risk<br />

departments, otherwise there is a risk of<br />

disjointed and ineffective communication.<br />

“We say to our travel managers that they<br />

must get their own oxygen mask on before<br />

you start helping others,” says Josh Gunn.<br />

Anyone who is not looking after themselves<br />

is in no fit state to look after others.<br />

Concern for business travellers’ wellbeing<br />

means taking a holistic view of the individual<br />

and investing in that to ensure they know<br />

the negative impact of business travel is<br />

being mitigated and that, crucially, they are<br />

being looked after.<br />

18 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


ARRIVALS<br />

EVENT REPORT<br />

Advantage Focus Partners<br />

<strong>The</strong> detail is in the data<br />

With Brexit banned from the agenda at<br />

the Advantage Focus Partners recent<br />

meeting, the emphasis was instead on<br />

data sharing, market intelligence and<br />

how it can be used to benefit TMCs and<br />

their clients. Sasha Wood reports<br />

“<strong>The</strong> good, the bad and the ugly” of data<br />

strategy in the travel industry was the main<br />

topic of discussion at the Advantage Focus<br />

Partners meeting held at the Park Plaza<br />

Riverbank Hotel in London on <strong>April</strong> 1.<br />

IATA’s Senior Manager for <strong>Business</strong><br />

Intelligence Projects, Juan Oliver, kicked off<br />

with a presentation covering IATA’s Direct<br />

Data Solutions (DDS) programme, an<br />

aviation data hub currently in development.<br />

He said IATA is in the unique position of<br />

managing wide data sets across international<br />

borders so the organisation is taking the<br />

opportunity to create ‘data lakes’.<br />

Combined with technology and business<br />

knowledge, it could be a huge force for good<br />

as a source of market intelligence for TMCs<br />

and their clients. Discussing the challenge of<br />

building data systems, he said “it becomes<br />

ugly when we have home rules and<br />

regulations across the globe”.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>ogix CEO Chris Lewis, meanwhile,<br />

took to the stage to talk about the IT<br />

developer’s new Farecast tool aimed at<br />

making it easier for TMCs to analyse airline<br />

data. <strong>The</strong> data collection platform has<br />

already been installed at 58 member<br />

organisations, where commercial teams can<br />

create different data sets to examine market<br />

behaviour and make informed decisions.<br />

Demonstrating the product, Lewis said:<br />

“It gives you the organisation and data<br />

required to give you the edge over your<br />

competitors.” Mark Colley from Sunway<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>, which has been trialling the tool, said<br />

it has already been useful to the business.<br />

<strong>The</strong> GTMC's CEO, Adrian Parkes, followed<br />

up with a lively presentation on how TMCs<br />

can use data to understand customers and<br />

their needs, understand the competition,<br />

and think beyond the transaction.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> data is an enabler. <strong>The</strong> value of the<br />

data is not the data itself but what you do<br />

with it,” he said. <strong>The</strong> overall message from<br />

the afternoon was that TMCs need to<br />

embrace data or risk being left behind.<br />

FACTS & FIGURES<br />

• $1.3 trillion: the value of<br />

the business travel market<br />

• 25,000: the number of<br />

TMCs worldwide<br />

• 2.2 billion: the number of<br />

business trips booked a year<br />

• 40%: the percentage<br />

of trips booked<br />

independently<br />

WISE WORDS<br />

“DON’T LET THE LIKES OF<br />

GDPR, PCI AND ALL OF THE<br />

OTHER BUZZWORDS SCARE<br />

YOU OFF DATA. IT’S<br />

ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL THAT<br />

TMCs EMBRACE DATA AND<br />

USE THE RIGHT PLATFORMS<br />

TO CONSOLIDATE IT, ANALYSE<br />

IT AND MAKE CHANGES”<br />

CHRIS LEWIS, CEO, TRAVELOGIX<br />

20TH ANNIVERSARY<br />

Advantage Focus celebrated<br />

its 20th anniversary with<br />

an evening reception and<br />

dinner for its TMC members<br />

and partners at Altitude<br />

London, high above the city<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

19


THE CONVERSATION<br />

Chief Executive, Flybe<br />

CHRISTINE ourmiÈres-widener<br />

<strong>The</strong> regional airline’s CEO talks to Andy Hoskins about its turbulent times,<br />

and now, its fresh future under a Virgin Atlantic-backed consortium<br />

Earlier this year Flybe was within<br />

a day of going out of business,<br />

a scenario its Chief Executive Officer<br />

Christine Ourmières-Widener not<br />

surprisingly describes as the toughest<br />

experience of her career to date.<br />

“It was so close,” she says, “but the outcome<br />

is phenomenal. It was a complicated process<br />

but we are very proud because we saved the<br />

company and the jobs of 1,500 employees.”<br />

Connect Airways, a consortium comprising<br />

Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus<br />

Capital, was Flybe’s knight in shining armour,<br />

purchasing the airline at a price its shareholders<br />

were in no position to reject.<br />

“It was a low share offer but we had to sell<br />

for 1p [per share] or the company would<br />

have disappeared,” says Ourmières-Widener.<br />

She joined the airline in January 2017 and<br />

although aware of the challenge that she<br />

faced, she could not have foreseen the extent<br />

to which it would worsen.<br />

“When I joined it was obvious we had<br />

service issues and we launched a strategy to<br />

shrink the fleet to improve the revenue and<br />

optimise our cost structure,” she explains.<br />

“We worked a lot on improving revenue per<br />

seat – and the results have been quite<br />

impressive – and on our load factors too.<br />

When I joined these were in the high 60s and<br />

now we are more mid-80s.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> airline was also dealing with “legacy<br />

issues” including cumbersome historic<br />

contracts. <strong>The</strong> situation worsened as shorthaul<br />

markets softened, fuel costs rose and<br />

foreign exchange rates started to bite. A<br />

profit warning was issued in November last<br />

year and credit card companies subsequently<br />

became more cautious, withholding users’<br />

payments to the airline.<br />

“We started to see restricted cash,” says<br />

Ourmières-Widener. “We were sitting on<br />

more than £50million of cash but we couldn’t<br />

use more than £10million of that.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> message now, however, is very much<br />

“business as usual” for Flybe while work goes<br />

on behind the scenes to plot a path forward.<br />

<strong>The</strong> airline is expected to be rebranded<br />

under the Virgin name but will function with<br />

a separate management team and fly under<br />

its own Air Operator Certificate.<br />

We need people to feel<br />

empowered to take the<br />

next steps. It has been a tough<br />

time and very emotional for<br />

some people”<br />

<strong>The</strong> airline is currently subject to EU<br />

derogation conditions following the takeover,<br />

meaning it is relatively restricted in what<br />

changes it can practically implement.<br />

“We are expecting clearance in June or July<br />

and that’s when you can expect some<br />

announcements,” says Ourmières-Widener.<br />

“We just had a kick-off last week with our<br />

main stakeholders where the message was<br />

'the future starts with us' because we need<br />

people to make sure they feel empowered to<br />

take the next steps. It has been tough and<br />

very emotional for some people.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Flybe CEO says there are “no plans” to<br />

make redundancies, but its fleet and network<br />

streamlining will continue. “We need to<br />

decrease the fleet. We have already said we<br />

want to work with our new shareholders to<br />

decide the next steps but first we must shrink<br />

whilst keeping the backbone of our fleet.”<br />

For now, its summer operation includes<br />

routes into Heathrow from Guernsey, the Isle<br />

of Man and Newquay, as well as flights from<br />

Edinburgh and Aberdeen. And it is Flybe's<br />

“backbone” of 78-seat Bombardier Q400<br />

turboprops that make such routes feasible<br />

where others before them have failed –<br />

including Virgin’s Little Red operation.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re's a massive difference between<br />

what Virgin [Little Red] did at Heathrow<br />

and what we're doing,” says Ourmières-<br />

Widener. “We are the only operator of<br />

turboprops into Heathrow.”<br />

It is clear that Flybe’s feeder traffic from<br />

the regions into Virgin’s long-haul hubs at<br />

Heathrow and Manchester has helped secure<br />

its future under Connect Airways.<br />

Flybe currently operates from Heathrow<br />

Terminal 2 and Virgin from Terminal 3,<br />

“but we will see what is possible”, says<br />

Ourmières-Widener regarding co-location.<br />

“We want to give to our common customers<br />

a fantastic experience and I agree the<br />

experience on the ground is critical.”<br />

Flybe is shaping up for its next phase but<br />

other airlines have not been so fortunate,<br />

including Flybmi and Wow Air which both<br />

ceased operations this spring.<br />

“It is absolutely a trend,” says Ourmières-<br />

Widener. “We have been through it so we can<br />

see the pressures and the challenges, and I<br />

strongly believe we will see more consolidation<br />

in Europe. In the UK, uncertainty<br />

around Brexit really has not helped.”<br />

• On the day this issue of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong> went to press Flybe announced it<br />

will cease all jet operations this October. Its<br />

Q400 turboprop aircraft will continue to<br />

operate across the network.<br />

20 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


THE CONVERSATION<br />

spotlight<br />

How has Brexit played a<br />

role in Flybe's fortunes?<br />

Let’s call it the 'B-word'! It's<br />

a massive disappointment.<br />

<strong>The</strong> impact of Brexit on the<br />

business is real and it’s not<br />

finished. I’m not sure we<br />

will ever be able to really<br />

understand the true<br />

impact, but businesses in<br />

the UK are resilient. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

will survive and thrive or<br />

adapt, but it is an additional<br />

pressure that no one needs.<br />

Deciding to leave or not is<br />

just a decision – it is the<br />

way you do it and the way<br />

it is implemented that is<br />

crucial. If I had managed<br />

the process of Brexit like<br />

this in my company I would<br />

not have a job anymore!<br />

CHRISTINE OURMIÈRES-WIDENER<br />

Christine Ourmières-Widener started her career in<br />

aviation in the maintenance department of Air France<br />

before working her way up to become the airline’s UK<br />

and Ireland General Manager and later Vice President<br />

in New York. She was Chief Executive of CityJet from<br />

2010 to 2015 and then Chief Global Sales Officer for<br />

American Express Global <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> before<br />

joining Flybe as CEO in January 2017. She has a<br />

Masters in Aeronautics and an MBA from ESSEC<br />

<strong>Business</strong> School. In June 2018 she was voted on to the<br />

IATA Board of Governors.<br />

Tell us about how your<br />

career in travel began...<br />

I trained as an engineer<br />

and have a Masters in<br />

Aeronautics and I still feel<br />

good when I visit an aircraft<br />

hangar! I'd like to see more<br />

girls interested in maths<br />

and physics and we could<br />

be doing more in the UK<br />

and rest of the world on<br />

this. We have launched our<br />

flyShe initiative to inspire<br />

more girls to join the<br />

industry as pilots and<br />

engineers and it is good<br />

there is a lot of attention<br />

on diversity right now. If we<br />

don’t embrace female<br />

pilots we are restricting<br />

ourselves to recruiting from<br />

49% of the population – it<br />

wouldn’t make sense. I am<br />

one of two females on the<br />

IATA Board of Governors<br />

right now, but hopefully it<br />

will be more soon.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

21


THE BIG PICTURE<br />

Bleisure centre<br />

TOKYO<br />

PAWEL NOLBERT<br />

Japan’s neon-lit capital<br />

has been named Asia’s<br />

best bleisure destination<br />

in a new study from the<br />

Economist’s Intelligence<br />

Unit. Tokyo was ranked<br />

first for its unbeatable<br />

combination of stellar<br />

business facilities and<br />

leisure appeal, while the<br />

manicured metropolis<br />

of Singapore came in<br />

second and Hong Kong<br />

was placed third.<br />

22 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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24 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


SERVICED APARTMENTS<br />

RAISING<br />

the roof<br />

As serviced apartment stock booms and suppliers become<br />

more innovative, should corporates be moving more of their<br />

spend into the sector? Catherine Chetwynd reports<br />

T<br />

he serviced apartment sector goes<br />

from strength to strength: larger<br />

European operators have grown<br />

at an average of 6.1% per year in unit<br />

numbers, a figure that is due to escalate<br />

to 39.4% before the end of 2022,<br />

representing more than 13,000 units.<br />

And the UK accounts for one-third of<br />

planned European growth.<br />

Accor, Staycity and SACO are main<br />

contributors to this, largely thanks to their<br />

lifestyle-focused brands, according to Savills’<br />

Spotlight, European Extended Stay Market<br />

report. Main UK cities of interest are<br />

London, Manchester and Edinburgh. And<br />

Dublin, to date desperately short of stock,<br />

is expected to grow by 1,484 units in eight<br />

projects by 2022, including several projects<br />

from Staycity and SACO’s Locke.<br />

Further opportunities for serviced<br />

apartment operators include a group of<br />

high-growth cities: Oslo, Stockholm, Madrid,<br />

Edinburgh and Dublin, plus Tallinn, Warsaw,<br />

Sofia, Berlin, Budapest and Porto, according<br />

to Savills, Oxford Economics and official<br />

local tourist office statistics. Favoured<br />

destinations tend to be those where there is<br />

notable tourist arrival growth and a strong<br />

GDP outlook, so operators can tap into both<br />

the leisure and corporate markets.<br />

Although the sector has become a<br />

recognised asset class, the main deterrent<br />

for investors is the lack of purpose-built<br />

stock, although operators are now pursuing<br />

expansion through new development.<br />

Staycity’s acquisition of developer Pretique<br />

is a good example. It will build its own sites,<br />

alongside those with partners, to secure<br />

sites and stop having to acquire leases. <br />

ZOKU<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

25


One agency 7 global offices<br />

1,096,547 serviced apartments in more than 160 countries<br />

Powered by


SERVICED APARTMENTS<br />

STAYBRIDGE<br />

It is important to<br />

reassure corporates<br />

that apartments are safe and<br />

secure, and being part of the<br />

ASAP accreditation is a great<br />

support with this”<br />

Meanwhile property entrepreneur<br />

Stephen Vernon recently acquired a 5%<br />

shareholding in Staycity and has become a<br />

non-executive director, all with an eye on<br />

boosting its expansion programme.<br />

Further evidence of this trend is the level<br />

of applications for the job of Chief Executive<br />

at SACO, which was landed by Stephen<br />

McCall, former Chief Operating Officer<br />

Europe at IHG, plus the appointment of<br />

Cycas’s first Chief Executive, Matt Luscombe,<br />

a former Chief Commercial Officer at IHG.<br />

“We are finding loads of exciting<br />

opportunities,” says Native Chief Executive,<br />

Guy Nixon. “We have grown up; we are clear<br />

about what our brand is and have become<br />

easier to work with.”<br />

Supporting these strong signs is the<br />

sector’s greater traction with corporates.<br />

Research released by ASAP and <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Show found that among the 134<br />

corporate buyers polled, 29% increased<br />

serviced apartment booking in 2018.<br />

Adagio notes that smaller companies,<br />

formerly less visible, are showing new needs<br />

and are potential clients.<br />

Frasers Hospitality COO EMEA Rebecca<br />

Hollants van Loocke says: “<strong>The</strong>re is still work<br />

to do and making sure corporates see the<br />

apartment sector as an alternative is key.<br />

“It is important to reassure corporates that<br />

apartments are safe and secure, and being<br />

part of the Association of Serviced<br />

Apartment Providers (ASAP) accreditation is<br />

a great support with this. RFPs need to be<br />

adapted for longer stays and accommodate<br />

all that an apartment has to offer.”<br />

Badge of honour<br />

ASAP accreditation is proving a success for<br />

suppliers and their clients alike. “Two have<br />

confirmed that they have recently won<br />

contracts on the back of accreditation and<br />

five organisations that left us when we went<br />

100% accredited at the end of last year have<br />

said that they have lost business and want<br />

to come back,” says ASAP Chief Executive,<br />

James Foice.<br />

“We are also seeing a rise in the number<br />

of corporate buyers who are opting to book<br />

only via accredited apartment providers.”<br />

However, Oakwood Managing Director<br />

EMEA, Ken Moore, insists companies need<br />

to ‘socialise’ the inclusion of serviced<br />

apartments into travel programmes. “It is<br />

not as simple as ‘if you build it they will<br />

come’. <strong>The</strong>re is a robust middle step<br />

required so that employees understand the<br />

benefits and change behaviour.”<br />

Reluctance to book serviced apartments<br />

may be a hangover from the days of fixedterm<br />

stays, self check-in and no welcome.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> sector has a lot of myths to dispel<br />

and is working hard to do this,” says COO of<br />

SACO, Nick Barton. “Today’s easy to book,<br />

flexible models, such as aparthotels and<br />

new lifestyle brands like Locke, which cross<br />

over with hotels, are putting the sector on<br />

the map for both converted buyers and<br />

those who have been reticent to date. This<br />

is coupled with the clamour for Airbnb from<br />

corporate travellers – and not always from<br />

the millennial generation either.”<br />

Evidence of corporate faith in serviced<br />

apartments comes in the form of EY’s<br />

booking of between 180,000 and 200,000<br />

nights a year through its long-stay vendors.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se are generally used for those on<br />

project work and people relocating, who are<br />

looking for somewhere to live long term.<br />

Transient travel is a smaller proportion of<br />

the whole.<br />

<br />

ADAGIO<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

27


Los Angeles<br />

Rio de Janeiro<br />

Mexico City<br />

Chicago<br />

Oakwood ® Knows Dublin<br />

Shanghai<br />

Dubai<br />

London<br />

Tokyo<br />

Berlin<br />

Peter A.<br />

Prefers to<br />

be close to<br />

the office<br />

Likes<br />

cooking, loves<br />

dishwashers<br />

Enjoys<br />

jogging by<br />

the river<br />

Desires<br />

a dining<br />

area fit for<br />

entertaining<br />

No matter the journey, Oakwood ® is always the perfect<br />

destination. Our global footprint, regional presence and local<br />

market knowledge gives us the flexibility to customise our serviced<br />

apartment solutions to best suit your business requirements, wherever<br />

your job may take you. That’s how we ensure every road leads to<br />

Oakwood ® .<br />

Wants<br />

room for<br />

relatives with<br />

weekends to<br />

spare<br />

Call or visit us online to see how we can help you today.<br />

Oakwood.com +44 (0) 20 7749 4460<br />

OakwoodUK@Oakwood.com<br />

© Copyright 2018 Oakwood. All Rights Reserved


SERVICED APARTMENTS<br />

While 89% of bookers<br />

like to research<br />

online, they much prefer the<br />

reassurance of dealing with<br />

a knowledgeable consultant,<br />

especially when dealing with<br />

long-stay bookings”<br />

AIRBNB<br />

DURHAM BOUTIQUE APARTMENTS<br />

“We generally encourage people to use<br />

serviced apartments if they are spending<br />

five nights in one location – less time than<br />

that and they would stay in a traditional<br />

hotel,” says EY’s Global Supplier Leader,<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Meetings & Events, Tim Nichols.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y book through our TMC or intranet<br />

site, which goes through to the vendor for<br />

completion of the leasing process. Last year,<br />

we implemented an innovative online<br />

booking platform for long stay, which<br />

provides instantaneous online booking for<br />

serviced apartments in the US, London and<br />

elsewhere, and which gives a quick<br />

connection between vendor and traveller. It<br />

is much more efficient and we get great<br />

feedback from travellers.”<br />

Ask an expert<br />

Serviced apartments comprise a relatively<br />

small proportion of overall travel spend but<br />

still represent significant sums of money.<br />

As was highlighted in the latest Global<br />

Serviced Apartments Industry Report<br />

(GSAIR), travel managers are increasingly<br />

turning to their TMCs/agents to manage this<br />

service, which enables cost and traveller<br />

tracking to be consolidated into established<br />

reporting tools.<br />

And TMCs are working more with<br />

specialist providers to procure serviced<br />

apartments due to the idiosyncrasies of the<br />

sector. As TAS Chief Executive Charlie<br />

McCrow points out, this is largely due to the<br />

lack of visibility of serviced apartments on<br />

the GDS, for reasons such as difficulties in<br />

identifying properties (names don’t always<br />

give it away), lack of availability, cancellation<br />

charges and the requirement for a higher<br />

touch as traveller preferences and other<br />

personal details are expected to be<br />

managed in more detail.<br />

Stay extensions also stand in the way of<br />

booking serviced apartments online, as they<br />

are often arranged direct at the property,<br />

causing fractured information for reporting,<br />

traveller tracking and duty of care.<br />

“When we relaunched our website a few<br />

years ago we carried out some research<br />

which showed that while 89% of bookers<br />

like to research online, they much prefer<br />

the reassurance of dealing with a<br />

knowledgeable consultant, especially when<br />

dealing with longer stay, high value<br />

bookings,” says Select Apartments Managing<br />

Director, Simon Morrison.<br />

“And if for any reason something does go<br />

wrong with a booking, it can be easily<br />

rectified, which is not always the case with a<br />

GDS. <strong>The</strong> biggest plus is that we guarantee<br />

a one-hour turnaround to all enquiries.”<br />

ASCOTT LYF<br />

Confident approach<br />

Like the sector it represents, ASAP is also<br />

going from strength to strength. “Through<br />

the formation of a global alliance, we’re<br />

looking to drive this understanding<br />

worldwide, while also utilising our newly<br />

launched directory as a portal for visibility<br />

at stayingwithconfidence.com – both will<br />

help to ensure minimum standards for<br />

guests as we bid to safeguard the<br />

reputation of the industry,” explains Foice.<br />

“By getting more associations on board,<br />

we’re hoping to increase the level of traction<br />

among the corporate buyer community on<br />

a global scale,” he adds.<br />

Similarly, the big players are also<br />

highlighting standards and facilities. For<br />

example, apps that allow mobile check-in<br />

contain an electronic key to apartments and<br />

allow guests to communicate with front<br />

desk or housekeeping are beginning to take<br />

hold in the sector: SACO already does this<br />

while Cheval Residences will roll out mobile<br />

keys at Gloucester Park when it reopens<br />

after a refurbishment later this year.<br />

Frasers’ app will allow online mobile<br />

check-in, serve as a key and enable<br />

requests. “Local information is appreciated<br />

by guests and apps offering concièrge<br />

services, 24-hour chat, booking engine<br />

capability and other functions such as food<br />

delivery are extremely valuable in our<br />

industry,” says Hollants van Loocke.<br />

House of Fisher recently upgraded its<br />

online booking engine to provide a more<br />

efficient, customer-friendly service. “It crosssells<br />

the locations better, offering a solution<br />

that fits date range and/or price and<br />

promotions; and we are able to offer <br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

29


SERVICED APARTMENTS<br />

long-stay discounts and details for<br />

anyone looking at 28 nights or more,” says<br />

Managing Director, Trine Oestergaard.<br />

Also seeing an increase in online bookings<br />

of 28 nights or more, both direct and via<br />

OTAs, is SACO. This is partly due to<br />

improvements in direct booking platforms<br />

and because shoppers are becoming more<br />

comfortable with larger online spend. On<br />

the B2B side, the industry is trying to bring<br />

longer-stay business such as projects,<br />

relocation and secondment bookings online<br />

to help meet more demanding SLAs.<br />

“This is in its infancy but could grow<br />

substantially as booker/guest generation<br />

become more millennial,” says SACO’s<br />

Barton. “Part of this is also influenced by<br />

travellers’ being given more freedom – for<br />

example, given a budget and told to book<br />

what they want, rather than being<br />

constrained by managed travel programmes<br />

that dictate preferred suppliers and are<br />

bound by traditional norms.”<br />

Jo Layton, Director of Bloom Mobility<br />

Consulting and Corporate Apartment<br />

Programmes Worldwide (CAPWW), agrees:<br />

“Corporate clients are definitely seeing the<br />

benefit of accessing availability and online<br />

booking for travellers in the long stay space.<br />

But there are barriers, she adds: “In many<br />

global locations a signed lease is required<br />

by the operator for the unit. Whether this<br />

lease is signed directly by the traveller or on<br />

behalf of the traveller, this requirement can<br />

quickly halt the opportunity of a fully online<br />

global programme and can prove expensive<br />

if not managed correctly.”<br />

Meanwhile, Adagio’s new internal data<br />

system records guests’ preferences and<br />

NATIVE<br />

Apps offering<br />

concièrge services,<br />

24-hour chat, booking engine<br />

capability and other functions<br />

such as food delivery are<br />

extremely valuable”<br />

makes them accessible to all properties,<br />

allowing hotels to prepare personal touches<br />

before guests arrive. And Oakwood is<br />

undertaking a three-year digital<br />

transformation, which includes the next<br />

generation of accommodation management<br />

tool ‘epic’, a recently launched mobile app<br />

and oakwood.com. Meanwhile, a<br />

partnership with <strong>Travel</strong>Click will deliver<br />

greater streamlining with fewer points of<br />

contact on the reservations platform, realtime<br />

booking and more transparent pricing.<br />

New world order<br />

<strong>The</strong> growth of dual-branded properties and<br />

having to meet the needs of ever-more<br />

demanding clients are two of the biggest<br />

trends in the sector.<br />

Adagio has noted a contradictory approach<br />

from guests – calls for relaxation and yet<br />

more connection, for more personalisation<br />

and more privacy, and the desire to live like<br />

LOCKE<br />

locals while sticking to their usual habits.<br />

<strong>The</strong> brand will be launching premium<br />

apartments and has just initiated a<br />

breakfast that combines a hearty buffet in<br />

situ or an Adagio-to-go service that is picked<br />

up from reception.<br />

SilverDoor has opened its Americas<br />

headquarters in Denver, Colorado. “With<br />

offices in the UK, US and Singapore, we are<br />

now able to offer our clients a 24-hour<br />

global account management service,” says<br />

Commercial Director, Stuart Winstone.<br />

Meanwhile, Native recently achieved an<br />

‘Excellent’ BREEAM sustainability rating for<br />

Native Bankside, illustrating the company’s<br />

commitment to cutting its carbon footprint.<br />

Dual-branded properties continue to<br />

provide complementary services, with<br />

shared investment cost for brands, bigger<br />

ROI for investors and consolidated back-ofhouse<br />

operations delivering savings of up to<br />

15%. At the same time, guests get more<br />

choice and increased opportunities for<br />

earning loyalty points.<br />

Developments include Paris Hyatt Place/<br />

Hyatt House, which is under construction at<br />

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (2020).<br />

Holiday Inn in Cardiff will be refurbished<br />

and gain a 75-unit Staybridge Suites and<br />

Moxy/Residence Inn opens in Slough<br />

alongside residential apartments.<br />

“It’s easy to see how Moxy’s bar will appeal<br />

to locals as well as hotel guests and how <br />

30 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


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SERVICED APARTMENTS<br />

At a time when<br />

the retail world is<br />

struggling, we continue to<br />

come across conversion<br />

opportunities as former<br />

department stores come<br />

onto the market”<br />

BRIDGESTREET MODE<br />

the wider development will add new life<br />

to the town centre,” says co-founder of<br />

Cycas, John Wagner, who draws parallels<br />

with Cycas’s Holiday Inn/Staybridge Suites in<br />

London’s Stratford, where guests benefit<br />

from the Westfield shopping mall on the<br />

doorstep and the hotels benefit from the<br />

retail teams that visit the stores.<br />

“At a time when the retail world is<br />

struggling, we come across conversion<br />

opportunities as former department stores<br />

come onto the market,” he explains.<br />

“We’re increasingly seeing that<br />

incorporating hotels into mixed-use<br />

developments and regeneration schemes<br />

can help inject new life into town centres.”<br />

Great technology, smaller rooms and<br />

more focus on mid-term stays contrast with<br />

reduction in average length of stay, possibly<br />

reflecting a more cautious approach and<br />

reduced confidence, thanks to Brexit.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ‘B-word’ has also seen some<br />

businesses holding fire on projects, pending<br />

the outcome of the negotiations, and while<br />

shorter lead times put on pressure, an<br />

appetite for new brands (SACO's Locke, for<br />

example) maintains the buzz.<br />

Globally, Oakwood sees huge potential in<br />

Africa, particularly the Nigeria-Kenya belt,<br />

and like many in the sector is focusing on<br />

emerging markets and key gateway cities in<br />

Europe such as Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin,<br />

Amsterdam, Geneva, Warsaw and London,<br />

plus other UK cities.<br />

And although many companies continue<br />

to focus on cost, a worldwide upsurge in<br />

growth markets is transforming the global<br />

economy, leading to corporate demand for<br />

extended travel and long-term relocation<br />

programmes. In addition, “Multi-family<br />

housing (US) or private rental sector (UK) is<br />

of growing interest to developers,” says<br />

TAS’s McCrow.<br />

Access (Accor): Saclay, Montpellier.<br />

Adagio: Paris, Lille, France; Casablanca,<br />

Morocco; Bremen, Germany; Sutton, Leicester,<br />

UK; Doha, Qatar; Jeddah (x2), Jizan, Saudi<br />

Arabia.<br />

Cheval Residences: London – Gloucester Park<br />

reopens after a 20-month refurbishment.<br />

Element: Frankfurt Airport.<br />

Frasers Hospitality: Fraser Place Puteri Harbour<br />

and Capri by Fraser Johore Bahru, Johor,<br />

Malaysia; Fraser Residence Orchard, Singapore;<br />

Fraser Suites Hamburg; Fraser Suites Akasaka,<br />

Tokyo; Capri by Fraser Liepzig, Germany.<br />

House of Fisher: Fleet Serviced Apartments, UK.<br />

Native: Native Manchester, with openings to<br />

follow in Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds.<br />

Oakwood: <strong>The</strong> Oakwood Showroom, Singapore,<br />

heralding the next generation of serviced<br />

apartments; Oakwood Arlington, Virginia, US,<br />

Oakwood Chicago River North, Illinois, US.<br />

Oakwood Apartments, Sanya, China; Oakwood<br />

<strong>The</strong>se large residential buildings can be<br />

compared to the mansion blocks in London<br />

such as Chelsea Cloisters, Nell Gwynn House<br />

or even Grosvenor House. <strong>The</strong>y offer more<br />

services than the typical residential landlord,<br />

including bicycle stores, gyms, reception<br />

desks with porterage, function rooms and<br />

support services such as cleaning and highquality<br />

concièrge.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>se will typically be long-term rentals<br />

but this is a rapidly growing sector in the UK<br />

specially,” explains McCrow.<br />

More controversially, Cheval’s George<br />

Westwood suggests the sector could<br />

[ NEW BRICKS IN THE WALL ]<br />

A selection of confirmed openings for <strong>2019</strong><br />

Hotel & Residence Phnom Penh, Cambodia;<br />

Oakwood Residence Hanoi, Vietnam.<br />

Quest Apartments: Liverpool, its first location<br />

outside Australia.<br />

Roomspace: Lisbon, Portugal; Madrid, Spain.<br />

Roomzzz: Harrogate, York and Liverpool.<br />

Staybridge Suites: Heathrow Airport.<br />

Staying Cool: Manchester.<br />

Staycity: Wilde aparthotel, Edinburgh; Marne la<br />

Vallée, near Disneyland Paris; Venice, Berlin and<br />

Manchester follow.<br />

SACO: Broken Wharf, London.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Ascott Limited: Citadines Islington London,<br />

UK; Citadines Sloterdijk Station Amsterdam, NL;<br />

Citadines Confluent Nantes, France.<br />

YotelPAD: San Francisco; London Clerkenwell,<br />

Edinburgh, Glasgow, UK; Istanbul Airport;<br />

Singapore Changi Airport; Amsterdam, NL;<br />

Dubai <strong>Business</strong> Bay, UAE; Porto, Portugal.<br />

• Space prevents a broader list of activity but<br />

brace yourself for 2020…<br />

become more relaxed in its approach: “We<br />

will start to see a mixture of short- and longterm<br />

stay, five-star and four-star properties<br />

with common areas and a community<br />

workspace such as WeWork all under one<br />

roof. Consumers are driving this change.”<br />

To cater for the demands of consumers<br />

and the speed at which the market evolves,<br />

operators and developers are going to have<br />

to be nimble to keep up. Technology will<br />

continue to play a major role in the industry<br />

but service is also essential – robotic<br />

vacuum cleaners may make customers smile<br />

but robotic receptionists will not.<br />

32 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


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Untitled-1 1 22/03/<strong>2019</strong> 09:58


EVENT PREVIEW<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference <strong>2019</strong><br />

a forum for buyers and<br />

suppliers to tackle their<br />

travel issues<br />

Navigating<br />

the future<br />

Reserve your place at <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference<br />

and find out if you qualify as a hosted delegate<br />

Corporate travelʼs must-attend event<br />

– <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference <strong>2019</strong> –<br />

returns to the Hilton London Bankside<br />

this September.<br />

<strong>The</strong> packed two-day programme brings<br />

together all the key players from the TMC<br />

and meetings sectors together with<br />

representatives from airlines, tech suppliers<br />

and hotels, and once again promises<br />

thought-provoking business sessions,<br />

entertaining speakers and valuable<br />

networking opportunities.<br />

And with preparations well under way,<br />

we are pleased to confirm two of our<br />

keynote speakers.<br />

Conservative MP Gillian Keegan will open<br />

the event on September 17, marking a<br />

return to the familiar. While she now<br />

represents the constituents of Chichester,<br />

Gillian spent much of her 27 years in<br />

business working in travel, including spells<br />

at Mastercard, Amadeus and <strong>Travel</strong>port.<br />

A knight on the road<br />

Having heard from a former industry<br />

insider, it makes sense that delegates learn<br />

more from someone on the client side of<br />

our business. And you wonʼt find many who<br />

have covered more business miles than<br />

Sir Trevor McDonald.<br />

<strong>The</strong> award-winning journalist will be our<br />

keynote speaker on September 18, and he<br />

is promising plenty of tales about his life on<br />

the road (and in airports!). During his career<br />

Sir Trevor has been present at some of the<br />

worldʼs major historic events, including the<br />

fall of the Berlin Wall and the release from<br />

prison of Nelson Mandela.<br />

<strong>The</strong> veteran newsman has also sat across<br />

the table from Colonel Gaddafi and Saddam<br />

Hussein, meaning he's unlikely to be phased<br />

Sir Trevor has sat<br />

across the table from<br />

Colonel Gaddafi and Saddam<br />

Hussein, meaning he is<br />

unlikely to be phased by any<br />

questions he might get from<br />

the audience!”<br />

“Network with more than<br />

60 leading travel suppliers in<br />

the private exhibition"<br />

by any questions from the audience!<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference is also<br />

pleased to announce our event charity –<br />

the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for<br />

Children. Visitors will be able to find out<br />

more about its valuable work and we will be<br />

raising money through our raffle in the<br />

Tuesday Drinks and Canape reception.<br />

Sign up today<br />

Corporate buyers and arrangers can sign<br />

up for complimentary visitor passes at<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com.<br />

Delegate feedback is helping shape the<br />

conference programme, which again will<br />

feature the popular ‘silent conference’<br />

headphones so visitors can dip in and out<br />

of the sessions between meetings in the<br />

exhibition, which will feature more than<br />

60 travel and meetings suppliers.<br />

LTDCC, which began<br />

in 1928, runs<br />

recreational events<br />

for disadvantage<br />

youngsters<br />

34 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


EVENT PREVIEW<br />

'<strong>The</strong> FREE-to-attend two-day event<br />

will once again be limited to 200 verified<br />

travel managers, bookers and PAs'<br />

When?<br />

Tuesday 17th & Wednesday<br />

18th September, <strong>2019</strong><br />

Where?<br />

London Hilton Bankside<br />

To register<br />

and to fi nd out if you<br />

qualify for a hosted place...<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

Book a stand<br />

kirsty.hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk<br />

Tel: 07747 697 772<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

35


TECHNOLOGY<br />

[ DUTY OF CARE ]<br />

DISRUPTION DETECTION<br />

Can TMCs use data and artificial intelligence to improve traveller wellbeing<br />

and duty of care processes? Linda Fox reports<br />

Duty of care and traveller<br />

wellbeing are considered the<br />

two biggest challenges for<br />

business travel buyers in <strong>2019</strong>.<br />

A survey from <strong>Travel</strong>doo released earlier<br />

this year reveals 73% of buyers ranked duty<br />

of care as the biggest challenge, followed by<br />

traveller wellbeing at 70% and data security<br />

at 65%. <strong>The</strong> finding is supported by similar<br />

research from FCM, which showed duty of<br />

care remains high on the agenda this year<br />

alongside distribution concerns and data.<br />

<strong>The</strong> travel management company also<br />

stresses the increasing need for TMCs to<br />

incorporate data into traveller safety, no<br />

matter which booking channel is used.<br />

With so much talk about machine learning<br />

and artificial intelligence, as well as other<br />

emerging technologies such as augmented<br />

and virtual reality, TMCs are beginning to<br />

explore how they might make best use of<br />

these developments.<br />

One TMC sees applications for AI and<br />

machine learning in predicting the likelihood<br />

of disruption and being proactive in finding<br />

alternative travel arrangements.<br />

Sarah Hale, Director of Engineering at Click<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>, says it is already exploring the use of<br />

AI with its travel assistant to help determine<br />

what responses to queries can be<br />

automated depending on how frequently<br />

they are asked and the speed with<br />

which they can be resolved.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> tech is going to have to advance<br />

to become truly useful in these scenarios,<br />

but it’s exciting to think these opportunities<br />

may be part of the standard travelling<br />

experience in the future,” says Hale.<br />

Risk mitigation<br />

business Drum<br />

Cussac believes<br />

machine learning<br />

has the potential<br />

to revolutionise<br />

how companies approach and manage risk.<br />

In its Future of Risk report the company’s<br />

Chief Technology Officer, Alistair Wyse, says<br />

technology could be employed to tailor<br />

alerts to specific travellers as opposed to<br />

the more blanket approach used today.<br />

Wyse says machine learning can be used<br />

to identify who may be impacted by an<br />

incident based on their location, as well as<br />

past behaviour such as mode of transport.<br />

He also sees potential for machine<br />

learning in pre-travel training which draws<br />

on detailed profile information including<br />

past behaviour and experiences.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company goes a step further by<br />

imagining how augmented reality might be<br />

used with machine learning to provide<br />

travellers with a virtual overlay of risks in<br />

real time and in an area they are visiting.<br />

It also foresees a scenario for security<br />

managers to use virtual reality to review<br />

incidents and fine tune response.<br />

While much of this may still sound<br />

science fiction, a number of<br />

companies have incorporated<br />

emerging technologies into<br />

prototypes. Concur, for example,<br />

released details last year of a VR-based<br />

duty of care initiative. For many<br />

however, there is still a lot of<br />

work needed in just getting<br />

the basics right.<br />

Machine learning<br />

has the potential to<br />

revolutionise how companies<br />

approach and manage risk”<br />

Mike Atherton, Chief Executive of Mantic<br />

Point, a specialist in mobile technology, says<br />

what the travel management community<br />

needs most is “contextually relevant<br />

information at the right time”.<br />

But even before that a crisis management<br />

plan must be in place. “Technology won’t<br />

deliver unless people know how to act<br />

during an event,” he says.<br />

Once that’s there, he believes the<br />

role of technology currently is in<br />

reducing the time it takes for a<br />

travel manager to<br />

take action.<br />

36 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


MEET THE BUYER<br />

meet<br />

SUZANNE WADE<br />

Suzanne Wade arranges travel for Key Assets’ CEO and directors.<br />

She tells us about her role at the Birmingham-based organisation<br />

Key Assets, <strong>The</strong> Children’s Services<br />

Provider, is an international social<br />

enterprise providing children and family<br />

social services in eight countries across<br />

Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. I<br />

joined Key Assets in <strong>May</strong> 2017 as a Senior<br />

<strong>Business</strong> Support Officer and am based at<br />

our head office in Birmingham. I’ve<br />

previously held roles in the charitable,<br />

education and travel sectors.<br />

I arrange business travel for the Group<br />

CEO, other senior managers and<br />

company directors. Time spent on<br />

business travel arrangements can vary<br />

depending on what meetings or events are<br />

planned or scheduled during the year. I also<br />

provide support to the Group CEO and<br />

coordinate reporting and business planning<br />

processes as well as projects, as they arise.<br />

Every day is different and rewarding. We<br />

have a number of people across the<br />

organisation who are designated ‘travel<br />

bookers’ and liaise locally with our<br />

preferred travel partners.<br />

We employ over 1,200 full-time and parttime<br />

staff across the eight countries we<br />

work in. Approximately 25 people<br />

travel extensively on business<br />

and a number of others<br />

travel periodically.<br />

Our senior team in<br />

the UK travels<br />

extensively visiting<br />

our worldwide<br />

offices. Our regional<br />

CEOs and directors are<br />

more likely to undertake<br />

domestic travel with some<br />

international travel for<br />

global summits and meetings.<br />

Our regular destinations are reflected by<br />

where we operate but we have some<br />

remote locations like Halls Creek in the East<br />

OUT OF THE OFFICE<br />

"My two passions are history<br />

and travelling. Last summer<br />

our family holiday was a road<br />

trip to Spain. We combined the<br />

beaches, cities and wine regions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> kids loved the beaches<br />

and I got to visit lots of<br />

historical places!"<br />

Kimberley area of Australia or Goose Bay in<br />

Labrador, Canada, for example. We also<br />

deliver services on Norfolk Island in the<br />

South Pacific. Inbound travel to the UK is<br />

also high on the list.<br />

Our travel bookings are based not only<br />

on getting value for money but<br />

also speed in terms of the best<br />

route to a destination. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

aren’t many social enterprise<br />

organisations like<br />

us whose operations<br />

extend to different<br />

parts of the world.<br />

We work with<br />

Corporate <strong>Travel</strong>ler<br />

as our TMC in the UK,<br />

but also sometimes use<br />

self-booking tools. Katie is<br />

our dedicated consultant at<br />

Corporate <strong>Travel</strong>ler and she is<br />

brilliant – she always provides great service,<br />

responds to my queries in a very timely<br />

manner and gives clear and accurate<br />

information, all of which helps us make our<br />

travel arrangements efficiently.<br />

We have a very comprehensive travel<br />

policy in place and it is effective. It sets<br />

out clear expectations regarding travel and<br />

helps us ensure that we are all working to<br />

company requirements.<br />

We don’t really experience any<br />

challenges in arranging travel for<br />

employees as our policy provides a clear<br />

framework. Everyone knows what to expect<br />

and how to arrange travel. Obviously, cost is<br />

a factor and this is clearly a big influencer in<br />

how our travel arrangements our organised.<br />

Our travel policy is<br />

comprehensive and<br />

effective. It sets out clear<br />

expectations and helps<br />

us ensure we all work to<br />

company requirements”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

37


CONSULTANTS<br />

HELP<br />

is at hand<br />

When time and resources are in short supply, it might be time to call in<br />

an independent business travel consultant, writes Gillian Upton<br />

L<br />

ack of resource and the need for<br />

expertise are two main reasons why<br />

buyers turn to the services of an<br />

independent consultant.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y add gravitas to a project and fill a<br />

gap between the buyer and the suits in the<br />

boardroom who often have little grasp of<br />

what the travel department actually does.<br />

Consultants – who are frequently former<br />

buyers themselves – answer questions as<br />

diverse as, ’What is my programme like today<br />

and what do I need to do to improve it’?, or<br />

they will neatly solve a problem and get<br />

ahead of a challenge.<br />

“What’s shifted is that consultants were<br />

used primarily as a resource and secondly<br />

for their expertise, but today it’s primarily for<br />

our expertise, which reflects the increasing<br />

complexity of the market,” says Louise Miller,<br />

Managing Partner of Areka. “<strong>The</strong>y want to<br />

know what the likely disruption is of NDC,<br />

for example,” she adds.<br />

To this end, Miller says that savings are not<br />

necessarily the end goal, but rather that<br />

programme improvement is.<br />

Natalie Gardner, Global <strong>Travel</strong> Manager at<br />

computer games company Electronic Arts<br />

(EA), had exactly this need. Based in the UK,<br />

and with company headquarters in Silicon<br />

Valley, she handles travel for 47 office<br />

locations in 25 countries.<br />

“It is good to have someone who is out<br />

there in the industry to give an independent<br />

view,” she says. As such, much of her time is<br />

spent with an eye on multiple projects that<br />

Festive Road has undertaken for them. This<br />

work includes auditing and rewriting policy<br />

after benchmarking against similar-sized<br />

companies in a reciprocal information<br />

gathering project; reducing the policy<br />

document from 25 pages to a more userfriendly<br />

three; helping Natalie move forward<br />

with a strategic vision by creating four pillars<br />

to the company programme; and a gap<br />

analysis on EA’s relationship with its TMC to<br />

bring consistency across the globe.<br />

“Festive Road has been a wonderful business<br />

partner,” she says. “I have been challenged to<br />

think differently about our programme and<br />

I’ve tweaked and changed it every year to<br />

evolve and move forward – but I only got to<br />

that point as a result of these conversations.<br />

“I learned what ‘better’ and ‘different’ look<br />

like. It helped me with being able to challenge<br />

what we do, as by challenging we can<br />

innovate.” Gardner continues: “It’s helpful to<br />

me as a buyer to articulate direction to our<br />

38 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


CONSULTANTS<br />

suppliers and TMCs and that’s made a<br />

difference. Festive Road has helped elevate<br />

what travel is at EA so it has a higher profile.<br />

Now I have no trouble getting 30 minutes<br />

with my EVP since having them onboard.”<br />

Gardner’s comments reflect the wideranging<br />

assistance and clear benefits<br />

consultants provide today, although Chris<br />

Pouney of Severnside Consulting recalls a<br />

time when they had a more combative role.<br />

“We used to be brought in to fire people but<br />

today we have more of an arbitration role,”<br />

he says. “Suppliers welcome our arrival and<br />

we can coach and mentor buyers, with both<br />

parties understanding that we are neutral.”<br />

Pouney advises whether buyers are on the<br />

right track, particularly if travel is only part of<br />

their remit. “<strong>The</strong>y want to understand what’s<br />

coming down the track; what might impact<br />

them, and are often fearful of being asked<br />

questions from senior management.”<br />

Johanne Young of Opteva concurs. “Buyers<br />

want someone independent to review their<br />

vendors and ensure they’re getting the best<br />

from them. <strong>The</strong>y don’t have the capability<br />

and there is so much going on in the<br />

marketplace and the industry is complex.”<br />

Most commonly buyers ask Opteva for an<br />

initial review of their programme and travel<br />

technology so they can understand where<br />

there are gaps. <strong>The</strong>y want to know who’s best<br />

in class and what the best processes are to<br />

drive the optimum traveller behaviours.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se services come at a cost, naturally, and<br />

Nina & Pinta’s Jo-Anne Lloyd reckons buyers<br />

require a certain amount of spend to demonstrate<br />

ROI. “If it’s a spend below £10-15million,<br />

their first port of call wouldn’t be a consultant,”<br />

she says. That’s when a TMC’s account<br />

management team would assume the role of<br />

consultant, particularly on any benchmarking<br />

exercise as they have sufficient data.<br />

I have to know more<br />

about the client's<br />

programme than they do and<br />

leave them in a position where<br />

they don't need me anymore”<br />

Finding the right TMC is arguably the most<br />

important vendor decision a buyer makes<br />

and Nina & Pinta commonly take on these<br />

sourcing and change management roles. <strong>The</strong><br />

consultancy also specialises in air programme<br />

management as it utilises an air data<br />

dashboard that lets buyers make informed<br />

decisions about switching market share.<br />

If they’re a good fit, particularly culturally,<br />

buyers will often return to the same<br />

consultancy over a period of time. ”It’s like<br />

hiring back an internal resource,” says Lloyd,<br />

who has worked with one client for 15 years.<br />

Chris Reynolds began life as a consultant<br />

13 years ago, undertaking RFPs for TMCs.<br />

Today his work tends to focus on more<br />

technology-based projects, such as rolling out<br />

a global expense tool or credit card. “I have to<br />

know more about the clients’ programme<br />

than they do,” he says, and agrees with Pouney<br />

that his goal is to do himself out of a job.<br />

”I want to leave them in the position that<br />

they don’t need me anymore and by having<br />

that approach I do get called back.”<br />

Sue Reeves at Data & Detail has created a<br />

niche in the marketplace, acting as an<br />

outsourced account manager, taking data<br />

right down to PNR levels and actuals, and<br />

working with TMCs to manage their clients<br />

and with clients to manage their TMCs. “I<br />

explain travel patterns, highlight departments<br />

which need online or policy training and<br />

opportunities for savings,” she says.<br />

Raj Sachdave, a former TMC employee and<br />

now of Black Box Partnerships, is a relatively<br />

new kid on the block. He aims to solve the<br />

pain points between TMC and travel buyer by<br />

redefining client policy so they can have<br />

smarter conversations with their TMC, and<br />

also works with TMCs to work out a more<br />

defined proposition.<br />

“It may prevent an RFP for a TMC and take<br />

the costs down and the value up,“ Sachdave<br />

explains. “Getting aggregated global data is<br />

often a sticking point.“<br />

Caroline Strachan, of Festive Road, refers to<br />

consultants’ role as being akin to marriage<br />

guidance counselling. “Consultants can<br />

highlight the frustrations and if it’s not broken<br />

too much, redeem the relationship or, if not,<br />

move on.” Either way, consultants will give<br />

buyers an invaluable road map to follow.<br />

[ CONSULTANTS: WHO'S WHO ]<br />

3SIXTYGlobal: specialises in procurement<br />

related to travel and meetings<br />

Areka: travel programme and technology<br />

reviews specialist<br />

Black Box: works with agencies to finesse<br />

their proposition and buyers to redefine<br />

policies<br />

Data & Detail: strategic account<br />

management and travel procurement<br />

services with a specialism in deep-dive data<br />

analysis<br />

Festive Road: helping travel buyers with<br />

knowledge of the market and suppliers with<br />

buyer insights<br />

Nina & Pinta: programme management and<br />

the sourcing of preferred vendors<br />

Opteva: travel technology, implementation of<br />

OBTs and change management<br />

Severnside Consulting: bridging the gap in<br />

procurement between buyers and suppliers<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

39


TALKING TRAVEL<br />

Going global<br />

Kevin McCloud<br />

Angela Sara West chats with the Grand Designs presenter<br />

about his global travels on the trail of amazing architecture<br />

Whether it's unearthing medieval<br />

mysteries or inspiring the public<br />

to build outstanding homes, Kevin<br />

McCloud’s prolific travels and engaging<br />

style have been captured on camera at<br />

ancient sites and self-builds in Britain and<br />

in far-flung corners of the globe.<br />

His experience of living on an organic farm<br />

in Tuscany as an 18-year-old first opened<br />

McCloud’s eyes to the world “That time was<br />

seminal. I had a place to study, worked on a<br />

farm, fell in love… it was great! I came from a<br />

small Bedfordshire village with a very limited<br />

view of the world. Italy showed me a world<br />

which was bigger and more beautiful and<br />

that, personally, I might be capable of a bit<br />

more.” He also took a few other things away:<br />

“A broken heart, but at least I learned Italian.”<br />

What does he love most about Tuscany?<br />

“Partly that it’s so historic, and partly they<br />

look at this idea of patrimony, treating<br />

landscapes like a historical object, so it’s<br />

beautiful to drive through. You get this great<br />

sense of sweeping shapes, almost as though<br />

everything, such as umbrella pines and<br />

cypresses, has been carefully placed.”<br />

Back on home turf, his extensive travels for<br />

his BAFTA-winning Grand Designs series see<br />

him criss-crossing the country to shadow<br />

people’s building journeys and dreams.<br />

Grand Designs Abroad took McCloud to<br />

ambitious builds overseas, while Grand Tour<br />

of Europe saw him following in the footsteps<br />

of the 17th-century’s ‘Grand Tourists', delving<br />

behind the façades of some of the continent’s<br />

greatest buildings and ruins, including sites<br />

in Greece and Turkey. For Homes in the Wild,<br />

McCloud stayed in some of the remotest<br />

places on the planet, such as the shadow of<br />

an active volcano in the foothills of the Chilean<br />

Andes. Living with intrepid Brits who have<br />

quit their rat-race existence, he inhabited<br />

some of the wildest places on earth.<br />

“We followed people building in ridiculous<br />

places. I’m not very good with snakes, and so<br />

I had some psychotherapy before we went<br />

to the middle of the Belize jungle where one<br />

of the largest, most aggressive snakes in the<br />

world lives,” says McCloud.<br />

A stay in a slum in Mumbai for Slumming It,<br />

meanwhile, saw another ironic twist for<br />

Matera is one of the<br />

most beautiful places<br />

I've ever been to and has<br />

some of the most amazing<br />

contemporary architecture<br />

I've ever seen”<br />

McCloud’s crew. “I’ve no sense of smell, so<br />

I’m blessed with this fantastic ability to<br />

tolerate the places that other people find<br />

highly offensive,” he says.<br />

Foraging for fatbergs while filming with the<br />

Thames Water team, meanwhile, had handily<br />

taught McCloud some top ‘decontamination’<br />

tips. “I took bottled water, whisky, handwipes<br />

and gel. Whisky completely cleans your<br />

digestive tract, sorting out any bugs. <strong>The</strong> wet<br />

wipes and the hand gel – which are also<br />

alcohol – deal with the outside, but you’ve<br />

also got to deal with the inside. That was my<br />

approach in the slum, and it worked!”<br />

<strong>The</strong> presenter’s preferred destinations?<br />

“It’s memorable people, for me, that make<br />

places stand out. Northern Ireland is one of<br />

the most glorious destinations in the world.<br />

<strong>The</strong> people are so welcoming plus it has<br />

almost everything conceivable in the<br />

landscape. I calculated that Northern Ireland<br />

punches about seven times above its weight<br />

compared with the rest of the UK, in terms<br />

of producing great architecture and awardwinning<br />

buildings,” claims McCloud.<br />

As for abroad, Vicenza, in northern Italy, is<br />

irrefutably top of his list. “I love going back<br />

there. It’s a magical place and it’s one of the<br />

places where the people are all so lovely and<br />

the food is delicious.”<br />

In addition, Europe's Capital of Culture for<br />

<strong>2019</strong>, Italy's spectacular city of caves, Matera,<br />

has chiselled out some cherished memories.<br />

“Matera is one of the most beautiful places<br />

I’ve ever been to and has some of the most<br />

amazing contemporary architecture I’ve ever<br />

seen. It’s full of the most amazing buildings<br />

built right back into the rock. It’s sort of primal<br />

and feels medieval but even more ancient.”<br />

What has travelling taught him? “That the<br />

world is a very small place, and a very precious<br />

place that we destroy at our peril,” he states.<br />

<strong>The</strong> architecture guru has ventured<br />

everywhere from Australia to the South<br />

Pacific for work and, when it’s time to hang<br />

up his hard hat for a broadcasting break,<br />

he loves to sojourn in Scotland or Ireland.<br />

However nowhere’s whet his design whistle<br />

quite like one particular place… and it’s<br />

inevitably Italy that rocks McCloud’s world.<br />

“Italy is still my destination of choice. I think<br />

my heart is a little bit linked to it…”<br />

40 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


TALKING TRAVEL<br />

KEVIN MCCLOUD<br />

Kevin McCloud will be appearing at Grand Designs Live<br />

at London’s ExCeL from <strong>May</strong> 4-12, <strong>2019</strong>. For more<br />

information see granddesignslive.com<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

41


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

Golf Masters<br />

Thursday June 27, Mannings Heath, West Sussex<br />

Now open for bookings<br />

Team and individual entries include brunch on arrival, 18 holes of golf, use of golf<br />

buggies, on-course refreshments and post-event barbecue. Teams of four cost just<br />

£680 and individual places can be purchased for £170. All prices exclude VAT.<br />

For more information and to book, see thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

the<br />

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

<strong>Magazine</strong>


THE REVIEW<br />

the<br />

Review<br />

THE NEWS & VIEWS<br />

THAT REALLY MATTER<br />

[ <strong>The</strong> lowdown ]<br />

TMCs lay down a marker<br />

with new technology<br />

p44-45<br />

[ Room report ]<br />

MUJI makes it a<br />

hat-trick in Tokyo<br />

p48-49<br />

[ on the ground ]<br />

Hertz offers the best of<br />

British with new range<br />

p50<br />

[ meeting place ]<br />

BTD puts the Zen<br />

back into meetings<br />

p51<br />

[ in the air ]<br />

British Airways unveils<br />

long-awaited new Club Suites<br />

p46-47<br />

O N T H E M O V E I<br />

<strong>The</strong> latest industry appointments p52<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

43


THE REVIEW<br />

T H E L O W D O W N<br />

TMC NEWS<br />

Miles ahead<br />

Australia’s 1000 Mile<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Group is plotting<br />

expansion in the UK this<br />

year by establishing a<br />

London headquarters. <strong>The</strong><br />

network of independent<br />

travel businesses was<br />

founded in Australia in<br />

2015 and posted 200%<br />

growth in the last year.<br />

Belfast opening<br />

Ireland-based TMC<br />

Hannon <strong>Travel</strong> is setting<br />

up offices in Belfast to<br />

serve the Northern Ireland<br />

and Great Britain market.<br />

More for Dawes<br />

Gray Dawes has extended<br />

its regional reach with the<br />

acquisition of INC. <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Group’s corporate and<br />

marine business in<br />

Manchester. It has also<br />

purchased VIP Leisure<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Ltd. <strong>The</strong>y are the<br />

TMC’s seventh and eighth<br />

acquisitions in the last<br />

four years.<br />

Going Dutch<br />

Reed & Mackay is<br />

launching in the Netherlands<br />

through an alliance<br />

with long-term partner<br />

Munckhof <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> two TMCs have opened<br />

a co-branded office at<br />

Amsterdam’s Schiphol<br />

Airport which will serve<br />

the legal, insurance and<br />

finance markets.<br />

TMCs lay down a<br />

marker with new tech<br />

TRAVEL management companies have rolled-out a raft of<br />

new technology, tools and functionality this spring as<br />

agencies clamour to demonstrate their superiority.<br />

American Express Global <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> (GBT) released<br />

several tech upgrades including a new mobile experience, a<br />

new benchmarking service – called Peer <strong>Travel</strong> Insights –<br />

and its own re-shopping tool, Hotel Re-Shop Expert.<br />

Corporate <strong>Travel</strong> Management, meanwhile, has introduced<br />

'next generation' tech suite, CTM Portal. <strong>The</strong> end-to-end<br />

management platform includes fare forecasting, booking,<br />

pre-trip approval, traveller tracking and business intelligence<br />

reporting. It is for bookers, managers and travellers alike.<br />

Clarity has also upgraded its tech offering with the relaunch<br />

of its Go2Book booking tool. <strong>The</strong> TMC held a series of user<br />

workshops to inform the overhaul, with personalisation and<br />

NDC developments taking centre stage.<br />

airbnb signals<br />

move into<br />

transport<br />

AIRBNB is accelerating plans<br />

to offer an ‘end-to-end’ travel<br />

platform by appointing a Global<br />

Head of Transportation. It intends<br />

to provide a single platform that<br />

combines “where you stay, what<br />

you do and how you get there, all<br />

in one place”. It has hired Fred Reid,<br />

once CEO of Virgin America, to<br />

head up the new division. Airbnb<br />

CEO Brian Chesky, says: “We’re<br />

going to explore a broad range of<br />

ideas and partnerships that can<br />

make transportation better.”<br />

12%<br />

of buyers have faith in<br />

Artificial Intelligence<br />

Only 12% of travel<br />

managers believe that<br />

AI has the potential to<br />

revolutionise the travel<br />

industry by 2022<br />

SUBSCRIBE<br />

TO OUR WEEKLY<br />

NEWS BULLETIN<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com/subscribe<br />

TBTM SOCIAL ADS_NEW.indd 1<br />

4/3/19 02:56 PM


THE REVIEW<br />

T H E L O W D O W N<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Advantage TAG<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> and event management<br />

company TAG has<br />

joined the Advantage<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Partnership. <strong>The</strong><br />

company, formerly known<br />

as <strong>The</strong> Appointment<br />

Group, joins the consortium<br />

as a Corporate<br />

Premium member.<br />

Good Fello<br />

Fello is joining GlobalStar<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Management to<br />

offer a worldwide travel<br />

management proposition.<br />

It joins Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and<br />

Events, Omega World<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> and Giles <strong>Travel</strong> as<br />

GlobalStar's UK members.<br />

Upgrades on the hop<br />

Seatfrog, an app that<br />

allows users to upgrade<br />

their train tickets, has<br />

signed its first partnership<br />

with a TMC. <strong>The</strong> relationship<br />

will allow customers<br />

of Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and<br />

Events to bid for first class<br />

upgrades to journeys on<br />

the LNER network.<br />

Sam wise<br />

Corporate <strong>Travel</strong>ler is<br />

rolling out its Sam chatbot<br />

app to its SME clients in<br />

the UK. <strong>The</strong> tool has<br />

already notched up 20,000<br />

users among clients of<br />

sister agency, FCM.<br />

Time and again<br />

Japan Airlines has been<br />

named the world’s most<br />

reliable airline. Just 1.05%<br />

of the airline’s flights were<br />

cancelled and 10.5% were<br />

delayed during the research<br />

period in autumn last year.<br />

Get Going insurance<br />

analysed a wide variety of<br />

data sources, with KLM,<br />

Emirates, Qatar Airways,<br />

ANA and Finnair also<br />

named among the most<br />

reliable airlines.<br />

Amber Road gives<br />

green light to SMEs<br />

AMBER Road has launched TRAQ, a new business travel<br />

platform for small and medium-sized enterprises.<br />

<strong>The</strong> software uses app-based booking components to<br />

help SMEs ensure the best available price even after<br />

booking, removing the need for travellers to use search<br />

aggregator tools when making reservations.<br />

Users will also benefit from automatic flight-delay<br />

compensation and a named travel advisor within the<br />

Amber Road team without paying booking, management<br />

or transaction fees. Instead, TRAQ is priced at a flat fee of<br />

£29 per traveller, per month, when the traveller is active.<br />

“SMEs have specific needs and TRAQ is a bespoke, smart<br />

business travel platform that has been created to meet<br />

them,” says Clive Wratten, CEO of Amber Road.<br />

LONDON REMAINS THE TOP DESTINATION<br />

FOR EUROPEAN BUSINESS TRAVELLERS<br />

DESPITE ONGOING UNCERTAINTY AROUND<br />

BREXIT, ACCORDING TO BCD TRAVEL'S<br />

CITIES & TRENDS REPORT. AMSTERDAM<br />

WAS THE SECOND MOST-VISITED CITY<br />

AND VIENNA WAS THIRD<br />

ITM UPDATE<br />

Scott Davies<br />

Chief Executive, ITM<br />

When people are looking to<br />

grow professionally or are<br />

feeling challenged in reaching<br />

the next level of their career,<br />

one of the most effective<br />

ways to develop is by working<br />

with a mentor.<br />

I think that sometimes<br />

people do not consider<br />

mentoring because either<br />

they do not feel that they<br />

need it or that they see the<br />

process as rather formal and<br />

potentially uncomfortable.<br />

Similarly, potential mentors<br />

may be put off by the<br />

perception that it will be<br />

onerous and time-consuming.<br />

<strong>The</strong> point is that the best<br />

mentoring is informal and<br />

conversational. Something<br />

that is often overlooked is just<br />

how rewarding it can be to<br />

mentor someone and help<br />

them get where they want.<br />

ITM’s members have been<br />

asking us to provide more<br />

support in this area and so<br />

we are proud to be launching<br />

our Mentoring initiative at our<br />

conference on 30th <strong>April</strong>.<br />

One of the four ITM pillars is<br />

to connect the industry and<br />

so we will be providing a<br />

framework, a roster of<br />

mentors (with key areas of<br />

expertise highlighted) and a<br />

means of applying to be<br />

appropriately matched.<br />

I’ll see a record 500 of you in<br />

Brighton to discuss this and<br />

other ways we can 'ELEVATE'!<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

45


THE REVIEW<br />

I N T H E A I R<br />

Average airfares to<br />

rise as NDC beds in<br />

BA SHOWS OFF LONG-AWAITED<br />

NEW BUSINESS CLASS CLUB SUITE<br />

BRITISH Airways has unveiled its<br />

long-awaited new business class<br />

seats which will feature on the first<br />

of its A350 aircraft launching in July.<br />

<strong>The</strong> seats, which convert to<br />

flatbeds and have been rebranded<br />

as Club Suites, all have direct aisle<br />

access and a sliding door for<br />

greater privacy, and will be set out<br />

in a 1-2-1 configuration. <strong>The</strong>y have<br />

40% more storage and 18.5-inch<br />

IFE screens. <strong>The</strong> new product will<br />

also be installed on B777 aircraft<br />

and on other long-haul aircraft and<br />

deployed across the network from<br />

early 2020.<br />

WIDER NDC adoption is<br />

likely to force a 'continued<br />

upward trend' in airfares this<br />

year, despite a short-term<br />

dip this March.<br />

Global average ticket prices<br />

(ATP) for air bookings are<br />

expected to fall 4% in <strong>April</strong><br />

– to US$673 – as fares<br />

readjust after a sharp<br />

increase in the first two<br />

months of the year.<br />

However, in its latest Air<br />

Trends Report, the CWT<br />

Solutions Group says it<br />

expects generally rising fares<br />

for the rest of the year as<br />

NDC solutions gain traction.<br />

“We foresee a continued<br />

upward trend in the average<br />

ticket price through <strong>2019</strong>,”<br />

says Christophe Renard, VP<br />

of CWT Solutions Group.<br />

“One of the reasons is that<br />

more airlines are looking to<br />

adopt IATA’s NDC standard<br />

as a means to generate<br />

greater ancillary revenues<br />

such as seat selection and<br />

baggage fees.”<br />

Renard advises corporates<br />

to adopt post-booking price<br />

tracking tools to optimise<br />

spend of flights.<br />

BRUSSELS AIRLINES HAS NEW CABIN<br />

FEVER ON LONG-HAUL OPERATIONS<br />

BRUSSELS Airlines has launched completely new<br />

business class, premium economy and economy class<br />

products for its long-haul fleet.<br />

<strong>The</strong> airline is spending €10million per aircraft installing<br />

the products, with new-look A330s operational from<br />

<strong>April</strong>. Dubbed a ‘boutique hotel in the air’, the airline<br />

says it will offer typical Belgian hospitality and ‘make<br />

the journey as important as the destination’.<br />

No.1<br />

Oman Air ups the ante<br />

Oman Air has secured<br />

first place in London<br />

Heathrow's latest 'Fly<br />

Quiet & Green' league<br />

table, with new aircraft<br />

(B787s) and new flying<br />

techniques propelling it<br />

to the top of the chart.<br />

British Airways' shorthaul<br />

operation was<br />

second, with SAS third,<br />

LOT fourth and Air<br />

India in fifth place<br />

FOLLOW US<br />

ON TWITTER<br />

@THEBIZTRAVMAG<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

TBTM SOCIAL ADS_NEW.indd 2<br />

4/3/19 03:25 PM


THE REVIEW<br />

I N T H E A I R<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

GTMC UPDATE<br />

Doing the business<br />

Spanish carrier Air Europa<br />

will launch a new business<br />

class cabin and increase<br />

premium capacity this<br />

autumn. <strong>The</strong> seating will<br />

be installed on the airline’s<br />

new B787-9 aircraft from<br />

October. A new 1-2-1<br />

configuration will mean all<br />

passengers have direct<br />

aisle access, while leather<br />

seats will convert into<br />

flatbeds and have 17-inch<br />

entertainment screens.<br />

Island connections<br />

Flybe commences a daily<br />

flight between the Isle of<br />

Man and London<br />

Heathrow this <strong>April</strong> – the<br />

first such direct service for<br />

almost 20 years. <strong>The</strong><br />

launch is part of the<br />

airline’s summer schedule<br />

that also features extra<br />

capacity between<br />

Heathrow and Edinburgh.<br />

Premium Swiss<br />

Swiss International Air<br />

Lines is investing around<br />

£30million in installing a<br />

new premium economy<br />

class on its long-haul<br />

aircraft. <strong>The</strong> new product<br />

will take to the skies in<br />

spring 2021, with the<br />

airline saying it has been<br />

“encouraged by the<br />

positive experiences with<br />

such a product at<br />

Lufthansa and Austrian<br />

Airlines”, its sister airlines.<br />

Phoenix rising<br />

American Airlines has a<br />

launched a daily service<br />

between London Heathrow<br />

and Phoenix Sky<br />

Harbour Intrnational<br />

Airport. <strong>The</strong> morning<br />

departure complements<br />

transatlantic business<br />

partner British Airways'<br />

existing afternoon flight to<br />

the Arizona city.<br />

VIRGIN ATLANTIC WILL INTRODUCE FLIGHTS<br />

FROM LONDON HEATHROW TO TEL AVIV<br />

THIS AUTUMN AND FROM HEATHROW<br />

TO SAO PAULO, BRAZIL, NEXT YEAR<br />

– ITS FIRST FLIGHTS TO SOUTH AMERICA<br />

Oneworld to open<br />

alliance lounges<br />

THE Oneworld airline alliance will introduce a network of<br />

managed lounges this year and has rebranded to mark its<br />

20th anniversary.<br />

Rob Gurney, Oneworld CEO, says the alliance is also upping<br />

its provision of digitial services and “ramping up co-location<br />

activities at key airports around the world”. It will unveil its<br />

first Oneworld-branded lounge later this year, with more to<br />

be rolled out in due course. A number of airports are said to<br />

be under consideration for development of its first lounge.<br />

As part of the overhaul, Gurney also highlighted development<br />

of its Carrier Connect scheme. “Up until now,<br />

every customer who has had to transfer from one airline to<br />

another has had to go to an airline check-in. This removes<br />

that, and removes the need for multiple apps.”<br />

Adrian Parkes<br />

Chief Executive, GTMC<br />

As an industry organisation, it<br />

is important that we broaden<br />

our commitment to nurturing<br />

new talent in the business<br />

travel sector.<br />

And so we recently launched<br />

our GTMC Education<br />

programme that consolidates<br />

all activities and objectives<br />

in our People and Talent<br />

Strategy Group to promote<br />

the industry, its career<br />

opportunities amongst future<br />

talent and support the<br />

industry through qualifications<br />

and learning.<br />

Initiatives such as the<br />

Bournemouth University<br />

partnership and the newly<br />

launched ‘Pathway to<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Professional’<br />

apprenticeship programme<br />

support our strategy to<br />

attract and develop<br />

exceptional talent.<br />

And a central pillar to GTMC<br />

Education is the Diploma in<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Management<br />

developed for both current<br />

TMC employees and for<br />

those who wish to join the<br />

industry with a certified<br />

diploma. <strong>The</strong> e-learning<br />

programme will help drive<br />

standards within the sector<br />

and create a clear pathway<br />

for career development.<br />

At a time when automation<br />

is a hot topic, it’s important to<br />

recognise our sector thrives<br />

on human interaction and we<br />

must all nurture talent.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

47


THE REVIEW<br />

R O O M R E P O R T<br />

QuEEn'S gATE<br />

HoTEl opEnS<br />

undER CuRIo<br />

tHe 100 Queen's Gate Hotel has<br />

MuJI makes<br />

it a hat-trick<br />

in Tokyo<br />

opened in London as part of the<br />

Curio Collection by Hilton.<br />

<strong>The</strong> historic building has been<br />

transformed over the course of<br />

two years and has 228 rooms<br />

and 11 suites each named after<br />

famous historic Kensington<br />

residents that include Alfred<br />

Hitchcock and Agatha Christie.<br />

<strong>The</strong> hotel's interior design<br />

reflects the rich history of the<br />

Victorian terrace building, say its<br />

developers, and it houses three<br />

dining establishments: all day<br />

brasserie W/A Kensington;<br />

Botanica, for afternoon teas and<br />

cocktails; and ESQ, a 'discreet<br />

drinking den' inspired by the<br />

travels of former resident<br />

William Alexander.<br />

JaPaneSe lifestyle brand<br />

MUJI has opened its third<br />

hotel, a 79-room property<br />

in Tokyo. <strong>The</strong> MUJI Hotel<br />

Ginza is its first property in<br />

its native Japan and follows<br />

openings last year in Beijing<br />

and Shenzhen.<br />

Its latest hotel has opened<br />

alongside a new global flagship<br />

MUJI store in the Ginza<br />

district of Japan's capital<br />

and reflects the brand’s<br />

philosophy of “promoting a<br />

pleasant life, minimalist aesthetic<br />

and good design”.<br />

Rooms feature traditional<br />

Japanese textiles, natural<br />

materials and upcycled<br />

products. Unusually, the<br />

hotel says its fixed pricing<br />

structure will remain<br />

consistent throughout the<br />

year to support the group’s<br />

commitment to “fairness and<br />

affordable living”. <strong>The</strong> hotel<br />

also has a cocktail bar,<br />

restaurant, diner, library and<br />

lounge space for informal<br />

meetings and events.<br />

[ OPENINGS & UPGRADES ]<br />

>> Over 80% of JURYS INN and LEONARD HOTELS UK properties<br />

have now received four-star AA accreditation as the group targets<br />

four-star status across the group >> HYATT HOTELS will add over<br />

2,000 guestrooms across 14 new properties in India over the next<br />

24 months, with a focus on emerging cities within the country >><br />

MARKET STREET HOTEL, a 98-room property and member of the<br />

Design Hotels Group, is due to open in Edinburgh early this<br />

summer >> LOCKE HOTELS has named three new openings as<br />

part of its expansion plans to add four to six new properties every<br />

year. It has invested £100million in a site in Lisbon and has also<br />

confirmed additions in Berlin and Dalston, London.<br />

£14m<br />

<strong>The</strong> investment sum raised<br />

by Airbnb rival Plum Guide<br />

<strong>The</strong> Plum Guide has<br />

raised £14million in a<br />

Series B funding round,<br />

allowing it to expand into<br />

six new cities this <strong>April</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> home rentals rival<br />

to Airbnb has already<br />

announced the addition<br />

of six cities in the US this<br />

year, joining London,<br />

Los Angeles, Milan,<br />

New York, Paris and<br />

Rome on the platform<br />

JOIN US<br />

ON LINKEDIN<br />

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

TBTM SOCIAL ADS_NEW.indd 3<br />

4/3/19 03:25 PM


THE REVIEW<br />

R O O M R E P O R T<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Radisson moves in<br />

<strong>The</strong> Radisson Collection<br />

Hotel & Suites, Paris La<br />

Défense, will become the<br />

Radisson Collection's first<br />

hotel in France. It take the<br />

group’s portfolio in the<br />

country to 17 hotels and<br />

more than 3,000 rooms in<br />

operation or under<br />

development.<br />

Additions at the Abbey<br />

Stanbrook Abbey Hotel in<br />

Worcester has opened a<br />

new restaurant, <strong>The</strong><br />

Refectory Dining Room &<br />

Terrace, and added 15 new<br />

bedrooms as part of an<br />

ongoing investment<br />

programme by its owner<br />

and operator Hand<br />

Picked Hotels.<br />

Centara into Qatar<br />

Thailand's Centara Hotels<br />

& Resorts has continued<br />

its international expansion<br />

with the opening of a<br />

265-room property in the<br />

West Bay district of Doha,<br />

the Qatari capital city.<br />

Carlton refurb<br />

<strong>The</strong> Jumeirah Group will<br />

close its flagship hotel in<br />

London, the Carlton<br />

Tower, this September for<br />

a year-long refurbishment.<br />

<strong>The</strong> 17-storey building will<br />

be completely overhauled<br />

and the number of rooms<br />

reduced from 216 to 188 as<br />

several suites are added.<br />

Kimpton carries on<br />

IHG's boutique Kimpton<br />

brand has arrived in<br />

Scotland with the opening<br />

of the Kimpton Charlotte<br />

Square Hotel. It is one of<br />

12 Principal and De Vere<br />

properties to be rebranded<br />

under IHG management<br />

and follows the opening of<br />

the Kimpton Fitzroy<br />

London last year.<br />

Millennium has eye<br />

on the SME market<br />

Millennium Hotels is courting the SME market with new<br />

corporate product Millennium for <strong>Business</strong> (M4B). <strong>The</strong><br />

scheme features a dedicated online portal enabling<br />

businesses to make bookings, earn rewards and benefit<br />

from the group's best room rates.<br />

“With the new programme we can guarantee that small<br />

businesses that don’t have an in-house travel team can<br />

achieve the same benefits as bigger companies and get the<br />

best corporate rates,” says the group's Chief Commercial<br />

Officer, Clive Harrington.<br />

Benefits available as part of the new scheme include<br />

discounted dining, the ability to amend bookings, early<br />

check-in and late check-out, an upgrade every third stay,<br />

and access to a dedicated club or business lounge. It will<br />

also offer 'micro rewards' such as Spotify subscriptions.<br />

Marriott lines up 30 luxury<br />

additions for <strong>2019</strong><br />

Marriott International expects<br />

to open more than 30 new luxury<br />

hotels across the world this year,<br />

including Ritz-Carlton, St Regis,<br />

Bulgari and Edition properties.<br />

<strong>The</strong> group currently has more<br />

than 200 luxury hotels in its<br />

long-term development pipeline,<br />

including confirmed openings in<br />

<strong>2019</strong> of four Ritz-Carlton hotels<br />

(including Perth and Mexico City)<br />

and seven W Hotels including<br />

properties in Dubai, Muscat,<br />

Melbourne, Abu Dhabi and<br />

Philadelphia. Meanwhile, St. Regis<br />

hotels will open in Hong Kong,<br />

Cairo, Venice and Zhuhai, while<br />

among nine additions to the<br />

Luxury Collection is <strong>The</strong> Langley<br />

in Buckinghamshire (pictured)<br />

which is due to open this summer.<br />

<strong>The</strong> group is also scheduled to<br />

open two Edition hotels and six<br />

JW Marriott properties.<br />

travelodge<br />

hails five-year<br />

turnaround<br />

Budget hotel group <strong>Travel</strong>odge<br />

says its positive 2018 performance<br />

caps a ‘five-year transformation’<br />

for the business.<br />

Total revenue was up 8.8% in<br />

2018, at £693.3million, while the<br />

group opened 17 new hotels,<br />

rolled out its first ‘premium<br />

economy’ SuperRooms and<br />

opened its first ‘budget chic’<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge Plus hotel. Occupancy<br />

over the course of the year also<br />

rose – by 2.5% to 78.5% – while the<br />

average room rate was static at<br />

£53.09. In the five years since 2013<br />

sales have increased by over<br />

£250million and EBITDA has more<br />

than trebled to £122million.<br />

“Once again we outperformed<br />

our competitive segment and<br />

delivered another year of strong<br />

growth,” says Peter Gowers,<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge Chief Executive. “<strong>The</strong>se<br />

are uncertain times and we are<br />

not immune from the short-term<br />

challenges, but beyond, we remain<br />

confident that there are more<br />

opportunities ahead.”<br />

accor sets<br />

out big plans<br />

for new tribe<br />

Accor has announced the<br />

expansion of its Tribe brand, a<br />

new midscale lifestyle option from<br />

the hotel group.<br />

A 126-room property is already<br />

open in Perth, Australia, but Accor<br />

says the brand will arrive in Europe<br />

this summer with a 290-room<br />

hotel opening in Glasgow. A further<br />

eight Tribe hotels are due to open<br />

across Europe and Asia-Pacific by<br />

2022 and 50 more are currently<br />

under negotiation worldwide.<br />

<strong>The</strong> brand will “surprise travellers<br />

with an original, exciting and<br />

carefully curated offer that focuses<br />

on style rather than price.”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

49


THE REVIEW<br />

O N T H E G R O U N D<br />

Driven hits the road with<br />

with all-electric fleet<br />

Best of British<br />

hertz has introduced <strong>The</strong> British Collection in the UK, a<br />

premium range of hire cars, customer lounges and a suite of<br />

extras such as delivery and collection services. Vehicles on<br />

offer include the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Jaguar<br />

F Pace, E Pace, XE and XF from its locations at Heathrow<br />

Airport, Marble Arch in London and Edinburgh Airport.<br />

<strong>The</strong> launch follows the successful introduction of the<br />

Selezione Italia range in Italy last year.<br />

[ hit the road ]<br />

>> Car rental company Avis has launched its upgraded app<br />

with new elements including self-serve functionality and the ability<br />

for Preferred customers to switch their vehicles on arrival >> <strong>The</strong><br />

Highland Council has cut average business road travel costs by<br />

around a third since introducing a fleet of 35 Enterprise Car<br />

Club vehicles to replace employees' reliance on 'grey' fleet.<br />

Moreover, it estimates it has also reduced its carbon footprint<br />

by around 50tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) >><br />

European Luxury car hire specialist Vroomerz has relaunched as<br />

Driverso and added 100 new models to its fleet.<br />

the UK’s first all-electric airport shuttle service, Driven,<br />

has commenced operations using a fleet of Tesla Model<br />

X SUVs. It offers a door-to-door service, either with<br />

exclusive use of the car or as a shared service, with<br />

rates starting from £9 per person for a 40-minute trip.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company says it is aiming to ‘take cars to airports<br />

off the road, replacing them with zero emission<br />

shuttles’. Driven is targeting both the leisure and<br />

corporate market and, for the latter, has developed a<br />

travel management application that enables companies<br />

to book trips and track activity and costs. <strong>The</strong> tool also<br />

provides detailed reporting and highlights potential<br />

savings. All drivers are employed by Driven and the<br />

24/7 operation serves all locations within three hours<br />

of all major UK airports.<br />

Taxis going green<br />

Sherbet London Taxis is trebling its all-electric taxi fleet<br />

ahead of London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone legislation<br />

coming into effect this <strong>April</strong>.<br />

“Our evolution is about the future: the future of the<br />

industry, our children’s future and the environment,”<br />

says Asher Moses, Sherbet London Taxis CEO. “We are<br />

establishing a community that truly supports safety, privacy,<br />

technology and accessibility, where customer service and<br />

excellence is key.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> taxi service offers passengers amenities such as 4G<br />

wifi, air conditioning and phone changing points as well as<br />

its new Ride App, which allows passengers to book an<br />

electric taxi and see where the closest one is using their<br />

personal or corporate account.<br />

FOLLOW US<br />

ON INSTAGRAM<br />

@THEBIZTRAVMAG<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

TBTM SOCIAL ADS_NEW.indd 4<br />

4/3/19 03:26 PM


THE REVIEW<br />

M e e t i n g p l a c e<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Inntel additions<br />

Inntel has enhanced its<br />

Meetings Management<br />

Portal with a new delegate<br />

management system in<br />

collaboration with<br />

Groupize. Users can create<br />

customised, branded and<br />

mobile responsive delegate<br />

invitations, as well as<br />

manage room blocks, take<br />

payments and share<br />

documents. “Following the<br />

addition of a new event<br />

app for our clients and<br />

enhanced meetings MI,<br />

the Groupize delegate<br />

management solution is a<br />

great incorporation to our<br />

Meetings Management<br />

Portal,” says Douglas<br />

O’Neill, Inntel CEO.<br />

Advantage partners<br />

<strong>The</strong> Advantage <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Partnership has signed a<br />

deal with MeetingPackage<br />

to make its M&E booking<br />

platform available to all its<br />

member agencies. “<strong>Travel</strong><br />

agents and their clients<br />

are increasingly looking<br />

for transparency and<br />

simplicity when it comes<br />

to researching and<br />

booking meetings and<br />

events,” says Advantage<br />

Meetings and Events'<br />

Ian Quartermaine.<br />

BCD's record year<br />

BCD Meetings & Events<br />

has completed a threeyear<br />

strategic plan that has<br />

resulted in a 141% increase<br />

in total sales and a 218%<br />

increase in its global<br />

footprint, now serving<br />

clients in more than 50<br />

countries. “In 2016 we<br />

launched our first strategic<br />

growth plan,” says Scott<br />

Graf, BCD M&E’s Global<br />

President. “We have<br />

exceeded expectations in<br />

every area, culminating<br />

with a record year in 2018.”<br />

BTD puts the Zen<br />

back into meetings<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Direct’s meetings and events division has<br />

been relaunched as a standalone, full-service agency called<br />

Zen. <strong>The</strong> TMC’s parent company, Ickenham <strong>Travel</strong> Group,<br />

has expanded the team behind the agency, hiring Mandy<br />

Warwick as Senior Director and Kirsty Tod as Senior Event<br />

manager, with further additions likely.<br />

Zen will initially serve BTD’s diverse clientbase before<br />

extending its reach to non-clients, offering a range of<br />

services including venue-finding, event management, event<br />

marketing and incentives.<br />

Through an online booking tool, it offers live availability for<br />

small meetings and events in the UK and Europe, and also<br />

incorporate clients’ own inhouse meeting rooms.<br />

Fairytale events<br />

Disneyland Paris is introducing a new division to serve its busy<br />

meetings and events industry. <strong>The</strong> Disneyland Paris Event Group will<br />

provide access to the resort’s various theme parks, event spaces and<br />

hotels, creating, hosting and producing a diverse range of corporate<br />

events at the resort.<br />

“At Disneyland Paris Event Group, we create highly immersive, unique<br />

and powerful experiences, connecting guests to our incredible franchises,<br />

seasons and Disney storytelling,” says Gustavo Branger, Vice President,<br />

Disneyland Paris Event Group. “We bring unexpected emotion to life and<br />

create lasting memories for all audiences, individuals and business alike.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> resort has over 19,300m 2 of floor space, including two convention<br />

centres, three auditoriums, 95 meeting rooms and an exhibition hall –<br />

all within a ten-minute walk of each other – and can host corporate<br />

events for up to 4,000 people.<br />

HILTON UNVEILS<br />

dedicated<br />

M&E brand<br />

<strong>The</strong> Hilton group has launched a<br />

new hotel brand dedicated to<br />

meetings and events.<br />

Signia Hilton properties – Hilton’s<br />

17th brand – will have a minimum<br />

of 500 guestrooms and at least<br />

75ft 2 of meetings and event space<br />

per room. Located in major urban<br />

and resort destinations, the brand<br />

is expected to debut in 2020 with<br />

the Signia Hilton Orlando Bonnet<br />

Creek, followed by the Signia<br />

Hilton Atlanta and Signia Hilton<br />

Indianapolis. Most Signia hotels<br />

will be new-build properties and,<br />

initially, expansion will be focused<br />

on the United States.<br />

‘Unparalleled’ meetings and<br />

event facilities will comprise large<br />

ballrooms, pre-function areas and<br />

a wide range of meeting rooms<br />

and breakout spaces.<br />

“Signia Hilton is the latest<br />

example of Hilton's ability to<br />

successfully build brands from<br />

scratch, which is key to its organic<br />

growth strategy,” says a spokesperson<br />

for the Signia Hilton brand.<br />

Agency's green<br />

ambitions<br />

events and communications<br />

company UKSV is championing<br />

the cause for 'greener' events,<br />

notably through cutting the use<br />

of single-use plastics and through<br />

greater adoption of renewable<br />

energy solutions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> business cites recent<br />

initiatives such as London's<br />

Barbican Centre switching to<br />

100% renewable energy.<br />

"I'm really pleased to see<br />

high-profile events and prestigious<br />

venues taking a stand on<br />

single-use plastic and adopting<br />

renewable energy," says Nick<br />

Dean, Senior Operations<br />

Manager at UKSV.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

51


THE REVIEW<br />

O N T H E M O V E<br />

EVENTS<br />

APRIL 7-9<br />

ACTE GLOBAL SUMMIT<br />

Chicago<br />

acte.org<br />

APRIL 30 - MAY 1<br />

NICK BAMFORD MATT LUSCOMBE STEVE FISHER<br />

JOINS: Black Box Partnerships<br />

AS: Associate - Ground/Rail Services<br />

FROM: Rail Delivery Group<br />

JOINS: Cycas Hospitality<br />

AS: CEO<br />

FROM: InterContinental Hotels Group<br />

JOINS: Gray Dawes Group<br />

AS: Chief Technology Officer<br />

FROM: Zoopla<br />

ITM CONFERENCE<br />

Hilton Metropole, Brighton<br />

itm.org.uk<br />

Nick Bamford has joined Black<br />

Box Partnerships, bolstering its<br />

ground and rail services division<br />

Former IHG heavyweight Matt<br />

Luscombe has been appointed<br />

Cycas Hospitality's first CEO<br />

Gray Dawes has welcomed new<br />

Chief Technology Officer Steve<br />

Fisher to drive technological<br />

MAY 14-15<br />

with his more than 30 years<br />

after the company recently<br />

innovation. He brings with him<br />

PROCURECON TRAVEL<br />

Henderson, Las Vegas<br />

experience in travel and<br />

passenger transport.<br />

welcomed three new brands<br />

and doubled its portfolio.<br />

18 years of experience in senior<br />

roles at a variety of tech firms.<br />

procurecontravel.wbresearch.com<br />

MAY 17-20<br />

ADVANTAGE CONFERENCE<br />

Cadiz, Spain<br />

advantageconference.co.uk<br />

MAY 21<br />

TBTM DINNER CLUB<br />

<strong>The</strong> Dorchester, London<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

MAY 24<br />

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL PEOPLE AWARDS<br />

London<br />

thebusinesstravelpeopleawards.com<br />

JUNE 20<br />

ITM SCOTLAND SUMMIT<br />

Edinburgh<br />

itm.org.uk<br />

MARK MCSPADDEN ANNA PRITCHARD NEIL SLAVEN<br />

JOINS: American Express GBT<br />

AS: Vice President of Global Product Strategy<br />

FROM: Sabre Hospitality<br />

Mark McSpadden has moved<br />

from Sabre Hospitality to<br />

American Express GBT to<br />

become the TMC giant’s new<br />

Vice President of Global Product<br />

Strategy and Digital Experience.<br />

PROMOTED AT: Qantas<br />

TO: Regional General Manager, EMEA<br />

FROM: Regulatory Head of Legal<br />

A former head in Qantas' legal<br />

department, Anna Pritchard has<br />

been tasked with leading the<br />

airline's largest international<br />

geographical footprint in time<br />

for its upcoming centenary.<br />

PROMOTED AT: easyJet<br />

TO: UK Country Director<br />

FROM: Manager, Airport Procurement<br />

Neil Slaven has become easyJet's<br />

UK chief after more than eight<br />

years at the airline delivering<br />

commercially-focused improvements,<br />

which he will carry over<br />

into his new role.<br />

JUNE 27<br />

TBTM GOLF MASTERS<br />

Mannings Heath, Sussex<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

JUNE 30<br />

GTMC OVERSEAS CONFERENCE<br />

Noordwijk, Netherlands<br />

gtmc.org<br />

ALSO ON THE MOVE... Jens Penny is the new Chief Financial Officer at TAG >> <strong>The</strong> Oetker<br />

Collection has appointed Joelle Edwards-Tonks as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing<br />

>> ITM has announced five new board directors: Gemma King, Director of Corporate <strong>Travel</strong> –<br />

EMEA at Omnicom; Emma Jones, Director of Global <strong>Travel</strong> at Willis Towers Watson; Hilton<br />

Worldwide's Tanya Clifford; LNER's Sam McKnight; and easyJet's Andrea Caulfield-Smith >><br />

Edi Wolfensberger has joined Brussels Airlines in the role of Managing Director Operations >><br />

HRS has hired former ACTE Director Greeley Koch in a Global Marketing Executive Role<br />

AUGUST 3-7<br />

GBTA CONVENTION<br />

Chicago<br />

gbta.org<br />

SEPTEMBER 17-18<br />

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL CONFERENCE<br />

Hilton Bankside, London<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

52 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


A R R I V E R E A DY FOR B U S I N E S S<br />

With more seats, free Wi-Fi and power at every seat, travel time needn’t be wasted time.<br />

Book your business trip with your local TMC or at GWR.com<br />

Advertising based on an increase of over 10% in train seats on long distance, intercity services in January <strong>2019</strong> compared to the same period in 2018. Correct as of 03/01/19. Selected routes only. Wi-Fi terms and conditions apply. Power sockets available on selected rolling stock only.<br />

For full terms and conditions visit GWR.com


IT's a significant area of spend<br />

for many companies but its<br />

complexities and recent travails<br />

can make it hard to tackle. Find<br />

out more in our guide to<br />

RAIL<br />

TRAVEL<br />

Introduction, 56-57 / Spend management, 60-64<br />

Operator update, 66-70 / Booking tools, 72-74<br />

Overseas rail travel, 77 / Data, 78<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

55


Rail travel / Introduction<br />

Track and<br />

YIELD<br />

Millions of pounds is being invested in the UK’s rail network to enhance the<br />

passenger experience. Dave Richardson assesses the state of the industry<br />

Official inquiries into the state of<br />

Britain’s railways are a regular<br />

occurrence, and indeed date back<br />

to the 'Railway Mania' of the 1840s when<br />

the industry was new and over-speculation<br />

brought economic ruin to many.<br />

So why should the latest be any different?<br />

<strong>The</strong> Williams Review – led by former British<br />

Airways chief executive Frank Williams – is<br />

open for consultation until <strong>May</strong> 31 but is, by<br />

its chairman’s own admission, the 30th<br />

review since 2006.<br />

At least he has set the bar high. Williams<br />

has already commented publicly in advance<br />

of a white paper that the Department for<br />

Transport will issue in the autumn, saying:<br />

“Put bluntly, franchising cannot continue the<br />

way it is today. It is no longer delivering clear<br />

benefits for either taxpayers or fare payers.”<br />

In the meantime the Rail Delivery Group,<br />

which includes train operators and Network<br />

Rail, has weighed in with its own proposals<br />

for reform of the highly complex fares<br />

system. <strong>The</strong> RDG’s guiding principle is that<br />

“customers only pay for what they need and<br />

are always charged the best-value fare”, with<br />

pay-as-you-go pricing on season tickets and<br />

simpler ticketing on smart cards. Longdistance<br />

passengers should benefit from<br />

better-value fares bought on the day of<br />

travel, with more flexibility on peak-hour<br />

pricing to even out demand.<br />

Commenting on behalf of the ITM, industry<br />

affairs committee member Will Hasler says:<br />

“Touch-in/touch-out ticketing must be<br />

available on all platforms, not just B2C. Train<br />

operators all have different objectives, a key<br />

one being trying to extend the franchise.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s likely to be extra expense in the<br />

short term if they sort out split ticketing<br />

anomalies, which we would not be happy<br />

about. However, the prospect of spreading<br />

demand more evenly on trains has cost<br />

and wellbeing benefits for commuters and<br />

business travellers. It all sounds good, but it's<br />

easier said than done.”<br />

A new hope<br />

<strong>The</strong> Williams Review, which could enforce or<br />

disregard the RDG’s pronouncements on<br />

fares, goes much further. It is looking into<br />

the entire structure of how the rail industry<br />

is organised and may even tackle – and likely<br />

dismiss – Labour’s call for renationalisation.<br />

“Renationalisation wouldn’t solve anything<br />

as there would still be no competition<br />

between operators or incentive to provide<br />

a customer-facing service,” adds Hasler.<br />

“But we shouldn’t lose sight of infrastructure<br />

improvements made, such as<br />

the redevelopment of major stations at<br />

London Bridge, King’s Cross, Reading and<br />

Birmingham New Street. This should be<br />

commended, but the railways are still<br />

struggling to cope with demand.<br />

“I’m not convinced anything much will<br />

come out of the Williams Review, especially if<br />

Chris Grayling is still in charge,” Hasler adds.<br />

Raj Sachdave, of consultancy Black Box<br />

Partnerships, welcomes the Williams Review<br />

for addressing some basic questions, along<br />

with RDG proposals on fares reform – but<br />

with a warning.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s a focus on how the new fares will<br />

impact the commercial relationships of<br />

franchising, and we hope this doesn’t mean<br />

higher fares for business travellers and those<br />

who need to travel at peak times or need<br />

flexibility at peak times,” he says. “<strong>The</strong> study<br />

could have segmented business travellers<br />

but doesn’t, which is disappointing to read.”<br />

Another consultant, Nick Hurrell of Nick<br />

Hurrell Associates, says he has “a glimmer of<br />

hope” that Williams will usher in real change.<br />

Removing control of the industry from the<br />

Department for Transport is key for him.<br />

“We had a terrible year in 2018 with delays,<br />

falling public satisfaction and the debacle on<br />

East Coast where Virgin was allowed to walk<br />

away from the franchise,” he says. “Overall<br />

blame has to sit with the DfT, which is too<br />

close to the industry.<br />

“On fares we need to introduce rates based<br />

on the distance travelled, as we have the<br />

highest regulated fares in Europe.”<br />

Josh Collier, Head of Proposition – Rail and<br />

Ground transportation, Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and<br />

Events, wants uniformity in how train<br />

operators pay delay compensation. This is a<br />

growing business for specialists such as<br />

Railguard and <strong>Travel</strong> Compensation Services,<br />

which target business travellers.<br />

As overall public satisfaction with the UK's<br />

railway network slumps to its lowest level for<br />

ten years at 79% – according to twice-yearly<br />

surveys by watchdog Transport Focus – the<br />

Williams Review is keenly awaited and very<br />

timely indeed.<br />

“In the autumn we will bring everything<br />

together and, alongside government,<br />

recommend change through a white paper,”<br />

Williams promises. “It will be the culmination<br />

of the biggest and widest review of the<br />

railway for generations.”<br />

56 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Introduction / Rail travel<br />

This autumn will see<br />

the culmination of<br />

the biggest and widest review<br />

of the UK's railway network<br />

for generations”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

57


AN OFFICE<br />

WITH A VIEW<br />

LNER.co.uk/business<br />

LONDON - LEEDS - YORK - NEWCASTLE - EDINBURGH


F R E E W I - F I<br />

ON ALL OUR TRAINS


Rail travel / Spend management<br />

£<br />

FAIR FARES?<br />

<strong>The</strong> complexity of rail fares can make it difficult identifying the best<br />

ways to manage spend. Gillian Upton finds out why<br />

News in February that average<br />

ticket prices have fallen for<br />

Evolvi users, despite rail fares<br />

increases, suggests that travel buyers are<br />

getting to grips with what is probably<br />

one of the most complex spend<br />

categories in business travel.<br />

Is it that the message of booking early,<br />

shunning anytime tickets, and planning well<br />

ahead for non-customer-facing meetings, is<br />

finally getting through?<br />

According to Evolvi, which analysed some<br />

9.4m transactions undertaken last year, the<br />

average ticket value in 2018 was £56.32 –<br />

compared to £56.83 in 2017. Back in 2012<br />

the average ticket value stood at £61.81.<br />

Despite a clear picture of what best<br />

practice looks like, rail is often the poor<br />

relation in a travel programme. Typically,<br />

what’s needed is better-worded travel policy<br />

and policy enforcement, since there are still<br />

huge numbers of tickets being purchased in<br />

the four to seven days before travel.<br />

Advance rail tickets go on sale three<br />

months before departure and while that<br />

seems challenging for business travellers to<br />

commit to so far out, Gary McLeod, MD<br />

Corporate Division of <strong>Travel</strong>eads, believes<br />

these tickets are worth booking. “<strong>The</strong> £10<br />

or upwards change fee on this ticket is<br />

outweighed by the savings accrued.<br />

“Some 80% of journeys happen as planned<br />

so travellers can book a restricted ticket and<br />

still save when taking into account the cost<br />

of changing 20% of tickets,” he says.<br />

“Our maxim with clients is to narrow down<br />

the dates, get the cheapest ticket and then<br />

pay for any change.”<br />

Advance booking is a key savings strategy<br />

with rail. More than 14 days out and an<br />

average fare is £45.63; seven days out that<br />

becomes £64.34 and on the day of travel it<br />

is £71.45, explains McLeod.<br />

Consumers know how to buy train tickets<br />

cost effectively for leisure but Chris Vince, of<br />

Click <strong>Travel</strong>, believes they act differently<br />

when on business. “<strong>The</strong>y will buy an offpeak<br />

ticket for personal use but they don’t<br />

want to wait around if it’s for business use.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> modal shift between car and train has<br />

been largely won on health and safety and<br />

CO2 grounds, but use of first class flourishes<br />

on longer-distance trains, generally due to<br />

better productivity. “<strong>Travel</strong>lers can open<br />

their laptop with impunity and do billable<br />

work so it’s money well spent,” says McLeod.<br />

Rail travel is one of the largest spend<br />

categories for Hilti GB and the company has<br />

made the rules clear in its travel policy,<br />

resulting in around 80% of the company’s<br />

rail travel being booked outside the<br />

minimum advance booking horizon of 21<br />

days. “We ask travellers to be mindful of<br />

costs and, if possible, book off-peak tickets<br />

only,” says Ana Gibson, Hilti's GB Supply<br />

Manager – <strong>Travel</strong>.<br />

<br />

£<br />

£<br />

60 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


£<br />

Spend management / Rail travel<br />

£<br />

Customers know<br />

how to buy train<br />

tickets cost effectively for<br />

leisure, but act differently<br />

when on business”<br />

£<br />

£<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

61


Rail travel / Spend management<br />

“Rail is managed quite well,” she says.<br />

“Behaviour is managed through exception<br />

reporting, highlighting travellers who<br />

regularly book outside policy.” <strong>The</strong> company<br />

is also mindful of short-notice customer<br />

meetings or business-critical meetings that<br />

can’t be changed and advises that the policy<br />

should add flexibility in these circumstances.<br />

So what are the 28 train operators doing<br />

to help buyers manage rail spend better?<br />

<strong>The</strong> launch of the 26-30-year-old rail card<br />

has been good news over the last 12<br />

months and TMCs are busy identifying the<br />

age of travellers to see who is eligible as a<br />

one-third reduction in cost – even taking<br />

into account the £30 upfront cost of the<br />

card – still results in savings. Exploiting the<br />

16-25 railcard, the 60+ senior rail card and<br />

even the 2 Together cards is also lucrative.<br />

Corporate fares do exist, but generally for<br />

those businesses with significant volumes<br />

and usually only on the long-distance and<br />

intercity routes. Corporates regularly using<br />

the London-Scotland route will have more<br />

leverage than a corporate only booking<br />

short-haul, for example.<br />

Smart buyers must find routes serviced by<br />

multiple competitors to get a deal as the<br />

principle of supply and demand applies.<br />

On London-Birmingham, for example,<br />

Virgin Trains, Chiltern and London<br />

Northwestern Rail operate so offering to<br />

switch market share would bear fruit. But on<br />

the Bristol-London route, serviced by Great<br />

Western and with no air alternative, a deal is<br />

much less likely.<br />

Some operators are happier to dish out<br />

soft perks such as free wifi access,<br />

discounted car parking or F&B vouchers<br />

rather than looking at fare discounts.<br />

Hilti’s Gibson says: “Buyers need to be<br />

aware of not just rail spend but any spend<br />

which goes to air which could be switched<br />

to rail. For example, don’t just look at<br />

Manchester to London Euston rail volumes,<br />

but also Manchester to London Heathrow<br />

air travel and take this whole amount of<br />

travel into the discussions.<br />

“Be mindful of what you as a company can<br />

implement and what the policy allows.<br />

Route deals can be on peak trains but if the<br />

policy suggests off-peak only, then this<br />

offering would not be suitable.” This is<br />

when a clearly worded travel policy<br />

comes into its own, for both suppliers<br />

and travellers.<br />

As a general rule, Gibson believes<br />

rail operators are less proactive<br />

Another source of<br />

savings is processing<br />

refunds if trains are delayed,<br />

as this is finally being<br />

automated and has become<br />

less of a hurdle”<br />

£<br />

than air and hotel operators. It’s something<br />

that Alice Linley-Munro, Global <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Analyst at Oil Spill Response, is acutely<br />

aware of. “We’ve never been approached by<br />

any rail supplier so my experience is that<br />

they’re not proactive. But, on the flip side,<br />

I’m not sure we have the sort of volume that<br />

they’d be interested in, in order to spur<br />

them on to be proactive.”<br />

Going for the low-hanging fruit is an<br />

obvious buyer strategy, says Raj Sachdave of<br />

Black Box Partnerships. ”Buyers go for what<br />

is going to give the biggest return and that’s<br />

air and then hotels. And rail hasn’t helped<br />

itself either as it’s still very complicated.”<br />

Oil Spill Response spends somewhere<br />

between £8,000-£10,000 annually on rail,<br />

and chiefly on the Southampton-London<br />

route. Nonetheless, the company<br />

encourages staff to book in advance.<br />

”We pitch it to them that it will save them<br />

having to do a laborious expenses claim as<br />

£<br />

£<br />

the cost will be invoiced to us by the TMC,”<br />

says Linley-Munro. Despite this, only four<br />

travellers book through this channel (the<br />

Evolvi tool) with the remainder turning up<br />

on the day and paying.<br />

One glimmer of hope could be the<br />

prospect of pay-as-you-go ticketing, which<br />

would allow buyers to consolidate season<br />

ticket expenditure with rail expenditure and<br />

offer TOCs greater volumes.<br />

Another source of savings is processing<br />

refunds if trains are delayed, as this is finally<br />

being automated and has become less of a<br />

hurdle. How to manage Delay Repay is<br />

appearing on tender documents now and<br />

third-party solutions exist to refund 100% of<br />

compensation to the customer via the TMC<br />

on advance purchase tickets. One such,<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Compensation, claims a 95%<br />

success rate and says that depending on<br />

policy, the options are for the TMC to hold<br />

the money on account, pass it back to the<br />

client, or reimburse an individual traveller.<br />

“Claims are higher on intercity services as<br />

the cost of those tickets are considerably<br />

more and often the next train may be an<br />

hour away,” says Lee Fortnam, CIO. “For the<br />

TMC it’s an opportunity to do the right thing<br />

for the customer.”<br />

To a large extent, corporates are reliant on<br />

their TMCs to communicate what can be<br />

done to manage rail spend better as they<br />

have the data, but it’s here where there<br />

appears to be a disconnect.<br />

<br />

62 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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Rail travel / Spend management<br />

“I find that not a lot of information is<br />

passed on regarding the rail category,” says<br />

Hilti’s Gibson. “TMCs seem to concentrate on<br />

air and hotel bookings and not much is done<br />

to explain how the rail fare structure is<br />

changing,” she adds.<br />

TMCs can analyse rail spend data in any<br />

number of ways, “but it does require the<br />

client to invest time in finding ways to<br />

maximise savings,” says McLeod.<br />

Direct relationships with suppliers is one<br />

way forward, as is a better understanding<br />

with TMCs and educating travellers.<br />

“Use a carrot rather than a stick,” advises<br />

Vince. “For example, say, ‘If we could change<br />

our lead time this is how much we could<br />

save in the business and this is where we<br />

could redistribute it in the business.’ “<br />

Eve Smith, Product Manager, Rail &<br />

Vendors, for FCM <strong>Travel</strong> Solutions, suggests<br />

a two-pronged attack. “To persuade<br />

travellers or bookers through ‘visual guilt’<br />

into selecting lower fare classes is effective,<br />

as is having the initial discussions with<br />

clients about policy.”<br />

GWR, LNER and Virgin Trains appear most<br />

open to negotiating special deals. “For a<br />

corporate with anytime business, we offer a<br />

deal on the premium cabin,” says David Hill,<br />

<strong>Business</strong> Development Manager, Corporate<br />

at Virgin Trains. “Other deals are based on a<br />

minimum spend of £200,000 a year on a<br />

specific route.”<br />

Deals are more forthcoming on routes<br />

dominated by air, as is the case with Virgin<br />

Trains to Glasgow. “If anyone has<br />

considerable air spend on that route we<br />

would offer a discount,” says Hill. “<strong>The</strong>re’s<br />

an opportunity for us if a corporate has a<br />

spend of £50,000 on rail but £100,000 on air<br />

and they are prepared to do a modal shift.”<br />

Forget getting a deal on Manchester<br />

services, however, as Virgin has a high<br />

market share, but on Birmingham services<br />

it is more possible.<br />

Elsewhere, Eurostar requires a minimum<br />

annual spend of £130,000 before negotiating<br />

deals on <strong>Business</strong> Premier as it’s in a strong<br />

position having decimated the air route.<br />

South Western Railway is looking to be<br />

£<br />

proactive on its main routes of Portsmouth,<br />

Southampton, Basingstoke and Bournemouth,<br />

with on-site educational roadshows<br />

and discounts on a retrospective basis, says<br />

<strong>Business</strong> and Commercial Director Peter<br />

Williams. “It’ll be a tiered approach based on<br />

travel share switches and percentage growth<br />

in revenue,” he explains. <strong>The</strong> franchise is<br />

also introducing more advance tickets and<br />

trialling Tap2Go, a discounted fare on sameday,<br />

flexible tickets.<br />

Despite the complex structure of the<br />

industry and the proliferation of fare types,<br />

some corporates are managing rail spend<br />

almost as effectively as hotel and air.<br />

To persuade travellers<br />

through ‘visual guilt’<br />

into selecting lower fare<br />

classes is effective, as is<br />

having the initial discussions<br />

with clients about policy”<br />

[ TOP BOOKING TIPS ]<br />

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• <strong>The</strong> best option for a business traveller is an<br />

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• A travel policy should clearly state the<br />

rules on rail – such as advance booking –<br />

and also exceptions<br />

• <strong>The</strong> travel policy should state when rail<br />

should be used over car, for example<br />

• <strong>The</strong> policy should not allow open returns<br />

• <strong>The</strong> policy can allow first class when it is<br />

the cheaper option over standard or<br />

advance fares<br />

64 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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Rail travel / Operator update<br />

All the right<br />

SIGNALS<br />

New services, new trains, new products… operators are upping the ante in<br />

their efforts to earn passenger satisfaction, writes Dave Richardson<br />

66 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Operator update / Rail travel<br />

Investment in many new train fleets<br />

might be behind schedule, but<br />

developments that begin to come<br />

on-stream this year will transform rail<br />

travel on a host of routes.<br />

Rail Delivery Group, which brings together<br />

train operators and infrastructure operator<br />

Network Rail, says that by 2021 around 7,000<br />

new carriages will have been introduced,<br />

making possible 6,400 extra services a week.<br />

At least £13.8billion is being invested by the<br />

private sector, in addition to the government’s<br />

financing of new trains and Network Rail.<br />

New trains are only part of the story, as in<br />

many cases the older trains they replace are<br />

being “cascaded” onto other routes to<br />

replace the very oldest trains, such as the<br />

four-wheel “Pacers” of Northern, Great<br />

Western and Transport for Wales, which are<br />

all due for retirement by the year-end.<br />

Many of the InterCity 125 trains replaced<br />

by Great Western are being transferred to<br />

regional services in Scotland. Here they won’t<br />

be able to operate at high speed, but offer a<br />

comfortable business environment on routes<br />

from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Perth,<br />

Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.<br />

Great Western will complete the<br />

introduction of its new express fleet by <strong>May</strong>,<br />

meaning the vast majority of trains into<br />

London Paddington will be electric. But as<br />

electrification is not being extended to Bath,<br />

into Bristol city centre, from Cardiff to<br />

Swansea or from Didcot to Oxford, all these<br />

trains are bimodal, meaning they can use<br />

electric or diesel power.<br />

<strong>The</strong> same type of train, by Japanese<br />

manufacturer Hitachi, is being introduced on<br />

East Coast routes from London to Leeds,<br />

Newcastle and Scotland this year. Some are<br />

electric-only while bimodal trains will serve<br />

cities not on the electrified network, with<br />

new services to Middlesbrough and Lincoln.<br />

New trains are also being introduced by<br />

TransPennine Express (TPE) and Hull Trains,<br />

with TPE ushering in three new fleets<br />

dubbed Nova, which will transform services<br />

between Northern cities, and from the<br />

LNER<br />

GWR<br />

MAIN: CROSSCOUNTRY<br />

Rail Delivery Group<br />

says that by 2021<br />

around 7,000 new carriages<br />

will have been introduced,<br />

making possible 6,400 extra<br />

services each week”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

67


Rail travel / Operator update<br />

GREATER ANGLIA<br />

STANSTED EXPRESS<br />

North to Scotland. TPE’s total £500million<br />

investment in new trains will start to bear<br />

fruit later this year when Nova 3 trains start<br />

operating on routes between Liverpool,<br />

Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, York,<br />

Scarborough and Middlesbrough.<br />

Meanwhile, TPE’s all-electric Nova 2 trains<br />

will link the North West with Scotland<br />

including a new, direct Liverpool-Glasgow<br />

service. Bimodal Nova 1 trains, by Hitachi,<br />

will operate from the North West to<br />

Newcastle and Edinburgh.<br />

By 2020, 70% of TPE’s fleet will be new. Like<br />

many modern trains, these will offer a major<br />

upgrade on what went before, including<br />

comfortable seating with more luggage<br />

space, plug and USB charging points. Free<br />

on-board wifi access will be available in both<br />

standard and first class.<br />

Local services will soon start to benefit as<br />

Northern also brings in 98 new trains across<br />

its network. As with most operators, free wifi<br />

and plug/USB sockets will be standard,<br />

allowing you to work on the move.<br />

Further eye-catching improvements are<br />

being made in Scotland, where the devolved<br />

government is very pro-rail. <strong>The</strong> routes<br />

between Glasgow and Edinburgh and from<br />

these cities to Stirling and Dunblane have<br />

been electrified, with ScotRail able to<br />

increase capacity and shorten journey times.<br />

Caledonian Sleeper will introduce the first<br />

new overnight trains in Britain for more than<br />

30 years from <strong>May</strong>, starting with the London-<br />

Edinburgh/Glasgow route followed by its<br />

Highland services to Inverness, Fort William<br />

and Aberdeen. For the first time on ordinary<br />

service trains, en suite cabins will be an<br />

Further eye-catching<br />

improvements to<br />

the rail network are being<br />

made in Scotland, where the<br />

devolved government is very<br />

pro-rail travel”<br />

Get the<br />

train to work.


Operator update / Rail travel<br />

option, greatly improving the appeal of<br />

sleeper travel to the business market. It<br />

will be interesting to see if it gains a loyal<br />

corporate offering.<br />

Built at a cost of £100million, the new<br />

sleeper fleet has been funded to the tune of<br />

£60million by the Scottish government.<br />

Another eye-catching development comes<br />

at Greater Anglia, owned by the same<br />

organisation as ScotRail, where the entire<br />

fleet is being replaced from <strong>2019</strong> with a<br />

mixture of electric and bimodal trains.<br />

Ten new electric trains for London-Norwich<br />

will reduce the journey time to under two<br />

hours, while more will be used by Stansted<br />

Express. Notably, first class seating is being<br />

abolished on all its routes except between<br />

London and Norwich.<br />

Meanwhile, London North Eastern Railway<br />

(previously Virgin Trains East Coast) will<br />

begin operating new Azuma trains this<br />

spring, with the first service scheduled to hit<br />

the tracks on <strong>May</strong> 15 between London King’s<br />

Cross and Leeds.<br />

Commuter services in southern England<br />

may not benefit from such major investment<br />

over the next few years, but in other parts of<br />

the country this investment is long overdue.<br />

However, capacity has been increased<br />

decisively on Thameslink north-south routes<br />

via Central London, despite the botched<br />

timetable revamp of <strong>May</strong> 2018 which led to<br />

massive cancellations.<br />

Most commuter operators are introducing<br />

extra trains to cope with overcrowding, such<br />

as South Western Railway which will add 90<br />

new trains by the end of this year. Whether<br />

Transport for London’s Crossrail project (the<br />

Elizabeth Line) starts operating in <strong>2019</strong><br />

remains to be seen, but, when it does finally<br />

open, Heathrow will be connected directly to<br />

the West End and Canary Wharf.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se major fleet renewals might cast train<br />

operators not currently investing in a poor<br />

light, but as franchises around the country<br />

are renewed it will be the turn of routes<br />

including East Midlands and CrossCountry to<br />

benefit from investment.<br />

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Connect to more


Rail travel / Operator update<br />

[ <strong>The</strong> operators: who does what ]<br />

C2C<br />

Owned by: Trenitalia, part of the state-owned<br />

Italian rail operator<br />

Franchise period: 2014-29<br />

Main routes: London Fenchurch Street to<br />

stations in Essex<br />

CALEDONIAN SLEEPER<br />

Owned by: Serco<br />

Franchise period: 2015-30<br />

Main routes: London Euston to Scottish cities<br />

CHILTERN TRAINS<br />

Owned by: Arriva UK Trains, part of stateowned<br />

German operator DB<br />

Franchise period: 2002-21<br />

Main routes: London Marylebone to<br />

Aylesbury, Oxford and Birmingham<br />

CrossCountry<br />

Owned by: Arriva UK Trains<br />

Franchise period: 2007-19. Renewal<br />

postponed due to Williams Review<br />

Main routes: Birmingham to the South West,<br />

Cardiff, Nottingham, Stansted, Manchester,<br />

Leeds, the North East and Scotland<br />

East Midlands Trains<br />

Owned by: Stagecoach<br />

Franchise period: 2007-19<br />

Main routes: London St Pancras to Leicester,<br />

Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield; Norwich<br />

to Liverpool<br />

Govia Thameslink Railway<br />

Owned by: A partnership between Keolis<br />

(majority owned by French state-owned<br />

operator SNCF) and Go-Ahead Group<br />

Franchise period: 2015-21<br />

Main routes: London to Bedford,<br />

Peterborough and King’s Lynn; and London<br />

to Brighton and south coast (including<br />

Southern services). Includes Gatwick Express<br />

Grand Central<br />

Owned by: Arriva UK Trains. Non-franchised<br />

open access operator<br />

Main routes: London King’s Cross to<br />

Bradford, York and Sunderland<br />

GREATER ANGLIA<br />

Owned by: A partnership between Abellio<br />

(part of Dutch train operator NS) and<br />

Japanese rail interests<br />

Franchise period: 2016-25<br />

Main routes: London-Norwich; Stansted<br />

Express; regional services across East Anglia<br />

Great Western Railway<br />

Owned by: FirstGroup<br />

Franchise period: 2006-20<br />

Main routes: London Paddington to the<br />

West Country, South Wales and Cotswolds;<br />

regional services in the South West and<br />

Thames Valley<br />

Heathrow Express<br />

Owned by: Heathrow Airport, but operated<br />

by Great Western. Non-franchised open<br />

access operator<br />

Main route: London Paddington to<br />

Heathrow<br />

HULL TRAINS<br />

Owned by: FirstGroup<br />

Non-franchised open access operator.<br />

Main route: London King’s Cross to Hull<br />

LONDON NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY<br />

Owned by: Department for Transport<br />

Operating period: 2018-20, when new<br />

franchise is due to start<br />

Main routes: London King’s Cross to<br />

Peterborough, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh,<br />

Aberdeen and Inverness<br />

London Northwestern Railway<br />

London Northwestern Railway/West<br />

/ WeST MIDLANDS RAILWAY<br />

Owned by: West Midlands Trains, a<br />

partnership between Abellio and Japanese<br />

rail interests<br />

Franchise period: 2017-26<br />

Main routes: London to Birmingham and<br />

Crewe; Birmingham to Liverpool; local<br />

services in West Midlands<br />

London Overground<br />

Owned by: Arriva UK Trains, operating on<br />

behalf of Transport for London<br />

Franchise period: 2016-24<br />

Main routes: Local services around London<br />

Merseyrail<br />

Owned by: A partnership between Abellio<br />

and Serco<br />

Franchise period: 2003-28<br />

Main routes: Local services around<br />

Merseyside<br />

Northern<br />

Owned by: Arriva UK Trains<br />

Franchise period: 2016-25<br />

Main routes: Local and regional services<br />

throughout the North<br />

ScotRail<br />

Owned by: Abellio, operating on behalf of the<br />

Scottish government<br />

Franchise period: 2015-25<br />

Main routes: Most services within Scotland<br />

Southeastern<br />

Owned by: A partnership between Keolis and<br />

Go-Ahead Group<br />

Franchise period: 2006-19<br />

Main routes: London to Kent, including highspeed<br />

services from St Pancras; local services<br />

around south London.<br />

Southern<br />

Owned by: see Govia Thameslink Railway<br />

South Western Railway<br />

Owned by: A partnership between FirstGroup<br />

and Hong Kong rail operator MTR<br />

Franchise period: 2017-24<br />

Main routes: London to the south coast –<br />

including Portsmouth, Southampton and<br />

Weymouth – and Exeter; local services<br />

around south London<br />

TfL Rail<br />

Owned by: Transport for London<br />

Franchise period: 2015-23<br />

Main routes: East London services. Will<br />

also operate Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) when<br />

it opens<br />

TransPennine Express<br />

Owned by: FirstGroup<br />

Franchise period: 2016-23<br />

Main routes: Liverpool and Manchester<br />

Airport to Yorkshire and the North East;<br />

Manchester Airport to Glasgow and<br />

Edinburgh; Manchester to Hull and<br />

Cleethorpes<br />

TransPORT FOR WALES RAIL<br />

Owned by: A partnership between Keolis<br />

and Amey, operating on behalf of Transport<br />

for Wales<br />

Franchise period: 2018-33<br />

Main routes: Most services within Wales, and<br />

to Birmingham and Manchester<br />

VIRGIN TRAINS<br />

Owned by: A partnership between Virgin<br />

Group and Stagecoach<br />

Franchise period: 1997-2020<br />

Main routes: London to the West Midlands,<br />

North West, North Wales and Scotland;<br />

Birmingham to Scotland<br />

70 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


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Rail travel / Booking tools<br />

Just the<br />

ticket<br />

Developments in booking tools and ticket<br />

fulfilment are delivering efficiencies and<br />

convenience, writes Dave Richardson<br />

<strong>The</strong> roll-out of mobile and<br />

e-ticketing in the rail industry is<br />

gathering pace, but is still not<br />

happening quickly enough for business<br />

travellers accustomed to accessing<br />

everything on their phones.<br />

An e-ticket does not require activation prior<br />

to use and goes straight into the mobile’s<br />

ticket wallet. A mobile ticket does require<br />

activation, and is delivered as a barcode<br />

which can be scanned at ticket gates and on<br />

board trains, or printed out.<br />

Train operators need to invest in the<br />

technology to read paperless tickets, and<br />

their willingness to do so may depend on<br />

what stage they are at in their franchise.<br />

Investment in new ticketing is a requirement<br />

when franchises are renewed, but an<br />

operator nearing the end of its term may not<br />

be too interested.<br />

Availability of e-ticketing is often restricted<br />

to advance fares, but operators also offering<br />

this on other types of fares, including<br />

<strong>Business</strong> travellers<br />

are getting younger<br />

all the time and need tickets<br />

on their mobiles. It works<br />

quite well when it’s available,<br />

but that’s not on all train<br />

operators or routes”<br />

Anytime fares, include Chiltern, CrossCountry,<br />

Grand Central, Great Western, South Western<br />

and TransPennine Express.<br />

M-ticketing is generally more widely<br />

available on operators including Heathrow<br />

Express, CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains,<br />

Hull Trains, LNER, LNWR, Northern,<br />

TransPennine Express, Virgin Trains and<br />

West Midlands Trains.<br />

<strong>The</strong> move towards paperless tickets is<br />

welcomed by GTMC Chief Executive Adrian<br />

Parkes, who says: “Our Next Generation<br />

strategy group recently put together a white<br />

paper, which revealed that 84% of business<br />

travellers wish to have booking and rail<br />

information accessible through mobile<br />

channels; such as an online booking tool<br />

and other mobile itinerary solutions.<br />

“API technology is allowing greater choice<br />

and innovation both at TMC level and<br />

distribution intermediaries. <strong>The</strong>re is also<br />

increasing interest for a consistent digital<br />

ticketing experience,” adds Parkes.<br />

“Despite the slow growth of mobile<br />

ticketing, regulation will be a key driver with<br />

the intention to phase out the ‘physical’<br />

orange ticket from 2020. But in the interim,<br />

only a handful of train operators can offer<br />

e-ticket functionality. Simplicity of booking<br />

and digital ticket delivery sitting in one<br />

platform is the best way to drive and manage<br />

the corporate rail agenda.”<br />

Click <strong>Travel</strong>, which has developed its own<br />

booking platform, also welcomes the move<br />

towards paperless ticketing. “<strong>Business</strong><br />

travellers are getting younger all the time<br />

and need tickets on their mobiles,” says<br />

Operations Director Chris Vince.<br />

“It works quite well when it’s available, but<br />

that’s not on all train operators or routes.<br />

However, some travellers will always want a<br />

physical ticket in their hand.”<br />

Another development, being encouraged<br />

and funded by the DfT, is pay-as-you-go or<br />

smart card ticketing, such as in London with<br />

the Oyster card. This can be used for other<br />

forms of road transport including buses and<br />

trams, and extension of the concept to<br />

season tickets offers better value as<br />

travellers only pay for what they use.<br />

A non-profit organisation called ITSO has<br />

rolled out a mobile pay-as-you-go solution,<br />

initially on the metro trams operated by<br />

Transport for West Midlands. Passengers<br />

download tickets using Google Pay and tap<br />

their phone on card readers.<br />

Executive Chairman Steve Wakeland says:<br />

“We can work with any retailer that wants to<br />

fulfil tickets to digital wallet providers such<br />

as Google Pay, and this includes specific<br />

business travel platforms such as Evolvi or<br />

Trainline for <strong>Business</strong>.<br />

“A business travel manager could purchase<br />

multiple mobile tickets for several travellers<br />

by providing the details of the mobile<br />

accounts of each of them at checkout. People<br />

want to buy travel in the same way that they<br />

buy other goods and services.”<br />

<br />

72 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Booking tools / Rail travel<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

73


Rail travel / Booking tools<br />

API links let you offer<br />

things that aren’t done<br />

elsewhere, such as seeing rail<br />

and air side by side”<br />

<strong>The</strong> DfT says: “Our ambition is to ensure<br />

that across regional and urban commuter<br />

areas, smart ticketing can deliver the kind<br />

of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) structure that is<br />

used in London.”<br />

While online platforms Evolvi and Trainline<br />

concentrate on the wider deployment of<br />

paperless travel, their systems have<br />

developed to the point that there is little<br />

worthwhile functionality to add. But it<br />

remains a concern that some developments<br />

are only available through train operators<br />

direct, and not through intermediaries.<br />

Will Hasler, speaking on behalf of the ITM,<br />

says: “<strong>The</strong>re is concern about fares only<br />

available through train operator websites,<br />

although this is more of a problem with<br />

airlines. But we want parity so that whatever<br />

train operators deliver to the public is<br />

available through our systems.<br />

“For example, Virgin Trains has been<br />

creative with auto-refunds when you book<br />

through its own channels, but not through<br />

intermediaries. <strong>The</strong> problem is that if you<br />

book through Evolvi or Trainline, or thirdparty<br />

systems such as KDS or Concur, the<br />

operator can’t see who you are.”<br />

This limits the delivery of useful information<br />

to the traveller, such as notification of delays.<br />

But intermediaries can develop their own<br />

technology, such as Trainline which now has<br />

AI-powered voice alerts for disruption, using<br />

data from train operators’ Twitter feeds.<br />

Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and Events has developed its<br />

own rail booking tool using an API link from<br />

Evolvi. Head of Proposition – Rail and Ground<br />

Transportation, Josh Collier, says: “API links let<br />

you offer things that aren’t done elsewhere,<br />

such as seeing rail and air side by side. Some<br />

content is not available through API links –<br />

mobile ticketing is a prime example that<br />

booking tool providers must work on.”<br />

Consultant Raj Sachdave of Black Box<br />

Partnerships says: “More and more sales are<br />

going through the API route, which allow you<br />

to be really creative with the content.<br />

“For example you could be sent a reminder<br />

that your train goes soon and you need to<br />

get going, or an app could be used to deliver<br />

catering to your seat. Rail booking also needs<br />

to integrate with other means of ground<br />

transport, including Uber.”<br />

Some intermediaries, such as Click, enable<br />

split ticketing through their systems when<br />

this cost-saving approach is not offered by<br />

the main online platforms.<br />

Click’s Chris Vince says: “We offer split<br />

ticketing, but we shouldn’t be in a position<br />

where it’s necessary. You can always have<br />

fewer clicks, but only when the rail industry<br />

simplifies fares.”<br />

[ THE PRICE IS RIGHT ]<br />

Evolvi had another successful year in 2018<br />

when it increased tickets sales and achieved a<br />

small decrease in the average ticket value<br />

(ATV) paid despite the annual increase (3.3%)<br />

in regulated rail fares.<br />

Analysis of 9.4 million transactions, up from<br />

8.6 million in 2017, found that the ATV of<br />

£56.32 last year compared to £56.83 in 2017.<br />

IT Director Andrew Cantrell says: “When you<br />

consider that the ATV in 2012 stood at £61.81,<br />

the growing adoption of Evolvi’s smart fares<br />

search functionality and comprehensive policy<br />

options has consistently enabled rail users to<br />

beat the effect of annual fares increases.<br />

“It’s a great example of technology optimising<br />

budgets by setting controls, adding value<br />

through analytics, and simplifying navigation<br />

through what is the most complex fares<br />

structure in the world.”<br />

Evolvi is also seeing growing enthusiasm for<br />

paperless ticketing in the corporate sector,<br />

particularly with increasing availability of<br />

tickets that go straight into travel wallets and<br />

do not require activation prior to travel.<br />

“We need a system<br />

that better reflects the<br />

digital economy, which<br />

uses mobile technology<br />

to create value for<br />

passengers”<br />

“<strong>The</strong> Rail Delivery Group (RDG) is overseeing<br />

the rapid roll-out of barcoded tickets across<br />

all operators and all routes,” adds Cantrell.<br />

“This is something that will enhance the<br />

experience of increasingly tech-savvy business<br />

travellers. We hope that progress will now be<br />

made on the inter-operability that will unlock<br />

the government’s vision for network-wide<br />

paperless travel.<br />

“We also welcome the proposal submitted to<br />

the Williams Review by RDG and Transport<br />

Focus for a more transparent, modern system<br />

of ticketing and fares, based on the principles<br />

of simplicity and value for money. We need a<br />

system that better reflects the digital economy,<br />

which uses mobile technology to create value<br />

for passengers, and which opens up<br />

opportunities to bear down on costs.”<br />

74 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


<strong>The</strong> rail API trusted by leading brands<br />

At Evolvi, we create better outcomes for our customers by<br />

providing real time access to rail fares and information to make<br />

travel easier and cheaper. Our web services team supports<br />

brands across business and leisure markets, driving value<br />

through the rapid co-development of platforms integrating the<br />

EvolviWS rail API.<br />

As a partner for innovation, we power smarter rail solutions for<br />

travel management company portals, online booking tools,<br />

global distribution systems and expense packages. Our<br />

collaboration goes way beyond access to the widest range of<br />

fare types, providing customers with bespoke functionality that<br />

meets their vision…and creates a stand-out market proposition.<br />

More information<br />

To find out more about the EvolviWS API,<br />

email evolviws@evolvi.co.uk or call<br />

01732 598510.<br />

www.evolvi.co.uk


PARIS • BRUSSELS<br />

• AMSTERDAM


Overseas / Rail travel<br />

[ INTERNATIONAL MARKETS ]<br />

FOREIGN EXCHANGES<br />

Rail travel overseas could become a more viable option for business<br />

travellers in the coming years, says Dave Richardson<br />

Further deregulation of rail travel<br />

within the EU will make it a more<br />

viable option for business travel<br />

from 2020, while Asia could be a big rail<br />

market for the future.<br />

Amadeus has become established as the<br />

leading GDS platform for rail. Eve-Marie<br />

Morgo, Head of Marketing for Amadeus<br />

Rail, says deregulation will improve the<br />

passenger experience in various ways.<br />

“Firstly, it will encourage operators to<br />

adopt a more customer-centric approach<br />

and investment in technology will be an<br />

important differentiator,” she explains.<br />

“Operators that can offer international<br />

distribution enabling cross-border travel,<br />

multi-language website services and mobile<br />

ticketing will be well-placed in this respect.<br />

“Secondly, deregulation will improve<br />

service quality as it will not only foster<br />

competition among rail operators but also<br />

encourage co-operation.”<br />

Morgo continues: “Rail operators are<br />

collaborating with air, coach travel and<br />

ride-sharing services, and we anticipate they<br />

will see the benefit of allowing passengers<br />

on connecting journeys to transfer to a later<br />

service without penalty, should their first<br />

journey be cancelled or delayed.”<br />

Where competition already exists it has<br />

been beneficial. In Sweden, passenger<br />

numbers have increased while prices have<br />

dropped, while in Italy, NTV Italo became<br />

the first private company to challenge the<br />

state-owned operator and fares fell by 30%.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> UK, Europe’s most mature privatised<br />

rail market, has been beset by a lack of<br />

innovation, with ticket prices the most<br />

expensive in Europe,” says Morgo.<br />

Amadeus has partnered with China<br />

Railways to become the first technology<br />

platform distributing its content outside<br />

the mainland, but Morgo says the Asian rail<br />

market is fragmented.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> planned Kunming-Singapore railway<br />

connecting China, Singapore and mainland<br />

South East Asia will be a significant move<br />

towards greater integration,” says Morgo.<br />

Sabre and <strong>Travel</strong>port are also significant<br />

players in rail, especially in Europe. Sabre<br />

doesn’t yet offer rail content in China or<br />

India, but now has direct integration with<br />

RZD, the Russian State Railway, offering<br />

real-time availability for domestic and<br />

international routes. <strong>Travel</strong>port is looking at<br />

China and other Asian markets, and has<br />

already increased its rail content in the US.<br />

Trainline users can now book rail in 44<br />

countries, its latest deal being with ticketing<br />

agency Real Russia.<br />

French rail operator SNCF has introduced<br />

an online booking platform called OUI,<br />

which covers much of Europe. Apart from<br />

Eurostar, its most popular routes for UK<br />

business travellers are Paris-Lyon, Paris-<br />

Bordeaux, Lille-Paris, and Paris-Brussels by<br />

international operator Thalys.<br />

Strong business travel growth of 12%<br />

underpinned a record total of 11 million<br />

passengers for Eurostar in 2018. London-<br />

Paris and London-Brussels remain popular,<br />

whereas London-Amsterdam, launched last<br />

year and with a third daily frequency<br />

starting in June, is more of a leisure route.<br />

Deregulation will<br />

improve service<br />

quality as it will not only<br />

foster competition among<br />

rail operators but also<br />

encourage cooperation”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

77


Rail travel / Data<br />

(SOURCE: ORR)<br />

can't get no<br />

SATISFACTION<br />

<strong>The</strong> latest National Rail Passenger Survey saw satisfaction levels<br />

fall to a ten-year low, albeit with mitigating circumstances<br />

including strikes and the mishandled launch of new timetables<br />

85.6%<br />

THE PROPORTION OF TRAINS THAT ARRIVED<br />

WITHIN FIVE MINUTES OF THEIR TIMETABLED<br />

ARRIVAL IN THE UK IN THE LAST YEAR<br />

83%<br />

THE PROPORTION<br />

OF LONG-DISTANCE<br />

JOURNEYS<br />

RATED AS VERY OR<br />

FAIRLY SATISFACTORY<br />

(SOURCE: ORR)<br />

94 M<br />

TOP 5 OPERATORS<br />

1 HEATHROW EXPRESS<br />

2 GRAND CENTRAL<br />

3 CHILTERN RAILWAYS<br />

4 HULL TRAINS<br />

5 MERSEYRAIL / VIRGIN TRAINS<br />

96%<br />

94%<br />

92%<br />

91%<br />

90%<br />

THE BIGGEST FACTORS<br />

INFLUENCING PASSENGER<br />

SATISFACTION<br />

Other<br />

Punctuality<br />

23 %<br />

Journey<br />

length<br />

7 %<br />

Level of<br />

crowding<br />

9 %<br />

/reliability<br />

36 %<br />

Cleanliness<br />

14 %<br />

Frequency<br />

of trains<br />

11 %<br />

THE BIGGEST FACTORS<br />

INFLUENCING PASSENGER<br />

DISSATISFACTION<br />

79%<br />

THE PROPORTION OF<br />

REGIONAL JOURNEYS<br />

RATED AS VERY<br />

OR FAIRLY<br />

SATISFACTORY<br />

THE NUMBER OF PASSENGER ENTRIES AND<br />

EXITS AT THE UK’S BUSIEST TRAIN STATION,<br />

LONDON WATERLOO, IN THE LAST YEAR<br />

Other<br />

Train companies<br />

18 %<br />

Journey<br />

length<br />

5 %<br />

Level of<br />

12 %<br />

crowding<br />

9 %<br />

OVERALL<br />

SATISFACTION<br />

dealing with<br />

delays<br />

48 %<br />

Punctuality<br />

/reliability<br />

Level of<br />

crowding<br />

12 %<br />

BUSINESS TRAVELLERS<br />

-4%<br />

(SOURCE: ORR)<br />

THE NUMBER OF<br />

1.7Bn<br />

PASSENGER JOURNEYS<br />

IN THE UK IN THE LAST YEAR<br />

COMMUTERS<br />

LEISURE TRAVELLERS<br />

-3%<br />

-1%<br />

78 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


CONFERENCE


DEPARTURES<br />

On the road with Alon Baranowitz<br />

<strong>The</strong> founder of a global architecture and interior design<br />

business, Alon Baranowitz shares his travel highlights<br />

GOOD & BAD<br />

Best business travel experience:<br />

Early morning jogging along the<br />

New York Highline and feeling the<br />

Big Apple waking up.<br />

Worst business travel experience:<br />

Flying out of Heathrow Airport on<br />

Christmas Eve.<br />

SUPPLIERS<br />

service was<br />

on fire!<br />

DETAILS<br />

Name: Alon Baranowitz.<br />

Position & company: Founder and<br />

Creative Director, Baranowitz +<br />

Kronenberg Architecture.<br />

Nature of your business:<br />

Architecture and interiors for<br />

lifestyle venues including<br />

hotels, restaurants, clubs<br />

and event spaces. To name<br />

just a few examples:<br />

W Amsterdam, Sir Joan Hotel in<br />

Ibiza, Mad Fox Club Amsterdam and<br />

we're currently busy with W Ibiza,<br />

W Prague and <strong>The</strong> Milan EDITION.<br />

Based in: Mainly Tel Aviv, but we<br />

also have an office in Amsterdam.<br />

<strong>Business</strong> trips per year: 30.<br />

Estimated annual mileage:<br />

Around 60,000 miles.<br />

Regular destinations: Los Angeles,<br />

New York, Barcelona, Ibiza, Milan<br />

and Prague.<br />

Most recent trip: Barcelona and<br />

Los Angeles.<br />

Next trip: Ibiza to visit an upcoming<br />

project there.<br />

ROOMS FOR<br />

IMPROVEMENT<br />

Preferred airline or hotel and<br />

why: Chiltern Fire House in London<br />

for keeping the kitchen open<br />

especially for us for a very late<br />

dinner – and embracing us with a<br />

great bottle of Champagne after we<br />

won the Best Bar and Restaurant<br />

Award. How they found out<br />

about it, I will never know.<br />

Loyalty points – obsessive<br />

collector or not bothered?<br />

Just keep flying and the<br />

points will eventually reveal<br />

themselves...<br />

Favourite loyalty scheme: <strong>The</strong>re<br />

isn’t one that clinches it for me,<br />

which says more about them.<br />

STEPPING ONBOARD<br />

Flights: work, rest or play?<br />

All of the above.<br />

Onboard connectivity – take it or<br />

leave it? Stay unplugged.<br />

Onboard habits: I always start off<br />

with a great expectation to catch up<br />

on work – which usually dissolves at<br />

high altitude into a good read, a<br />

sketch or a power nap.<br />

DESTINATIONS<br />

Happy never to go back to: Buenos<br />

Aires Airport during a strike.<br />

It was like something out<br />

of Kafka but with a South<br />

American touch.<br />

Send me back to: <strong>The</strong><br />

endless pristine beaches in<br />

the Algarve, Portugal.<br />

Top overseas landmark: You can't<br />

beat the bright blue icebergs in the<br />

stunning Torres Del Paine National<br />

Park, Chile.<br />

do cry<br />

for me,<br />

argentina<br />

Biggest business travel irritation:<br />

Why do hotels always have tiny<br />

amenity kits and little bottles of<br />

shampoo? <strong>The</strong>y are next to useless<br />

and certainly not luxury.<br />

Pack light or go prepared?<br />

In between – I would say I am<br />

lightly prepared!<br />

Never leave home without:<br />

A good book. <strong>Travel</strong>ing allows me<br />

ample time to catch up on my<br />

reading list.<br />

TRAVEL POLICY<br />

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT<br />

One thing that would improve<br />

business travel: Definitely having<br />

more speedy e-gates at airports.<br />

I hate the queues.<br />

Stick to the travel policy or a bit of<br />

a maverick? I don’t think I’ve got<br />

time to improvise.<br />

If you could change one thing<br />

about your travel policy: Abandon<br />

early morning flights.<br />

80 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


DEPARTURES<br />

Meeting in Liverpool<br />

Home to <strong>The</strong> Beatles and<br />

two Premier League<br />

football teams,<br />

Liverpool’s prowess as a<br />

sporting and musical<br />

centre is known the<br />

world over. Its industrial<br />

past was built on its port,<br />

which handled goods and<br />

raw materials from<br />

across the British Empire,<br />

but today it is a centre<br />

Wow factor<br />

Liverpool Cathedral<br />

1 St James Mount, Liverpool, L1 7AZ<br />

0151 709 6271 /<br />

liverpoolcathedral.org.uk<br />

Britain’s biggest cathedral (and<br />

the fifth largest in the world)<br />

features impressive gothic<br />

arches and a huge tower,<br />

making it a perfect choice for<br />

grand gala dinner or awards<br />

evening. <strong>The</strong> events space can<br />

cater for anything from 20 to<br />

2,000 delegates. Wifi is<br />

available throughout the<br />

property. Due to the versatility<br />

of the property, call for a quote.<br />

Quirky venue<br />

<strong>The</strong> Beatles Story<br />

Britannia Vaults, Albert Dock,<br />

Liverpool, L3 4AD<br />

0151 709 1963 / beatlesstory.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> Beatles Story is home to a<br />

recreation of Mathew Street in<br />

1960s Liverpool, including a<br />

replica of the original Cavern<br />

Club. <strong>The</strong> museum can provide<br />

themed live entertainment,<br />

food and drink in either the<br />

Cavern Club replica or the Fab<br />

4 café. Hire from £3,200<br />

plus VAT for the<br />

entire venue after<br />

opening hours. A HARD DAY'S<br />

NIGHT<br />

On a shoestring<br />

Avenue HQ<br />

17 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP<br />

0800 368 8478 / avenue-hq.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> modern and airy<br />

co-working space provides<br />

visitors with in-house catering,<br />

a bar and coffee shop, and is<br />

located on Liverpool’s historic<br />

waterfront. A second space in<br />

the city‘s nearby commercial<br />

district at St Paul’s Square is<br />

due to open this year. Lobby<br />

room hire is available from<br />

£130 per hour up to £800 for a<br />

full days hire, for a maximum<br />

of 30 delegates.<br />

for financial services,<br />

education, life sciences<br />

and tourism.<br />

Small but perfectly formed<br />

Wired up<br />

Out of town<br />

Hope St. Hotel<br />

40 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9DA<br />

0151 709 3000 /<br />

hopestreethotel.co.uk<br />

Located in the heart of the city<br />

centre, the smart four-star<br />

hotel has five modern meeting<br />

spaces. Rooms can cater for<br />

small meetings of up to 14, to<br />

30-70 theatre-style. Food is<br />

available from its AA two<br />

rosette restaurant, <strong>The</strong> London<br />

Carriage Works. DDR<br />

from £35 including<br />

VAT and room hire<br />

is from £800.<br />

CENTRAL AND<br />

CONVENIENT<br />

ACC Liverpool<br />

Kings Dock, Liverpool, L3 4FP<br />

0151 475 8888 / accliverpool.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> sprawling ACC Liverpool is<br />

the home to the BT Convention<br />

Centre, Echo Arena and the<br />

Exhibition Centre Liverpool on<br />

the city’s waterfront. Meetings<br />

and events of almost any size<br />

can be held on the site. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

is around 14,225m 2 of<br />

exhibition space across the<br />

three venues as well as<br />

numerous breakout spaces and<br />

an 11,000 seat arena.<br />

Enquire for bespoke rates.<br />

Knowsley Hall<br />

Knowsley Place, Prescot, L34 4AG<br />

0151 489 4827 /<br />

knowsleyhallvenue.co.uk<br />

This 2,500-acre estate and<br />

historic hall is set within acres<br />

of fields and lawns despite<br />

being only 15 minutes from the<br />

city centre. <strong>The</strong> venue is geared<br />

towards large conferences,<br />

24-hour delegate packages and<br />

team building days. It has a<br />

safari park, in-house<br />

catering, a spa and<br />

on-site rooms. DDR<br />

from £39.<br />

HISTORIC<br />

HIDEAWAY<br />

Getting there<br />

<strong>The</strong> city has its own<br />

international airport and is<br />

located two hours from London<br />

by train. By car the city can be<br />

reached by taking the M6 then<br />

joining either the M62, M58 or<br />

M56 to Liverpool.<br />

Further information<br />

Contact Liverpool<br />

Convention Bureau for advice<br />

on organising an event.<br />

Liverpoolconventionbureau.com<br />

has details of venues and<br />

accommodation. Call 0151 233<br />

5933 or email conferences@<br />

marketingliverpool.co.uk<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

81


DEPARTURES<br />

New kid on the block<br />

Dakota Manchester<br />

THE LOWDOWN This brand new<br />

boutique hotel opens this <strong>May</strong> in the<br />

heart of Manchester and looks set to<br />

become a popular urban bolthole for<br />

the savvy business traveller. It has<br />

137 guestrooms, including 20 suites –<br />

one of which Dakota claims will be<br />

the largest in the city – plus an 'urban<br />

brasserie', <strong>The</strong> Grill, which will serve<br />

classic dishes paired with fine wines,<br />

plus a cocktail bar and Champagne<br />

room. <strong>The</strong> hotel is located on Ducie<br />

Street, close to Manchester Piccadilly<br />

station, and a ten-minute walk from<br />

bustling Market Street and 20 minutes<br />

from Manchester Convention Centre.<br />

It is the fifth hotel from the chic<br />

British brand, joining existing<br />

properties in Leeds, Edinburgh and<br />

two in the Glasgow area.<br />

that's a FACT <strong>The</strong> Dakota brand<br />

is named after the pioneering US<br />

aircraft that transformed air travel in<br />

the 1930s by offering stylish and<br />

affordable service in an age when<br />

flying was reserved for the elite.<br />

they said it "What sets Dakota<br />

apart from other boutique hotels in<br />

Manchester is that the guest is at the<br />

forefront of our minds at all times.<br />

We believe we can make a difference<br />

by purely focusing on doing the<br />

simple things brilliantly. Dakota is<br />

stylish, luxurious and timeless. Expect<br />

fabulous food, impeccable service,<br />

timeless design and attention to<br />

detail, a magnificent Champagne<br />

room and a cigar garden.”<br />

RATES Rates at the<br />

hotel start from £203 per night.<br />

82 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


DEPARTURES<br />

On business in... Singapore<br />

Originally founded as a<br />

colonial trading post by<br />

Sir Stamford Raffles, the<br />

small island city-state of<br />

Singapore is today one of<br />

the world’s most highly<br />

developed market<br />

economies and is a<br />

melting pot of different<br />

religions and cultures,<br />

writes Emma Allen<br />

new<br />

highs at<br />

gardens by<br />

the bay<br />

Getting there<br />

British Airways operates<br />

direct flights twice a day from<br />

London Heathrow to<br />

Singapore’s Changi Airport.<br />

Singapore Airlines flies four<br />

times daily from Heathrow to<br />

Singapore and five times a week<br />

from Manchester to Singapore.<br />

Flights take around 12 hours.<br />

Further information<br />

For details on conferences and<br />

events, visit Singapore Exhibition<br />

and Convention Bureau (SECB)<br />

at visitsingapore.com/mice or<br />

email secb@stb.gov.sg<br />

SLEEPING<br />

Raffles, the grand dame of Singapore<br />

hotels, reopens this summer<br />

following a complete refurbishment.<br />

Elsewhere, the recently opened Six<br />

Senses Maxwell is set in a restored<br />

row of chop houses in Chinatown<br />

while M Social in nightlife district<br />

Robertson Quay boasts eclectic<br />

Philippe Stark designs.<br />

EATING<br />

Incredible city views and Michelinstar<br />

dining are on offer at Jaan, while<br />

Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House is<br />

one of the best places for<br />

Singapore’s famous chilli crab.<br />

Downtown, Lau Pa Sat has great<br />

satay dishes. Try hawker centres<br />

(food courts) like Maxwell Food<br />

Centre for cheap eats.<br />

After hours<br />

Head to CÉ LA VI perched at<br />

the top of Marina Bay Sands for a<br />

sky-high view or hang out in the<br />

Singapore outpost of New York<br />

bar Employees Only for swanky<br />

cocktails. Native on bustling Amoy<br />

Street serves a range of fine gins<br />

while night owls can head to club<br />

favourite Zouk in Clarke Quay.<br />

Getting Downtown<br />

Changi Airport is around 10 miles<br />

from the city centre. Singapore’s<br />

efficient Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)<br />

train is the cheapest way to get into<br />

the centre and takes around 30<br />

minutes. Metered taxis are freely<br />

available at the airport or,<br />

alternatively, private transfers can<br />

Gin and<br />

you're<br />

winning<br />

be arranged via the airport’s<br />

24-hour Ground Transport desks in<br />

the airport arrival halls.<br />

Must-See Sights<br />

Little India and Chinatown<br />

have heritage and temples<br />

in abundance. Shoppers will<br />

love Orchard Road, a three-mile<br />

stretch of malls and designer stores,<br />

while the nearby resort island of<br />

Sentosa offers attractions like<br />

Universal Studios and SEA<br />

Aquarium. <strong>The</strong> tranquil greenery of<br />

Gardens by the Bay, with the<br />

incredible Supertree Grove, makes a<br />

restful retreat from the city.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

83


DEPARTURES<br />

Focus on... Canada<br />

Straddling six time zones,<br />

the second-largest<br />

country in the world has<br />

strong historic and<br />

economic ties to the UK,<br />

writes emma allen<br />

Canada is vast. <strong>The</strong> second-largest<br />

country in the world stretches from<br />

the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the<br />

Pacific Ocean in the west, meaning<br />

there is plenty of opportunity for<br />

ambitious UK business.<br />

Much of its interior is beautiful<br />

wilderness, but Canada’s<br />

cosmopolitan cities like Toronto and<br />

Vancouver regularly top the ‘best<br />

places to live’ listings and the<br />

country ranks highly for its<br />

education levels, government<br />

transparency and disposable income<br />

per capita. It is also one of the<br />

world’s biggest economies, taking<br />

tenth place in the 2018 IMF global<br />

ranking of GDP value, ahead of<br />

Russia and South Korea.<br />

A long shared history between<br />

Canada and the UK has helped forge<br />

strong alliances between the two<br />

countries – we share the same head<br />

of state and a common language,<br />

after all. Economically, there are<br />

already well-established trade links<br />

too, making Canada an accessible<br />

option for UK firms, particularly as<br />

its legal and business practices are<br />

built on the UK’s systems.<br />

Two years ago, trade<br />

between the two countries<br />

was given a big boost<br />

when the Comprehensive<br />

canada<br />

time zones: Canada has<br />

six time zones. GMT -8hrs<br />

Vancouver; GMT -7hrs<br />

Edmonton; GMT -6hrs<br />

Winnipeg; GMT -5hrs Toronto;<br />

GMT -4hrs Halifax; GMT -3.5hrs<br />

St John’s.<br />

currency: Canadian Dollar.<br />

£1 = $1.74.<br />

dialling code: +1<br />

Visas: Brits don’t usually need<br />

a visa to visit Canada for short<br />

periods, but will need to get an<br />

Electronic <strong>Travel</strong> Authorisation<br />

(eTA) before leaving the UK if<br />

travelling by air.<br />

84 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


DEPARTURES<br />

Economic and Trade Agreement<br />

(CETA) was brought in, boosting<br />

investment and making it far easier<br />

to trade goods and services between<br />

Canada and the EU.<br />

Labelled ‘the most ambitious trade<br />

agreement that the EU has ever<br />

concluded’, CETA threw open the<br />

door to UK firms keen to bid for<br />

Canadian public contracts, and in<br />

turn, meant that British importers<br />

have seen taxes reduced to zero on<br />

some 9,000 Canadian products.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UK’s International Trade<br />

Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said: “British<br />

businesses and consumers are<br />

already feeling the benefits since the<br />

agreement came provisionally into<br />

force. <strong>The</strong> agreement eliminates<br />

almost every tariff on goods traded<br />

between our two countries and we<br />

will transition it into UK law after<br />

we leave the European Union so<br />

that businesses can continue to<br />

enjoy as free and frictionless trade<br />

as possible.”<br />

Post-Brexit, the hope is that trade<br />

relations remain unhindered.<br />

Department for International Trade<br />

figures show that the UK exports<br />

around £8.2billion of goods and<br />

services to Canada each year,<br />

making it our eighth-biggest export<br />

market outside the EU. Key exports<br />

include air and space craft,<br />

pharmaceutical products, boilers<br />

and electronic equipment.<br />

In return, the UK is by far Canada’s<br />

most important commercial partner<br />

in Europe. Over the last five years,<br />

the UK has grown into Canada’s<br />

second-largest goods export market<br />

after the United States.<br />

However, there are considerations<br />

for UK firms wanting to enter the<br />

Canadian market. Canada’s federal<br />

structure means each province has<br />

its own regulatory processes in<br />

place, meaning good local research<br />

is needed to ensure the legal<br />

requirements are met for products<br />

in each location. Canada’s sheer size<br />

may be another issue – it may be<br />

worth using a local agent or<br />

representation to work around<br />

distance and time zones.<br />

While Brexit uncertainty continues,<br />

there are signs that positive trade<br />

ties with Canada are being given a<br />

new focus by the UK government.<br />

Speaking recently, UK High<br />

Commissioner to Canada, Susan le<br />

Jeune d’Allegeershecque, said she<br />

was confident the two countries<br />

could avoid tariffs in the event of a<br />

no-deal exit from the EU, with<br />

officials from both sides holding<br />

talks to preserve existing CETA rules.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

85


DEPARTURES<br />

Factfile: Canada<br />

TORONTO<br />

celebrates its<br />

'little nyc'<br />

status<br />

VANCOUVER<br />

mixes old<br />

and new<br />

FLIGHTS<br />

British Airways: flies direct<br />

twice a day to Toronto from<br />

London Heathrow and once<br />

daily to Vancouver and<br />

Montréal from Heathrow.<br />

Air Canada: operates daily<br />

flights from Heathrow to<br />

Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto,<br />

Vancouver and Calgary, as well<br />

as regular flights to Halifax and<br />

St John’s. Glasgow flights are<br />

also available to Montréal and<br />

Toronto daily, and twice weekly<br />

to Calgary and Ottawa.<br />

Westjet Airlines: increases<br />

Gatwick services from <strong>April</strong> 28,<br />

offering daily flights to Toronto,<br />

up to seven weekly flights to<br />

Calgary and Halifax, up to six<br />

flights a week to Vancouver,<br />

twice a week to Edmonton and<br />

once a week to Winnipeg.<br />

Flights from Glasgow to Halifax<br />

will run six times a week.<br />

Air Transat: runs seasonal<br />

services from Gatwick,<br />

Glasgow, Manchester to<br />

Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver,<br />

Montréal, Toronto and Québec.<br />

Hotels<br />

calgary<br />

loves a<br />

stampede<br />

Canadian-owned boutique<br />

brand Le Germain Hotels has<br />

stylish properties in Toronto,<br />

Montréal, Québec, Charlevoix,<br />

Calgary, Ottawa and other<br />

destinations across Canada.<br />

Sister brand Alt Hotels is also<br />

well represented across<br />

Canada and offers eco-friendly,<br />

'affordable luxury' in cities<br />

including Winnipeg, Toronto,<br />

Ottawa, Montréal, Brossard,<br />

Québec City, Halifax, Saskatoon<br />

and St. John’s. Four Seasons<br />

will open a hotel in Montréal<br />

this June, while US brand<br />

Loews has hotels in Montréal<br />

and Toronto. Fairmont Hotels<br />

& Resorts has luxury<br />

properties in Banff, Ottawa,<br />

Victoria, Québec and Toronto.<br />

Marriott has properties across<br />

Canada with multiple hotels in<br />

locations including Vancouver,<br />

Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa.<br />

Ramada by Wyndham Hotels<br />

has the largest coverage in<br />

Canada with over 75 hotels<br />

spread across Alberta, Québec,<br />

British Columbia, Ontario,<br />

Saskatchewan, New Brunswick<br />

and Newfoundland.<br />

OFF DUTY<br />

Quebec City: Walk along the<br />

fortified walls surrounding Old<br />

Québec, a UNESCO World<br />

Heritage Site. Visit notable<br />

historical sites like the Petit-<br />

Champlain District, Place<br />

Royale, the Plains of Abraham<br />

and the Parliament Building.<br />

Village Vacances Valcartier is<br />

one of Canada’s biggest<br />

theme and water parks.<br />

Toronto: Head<br />

skywards to 360, the<br />

revolving restaurant<br />

two-thirds of the way up<br />

Toronto’s 553m-tall CN Tower.<br />

Historic food hall St Lawrence<br />

Market offers the best seasonal<br />

produce. Each September, the<br />

city hosts the Toronto<br />

International Film festival.<br />

Vancouver: Wander the<br />

historic neighbourhoods of<br />

Gastown and Chinatown. Visit<br />

scenic English Bay and the<br />

Vancouver Harbour. Don’t miss<br />

Stanley Park, a 1,000 acre park<br />

with the city’s iconic totem<br />

poles, spectacular views of the<br />

mountains and Lion’s Gate<br />

embrace<br />

your inner<br />

cowboy<br />

Bridge. <strong>The</strong> Inuit Gallery of<br />

Vancouver offers the best in<br />

traditional handcrafted art.<br />

Ottawa: In summer, see the<br />

daily Changing of the Guard on<br />

the front lawn at Parliament<br />

Hill and return in the evening<br />

for the nightly sound and light<br />

show. Visit the dramatic<br />

Canadian War Museum, or<br />

stroll around the courtyards<br />

of shopping district<br />

Byward Market.<br />

Calgary: Calgary Zoo has<br />

more than 1,000 animals, a<br />

prehistoric park and botanical<br />

garden, and is praised for its<br />

conservation work. <strong>The</strong> 191m<br />

Calgary Tower has a revolving<br />

restaurant a with sweeping<br />

views. Each July the city hosts<br />

the Calgary Stampede, a giant<br />

wild west festival.<br />

Montreal: Visit the Basilique<br />

Notre-Dame with its impressive<br />

interior. <strong>The</strong> Musee de Beaux-<br />

Arts has a vast collection of fine<br />

art. Head to Montréal’s Old<br />

Port for boat tours or a stroll<br />

along the St Lawrence river.<br />

86 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Box, Box, Box...<br />

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Untitled-2 1 28/01/<strong>2019</strong> 09:45


DEPARTURES<br />

Reality check<br />

HOTEL: RESIDENCE INN LONDON KENSINGTON<br />

THE HOTEL<br />

This 319-suite<br />

for rugs, curtains, a sofabed and feature<br />

aparthotel became Marriott's largest<br />

wall. A number of London-themed<br />

Residence Inn in Europe – and third<br />

photos and artworks adorned the walls.<br />

largest worldwide – when it opened in<br />

<strong>The</strong> lounge area also had a coffee table,<br />

<strong>May</strong> last year. It is a short walk from<br />

wall-mounted TV, dining table and<br />

Earl's Court and West Kensington<br />

chairs and access to the roof terrace,<br />

Underground stations and a ten-minute<br />

while the kitchenette was equipped with<br />

stroll from the Olympia exhibition centre.<br />

a small fridge, compact dishwasher,<br />

THE CHECK-IN<br />

I arrived at around<br />

basin, oven, kettle, toaster, dual hob<br />

5pm and wasn't surprised to see a short<br />

and all necessary utensils and crockery.<br />

queue for check-in in the light and airy<br />

Further amenities included a coffee<br />

lobby. It wasn't long before I was heading<br />

machine, iron and ironing board,<br />

for my room albeit after another short<br />

hairdryer and safe.<br />

wait, this time for the elevators.<br />

THE FACILITIES<br />

Complimentary<br />

THE ROOM<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are seven<br />

breakfast (featuring a good continental<br />

room – or suite – categories and I was<br />

and cooked offering) was served in the<br />

range of suites – and the roof terrace<br />

staying in a top-floor premium suite, the<br />

ground floor bar area. <strong>The</strong>re's also a<br />

was a nice bonus. My suite was certainly<br />

main perks of which were more space<br />

'grab & go' pantry, a lounge space with<br />

well suited to longer stays although my<br />

(it's a 30m 2 suite) and a roof terrace<br />

with fine views across London. A lounge<br />

and kitchenette area gave way to a<br />

small bedroom (with wardrobe and TV)<br />

the likes of table football and games<br />

consoles, a small gym and a laundry.<br />

Wifi access is free throughout the hotel.<br />

Guests opting to cook in their suite<br />

THIS IS A WELL-RUN,<br />

SMART AND ATTRACTIVE<br />

APARTHOTEL<br />

patience with the small number of<br />

elevators might be tested at busy times!<br />

THE DETAILS Residence Inn London<br />

Kensington, 181-183 Warwick Road,<br />

and bathroom (with shower but no bath<br />

will appreciate the Tesco superstore<br />

London W14 8PU. Rates start from £99<br />

– hot water took an age to come<br />

right next door to the hotel.<br />

per night (+VAT) including breakfast.<br />

through), all decked out in dark wood<br />

flooring plus various shades of green<br />

THE VERDICT This is a well-run, smart<br />

and attractive aparthotel with a good<br />

Tel: 020 3146 7980. marriott.co.uk<br />

Andy Hoskins<br />

HOTEL: NATIVE GLASGOW<br />

THE HOTEL<br />

Opened in summer<br />

THE ROOM<br />

I stayed in apartment<br />

2018, this 64-unit aparthotel occupies an<br />

103 (Premium One Bedroom) on the<br />

Edwardian property that was once the<br />

first floor, a few paces from reception. It<br />

headquarters of the Anchor Line<br />

felt like three apartments in one, with<br />

Shipping Company (look for historic<br />

the extensive shower room, cosy living<br />

features like the carved nautical<br />

room and large bedroom all having their<br />

emblems on the outside of the Art Deco<br />

own separate doors. <strong>The</strong> main living<br />

building). It is centrally positioned, on<br />

space featured an iron fireplace, a<br />

Vincent Street, and close to George<br />

comfy three-cushion couch, a large TV<br />

Square and the Gallery of Modern Art.<br />

and a fully-equipped kitchen with an<br />

It’s just 20 minutes (by the Airport<br />

induction hob, fridge, kitchen chairs, and<br />

Express bus) to Glasgow International<br />

washer/dryer. <strong>The</strong> eye-catching feature<br />

Airport and a short walk from the city's<br />

of the bedroom was a walk-in wardrobe<br />

two central train stations.<br />

that was once a safe – the heavy-duty<br />

THE CHECK-IN<br />

<strong>The</strong> small reception<br />

door is wedged permanently open.<br />

area is on the first floor, up stone steps<br />

THE FACILITIES<br />

<strong>The</strong>re’s free high-<br />

incorporates original features such as<br />

that have been trodden down by history<br />

speed wifi but no meeting spaces. Two<br />

terrazzo flooring, fireplaces and several<br />

(there is also an elevator). It was Estonia<br />

restaurants are attached to the building.<br />

windows restored by the same family<br />

Independence Day when I visited, which<br />

explained the small bowl of sweets<br />

wrapped in the blue, black and white<br />

colours of that country's national flag.<br />

<strong>The</strong> receptionist, from Tallinn, was all<br />

I had dinner, with a French theme, in<br />

Atlantic Bar and Brasserie, and<br />

breakfast, a full Scottish affair, in Anchor<br />

Line. Both were fabulous and hearty.<br />

THE VERDICT Native’s first Scottish<br />

THE WALK-IN<br />

WARDROBE, WITH A<br />

HEAVY-DUTY DOOR,<br />

WAS ONCE A SAFE<br />

firm that first fitted them in 1906.<br />

THE DETAILS 14 Vincent Street,<br />

Glasgow G1 2DH. Rates start from<br />

£85 (+VAT) a night for a Studio and £118<br />

a night for a Premium One Bedroom.<br />

smiles but initially there was no record<br />

property provided an ultra-comfortable<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no minimum stay. Tel: 020<br />

of my reservation or dinner booking.<br />

Both were quickly located.<br />

stay in a spacious apartment. Impressive<br />

is the way the building's conversion<br />

7313 3886. nativeplaces.com<br />

Steve Hartridge<br />

88 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


DEPARTURES<br />

FLIGHT: BRITISH AIRWAYS, FIRST CLASS<br />

THE FLIGHT<br />

BA016 from Sydney to<br />

open storage area. <strong>The</strong> seat’s side wall<br />

Singapore operated by a B777-300 and<br />

included a wardrobe with hangers and<br />

departing at 16.30 local time.<br />

net racks for storage. <strong>The</strong>re was also an<br />

PRE-BOARDING<br />

Check-in was handled<br />

additional coat hook and magazine<br />

by Qantas staff who were friendly and<br />

rack. Seat recline to fully flat was easily<br />

efficient for me but were suitably<br />

adjusted with a swivel switch rather<br />

assertive with an obnoxious passenger<br />

than buttons and worked smoothly.<br />

on the next desk along. Boarding was<br />

<strong>The</strong> IFE screen was huge and the<br />

on time and all was on schedule until<br />

controller, headphone socket, two USB<br />

two passengers failed to board and<br />

ports and three audiovisual sockets<br />

caused a delay while their bags were<br />

were all easily accessible.<br />

offloaded. Sydney is now a ‘quiet’<br />

THE SERVICE<br />

<strong>The</strong> crew were smart<br />

airport with no announcements. Perhaps<br />

and business-like, offered a cheery<br />

improving the environment has<br />

welcome and then personally introduced<br />

increased such no-shows.<br />

themselves. Welcome drinks came<br />

THE SEAT I was in seat F1 –<br />

quickly and on hearing of a delay a<br />

THE VERDICT<br />

This was a daytime<br />

one of the two centre seats with an<br />

second round of Champagne muted<br />

flight so lights weren’t dimmed and no<br />

optional seat divider for privacy. A<br />

any moaning. Dining was impressive,<br />

mattress liner was added but the seat<br />

cushion and large pillow were on the<br />

seat, plus blanket and headphones.<br />

Pyjamas and a Liberty amenity kit were<br />

personally offered by the crew. <strong>The</strong><br />

roomy seat was wide enough to curl<br />

with my choices including a prosciutto<br />

appetiser, Tasmanian salmon as my<br />

starter and pan-seared fillet of beef for<br />

my main. Desserts included coconut<br />

panna cotta, sticky toffee pudding or an<br />

THE DINING WAS<br />

EXCELLENT AND<br />

THE SERVICE WAS<br />

ATTENTIVE<br />

was roomy and I felt nicely cocooned by<br />

the wrap-around walls. <strong>The</strong> dining was<br />

excellent and the service was attentive.<br />

THE DETAILS British Airways flies<br />

daily between Sydney and Singapore.<br />

your legs up into, with plenty of elbow<br />

impressive cheeseboard. A second<br />

One-way fares are from around £2,500<br />

room to the right where a wide shelf<br />

doubled as a small drinks table and<br />

service of cake and sandwiches was<br />

offered two hours before landing.<br />

in First Class. britishairways.com<br />

Julie Baxter<br />

HOTEL: POINT A, LONDON LIVERPOOL STREET<br />

THE HOTEL<br />

<strong>The</strong> Point A hotel group<br />

the main feature of note. Space was at<br />

promises "everything you need and<br />

a premium in the seriously compact<br />

nothing you don't" and targets both<br />

bathroom but the shower was good.<br />

business and leisure travellers at the<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was a safe (which unfortunately<br />

budget end of the spectrum. It has six<br />

was locked shut) by the bed and a<br />

hotels across London and one in<br />

hairdryer was located in a storage space<br />

Glasgow, with additional properties<br />

that cleverly converted into a small desk<br />

opening in Edinburgh and London<br />

area with power points. <strong>The</strong>re was a<br />

Kensington this summer.<br />

wall-mounted TV, a large mirror and<br />

THE CHECK-IN<br />

<strong>The</strong> hotel is a short<br />

hangers on the wall. Room temperature<br />

walk from both Shoreditch High Street<br />

and lighting – including a mood lighting<br />

and Liverpool Street stations. I<br />

option – were controlled from a smart<br />

approached from the latter and found<br />

panel by the door that illuminated upon<br />

the hotel hidden away on a quiet<br />

close contact. Wifi access was free.<br />

cobbled street that could easily be<br />

THE FACILITIES<br />

<strong>The</strong>re's a large cafe<br />

passed by without notice. I had a short<br />

and dining area on the ground floor<br />

Tucked away on a quiet street, it is a<br />

wait at check-in while two members of<br />

where breakfast (a good self-service<br />

good budget refuge with fairly basic but<br />

staff dealt with other guests.<br />

continental offering) and coffee is<br />

attractive guestrooms – and some great<br />

THE ROOM Some rooms do not<br />

have windows – a guest in front of me<br />

at check-in had booked such a room –<br />

but mine was a slightly larger, standard<br />

double room on the third floor with<br />

served, plus a verdant garden area is<br />

open from 8am to 9.30pm. <strong>The</strong>re's<br />

no dining menu but basic snacks are<br />

available around the clock. <strong>The</strong>re's<br />

also an ironing room.<br />

IT IS A GOOD<br />

BUDGET REFUGE WITH<br />

BASIC BUT ATTRACTIVE<br />

GUESTROOMS<br />

rates for advance bookings.<br />

THE DETAILS Point A London<br />

Liverpool Street, 13-15 Folgate Street,<br />

London E1 6BX. Rates start from £69 per<br />

night. '<strong>The</strong> Brekkie' is an additional £9<br />

views east towards Brick Lane. Decor<br />

THE VERDICT<br />

<strong>The</strong> hotel is in a good<br />

and early check-in (11am rather than<br />

was smart and stylish with a huge grey<br />

headboard with colourful studs being<br />

location for business in the City and<br />

connections elsewhere in the capital.<br />

3pm) costs £20. pointahotels.com<br />

Andy Hoskins<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

89


DEPARTURES<br />

<strong>The</strong> final word<br />

A stay that’s really fit for a king<br />

We live in difficult<br />

times. Things are<br />

tough and everyone<br />

has a little side hustle. Youʼve<br />

gotta make a quid, right?<br />

<strong>The</strong> secret is being able to<br />

identify where the opportunities<br />

lie, so it is good to see Airbnb<br />

management company<br />

GuestReady doing its patriotic<br />

duty and working out how much<br />

the Queen might be able to get,<br />

should she start renting out<br />

Buckingham Palace on the<br />

home-sharing site.<br />

Given that the property has<br />

775 rooms, including 19<br />

Staterooms, 52 Royal and guest<br />

bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms,<br />

92 offices and 78 bathrooms,<br />

there is plenty of money-making<br />

potential for Her Maj.<br />

As you might expect, rates are<br />

at a bit of a premium. Location,<br />

the buildingʼs history, and the<br />

fact that it has an indoor<br />

swimming pool, private cinema,<br />

post office and helicopter<br />

landing pad all count in its<br />

favour. But how much?<br />

A night in one of the 52 Royal<br />

bedrooms would likely set you<br />

back £3,570, while a cheap stay<br />

in one of the staff apartments<br />

would be £284 per night. TMCs<br />

might want to note that the<br />

banqueting room, which seats<br />

160, would be priced at £16,000<br />

while the gardens, which can<br />

host parties for 8,000, would<br />

cost around £400,000 to hire.<br />

CLAIMS WITH<br />

SOME BLAME<br />

Software giant Oversight<br />

Systems checked out millions<br />

of publicly available expense<br />

claims made in the US in 2018.<br />

Here's some of our favourites<br />

1 A sports bra (so a client<br />

could go to a yoga class)<br />

2 Eyelash extensions ($69)<br />

3 Lenovo computers<br />

($99,000), bought with<br />

corporate discount and<br />

then sold on<br />

4 A bottle of wine, expensed<br />

as ‘a snackʼ<br />

5 Three books on how to<br />

prepare for, and survive, a<br />

nuclear holocaust ($44.85)<br />

World of possibilities<br />

From a treehouse in<br />

the frozen north to<br />

Gamirasu Cave Hotel<br />

inside the ‘fairy chimneys’<br />

of Turkey’s Cappadocia,<br />

Tripadvisor has named<br />

some of the most unique<br />

hotels around the world<br />

according to its travelling<br />

community.<br />

<strong>The</strong> collection is truly<br />

international and includes<br />

Sweden’s Treehotel where<br />

guests can spy the northern<br />

lights, Hotel Eclat in Beijing<br />

that resembles a glass<br />

pyramid (pictured), and<br />

Giraffe Manor – a safari<br />

lodge in Kenya that has its<br />

own herd of friendly giraffes<br />

that regularly pop a head in.<br />

Proof that you can sell certain people almost<br />

anything if you make it sound special enough<br />

comes flying in from Stansted Airport luxury<br />

food outlet Not Always Caviar. Its new Sky<br />

High Sandwich (salt beef or seafood) is<br />

supposedly designed to deliver maximum<br />

flavour at 35,000ft, thanks to ‘a unique<br />

umami spice blend’. Science says your taste<br />

buds are affected by dry air and low pressure,<br />

and the umami - that mysterious fifth taste<br />

- is vital to get<br />

things working.<br />

At £11.95, we’ll<br />

stick to the<br />

Pringles,<br />

thanks.<br />

90 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


<strong>Business</strong> & leisure<br />

in equal measure<br />

<strong>Business</strong> stays like<br />

sterminshotel<br />

St. Ermin’s Hotel, 2 Caxton Street, London SW1H OQW<br />

+44 (0) 207 222 7888 www.sterminshotel.co.uk<br />

Take a virtual show round visit www.sterminshotel.co.uk/tour


Hear Sir Trevor McDonald<br />

speak at TBTC'19<br />

REGISTRATION OPEN<br />

<br />

Join us at TBTC 19 and hear from one of<br />

the UK’s most popular journalists and TV<br />

presenters as Sir Trevor McDonald brings<br />

the two-day event to a close.<br />

<strong>The</strong> FREE event for buyers and arrangers<br />

of business travel and meetings<br />

Hilton London Bankside, Southwark<br />

For further information about attending as a delegate or exhibitor<br />

contact Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk<br />

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