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The Business Travel Magazine Aug/Sept 2019

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77 <strong>Aug</strong>ust/<strong>Sept</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong><br />

LOUD AND<br />

CLEAR<br />

How SMEs are attracting<br />

the attention of suppliers<br />

and TMCs<br />

+<br />

UK hotel groups<br />

Payments & expenses<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>2019</strong> Tech Hotlist<br />

TALKING TRAVEL: SIR TREVOR MCDONALD


ARRIVALS<br />

Contents AUGUST/SEPTEMBER<br />

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

76<br />

26<br />

30<br />

Extended feature<br />

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

management<br />

for SMEs<br />

86<br />

89<br />

12<br />

Features<br />

16 <strong>The</strong> <strong>2019</strong> Tech Hotlist<br />

30 UK hotel groups<br />

40 Payments & expenses<br />

63 Extended feature:<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> management for SMEs<br />

Arrivals<br />

6 Opening Shots<br />

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

Sustainability<br />

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

<strong>Travel</strong>ling into a conflict zone<br />

12 Six of the Best:<br />

Airport lounge operators<br />

14 Event report: BTA Conference<br />

15 Speaking Out<br />

21 Event report: ITMC Summit<br />

39 Event report: <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors<br />

Corporate <strong>Travel</strong> Conference<br />

91<br />

48<br />

47<br />

(p63-84)<br />

56<br />

37<br />

61<br />

64<br />

6<br />

Regulars<br />

22 Event preview: <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong><br />

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

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

26 People Awards: winner's interview<br />

27 Photo gallery: People Awards<br />

winners' trip <strong>2019</strong><br />

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

with Hubert Viriot, Yotel<br />

36 Photo gallery: People Awards<br />

winners' lunch<br />

37 Meet the buyer:<br />

Pradeep Nair, NBA<br />

38 Technology: delays & disruption<br />

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

Sir Trevor McDonald<br />

61 Photo gallery: TBTM Golf Masters<br />

90 Photo gallery: Avis at Henley<br />

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

51 Ten pages of news, views<br />

and the latest developments<br />

28<br />

Departures<br />

86 Gadgets & Gear<br />

87 New Kid on the Block<br />

89 Meeting in: York<br />

91 On <strong>Business</strong> in: Manama<br />

92<br />

92 Focus on: East Africa<br />

96 Reality Check<br />

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

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

3


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

Implementing a business travel solution<br />

has never been easier.<br />

Navigator is our easy to implement, off-the-shelf suite<br />

of unique travel management solutions. We’ve neatly<br />

packaged our online travel portal, helping you take control<br />

of your business travel, including; a personal offline<br />

booking team, online booking tool, monthly insight<br />

reports, expert advice, exclusive discounts and much<br />

more!<br />

More often than not, you’ll be traveling to a meeting,<br />

either by train, plane or automobile and there may be a<br />

hotel awaiting your arrival at the other end. With so much<br />

to consider in terms of routes, times, suppliers, hotel<br />

options and price comparisons, not to mention the small<br />

matter of who’s going to pay for this and how… it’s little<br />

wonder then, that traveling on business can lead to what<br />

we know as, ‘traveller friction.’<br />

Your company travel policy will be deeply integrated<br />

into the booking process, so you can be sure all bookings<br />

follow your rules without you or your travellers having<br />

to think about it. <strong>Travel</strong>ling on business can be stressful<br />

and this can impact employee wellbeing, especially<br />

when travel doesn’t always go to plan. This is why it’s so<br />

important to make sure your travellers are safe and have<br />

access to assistance when they need it. With access to our<br />

full-service options such as; intelligent traveller tracking<br />

and direct links to our offline support teams, you can<br />

relax knowing that your travellers have 24/7/365 support,<br />

whether they need to change their travel plans or have<br />

been affected by a wider crisis.<br />

Is there a catch? No…<br />

Traditionally, there’s a fee associated with your TMC<br />

doing all of these things on your behalf, however we<br />

are delighted to be able to offer all of this as a fee free<br />

booking service.<br />

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

improve business travel, duty of care and wellbeing within<br />

your organisation. Get in touch.<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.


ARRIVALS<br />

Welcome<br />

Small but mighty<br />

SMEs are small cogs in the economy but<br />

their output, cumulatively, is mighty.<br />

Moreover, today’s small business is<br />

tomorrow’s big-hitter. TMCs and<br />

suppliers are increasingly wise to the<br />

rich potential of this sector and SMEs<br />

are now better catered to in the travel management arena than ever<br />

before. Find out more in our extended feature on pages 63-84.<br />

Delegates from small and medium-sized businesses typically account for<br />

around half of attendees at <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference. Our annual<br />

two-day event takes place in London on <strong>Sept</strong>ember 17-18 featuring 14<br />

conference sessions and some 60 exhibitors. It's free to attend and there's<br />

still time to register, so what are you waiting for?<br />

Keen-eyed subscribers might have noticed a subtle change when this<br />

issue landed in their laps. While the magazine has been printed on<br />

recycled paper for some time now, this is the first edition to be distributed<br />

in a fully compostable wrapper. Derived from potato starch, it is a<br />

considerably more environmentally friendly alternative to polythene<br />

wrapping. It's a small but important change in the way we operate.<br />

Lastly, this issue marks the end of an era for <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

and my colleague David Clare – it is his last edition as Publisher. David has<br />

been an instrumental figure at BMI Publishing for more than 20 years. He<br />

oversaw the launch of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> in 2006, has ensured<br />

its ongoing commercial success, and helped develop our wide portfolio of<br />

events. We thank him for his dedication and innovation over the years<br />

and wish him a fond farewell, from myself, Kirsty Hicks and the team.<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, Nick Easen, Linda Fox,<br />

Rob Gill, Ramy Salameh, Jenny Southan & Gillian Upton<br />

JOURNALISTS<br />

Sasha Wood & April Waterston<br />

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS<br />

Julie Baxter & Laura Gelder<br />

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR<br />

Steve Hartridge<br />

SALES<br />

PUBLISHER<br />

David Clare<br />

COMMERCIAL HEAD - BUSINESS TRAVEL<br />

Kirsty Hicks<br />

DESIGN & PRODUCTION<br />

SENIOR DESIGNER<br />

Louisa Horton<br />

DESIGNERS<br />

Ross Clifford, Caitlan Francis & Zoe Tarrant<br />

PRODUCTION & STUDIO MANAGER<br />

Clare Hunter<br />

PRODUCTION ADMINISTRATOR<br />

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; E: ENQUIRIES@BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK;<br />

T: 020 8649 7233; W: BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK<br />

ALL PAPER USED IN THIS PUBLICATION IS SOURCED FROM SUSTAINABLE<br />

FORESTS AND IS FULLY RECYCLABLE. WHILE EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO<br />

ENSURE ACCURACY, BMI PUBLISHING LTD CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE<br />

FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. ©BMI PUBLISHING LTD <strong>2019</strong><br />

IMAGES: SOURCED FROM SUPPLIERS, ISTOCKPHOTO.COM<br />

AND BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

5


ARRIVALS<br />

OPENING SHOTS<br />

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

<strong>The</strong> rooms have<br />

benefitted from<br />

structural upgrades<br />

along with daring new<br />

feature walls, refreshed<br />

avant-garde furniture<br />

and atmospheric lighting”<br />

W Hotels<br />

suites WOW<br />

<strong>The</strong> W London hotel<br />

has completed a<br />

multimillion-pound<br />

transformation of its<br />

192 guestrooms and<br />

suites, each of them<br />

unique. A "provocative<br />

new look" is paired<br />

with innovative<br />

in-room technology<br />

including DigiValet<br />

tablets that allow<br />

guests to control<br />

various aspects of<br />

their guestroom and<br />

stay at the hotel.<br />

6 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Native Manchester<br />

north star<br />

Native will open its<br />

largest aparthotel to<br />

date in Manchester<br />

this <strong>Sept</strong>ember. Set<br />

within a Grade II-listed<br />

former cotton mill on<br />

Ducie Street, it has 166<br />

apartments – including<br />

eight penthouses – and<br />

an independent bar,<br />

restaurant and café.<br />

Arboretum<br />

Green giant<br />

London's new meeting<br />

and co-working club<br />

Arboretum is aiming to<br />

be the venue of choice<br />

for eco-conscious<br />

workers in the capital.<br />

Located close to<br />

Trafalgar Square, the<br />

"botanically inspired<br />

haven" is due to open<br />

this summer.<br />

Loews Hotels<br />

GOING Live<br />

<strong>The</strong> new Live! by Loews<br />

concept makes its debut<br />

in Arlington, Texas, this<br />

autumn, with the hotel<br />

group opening a 300-<br />

room property within<br />

the Texas Live! sports,<br />

entertainment and<br />

dining district. Located<br />

between Dallas and Fort<br />

Worth, the hotel has<br />

35,000sqft of meeting<br />

and event space.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

7


ARRIVALS<br />

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

Sustainability<br />

“CLIMATE CHANGE<br />

AFFECTS “TECHNOLOGY EVERY ONE DOESN’T OF US<br />

RESCUE YOU BUT PROVIDES<br />

AND WE ARE COMMITTED TO<br />

CONFIDENCE AND VISIBILITY. YOUR<br />

ENSURING THAT TRANSPORT<br />

TMC SHOULD HAVE THE PROCESS<br />

AND PLAYS PROCEDURES ITS PART TO IN DELIVERING<br />

RUN REPORTS<br />

AND NET HELP ZERO YOU GREENHOUSE REACH THOSE GAS<br />

AFFECTED EMISSIONS BY AN BY INCIDENT”<br />

2050”<br />

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

Chris Grayling, Former<br />

Transport secretary<br />

“Emissions are calculated differently around<br />

the world and there is little regulation of<br />

offsetting. <strong>Travel</strong> managers know they need<br />

to do it but they don’t know where to start”<br />

Jo-Anne Lloyd, Partner, Nina & Pinta<br />

“WE ARE DETERMINED TO PLAY OUR PART<br />

AND FIND SOLUTIONS TO HELP REDUCE<br />

AVIATION EMISSIONS WHICH CONTRIBUTE<br />

2% OF CO2 EMISSIONS GLOBALLY”<br />

Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO, British Airways<br />

Sustainability is high on the<br />

agenda but it’s driven by<br />

travellers not travel<br />

managers. Offsetting<br />

is not something<br />

we’re pushing but<br />

it is something<br />

that people want”<br />

Nikki Rogan, Global <strong>Travel</strong> Manager, Synamedia<br />

“INTERNATIONAL CARBON OFFSETTING HAS A CRITICAL ROLE TO PLAY<br />

IN ENABLING AVIATION TO REACH OUR TARGETS. UK AIRLINES ARE<br />

PARTICIPATING IN THE GLOBAL CARBON OFFSETTING SCHEME,<br />

CORSIA, WHICH WILL DELIVER CARBON NEUTRAL GLOBAL<br />

Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive, Airlines UK<br />

AVIATION GROWTH FROM 2020”<br />

“We want to work with government to see what<br />

more we can do in reducing our emissions, including<br />

through modernising UK airspace, investing in<br />

the creation of low-carbon technologies and<br />

delivering sustainable aviation fuels at scale”<br />

Neil Robinson, Chair, Sustainable Aviation<br />

8 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


Delivering what<br />

really matters TM<br />

Technology<br />

that works<br />

Compliance and<br />

cost savings<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>ler safety<br />

and security<br />

Consistent<br />

service worldwide<br />

Direct ATPI combines the power of<br />

leading travel management specialists to<br />

create a scalable solution for multinational<br />

organisations. We offer access to the<br />

influence and consistency of a steadfast<br />

global brand alongside the local knowledge<br />

and sector-specific expertise of an on-theground<br />

travel management company.<br />

Find out more atpi.com


ARRIVALS<br />

THE KNOWLEDGE<br />

How to manage...<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>ling into a conflict zone<br />

When political upheaval or natural<br />

disasters strike, most companies are<br />

moving their staff out. For NGOs and<br />

charities, however, their challenge is<br />

getting staff into the danger zone<br />

the BACKGROUND<br />

In June this year pro-democracy<br />

protestors in Khartoum, Sudan,<br />

were violently dispersed by<br />

gunmen in military fatigues.<br />

While the official death toll was<br />

put at 61, the World Health<br />

Organisation estimates 748<br />

were killed or wounded, while<br />

of the 11 main Khartoum<br />

hospitals, half were shut or partially closed.<br />

THE RESPONSE<br />

While most companies would be seeking to<br />

get all staff out of such circumstances, other<br />

organisations are going<br />

in to offer aid and<br />

assistance. “We<br />

focus exclusively<br />

on arranging<br />

travel for<br />

NGOs and<br />

charities,<br />

specialising<br />

in hard-to-reach destinations,”<br />

says Diversity <strong>Travel</strong>'s President,<br />

Matthew Truin.<br />

“We work with charities such as<br />

Save the Children, the Salvation Army<br />

and International Rescue Committee<br />

to enable workers to reach regions<br />

affected by natural disasters, civil<br />

unrest and epidemics.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> TMC's clients needed to<br />

arrange travel for staff who<br />

provide timely services for victims<br />

of sexual violence, taking in<br />

supplies to support maternal and<br />

neonatal care, and transporting<br />

other staff to provide health<br />

and emergency services.<br />

“We use a 24-hour risk<br />

intelligence system to track<br />

world events, and when we saw this one<br />

unfolding we knew there would be a big<br />

emergency response. Within hours, we were<br />

co-ordinating plans for clients,” says Truin.<br />

THE SOLUTION<br />

In the immediate aftermath of the military<br />

crackdown, scheduled airlines quickly<br />

cancelled services to Khartoum, meaning<br />

the task of getting first responders to the<br />

affected area wasn’t easy.<br />

Flights are usually limited<br />

anyway, and the rapidly<br />

evolving situation on the<br />

ground meant the travel<br />

options changed on a daily<br />

or even hourly basis.<br />

A swathe of further<br />

cancellations across the region meant the<br />

TMC had to look at airports in different<br />

countries and road transport into Sudan.<br />

“Our in-house technology, IQ, allows us<br />

to look at a variety of options through the<br />

selection of partners,” explains Truin.<br />

“Multi-leg journeys, extended layovers and<br />

transferring across airlines are quite<br />

common. Going into places where civil<br />

unrest is unfolding is a daunting experience<br />

for response workers, so our expertise can<br />

help ease concerns for our NGO partners.”<br />

Diversity says having access to an extended<br />

network of trusted travel suppliers and<br />

specialised operators provides clients with<br />

peace of mind, which in turn increases travel<br />

policy compliance. “We’re able to arrange<br />

almost any mode of transport – chartering<br />

aircraft, buses, boats, helicopters,” says Truin.<br />

THE RESULT<br />

An NGO working in the<br />

region at the time of the<br />

unrest said: “As soon as<br />

we realised that violence<br />

had broken out in<br />

Khartoum, we knew we<br />

would need to redirect<br />

our resources into the<br />

area to offer aid and assistance.<br />

In these circumstances, time is always<br />

critical as borders close, perimeters<br />

are set and getting to those in<br />

need becomes even harder.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> spokesperson continues:<br />

“When commercial airlines began<br />

cancelling all flights into Khartoum,<br />

we were worried that we would be<br />

unable to get there but we were able to<br />

enter the city via ground transport instead<br />

and get to work.<br />

“We had a global overview of our<br />

travellers with live-location data,<br />

direct messaging capabilities, travel<br />

data for every booking and instant<br />

travel alerts to advise workers of<br />

emergencies and potential dangers. In<br />

providing these services, we can act<br />

quickly, efficiently and ensure all<br />

communications to and from our<br />

travellers are logged and can be<br />

used to demonstrate compliance<br />

with duty of care obligations.”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

11


ARRIVALS<br />

SIX OF THE BEST<br />

Six of the best...<br />

Airport lounge operators<br />

Words by April Waterston<br />

1<br />

Plaza Premium<br />

With over 70 lounges worldwide,<br />

Plaza Premium offers shower<br />

rooms, charging stations and<br />

free wifi, as well as comfortable<br />

seating and bars. Select lounges<br />

also offer spa, massage and<br />

beauty services. Frequent visitors<br />

can earn discounts with the<br />

Arrture loyalty programme.<br />

2<br />

3<br />

No 1 Lounges<br />

For those travelling from the UK,<br />

No 1 Lounges can be found at<br />

Birmingham, Edinburgh, Gatwick<br />

and Heathrow. <strong>The</strong> lounges are<br />

designed for “the everyday<br />

traveller”, with fully tended bars,<br />

unlimited wifi and fresh food.<br />

Aspire Lounges<br />

Found throughout Europe and in<br />

Canada, Nairobi and South Africa,<br />

Aspire Lounges can be accessed<br />

by any traveller, no matter the<br />

airline or travel class. You'll find<br />

more Aspire Lounges in the UK<br />

than any other provider.<br />

4<br />

My Lounge<br />

A subsidiary of No 1 Lounges,<br />

there are two My Lounges in<br />

London and one in Brisbane.<br />

<strong>The</strong> loft-style lounges offer a<br />

more casual airport experience,<br />

and the lounge at Gatwick’s<br />

South Terminal is home to the<br />

airport’s only outdoor terrace.<br />

6<br />

Marhaba<br />

If you’re heading east, Marhaba<br />

lounges are available to help you<br />

relax, eat and catch up with work<br />

at airports in Dubai, Singapore<br />

and Australia. You’ll find all the<br />

business services you need as<br />

well as buffets offering<br />

international cuisine and bars.<br />

5<br />

<strong>The</strong> Club<br />

<strong>The</strong> Club lounges are primarily<br />

found in the USA, with two UK<br />

affiliate lounges at Gatwick and<br />

Heathrow. Visit for a comfortable<br />

environment with complimentary<br />

snacks and drinks, televisions,<br />

workstations and free wifi.<br />

12 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


ARRIVALS<br />

EVENT REPORT<br />

BTA Conference<br />

Sustainability in the spotlight<br />

<strong>The</strong> GTMC revealed a new name and<br />

identity at its Netherlands conference<br />

in July, with the organisation moving<br />

forward as the <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Association.<br />

Andy Hoskins reports from the event.<br />

Sustainable travel initiatives are firmly back<br />

on the corporate agenda if sentiment at the<br />

BTA Conference can be presumed to<br />

emanate across the industry.<br />

<strong>The</strong> majority of sessions touched on the<br />

subject at the annual event, which also saw<br />

the organisation unveil its new identity as<br />

the <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Association (see p53).<br />

“We all need to take responsibility for<br />

sustainable growth,” said IATA’s Aleks<br />

Popovich. “We’ve got a good track record [as<br />

an industry] but we need to be stronger if<br />

we’re going to grow sustainably. We need to<br />

deliver more to earn the right to grow.”<br />

Andy Shand (pictured), General Manager<br />

of Customer Affairs at NATS, added that in a<br />

period when the total distance flown in the<br />

UK domestic air space has grown 39%,<br />

emissions have risen by only 20%.<br />

However, he said that UK airspace tools<br />

and procedures need modernising to cope<br />

with traffic growth and, in order to do it<br />

sustainably, the airspace must be managed<br />

much more efficiently. “It needs NATS,<br />

airports and airlines to work together,” he<br />

said. “<strong>The</strong> government does currently<br />

understands the need for change.”<br />

Conservative MP James Heappey claimed<br />

the aviation industry is “disproportionately<br />

blamed for not decarbonising quickly<br />

enough” but added that, in the not-toodistant<br />

future, “we’re going to have to make<br />

a robust case for travelling to do business”.<br />

Birmingham Airport's Aviation Director,<br />

Tom Screen, suggested that airports<br />

should offer incentives to airlines using<br />

greener, more fuel-efficient aircraft.<br />

Jo-Anne Lloyd of business travel<br />

consultancy Nina & Pinta believes APD<br />

could be replaced with a carbon offset tax,<br />

but also indicated a degree of confusion<br />

among travel managers as to how to<br />

address their environmental responsibilities.<br />

“We need simplification,” said Lloyd.<br />

“Emissions are calculated differently around<br />

the world and there is little regulation of<br />

offsetting,” she claimed.<br />

NEW IN THE CHAIR<br />

Suzanne Horner, CEO of<br />

Gray Dawes Group, is the<br />

BTA's new Chair of its<br />

executive board. She takes<br />

over from Paul Allan who<br />

steps down following<br />

Clarity's acquisition<br />

of Ian Allan <strong>Travel</strong><br />

earlier this year.<br />

END OF THE TENDER<br />

“THE RFP PROCESS IS DEAD.<br />

IT CREATES UNNECESSARY<br />

WORK FOR BUYERS<br />

AND SUPPLIERS AND<br />

WE ARE READY TO<br />

GET RID OF IT”<br />

Stephanie Smook,<br />

ACTE’s Regional Director for EMEA<br />

CARBON CONSCIENCE<br />

For its overseas conference<br />

in Noordwijk, Netherlands,<br />

the BTA offset the emissions<br />

of 170 flights from London<br />

to Amsterdam with<br />

ClimateCare,<br />

offsetting 20.47<br />

tonnes of CO2.<br />

14 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


ARRIVALS<br />

SPEAKING OUT<br />

Serviced apartments<br />

<strong>The</strong> Holy Grail of online booking<br />

<strong>The</strong> serviced apartment sector is booming<br />

but live online booking is still a rarity.<br />

Jo Layton of CAP Worldwide explains why<br />

When I ask a buyer what they think utopia<br />

looks like in the extended stay sector, the<br />

answer is often the same: “it’s when a<br />

traveller can view and book their serviced<br />

apartment online, without the intervention<br />

of an agent or consultant”.<br />

However, the desire of the buying<br />

community to book apartments just as they<br />

book hotels is yet to be fully achieved by any<br />

platforms currently available on the market.<br />

I often compare booking apartments online<br />

to booking a meeting or event online. Both<br />

are complex transactions that require lots of<br />

research. Bookers need to understand the<br />

options available, the location, transport,<br />

parking, terms and conditions and more.<br />

And there’s even more to it for apartments:<br />

how to access the unit on arrival, the room<br />

sizes, the particular facilities, views, the local<br />

community, proximity to schools, transport<br />

and more. For a guest staying in a serviced<br />

apartment for several weeks – or months –<br />

the minutiae really matters. <strong>The</strong> details are<br />

all paramount to achieving a successful stay<br />

for the guest, and that’s before you include a<br />

review of the lease and the (sometimes very<br />

confusing) terms and conditions.<br />

If you are booking a hotel room for a<br />

couple of nights and the room doesn’t quite<br />

meet your standards or your needs, it’s<br />

annoying, but if you’ve booked a stay for 28<br />

nights or more and there is no option to<br />

change it on arrival it is a different story.<br />

On the other side of the booking, meanwhile,<br />

the operator is looking to achieve the<br />

optimum length of stay for their units. For<br />

the majority of providers, this would be over<br />

seven nights and ideally a minimum of 30<br />

nights-plus. <strong>The</strong> small gaps in between are<br />

then plugged by loading this distressed<br />

inventory online – but this kind of business is<br />

more expensive to manage for operators in<br />

terms of both administration and servicing.<br />

Add in the fact that online distribution costs<br />

for apartment operators can be high – and<br />

without any guarantee of securing business<br />

– and it becomes clear why online booking<br />

options are currently limited, perhaps in the<br />

best interests of both guests and operators.<br />

Bridging the gap between hotels and longstay<br />

apartments is the growing aparthotel<br />

sector. <strong>The</strong>se properties offer online booking<br />

and amenities such as staffed front desks,<br />

cafés and communal areas, plus, in the units<br />

themselves, basic kitchen facilities and more<br />

If you book a hotel<br />

for a night and it<br />

doesn't meet your standards<br />

it's annoying, but if you've<br />

booked an apartment stay for<br />

28 nights it's a different story”<br />

living space than a hotel. <strong>The</strong>y are usually<br />

found in city centre locations and guests also<br />

have the option to cancel or change a<br />

reservation at late notice.<br />

In contrast, most serviced apartment<br />

providers have built their models in primary<br />

and secondary residential areas, provide<br />

more living space, weekly housekeeping,<br />

limited facilities and more stringent terms<br />

and conditions for cancellations or changes.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are very different business models<br />

and, for travel managers and guests alike,<br />

require different approaches. It is difficult to<br />

build a comprehensive global extended stay<br />

programme that satisfies all stakeholders,<br />

with just aparthotels.<br />

<strong>The</strong> expectations of bookers must be<br />

managed as the reservation experience is<br />

often traded off, wrongly, against suitability<br />

and value. <strong>Travel</strong>lers need to be protected<br />

from the pitfalls of instant gratification, but<br />

operators nonetheless need to make their<br />

apartments as accessible as possible.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> programmes that incorporate both<br />

options can of course be built, and that is<br />

when you will benefit from working with an<br />

informed agent (like us!) who can help<br />

corporates build a solid programme.<br />

JO LAYTON<br />

Jo Layton is Director of CAP<br />

Worldwide Serviced Apartments.<br />

She formed the company in <strong>2019</strong><br />

after spending nearly 20 years in<br />

the sector. Jo and her leadership<br />

team have identified the<br />

gaps in current global<br />

programmes and have<br />

built CAP to bridge them.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

15


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

TECH HOTLIST<br />

summer sizzlers<br />

Change<br />

MAKERS<br />

New technology can both disrupt and streamline existing<br />

business travel processes.<br />

Nick Easen examines the players<br />

currently shaking up the market<br />

<strong>The</strong> biggest disrupter in the tech<br />

space right now are business<br />

travellers themselves.<br />

Today, we live in an era of great<br />

expectations, fuelled by the ease with which<br />

executives book their holidays. <strong>The</strong>refore,<br />

there’s a drive to bring consumer-style tools<br />

to the corporate market.<br />

“Turning business travel bookings into a<br />

buzz instead of a bore is what it’s all about,”<br />

explains Neil Ruth, Co-founder of Taptrip.<br />

A user experience that’s as fast as doing<br />

a Google search is the goal, and there’s<br />

been a seismic shift in the industry over<br />

the last couple of years towards being able<br />

to deliver this.<br />

At the same time significant venture<br />

capital, VC money, is moving into business<br />

travel globally, creating the perfect storm.<br />

Just ask four-year-old TripActions. It’s<br />

already had a $4billion valuation. Unicorns<br />

are now gamely trotting on to the business<br />

travel scene.<br />

“This is an exciting time for the industry<br />

as more start-ups creep into this space.<br />

Some are working with travel management<br />

companies – others are going direct,” states<br />

Jenny Thornton, Director of Digital Services<br />

at travel management company ATPI.<br />

“Investors are seeing opportunities and<br />

supporting start-ups that are spotting new<br />

niches in the market. For the end traveller<br />

16 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


XXXXX<br />

it’ll mean a much better experience and for<br />

the corporate it creates greater choice.”<br />

New tech-driven solutions are quickly filling<br />

in so-called black holes that have been<br />

poorly served by a highly fragmented<br />

market, whether it’s travel for SMEs, ground<br />

transportation, expense management or<br />

better duty of care programmes.<br />

“Any time that money is invested into the<br />

space it raises the bar and forces the<br />

industry to up its game, which can only<br />

benefit the traveller and their organisation<br />

in the long run,” says Kirk Hayes, Director of<br />

Product Partnerships at SAP Concur.<br />

However, business travel is a hard sector<br />

to crack and there’s a whole ecosystem of<br />

players out there. Not all innovations can be<br />

integrated seamlessly into the industry,<br />

which is pivotal for widespread adoption.<br />

And it is why a lot of disruption occurs at the<br />

fringes rather than at its core. It’s also a<br />

traditionally conservative industry.<br />

“It is easy to say, ‘oh but I can have that on<br />

my favourite leisure site or app,’ but the<br />

reality is that the value chain of business<br />

travel is a lot more complex,” says<br />

Christophe Tcheng, VP of Products &<br />

Platforms at American Express Global<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong>.<br />

“You have to consider virtual payments,<br />

travel policy, reporting or expenses. This is<br />

where the opportunity lies. <strong>The</strong> industry goal<br />

is for business travel to be as seamless as<br />

possible,” adds Tcheng.<br />

Recently, there’s been a big focus on<br />

biometrics and AI, including machine<br />

learning, as well as big data and cloud<br />

computing technology. <strong>The</strong> aim is for<br />

greater personalisation and automation in<br />

business travel. Fare tracking and price<br />

forecasting, as well as the use of chatbots to<br />

book travel are also increasingly the norm.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> Holy Grail is about demonstrating<br />

ROI and taking traveller experience to the<br />

next level,” explains Valerio Fuschini, VP<br />

Chief Architect at CWT. “Whether it’s costcutting<br />

or revenue-enhancing, the onslaught<br />

of innovation will continue.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>se are exciting times for tech disruptors<br />

and start-ups in the business travel space.<br />

Not all will survive, but it’s a stark warning<br />

for incumbents. “As the market develops,<br />

there will be fewer players, most of whom<br />

will be tech companies,” says Jill Palmer, CEO<br />

of Click <strong>Travel</strong>. “It’s the businesses that blend<br />

technology with a strong track record and<br />

customer service that will make the biggest<br />

difference in the industry.”<br />

It’s also true that the big boys are fighting<br />

back, with the titans of industry investing in<br />

incubating start-ups or improving their own<br />

platforms. A week doesn’t go by when an<br />

airline such as American Airlines – which<br />

has introduced a new management tool for<br />

travel managers – or a hotel group such as<br />

Millennium – which has launched a new app<br />

– announces a new or improved platform to<br />

service corporate clients. Watch this space.<br />

TRAVEL<br />

BOOKING<br />

TOOLS<br />

Taptrip: <strong>The</strong> vast majority of businesses<br />

in the UK are SMEs yet they’re woefully<br />

underserved by any form of managed<br />

business travel. This is where TapTrip<br />

comes in, allowing executives to book via<br />

their phone calendar. It has inventory<br />

around flights, hotels, rail and car services.<br />

It is a self-service travel and expenses<br />

solution facilitating bookings with just one<br />

tap. It was a former finalist at the BTA’s<br />

Entrepreneurs in <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Awards<br />

and was the overall winner at the <strong>2019</strong><br />

Disrupt Awards.<br />

Tripactions: <strong>Business</strong> travel platform<br />

Tripactions is already a unicorn in the US<br />

and is fast moving into the UK after raising<br />

$250million in funding. It’s a hybrid between<br />

a travel management company and an<br />

online booking tool. It currently works with<br />

more than 2,000 customers globally and<br />

claims to reduce booking times from 60<br />

minutes to six minutes.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>perk: Aggregation is the key word<br />

for this all-rounder start-up, as is seamless<br />

business travel management. <strong>The</strong><br />

<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

17


XXXXX<br />

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

TECH HOTLIST<br />

summer sizzlers<br />

<br />

company has a simple, single platform<br />

that looks and feels like a leisure site. <strong>The</strong><br />

aim is to make business travellers feel good<br />

about the booking process and the idea is to<br />

get away from the legacy booking platforms.<br />

It features a lot of inventory by plugging into<br />

major consumer providers – such as<br />

Booking.com, Expedia and Skyscanner –<br />

and has healthy financial backing. It has<br />

recently launched FlexiPerk to cover booking<br />

changes and cancellations.<br />

Salestrip: Measuring the real ROI of a<br />

business trip can be a real issue. Quantifying<br />

spend against revenues is always a<br />

challenge. Salestrip allows executives to<br />

calculate exactly the return on investment.<br />

<strong>The</strong> all-in-one travel booking system sits on<br />

Salesforce, one of the world’s largest<br />

customer relationship management (CRM)<br />

platforms. It was a shortlisted finalist at the<br />

Disrupt Awards in <strong>2019</strong>.<br />

One to watch: Meetings, events and<br />

travel specialist Inntel has been developing<br />

a new online booking platform called Logic.<br />

It’s been well received by pilot clients who<br />

operate in the financial services, hospitality<br />

and media sectors.<br />

TACKLING<br />

DELAYS AND<br />

DISRUPTION<br />

Lumo: Every business traveller hates being<br />

delayed by bad weather, air strikes or<br />

cancelled flights. This company predicts the<br />

potential issues, hours, days and weeks<br />

before departure using historical data and<br />

machine learning. Lumo then offers up<br />

alternative itineraries that are less likely to<br />

be impacted. Lumo can be seamlessly<br />

integrated into the platforms of TMCs and<br />

has recently teamed up with Flight Centre.<br />

It was a finalist in both this year’s BTA<br />

Entrepreneurs in <strong>Business</strong> awards and last<br />

year’s Disrupt Awards.<br />

Freebird: Rebooking a flight can be a pain<br />

if you are disrupted and miss your business<br />

trip. But if you pay an insurance fee to<br />

Freebird they will help you deal with it. This<br />

can be extremely useful if you’ve got a<br />

complicated series of flights. <strong>The</strong>y guarantee<br />

rebookings with three taps on your mobile<br />

phone and are backed by American Express<br />

Ventures. Users pay per flight and charges<br />

depend on distance flown, the time of year<br />

and user location.<br />

GAINING<br />

GROUND<br />

CONTROL<br />

Your Parking Space: While Airbnb saw<br />

a market for underutilised rooms and<br />

apartments, this company is focused on<br />

another asset – people’s driveways, garages<br />

and empty spaces. <strong>The</strong> online marketplace<br />

has 350,000 of them to rent in the UK via a<br />

user-friendly app, and it can be integrated<br />

into the booking platforms of TMCs. <strong>The</strong> site<br />

made £15million for owners last year and is<br />

working with over 150 businesses. It was<br />

triumphant at this year's Entrepreneurs in<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Awards from the BTA. <br />

18 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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XXXXX<br />

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

TECH HOTLIST<br />

summer sizzlers<br />

One to watch: iGo marketplace<br />

consolidates taxi and private hire vehicles to<br />

address the difficulty that UK travel buyers<br />

face in booking the ground transport<br />

elements of a business trip. <strong>The</strong> market is<br />

extremely fragmented and it’s iGo's tech<br />

that is helping to solve this.<br />

MAGNIFICENT<br />

MEETINGS<br />

MEASURES<br />

Asemblr: This online event technology<br />

platform is trying to disrupt the meetings<br />

sector by making it easier and more intuitive<br />

to book events. With this tool you can<br />

manage conferences, trip incentives and<br />

team building events all in one place. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

also offer inspiration, advice and contacts<br />

on their platform. It is backed by <strong>Travel</strong>port<br />

and has recently been adopted by Cresta<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong>. It was shortlisted for<br />

the BTA’s Entrepreneurs in <strong>Business</strong><br />

Awards in 2018.<br />

Wizme: This is a smart venue reservations<br />

tool for travel buyers and business<br />

travellers. It connects venues and suppliers<br />

to those that need meeting and event space<br />

and their specific business needs. Wizme<br />

version 2.0 has recently been released for<br />

venues to better manager details, bookings<br />

and event proposals.<br />

TRAILBLAZING<br />

ON RAIL<br />

TRAVEL<br />

Seatfrog: This mobile app allows<br />

passengers to muscle in on a train seat<br />

in first class. By bidding for an upgrade<br />

standard class passengers can often get<br />

cheap access to empty first class seats –<br />

for as little as £10, in fact. Users can do this<br />

via an online auction up to 15 minutes<br />

before departure, with seats released three<br />

hours before the train is to leave. So far<br />

Seatfrog has partnered with the likes of<br />

Virgin Trains and LNER, as well as Capita<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> and Events. It has also won a host<br />

of trade and supplier awards for its<br />

innovative work to date.<br />

Railguard: Few passengers claim for<br />

train delays or cancellations but with poor<br />

punctuality at a record high it’s a growing<br />

issue. This app allows employers to claim<br />

compensation for staff delays which can<br />

amount to 3% of travel costs. <strong>The</strong> traveller<br />

inputs their past or future ticket details<br />

while Railguard monitors trains in real time<br />

via national railway data feeds. It will submit<br />

eligible claims, recoup the money and pay<br />

users their claim minus a 20% fee. It won<br />

the BTA’s Entrepreneurs in <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Awards 2018 and was also a finalist at the<br />

Disrupt Awards in <strong>2019</strong>.<br />

20 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


EVENT REPORT<br />

ITMC Summit<br />

<strong>The</strong> need to get ‘rewired’<br />

TMCs from around the world gathered in<br />

the UAE in June for the annual ITMC<br />

Summit where the ‘rewired’ conference<br />

theme tackled the changing face of<br />

travel management, writes Andy Hoskins.<br />

Organised by the WIN Global <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Network, the two-day event was attended<br />

by suppliers and TMCs responsible, between<br />

them, for an estimated US$20billion in<br />

annual business travel spend.<br />

“We’re often threatened and frequently<br />

challenged in a constantly changing<br />

landscape,” said WIN CEO Neil Armorgie in<br />

his opening remarks, as he urged TMCs to<br />

“stand up and fight their corner”.<br />

Festive Road’s Ian Jones urged TMCs to<br />

differentiate themselves from the competition<br />

in order to thrive. “People use a TMC<br />

because they’re told to, not because they<br />

choose to,” he said. “<strong>Business</strong> travellers are<br />

led by loyalty and experience but the<br />

business is price-led. It’s a precarious<br />

business model.”<br />

Jones also discussed the eight types of<br />

TMC his organisation has identified,<br />

including high-touch ‘creme de la creme’<br />

agencies such as Eton <strong>Travel</strong> and Reed &<br />

Mackay, and those ‘holding on to the past’<br />

who don’t have “the will, the skill or the bill<br />

to move forwards”.<br />

Procurement specialist William Pegg<br />

advised TMCs to carefully consider what<br />

business they pitch for. “If the first you hear<br />

about a tender is the invitation then the<br />

likelihood of you winning it is slim,” he said.<br />

He also challenged TMCs to calculate how<br />

much it actually costs them to go through a<br />

tender, to build rapport with potential<br />

clients and to ask questions of the<br />

organisation during the tender process.<br />

“Very few say ‘let’s have a chat’ when they<br />

receive the tender. It doesn’t happen<br />

enough and it’s a great way to build<br />

rapport,” he said.<br />

Meanwhile, John Gray of Rockport Analytics<br />

revealed $1.4trillion was spent on business<br />

travel in 2018 but warned the rate of growth<br />

was slowing – dropping to 3.1% in <strong>2019</strong>,<br />

following growth of 5.7% in 2018 and 5.8%<br />

in 2017. “This year is projected to be the<br />

weakest year for global growth since the<br />

recession,” said Gray.<br />

JOINING THE CAUSE<br />

New WIN Global Partners<br />

include Clyde <strong>Travel</strong> A.B<br />

(Sweden and Nordics),<br />

Options <strong>Travel</strong> (USA),<br />

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

(Portugal),<br />

Oceantur<br />

(Argentina),<br />

CIT and<br />

Kopetro<br />

(Malaysia).<br />

GETTING TOGETHER<br />

THE WIN GLOBAL TRAVEL<br />

NETWORK HAS INTRODUCED<br />

A MEETINGS AND EVENTS<br />

MANAGEMENT SERVICE TO<br />

HELP ITS MEMBERS FULFIL<br />

CLIENTS’ REQUIREMENTS<br />

IN THIS AREA. IT IS A<br />

WHITE-LABELLED FULL-<br />

SERVICE OFFERING.<br />

GLOBAL COVERAGE<br />

WIN is now represented<br />

in 75 countries with 6,000<br />

agency locations. Its<br />

members handle a<br />

combined<br />

turnover in<br />

excess of<br />

US$25billion.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

21


EVENT PREVIEW<br />

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

<strong>The</strong> final countdown...<br />

It’s the final countdown to <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Conference <strong>2019</strong>, taking place on<br />

17th-18th <strong>Sept</strong>ember at the Hilton<br />

London Bankside!<br />

<strong>The</strong> event brings together buyers and<br />

suppliers of business travel for a two-day<br />

exhibition and conference programme.<br />

Delegates will be able to dip in and out of<br />

conference sessions that are of interest and<br />

listen from anywhere within the venue via<br />

‘silent conference’ headphones – or simply<br />

meet around 60 leading business travel<br />

and meetings suppliers in the integrated<br />

exhibition space. For the very first time, this<br />

features a Star Alliance meetings zone and<br />

a dedicated travel wellbeing and advice area<br />

in collaboration with a number of partners.<br />

TBTC wellbeing partners<br />

• Naomi Jones of Shizen Nutrition is a<br />

registered Nutritional <strong>The</strong>rapist. Her<br />

mission is to help clients improve their<br />

health and wellbeing to manage their<br />

busy, demanding lives through easilyimplementable<br />

diet and lifestyle advice,<br />

DAY ONE: TUESDAY 17 SEPTEMBER<br />

• Opening keynote: Gillian Keegan MP,<br />

kindly sponsored by Air Europa<br />

• View from the top: a trio of industry<br />

figures reflect on the business travel<br />

sector’s current trends and challenges<br />

• On the button: how to select,<br />

implement and drive<br />

adoption of online<br />

booking tools<br />

• Deals on wheels: find<br />

out how to optimise<br />

your car hire and rail<br />

travel spend<br />

• Sleep talk: is it time for a<br />

change of approach to your<br />

accommodation needs?<br />

PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS<br />

DAY TWO: WEDNESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER<br />

• <strong>The</strong> travel manager clinic: three<br />

leading travel managers discuss their<br />

travel programmes and the challenges<br />

they currently face<br />

• Going to market: sourcing the best<br />

TMC for your particular needs<br />

• <strong>The</strong> mavericks: get rogue<br />

travellers under control<br />

and gain compliance<br />

• In safe hands: risk<br />

mitigation, traveller<br />

tracking and duty of<br />

care in the spotlight<br />

• Fit for purpose: making<br />

traveller wellbeing central<br />

to your policy<br />

<strong>The</strong> mission is to<br />

help clients improve<br />

their health and wellbeing<br />

to manage their busy,<br />

demanding lives through<br />

easily-implementable diet<br />

and lifestyle advice”<br />

focusing firstly on boosting their energy and<br />

vitality, and improving resilience during<br />

regular travel to maintain productivity.<br />

Delegates can complete a three-day food<br />

diary to email to her pre-event (download<br />

from the TBTC website) for analysis too.<br />

• Silvia Vizzoni is founder of Trip Unwind<br />

and will be on hand to give delegates an<br />

introduction to mindfulness and meditation.<br />

Trip Unwind works with corporates and<br />

has designed a range of services that help<br />

leaders and employees within the travel<br />

industry to build resilience and live a more<br />

balanced life.<br />

• Small wonders: helping SMEs make<br />

the most of their travel spend<br />

• New kids on the block: discover a<br />

new wave of technology, tools and<br />

TMCs on the market<br />

• Air time: take your air travel spend to<br />

new heights with expert guidance<br />

• Wellbeing advice (group huddles)<br />

• Mindfulness and meditation<br />

• Top nutrition tips for more sustained<br />

energy levels<br />

• Diverse traveller safety<br />

• Drinks Reception and Charity Raffle<br />

Wind down with complimentary drinks<br />

and canapés plus a charity raffle with<br />

fabulous prizes kindly donated by our<br />

exhibitors in aid of London Taxi Drivers’<br />

Charity for Children.<br />

• Wellness advice (group huddles)<br />

• Diverse traveller safety<br />

• Mindfulness and mindful eating<br />

• Closing keynote: Sir Trevor McDonald<br />

brings the conference to a close with a<br />

keynote address<br />

22 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


EVENT PREVIEW<br />

SPONSORS<br />

THE DETAILS<br />

What is TBTC?<br />

Helping organisations<br />

navigate the gender<br />

agenda in the business travel<br />

duty of care space”<br />

• Maiden Voyage is the leading expert in<br />

diverse traveller safety. Erica Toase will be<br />

able to share advice on how organisations<br />

can navigate the gender agenda in the<br />

business travel duty of care space.<br />

Maiden Voyage also provides a range of<br />

online and offline training solutions to help<br />

educate and support female and LGBTQ+<br />

travellers and provide assistance with<br />

shaping diverse corporate traveller policies.<br />

• Gavin Percy is Managing Director of<br />

Winning Edge Consultancy and a mental<br />

health first aider. Following some mental<br />

health issues close to him, Gavin decided<br />

to specialise in mental health first aid<br />

training to improve attitudes to mental<br />

health in the workplace.<br />

He will be able to share how this can<br />

improve morale, loyalty, productivity and<br />

employee wellbeing. Gavin is the nominated<br />

trainer for the HBAA in this area.<br />

• Finally, we are pleased to welcome back<br />

Lloyd Figgins, a former keynote speaker at<br />

TBTC who is Chairman of the TRIP Group.<br />

<strong>The</strong> TRIP Group is made up of like-minded<br />

risk management professionals, who are<br />

responsible for the safety and security of<br />

personnel when they travel overseas.<br />

Members come from a wide variety of<br />

industry sectors, including large<br />

corporations, NGOs, higher education,<br />

government departments and the travel and<br />

tourism industry.<br />

This allows the TRIP group to draw on a<br />

wide range of experience, knowledge and<br />

expertise in order to keep travellers safe.<br />

Delegates will also be able to hear Lloyd on<br />

stage during the In Safe Hands session.<br />

All attendees at TBTC will be able to drop<br />

in and out of the area to catch up with the<br />

companies featured and attend some small<br />

group huddles at allocated times.<br />

TBTC'19's charity of choice<br />

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

supporting the London Taxi Drivers’<br />

Charity for Children with a raffle at the<br />

Monday Drinks and Canape reception.<br />

<strong>The</strong> reception is kindly sponsored by<br />

aparthotel group Native.<br />

LTCFC, which began<br />

in 1928, runs annual<br />

outings and funds<br />

appeals for special<br />

needs children<br />

WELLBEING SPONSORS<br />

An intimate exhibition and<br />

conference for bookers, buyers,<br />

arrangers and managers of business<br />

travel and meetings<br />

When?<br />

Tuesday 17th & Wednesday 18th<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember, <strong>2019</strong><br />

Where?<br />

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

Bankside Hotel,<br />

Great Suffolk Street,<br />

London SE1 0UG<br />

How do I register<br />

for free?<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

Find out if you qualify for<br />

a hosted place<br />

Exhibition and<br />

sponsorship<br />

enquiries?<br />

Contact Kirsty Hicks<br />

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

Tel: 07747 697 772<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

23


EVENT PREVIEW<br />

TBTC'19 EXHIBITORS<br />

HEADLINE SPONSOR<br />

STAR ALLIANCE LAUNCHES<br />

NEW ROUND THE WORLD<br />

BOOKING SITE<br />

Round the World tickets are not just<br />

for the adventurous. More and more<br />

business travellers are discovering the<br />

perks of Round the World tickets for<br />

their duty travel.<br />

In fact, the UK ranks among the top ten<br />

markets for business travel on Star<br />

Alliance Round the World bookings.<br />

When choosing a Star Alliance Round<br />

the World ticket, business travellers<br />

benefit from an excellent priceperformance-ratio<br />

when combining<br />

several duty trips into one, and at the<br />

same time increase their efficiency by not<br />

having to return to the point of origin.<br />

iGo. Anywhere<br />

For example, one of the most popular<br />

routes out of London Heathrow for<br />

business travellers is LHR-NYC-SFO-TYO-<br />

SIN-FRA-LHR.<br />

On its mission to improve the customer<br />

experience, Star Alliance has relaunched<br />

its Round the World booking tool with a<br />

completely new look. Based on customer<br />

feedback, the design is more map-based<br />

and provides a more intuitive experience.<br />

Inspiring images and brief descriptions<br />

of the destinations make it easy to plan<br />

the ideal routing. In just a few easy steps,<br />

Round <strong>The</strong> World or Circle Pacific trips can<br />

be organised and validated. See:<br />

staralliance.com/en/round-the-world<br />

24 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


THE BIG PICTURE<br />

Pricey rides<br />

Switzerland<br />

Think twice before<br />

catching a cab in<br />

Switzerland – it has<br />

been declared the most<br />

expensive destination<br />

for taxi fares worldwide.<br />

<strong>The</strong> average 5km trip<br />

costs £20.25, which is<br />

considerably more than<br />

second-placed Japan<br />

(£13.97). Germany and<br />

the Netherlands were<br />

next most expensive<br />

while the UK was eighth,<br />

according to research<br />

from taxi2airport.com<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

25


awards<br />

meet the winner<br />

Colin Harvey<br />

BCD <strong>Travel</strong>’s Colin Harvey was named Account Manager of the Year<br />

at the <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People Awards <strong>2019</strong><br />

How did it feel to<br />

be named Account<br />

Manager of the Year<br />

at the awards?<br />

I was immensely proud<br />

and honoured. To be<br />

recognised personally<br />

by our industry on a national level feels such<br />

a huge achievement and is also a great<br />

reflection on the whole AstraZeneca and<br />

BCD <strong>Travel</strong> team.<br />

Why did you enter the awards or how did<br />

you come to be nominated?<br />

I was very humbled to learn that I was<br />

nominated by our global lead at AstraZeneca<br />

to show appreciation and recognition for my<br />

work and contribution to our partnership. It<br />

was really special to find out that they’d<br />

done this for me. My colleague Jill Burnett<br />

was also nominated by our client and it was<br />

amazing to see her win the Reservations<br />

Consultant of the Year category too!<br />

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

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

I am the EMEA Regional Program<br />

Manager with the responsibility<br />

of managing the<br />

AstraZeneca/BCD <strong>Travel</strong><br />

program across 35<br />

countries. Although my<br />

remit is regional, I<br />

collaborate on many<br />

global projects. I<br />

constantly challenge<br />

the “business as usual”<br />

thinking, not just looking<br />

at the “so what” but “so<br />

what do we have to do”.<br />

What do you particularly enjoy<br />

about your role in the industry?<br />

I really enjoy the varied nature of my work<br />

and how quickly the industry is changing.<br />

Working with a client who has a desire to<br />

innovate allows me to be creative and offer<br />

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

People Awards recognise<br />

outstanding individuals<br />

and teams across all aspects<br />

of the supplier element of<br />

corporate travel<br />

leading-edge solutions to optimise their<br />

program and increase traveller satisfaction.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re’s a real spirit of partnership and<br />

mutual respect across our global team –<br />

we’re constantly challenging ourselves to do<br />

better, but we have fun as well.<br />

What do you think of <strong>The</strong><br />

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

Awards and of the<br />

winners event?<br />

This was my first time<br />

attending these<br />

awards, and I hadn’t<br />

quite realised the size<br />

and scale of the event.<br />

It’s such a great<br />

showcase to recognise<br />

and acknowledge the<br />

amazing talent that is not<br />

often represented. It was<br />

particularly special to share the experience<br />

on the day with the AstraZeneca/BCD <strong>Travel</strong><br />

team. <strong>The</strong> opportunity to spend time with<br />

the other winners on an all-expenses-paid<br />

trip to Boston is a very generous prize.<br />

<strong>The</strong> awards are such<br />

a great showcase to<br />

recognise and acknowledge<br />

the amazing talent that is not<br />

often represented”<br />

What impact do you think winning an<br />

award will have on your career?<br />

It has certainly given me more exposure<br />

both internally and externally and I am sure<br />

this has raised my profile further within BCD.<br />

Knowing that the client recognises and<br />

values your work is very rewarding.<br />

What are some of the biggest challenges<br />

you’re currently facing in your role?<br />

New technologies, changes in distribution<br />

and the amount of disruptors entering our<br />

space constantly challenge us to find new<br />

solutions. Sustainability and traveller<br />

wellbeing are also front and centre right<br />

now. Removing the complexity associated<br />

with all of the above – and exploiting the<br />

opportunities they bring – is essential.<br />

26 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


GALLERY<br />

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

People Awards <strong>2019</strong><br />

Winners’ trip<br />

to Boston<br />

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

People Awards <strong>2019</strong> jetted off to<br />

Boston last month for a well-deserved<br />

treat, with flights courtesy of Virgin<br />

Atlantic and Delta Air Lines and<br />

accommodation provided by Loews<br />

Hotels.<br />

<strong>The</strong> People Awards winners’ trip ▼<br />

Boston’s iconic Fenway<br />

Park baseball stadium<br />

Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx ▼<br />

▲ 14.07.<strong>2019</strong><br />

Cheers to all our<br />

<strong>2019</strong> winners!<br />

Having a whale<br />

of a time...<br />

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

27


THE CONVERSATION<br />

Chief Executive Officer, Yotel<br />

HUBERT VIRIOT<br />

<strong>The</strong> distinctive hotel group’s CEO tells Catherine Chetwynd about<br />

its rapid growth after a relatively low-key beginning<br />

Yotel’s recent growth has been<br />

phenomenal. A year and a half ago,<br />

the company had only one hotel in<br />

the US that catered primarily to domestic<br />

New York customers and European guests.<br />

Now there are also Yotels in Boston, San<br />

Francisco and Washington, and a recently<br />

opened tenth US property, in Atlanta.<br />

And expansion is not just restricted to the<br />

US. “<strong>The</strong> announcement in July of our hotel<br />

in Melbourne [planned for 2022] was the<br />

turning point for the organisation. Our<br />

growth is not just wishful thinking, it is a<br />

strategy and it is happening,” says the<br />

group's CEO, Hubert Viriot.<br />

“We are not only a good, efficient operator,<br />

we need to demonstrate operational<br />

synergies across hotels and reach our<br />

customer base. To do that we need to have<br />

multiple properties within the market.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> idea is to follow the same strategy<br />

elsewhere: Australia, where Yotel Melbourne<br />

will be joined by YotelAIR and YotelPAD;<br />

the Far East, in Japan, Singapore and Hong<br />

Kong; and Dubai. By the end of this year<br />

there will be 16 Yotels in operation and by<br />

the end of next year, 24, with the company<br />

on track to have 60 open by 2023.<br />

“Our strategy so far has been to open up<br />

new markets with a flagship, which is what<br />

we have done in New York, Singapore and<br />

Istanbul. <strong>The</strong> next phase of development is<br />

to grow within these markets.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> group's very first properties opened in<br />

2007 at Gatwick and Heathrow airports.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y have since been joined by a property<br />

in Edinburgh (this summer), while Glasgow<br />

and London Clerkenwell will open later this<br />

year and Amsterdam and Porto follow in<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember and the year-end respectively.<br />

Yotel destinations are not chosen to fill a<br />

gap in the budget hotel market, they are<br />

based on the group’s target consumer and<br />

“on certain realistic dynamics”, as Viriot puts<br />

it. <strong>The</strong> Yotel customer is urban and well<br />

travelled and, being independent, will go<br />

out to explore their surroundings, so their<br />

requirement is premium accommodation<br />

and limited facilities. Properties are also in<br />

locations that suit Yotel’s investors.<br />

“Two things are unique in our organisation.<br />

We are going through tremendous growth<br />

in a new market segment, so we are building<br />

our own destiny to some extent. We cannot<br />

follow and cannot do what others have<br />

done, and that takes a lot,” Viriot explains.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> second thing that takes a lot is that<br />

we immediately decided to occupy a global<br />

We raised capital<br />

with Starwood three<br />

years ago and frankly, had we<br />

not been located in the UK,<br />

it would have been a much<br />

harder job to achieve”<br />

footprint because our customer is not a<br />

specific nationality. We find him or her in<br />

Sydney, or San Francisco or London or<br />

Paris, so we are meeting the challenges of a<br />

new segment and building a business with<br />

the complexity of doing it across the world.”<br />

Viriot joined Yotel in 2014 and was living in<br />

Dubai at the time. “At the time, Yotel was a<br />

small enterprise – 12 people and four hotels<br />

under management. We could have based<br />

this business anywhere, it didn’t have to be<br />

London, but there were several reasons to<br />

be in London and stay in the UK.<br />

“Firstly, logistics. If you are going to grow a<br />

business into a global concern, the centre of<br />

gravity is London,” he explains.<br />

“Secondly, looking for capital, and that<br />

worked out well. We raised capital with<br />

Starwood three years ago and frankly, had<br />

we not been in the UK, it would have been a<br />

much harder job to achieve,” says Viriot.<br />

“Thirdly, and most importantly, if you are<br />

going to grow a global business, you need<br />

to attract the best talent and where else but<br />

London to do that?”<br />

<strong>The</strong> availability of foreign operational<br />

employees post-Brexit is a concern,<br />

although its new Edinburgh property<br />

opened with a full complement of staff.<br />

“So far, we haven’t suffered much and I<br />

am a great believer that it is not an endgame<br />

and there is a bright future ahead,” says<br />

Viriot. “It might take a few more years than<br />

it would have, but it will all work out.”<br />

28 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


THE CONVERSATION<br />

in brief...<br />

What was it like living in<br />

Bangkok?<br />

Bangkok is one of the best<br />

cities in the world and<br />

Thailand is a fantastic<br />

country – a great market.<br />

Ironically, I was there from<br />

2008 to 2013 when most<br />

of the world was going<br />

through a global financial<br />

crisis. However Thailand<br />

was immune because it<br />

had been the origin of<br />

another crisis in 1997.<br />

As a result, all banks and<br />

companies across the<br />

country were restructured<br />

between 1997 and 2008,<br />

and had very healthy<br />

balance sheets, which is<br />

why we were going through<br />

tremendous growth – triple<br />

digits year on year. It was a<br />

great experience. Also, that<br />

background has helped me<br />

understand how developers<br />

think and what is important<br />

for them; that has facilitated<br />

our growth to date.<br />

HUBERT VIRIOT<br />

Hubert Viriot joined YOTEL in May 2014 to roll out an<br />

aggressive growth strategy targeting key city centres<br />

and international airports worldwide. Prior to this, he<br />

was CEO of Raimon Land PLC, a real estate developer<br />

listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. During his<br />

four-year tenure, Viriot orchestrated its successful<br />

turnaround and increased the company’s development<br />

portfolio from $200m to $1.1bn. Previously, he spent<br />

four years as VP of Investments & Acquisitions with<br />

IFA Hotels & Resorts, YOTEL’s parent company, and<br />

five years with global consulting firm HVS.<br />

What do you do when<br />

you are not 'yotelling'?<br />

That doesn’t leave much<br />

time! I don’t know whether<br />

it’s a good idea but I don’t<br />

have a very clear border<br />

between work and not<br />

work. This is the second<br />

business I’m growing and<br />

I know how much it takes<br />

– and so does my family.<br />

My job and personal life<br />

involve a lot of travel. Most<br />

of my spare time is spent<br />

with my wife and two kids,<br />

letting them get used to a<br />

normal lifestyle and trying<br />

to build a social life in<br />

fantastic London, which I<br />

am very much enjoying.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

29


UK hotel groUps<br />

Right at<br />

hoMe<br />

<strong>The</strong> UK hotel industry is facing a number of Brexit-related<br />

challenges but has received a timely boost from the<br />

government. Catherine Chetwynd charts the changes<br />

In June, the UK government announced<br />

it would be making a significant<br />

investment in tourism and hospitality<br />

to help reaffirm “the UK’s global role as a<br />

key player in the industry”.<br />

It has committed to adding 130,000 new UK<br />

hotel rooms by 2025 – 75% of which will be<br />

outside London – and to deliver 10,000 new<br />

apprenticeships in the sector every year.<br />

In addition, it will invest in broadband<br />

connectivity for UK conference centres to<br />

boost business travel and develop a strategy<br />

to grow off-season travel.<br />

easyHotel<br />

<strong>The</strong> positive news for this important<br />

economic sector comes at a time when the<br />

prospect of leaving the European Union is<br />

causing headaches for many hoteliers.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> biggest concern that Brexit brings for<br />

the hospitality sector is how it could affect<br />

staffing,” says SVP Hotel Solutions for BCD<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>, April Bridgeman. “Hotels in the UK<br />

rely heavily on overseas workers, many from<br />

other EU states. If that labour force leaves,<br />

by choice or by policy, hotels will face a<br />

shortage of labour and if that has to be filled<br />

by local staff, costs will go up which, in turn,<br />

will increase room rates.”<br />

Brexit isn't all bad<br />

However, Advantage <strong>Travel</strong> Partnership’s<br />

Hotels Market Report (January to March)<br />

shows a positive picture compared to 2018:<br />

UK room nights were up 5.1%, London room<br />

nights up by 5%, Portsmouth up 68% and<br />

York up 82%. In addition, a further ten towns<br />

showed a growth of more than 20%.<br />

London remains buoyant and seems to be<br />

a microclimate amid the rest of the country.<br />

Hotel numbers continue to grow apace and<br />

as soon as they open, beds fill up and<br />

average room rates climb. Bookers are<br />

getting wiser about booking in advance but<br />

high demand is putting pressure on<br />

corporate relationships. Conventional<br />

wisdom might dictate that with properties<br />

springing up all over the country and<br />

business slowing down, that competitive<br />

corporate rates should be plentiful. However,<br />

the problem is not negotiating them, it is<br />

being able to use them.<br />

“In London, hotels are happy to give good<br />

rates but they are apprehensive about how<br />

much volume corporates are going to give,”<br />

says Managing Director of Sirius<br />

Management, Tom Stone. “You might think<br />

the more business a company gives a hotel,<br />

the cheaper it’s going to be, but the pace in<br />

London is so great that a hotel will give a<br />

rate on only 100 or 1,000 room nights, not<br />

for the 30,000 a buyer can potentially give.<br />

“And there is an elephant in the room. A lot<br />

of hotels that work with corporates want to<br />

do so on the basis of longevity and as a<br />

partnership but hotels in London are<br />

generally privately owned and managed by<br />

chains. This means owners are constantly<br />

putting pressure on management teams –<br />

the GM, revenue manager or sales manager<br />

– to deliver higher yield on the rooms and<br />

that sometimes doesn’t lead to a feeling of<br />

partnership with a corporate. <strong>The</strong>re is<br />

nowhere outside London where occupancies<br />

are so high that that applies,” he says. <br />

30 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


UK hotel groups<br />

With new properties<br />

springing up all over<br />

the country and business<br />

slowing down, you'd think<br />

competitive corporate rates<br />

should be plentiful”<br />

Hand Picked Hotels'<br />

Stanbrook Abbey<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

31


UK hotel groUps<br />

<strong>The</strong> ongoing<br />

uncertainty of Brexit<br />

presents clear challenges.<br />

Never has it been more<br />

important to ensure your<br />

brand is as strong as possible”<br />

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

Leonardo Royal St Paul's<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are, however, cities that are<br />

benefiting from London's ripple effect,<br />

which extends to Reading, Bristol and Milton<br />

Keynes, where rates have remained stable.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is also considerable construction in<br />

Manchester, although there is not yet any<br />

suggestion of oversupply.<br />

In addition, “Birmingham is one to watch,”<br />

says Managing Partner for Black Box<br />

Partnership, Leigh Cowlishaw. “<strong>The</strong>re has<br />

been a lot of investment in regeneration of<br />

key areas, it is a central location that people<br />

want to visit and the NEC pulls in crowds<br />

who need to stay overnight.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re has also been government<br />

investment in infrastructure, with HS2<br />

pending, and this all points towards strong<br />

city growth. Traffic through the airport is also<br />

increasing, with more international direct<br />

flights, and the New Street hub has excellent<br />

links with the rest of the country.”<br />

Group growth plans<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge is growing exponentially, while<br />

there is an increase in mid- to high-range<br />

hotels too. “<strong>The</strong>re are a lot of groups<br />

focusing on the UK domestic market and<br />

doing very well,” says Tom Stone.<br />

Evidence includes the 17 hotels <strong>Travel</strong>odge<br />

expects to open in the UK, in locations that<br />

include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool,<br />

London, Marlow, Solihull and Swindon, with<br />

an investment of around £115million. It will<br />

continue to roll out <strong>Travel</strong>odge Plus, its<br />

‘budget chic’ model, having just opened its<br />

seventh in Marlow-on-Thames, while its<br />

'premium economy' SuperRooms are now<br />

available in 50 hotels, with facilities that<br />

include Lavazza coffee machines, USB power<br />

outlets, hairdryer and irons.<br />

“Since <strong>Travel</strong>odge started its modernisation<br />

programme more than five years ago, it has<br />

opened 60-plus hotels and invested more<br />

than £150million in improving quality and<br />

choice, while staying true to its budget<br />

roots,” says spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed.<br />

“Sales have grown by more than<br />

£250million, fuelled by a rise in corporate<br />

and SME business. More than 50% of<br />

customers are business travellers.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>se guests benefit from <strong>Travel</strong>odge<br />

<strong>Business</strong>, a new business account card with<br />

features that include a guaranteed 5%<br />

discount on all flexible rate bookings, up to<br />

six weeks' interest free credit, a monthly<br />

consolidated VAT invoice, and room<br />

allocation on quiet business floors.<br />

An abundance of openings<br />

Bespoke Hotels owns and manages 76<br />

properties in the UK and has taken on<br />

agreements for five more. In 2020, it will<br />

open Hotel Brooklyn in Manchester with 120<br />

rooms, Coventry Evening Telegraph Hotel<br />

(66) and Hotel Gotham, Glasgow (56).<br />

<strong>The</strong> company offers reduced corporate<br />

rates to organisations with a high volume<br />

of demand in a specific location and<br />

participates in agency and consortium<br />

programmes nationally.<br />

<strong>The</strong> impact of Brexit is mixed, with the low<br />

value of sterling attracting leisure visitors<br />

from the rest of Europe and keeping Brits at<br />

home. But Managing Director Operations,<br />

Graham Marksell, says: “<strong>The</strong> corporate and<br />

conference markets have weakened as<br />

businesses became nervous about the future<br />

and companies have focused their resource,<br />

both in people and finance, on securing their<br />

Brexit strategies.”<br />

With five hotels in the UK – located in<br />

Glasgow (two), Edinburgh, Leeds and<br />

Manchester, which opened this year –<br />

Dakota Hotels is now looking at locations<br />

such as Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol,<br />

Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, the<br />

M4-corridor, Manchester Airport, Newcastle,<br />

Oxford and central London.<br />

<strong>The</strong> group aims to deliver luxury hotels and<br />

restaurants at accessible prices, stimulating<br />

interest from higher management and<br />

C-Suite executives. It does not offer<br />

corporate schemes.<br />

“We focus on recognition and build<br />

personal relationships, ensuring that every<br />

guest’s experience is exceptional – our<br />

ultimate goal is complete satisfaction,” says<br />

Group Director Andrew Overstone.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> ongoing uncertainty of Brexit presents<br />

clear challenges in terms of planning ahead.<br />

Never has it been more important to ensure<br />

your brand is as strong as possible.”<br />

Scottish-based Apex has ten hotels in<br />

London (3), Bath, Edinburgh (4), Glasgow and<br />

Hub by Premier Inn<br />

32 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


UK hotel groUps<br />

Apex City of London<br />

Dundee. <strong>The</strong> group is not planning to<br />

expand but instead spent £12million last<br />

year on improvements to the portfolio,<br />

including £6million on restoring and<br />

refurbishing an extension to the Apex<br />

Temple Court Hotel on Fleet Street, London,<br />

adding five suites, large deluxe bedrooms, a<br />

wine bar and two private dining rooms.<br />

<strong>The</strong> group’s Bath property opened in 2017<br />

with 177 bedrooms and the city’s only<br />

purpose-built city centre conference facility.<br />

Since then the property has hosted more<br />

than £1million of business.<br />

Brexit has inevitably had an effect:<br />

“Booking windows from the US have<br />

shortened from six to eight weeks to three<br />

to four weeks, particularly in London,” says<br />

Commercial Director Clinton Campbell. “And<br />

across the portfolio, properties have seen<br />

lead times decrease year-on-year, sitting at<br />

approximately 17 days.”<br />

In London, Apex saw a slowing of corporate<br />

bookings in Q1, leading up to the original<br />

Brexit deadline, and although business has<br />

picked up, Campbell says it could see a similar<br />

pattern later in the year as the new deadline<br />

looms. However conference bookings across<br />

the group have changed from seasonal to a<br />

“steadier stream month to month”.<br />

EasyHotel has 13 hotels in the UK and in<br />

the past 12 months opened in Leeds,<br />

Sheffield, Ipswich and Milton Keynes; its<br />

flagship property in London’s Old Street<br />

reopened in July after a full renovation. Next<br />

off the blocks are Chester, Cardiff, Oxford<br />

and Blackpool, with Cambridge and Bristol to<br />

follow, subject to planning consent.<br />

Boutique options<br />

Country house hotel group Hand Picked<br />

Hotels has 19 properties and there has been<br />

recent growth in corporate bookings at<br />

Bailbrook House Hotel in Bath (35%),<br />

Crathorne Hall Hotel in North Yorkshire (6%),<br />

and at two properties in Surrey: Nutfield<br />

Priory Hotel & Spa in Redhill (30%) and<br />

Woodlands Park Hotel, Cobham (8%).<br />

Corporate rates are available for<br />

businesses giving the right volume of<br />

bookings and members of the company’s<br />

Privilege Rewards programme get 5% to<br />

10% discounts on room rates.<br />

Malmaison and Hotel du Vin are owned by<br />

Singaporean company Frasers Hospitality<br />

and the 29 properties that comprised the<br />

brands when it acquired them in 2015 have<br />

grown to 35, with a goal of 50 by 2022.<br />

Malmaisons open in Edinburgh late this<br />

year, York in 2020, and in Bournemouth and<br />

Manchester in 2021. A number of projects<br />

for Hotel du Vin are also on the cards.<br />

“Corporate bookings in today’s world are<br />

more and more difficult to track because a<br />

lot come through online channels – that<br />

makes up some 70% of our business,” says<br />

CEO of EMEA, Guus Bakker.<br />

“Malmaison, in particular, remains a strong<br />

brand for corporate bookings. We have Work<br />

and Play meeting spaces in a number of<br />

hotels and we are developing it in others, to<br />

provide smaller flexible spaces. Up to 40% of<br />

our business is corporate in Malmaison.<br />

“Trading in the UK has challenges:<br />

uncertainty around Brexit is not helpful but<br />

at some stage it will improve and then at<br />

least there will be clarity. It has had an<br />

impact on confidence and we continue to <br />

Premier Inn<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

33


UK hotel groUps<br />

[ WHO OFFERS WHAT ]<br />

Apex Hotels: will have invested £12million in<br />

its portfolio of ten properties by the end of<br />

<strong>2019</strong>, including a £6m project to restore and<br />

refurbish Apex Temple Court on Fleet Street.<br />

Bespoke Hotels: owns and manages<br />

76 properties in the UK, including new<br />

agreements for five hotels in the past 12<br />

months. It will add three more in 2020 in<br />

Manchester, Glasgow and Coventry in time for<br />

the city’s year as UK City of Culture.<br />

Dakota Hotels: has only five properties to<br />

date but is looking for new sites.<br />

Dakota Hotels<br />

feel that in consumer spending,” he says.<br />

“For the time being, we are consolidating and<br />

making sure we optimise the management<br />

of our existing portfolio within the UK, rather<br />

than spreading ourselves thin and going<br />

abroad,” says Bakker.<br />

Industry challenges<br />

Bakker’s comment about booking channels<br />

reflects the increasing tendency for buyers to<br />

move away from RFPs, as Tom Stone<br />

explains. “<strong>The</strong>y still play an important role<br />

but people are wise to savings that can be<br />

achieved through dynamic pricing and most<br />

organisations might, typically, have a<br />

preferred rate and then underpin that by<br />

charging the TMC to see what’s available on<br />

booking.com or Expedia that will potentially<br />

undercut their negotiated rate,” says Stone.<br />

“I also think there is a move to see whether<br />

the hotel RFP can be done on a biannual<br />

basis rather than annually – it is very labour<br />

intensive,” he says. “<strong>The</strong> trick is to try and<br />

factor in an agreed increase. This might be<br />

Brexit has stimulated<br />

conversation and<br />

debate regarding the future<br />

of our country, creating<br />

positive engagement”<br />

the rate of inflation or the cost of living<br />

index. I think that’s possible in some markets<br />

but very difficult in markets like London –<br />

hoteliers want the ability to increase rates if<br />

the market dictates,” Stone explains.<br />

WIN Global <strong>Travel</strong> Network's CEO Neil<br />

Armorgie adds: “<strong>The</strong> top challenges facing<br />

the hotel industry are similar to other<br />

industries: uncertainty with the slowdown of<br />

the global economy; rising costs in salaries<br />

and utilities; the trade tariff wars between<br />

China and the USA, and the still unresolved<br />

Brexit negotiations.”<br />

He continues: “So despite the strong start<br />

to the year for our members, there are signs<br />

that overall economic growth could have an<br />

effect on slowing hotel booking volumes<br />

through the rest of the year. That, and<br />

increased supply in the UK, will mean that<br />

hotel rates will flatten and could even drop.”<br />

Dakota's Andrew Overstone ends on a<br />

positive note. “Brexit's impact, so far, has<br />

been quite encouraging. It has stimulated<br />

conversation and debate regarding the<br />

future of our country, creating genuine<br />

dialogue and positive engagement.<br />

“People are actively considering the<br />

position of the UK, which affects their day to<br />

day decisions. With last year’s glorious<br />

summer, and the recent spell of sunshine,<br />

people have definitely seen the benefit of the<br />

great British staycation, which has definitely<br />

been positive for the UK hotels industry.”<br />

EasyHotels: has an aggregate 37 owned and<br />

franchised hotels in the UK and Europe, four<br />

of which opened in the UK in the past year. Its<br />

pipeline comprises another five, with two<br />

subject to planning consent.<br />

Hand Picked Hotels: last year upgraded and<br />

relaunched its loyalty programme as Privilege<br />

Rewards, with new awards that include<br />

exclusive room rate discounts and upgrades.<br />

Hotel du Vin & Malmaison: is aiming for<br />

50 properties by 2022, from the current<br />

19 (Hotel du Vin) and 16 (Malmaison).<br />

Jurys Inn & Leonardo: has properties in over<br />

30 cities in the UK and Ireland. It acquired<br />

and rebranded four Grange Hotels in London<br />

earlier this year.<br />

Macdonald Hotels: over 35 luxury hotels<br />

across the UK and is particularly strong<br />

in Scotland.<br />

Premier Inn: has over 800 hotels across<br />

the UK and Ireland, plus sub-brands<br />

Zip (just one so far, in Cardiff) and Hub<br />

(in London and Edinburgh).<br />

Q Hotels: having launched in 2003 with two<br />

hotels, it now manages 21 across the UK.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>odge: has more than 560 hotels and<br />

aims to open another 17 in <strong>2019</strong>. Also has a<br />

£100million expansion plan, targeting the<br />

UK's largest conference locations.<br />

Village Hotels: has 30 hotels across the UK;<br />

strong in the North and Midlands.<br />

Z Hotels: 13 hotels offering 'affordable luxury'<br />

in London, Glasgow and Liverpool.<br />

34 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


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GALLERY<br />

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

People Awards <strong>2019</strong><br />

Winners’ lunch<br />

Raising a glass<br />

to success!<br />

People Awards winners’ lunch ▼<br />

All the winners from <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> People Awards <strong>2019</strong> were<br />

hosted at a celebratory lunch courtesy<br />

of Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts at <strong>The</strong><br />

Shard in June. On a beautiful clear<br />

day, the winners were treated to a<br />

Champagne reception, three-course<br />

meal and some stunning views.<br />

▲ 28.06.<strong>2019</strong><br />

All seated and ready to tuck<br />

in to a three-course feast!<br />

Awesome views from<br />

the London landmark<br />

36 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


MEET THE BUYER<br />

meet<br />

PRADEEP NAIR<br />

Pradeep Nair is Director of Global Procurement at the NBA. He tells us about<br />

his organisation’s evolving use of data to inform its travel programme<br />

I’ve been in my role for two years and<br />

have been in procurement for much<br />

longer. I’m based in New Jersey and travel<br />

management takes up around half of my<br />

time. <strong>The</strong> NBA is a global sports and media<br />

business built around four professional<br />

sports leagues: <strong>The</strong> National Basketball<br />

Association, the Women’s National<br />

Basketball Association, the NBA G League<br />

and the NBA 2K League.<br />

Approximately 60% of our travel spend<br />

is on domestic travel. We use an online<br />

booking tool and have a very high adoption<br />

rate. <strong>The</strong> transformation of business travel<br />

started last year for us, in 2018. We’re<br />

enhancing three things: the traveller<br />

experience, the policy and our contracts.<br />

Central to all this are our travellers – they<br />

are partners in this change.<br />

Data and technology are evolving at an<br />

exponential rate and we want to leverage<br />

these to transform business travel. We<br />

want to provide a great experience to our<br />

travellers and reduce the cost of travel by<br />

aggregating and consolidating data.<br />

One of our biggest challenges in doing<br />

this was that we had 13 sources of data,<br />

internally and externally, and they were<br />

fragmented and not normalised. <strong>The</strong> next<br />

question was whether to develop an<br />

in-house tool or to use third-party<br />

technology to bring it all together to get<br />

a true picture of our travel spend.<br />

We chose to do it in-house because we<br />

had the resources and skills. It gave us<br />

flexibility and produced a solution based on<br />

our specific needs, enabling us to make factbased<br />

changes to policy and contracts. It<br />

took eight months to build but I was working<br />

on it as a concept for a year before that.<br />

Our Enterprise Data Warehouse, as the<br />

tool is called, is a one-stop shop for all our<br />

sources of data. <strong>The</strong>y all feed into it and<br />

from there reports and analytics are<br />

generated. <strong>The</strong>re is a dashboard for senior<br />

level reporting for CFOs and the leadership<br />

team. And we can drill down to individual<br />

travellers or trips to look at advance<br />

booking behaviour, booking method, high<br />

value tickets, cabin class, lost savings,<br />

number of days travel, and a whole lot<br />

more. We can also move boundaries and<br />

see what the impact would be of making<br />

certain changes to policy.<br />

We also now have real-time savings<br />

alerts through a third party partner<br />

which highlights the potential savings<br />

through rebooking between the time of the<br />

initial booking and the time of travel. We’ve<br />

saved more than a million dollars using this.<br />

What we have achieved so far has<br />

worked because we have involved people<br />

right from the start, and we’ve achieved<br />

pretty good results. We’ve seen a 10%<br />

reduction in our travel costs and very high<br />

traveller satisfaction.<br />

We really listen to our travellers. Getting<br />

feedback is so important, so we conduct<br />

regular traveller surveys. <strong>The</strong>se are targeted<br />

at the people who are travelling frequently.<br />

We’ve had more than an 80% response rate<br />

– and 93% favourable response – because<br />

people know they’ll be listened to and that<br />

we’ll take action.<br />

We’re not done yet! This is an ongoing<br />

process and we continue to evaluate the<br />

information. What works today might not<br />

work tomorrow, so we have to keep<br />

abreast of change.<br />

We really listen to our<br />

travellers. Getting<br />

feedback is so important, so<br />

we conduct regular surveys.<br />

We've had more than an 80%<br />

response rate because people<br />

know they'll be listened to”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

37


TECHNOLOGY<br />

[ Delays and disruption ]<br />

Smooth landings<br />

Airlines are adopting new technology to help alleviate the<br />

stress around airline disruptions, writes Linda Fox<br />

All corporate travellers will have<br />

suffered them at one time or<br />

another, be it because of weather<br />

events, tech problems or something else,<br />

but flight delays are a bind whatever<br />

form they take.<br />

One airline taking action is Cathay Pacific,<br />

which began looking at how it might<br />

mitigate the disruption caused by typhoons<br />

in its home region. <strong>The</strong> airline says it<br />

wanted to take a customer-centric approach<br />

to something that can impact as many as<br />

100,000 passengers if flights have to be<br />

cancelled for one day.<br />

Josh Rogers, Head of Airport Customer<br />

Service at Cathay Pacific, says the airline<br />

dealt with 31 typhoon-related events last<br />

year alone. Speaking at the Amadeus Airline<br />

Executive Summit, held in Istanbul in June,<br />

he said the carrier opted for a “designthinking<br />

approach” by asking itself<br />

questions around how it can improve the<br />

experience for passengers, employees and<br />

the airline’s operations.<br />

What Cathay ended up with was a threepronged<br />

solution, with Amadeus Passenger<br />

Recovery technology used to optimise how<br />

disruptions are handled, 15Below used for<br />

communications, and a chatbot tool called<br />

Vera developed with Accenture to help<br />

passengers rebook their flights.<br />

With this technology in place, the hope is<br />

that when a typhoon is expected, the airline<br />

can plan ahead more effectively.<br />

For example, customers on non-essential<br />

travel have the opportunity to change their<br />

plans ahead of time and will receive an<br />

email with options and a link to the chatbot.<br />

<strong>The</strong> chatbot is then able to rebook their<br />

preferred flight in four steps.<br />

In the aftermath of disruption, the airline<br />

is hoping that the same four steps to book<br />

will prevent the chaotic scenes at the airport<br />

that have made media headlines in the past.<br />

<strong>The</strong> airline has so far trialled the solution,<br />

with all passengers on a cancelled Hong<br />

Kong to Shanghai flight rebooked within six<br />

to eight minutes. Scenarios are already<br />

being run for when typhoon season hits.<br />

<strong>The</strong> next step is to work with Amadeus to<br />

use the Vera chatbot to help with rebooking<br />

passengers that booked via a travel agency<br />

or other third party, rather than direct.<br />

Lufthansa, however, says that it has no<br />

email or contact details for about 20% of its<br />

passengers and hopes that it can address<br />

this challenge, as well as handle disruption<br />

more effectively, by equipping its staff with<br />

the Amadeus Airport Companion application.<br />

Ultimately, the airline’s vision is to remove<br />

counters and check-in desks and have<br />

roaming staff at its airports with the app<br />

able to check them in, handle transfers in a<br />

disruption and sell ancillaries, among other<br />

various duties.<br />

Initially, however, the app is<br />

focused on helping Lufthansa’s<br />

passengers during disruption.<br />

Also speaking at the Amadeus<br />

event, Vicky Scherber, Senior<br />

Director of Passenger and Baggage<br />

Processes for Lufthansa Group,<br />

said: “In ten years time there will<br />

be less desks and counters.<br />

We want to mobilise our agents<br />

to give them the tools because a<br />

lot of the time the passenger<br />

knows more about the status<br />

of a flight than<br />

the employee,<br />

so we really<br />

need to enable<br />

the colleague<br />

to make a<br />

positive impact.”<br />

Scherber added<br />

that some education is also<br />

required, with the airline<br />

discovering in tests that between<br />

50% and 70% of passengers<br />

queueing at a service desk have<br />

already been rebooked.<br />

We want to mobilise<br />

our agents and give<br />

them the tools because a lot of<br />

the time the passenger knows<br />

more about the status of a<br />

flight than the employee”<br />

38 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


EVENT REPORT<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors conference<br />

<strong>The</strong> human touch<br />

Client relationships, technology and the<br />

‘human touch’ were among the key<br />

themes discussed at <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors’<br />

business travel conference in June.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors’ biggest corporate travel<br />

conference to date saw nearly 200 business<br />

travel specialists and supplier partners<br />

gather in Birmingham for the two-day event.<br />

Opening the event, CEO Steve Byrne said<br />

the organisation – which specialises in the<br />

SME sector – aims to continue its doubledigit<br />

growth over the next five years.<br />

“Each year up to 300 people across the<br />

globe become entrepreneurs through <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Counsellors, running their own corporate<br />

travel businesses from home or shared<br />

offices, supporting their clients to make up<br />

to 150,000 trips to 175 countries across the<br />

globe,” said Byrne.<br />

“We’ve seen 18% global growth year-onyear<br />

for corporate travel, winning £22million<br />

in new business in the last 12 months<br />

alone. This growth trajectory is in no small<br />

part due to the trusted relationships you<br />

create with your clients, and the care and<br />

dedication you show each day to ensure<br />

they enjoy seamless travel and booking<br />

experiences,” he added.<br />

Meanwhile, <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors Director<br />

of Digital and Innovation, Waseem Haq,<br />

discussed the organisation’s technology<br />

developments. “<strong>The</strong> biggest trend we’re<br />

seeing from our corporate travel clients is<br />

the desire for an increasingly ‘mobile’<br />

experience,” said Haq.<br />

“60% of our customers use mobile travel<br />

apps and find push alerts incredibly useful<br />

to support frictionless journeys. With 81% of<br />

our customers favouring voice search on<br />

mobile too, we’re continuously looking for<br />

opportunities to incorporate artificial<br />

intelligence where it enhances our client’s<br />

experiences with us,” he explained.<br />

Haq said that the company's bespoke<br />

technology platform Phenix continues to<br />

receive £2.5million in investment per year,<br />

with the booking system set to become an<br />

intelligent tool that will recommend<br />

personal itineraries according to client<br />

booking behaviour.<br />

Virgin Atlantic & Delta Air Lines were<br />

headline sponsors of the annual event.<br />

NUMBERS UP<br />

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

generates turnover of more<br />

than £220million a year<br />

and has over 1,800 travel<br />

franchisees supported by<br />

400 staff across<br />

its Manchester<br />

headquarters<br />

and six<br />

overseas<br />

offices.<br />

DOING IT RIGHT<br />

“TRAVEL COUNSELLORS<br />

WILL CONTINUE TO BE<br />

SUCCESSFUL BY ALWAYS<br />

DOING THE RIGHT THING BY<br />

PEOPLE, SUPPORTING THE<br />

COMMUNITIES WE WORK<br />

WITHIN AND THE PLACES<br />

OUR CLIENTS TRAVEL TO.”<br />

Steve Byrne, CEO, <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors<br />

MEETINGS UP<br />

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

reported an 80% increase<br />

in sales attached to MICE<br />

activities in the first half<br />

of this year in comparison<br />

to the<br />

same<br />

period<br />

last<br />

year.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

39


PAYMENTS & EXPENSES<br />

On the<br />

MONEY<br />

Payment processes are set for a shake-up this autumn,<br />

writes Gillian Upton, while virtual cards and expense<br />

management systems continue to gain traction<br />

<strong>The</strong> prospect of Mark Zuckerberg’s<br />

Facebook influencing the global<br />

economy with an alternative<br />

financial system based on Libra, its<br />

crypto currency, is sending shockwaves<br />

throughout the world’s banking system.<br />

It’s probably second only to concerns over<br />

the readiness of the European market for<br />

the new European security legislation,<br />

Strong Consumer Authentication or SCA,<br />

intended to launch this <strong>Sept</strong>ember.<br />

For the UK at least, the Financial Conduct<br />

Authority (FCA) recognises the challenges of<br />

meeting the autumn deadline of what is<br />

also known as the PSD2 directive, a twofactor<br />

authentication (PIN code, password,<br />

available device, biometric data etc) on<br />

online payments, and has announced a<br />

grace period. Before the FCA announcement,<br />

banks were predicting that some 30% of<br />

e-commerce transactions would be<br />

declined. SCA is already in practice in<br />

Germany and France.<br />

Christophe Lacour, Head of Merchant<br />

Services at Amadeus Payments, believes<br />

the grace period may add confusion over<br />

intra-EEA cross-border transactions.<br />

”<strong>The</strong> local regulator of the issuer country<br />

'A' may take a different stance on the grace<br />

period than the local regulator of the<br />

acquirer in country 'B',” he says. “In the UK,<br />

the local regulator (the FCA), has confirmed<br />

it will consider a grace period for individual<br />

firms that can provide a documented<br />

migration plan towards SCA compliance.”<br />

Lacour advises moving towards SCA<br />

readiness as soon as possible.<br />

Industry experts believe SCA will have the<br />

greatest potential impact on corporate<br />

travel management companies as all service<br />

providers will have to build authentication<br />

into their payment flow and introduce an<br />

extra step of identification. Merchantinitiated<br />

transactions that use lodge or<br />

virtual corporate cards, commonly used by<br />

TMCs, may not require separate authentication,<br />

according to the UK’s FCA.<br />

Exemption confusion<br />

Who’s exempt from SCA and who’s not is<br />

still a grey area. However, it appears<br />

unlikely that all corporate travel cards will<br />

be exempt from SCA. Complying with it<br />

won’t necessarily be straightforward in the<br />

corporate travel space where authorisations<br />

for card payments are often made as a<br />

batch. This could explain how the industry<br />

appears somewhat under prepared.<br />

Bertrand Blais, Vice President, Product<br />

Management at KDS says, “For online travel<br />

booking this will add a step to the online<br />

booking process for travellers using their<br />

personal credit card.<br />

“Meeting the requirements is not only<br />

a question of compliance, but also a<br />

technological, strategic and operational<br />

challenge which extends beyond finance<br />

and banking. It will require a technological<br />

change and integration with suppliers –<br />

that’s time consuming. For SMEs, it’s likely<br />

to have a huge impact as they are not<br />

generally using lodge cards or virtual cards.”<br />

Blais believes there will be disruption,<br />

whatever the implementation date, and that<br />

some transactions could be blocked<br />

because of it. “We might be caught out on<br />

day one,” agrees Robin Smith, Chief Product<br />

Engineer at Click <strong>Travel</strong>. “And we won’t<br />

know if a card is not going to meet that<br />

exemption until it happens.”<br />

Despite these misgivings, adding an<br />

additional layer of security on electronic<br />

payments is welcomed as it will help protect<br />

from fraud, which is a massive global<br />

problem with physical credit cards.<br />

It’s a strong argument for using virtual<br />

cards instead, which can be tightly controlled<br />

by merchant type, a pre-set value and time<br />

windows, and are not affected by the new<br />

SCA regulations (as far as anyone can tell).<br />

40 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


PAYMENTS & EXPENSES<br />

AirPlus says the FCA outlined which<br />

products could be exempt if the issuer<br />

met certain requirements and therefore<br />

submitted an exemption request that<br />

included “a lengthy explanation of how we<br />

would fulfil the exemption requirements,”<br />

explains Paul Spelman, AirPlus’ Managing<br />

Director UK & Ireland.<br />

“We had a follow-up call and they have<br />

said that no further action is required on<br />

our side, so in essence our lodge and virtual<br />

products are now covered under the FCA<br />

exemption,” says Spelman.<br />

Virtual solutions<br />

As the use of credit cards declines, it is<br />

anticipated that virtual cards will be the<br />

default payment of the future. Virtual cards<br />

contain the same information as physical<br />

cards – ie, an expiration date and CVV –<br />

and are primarily used as an alternative to<br />

corporate credit cards for hotel payment.<br />

In the early days there were acceptance<br />

issues with hotel front desk staff announcing<br />

to the traveller on arrival that the room<br />

hadn’t been paid for, but training and<br />

familiarity have eased the situation, although<br />

some travellers carry a copy of it on their<br />

phone as back-up.<br />

“We had to generate pictures of it and fax<br />

round copies to prove the card existed,”<br />

says Click’s Smith.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> bread and butter<br />

locations have adopted<br />

virtual cards, particularly<br />

the large hotel chains,” says Maria Parpou,<br />

Managing Director of Commercial Payments<br />

at Barclaycard, one of the largest providers<br />

of virtual cards under its Precision Pay<br />

branded platform.<br />

And as far as expenses are concerned,<br />

they can be sent to a digital wallet which<br />

makes reconciliation more seamless. Virtual<br />

cards consolidate spend across multiple<br />

sources of credits and the corporate<br />

receives a consolidated invoice from the<br />

provider with rich, detailed invoices<br />

including custom data and cost centres.<br />

Next year a virtual card will be able to be<br />

sent to an app and payment made via a<br />

phone via Apple Pay. “That will help bridge<br />

the gap between a physical and virtual<br />

card,” says Parpou.<br />

According to BCD's report on the subject,<br />

in 2016, fewer than 1% of respondents said<br />

their company was using a virtual card as<br />

a method of payment. This figure rose to<br />

11% by 2017. Germany, in particular, has<br />

adopted virtual cards in a big way, with<br />

29% usage according to the BCD report.<br />

<strong>The</strong> virtual credit card from AirPlus<br />

International, called A.I.D.A, is a digital<br />

version of a MasterCard. Of its three<br />

products, A.I.D.A, a lodge account card<br />

(mainly for airline spend), and a physical<br />

plastic card, AirPlus' Spelman says that by<br />

far the biggest growth is from virtual cards.<br />

“We’ve witnessed 25% year-on-year<br />

growth, which is much higher than the<br />

other products are growing, and within <br />

In the early days of<br />

virtual cards there<br />

were acceptance issues but<br />

training and familiarity have<br />

eased the situation”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

41


PAYMENTS & EXPENSES<br />

We have single digits<br />

of clients who have<br />

got their head around the<br />

whole payments and expenses<br />

piece. We still come across<br />

companies doing expenses<br />

on Excel spreadsheets”<br />

the next three years virtual cards will be<br />

our biggest product.” MasterCard is more<br />

optimistic and predicts 30% year-on-year<br />

growth of virtual cards.<br />

Spelman believes usage to date has<br />

been with non-frequent travellers such as<br />

contractors and part-time employees, who<br />

wouldn’t be eligible for a corporate credit<br />

card. “It means that they can pre-pay for<br />

hotels,” says Spelman. “Corporates also<br />

issue them off a central account to keep<br />

better control of costs which has the knockon<br />

benefit to improve compliance.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> future of cash<br />

Spelman predicts that, ultimately, cash will<br />

disappear and that while a physical card will<br />

continue to be convenient, they will also<br />

disappear in the long run. “<strong>The</strong> winner will<br />

be the virtual card,” he says. <strong>The</strong> growth in<br />

Apple Pay and WeChat testifies to the fact<br />

that consumers no longer want to, or need<br />

to, carry a wallet full of credit cards.<br />

John Vasili, Head of Global Sales at<br />

Conferma, concurs, citing misuse and fraud,<br />

and the cost to print and manage physical<br />

card programmes as significantly reducing<br />

the appetite for both the issuer and<br />

customer to continue with physical cards.<br />

He also believes there is another driver to<br />

grow the market for virtual cards – mobile<br />

enablement. Virtual cards linked to Apple<br />

and Google wallets is being delivered today,<br />

which removes the requirements for physical<br />

cards for on-the-go corporate spend.<br />

Disruptors such as Alipay and WeChat<br />

moving in to the corporate pay arena<br />

supports the case for the transition to<br />

virtual cards with mobile contactless and<br />

NFC enablement.<br />

It hasn’t stopped Conferma Pay joining<br />

forces with mid- and back-office technology<br />

provider Procon Solutions to offer corporates<br />

a fully automated virtual payment solution<br />

to streamline invoicing processes and<br />

remove manual intervention. <strong>The</strong> news,<br />

announced in July, is available to clients<br />

across EMEA and the APAC region.<br />

TMCs are comfortable switching over to<br />

a virtual card and are big users of virtual<br />

technology. And corporates more and more<br />

so as some will not realise they are even<br />

using a virtual card as it comes out of a<br />

central account and they will only see it as<br />

a transaction.<br />

Expense management<br />

Despite the enormous dynamism in the<br />

marketplace, expense management is still<br />

in its infancy with corporates, according to<br />

Dave Bishop, Commercial Director at travel<br />

management company Gray Dawes.<br />

“We have single digits of clients who have<br />

got their head around the whole payments<br />

and expenses piece,” he says. “We still come<br />

across companies with paper expenses,<br />

ExCel spreadsheets and invoices stapled<br />

together in an envelope.”<br />

Needing to deliver something that’s easy<br />

to use and saves travellers’ time, Gray<br />

Dawes offers the Certify expense tool to<br />

clients, which allows mobile receipt capture<br />

by photo (thanks to optical character<br />

recognition – OCR) to the Certify app and<br />

then autofills expense entries into an<br />

expense report to review and submit. It also<br />

allows faster reimbursement and insightful<br />

reports on T&E spend.<br />

Meanwhile, expense management<br />

specialists are upping the ante when it<br />

comes to the sort of analytics functionality<br />

they provide customers.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>doo, for example, introduced<br />

Insight this summer, a platform it claims is<br />

“one of the most sophisticated and dynamic<br />

business intelligence modules on the<br />

market”. Users can search over 100 KPIs<br />

on the platform and filter and drill-down<br />

into data visualisations to identify trends<br />

and patterns.<br />

“Our clients are very excited about this<br />

new product feature,” says <strong>Travel</strong>doo<br />

analyst Suganya Sivasubramanian.<br />

“Unlike most other products on the<br />

market which have static reporting and<br />

clunky functionality which require<br />

analytics experts to delve into the<br />

data, Insight has been designed to<br />

be flexible, usable and dynamic.” <br />

42 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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PAYMENTS & EXPENSES<br />

Getting as many of the big-ticket items<br />

on a central account as possible is the<br />

seamless way to deal with travel and<br />

expenses. <strong>The</strong>n that leaves less to spend on<br />

the corporate card and makes for greater<br />

compliance. Consolidate all of that into an<br />

expenses system attributed by trip and all<br />

that’s left to capture is the small, on-theroad<br />

expenses such as a meal or taxi fare or<br />

roaming charges from an international trip.<br />

It should all be paperless and seamless.<br />

<strong>The</strong> key to achieving this is the TMC, who<br />

can capture all the data from the disparate<br />

sources via APIs, as long as you ensure that<br />

the provider you choose is directly<br />

integrated with your TMC.<br />

This seamless travel and expenses flow is<br />

seen as best practice and is what corporates<br />

should be aiming for once they see the<br />

potential of integrating travel and expenses.<br />

“Look at the US,” says Bishop. “Some 80%<br />

of the client base is on Concur and, of that,<br />

50% have successfully integrated travel and<br />

expenses. That feels like where we could get<br />

to in the UK.”<br />

Change resistance<br />

Resistance to change is one factor slowing<br />

integration, while trust issues over providing<br />

employees with cards is another. A third<br />

reason is losing the beneficial cash flow<br />

arrangement a TMC provides.<br />

“Some corporates like to use some TMCs<br />

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part of our value proposition,” says Bishop.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>ir cash flow is important, ‘Let them pay<br />

for it’, they say. I’ve seen glacial movement<br />

from invoice to card over 20 years.”<br />

A younger workforce is more accepting of<br />

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PAYMENTS & EXPENSES<br />

direct consumption and this disaggregated<br />

economy,” says Ian Ferguson, who runs the<br />

Solutions Consulting Group at <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Direct.<br />

AirPlus’ Spelman adds: “Don’t assume that<br />

it’s the bigger brands moving ahead. Only<br />

last week I talked to a very big brand that<br />

still issues cash advances and leaves it up to<br />

the individual to sort out what is personal<br />

expenses and what is not.”<br />

Another challenge is the silos corporates<br />

create that must be broken down to<br />

connect all the pieces together.<br />

“Rather than log into different sites, take<br />

all the sources, such as direct bookings,<br />

expenses invoices, TMC bookings, Uber and<br />

Starbucks expenses, into one silo,” says<br />

Brian Tarble, Vice President of Global<br />

Product Management, Concur Data &<br />

Analytics at SAP.<br />

Over the last two years the company has<br />

re-designed its data platform to integrate all<br />

the data sources and systems and to selfpopulate<br />

it all into an expense report.<br />

Mobile lag<br />

Mobile payments are also lagging behind in<br />

the corporate world. <strong>The</strong> next big step here<br />

is to store a corporate card in a digital<br />

wallet in a smartphone from which to make<br />

payments, “but the technology isn’t quite<br />

there yet,” says Airplus’ Spelman.<br />

“I can go to my banking app and do it in<br />

the leisure space but not in the business<br />

space. We will see it in the latter end of next<br />

year,” he says, adding that it will transform<br />

the way corporate cards are used.<br />

It’s the ideal application for small expenses<br />

but not big-ticket items like airfares.<br />

Moreover, the move away from centralised<br />

bookings and towards travellers booking<br />

their own travel will drive growth in mobile<br />

payments in the long run.<br />

Corporates can<br />

wave goodbye to the<br />

manual inputting of travel<br />

and expense data and lengthy<br />

approval times and say hello<br />

to a sleeker, automated travel<br />

and expenses process”<br />

Blockchain hype<br />

Much has been said about the spectre of<br />

blockchain and at SAP Concur’s annual<br />

Fusion conference one session flagged up<br />

the five forces that will change the face of<br />

corporate travel. Two of these were virtual<br />

pay and blockchain (the others were NDC,<br />

global tax laws and AI).<br />

Blockchain is a way of securely transferring<br />

money via intermediary banks to a payment<br />

wallet in about four seconds rather than<br />

the traditional two to three days.<br />

“It’s all fully encrypted – it’s like a big<br />

database,” explains Martin Biermann,<br />

Chief Product Officer of HRS. It would see<br />

an end to the high-profile account hacking,<br />

experienced by Yahoo in three billion<br />

accounts, for example. “It’s plug and play<br />

without doing anything,” he says.<br />

<strong>The</strong> downside is that blockchain is<br />

focussed on crypto currencies currently so,<br />

for now, the jury is out on what impact, if<br />

any, it will have on instant payments in<br />

corporate travel.<br />

“We haven’t figured out yet how<br />

blockchain will be used in travel,” says<br />

Barclaycard’s Parpou. “I put a big question<br />

mark around it as it needs to solve a<br />

problem and, in travel, collaboration isn’t an<br />

issue so I don’t see a primary need for it in<br />

our business,” she says.<br />

Other emerging technologies will have an<br />

impact too. Machine learning – a form of AI<br />

– will provide self-writing, self-checking<br />

expenses in the future says BCD's report.<br />

With hotels and airlines<br />

demanding upfront<br />

payment, the ecosystem<br />

will have to evolve and<br />

fast. AirPlus’ Spelman<br />

believes payment will become<br />

a condition of booking. “It will be a<br />

case of, ‘if you want full NDC content<br />

this is how you pay’,“ he says.<br />

Corporates can wave goodbye to<br />

the manual inputting of travel and<br />

expense data and lengthy approval<br />

times and say hello to a sleeker,<br />

automated travel and expenses<br />

process with greater efficiency of<br />

process, tighter control over<br />

spend, improved compliance and<br />

visibility of spend. It’s an exciting<br />

prospect if they choose<br />

to embrace it.<br />

46 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


Autumn Sparkle<br />

PA & EA Networking Evening<br />

brought to you by <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference<br />

<br />

Wednesday 16th October<br />

Native Manchester<br />

Join us for an evening of hospitality and<br />

networking at this new property from Native.<br />

<strong>The</strong> innovative aparthotel and independent<br />

Cultureplex social hub includes the Bistrotheque<br />

restaurant, a mini cinema, bar, coffee counter<br />

and flexible events and workspaces along with<br />

independent fitness space from BLOK.<br />

Set in Manchester’s historic Northern Quarter<br />

and close to Manchester Piccadilly Station, PAs<br />

and EAs can enjoy the full Native experience,<br />

seeing the facilities first hand whilst enjoying<br />

complimentary drinks, delicious food and the<br />

chance to win some fabulous prizes on the<br />

evening courtesy of event sponsors.<br />

PAs & EAs can apply for a free place via<br />

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Suppliers can contact Kirsty.hicks@bmpublishing.co.uk regarding sponsorship opportunities<br />

An event for buyers and arrangers<br />

of business travel and meetings<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

IN ASSOCIATION WITH


TALKING TRAVEL<br />

Living legend<br />

SIR TREVOR MCDONALD<br />

News veteran and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald loves balmy Caribbean evenings, hates<br />

airports, and describes himself as a coward in a conflict zone, writes Sasha Wood<br />

As the leading newscaster of his<br />

generation, Sir Trevor McDonald<br />

has been responsible for many<br />

landmark TV moments and has interviewed<br />

key historical figures ranging from Saddam<br />

Hussein to Peace Prize winners such as<br />

Nelson Mandela and Benazir Bhutto.<br />

Born in Trinidad, McDonald worked as a<br />

local news reporter before moving to London<br />

to join the BBC in 1969, and has since travelled<br />

far and wide in his profession.<br />

McDonald says he travelled like a king for<br />

his most recent documentary, Indian Train<br />

Adventure, covering his eight-day journey<br />

between Mumbai and Jaipur aboard the<br />

legendary Maharajas' Express.<br />

“India overwhelms the senses. It’s such a<br />

large country, so populous, so crowded and<br />

the driving is utterly mad. It’s something you<br />

have to do once,” says McDonald.<br />

But it has not always been plain sailing.<br />

When he joined ITN in the 1970s he was sent<br />

to Northern Ireland during the height of <strong>The</strong><br />

Troubles. “<strong>The</strong>re were people being shot and<br />

bombs going off all the time,” he says. “I was<br />

from Trinidad and used to seeing the odd<br />

skirmish outside the rum shop on a Friday<br />

night, but I’d never heard a bomb go off<br />

before. I must admit there were times when I<br />

was scared out of my wits. I am very cowardly<br />

by nature so I learned to run.”<br />

He reported from Beirut during the Lebanese<br />

civil war, and went to Baghdad before the first<br />

Gulf War to interview Saddam Hussein. In fact,<br />

he lists Beirut among the most surprising<br />

places he’s visited, partly because it managed<br />

to remain so civilized even in the midst of<br />

raging civil war.<br />

“People were fighting and killing each other<br />

during the week and on Sunday morning<br />

people came out and set up little stalls selling<br />

the finest French perfume and Champagne.<br />

I turned up to a fine restaurant and I couldn’t<br />

believe all the tables were full,” he explains.<br />

But McDonald doesn’t always get the chance<br />

to explore when he’s on assignment, so he<br />

frequently revisits places where he’s worked:<br />

“<strong>The</strong> west coast of America is one of them –<br />

I love San Diego and Santa Monica. You<br />

discover new things every time you go.”<br />

I'm from Trinidad so I<br />

was used to seeing the<br />

odd skirmish outside the rum<br />

shop, but I'd never heard a<br />

bomb go off before”<br />

One of the places McDonald has returned to<br />

often, after working there for many years, is<br />

South Africa. He was the first person to<br />

interview Nelson Mandela when he was<br />

released from prison in 1990 and again when<br />

he became president in 1994. <strong>The</strong> two<br />

subsequently met on many occasions and<br />

became firm friends.<br />

“It was fascinating to watch the country go<br />

through all the traumas of what it was to what<br />

it wants to be. I saw a lot of changes, but quite<br />

frankly on my last visit about a year ago I was<br />

a little distressed that some of the changes<br />

have not been greater... and quite shocked to<br />

see some of the same slums that were there<br />

when I first visited 25 years ago,” he says.<br />

As a journalist, he has always been<br />

fascinated with meeting world leaders. He was<br />

friends with Benazir Bhutto and interviewees<br />

have included notorious despots such as<br />

Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. He has also been<br />

invited to the White House on several<br />

occasions, interviewing President Clinton and<br />

later President Bush the younger.<br />

McDonald has travelled extensively in the<br />

Caribbean, from Barbados and Antigua to<br />

St Kitts and Nevis. “My father was born in<br />

Grenada and he always used to boast that<br />

their beaches are better than our beaches in<br />

Trinidad,” he says.<br />

“What I like about the Caribbean is that it’s<br />

always warm after 6 or 7 o’clock. Even on<br />

summer evenings here you feel you need a<br />

light sweater, but in the Caribbean you put on<br />

a short-sleeved shirt and pour yourself a large<br />

rum punch, and you can sit out there on the<br />

verandah forever.”<br />

Barbados is also one of his go-to places for<br />

a relaxing holiday, along with Cape Town in<br />

South Africa – “the waterfront area there is<br />

very nice,” says McDonald.<br />

Between travelling for work and sojourns<br />

in South Africa and the Caribbean, the<br />

broadcaster says he has spent far too long in<br />

airports, which are his least favourite aspect<br />

of his globe-trotting exploits: “I approach<br />

them with dread,” he laughs.<br />

That said, his time spent working in troubled<br />

destinations around the globe has nurtured a<br />

certain warmth for British aviation: “I must<br />

confess that it was always nice to get on to a<br />

British Airways flight and hear the captain’s<br />

voice – you always felt you were heading<br />

home and out of trouble.”<br />

48 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


TALKING TRAVEL<br />

SIR TREVOR MCDONALD<br />

Sir Trevor McDonald is a keynote speaker at <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference <strong>2019</strong> in London, from<br />

17-18 <strong>Sept</strong>ember. His broadcasting career spans five<br />

decades working for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4<br />

covering everything from politics to travel. He became<br />

a household name presenting the News at Ten in the<br />

1990s and regular current affairs programme Tonight<br />

with Trevor McDonald. He was awarded an OBE in<br />

1992, a Knighthood in 1999 and has received more<br />

awards than any other news broadcaster in Britain.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

49


Upcoming destination, Iguazu<br />

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Air Europa this summer.<br />

Two weekly flights from London<br />

Gatwick starting 1st <strong>Aug</strong>ust <strong>2019</strong>.<br />

All flights are via Madrid.


THE REVIEW<br />

the<br />

Review<br />

THE NEWS & VIEWS<br />

THAT REALLY MATTER<br />

[ THE LOWDOWN ]<br />

Duty of care among managers'<br />

top travel concerns<br />

p52-53<br />

[ ROOM REPORT ]<br />

<strong>The</strong> Great Scotland Yard hotel is<br />

poised to open in London<br />

p56-57<br />

[ ON THE GROUND ]<br />

Overall train passenger<br />

satisfaction is on the rise<br />

p58<br />

[ MEETING PLACE ]<br />

Events sector is unprepared<br />

for no-deal Brexit<br />

p59<br />

[ IN THE AIR ]<br />

ANA's new first and business class<br />

cabins to debut on London services<br />

p54<br />

O N T H E M O V E I<br />

<strong>The</strong> latest industry appointments p60<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

51


THE REVIEW<br />

T H E L O W D O W N<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Out of line<br />

One in four travel<br />

managers (39%) believe<br />

the biggest challenge to<br />

booking tool compliance is<br />

the belief among users<br />

that they can get a better<br />

price elsewhere, according<br />

to new research from<br />

ACTE and Amex GBT.<br />

Meanwhile, 18% blamed a<br />

poor user experience and<br />

16% said travellers prefer<br />

to call a consultant.<br />

ACE options<br />

ACE <strong>Travel</strong> Management<br />

has partnered with Driven<br />

Airport Transfers to<br />

provide its clients with<br />

fully-electric transfers<br />

using Tesla X vehicles.<br />

<strong>The</strong> TMC says it is<br />

confident that the option<br />

also provides good value,<br />

often saving a third<br />

compared to traditional<br />

airport transfer services.<br />

Going mobile<br />

Frequent business<br />

travellers – those who<br />

make more than five trips<br />

a year – are 13% more<br />

likely to book flights on<br />

their smartphones than<br />

occasional travellers, while<br />

travellers revisiting a<br />

location are 11% more<br />

likely to do so. CWT also<br />

says travellers are more<br />

inclined to book flights via<br />

mobile devices closer to<br />

their date of departure.<br />

Duty of care among<br />

biggest concerns<br />

ORGANISING correct entry documents, health and medical<br />

issues, and terrorism and security threats are the top three<br />

concerns for managers when their staff travel on business<br />

trips, new research from ABTA has revealed.<br />

However, there are some marked differences between<br />

managers’ concerns and the actual problems encountered<br />

by their staff. For example, 60% of managers expressed<br />

concerns over terrorism or security related issues, but only<br />

6% said their staff had actually experienced those problems.<br />

When asked what problems staff had encountered on<br />

business trips in the last year, the top three issues were<br />

natural disasters or severe weather conditions (18%), health<br />

or medical issues (15%) and issues around organising<br />

correct entry documents (13%). Over half of managers (51%)<br />

said that none of their staff had encountered any problems<br />

on business trips over the last 12 months.<br />

TRAVELPERK'S<br />

FLEXIBLE FARES<br />

ONLINE travel management<br />

platform <strong>Travel</strong>Perk has launched<br />

FlexiPerk – which it claims is a first<br />

for the business travel industry.<br />

<strong>The</strong> scheme enables customers<br />

to avoid booking expensive flexible<br />

fares and instead pay a 10% fee<br />

on bookings upfront. This then<br />

guarantees a minimum 90%<br />

refund on any cancelled booking,<br />

be it hotel, flight or car rental.<br />

Customers taking part in a trial<br />

achieved savings of 26%, on<br />

average, compared to the cost of<br />

booking flexible fares and paying<br />

last-minute cancellation fees.<br />

58%<br />

of European millennials<br />

believe that business<br />

travel has the potential<br />

to stimulate creativity<br />

and productivity, says a<br />

new report from CWT<br />

LANDING<br />

IN YOUR INBOX<br />

Subscribe to our weekly news bulletin at thebusinesstravelmag.com/subscribe<br />

TBTM SOCIAL ADS_NEW.indd 1<br />

5/30/19 05:37 PM


THE REVIEW<br />

T H E L O W D O W N<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

BCD moves<br />

BCD <strong>Travel</strong> has signed up<br />

to Qantas Airways’ Qantas<br />

Channel, giving its users<br />

access to a wider range of<br />

fares and content through<br />

the NDC channel. <strong>The</strong><br />

TMC has also signed an<br />

agreement to take a<br />

majority ownership in its<br />

Japanese partner Hitachi<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Bureau, one of the<br />

country's leading TMCs<br />

with annual sales of more<br />

than $330million.<br />

Asia addition<br />

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

company Reed & Mackay<br />

has enhanced its reach in<br />

Asia with Connexus <strong>Travel</strong><br />

joining its International<br />

Partnership. It is Hong<br />

Kong's largest TMC and<br />

additionally has offices in<br />

China and Taiwan.<br />

Cash injection<br />

TripActions has raised a<br />

further $250million in<br />

funding as it aims to “solve<br />

the antiquated product,<br />

service and experience of<br />

the corporate travel<br />

management industry”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> California-based<br />

company has achieved<br />

“hyper-growth while<br />

maintaining 93% traveller<br />

satisfaction”. It handles<br />

more than $1.1billion in<br />

annual travel spend.<br />

Hull of a Good job<br />

Hull-based Good <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Management is targeting<br />

SMEs with the launch of a<br />

new website that includes<br />

a range of downloadable<br />

resources. <strong>The</strong> TMC offers<br />

a range of services such as<br />

a personal travel team,<br />

strategic account<br />

manager, real-time travel<br />

analytics, online booking,<br />

expense management and<br />

travel risk technology.<br />

GTMC reveals new<br />

identity as the BTA<br />

THE Guild of <strong>Travel</strong> Management Companies (GTMC)<br />

announced a new name and identity at its annual<br />

conference in the Netherlands in July, with the organisation<br />

moving forward as the <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Association (BTA).<br />

Its new name reflects a “more inclusive, more ambitious,<br />

more collaborative and bolder outlook”, said Adrian Parkes,<br />

the association's Chief Executive, who steps down this<br />

summer. “We've developed as an organisation in recent<br />

years and the time was right [to rebrand],” he said, pointing<br />

to its growing number of supplier partners and increasing<br />

lobbying activity. “This evolution to the BTA celebrates a<br />

step-change for the association and allows us to more<br />

clearly communicate the board’s broadened strategy,” said<br />

Parkes. A new CEO will be announced this summer.<br />

58% OF BUSINESS LEADERS BELIEVE A<br />

STRONG TRAVEL CULTURE IS VERY<br />

IMPORTANT TO THEIR ORGANISATION’S<br />

BUSINESS PERFORMANCE, ACCORDING TO<br />

A REPORT FROM EGENCIA AND THE<br />

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW<br />

ITM UPDATE<br />

Scott Davies<br />

Chief Executive, ITM<br />

Sustainability used to be a<br />

term presented in relation to<br />

fuels and resources, but our<br />

travel buyer community tells<br />

us it is now also applied to<br />

the most precious resource a<br />

business has – their people.<br />

In order to have a sustainable<br />

travel programme, travel<br />

buyers and managers are<br />

being increasingly guided to<br />

make travel options available<br />

that place minimum strain on<br />

the individual as well as the<br />

ecosystem and local<br />

communities too.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are broadly two ways<br />

to do this. <strong>The</strong> first is to work<br />

with partners who minimise<br />

emissions, support environmental<br />

reparations and that<br />

travellers enjoy using. <strong>The</strong><br />

second is to help with<br />

employee travel frequency<br />

and work/life balance, which<br />

could be perceived to<br />

negatively hit productivity<br />

(but probably doesn't).<br />

Now, I’ve worked for airlines<br />

and other organisations who<br />

benefit from increased<br />

demand, so both of these<br />

remedies could sound like<br />

bad news.<br />

<strong>The</strong> truth is they’re not<br />

because a) we’ve all got to<br />

take care of the big round<br />

rock we call home or we’ll<br />

have to go somewhere else<br />

one day, and b) frazzled,<br />

burned out people physically<br />

can’t travel anymore any way.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

53


THE REVIEW<br />

I N T H E A I R<br />

Virgin and Delta up<br />

the ante on US routes<br />

UK DEBUT FOR NEW ANA CABINS<br />

ALL Nippon Airways (ANA) will <strong>The</strong> airline says the new first<br />

debut its new business and first class Suites are inspired by luxury<br />

class seating on services between Japanese hotels, with new features<br />

London and Tokyo in <strong>Aug</strong>ust. including privacy doors and<br />

<strong>The</strong> new first class product, 43-inch 4K screens. <strong>Business</strong> class<br />

<strong>The</strong> Suite, and business class seat, ‘Rooms’ are in a forward and<br />

<strong>The</strong> Room (pictured), will be fitted rear-facing configuration and have<br />

on 12 B777-300ER aircraft, the first privacy doors that can be adjusted<br />

of which will fly between London so passengers can dine together<br />

and Tokyo Haneda from <strong>Aug</strong>ust 2. or conduct meetings.<br />

FLIGHTS operated by Virgin<br />

Atlantic's new A350s and<br />

featuring its new-look Upper<br />

Class cabins are now on<br />

sale, with the aircraft due<br />

to enter service between<br />

London Heathrow and New<br />

York JFK on <strong>Sept</strong>ember 10.<br />

Four A350s will join the<br />

airline’s fleet by the end of<br />

<strong>2019</strong> to operate daily flights<br />

between London and New<br />

York. <strong>The</strong> airline will take<br />

delivery of a further eight<br />

A350’s from 2020-2021.<br />

<strong>The</strong> A350 is the first Virgin<br />

Atlantic aircraft to feature a<br />

new social space, the Loft,<br />

as well as new Upper Class<br />

suites with window-facing<br />

seats and privacy screens.<br />

Meanwhile, Virgin's joint<br />

venture partner Delta Air<br />

Lines will bring its new cabin<br />

concepts to the UK for the<br />

first time this winter. Its four<br />

upgraded seat products –<br />

Delta One, Delta Premium<br />

Select, Delta Comfort+ and<br />

Main Cabin – will feature on<br />

services from London to<br />

Atlanta (from November 13),<br />

New York-JFK (Nov 17) and<br />

Boston (Nov 21).<br />

manUfacTUring hUb becomes<br />

heaThrow's laTesT china link<br />

CHINA Southern has commenced services between<br />

London Heathrow and Zhenghou in eastern China.<br />

<strong>The</strong> twice-weekly service to the Chinese manufacturing<br />

hub is the only direct operation from Europe. Some<br />

70% of the world’s Apple iPhones are manufactured in<br />

the city and it is a key player in the textiles industry.<br />

Heathrow now has 13 direct services to destinations<br />

across China, having more than doubled since 2018.<br />

4%<br />

of passenger traffic travelled<br />

in airlines' premium classes<br />

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

passengers flying in<br />

premium cabins has<br />

dropped marginally, to<br />

4% for the first four<br />

months of <strong>2019</strong>, down<br />

from 4.1% a year ago.<br />

IATA's latest Financial<br />

Monitor also shows<br />

that premium traffic<br />

accounts for 27.4% of<br />

total international<br />

passenger revenues<br />

CHECK-IN<br />

WITH US ON TWITTER<br />

Follow us on Twitter @thebiztravmag<br />

TBTM SOCIAL ADS_NEW.indd 2<br />

5/30/19 05:37 PM


THE REVIEW<br />

I N T H E A I R<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Eastern's Leeds boost<br />

Eastern Airways will<br />

increase services between<br />

Southampton Airport and<br />

Leeds Bradford Airport<br />

from <strong>Sept</strong>ember 9.<br />

A new afternoon flight will<br />

take the operation to up to<br />

three flights a day, offering<br />

more choice on its Flybe<br />

franchise services.<br />

Great Dane arrival<br />

Great Dane Airlines has<br />

launched twice-weekly<br />

services between<br />

Edinburgh and Aalborg –<br />

the airline’s first service<br />

to the UK.<br />

Canadian deal<br />

Air Canada and fellow<br />

Canadian airline Air<br />

Transat are set to merge.<br />

<strong>The</strong> deal will see the Air<br />

Transat and Transat<br />

brands retained alongside<br />

the Air Canada and Air<br />

Canada Rouge brands.<br />

Cathay purchase<br />

Cathay Pacific has<br />

completed the acquisition<br />

of Hong Kong Express<br />

Airways which will<br />

continue to operate as a<br />

standalone low-cost airline.<br />

Virgin for SMEs<br />

Virgin Atlantic has closed<br />

its Flying Co scheme and<br />

joined the Bluebiz<br />

corporate loyalty<br />

programme for SMEs<br />

alongside Air France,<br />

KLM, Delta Air Lines and<br />

Kenya Airways.<br />

Bristol to Brussels<br />

Brussels Airlines will<br />

relaunch services between<br />

Bristol and Brussels this<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember (served by<br />

CityJet CRJ900 aircraft), a<br />

route previously operated<br />

by its defunct partner<br />

airline Flybmi.<br />

minneapolis-ST.PAUL has become<br />

aer lingus' 16th transatlantic route<br />

from Dublin. It is expected to become<br />

a key business service, with the<br />

‘Twin Cities’ a growing tech hub and<br />

home to 17 Fortune 500 companies<br />

Delays worsen as UK<br />

flight numbers grow<br />

NEW research has revealed that flight delays are getting<br />

worse at nearly every major airport in the UK, highlighting<br />

the need to modernise the way the UK and Europe’s air<br />

space is managed.<br />

Consumer association Which? analysed flight delay<br />

statistics for the last five years and found that 6.2% of all<br />

incoming and outgoing flights were delayed by more than an<br />

hour last year, up from 4% in 2014, though Which? notes<br />

delays are often out of the control of the airlines themselves.<br />

Aircraft movements in the UK have increased from just<br />

over 1.5million in 2014 to 2.25m in 2018. “UK airspace has<br />

failed to keep pace with this surge in traffic,” says Which?.<br />

“It hasn’t fundamentally changed since the 1950s and the<br />

CAA acknowledges that this is a reason for increased delays.”<br />

BTA update<br />

<strong>The</strong> latest from the<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Association<br />

(formerly the GTMC)<br />

It’s been an eventful year so<br />

far, with lots of changes, not<br />

least for us. In April, we<br />

announced that CEO, Adrian<br />

Parkes, was stepping down<br />

and embracing retirement.<br />

Adrian’s work at the helm of<br />

our association reflected his<br />

passion for the business<br />

travel industry. He led the<br />

organisation during major<br />

regulatory changes, the<br />

advancement of NDC and the<br />

uncertainty of Brexit, all of<br />

which required our focus.<br />

<strong>The</strong> most substantial<br />

change however, was<br />

announced in early July<br />

during our <strong>2019</strong> Overseas<br />

Conference in the Netherlands,<br />

where we unveiled our<br />

move to become the BTA<br />

(<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Association).<br />

<strong>The</strong> new brand is a natural<br />

step as our association<br />

seamlessly expanded our<br />

scope of work over the past<br />

few years. Initiatives have<br />

been designed to futureproof<br />

the industry and look at<br />

talent development, engage<br />

with government, promote<br />

the economic benefits of<br />

business travel and<br />

collaborate with our wide<br />

range of partners to unite<br />

over our industry’s challenges<br />

and celebrate its successes.<br />

While Adrian Parkes steps<br />

down, we welcome Suzanne<br />

Horner of Gray Dawes as our<br />

new Chair of the executive<br />

board. We all look forward<br />

to working together under<br />

the new name, not only<br />

implementing the BTA’s<br />

strategy but also carrying the<br />

association’s commitment<br />

even further.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

55


THE REVIEW<br />

R O O M R E P O R T<br />

LIVERPooL<br />

LaunCH<br />

FoR QuEsT<br />

ausTralia's largest serviced<br />

apartment company Quest will<br />

open its first European property<br />

in Liverpool this <strong>Sept</strong>ember.<br />

Quest Liverpool City Centre will<br />

be the first of eight to 12 planned<br />

European openings for the group<br />

over the next five years.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new property has 100<br />

studio, one-bedroom and<br />

two-bedroom units, all featuring<br />

fully equipped kitchenettes.<br />

Facilities at the Church Street<br />

property include a gym, laundry,<br />

conference facilities, staffed<br />

reception and housekeeping.<br />

Operating a franchise model,<br />

Quest has 170 properties across<br />

Australia, New Zealand and Fiji,<br />

and is part of Singapore's <strong>The</strong><br />

Ascott Limited hospitality group.<br />

Hyatt opens<br />

at famous<br />

London<br />

address<br />

THE Great Scotland Yard<br />

Hotel, London, will open late<br />

this summer as the first<br />

hotel in the UK under<br />

Hyatt's Unbound Collection.<br />

<strong>The</strong> historical home of law<br />

and order in Westminster,<br />

the building has been<br />

converted to feature 152<br />

luxury guestooms plus a<br />

number of dining options.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y include <strong>The</strong> Yard,<br />

championing home-grown<br />

dining; cocktail bar <strong>The</strong> Forty<br />

Elephants, named after a<br />

notorious all-female gang of<br />

thieves; the India-inspired<br />

modern tearoom, <strong>The</strong><br />

Parlour; and Sibin, a more<br />

intimate drinking space. <strong>The</strong><br />

hotel's basement will include<br />

a range of event spaces and<br />

co-working areas.<br />

Hyatt says the hotel will<br />

offer "a modern British<br />

experience that’s rooted in<br />

hospitality and suited to<br />

such a historic landmark."<br />

[ NEW AND IMPROVED ]<br />

>> <strong>The</strong> RAMADA BOURNEMOUTH hotel has been refurbished<br />

and reopened as a Holiday Inn >> Cheshire's WYCHWOOD PARK<br />

HOTEL is undergoing a £3million makeover of its guestrooms, bar,<br />

restaurant and public areas, due for completion this autumn >><br />

<strong>The</strong> 369-room HILTON GARDEN INN London Heathrow Terminal<br />

2 has now opened for business >> GRANTLEY HALL in Yorkshire<br />

has opened after an extensive three-year renovation. It is a member<br />

of Relais & Châteaux >> <strong>The</strong> HOLIDAY INN London Kensington<br />

Forum has unveiled a new look following a multi-million-pound<br />

refurbishment >> Aparthotel brand LOCKE will open a 142-key<br />

development in London’s Tower Bridge area in summer 2020.<br />

84%<br />

Wifi is the biggest factor<br />

influencing hotel selection<br />

W i fi ( 84%), room rate<br />

(81%), distance from<br />

business site (81%) and<br />

breakfast (79%) are the<br />

most important factors<br />

influencing a business<br />

traveller's choice of<br />

hotel, says RoomIt by<br />

CWT. In addition,<br />

research showed that<br />

service is a stronger<br />

driver than image or<br />

amenities offered<br />

NOW BOARDING<br />

JOIN US ON LINKEDIN<br />

Find us on Linkedin at <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

TBTM SOCIAL ADS_NEW.indd 3<br />

5/30/19 05:37 PM


THE REVIEW<br />

R O O M R E P O R T<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Layton's launch<br />

Serviced apartment<br />

industry stalwart Jo Layton<br />

has formally launched new<br />

global booking agency CAP<br />

Worldwide. <strong>The</strong> company<br />

serves the corporate<br />

market and promises to<br />

deliver a “consistent,<br />

cost-effective, secure and<br />

sustainable evolving global<br />

programme, so that<br />

travellers experience<br />

caring service and safe<br />

solutions through a<br />

blended integration of<br />

people and technology”.<br />

BCD gets radical<br />

BCD <strong>Travel</strong> has launched a<br />

dedicated global hotel<br />

division in what it says is<br />

a “dramatically new<br />

approach to managing<br />

hotel programmes”. Called<br />

Stay by BCD <strong>Travel</strong>, the<br />

division offers spend<br />

management, content<br />

aggregation, shopping and<br />

booking, virtual payment<br />

and digital invoice<br />

management, price<br />

assurance, hotel rate<br />

availability management,<br />

analytics and awareness<br />

and adoption campaigns.<br />

Red Carnation blooms<br />

<strong>The</strong> Red Carnation Hotel<br />

Collection will open its<br />

first hotel in Scotland next<br />

year following the<br />

'respectful renovation' of<br />

100 Princes Street in the<br />

heart of Edinburgh. <strong>The</strong><br />

group says the hotel will<br />

replicate the boutique<br />

atmosphere of its five-star<br />

sister property Hotel 41 in<br />

London. “It has been a<br />

dream of ours to open a<br />

hotel in Edinburgh for<br />

some time, and with the<br />

best address in the city, it<br />

was well worth the wait,”<br />

says Jonathan Raggett, the<br />

group's Managing Director.<br />

Japan's Prince Hotels<br />

set for London debut<br />

THE Arch London Hotel will re-open as the Prince Akatoki<br />

this <strong>Sept</strong>ember, becoming the group’s first UK hotel.<br />

It will also be the first hotel to open worldwide under the<br />

Prince group's new Akatoki brand. <strong>The</strong> opening is scheduled<br />

for <strong>Sept</strong>ember 16 and will “take the best of Japan and<br />

introduce it to London”.<br />

Located close to Marble Arch, the five-star property will<br />

have 82 guestrooms – including a range of rooms and suites<br />

– featuring minimal designs, natural elements, calming<br />

colours and premium amenities.<br />

Dining options will include fusion food restaurant Liquid<br />

Spoon and cocktails and whisky bar <strong>The</strong> Malt Lounge, while<br />

further amenities include a gym and <strong>The</strong> Prince Room for<br />

meetings and events of up to 36 guests.<br />

Marriott opens the luxury<br />

Langley Hotel in Bucks<br />

Buckinghamshire's Langley<br />

Hotel has opened as part of<br />

Marriott’s Luxury Collection.<br />

<strong>The</strong> high-end property has 41<br />

rooms across a former hunting<br />

lodge and Grade II-listed 18th<br />

century brew house. It is the result<br />

of a six-year, multimillion-pound<br />

renovation that sees it open as a<br />

hotel for the first time. <strong>The</strong> main<br />

house is home to the three-bedroom<br />

Duke of Marlborough Suite<br />

while historic features are<br />

preserved throughout the hotel.<br />

Drinking and dining options<br />

include the Churchill Bar, Cedar<br />

restaurant and the Drawing Room<br />

for afternoon teas. Meeting and<br />

event facilities comprise the Winter<br />

Garden and six further rooms for<br />

up to 120 guests, plus a private<br />

screening room. <strong>The</strong>re is also an<br />

extensive spa, indoor pool, gym<br />

and a range of outdoor activities.<br />

capital gains<br />

sustainable<br />

hotel brand<br />

Starwood Capital Group has<br />

revealed a new hotel brand,<br />

Treehouse Hotels, that will make<br />

its debut in London later this year.<br />

<strong>The</strong> brand is the creation of<br />

Barry Stenlicht – Chairman and<br />

CEO of Starwood Capital Group<br />

– who was the original founder<br />

of W Hotels and is also known for<br />

his nature-inspired 1 Hotel and<br />

Baccarat hotel brands.<br />

Treehouse Hotels is described as<br />

“the little brother of the 1” and<br />

“less serious, more torn jeans and<br />

t-shirts, and infinitely accessible”.<br />

All Treehouse properties will<br />

embrace sustainable protocols<br />

and the group is targeting<br />

business and leisure travellers<br />

alike. Its first hotel will open in<br />

London later this year with<br />

additional locations to follow in<br />

the United States and beyond.<br />

Treehouse London is located<br />

across the street from BBC<br />

headquarters on Regent Street<br />

and will comprise 95 guestrooms,<br />

a restaurant and rooftop bar.<br />

dedica hotel<br />

collection<br />

arrives in UK<br />

luxury hotel collection <strong>The</strong><br />

Dedica Anthology is launching in<br />

the UK this summer. Headquartered<br />

in Milan and established<br />

last year, the collection of seven<br />

high-end, independent hotels is<br />

united by a “sense of curation<br />

and dedication to the guest<br />

experience”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> seven ‘landmark’ European<br />

hotels – all additionally members<br />

of the Autograph Collection – include<br />

the Palazzo Naiadi in Rome,<br />

Palazzo Matteotti in Milan, the<br />

Grand Hotel dei Dogi in Venice, the<br />

New York Palace in Budapest, and<br />

the Carlo IV in Prague.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

57


THE REVIEW<br />

O N T H E G R O U N D<br />

Transpennine express takes on<br />

super nova trains<br />

<strong>The</strong> scores are in...<br />

THE latest National Rail Passenger Survey shows that overall<br />

journey satisfaction has reached 83%, up from 79% last<br />

autumn and from 81% last spring.<br />

At a national level, the proportion of journeys rated as<br />

satisfactory by passengers regarding punctuality/reliability<br />

was 77% – up from 72% a year ago. Heathrow Express once<br />

again emerged as the best-performing operator among<br />

passengers, followed by Virgin Trains.<br />

[ rolling out ]<br />

>> Transportation platform Bolt has launched in London<br />

promising lower fares, improved safety and greater competition in<br />

the on-demand market >> Virgin Trains has applied to the rail<br />

regulator to launch hourly services between London and Liverpool<br />

from May 2021. <strong>The</strong> ‘open access’ application would deliver the<br />

“UK’s most advanced and customer-focussed train service”, says<br />

the operator >> Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty customers can<br />

now use debit card payments across selected European locations<br />

instead of a credit card >> Enterprise has introduced eight<br />

Toyota C-HR hybrid SUVs to its Car Club network in Edinburgh.<br />

TRAIN operator TransPennine Express (TPE) has<br />

received its first new Nova 1 trains. TPE says the<br />

Hitachi-built trains – of which there will be 19 in total<br />

– mark a “major milestone for rail customers across<br />

the North and Scotland”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bullet train-style, five-carriage trains will bring<br />

additional capacity on services between Manchester,<br />

Leeds, York, Newcastle, Morpeth and Edinburgh.<br />

All the new trains will offer free wifi access in both first<br />

and standard class, plus plug sockets and USB points<br />

and access to complimentary Exstream entertainment.<br />

Testing of Nova 2 and Nova 3 trains continues, with<br />

the latter entering service towards the end of the<br />

summer. A date for Nova 1 trains entering service is<br />

still to be confirmed.<br />

Car hire's bumpy road<br />

Consumer organisation Which? says it receives more<br />

complaints about car hire than any other travel service.<br />

Its recent research revealed that nearly half (47%) of<br />

Interrent customers and more than four in ten (42%) Goldcar<br />

customers reported a problem with their rental. <strong>The</strong> next<br />

worst offenders were Thrifty (31%), Dollar (29%) and Firefly<br />

(29%). Larger rental brands fared better, with 18% of Sixt<br />

customers reporting problems, 21% of Enterprise<br />

customers, 24% of Europcar customers, and 27% of both<br />

Avis and Hertz customers encountering issues.<br />

<strong>The</strong> organisation is launching a more extensive investigation<br />

into three key issues that came to attention, focussing<br />

on high insurance excesses, unauthorised and unfair<br />

charges, and questionable damage repairs.<br />

ARRIVING NOW<br />

ON INSTAGRAM<br />

Follow us on Instagram at @thebiztravmag<br />

TBTM SOCIAL ADS_NEW.indd 4<br />

5/30/19 05:37 PM


THE REVIEW<br />

M e e t i n g p l a c e<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Red Bull events<br />

Red Bull Racing has<br />

unveiled its vibrant new<br />

event space, MK-7, in<br />

Buckinghamshire. <strong>The</strong><br />

stylish new venue centres<br />

around an auditorium that<br />

houses the team’s<br />

collection of race cars<br />

dating back to 2005.<br />

<strong>The</strong> space can be hired<br />

exclusively for up to 450<br />

guests, while a boardroom<br />

can seat 22 people.<br />

UK meetings market<br />

booming<br />

<strong>The</strong> UK Conference and<br />

Meeting Survey <strong>2019</strong> has<br />

revealed that the UK<br />

meetings industry is<br />

flourishing, with an<br />

estimated £20billion<br />

direct expenditure<br />

generated by conference<br />

and meeting delegates in<br />

2018. <strong>The</strong> overall number<br />

of conferences and<br />

meetings held in 2018 was<br />

the highest in recent years,<br />

with an average of 428<br />

conferences and meetings<br />

per venue.<br />

New Manchester venue<br />

Plans have been unveiled<br />

for Depot, a new 10,000<br />

capacity venue in<br />

Manchester's historic<br />

Mayfield, next to Piccadilly<br />

station. <strong>The</strong> proposed<br />

performance, community<br />

and studio space at the<br />

Mayfield site could<br />

welcome up to a million<br />

visitors next year.<br />

Alongside the main<br />

performance space there<br />

will be two smaller areas<br />

that will provide a range of<br />

free-to-attend community<br />

events, seasonal activities<br />

and food experiences. <strong>The</strong><br />

venue will launch this<br />

summer when it hosts<br />

Manchester Pride Live on<br />

<strong>Aug</strong>ust 24-25.<br />

Sector is unprepared<br />

for no-deal Brexit<br />

half of the UK’s event and hospitality businesses admit to<br />

having made little or no preparation for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.<br />

In a survey conducted by trade association the HBAA,<br />

businesses appear to be more pessimistic about their<br />

prospects while the ongoing uncertainty about the UK’s exit<br />

from the EU continues. When asked whether Brexit has had<br />

a noticeable impact on their business as a whole, only 15.6%<br />

this year say it has had none – a significant shift from a year<br />

ago when 57.7% reported no impact.<br />

Recruitment was the biggest concern, with 18.7% of<br />

respondents saying Brexit had hit the hiring and availability<br />

of staff. That figure has leapt from just 2.3% in 2017.<br />

Top of the pops<br />

the Hilton London Metropole is the UK's most popular hotel for meetings<br />

and events, according to Cvent, an event management technology<br />

company that sourced more than $16billion's worth of business and more<br />

than 42 million hotel nights in 2018.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Sofitel London Heathrow was runner-up, the Radisson Blu Edwardian<br />

Heathrow was third, <strong>The</strong> Tower Hotel fourth and Hilton London Paddington<br />

fifth. <strong>The</strong> Hilton Birmingham Metropole, in sixth, was the only hotel<br />

outside the capital city to feature in the top 20, and also has one of the<br />

largest meeting space offerings, 6,000sqm, in the top 50.<br />

Hilton's strong showing also included the Hilton London Bankside in<br />

seventh, the DoubleTree Tower of London in eighth, Hilton Heathrow<br />

Terminal 5 in ninth, and the Hilton Heathrow in tenth. Outside the capital,<br />

the De Vere Beaumont Estate was 23rd, the DoubleTree Manchester<br />

Piccadilly 31st, <strong>The</strong> Runnymede On Thames was 34th, the Radisson Blu<br />

Edinburgh 36th and the Sheraton Grand Edinburgh was 37th.<br />

Cresta’s MICE<br />

booking tool<br />

milestone<br />

cresta <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> has<br />

launched what it claims is the first<br />

complete travel and events online<br />

booking tool for MICE customers.<br />

<strong>The</strong> TMC has partnered with<br />

Asemblr to introduce the new<br />

online MICE booking solution<br />

which will “streamline and simplify<br />

the way corporate meetings,<br />

events and incentives are sourced,<br />

planned and booked”.<br />

<strong>The</strong> tool will give MICE bookers<br />

instant access to thousands of<br />

event suppliers globally, with costs,<br />

availability and booking options all<br />

available within a few clicks.<br />

“As workloads continue to<br />

increase, budgets tighten and KPI<br />

expectations soar, the partnership<br />

is providing a unique, smarter,<br />

cost-effective service solution<br />

across MICE and business travel,”<br />

says a spokesperson for the travel<br />

management company.<br />

<strong>The</strong> service includes complimentary<br />

insurance on event booking<br />

investment, a budget tracker and<br />

messaging system.<br />

boost for<br />

event budgets<br />

mARKETING budgets for events<br />

rose in the second quarter of the<br />

year, according to the IPA's latest<br />

Bellwether Report, despite overall<br />

marketing budgets flatlining.<br />

<strong>The</strong> net balance of marketing<br />

executives reporting a rise in<br />

events spending increased to<br />

+4.8% from +3.5% previously.<br />

<strong>The</strong> figure is at its highest since<br />

the first quarter of 2018 and<br />

corroborates earlier forecasts that<br />

events budgets would grow over<br />

the <strong>2019</strong>/20 financial year.<br />

“Until a clearer political and<br />

economic path is outlined, the vast<br />

majority of companies are locked<br />

in stasis,” says Paul Bainsfair,<br />

IPA Director General.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

59


THE REVIEW<br />

O N T H E M O V E<br />

EVENTS<br />

AUGUST 3-7<br />

GBTA CONVENTION<br />

Chicago<br />

CORNEEL KOSTER<br />

KERRY SMITH<br />

EDWARD FOTHERINGHAM<br />

gbta.org<br />

SEPTEMBER 4-6<br />

JOINS: Virgin Atlantic<br />

AS: Executive Vice President, Customer<br />

FROM: Delta Air Lines<br />

JOINS: Quest Apartments<br />

AS: <strong>Business</strong> Development Manager UK<br />

FROM: Independent business owner<br />

JOINS: Cathay Pacific<br />

AS: Regional Head of Marketing & Sales<br />

FROM: Whitbread<br />

WORLD AVIATION FESTIVAL<br />

<strong>Business</strong> Design Centre, London<br />

terrapinn.com/conference<br />

Corneel Koster has moved over<br />

to Virgin Atlantic from joint<br />

venture partner Delta Air Lines.<br />

Kerry Smith has been appointed<br />

to develop sales at Quest<br />

Apartments' first European<br />

Based in London, Edward<br />

Fortheringham will oversee the<br />

airline's European operation<br />

SEPTEMBER 17-18<br />

In his new role he will lead<br />

property, in Liverpool. She has<br />

together with newly-appointed<br />

THE BUSINESS TRAVEL CONFERENCE<br />

Hilton Bankside, London<br />

Virgin Atlantic’s customer,<br />

product and service strategy.<br />

previously worked for Pullman<br />

Hotels and Staybridge Suites.<br />

Lisa Delaney whose remit<br />

covers digital sales.<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

OCTOBER 4<br />

ITM SCOTLAND CHARITY BALL<br />

<strong>The</strong> Principal Edinburgh<br />

itm.org.uk<br />

OCTOBER 15<br />

TBTM DINNER CLUB<br />

London<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

OCTOBER 16<br />

TBTC'S AUTUMN SPARKLE<br />

Native Manchester<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

ROBERT FEATHERSTONE<br />

JOINS: De Vere Latimer Estate<br />

AS: Director of Sales<br />

FROM: Maybourne Hotel Group<br />

Robert Featherstone has joined<br />

the De Vere group to head up<br />

LEIGH COWLISHAW<br />

JOINS: Black Box Partnerships<br />

AS: Managing Partner<br />

FROM: Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and Events<br />

Leigh Cowlishaw has left Capita<br />

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

DAVID DI FELICIANTONIO<br />

JOINS: Corporate <strong>Travel</strong> Management<br />

AS: Director of Client Services<br />

FROM: Flight Centre<br />

David Di Feliciantonio will<br />

head up implementation<br />

OCTOBER 23-25<br />

ACTE EUROPEAN SUMMIT<br />

Amsterdam<br />

acte.org<br />

sales at its Latimer Estate in<br />

Buckinghamshire. He has more<br />

than ten years' experience in<br />

the hospitality sector.<br />

business travel consultancy<br />

Black Box Partnerships as<br />

Managing Partner specialising<br />

in accommodation and events.<br />

projects and manage business<br />

growth in his new role at CTM.<br />

He has six years' experience<br />

in corporate travel.<br />

NOVEMBER 4-6<br />

WORLD TRAVEL MARKET<br />

ExCel, London<br />

london.wtm.com<br />

NOVEMBER 19-21<br />

GBTA CONFERENCE EUROPE<br />

Munich<br />

europeconference.gbta.org<br />

ALSO ON THE MOVE... Flight Centre <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> has strengthened its senior team with the<br />

appointment of Joe Beevis as General Manager UK & Ireland and Aisha Battersby as Head of<br />

Customer Experience >> Garry Moroney is the new Chief Executive Officer at Roomex >> <strong>Travel</strong>port<br />

has appointed Greg Webb as Chief Executive Officer >> Alistair Rowland has been elected as the<br />

new ABTA Chairman >> Linda Hodgson has been promoted to Commercial Director at <strong>The</strong> Savoy,<br />

London >> <strong>The</strong> Board of Eurostar has named Dominique Reiniche as its new Chair >> Chris Darch<br />

is the new Director of Operations at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport<br />

DECEMBER 10<br />

TBTM'S CHRISTMAS PARTY<br />

London<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

FEBRUARY 26-27<br />

BUSINESS TRAVEL SHOW<br />

Olympia London<br />

businesstravelshow.com<br />

60 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


GALLERY<br />

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

Golf Masters<br />

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

ANA gets things off<br />

to a flying start at<br />

the first tee<br />

<strong>The</strong> ninth annual TBTM Golf Masters<br />

took place at Mannings Heath, West<br />

Sussex, in June, with teams from<br />

across the business travel industry<br />

competing to be crowned champions.<br />

Participants were blessed with fine<br />

weather and a strong breeze, but the<br />

team from Emirates conquered the<br />

conditions to emerge triumphant.<br />

<strong>The</strong> TBTM Golf Masters <strong>2019</strong> ▼<br />

Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx ▼<br />

▲ 27.06.<strong>2019</strong><br />

Sunshine and smiles<br />

at Mannings Heath<br />

16 teams all raring to go!<br />

With thanks to our partners<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

61


ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE<br />

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS<br />

Wings <strong>Travel</strong> Management gives SME clients dedicated local<br />

servicing backed by global travel risk management support<br />

Managing a travel programme<br />

within an SME company can<br />

often be a juggling act of<br />

balancing the day-to-day requirements<br />

of your travellers with compliance,<br />

whilst seeking out the best value.<br />

Often missed or overlooked is planning a<br />

strategy for travel risk management. Yet<br />

traveller safety is just as important for an<br />

SME as a large corporate.<br />

Wings <strong>Travel</strong> Management has wholly<br />

owned operations around the globe – from<br />

London, Lagos and Luanda to Dubai,<br />

Durban and Damman – and the TMC’s staff<br />

are experts in handling complex travel,<br />

logistics and traveller safety for corporates<br />

of all sizes in the finance, construction,<br />

security, energy and marine sectors,<br />

particularly those travelling to high-risk<br />

destinations.<br />

Notably at Wings’ office in London, staff<br />

are also experts in looking after the travel<br />

needs of SMEs as some 60 per cent of<br />

customers have an annual business travel<br />

spend of up to £1million.<br />

“Our UK-based SME clients have the best<br />

of both worlds as they receive local,<br />

personal and dedicated offline service from<br />

their Wings travel consultant, backed by the<br />

capabilities and risk management expertise<br />

of a leading independent global TMC,” says<br />

Colin Goldney, Managing Director UK,<br />

Europe & Russia, Wings <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Management.<br />

“As part of an SME’s duty of care as an<br />

employer, it’s vital that they can locate their<br />

travelling employees quickly in an<br />

emergency and that they have access to<br />

immediate assistance,” he added.<br />

“Most SMEs don’t have the resources<br />

in-house to handle traveller safety and risk<br />

management, so they rely on us to provide<br />

this critical support. Our services and<br />

expertise in this respect are especially<br />

suited to SMEs due to the menu of options<br />

and flexible pricing we can provide.”<br />

But travel risk management<br />

isn’t the only advantage<br />

SMEs gain from working<br />

with Wings. Because the<br />

TMC owns all its operations<br />

globally, this means it operates<br />

off a single GDS technology platform<br />

as well as a proprietary front/mid-end<br />

reservations system TMA (<strong>Travel</strong><br />

Management Application).<br />

“Most other TMCs do not own their own<br />

operations in high-risk markets such as<br />

Nigeria and Angola; they use partner<br />

agencies or franchisees. But the difference<br />

at Wings is that we own and manage all of<br />

our global operations,” explains Goldney.<br />

“This means that our clients – whether<br />

UK-based SME or large multinational<br />

corporate – not only benefit from consistent<br />

technology and servicing across our<br />

standardised global operational platform,<br />

but in times of emergency, our teams can<br />

access travel records regardless of where or<br />

when the reservation was made and<br />

provide support immediately.”<br />

www.wings.travel<br />

infouk@wings.travel<br />

@Wings<strong>Travel</strong>Mgmt


Small companies might not<br />

have the spending power of<br />

multinationals, but that doesn't<br />

mean suppliers and TMCs aren't<br />

interested in their business. Find<br />

out more in our guide to...<br />

travel<br />

management<br />

for SMEs<br />

Introduction, 64-66 / <strong>The</strong> TMC conundrum, 68-72<br />

Back to basics: travel policy, 74 / Spend management, 76-80<br />

Six of the best: digital banks, 82 / Data, 84<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

63


SMEs / Introduction<br />

Big<br />

IDEAS<br />

Are the challenges that SMEs face really that different<br />

to those encountered by larger companies? Catherine<br />

Chetwynd explores the challenges and solutions at hand<br />

Small and medium-sized enterprises<br />

are often said to face a whole raft<br />

of size-related challenges when it<br />

comes to managing their business travel<br />

needs, but in fact they are often contending<br />

with many of the same issues faced<br />

by larger companies but on a smaller<br />

scale. Nevertheless, there are some<br />

notable differences.<br />

Although SMEs benefit from greater agility<br />

and willingness to innovate, they also have<br />

fewer people to dedicate to the task: the<br />

person organising travel is often doing so in<br />

addition to their day job and their expertise<br />

might lie elsewhere. And while large<br />

corporates have higher compliance to policy<br />

and therefore greater ability to control costs,<br />

smaller organisations are more likely to<br />

undergo speedy growth and have sporadic<br />

travel patterns that do not allow them to<br />

negotiate airfares or hotel rates.<br />

Reliable sources of advice include the ITM,<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Association (formerly the<br />

GTMC) and the Advantage <strong>Travel</strong> Partnership,<br />

the UK’s largest group of independent travel<br />

agencies, whose aggregate business gives it<br />

good negotiating clout.<br />

Dedicated supplier products are also<br />

available to SMEs. Millennium Hotels &<br />

Resorts this year introduced Millennium for<br />

<strong>Business</strong>, a digital platform where users can<br />

manage travel, make itinerary-style bookings,<br />

cater to individual needs and earn rewards.<br />

It includes a Best Rate Promise, is integrated<br />

with the MyMillennium rewards programme,<br />

and gives bookers access to aggregated<br />

insights and reporting.<br />

Tricks of the trade<br />

Also launched this year was TapTrip, a<br />

business and expense app and website for<br />

booking all elements of travel, allowing users<br />

to see what they are spending and where,<br />

and to customise travel policies.<br />

TapTrip derives content from Skyscanner,<br />

Booking.com, Goeuro, Uber and more, and<br />

integrates with expense management<br />

systems such as Xero. <strong>The</strong>re is no contract,<br />

with a charge per transaction. “Thanks to<br />

centralised visibility, clients save on average<br />

£1,200 per year,” says founder Neil Ruth.<br />

Expense management tool <strong>Travel</strong>doo is<br />

available to SMEs through partner TMCs,<br />

ensuring all expenditure is captured,<br />

providing management information to<br />

power negotiations.<br />

“A lot of SMEs do not have a full understanding<br />

of technology; they think it’s simple<br />

because they use Expedia, but someone<br />

needs to extract the information behind that<br />

to do contract negotiations,” says UK Country<br />

Manager for <strong>Travel</strong>doo, Sam Cande.<br />

Small companies often rely on consumer<br />

booking sites before they switch to a<br />

managed travel programme. “To manage<br />

that change, it is important to meet<br />

<br />

64 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Introduction / SMEs<br />

Although SMEs<br />

benefit from greater<br />

agility and willingness to<br />

innovate, they also have fewer<br />

people to dedicate to the task”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

65


SMEs / Introduction<br />

expectations of a consumer-grade<br />

experience in booking and expense<br />

management tools, but there also needs to<br />

be added value to drive adoption; for<br />

example, layering policy onto the booking<br />

experience makes it easier for employees to<br />

follow the rules,” says Vice President Product<br />

Management for KDS, Bertrand Blais.<br />

A helping hand<br />

A TMC is not an unnecessary expense for an<br />

SME: with the ever-rising threshold for<br />

negotiated rates, the alternative is trawling<br />

through supplier and aggregator websites to<br />

find the best tariffs.<br />

A TMC can access widespread content<br />

within one search, bringing together<br />

standard pricing, promotional rates and<br />

aggregated content. Also, if travellers are<br />

handling travel individually and the SME<br />

does not have an HR structure in place,<br />

the company will be hard pressed to find<br />

travellers in an emergency – a requirement<br />

of duty of care.<br />

“Someone looking for a TMC can do no<br />

better than speak with the BTA, the<br />

representative body for UK TMCs,” says<br />

Managing Director of <strong>Travel</strong>eads, Gary<br />

McLeod. “All members are vetted, required<br />

to operate to professional standards and<br />

uphold the integrity of the industry; and the<br />

BTA website provides information about<br />

members.” He also recommends looking at<br />

this magazine's annual listing of the top UK<br />

TMCs, which gives size, specialisms and the<br />

‘flavour’ of their business.<br />

<strong>The</strong> next step is to do due diligence to<br />

ensure potential suppliers provide the<br />

expertise you need, such as an online<br />

booking tool for a large volume of domestic<br />

travel or global relationships to handle<br />

international travel needs. Several TMCs<br />

have a dedicated SME operation.<br />

“SMEs are definitely getting smarter, more<br />

demanding – and that is absolutely right,<br />

they should be looking for more from their<br />

travel provider,” says UK General Manager<br />

for Corporate <strong>Travel</strong>ler, Andy Hegley.<br />

“If an SME goes to a travel partner, they<br />

should meet the person who is going to be<br />

providing the service on a day-to-day basis;<br />

and as they grow and their travel needs and<br />

priorities change, they should have agreed<br />

business objectives for each quarter.”<br />

Partnering up<br />

<strong>The</strong> right TMC will provide quick and easy<br />

access to the best travel options with<br />

guaranteed best-price availability and can<br />

provide support for travel policy creation,<br />

mandation and more.<br />

“It is vital that a provider goes beyond just<br />

booking travel. To ensure adherence and<br />

adoption, it is important that the client and<br />

the TMC communicate clearly the reasons<br />

behind working with a travel partner,” says<br />

Head of Client Development for Gray Dawes<br />

Group, Gavin Sanderson.<br />

“Educating the audience as to the benefit<br />

and value to individual travellers and the<br />

wider business ensures they are far more<br />

likely to book via the TMC,” he adds.<br />

Good <strong>Travel</strong> Management often sees a<br />

tipping point when a company needs<br />

external support to manage business travel.<br />

“For the most part, that is driven by positive<br />

requirements such as business growth,<br />

where an increased amount of travel means<br />

it is not being managed efficiently and a<br />

travel management company is required,”<br />

says Head of Sales, Account Management<br />

and Marketing, Wayne Durkin.<br />

“A good SME TMC should be offering<br />

account management as standard, as well as<br />

managing corporate supplier programmes<br />

on their behalf.”<br />

Some years ago, dedicated SME services<br />

from a TMC were few and far between. Now,<br />

says Adrian Parkes, CEO of the BTA: “Several<br />

of our members have specific products<br />

dedicated to the SME marketplace.”<br />

If an SME goes to a<br />

travel partner, they<br />

should meet the person who<br />

is going to be providing the<br />

service on a day-to-day basis;<br />

they should have agreed<br />

business objectives”<br />

66 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


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

Management<br />

Company behind<br />

hundreds of<br />

growing small<br />

and medium-sized<br />

UK businesses<br />

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Let’s talk about your<br />

business travel needs.<br />

Call us on 0330 004 0520<br />

Email us on sales@good-travel.co.uk<br />

www.good-travel.co.uk<br />

goodtravel<br />

management


SMEs / <strong>The</strong> TMC conundrum<br />

Getting<br />

TOGETHER<br />

SMEs are firmly in the sights of TMCs these days but are<br />

they strictly necessary for small travel budgets? Rob Gill<br />

assesses the pros and cons of working with a TMC<br />

To misquote Shakespeare,<br />

“To TMC, or not to TMC”, that is<br />

the question worth considering<br />

when it comes to how small and<br />

medium-sized enterprises choose to<br />

manage their business travel.<br />

During the past few years, travel management<br />

companies have increasingly<br />

targeted smaller organisations, who may<br />

never have considered using a business<br />

travel agency, instead relying on leisure-<br />

orientated platforms to book flights,<br />

hotels, rail tickets and more.<br />

TMCs see the SME market as a<br />

vast untapped market for their<br />

services – and it’s hard to doubt their<br />

logic: SMEs in the UK employ 16.3 million<br />

people with a collective turnover of<br />

£2trillion per year.<br />

Previously, larger TMCs have<br />

struggled to come up with<br />

products to effectively serve<br />

the SME market but this is<br />

changing rapidly as<br />

improved technology<br />

and automation<br />

reduces the costs<br />

of them reaching<br />

smaller clients.<br />

Even American Express Global <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong>, for example, is offering a “bundle”<br />

of services to SMEs through its <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Made Simple platform.<br />

For an SME new to the concept of<br />

managed travel, the choice can be<br />

daunting as it’s not just TMCs vying for<br />

their business. Technology companies,<br />

including online booking tool providers<br />

and travel management platforms such as<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>Perk, as well as big-name leisure<br />

travel brands, including Booking.com,<br />

are also making a play for the market.<br />

TMC offerings<br />

Click <strong>Travel</strong>’s Chief Executive Jill Palmer<br />

says SME clients should look beyond<br />

whether a company has a “TMC<br />

badge” or not, and instead<br />

consider the advantages of<br />

managing travel.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s a huge benefit to<br />

having all your business<br />

travel booked in one<br />

place,” she says.<br />

“You can implement<br />

a travel policy to<br />

get travellers<br />

to make the<br />

right choices and get reporting to know how<br />

much they are spending. It also means PAs<br />

don’t have to spend a lot of time booking<br />

travel on three different consumer sites.”<br />

Simone Buckley, CEO of Fello, adds that<br />

“speed and ease of service” are two of a<br />

TMC’s top selling points, alongside the<br />

ability to change bookings either online or<br />

by calling a consultant familiar with the<br />

SME’s requirements.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y also benefit from 24-hour emergency<br />

service, traveller risk management, a single<br />

point of payment and credit facility, as well<br />

as consolidated reporting of travel spend<br />

and booking patterns,” says Buckley.<br />

Other TMCs are also keen to stress that<br />

managing business travel effectively goes<br />

far beyond making bookings.<br />

“We can bring more value to a business<br />

especially when it comes to controlling<br />

costs – both in terms of the best rates and<br />

ensuring bookings are within travel policy,”<br />

says Tyler Buckley, Strategic <strong>Business</strong><br />

Proposal Manager at <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Direct.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> value we bring to SME clients is often<br />

quite significant compared with larger clients<br />

with mature programmes. We can achieve a<br />

significant ROI for clients in the earlier<br />

stages of managing their travel spend.”<br />

68 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


<strong>The</strong> TMC conundrum / SMEs<br />

Payment plans<br />

One of the first questions on the lips of any<br />

SME thinking about using a TMC for the first<br />

time is 'how much is it going to cost us?'<br />

<strong>The</strong> answer is not always simple as TMCs<br />

now offer a plethora of payment options<br />

and strategies, which are largely dependent<br />

on the level of service required.<br />

<strong>The</strong> general rule of thumb is the more<br />

automated the process, the cheaper it’s<br />

going to be. For those wanting a “higher<br />

touch” human experience, the cost is always<br />

going to be higher.<br />

Click <strong>Travel</strong> offers SMEs use of its online<br />

booking tool for free with no transaction<br />

fees – the TMC makes its money from<br />

suppliers. Click has also just introduced a<br />

new upgraded “Plus” package for £399 per<br />

year, including extra functions such as the<br />

ability to customise travel policy, sync<br />

calendars and automate pre-trip approvals.<br />

Similarly, <strong>Travel</strong>Perk offers a basic booking<br />

option for free and then charges £9 per trip<br />

for a premium plan offering a higher level<br />

of service to clients, including priority<br />

customer and concierge services.<br />

Earlier this year, travel management<br />

company Amber Road launched a new<br />

SME service called TRAQ, which charges<br />

clients a monthly flat fee of £29 per<br />

traveller, which is only paid if the traveller<br />

is active during the month.<br />

While this sort of subscription-based<br />

model is becoming more<br />

popular, transaction fees<br />

remain common among<br />

TMCs specialising in the<br />

SME market, including<br />

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

which is part of the<br />

Flight Centre Group along with FCM.<br />

“We don’t tie clients into contracts and our<br />

payment model is based on transaction<br />

fees, but we provide flexible payment<br />

options so clients can choose whether to<br />

pay by credit card or on account,” says<br />

Andy Hegley, UK General Manager at<br />

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

Offering flexibility to SMEs is also crucial<br />

for Gary McLeod, Managing Director of<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>eads. “When business travel might be<br />

sporadic, we would usually recommend the<br />

transaction fee route. Once they develop a<br />

more regular pattern of travel, we can look<br />

at management fees or subscription <br />

One of the first<br />

questions on the<br />

lips of any SME thinking<br />

about using a TMC for the<br />

first time is 'how much is it<br />

going to cost us?'”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

69


SMEs / <strong>The</strong> TMC conundrum<br />

models where we tailor charges against<br />

agreed activity,” he explains.<br />

Most SMEs recognise that there is a “cost<br />

to managing travel”, says Kevin Harrison,<br />

Good <strong>Travel</strong> Management’s Managing<br />

Director, with TMCs needing to<br />

“demonstrate broader value”, he says.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re is no such thing as a free travel<br />

management service. If there isn’t a fee,<br />

it will be somewhere within the pricing<br />

model,” adds Harrison.<br />

Size matters – or does it?<br />

Another key question is how much does a<br />

SME have to spend on business travel each<br />

year to make using a TMC worthwhile? <strong>The</strong><br />

answer varies, with some suggesting at least<br />

£50,000 per year and others being more<br />

flexible, depending on the client’s current<br />

needs and potential growth.<br />

“A business is never too small for a TMC,”<br />

says Brett Gerrett, General Manager,<br />

Isleworth <strong>Travel</strong> Management, which looks<br />

after clients with a business travel spend of<br />

up to £1.5million per year.<br />

“Clients spending less have access to the<br />

same great fares and service that all clients<br />

access,” says Gerrett. “And an offline service<br />

is perfectly suited to a client with a budget<br />

of less than £60k.”<br />

Kyle Daniels, Product Marketing Manager<br />

for Clarity, adds: “If we judge companies<br />

based on annual spend or number of<br />

journeys each year, we aren’t taking into<br />

account their ability to grow.<br />

“Everyone has to start somewhere. It’s<br />

about having open and honest conversations<br />

with prospects to determine if they need a<br />

TMC or just a better way of booking their<br />

current volume of travel,” says Daniels.<br />

Mark Wilson, Corporate <strong>Travel</strong> General<br />

Manager at <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors for <strong>Business</strong>,<br />

adds: “We aren’t interested in the number<br />

of transactions a client does. Our operating<br />

model flexibility allows <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors to<br />

operate in a way that ensures a personal<br />

service, with a single point of contact for<br />

all aspects of travel – SMEs value this<br />

connection the most.”<br />

Jason Geall, VP Northern Europe for<br />

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

says travel management is becoming<br />

“more accessible” to SMEs because of<br />

“digitally-driven services”.<br />

“Depending on the customer’s factors<br />

and circumstances, we already offer<br />

services to clients with annual spend from<br />

£250,000,” Geall adds.<br />

“And we are continuing to explore new<br />

tech-based travel management solutions to<br />

help businesses with even smaller spend.”<br />

Alternative routes<br />

Of course, there are other options for those<br />

companies keen to better manage their<br />

travel but wary of using a TMC.<br />

One of these alternatives is to start using<br />

an online booking tool offered by specialist<br />

companies such as SAP Concur, KDS or<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>doo, among others.<br />

<br />

If we judge companies<br />

based on their annual<br />

spend or the number of<br />

journeys they make each year,<br />

we aren’t taking into account<br />

their ability to grow”<br />

70 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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SMEs / <strong>The</strong> TMC conundrum<br />

Darryl McGarvey, Director of Channel<br />

Development at SAP Concur, says they<br />

work with SMEs both through TMCs and<br />

directly with the client - the same booking<br />

platforms and technology are offered to all<br />

sizes of organisations.<br />

“Some SMEs are not of a size to engage<br />

with a TMC to gain access to their services<br />

and expertise – our TripLink product is a<br />

much better fit for them,” says McGarvey.<br />

“This allows businesses to manage their<br />

own travel programmes, but still have<br />

access to the consolidation of data they<br />

would usually get through working with a<br />

travel management company.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is also the option of using a high<br />

street travel agency chain. It may seem like<br />

an 'old school' approach but brands such as<br />

Flight Centre and STA <strong>Travel</strong> – who both<br />

have numerous retail stores – have each<br />

been targeting the SME business travel<br />

sector, recognising its potential.<br />

“We stand out from typical TMCs because<br />

we are a truly global company,” says Ellen<br />

Rayner, Director of STA <strong>Travel</strong>’s travel<br />

management division.<br />

“Our global network of stores means<br />

hands-on support is never too far away.<br />

Getting the best price is our priority. SME<br />

business clients are treated to bespoke<br />

corporate hotel rates and we also negotiate<br />

exclusive corporate airfares and rail<br />

bookings,” Rayner explains.<br />

<strong>The</strong> choice of travel management options<br />

for SMEs has never been greater and<br />

continues to grow – whether they want to<br />

go down the full TMC route or simply dip<br />

their toes by using an online booking tool<br />

for little or no initial cost.<br />

We are continuing<br />

to explore new techbased<br />

travel management<br />

solutions to help businesses<br />

with even smaller spend”<br />

[ BUILDING FROM SCRATCH ]<br />

A UK-based technology start-up saw their<br />

workforce grow from two to 50 people in five<br />

years, with business travel also increasing<br />

quickly to Europe and the US.<br />

<strong>The</strong> SME originally had no TMC, travel policy<br />

or anybody in charge of travel internally.<br />

<strong>The</strong> company wanted to work with a TMC to<br />

make savings on airfares, improve booking<br />

efficiency and implement a travel policy to<br />

enhance the safety and security of travellers.<br />

<strong>The</strong> financial director was appointed as the<br />

internal “travel owner” and then implemented<br />

a travel policy with the help and advice of<br />

CTM Europe.<br />

CTM assisted the company in signing up to<br />

airline loyalty agreements, including both<br />

corporate and individual traveller schemes,<br />

and securing specific SME airfares and hotel<br />

rates. It also began weekly pre- and post-trip<br />

reporting to monitor spending and<br />

compliance with policy.<br />

After the first 12 months, the client had<br />

achieved 97% policy compliance and 74%<br />

online booking adoption, as well as savings of<br />

23% on airfares and hotel savings of 5%. <strong>The</strong><br />

company also saved an estimated four hours<br />

per person per week by using a booking tool.<br />

72 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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SMEs / Back to basics<br />

the importance of policy<br />

Writing and implementing a company travel policy is a key first step for getting your business<br />

travel spend under control. Jenny Southan examines the essential components<br />

Managing travel relies on drafting a solid<br />

travel policy to make sure there is a<br />

consistent approach to booking flights<br />

and hotels, for example, and parameters<br />

in place about how much can be spent<br />

on what. It also needs to have guidelines<br />

in place to keep people safe.<br />

Divide your travel policy<br />

into sections<br />

A travel policy will usually need to<br />

cover quite a bit of ground so dividing it into<br />

sections is a good place to start. Things you<br />

need to account for are safety and security,<br />

flights (rules related to bookings, upgrades,<br />

cabin classes, air miles, lounges and so on),<br />

public transport, hotels, incidentals, meals,<br />

tips, taxis, car rental, entertainment,<br />

corporate credit cards, business hospitality<br />

and other travel expenses (visas, passports<br />

and currency). You may also want a clause<br />

relating to combining business trips with<br />

add-on stays for leisure.<br />

Do your due diligence<br />

Firstly, assess what locations you<br />

and your employees will be<br />

travelling to and check the Foreign and<br />

Commonwealth Office for country-specific<br />

advice. Decide what kinds of accommodation<br />

will be suitable. For example, in some riskier<br />

cities only five-star international chains will<br />

guarantee the security you are after and<br />

should be booked whatever the price.<br />

However, for companies frequenting the<br />

United States, for example, using mid-range<br />

hotels or even Airbnb for Work apartments<br />

could be the benchmark.<br />

Decide on your boundaries<br />

State hotel categories or nightly<br />

rate limits that you are happy for<br />

travellers to book. This might be on a cityby-city<br />

basis. You might want to specify<br />

particular chains or airlines but it’s a good<br />

idea to provide a choice. Having rules about<br />

when it’s appropriate to fly premium<br />

economy or business class will also be<br />

important. For some companies, flights<br />

under six hours must be flown in economy,<br />

while 10 hours-plus could be in business.<br />

Specify how bookings<br />

should be made<br />

If you are using a travel agency, the<br />

policy will probably need to state that all<br />

trips must be booked by them as they will<br />

get preferential rates. If you are using a<br />

TMC, there may be a mobile booking tool to<br />

use for less complex journeys. However, in<br />

an SME, everyone might have to book their<br />

own trips. Highlight who has sign-off and<br />

outline your approval process flow.<br />

Outline how trips<br />

should be paid for<br />

You might want to issue a company<br />

credit card to certain managers. Giving<br />

employees pre-paid cards is a good way of<br />

controlling expenses. Or try digital banks<br />

such as Tide and Starling (see page 82).<br />

How will you keep<br />

track of travellers?<br />

Make sure provisions are in place<br />

to keep track of travellers’ itineraries and<br />

contact details. If travelling to hostile<br />

territories, will there be training<br />

requirements? You should specify if any<br />

particular tracking technology is required or<br />

simply an email update. Staff all need to<br />

know what to do in an emergency. Overall,<br />

a decision needs to be made on how strict<br />

or relaxed you are as a company. Your<br />

policy should reflect this.<br />

Make sure provisions<br />

are in place to keep<br />

track of travellers’ itineraries<br />

and contact details. Staff all<br />

need to know what to do in<br />

an emergency”<br />

74 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


SMEs / Spend management<br />

76 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


Spend management / SMEs<br />

SAVE<br />

the pennies<br />

SMEs needn't play second fiddle to<br />

multinationals when it comes to supplier<br />

negotiations, writes Gillian Upton<br />

It’s ironic how a global financial<br />

meltdown can change the course of a<br />

company’s sales strategy but that’s<br />

exactly what happened after the Stock<br />

Market crash in 2008.<br />

TMCs previously ignoring the rich seam of<br />

SME business turned their attention to<br />

these entrepreneurs with potentially<br />

growing businesses. It means that for the<br />

last decade or so small and medium-sized<br />

companies have been taken far more<br />

seriously by the wider TMC community.<br />

<strong>The</strong> penny has dropped for some that<br />

SMEs may be small but gathered in large<br />

numbers are a far less risky strategy than<br />

relying totally on a smaller number of larger<br />

clients. “<strong>The</strong>y had holes to fill in revenues,”<br />

suggests Gary McLeod, MD of <strong>Travel</strong>eads.<br />

<strong>The</strong> opportunity is huge as <strong>The</strong> Federation<br />

of Small <strong>Business</strong>es says that SMEs account<br />

for 99.9% of all private sector companies in<br />

the UK, and over 5.7 million companies fall<br />

into the SME definition.<br />

Those SMEs employing between 10 and<br />

250 staff make up a group of 250,000<br />

companies, compared with approximately<br />

7,500 in the private sector's large employer<br />

category, employing over 250 staff.<br />

Once an SME of 10-15 staff grows to 30-50<br />

staff, a lot of travel and meetings begin as<br />

they seek to expand and open offices<br />

further afield. Annual travel spend of<br />

between £100,000 and £500,000 is the<br />

benchmark for SMEs but very often that can<br />

quickly rise to £5million.<br />

Scott Davies, CEO of the Institute of <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Management, highlights other attractions of<br />

the SME market: “<strong>The</strong> business is generally<br />

less volatile [than larger corporates] so<br />

there's lower risk and higher margin, since<br />

the buying power of multinational<br />

companies drive fees downwards.<br />

“In addition, SMEs usually have simpler<br />

requirements and so can be serviced via off<br />

the shelf propositions,” he adds.<br />

A product embracing an online booking<br />

tool has been the core provision for SMEs<br />

from the larger TMCs, with just telephone<br />

account management, which is fine if travel<br />

is largely point-to-point. However, American<br />

Express GBT has an offering called <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Made Simple (BTMS) which offers<br />

online and offline servicing, based on a per<br />

transaction cost model and designed for<br />

quick deployment. It offers discounts with<br />

suppliers, streamlined booking, robust<br />

reporting and 24/7 support, plus personalised<br />

service before, during and post-trip.<br />

“SMEs naturally gravitate towards small<br />

and mid-size TMCs,“ believes Adrian Parkes,<br />

of the <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Association, many of<br />

which are part of global buying groups such<br />

as Advantage and Uniglobe and can pass on<br />

deals and perks.<br />

“We use leisure fares and IT fares too,”<br />

says Kevin Harrison, Managing Director of<br />

Good <strong>Travel</strong> Management, who thinks that<br />

SMEs can buy as well as the big boys.<br />

facing up to the challenges<br />

TMCs can aggregate spend and arrange<br />

cluster deals with airlines and hotels and<br />

offer best value solutions.<br />

However, it’s not all plain sailing as Raj<br />

Sachdave of Black Box warns that some<br />

suppliers will not accept aggregation as they<br />

want to know client names rather than<br />

receive consolidated volume made of <br />

We are keen to work<br />

directly with SMEs,<br />

but the challenge is that it is<br />

a very fragmented sector and<br />

many SMEs book in the same<br />

way as leisure customers,<br />

such as through OTAs”<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

77


SMEs / Spend management<br />

anonymous multiple SME spend.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>eads is typical of the TMC approach,<br />

spending time in the discovery and<br />

educational process with clients as many of<br />

them have no travel policy, approvals<br />

process or have considered data needs.<br />

“Often it’s a case of spending time showing<br />

them how sophisticated a programme we<br />

can create for them, which is often an eye<br />

opener if they’ve been used to the<br />

experience of ‘give us your credit card and<br />

go away’ online booking,” says McLeod of<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>eads, one of the smaller TMCs which<br />

has long focussed on this market.<br />

<strong>The</strong> availability of technology has helped<br />

level the playing field as SMEs can benefit<br />

from mobile solutions and data analysis<br />

software for very little outlay.<br />

Suppliers raise their game<br />

SimiIarly, suppliers are waking up to the<br />

SME opportunity. “Suppliers certainly<br />

recognise the critical mass which the SME<br />

market generates in terms of travellers and<br />

combined spend,” says McLeod. And ITM’s<br />

Davies adds: “Suppliers need a lot of SMEs<br />

to match or replace revenue generated by<br />

large corporates. For this reason, the sales<br />

support tends to be virtual or delivered<br />

online through web portals.”<br />

Accor Hotels, for example, has a team<br />

looking after SMEs and has developed<br />

products and services for them, most<br />

recently <strong>Business</strong> Offer which offers a<br />

discount off BAR (see panel for details). Its<br />

LeClub Member Offer (for those booking<br />

leisure travel) includes perks.<br />

“We are keen to work directly with SMEs,<br />

but the challenge is that it is a very<br />

fragmented sector, and many SMEs book in<br />

the same way as leisure customers, such as<br />

through OTAs, perhaps unaware of the<br />

advantages of corporate accounts and<br />

booking direct,” says Jonathan Pettifer,<br />

Director of Corporate Sales and TMC<br />

partners, Accor UK & Ireland.<br />

TMCs can offer consortia rates from<br />

independent hotels says Mark Bevan,<br />

Head of Strategic Partnerships at <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Direct, where SMEs are a core part of<br />

the client portfolio.<br />

“Consortia rates from independent hotels<br />

discount the rate by 5%-15% and more like<br />

10%-15% regionally, both on transient and<br />

day delegate business,” he says. Forwardthinking<br />

suppliers are targetting SMEs, says<br />

Bevan, citing Best Western as an example.<br />

Perks aside, SMEs need help managing the<br />

travel spend. “Collecting Nectar points from<br />

<strong>The</strong> spending power<br />

of smaller corporates<br />

should never be underestimated,<br />

which is why we<br />

offer our loyalty progamme<br />

On<strong>Business</strong>, so they can<br />

benefit from free flights”<br />

a train company might not be meaningful<br />

but a hotel billback facility that gives you 14<br />

days credit to help cashflow is much more<br />

valuable,” says Black Box’s Sachdave. “A TMC<br />

will give an SME resource and cashflow so<br />

that’s the real saving.”<br />

Airlines move in<br />

On the airline front, despite it being a more<br />

challenging spend category, SMEs can<br />

benefit from nett fares and discounted<br />

fares. “We use rate analysing tools from<br />

time of booking to time of departure and<br />

the same flight can be reduced by 20-30%,<br />

particularly on long-haul,” says Bevan.<br />

Airline loyalty schemes can be of benefit<br />

too, providing discounts, extra points or<br />

value-added items. Fortunately, they have<br />

moved away from perks and towards more<br />

tangible benefits such as discounted rates<br />

and flights in response to buyer feedback.<br />

“Most airlines offer fares targeted towards<br />

SMEs,” says Brett Gerrett, General Manager,<br />

Isleworth <strong>Travel</strong> Management. “British<br />

Airways offers discounted and increased<br />

flexibility on <strong>Business</strong> Bespoke fares<br />

<br />

A MEMBER OF THE GLOBAL TRAVEL SOLUTIONS GROUP<br />

W<br />

E<br />

A<br />

R<br />

E<br />

CORPORATE SPORTS & GROUPS MEDIA MARINE & OFFSHORE SCHOOLS & ACADEMIA CHARITY<br />

...THE FEEL-GREAT BUSINESS TRAVEL EXPERIENCE


SMEs / Spend management<br />

Even if a business isn't<br />

large enough to justify<br />

a full-time travel manager,<br />

having someone responsible<br />

for this area, and with the<br />

authority to enforce any<br />

policies, is vitally important”<br />

while Air France-KLM and Virgin-Delta<br />

offers the Bluebiz scheme with some<br />

excellent perks such as free name changes<br />

and an enhanced points structure.”<br />

British Airways On<strong>Business</strong> and the<br />

Bluebiz schemes are two of the most<br />

popular schemes for SMEs. Other airlines,<br />

such as Emirates, have low thresholds for<br />

deals. “<strong>The</strong> non-dominant carriers have<br />

lower thresholds as they have a desire to<br />

gain marketshare from companies whose<br />

business is more moveable,” says Harrison.<br />

TMCs claim to generate savings of their<br />

own on behalf of a client. “We save our<br />

clients thousands of pounds every year by<br />

managing these programmes effectively, all<br />

as part of our service, but it’s imperative<br />

that you have an agent who can manage<br />

them for you, ” says Rebecca Deadman,<br />

Commercial Director of Blue Cube <strong>Travel</strong>.<br />

“<strong>Business</strong>es of all sizes are incredibly<br />

important to us,” says Marie Hilditch, Head<br />

of UK & Ireland Corporate Sales at BA. “<strong>The</strong><br />

spend power of smaller corporates should<br />

never be under-estimated, which is why we<br />

offer our loyalty programme On<strong>Business</strong>, so<br />

they can benefit from free flights, upgrades<br />

and other travel management benefits.”<br />

Accor’s Pettifer reckons creating a travel<br />

policy and getting staff to stick to it is the<br />

most beneficial way of SMEs making the<br />

most of their spending power. “Having a<br />

properly applied policy will enable them to<br />

benefit from the best deals. Ensuring that<br />

travellers are aware of the deals that are in<br />

place and understand the value in following<br />

this policy can make an immediate impact.”<br />

Pettifer adds: “Even if a business isn’t large<br />

enough to justify a full-time travel manager,<br />

having someone responsible for this area,<br />

and with the authority to enforce policy, is<br />

important in making the most of their<br />

buying power and any deals agreed.”<br />

Bluebiz<br />

Bluebiz has over 200,000 members in 125-<br />

plus markets. Every flight booked on Bluebiz<br />

member airlines earns blue credits, worth £1<br />

each, which can be knocked off future flights.<br />

UK members can earn and burn credits on<br />

five airlines: KLM, Air France, Delta Air Lines,<br />

Kenya Airways and Virgin Atlantic, which<br />

joined this summer. Taxes and surcharges<br />

are included in the price of award tickets.<br />

Etihad Airways’ <strong>Business</strong>Connect<br />

Etihad Airways’ <strong>Business</strong>Connect is open to<br />

companies with two to 50 business travellers.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>lers earn Guest Miles for themselves<br />

while the business earns an additional<br />

percentage. Accounts can be managed online<br />

and miles can be redeemed for free flights,<br />

upgrades and gifts. New sign-ups get a bonus<br />

of 5,000 Miles. <strong>The</strong> airline is running a double<br />

mileage promotion from <strong>Aug</strong> 1 to Nov 30.<br />

IHG business edge<br />

<strong>The</strong> global hotel group's SME offering offers<br />

guaranteed discounts at more than 5,400<br />

hotels globally and a management portal<br />

book trips, monitor spend and savings data<br />

and access premium content. Registered<br />

travellers receive an upgrade to IHG Rewards<br />

Club Gold Elite status after their first IHG<br />

<strong>Business</strong> Edge stay. <strong>The</strong>re is no fee to join<br />

and no minimum annual spend.<br />

[ SME loyalty schemes ]<br />

BA Onbusiness<br />

Offers discounts of at least 5% on many<br />

flights (excluding taxes, fees and charges),<br />

and allows pooling of points. <strong>The</strong>y can be<br />

spent on Reward Flights with BA, AA and<br />

Iberia. Flights can be changed free of charge<br />

before the outbound flight. Points can also<br />

be spent on upgrades, including Club Europe/<br />

Club World. Execs can collect personal Avios<br />

points for themselves at the same time.<br />

Accor <strong>Business</strong> Offer<br />

Eligibility is 50 nights per year booked across<br />

any participating Accor property. It offers<br />

discounted rates of up to 10% off the best<br />

available rates in its luxury, upscale and<br />

mid-market hotels, and 5% in the group’s<br />

economy hotels. Event organisers can earn<br />

points for personal trips by arranging events<br />

at the group's 2,400 hotels worldwide with<br />

Le Club Meeting Planner.<br />

80 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


PREMIUM BUSINESS<br />

<strong>The</strong> finest experience<br />

in the sky.<br />

We connect the UK to over 120 destinations<br />

across Latin America with direct daily flights<br />

to our hub in São Paulo. Over the next two<br />

years, we will renovate the cabins of<br />

two-thirds of our global fleet.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Premium <strong>Business</strong> class will boast a<br />

new seat design with seating options for<br />

both individuals and couples (including a<br />

full-flat bed), direct aisle access, ample<br />

space for personal items, and an improved<br />

in-flight entertainment system on an 18”<br />

personal screen.<br />

latam.com


SMEs / Six of the best<br />

Six of the best...<br />

Digital banks for SMEs<br />

Words by Jenny Southan<br />

1<br />

STARLING<br />

Starling’s business account can be<br />

set up in a few minutes, has no<br />

monthly fees, zero transaction<br />

charges on overseas payments,<br />

real-time notifications when<br />

money goes in or out and a slick<br />

app that presents finances<br />

visually. All deposits are protected<br />

by the FSCS up to £85,000.<br />

2<br />

3<br />

TIDE<br />

Used by more than 85,000<br />

business owners, another smart<br />

digital-only bank is Tide, which<br />

issues free business Mastercards,<br />

doesn’t charge foreign transaction<br />

fees, and lets users instantly<br />

freeze their PIN via the app.<br />

MONZO<br />

Known for its orange debit cards,<br />

Monzo launched its first business<br />

accounts in February as part of a<br />

trial. With income and outgoings<br />

all managed within a user-friendly<br />

app, Monzo wants to become “the<br />

financial hub for your business”.<br />

4<br />

REVOLUT<br />

Sign up for a global business<br />

account with Revolut and you can<br />

issue employees with prepaid<br />

business cards to help manage<br />

expenses, set up multiple accounts<br />

for different offices, hold, receive<br />

and exchange 29 different<br />

currencies, and make up to 1,000<br />

bulk payments in one click.<br />

6<br />

N26<br />

Aimed at freelancers and the<br />

self-employed, N26 issues trendy<br />

transparent Mastercards that<br />

sync with an app that gives<br />

0.1% cashback on all purchases<br />

and uses AI to categorise your<br />

spending so you don’t have to<br />

mess around with spreadsheets.<br />

5<br />

CURVE<br />

Curve combines all your existing<br />

bank accounts in one – just<br />

choose which one you want to<br />

make a transaction with on the<br />

app and then swipe or tap with<br />

your Curve card. <strong>The</strong>re are five<br />

cards – Blue is free, while Metal is<br />

£14.99 and includes various perks.<br />

82 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


WELCOME TO A NEW<br />

LEVEL OF HOSPITALITY<br />

<strong>The</strong> Level at Meliá White House is a new concept of a boutique hotel within a hotel;<br />

offering exceptional services for the discerning traveller. Whether for business or<br />

leisure, guests will experience a personalised service to make their stay an<br />

unforgettable experience.<br />

Private check-in with drinks welcome<br />

Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout<br />

Luxury bath amenities<br />

24hr room service<br />

Packing and unpacking of luggage<br />

Pressing of one shirt per day<br />

Complimentary access to the exclusive<br />

Level Lounge; a private area where guests<br />

can enjoy a selection of drinks and<br />

snacks throughout the day<br />

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


SMEs / Data<br />

Cash flow<br />

CONCERNS<br />

Managing business travel costs and expenses administration are<br />

the biggest headaches for SMEs in the UK, according to research<br />

from Allstar <strong>Business</strong> Solutions...<br />

THE FOUR MOST<br />

COMMON BUSINESS<br />

EXPENSES HEADACHES<br />

£4,000<br />

BY<br />

THE AVERAGE MONTHLY SPEND<br />

SMEs ON TRAVEL EXPENSES<br />

MISLAID RECEIPTS<br />

A PARTICULARLY COMMON ISSUE AMONG<br />

WORKERS, WITH MANY WORRYING ABOUT<br />

LOSING BILLS AND, WITH THEM, ANY<br />

PROSPECT OF BEING REIMBURSED<br />

50<br />

%<br />

HALF OF SME EMPLOYEES SAY THEY<br />

ARE LEFT OUT OF POCKET EVERY MONTH<br />

AFTER USING THEIR OWN MONEY WHEN<br />

TRAVELLING FOR WORK<br />

%<br />

26<br />

MANAGING TRAVEL<br />

COSTS IS THE BIGGEST<br />

HEADACHE FOR UK SMEs<br />

OF SMEs SAY THAT COST SAVINGS,<br />

SPENDING CONTROL FEATURES AND EASE OF<br />

MANAGEMENT WERE THE KEY BENEFITS THEY<br />

WOULD LOOK FOR IN A MORE ADVANCED<br />

BUSINESS CREDIT CARD PROGRAMME<br />

MONTHLY SPEND<br />

39%<br />

OF SME<br />

OWNERS SAY<br />

HELPING<br />

CASHFLOW WAS<br />

A KEY<br />

REQUIREMENT<br />

OF BUSINESS<br />

CREDIT CARDS<br />

21%<br />

OF SME OWNERS SAY THAT<br />

BALANCING CASH FLOW<br />

‘KEEPS THEM UP<br />

AT NIGHT’<br />

THE ADMIN LOGJAM<br />

LONG-WINDED WAYS TO SUBMIT CLAIMS,<br />

OFTEN WITH A BIG PAPER TRAIL, MEAN<br />

EXPENSES BUILD UP, CAUSING CASHFLOW<br />

ISSUES FOR BOTH THE EMPLOYER AND<br />

THE EMPLOYEE<br />

FAILURE TO KEEP AND<br />

SUBMIT FUEL RECEIPTS<br />

THIS HAMPERS OR PREVENTS BUSINESSES<br />

MAKING AN HMRC CLAIM TO GET VAT<br />

REFUNDED ON FUEL<br />

LATE CLAIMS<br />

ANOTHER STRESS POINT FOR WORKERS<br />

ARE MONTHLY CLAIM CYCLES. FOR<br />

EMPLOYEES WHO MISS THE DEADLINE,<br />

IT CAN MEAN WAITING ANOTHER ENTIRE<br />

MONTH TO BE REIMBURSED. FOR THE<br />

BUSINESS, IT CAN MEAN EXTRA RESOURCES<br />

PROCESSING LATE CLAIMS<br />

84 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


Get with the programme!<br />

REGISTER NOW<br />

View from the top: industry<br />

figures reflect on travel’s<br />

current trends and challenges<br />

On the button: how to select,<br />

implement and drive adoption<br />

of online booking tools<br />

Deals on wheels: find out how<br />

to optimise your car hire and<br />

rail travel spend<br />

Sleep talk: is it time for a<br />

change of approach to your<br />

accommodation needs?<br />

Small wonders: helping SMEs<br />

make the most of their<br />

travel spend<br />

New kids on the block:<br />

discover a new wave of tools<br />

and TMCs on the market<br />

Air time: take your air travel<br />

spend to new heights with<br />

expert guidance<br />

<strong>The</strong> clinic: three travel<br />

managers discuss their travel<br />

programmes<br />

Going to market: sourcing the<br />

best TMC for your needs in a<br />

slowly shrinking market<br />

<strong>The</strong> mavericks: get rogue<br />

travellers under control and<br />

gain compliance<br />

In safe hands: risk mitigation,<br />

traveller tracking and duty of<br />

care in the spotlight<br />

Fit for purpose: making<br />

wellbeing central to your policy<br />

Book your free place now at thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

With thanks to our headline sponsor<br />

Star Alliance, and Executive sponsors,<br />

Amadeus and Air Europa. TBTC'19<br />

is proudly supporting London Taxi<br />

Drivers' Charity for Children


DEPARTURES<br />

<strong>The</strong> best new... Gadgets & gear<br />

Stow it!<br />

Luxury travel brand Stow is showcasing its<br />

products at Heathrow Airport’s VIP private<br />

lounge in Terminal 5 this summer, with a<br />

25% discount being offered for a limited<br />

time. <strong>The</strong> Duchess of Sussex Meghan<br />

Markle is said to be among fans of the<br />

designer wallets, cases and accessories. <strong>The</strong><br />

tech case, pictured, normally retails at £305.<br />

stowlondon.co.uk<br />

zip it up<br />

with Briggs<br />

& riley<br />

stow<br />

claims royal<br />

approval<br />

A first<br />

for B&R<br />

Swanky luggage brand<br />

Briggs & Riley has<br />

launched its first femalefocused<br />

collection this<br />

summer. Called<br />

Rhapsody, the range<br />

includes backpacks, a<br />

crossbody bag, slim<br />

business brief, essential<br />

tote and a cabin spinner<br />

carry-on case in plum,<br />

navy and black. Prices<br />

start from £109.<br />

briggs-riley.com<br />

high five...<br />

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

Absolute Clarity<br />

Clarity <strong>Travel</strong> Management<br />

launched its series of topical<br />

podcasts last year. <strong>The</strong>re are now 30<br />

episodes available online featuring a<br />

range of guests tackling industry topics.<br />

Singapore Airlines<br />

Called Make your Productivity<br />

Fly, this 30-minute podcast is<br />

designed to help the airline’s business<br />

class passengers make better use of<br />

their time onboard.<br />

TED Talks <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong>re’s a massive choice of<br />

the popular TED Talks<br />

podcasts available online featuring a<br />

hugely diverse range of topics and<br />

ranging from five to 20 minutes.<br />

TUNE in AND<br />

ZONE OUT!<br />

Liquid solutions<br />

Beat airport liquid limits by bagging some of<br />

Men-U’s concentrated shaving foams,<br />

moisturisers and shampoos. <strong>The</strong> 100ml<br />

products cost from £8.95. Or for a<br />

refreshing scent without any liquids<br />

whatsoever, try a tiny tin of Solid Cologne.<br />

<strong>The</strong> wax-based substance comes in several<br />

scents and costs from £14.95.<br />

get fresh<br />

with cologne<br />

in a tin<br />

Airplane Geeks<br />

As the name suggests, this US<br />

podcast is only for those with a<br />

serious penchant for all things<br />

planes and aviation. It’s now<br />

released over 550 episodes.<br />

ITM<br />

<strong>The</strong> Institute of<br />

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

will release its very<br />

first podcast this summer –<br />

we look forward to hearing<br />

more from them.<br />

86 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


DEPARTURES<br />

New kid on the block<br />

the standard, london<br />

THE LOWDOWN Standard<br />

International has transformed a<br />

Brutalist 1970s building in London’s<br />

King Cross – the former Camden<br />

Town Hall – into a unique 266-room<br />

hotel that draws inspiration from the<br />

area’s political, intellectual and<br />

cultural history. Designed in<br />

partnership with Shawn Hausman,<br />

the hotel is Standard’s first outside<br />

the US and marks the beginning of<br />

planned global expansion. <strong>The</strong><br />

Standard has 42 different styles of<br />

room, from ingeniously designed<br />

windowless ‘Cosy Core’ rooms to<br />

terraced suites with outdoor<br />

bathtubs overlooking St Pancras.<br />

Public spaces include a library<br />

lounge, two restaurants, and –<br />

opening in <strong>Sept</strong>ember – a third,<br />

tenth-floor restaurant featuring<br />

live fire cooking and offering 360<br />

degree views of London.<br />

that's a FACT <strong>The</strong> hotel includes<br />

a wood-panelled, sound proofed<br />

studio to host, stream and record<br />

DJ sets, interviews, podcasts and<br />

intimate live shows.<br />

they said it “We could not be<br />

more proud of what <strong>The</strong> Standard<br />

team and our many collaborators<br />

have created in a beautiful,<br />

overlooked building that was almost<br />

left for naught. We look forward to<br />

welcoming the world in to see, and<br />

more importantly, feel what it is that<br />

makes <strong>The</strong> Standard so special.”<br />

rates Cosy Core rooms<br />

start at £199 while prices rise to<br />

£1,050 per night for the top suite.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

87


BECAUSE GOOD CONNECTIONS<br />

ALWAYS HELP<br />

On the move worldwide with the Lufthansa Group airlines<br />

FRANKFURT<br />

BRUSSELS MUNICH<br />

VIENNA<br />

ZURICH<br />

NORTH AMERICA<br />

23 destinations in<br />

2 countries<br />

EUROPE<br />

157 destinations in<br />

44 countries<br />

MIDDLE EAST<br />

13 destinations in<br />

10 countries<br />

ASIA<br />

24 destinations in<br />

11 countries<br />

CENTRAL AND<br />

SOUTH AMERICA<br />

12 destinations in<br />

9 countries<br />

AFRICA<br />

41 destinations in<br />

29 countries<br />

<strong>The</strong> Lufthansa Group airlines are Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa,<br />

SWISS, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings. Via the Brussels,<br />

Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich hubs, and with numerous<br />

direct connections, they offer their passengers more than 11,000<br />

flights a week to more than 270 business and holiday destinations<br />

worldwide. Passengers therefore benefit from a large choice of<br />

destinations and many combination options. <strong>The</strong> Lufthansa Group<br />

airlines stand for high-quality products and services. With more<br />

than 700 aircraft, they have one of the largest and, above all, most<br />

modern fleets in the world.<br />

2018/<strong>2019</strong> winter timetable, as at: 09/2018, subject to changes.


DEPARTURES<br />

Meeting in York<br />

<strong>The</strong> attractive walled city<br />

of York is one of the UK’s<br />

most visited tourist<br />

hotspots but it has much<br />

to win over business<br />

travellers too, with its<br />

plentiful choice of historic<br />

and cultural venues and a<br />

vibrant restaurant and<br />

nightlife scene, writes<br />

WOW FACTOR<br />

Merchant<br />

Adventurers Hall<br />

<strong>The</strong> atmospheric Grade I listed<br />

Merchant Adventurers Hall is<br />

one of Europe’s best surviving<br />

examples of a medieval guild<br />

hall. Its impressive interior<br />

lends itself perfectly to grand<br />

dinners and events. Groups of<br />

up to 180 can be seated in the<br />

main hall, and outside there<br />

are scenic walled gardens,<br />

bordered by the River Foss.<br />

Hall hire starts at £1,100.<br />

QUIRKY VENUE<br />

<strong>The</strong> York Dungeon<br />

<strong>The</strong> York Dungeon is part of<br />

the national Dungeon group<br />

and it hosts interactive shows<br />

and live action events that<br />

bring historical stories to life,<br />

with actors taking visitors<br />

through more than 2,000 years<br />

of York history. Private events<br />

during the day or evening can<br />

be catered for in the Dungeon’s<br />

cellar rooms. Visitors can also<br />

go on tours after hours, with<br />

prices starting at £20pp.<br />

ON A SHOESTRING<br />

Clements Hall<br />

Just outside the city walls,<br />

Clements Hall is a community<br />

run events hall located a short<br />

walk from the railway station.<br />

<strong>The</strong> light-filled main room is<br />

suitable for receptions and<br />

presentations, seating up to<br />

120, while the first-floor art<br />

room can seat 20. A separate<br />

meeting space is available for<br />

up to 18. Room hire starts from<br />

£18 per hour for the main hall<br />

and catering can be organised.<br />

Emma Allen<br />

Fossgate, York YO1 9XD<br />

merchantshallyork.org<br />

12 Clifford St, York YO1 9RD<br />

thedungeons.com/york<br />

Nunthorpe Road, York YO23 1BW<br />

clementshall.org.uk<br />

STEP BACK<br />

IN TIME<br />

SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED<br />

WIRED UP<br />

OUT OF TOWN<br />

Getting there<br />

York is less than two<br />

hours from London by train,<br />

and around two hours from<br />

Edinburgh. <strong>The</strong>re are also<br />

direct services from Liverpool,<br />

Manchester, Birmingham and<br />

the South West. <strong>The</strong> nearest<br />

airport is Leeds/Bradford,<br />

which is around 50 minutes<br />

away by road.<br />

York’s Chocolate Story<br />

Set in the historic Minster<br />

Quarter, York’s Chocolate Story<br />

sets out the history behind<br />

York’s chocolate-making<br />

industry, and the building<br />

makes an interesting<br />

backdrop for dinners and<br />

receptions. Tastings and<br />

workshops can be arranged, as<br />

well as tours and hiring of the<br />

Factory Zone. Prices start at<br />

£100 per hour for evening hire,<br />

and 20-75 can be catered for.<br />

3-4 Kings Square, York YO1 7LD<br />

yorkschocolatestory.com<br />

KEEPING IT<br />

SWEET<br />

Spring Lane Building<br />

In the city centre, the modern<br />

Spring Lane building is part of<br />

the University of York. It<br />

re-opened in 2016 after a<br />

£13.8m refit. It now offers<br />

a 350-seat lecture theatre<br />

and 26 seminar rooms,<br />

along with state-of-the-art AV<br />

and an on-site technical team.<br />

In the York Conferences<br />

university portfolio there are<br />

more than 200 venues, most<br />

with free high-speed wifi.<br />

397 Harewood Way, Heslington, York<br />

YO10 5DS yorkconferences.com<br />

A DAY AT<br />

THE RACES<br />

York Racecourse<br />

York Racecourse is located a<br />

mile outside of the city centre,<br />

and has a wide range of<br />

conference and meeting space<br />

available, along with hospitality<br />

suites suitable for groups up to<br />

650. <strong>The</strong> venue also has more<br />

than 2,000sqm of exhibition<br />

space, as well as 2,500sqm of<br />

external tarmac courtyard<br />

areas, allowing events to be<br />

extended outdoors. <strong>The</strong>re are<br />

2,000 free parking spaces.<br />

Racecourse Road, Knavesmire Road,<br />

York yorkracecourse.co.uk<br />

Further information<br />

VisitYork4meetings is the<br />

official conference bureau for<br />

York. See: visityork.org; Tel:<br />

01904 555676; email:<br />

conference@visityork.org<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

89


GALLERY<br />

Avis Budget UK at<br />

Henley Royal<br />

Regatta<br />

Guests from across the industry<br />

gathered on the banks of the River<br />

Thames in July to enjoy a day of fine<br />

hospitality at the Henley Royal Regatta<br />

courtesy of Avis Budget Group. A<br />

charity auction raised nearly £10,000<br />

for Prostate Cancer UK. <strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> was once again<br />

delighted to be an event partner.<br />

Avis Budget Group at Henley Royal Regatta ▼<br />

Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx ▼<br />

▲ 05.07.<strong>2019</strong><br />

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> in partnership with Avis Budget Group<br />

90 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


DEPARTURES<br />

On business in... Manama<br />

Bahrain's capital city,<br />

Manama, is the largest<br />

of its six inhabited<br />

islands. Its financial<br />

harbour, dominated<br />

by the iconic twin<br />

towers of the World<br />

Trade Centre, is home<br />

to the Kingdom’s<br />

strong banking sector,<br />

second only to oil.<br />

Diversification into<br />

other sectors is part<br />

of the Kingdom’s<br />

‘Economic Vision 2030’<br />

strategy, writes<br />

Ramy Salameh<br />

VISIT THE AL<br />

FATEH GRAND<br />

MOSQUE<br />

SLEEPING<br />

EATING<br />

GETTING DOWNTOWN<br />

Getting there<br />

Gulf Air operates 14 direct<br />

flights a week – two a day –<br />

from London Heathrow to<br />

Bahrain International Airport.<br />

<strong>The</strong> flight takes around 6.5<br />

hours. British Airways operates<br />

a daily service from London<br />

Heathrow. Bahrain International<br />

Airport is located on Muhurraq<br />

Island, 7km north of the capital<br />

city Manama and a 16-minute<br />

drive away.<br />

Further information<br />

For more details on planning a<br />

trip to Bahrain visit: btea.bh<br />

Centrally located beside Bab<br />

Stay put at <strong>The</strong> Merchant House’s<br />

Al-Bahrain (historic gate) and<br />

rooftop Indigo Restaurant and<br />

bustling Manama Souk, the<br />

savour the ever popular 'Hamour'<br />

recently opened Merchant<br />

fish dish or head to Block 338,<br />

House is Campbell Gray<br />

located in the heart of<br />

BRUNCHING IN<br />

Hotel Group's first foray<br />

BAHRAIN<br />

Adliya, and search out ATTIC<br />

into the region and the first<br />

restaurant. It's a beautifully<br />

official luxury boutique hotel<br />

designed eatery with plenty<br />

in Bahrain. <strong>The</strong> 46-suite property of terrace space offering<br />

is defined by original art and design; Mediterranean cuisine. A tip for<br />

Chagall, Hirst and Warhol hang brunch would be to find the<br />

beside a host of Bahraini and GCC atmospheric Lukmatina Cafe on<br />

artists of international repute. For Muharraq Island.<br />

the glitz and glamour of major hotel<br />

brands, the likes of the Ritz-Carlton<br />

AFTER HOURS<br />

and Four Seasons are close by.<br />

By day, Block 338 is a pedestrianised<br />

quarter of restaurants, galleries and<br />

boutiques. By night, it becomes a<br />

nightlife hot-spot with super-cars<br />

queuing to be seen, as the fine<br />

diners and bars start to fill up. For<br />

nightclubs head to the nearby Juffair<br />

district for headline venues klub360,<br />

Apollo Club and Club Wrangler to<br />

dance into the early hours.<br />

Although walking is an option, the<br />

primary means of transport is by car<br />

or taxi. Rent a car from one of the<br />

many city rental companies or jump<br />

into one of the relatively inexpensive<br />

metered cabs that traverse the city.<br />

MUST-SEE SIGHTS<br />

Journey through 5,000 years of<br />

history at Bahrain National Museum<br />

or visit the UNESCO World Heritage<br />

listed Bahrain Fort. Divers can go in<br />

search of pearls or a submerged<br />

Boeing 747 within the world’s largest<br />

eco-friendly underwater theme park.<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

91


DEPARTURES<br />

Focus on... East Africa<br />

Buoyant economies,<br />

abundant resources and<br />

a growing population<br />

could make East Africa<br />

the next big economic<br />

success story, and its<br />

historic ties to the UK<br />

make it a promising<br />

prospect for trade<br />

cooperation post-Brexit,<br />

writes Sasha Wood<br />

<strong>The</strong> new Scramble for Africa is well<br />

underway, according to Alex Vines,<br />

head of the Africa program at London<br />

thinktank Chatham House. Foreign<br />

powers are vying for a stake in the<br />

economies of the world’s second most<br />

populous continent, expected to<br />

overtake China by 2025.<br />

<strong>The</strong> continent is entering a period of<br />

unprecedented growth with foreign<br />

embassies popping up all over, and a<br />

slew of new investment and trade<br />

deals with foreign powers and<br />

multinationals. As a whole, Africa has<br />

the second fastest-growing economy<br />

in the world, with strong signs its<br />

emerging markets are set to replicate<br />

Asian growth in the next decade.<br />

<strong>The</strong> six-nation East African trade<br />

bloc that includes Tanzania, Kenya,<br />

Uganda and Rwanda has been the<br />

most successful and stable of<br />

Africa’s regional blocs since it was<br />

re-established in 2000. It’s formed a<br />

customs union and the basis of a<br />

common market, and is aiming for a<br />

single currency by 2024.<br />

According to the African Development<br />

Bank’s East Africa Economic<br />

Outlook Report <strong>2019</strong>, the region’s<br />

economy is racing ahead of the rest of<br />

the continent with annual growth at<br />

7% "making it a promising investment<br />

and manufacturing destination”. <strong>The</strong><br />

report notes that job creation and<br />

ramping up manufacturing will<br />

continue to be major priority areas for<br />

creating growth.<br />

So it’s small wonder that governments<br />

and businesses from around<br />

the world, including the UK, are<br />

rushing to strengthen diplomatic and<br />

commercial ties. Especially in light of<br />

Brexit, UK Trade Minister for Africa,<br />

Emma Wade-Smith points out: “One<br />

of the opportunities that Brexit<br />

affords us is increased interest from<br />

UK companies in Africa as they have<br />

to expand outside their normal<br />

trading blocs.”<br />

In preparation for leaving the EU,<br />

the UK recently signed the UK-Eastern<br />

and Southern Africa Agreement,<br />

intended to replicate the existing EPA<br />

Time zones: GMT +3hrs in<br />

Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia &<br />

Uganda; GMT +2hrs in Rwanda.<br />

Local currency:<br />

Ethiopian Birr: £1 = ETB 36;<br />

Kenyan Shilling: £1 = KES 129;<br />

Tanzanian Shilling: £1 = TZS 2,872<br />

Ugandan Shilling: £1 = UGX 4,613<br />

Rwandan Franc: £1 = RWF 1,124<br />

Visas: UK passport holders need<br />

a visa to visit all East African<br />

countries. <strong>The</strong> East Africa Tourist<br />

Visa is also available, allowing<br />

multiple entry into Kenya,<br />

Rwanda and Uganda. Visas for<br />

Tanzania can be obtained from<br />

the Tanzanian High Commission<br />

or from a main port of entry.<br />

Kenya offers e-visas or visas<br />

upon arrival. Uganda requires an<br />

e-visa or visa from the Ugandan<br />

High Commission; Rwanda offers<br />

30-day visas upon arrival for £20.<br />

Ethiopia also offers e-visas or<br />

visas upon arrival at Addis Ababa<br />

airport. To obtain a business visa,<br />

check the latest instructions<br />

from the Ethiopian Embassy.<br />

92 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


DEPARTURES<br />

between East Africa and the EU, and<br />

ensuring free trade.<br />

Last year the government actively<br />

courted business in the region, setting<br />

a new goal for the UK to be the largest<br />

G7 investor in Africa by 2022. <strong>The</strong><br />

ambition was announced alongside a<br />

range of measures to boost trade and<br />

encourage UK investment in the<br />

region, including the creation of a new<br />

Africa Investors Board.<br />

Trade between the UK and African<br />

nations, which is already worth more<br />

than £31billion, continues to grow.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UK already has a firm foothold<br />

in Kenya, with more than 60 British<br />

companies operating there. And<br />

thanks to strong political and<br />

historical links, the UK remains the<br />

country’s strongest trading partner<br />

with more than £1.3billion of annual<br />

bilateral trade. Marks & Spencer alone<br />

buys products worth £100 million per<br />

year from Kenya, with other British<br />

supermarkets close behind. On the<br />

reverse, machinery and chemicals<br />

form the bulk of UK imports.<br />

Ethiopia, meanwhile, is expected to<br />

maintain the rapid pace of growth it<br />

has experienced over the last decade.<br />

<strong>The</strong> continent’s fourth largest city and<br />

Africa’s diplomatic capital, Addis<br />

Ababa is another major gateway to<br />

the region. Trade between UK and<br />

Ethiopia has increased considerably in<br />

recent years and UK exports to<br />

Ethiopia have grown by 135%. Like<br />

many East African nations, major<br />

imports include machinery, oil and<br />

petrol, while coffee makes up more<br />

than a third of total exports.<br />

A free market economy and<br />

abundant natural resources make<br />

Tanzania equally attractive to foreign<br />

investors, and the UK is one of its<br />

largest. <strong>The</strong> country is rich in gems<br />

and minerals such as rubies and<br />

diamonds, sapphires and tanzanite,<br />

with large mining operations for gold,<br />

silver, copper and platinum in the<br />

north of the country.<br />

<strong>The</strong> nation’s economy has been<br />

expanding steadily over the last<br />

decade partly due to an increase in<br />

agriculture and manufacturing, while<br />

vehicles and machinery are the<br />

mainstay of exports from the UK.<br />

Rwanda and Uganda are also ones<br />

to watch. Rwanda’s mining industry is<br />

going from strength to strength and<br />

its main imports include industrial<br />

machinery, something the UK can<br />

capitalise on. <strong>The</strong> population of capital<br />

Kigali is set to triple by 2040 and plans<br />

are afoot to decentralise the city.<br />

With Brexit looming and economic<br />

indicators across the region positive,<br />

all signs point to East Africa being a<br />

strong prospect for future<br />

cooperation on trade. But with stiff<br />

competition from China, India and the<br />

US, businesses need to act fast. <br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com<br />

93


DEPARTURES<br />

Factfile: East Africa<br />

FLIGHTS<br />

BRITISH AIRWAYS: Has daily<br />

direct flights between London<br />

Heathrow and Nairobi, Kenya.<br />

KENYA AIRWAYS: Has daily<br />

direct flights between London<br />

Heathrow and Nairobi, Kenya.<br />

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES:<br />

Flies ten times per week<br />

between London<br />

Heathrow and Addis<br />

Ababa, Ethiopia.<br />

Time out<br />

in Tropical<br />

Zanzibar<br />

RWANDAIR: Has five weekly<br />

services between London<br />

Gatwick and Rwanda’s capital,<br />

Kigali. Outbound flights on<br />

Fridays and Sundays are nonstop<br />

services, while outbound<br />

flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays<br />

and Saturdays are connecting<br />

services via Brussels.<br />

ONE-STOP SERVICES:<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are no direct services<br />

to Uganda's international<br />

gateway, Entebbe (25 miles<br />

from capital city Kampala),<br />

nor to Tanzania's commercial<br />

centre, Dar Es Salaam, but<br />

convenient connecting options<br />

are offered by the likes of<br />

Emirates, Turkish Airlines, KLM,<br />

Qatar Airways and Brussels<br />

Airlines via their respective<br />

hubs. Alternatively, fly via<br />

Nairobi with Kenya Airways or<br />

via Addis Ababa with Ethiopian<br />

Airlines. Qatar Airways also<br />

flies from Doha to Zanzibar,<br />

Kilimanjaro and Mombasa.<br />

• Information kindly supplied<br />

by travel data and analytics<br />

specialist Cirium<br />

QATAR<br />

AIRWAYS has<br />

it covered<br />

HOTELS<br />

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS:<br />

Runs 28 hotels in Africa including<br />

the Intercontinental Nairobi and<br />

Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City<br />

Centre. Crowne Plaza Nairobi<br />

Airport hotel opened recently.<br />

LOUVRE HOTELS GROUP: Has<br />

properties across sub-Saharan<br />

Africa under its Tulip brands<br />

including the Golden Tulip<br />

Westlands Nairobi, another in<br />

Addis Ababa and one in Kigali.<br />

BEST WESTERN: Has 24 hotels<br />

across ten African countries<br />

including Kenya, Uganda and<br />

Tanzania, and three hotels in<br />

Nairobi alone.<br />

HILTON: Has 39 hotels in Africa,<br />

with 100 new properties in the<br />

pipeline. <strong>The</strong> Hilton Nairobi<br />

Upper Hill is set to open in the<br />

continent’s tallest building.<br />

RADISSON HOTEL GROUP:<br />

Recently added the Pearl of<br />

Africa Hotel Kampala in<br />

Uganda, as well as the Park Inn<br />

Addis Ababa to its collection of<br />

42 hotels across 20 countries.<br />

ACCOR HOTELS: <strong>The</strong> group<br />

ontinues to grow its portfolio in<br />

Africa, where it currently has 114<br />

hotels across its Ibis, Sofitel,<br />

MGallery and Novotel brands,<br />

including four in Kenya.<br />

MARRIOTT: Has a strong<br />

presence in Africa with 149<br />

hotels across 29 countries<br />

including Rwanda, with new<br />

hotels slated for Nairobi,<br />

Dar Es Salaam and Kampala.<br />

OFF DUTY<br />

DAR ES SALAAM: <strong>The</strong> city on<br />

the Indian Ocean is East Africa’s<br />

second busiest port with<br />

frequent ferries to the tropical<br />

island of Zanzibar famous for its<br />

snorkelling and diving spots. <strong>The</strong><br />

city's National Museum is a great<br />

introduction to the country.<br />

NAIROBI: Just 7km south of the<br />

city, Nairobi National Park let’s<br />

you see lions, leopards, rhinos<br />

and giraffes in their natural<br />

savannah home, and there's an<br />

elephant orphanage too.<br />

play the big<br />

five game in<br />

nairobi<br />

set sail<br />

from dar es<br />

salaam<br />

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia's<br />

colourful cultural portal boasts<br />

great music and museums<br />

including the National Museum<br />

of Ethiopia featuring the threemillion-year-old<br />

Lucy skeleton.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bustling open-air Mercato<br />

market is Africa’s biggest. Take<br />

some time to visit the Great Rift<br />

Valley lakes or take a boat trip<br />

to see the local hippos and<br />

UNESCO-listed Adadi Mariam<br />

rock-cut churches.<br />

KAMPALA: Uganda’s capital<br />

borders Africa’s largest lake,<br />

Lake Victoria, and it's a short<br />

drive south-west to the source<br />

of the Nile River at Jinja, which<br />

offers rafting and boat trips.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Uganda Museum explores<br />

the country’s tribal heritage.<br />

Tours of Lubiri royal compound<br />

reveal the fascinating and dark<br />

history of the region.<br />

KIGALI: Rwanda’s capital Kigali<br />

is safe, attractive and modern.<br />

Two hours’ drive from the capital,<br />

mountain gorilla trekking in<br />

Volcanoes National Park is a oneoff<br />

experience not-to-be-missed.<br />

94 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.com


TIME FOR<br />

AFRICA!<br />

Fly to 17 sub-saharan destinations<br />

with Brussels Airlines.<br />

Abidjan, Accra, Banjul, Bujumbura, Conakry,<br />

Cotonou, Dakar, Douala, Entebbe, Freetown,<br />

Kigali, Kinshasa, Lomé, Luanda, Monrovia,<br />

Ouagadougou and Yaoundé.<br />

Untitled-3 1 15/07/<strong>2019</strong> 11:38<br />

brusselsairlines.com<br />

bair-uk-ghana-businesstraveler-ad-255x190-en-jul19.indd 1 09/07/<strong>2019</strong> 13:28


DEPARTURES<br />

Reality check<br />

HOTEL: DAKOTA, MANCHESTER<br />

THE HOTEL<br />

This chic boutique<br />

THE ROOM<br />

<strong>The</strong> design scheme<br />

addition to the Manchester hotel scene is<br />

flows seamlessly throughout the hotel.<br />

fast becoming a favourite haunt of celebs<br />

My room featured muted grey tones with<br />

and savvy business travellers. On Ducie<br />

plush armchairs, framed vintage prints,<br />

Street in the heart of Manchester’s old<br />

floor-to-ceiling windows and a large<br />

mill district, it’s one of a clutch of trendy<br />

flatscreen TV. <strong>The</strong> very comfortable king<br />

venues to open as the neighbourhood<br />

sized bed had an upholstered leather<br />

undergoes rapid regeneration. Interiors<br />

headboard and crisp white Egyptian<br />

are dominated by dark slate tones,<br />

cotton linen. Tucked inside an alcove,<br />

complemented by warm yellow lighting,<br />

there was a nice leather desk area with<br />

fire places and candles. Studded leather<br />

USB charging ports and thoughtful<br />

chairs and tables, and vintage photos on<br />

touches like a magnifying mirror and<br />

the walls featuring stars such as Clarke<br />

slate board for heated appliances. <strong>The</strong><br />

Gable, are a nod to the 1930s New York<br />

stylish tiled bathroom had a walk-in<br />

influence. Tellingly, the brand is named<br />

rainshower with Dakota toiletries.<br />

after the pioneering US passenger aircraft<br />

THE FACILITIES<br />

With dark marble,<br />

perfect for entertaining clients.<br />

that transformed travel in the 1930s by<br />

leather seating, framed photos from old<br />

Complimentary wifi was faultless.<br />

offering an affordable service in an age<br />

Hollywood, low lighting, and cool bespoke<br />

THE VERDICT<br />

It’s a clear contender<br />

when flying was reserved for the elite.<br />

<strong>The</strong> buildng is perched beside a canal<br />

and is just a five-minute walk from<br />

Manchester Piccadilly train station.<br />

THE CHECK-IN My late afternoon<br />

cocktails, nowhere is the moody<br />

Manhattan influence more apparent than<br />

in the bar – it feels glamorous without<br />

being glitzy. <strong>The</strong> Dakota Grill’s classic<br />

gourmet dishes draw locals as well as<br />

IT'S A CLEAR<br />

CONTENDER FOR BEST<br />

BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN<br />

MANCHESTER<br />

for best boutique hotel in Manchester.<br />

Even though it’s a tad more pricey than<br />

other properties in the area, I would<br />

choose to stay here again.<br />

THE DETAILS 29 Ducie Sreet,<br />

check-in was smooth with a warm<br />

guests, and the buffet breakfast offers a<br />

Manchester M1 2JL. Rates from £203<br />

welcome from staff. I was given a quick<br />

tour and shown to my Classic King Room.<br />

brilliant selection. An atmospheric lounge,<br />

cigar terrace and Champagne room are<br />

per night. dakotahotels.co.uk<br />

Sasha Wood<br />

AIRLINE: EMIRATES<br />

THE FLIGHT<br />

I was travelling in<br />

although that might be put down to the<br />

economy class on Emirates flight EK9<br />

long walk between lounge and gate!<br />

from Dubai to London Gatwick,<br />

THE SEAT<br />

I'd chosen an aisle seat<br />

departing at 14.55 and arriving at 19.45<br />

(47C) in the forwardmost section of the<br />

(local times). <strong>The</strong> service is one of three<br />

lower deck of the A380. Just a few<br />

Emirates flights a day on the route and<br />

rows from the front, it enabled swift<br />

was flown by an Airbus A380.<br />

disembarkation on arrival and is in a<br />

PRE-BOARDING<br />

After being dropped<br />

more 'intimate' space than the some-<br />

off at Dubai International I headed<br />

what cavernous economy sections on<br />

straight to security as I'd checked-in via<br />

the rest of the lower deck. Seating was<br />

the Emirates app the previous day (and<br />

in a 3-4-3 configuration with most seats<br />

selected a seat) and as I was only<br />

occupied. It's a pretty standard economy<br />

travelling with hand luggage. It took<br />

seat offering with a small amount of<br />

around 20 minutes to pass through<br />

recline and in-seat USB points. I was<br />

security and passport control, and then<br />

impressed by the seatback screens<br />

I hopped on the airport train for the<br />

(better than one business class offering<br />

THE VERDICT<br />

A good, comfortable<br />

short transit to Terminal 3. I used my<br />

I'd recently experienced) and the huge<br />

economy class product and a slick<br />

Priority Pass membership to visit a<br />

range of films, TV and music on offer.<br />

experience on the ground too.<br />

Marhaba lounge for a quick drink and<br />

bite to eat, before heading to the<br />

allocated gate almost as soon as it was<br />

announced. I was therefore surprised<br />

to see the boarding process already<br />

Wifi connectivity included limited free<br />

access, plus several paid-for options.<br />

THE SERVICE <strong>The</strong> truly global cabin<br />

crew were pleasant throughout the<br />

flight as they served a choice of three<br />

THE RANGE OF<br />

ENTERTAINMENT ON<br />

OFFER WAS SERIOUSLY<br />

IMPRESSIVE<br />

THE DETAILS Emirates flies to Dubai<br />

six times a day from Heathrow, three<br />

times a day from Manchester and<br />

Gatwick, twice daily from Birmingham,<br />

Glasgow and Stansted, and daily from<br />

underway (and in surprisingly orderly<br />

hot dinners and, later, afternoon tea. An<br />

Newcastle and Edinburgh. Return fares<br />

fashion, given the number of<br />

passengers travelling on this A380),<br />

additional drinks run or two would have<br />

been appreciated.<br />

start from around £379. emirates.com<br />

Andy Hoskins<br />

96 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


DEPARTURES<br />

HOTEL: LOEWS BOSTON HOTEL, BOSTON, USA<br />

THE HOTEL<br />

<strong>The</strong> hotel is housed in<br />

range of toiletries. A nightly turn-down<br />

the former headquarters of the Boston<br />

service was also offered.<br />

Police Force in the Back Bay area of the<br />

THE BUSINESS<br />

<strong>The</strong> hotel has<br />

city. It's just a five-minute walk from the<br />

approximately 4,200 square feet of<br />

railway station and a 15-minute drive<br />

meeting space divided into six rooms,<br />

from the international airport. Boston<br />

the largest having a capacity for 125<br />

Common was a ten-minute walk away<br />

persons. <strong>The</strong> business centre offered<br />

and two of Boston’s major malls and<br />

24-hour access and there was free wifi<br />

shops were also in close proximity. <strong>The</strong><br />

throughout the hotel. Premium wifi<br />

stately limestone building has 222<br />

access with larger bandwidths was<br />

guestrooms, two luxury suites and an<br />

available for an additional cost.<br />

expansive Presidential Suite.<br />

THE FACILITIES<br />

<strong>The</strong> hotel lobby<br />

THE CHECK-IN<br />

A friendly welcome was<br />

adjoins the Apothecary lounge area<br />

offered by the bellboys and front desk<br />

with plenty of seating for guests. <strong>The</strong><br />

staff. Check-in was swift and after an<br />

lounge has a media wall, complimentary<br />

explanation about hotel facilities I was<br />

tea and coffee are provided and there's<br />

most welcoming. <strong>The</strong> hotel’s free fitness<br />

handed my key and shown to the<br />

plenty of space for casual meetings. <strong>The</strong><br />

centre was open 24 hours.<br />

elevator. My bags arrived shortly after.<br />

THE ROOM I stayed in a Deluxe<br />

King Room. As well as the king-size bed,<br />

the room had workspace, a reading chair<br />

and a flatscreen Smart TV. Amenities<br />

included a Nespresso coffee machine,<br />

hotel’s restaurant is named Precinct<br />

after the hotel's former incarnation and<br />

is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner,<br />

serving a range of American and<br />

international dishes within its open<br />

kitchen. <strong>The</strong> Precinct also doubles as a<br />

THE HOTEL'S<br />

RESTAURANT IS<br />

NAMED PRECINCT<br />

AFTER ITS FORMER<br />

INCARNATION<br />

THE VERDICT <strong>The</strong> superb location was<br />

a definite plus point. I was travelling to<br />

New York after my stay so the proximity<br />

to Back Bay station was a bonus. Overall<br />

a very pleasant stay in a lovely hotel.<br />

THE DETAILS Loews Boston Hotel, 154<br />

iron and ironing board, laptop friendly<br />

bar and is obviously a popular meeting<br />

Berkeley Street, Boston. Loews' lead-in<br />

safe and a mini-fridge. My bathroom<br />

had a bath and separate shower plus a<br />

point for after-work drinks. In warm<br />

weather the outdoor seating areas are<br />

price is $195 per night. loewshotels.com<br />

David Clare<br />

TRAIN: LNER AZUMA, FIRST CLASS<br />

THE JOURNEY<br />

I travelled first class on<br />

THE SERVICE<br />

<strong>The</strong> LNER service<br />

LNER's new super-fast Azuma train<br />

provides an inclusive first-class offering,<br />

service between London King's Cross<br />

which includes food and drink. All<br />

and Peterborough, which took less than<br />

First Class travellers are offered a<br />

an hour. It was the first of 65 new LNER<br />

complimentary two-course meal, with<br />

trains using Japanese bullet train<br />

three-course meals served on evening<br />

technology engineered with the help of<br />

trains coming out of King's Cross. New<br />

Hitachi. This month the new East Coast<br />

dishes prepared in the onboard kitchens<br />

service will extend its reach from London<br />

using locally-sourced ingredients and<br />

King's Cross to Edinburgh and the North<br />

served by attentive staff include stilton<br />

East of England, cutting the journey time<br />

and broccoli quiche, vegetable curry and<br />

from London to Edinburgh from an<br />

chicken cassava, all of which tasted<br />

average five-and-a-half hours to four.<br />

surprisingly delicious. Proper cutlery and<br />

Upon boarding, I was greeted by friendly<br />

crockery made my on-board experience<br />

staff and shown to my seat.<br />

feel much more civilized than your<br />

THE SEAT<br />

Compared with the<br />

standard commute. <strong>The</strong>re's a seemingly<br />

THE DETAILS<br />

LNER operates more<br />

existing trains, the Azuma’s First Class<br />

limitless supply of tea and coffee and<br />

than 1,000 services a week between<br />

carriages have more leg room, larger<br />

tables, reclining seats with adjustable<br />

headrests, and both USB charging and<br />

plug sockets at every seat. Coaches on<br />

nine-carriage Azuma trains are longer,<br />

enabling space for 101 First Class seats,<br />

passengers travelling in standard class<br />

have access to the Let’s Eats Café Bar<br />

and on-board trolley service.<br />

THE VERDICT <strong>The</strong> First Class<br />

experience was akin to the service you<br />

would expect on a decent airline. I was<br />

MY ON-BOARD<br />

EXPERIENCE FELT<br />

MUCH MORE CIVILIZED<br />

THAN YOUR STANDARD<br />

COMMUTE<br />

London King's Cross and Inverness,<br />

calling at key East Coast cities in the<br />

East Midlands, North East and Scotland.<br />

Advance First Class single fares between<br />

London King's Cross and Edinburgh can<br />

be found for as little as £79.50 when<br />

510 Standard seats and 10 toilets. <strong>The</strong><br />

well fed and watered, the carriage felt<br />

booked well ahead. For more<br />

on-board wifi worked really well for<br />

simple tasks such as checking emails.<br />

quiet, and I had plenty of space to<br />

spread out and work.<br />

information see: lner.co.uk<br />

Sasha Wood<br />

THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM<br />

97


DEPARTURES<br />

<strong>The</strong> final word<br />

Nowt better than a nice cuppa…<br />

As a tea-loving nation<br />

it comes as no surprise<br />

that we drink an<br />

excessive amount of the stuff,<br />

and this doesn't change when<br />

we take flight.<br />

According to holiday company<br />

TUI, its airline passengers will<br />

drink enough English breakfast<br />

tea onboard its flights to fill 920<br />

bathtubs this summer.<br />

<strong>The</strong> nation is also a fan of<br />

snacking as we head off on our<br />

holidays, and passengers are<br />

expected to eat enough ham<br />

and cheese toasties onboard to<br />

feed Wembley Stadium twice,<br />

and munch through a marathon<br />

amount of Sour Cream & Chive<br />

Pringles – literally!<br />

Laid back-to-back, the number<br />

of pots of Pringles expected to<br />

be consumed on TUI flights this<br />

summer would stretch along<br />

the entire London Marathon<br />

route. You know what they say<br />

– once you pop, you can't stop...<br />

THE INFLUENCE OF<br />

REALITY TV<br />

Hotel booking site alpharooms<br />

says one in five holidaymakers<br />

has booked a holiday to a<br />

destination after seeing it<br />

featured in a reality TV series.<br />

For example, it noted a 73%<br />

rise in trips to Mallorca after<br />

the 2018 finale of Love Island.<br />

<strong>The</strong> most influential series are:<br />

1 Benidorm (23%)<br />

2 Love Island (22%)<br />

3 Ibiza Weekender (20%)<br />

4 TOWIE (19%)<br />

5 Ex On <strong>The</strong> Beach (11%)<br />

6 <strong>The</strong> Only Way is Marbs (5%)<br />

Out of this world!<br />

DoubleTree by Hilton<br />

has some serious<br />

bragging rights,<br />

with its famous chocolate<br />

chip cookies poised to<br />

become the first food<br />

baked in space.<br />

Later this year, its iconic<br />

cookie dough will take off<br />

onboard a rocket bound for<br />

the International Space<br />

Station and will be baked<br />

using a prototype oven that<br />

is designed to make longduration<br />

space flight more<br />

hospitable. “Hilton has long<br />

been an industry innovator,<br />

and as we celebrate our 100th<br />

year, we’re excited to send<br />

our hospitality into orbit,”<br />

says Hilton's Shawn McAteer.<br />

Around 80% of Brits have experienced a<br />

life-changing 'Sliding Doors moment',<br />

says rail company LNER,<br />

referring to the film in<br />

which two versions of a life<br />

pan out. LNER’s survey<br />

found that one in 20<br />

people came home earlier<br />

than expected and caught<br />

their partner cheating,<br />

while a similar number<br />

believe they missed out<br />

on their dream job after<br />

being late for an interview<br />

because of delays or<br />

cancellations.<br />

98 THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


Highest<br />

standards<br />

Convenient<br />

technology<br />

Security &<br />

Wellbeing<br />

Global<br />

consistency<br />

<strong>The</strong> World’s<br />

Premier<br />

Chauffeured<br />

Services<br />

Carey is the global leader in<br />

chauffeured services and ground<br />

transportation logistics management.<br />

With an exclusive global network<br />

spanning more than 1,000 cities<br />

worldwide, Carey offers unrivalled<br />

safety, consistant service standards,<br />

and innovative travel technology for<br />

both travellers and arrangers.<br />

Reservations email: reservations.uk@carey.com<br />

Reservations phone: +44 (0) 208 326 7600<br />

Website: www.careyuk.com


<strong>The</strong> FREE event for buyers and arrangers<br />

of business travel and meetings<br />

REGISTER NOW<br />

<br />

Join us at TBTC'19 and hear from keynote<br />

speakers: one of the UK's most popular<br />

journalists and TV presenters,<br />

Sir Trevor McDonald, and Gillian Keegan,<br />

former Chief Marketing Officer at<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>port and now the Conservative MP<br />

for Chichester.<br />

Hilton London Bankside, Southwark<br />

BOOK YOUR PLACE AT<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

For further information about attending as a delegate<br />

or exhibitor contact Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk<br />

With thanks to our headline sponsor<br />

Star Alliance, and Executive sponsors,<br />

Amadeus and Air Europa. TBTC'19<br />

is proudly supporting London Taxi<br />

Drivers' Charity for Children

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