The Business Travel Magazine Dec/Jan 2019/20

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79 December/January 2019/20



Travel management companies

show off their star qualities

2020 travel trends

Distribution update

Traveller wellbeing

Focus on: the USA




That’s what makes us the world’s most awarded airline

Premium Airline of the Year

TTG Luxury Travel Awards (UK) 2019

Best Long Haul Airline

Telegraph Travel Awards (UK) 2019

Gold Medal for Best Overall Cellar

Business Traveller, Cellars In The Sky (UK) 2017








18 2020 travel trends

26 Traveller wellbeing

36 Distribution update




Extended feature








53 Extended feature:

Travel management companies

• Introduction, 54-56

• Debate, 58

• Service delivery, 60-64

• Consolidation, 66-68

• Five Reasons, 73

• New entrants, 75-78

• Insight, 81

The 2020 Directory, 82-85

• Data, 87


6 Opening Shots

8 Everyone's Talking About...

Flygskam (flight shaming)

11 The Knowledge: Making savings

through online adoption

12 Six of the Best:

Boutique hotels in Manchester

14 Event report:

Advantage Symposium

17 Speaking Out: Meetings spend






23 The Business Travel People

Awards: winner's interview

32 The Conversation:

Robin Chadha, citizenM

35 The Big Picture

38 Technology: Booking tools

40 Talking Travel: Dom Joly




The Review

43 Ten pages of news, views

and the latest developments


88 On the Road

89 Meeting in: Leeds

90 New Kid on the Block


91 On Business in: Amsterdam

92 Focus On: the USA

96 Reality Check

98 The Final Word






On the move worldwide with the Lufthansa Group airlines






23 destinations in

2 countries


157 destinations in

44 countries


13 destinations in

10 countries


24 destinations in

11 countries



12 destinations in

9 countries


41 destinations in

29 countries

The Lufthansa Group airlines are Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa,

SWISS, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings. Via the Brussels,

Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich hubs, and with numerous

direct connections, they offer their passengers more than 11,000

flights a week to more than 270 business and holiday destinations

worldwide. Passengers therefore benefit from a large choice of

destinations and many combination options. The Lufthansa Group

airlines stand for high-quality products and services. With more

than 700 aircraft, they have one of the largest and, above all, most

modern fleets in the world.

2018/2019 winter timetable, as at: 09/2018, subject to changes.



A greener future

Reflecting on our report from 12

months ago about the travel industry

trends to watch out for in 2019, I think

we can be reasonably satisfied with

our predictions at the time. Artificial

intelligence, augmented reality, APIs,

NDC and One Order were all picked out as areas of increasing focus, while

marginal air fare and hotel rate rises were forecast and uncertainty

around Brexit was highlighted. One theme that is now conspicuous by its

absence, however, is that of sustainability. Its profile has rightly soared in

2019, forcing corporates to consider how their travel programmes can be

kinder on the environment and suppliers can operate more efficiently.

Urgent action is required and we all have a part to play in preventing

irreversible damage to our planet. Turn to pages 18-20 to find out our

travel industry predictions for 2020.

The new year also heralds the opening of nominations for our event

The Business Travel People Awards 2020 (see pages 24-25). Now in its 9th

year, the awards recognise individuals and teams from across the TMC

and supplier elements of the industry, so be sure to nominate those that

have really shone in their role over the past year.

We're delighted to have picked up a few accolades of our own recently,

namely three category wins at the Business Travel Journalism Awards.

Our talented team took home the Editor of the Year and Supplement of

the Year awards, the latter for The 2019 Guide to Serviced Apartments

(subscribers to this magazine will have received the 2020 edition with this

issue). Meanwhile, Gary Noakes won the Features Journalist of the Year

award in the air travel category for his 'Suite Sensations' feature in our

June/July issue. We'll be sure to keep up the hard work in 2020 and, on

behalf of all the team at The Business Travel Magazine, we wish our readers

a happy, healthy and successful 2020.

Andy Hoskins, Editor






Andy Hoskins



Emma Allen, Nick Easen, Bev Fearis, Linda Fox,

Rob Gill, Jenny Southan & Gillian Upton


Sasha Wood & April Waterston


Julie Baxter, Laura Gelder & Steve Hartridge



Kirsty Hicks


Callum Blackwell



Louisa Horton


Ross Clifford, Caitlan Francis & Zoe Tarrant


Clare Hunter


Steve Hunter


Subscribe for free at




Matt Bonner


Martin Steady



SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. TEL: 020 8649 7233













Eye-catching images of the latest news and developments

It is the only hotel

project where Zaha

Hadid personally designed all

of the interiors and exteriors,

showcasing her vision of


ME Dubai


Taking residence in

The Opus, the latest

addition to Dubai's

skyline, ME by Meliá

will open its first

Middle East hotel

early in 2020. The

Opus was designed

by Zaha Hadid, the

British-Iraqi architect

who died in 2016.

Known as the 'Queen

of the Curve', her

influence can be seen

as soon as you step

into the hotel's lobby.


The Collective


Elevating its co-living

vision to the next level,

The Collective has

launched a 705-room,

21-storey co-living space

in London's Canary

Wharf. Regardless of

whether members stay

for just one night or 12

months, they can make

use of the 20th-floor

pool, spa, restaurant,

cinema and more.

Aspire Edinburgh

first peek

Passengers at Edinburgh

Airport will be the first

to see the new look

from Aspire Lounges,

due to be rolled out

globally next year. The

new lounge has runway

views, artwork of iconic

Edinburgh scenes, and

Spey Whisky and Byron's

Gin, exclusive to Aspire.

Marriott Delta


Marriott has opened the

first UK hotels under its

new Delta brand in

Cheltenham and Milton

Keynes. A third hotel is

due to open soon in

Nottingham. The fourstar

brand was acquired

by Marriott in 2015 and

comprises more than 70

hotels. Five more Delta

hotels are due to open

in the UK next year.





Flygskam (flight shaming)

“21% OF












Ewan Kassir, Head of Sales, Clarity

Source: UBS Global Aerospace and Airlines

(September 2019)

"Try and avoid travel

altogether before thinking

about compensating it”

Horst Bayer, Founder, TravelHorst




Randy Tinseth, Marketing Vice President, Boeing

The fight against climate

change is the greatest and

most pressing challenge

facing the modern

world and aviation

has a crucial role to

play in tackling it”

Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport





Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO


“Carbon offsetting can only be a bridge to future

technological developments, and it will be

important to seek out each and every way of

reducing carbon emissions”

Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future




How to... Make savings

by growing online adoption

Buzz Bingo wanted to get to grips with

its largest area of business travel spend,

accommodation, in order to achieve

savings. It identified online adoption as

the best way to achieve it


With more than 3,500

employees, over a hundred

bingo clubs and an online

bingo platform, Buzz Bingo

(formerly Gala Bingo) was in

need of a business travel

solution to support its workers

across the country.

Its previous travel

management company did not have a

platform for mobile bookings, something

that the organisation believed was key to

driving online adoption and securing

savings. Previously, a lot of time had been

spent on phone calls to organise

employees' travel needs.


Getting up and running was a quick and

painless process for the company. “The

implementation process went incredibly

well,” says Mulholland.

“Communication was

very good throughout the

process and any snags were

sorted out very quickly.

Everything seemed to go

without a hitch and the

process was delivered on

time. There was nothing we

could have improved on,” he adds.

Click’s proprietary booking tool gives

Buzz Bingo’s employees instant access to

competitive rates for hotel, rail and, if

required, air reservations, all within its own

travel policy. The system also incorporates

expense claims and employee tracking and

individual spend analysis.


“While we are relatively early on in our

working relationship with Click Travel,

we have already seen our online adoption

rate for online bookings increase from

an average of 15% to over 98% in just a

few months,” says Mulholland. “This is

a staggering increase

and an amazing

achievement.” One

booker at the company

said it has “revolutionised

the way we book

business travel.”

Meanwhile, hotel policy

compliance has reached

95% and Buzz Bingo is

on track to achieve an estimated £56,000 in

savings on accommodation spend in the

first year if it follows recommendations

from its account manager at Click Travel.


Buzz Bingo wanted

its employees to be

able to book travel

independently, without

the need to ring a call

centre. They also

wanted to see significant

savings through

direction connections to a wide variety of

suppliers. Their biggest travel expense

was on hotel accommodation for their

employees and they wanted to have

continual access to a wide variety of

suppliers and competitive rates.

Click Travel won a competitive tender, with

its user-friendly online booking system and

company culture helping clinch the contract

earlier this year, says Buzz Bingo’s

Procurement Officer, James Mulholland.





Six of the best...

Boutique hotels in Manchester

Words by Bev Fearis



The Gotham theme might seem

a bit contrived at times, but it

brings the 1920s opulence and

glamour to this five-star hotel on

the top six floors of a former

bank designed by Edwin Lutyens.

Its 60 rooms are unashamedly

decadent, with faux-fur throws,

luxurious leather and bold brass.




This quirky 16-room hotel in the

Northern Quarter was once a

Victorian textile warehouse and

still has original features. Nice

touches include free Prosecco

and nibbles each evening and

milk and cookies at bedtime.


Close to Piccadilly Station, this

chic hotel has a Champagne

room, cigar terrace, cocktail bar

and a restaurant specialising in

steaks. There are 137 rooms,

including 27 spacious suites,

some with roll-top baths.



(opening February 2020)

Bespoke Hotels is promising to

pay homage to the ‘Golden Age

of New York City' when it opens

its second Manchester hotel next

year as a sister to Hotel Gotham.

The 189-room Hotel Brooklyn will

be just as theatrical, especially its

panoramic rooftop bar.



It's over 20 years since it opened

but thanks to a few nips and

tucks the Malmaison still holds its

own against newer arrivals. In a

six-storey building by Piccadilly

Station, it has a buzzy brasserie

and 167 stylish rooms and 13

suites with super comfy beds.



Billing itself as a ‘baby grand

hotel’, King Street Townhouse has

40 bedrooms – no two the same

– a restaurant, afternoon tea

lounge, bijoux screening room,

gym, steam room, and an infinity

spa-pool with stunning views of

the city's Town Hall clock tower.


Business travel, the TRAILFINDERS way...

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Innovative technology solutions

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“Professional, efficient and friendly. Makes all my business travel needs a breeze.”

Contact us to discuss all your

business travel needs

020 7368 1365





Advantage’s 2019

Business Travel Symposium

Gillian Upton reports from the 4th

Advantage Business Travel Symposium

in November, where delegates debated

the future of the industry

The Game Changers-themed symposium

brought together a clutch of straight-talking

buyers who shared strident views on how

TMCs could do better.

Travel managers shared best practice in The

Buyer Bootcamp part one: Changing Games.

Sandra Dvorak of Refinitiv advised TMCs to

spend the first six months after implementation

assessing what type of organisation the

new client is. “Find out what their values are,

where the decision-making sits, what the

strategy is and whether it’s been effective and

understand the main suppliers,” she said.

Duncan Edwards of Inchcape stressed that

understanding the culture of a company was

critical to the success of a programme. “We

see TMCs as out outsourced experts. They

know what good looks like,” he said.

A larger group of buyers answered

questions at each table in The Buyer

Bootcamp part two: The Human Game.

Favourite among them was ‘What makes a

good account manager?’, and conversely,

major failings. Inchcape’s Edwards summed

up the latter: “To not actively listen and

attempt to move ahead on their own agenda,”

and voiced his opinion on the most transformative

thing that an account manager can

do. ”To understand the context in which the

client is operating in, and the challenges faced,

and in turn identify the right solution and

importantly the steps required to be taken.”

A plea from Nikki Rogan of Synamedia was

for TMCs to be honest when they can’t deliver.

Buyers were in unison about rarely getting

asked how a TMC can identify the key

stakeholders and having to drive the agenda

and spoon feed the TMC, a major turn-off for

many. A lack of senior people in the account

manager role is at the root of it, they believe.

Johnny Thorsen (pictured), VP of MEZI,

added a more positive note, predicting that

smaller TMCs can beat their larger

counterparts on speed if they become travel

programme architects, partner with relevant

start-ups, become knowledge brokers,

eliminate manual repetitive work processes

and focus on high-value services.


“Sustainability used to be

‘nice to have’; now it’s

mandatory and I’m working

on it but it’s about money”

Nikki Rogan, Synamedia










“Who shapes the travel

policy? It’s not just one

person or one department.

The answer will

explain how many


there are”

Ana Gibson, Hilti


Looking for a TMC?

Find the perfect partnership with Advantage.

Advantage Business Travel, part of The Advantage Travel

Partnership, is the UK’s largest independent group of

Travel Management Companies in the UK.

Together with its global division, WIN Global Travel

Network, Advantage has over 200 UK TMC locations and

global partners in 70 countries, meaning Advantage can

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

business needs.

By using an Advantage Business Travel TMC you will

benefit from:

- An independent business offering personalised and

attentive service around the clock

- Access to a global network of TMC partners, through

the WIN Global Travel Network

- A consultative approach to managing your travel

programme, making travel simple

- Access to leading technology and consolidated data

- The buying power of a combined turnover volume in

excess of £3bn

To find out more visit advantagemembers.com

Follow us @AdvantageHQ

Save the date



Hilton London Bankside


The 2020 event for buyers and arrangers of business travel & meetings

For further information contact Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk




Companies take for granted that

online tools will give them the

best rates for business travel, but

when it comes to meetings and events

there seems to be a different mindset.

Expert meetings management ensures your

business squeezes the very best value from

every pound you spend. Take a strategic

approach to meetings and you can keep your

business objectives front of mind throughout,

maximising return on investment with great

outcomes and a great delegate experience.




Seeing into the future leads to smarter buying

decisions. Douglas O’Neill of Inntel explains

The emerging science of predictive

analytics offers impressive benefits in this

regard, using artificial intelligence (AI) and

machine learning to predict the future. By

studying past data you can detect meaningful

patterns that suggest what is likely to happen,

then take different actions as a result.

Predictive analytics can help you plan better

meetings and events, save money and control

costs. It’s powerful because it works at a scale

and depth of detail that is impossible for

human analysts.

Detecting trends in behaviours leads to

smarter buying decisions. Using AI you can

learn the average spend per delegate

within an industry sector or large

organisation, benchmark your

own spend and compare

venues. You can evaluate

total cost per delegate –

including travel, food,

credit card expenses,

time out of office etc.

Savings of up to 20%

could be made if corporates can obtain a full

360-degree picture of costs, and this precision

also helps businesses with budget planning.

Predictive analytics can calculate demand

for an event too. Let’s say 100 delegates are

invited to a summit and past data shows only

22% will RSVP within a month but 58% more

will finally accept (many after the booking

deadline). Knowing that one-month figure

allows you to predict how many will actually

attend so you can book the right venue at the

right cost well ahead.

You can also calculate the most costeffective

and time-efficient location and venue

for your company to hold a meeting, for

example when delegates are coming from

three specified countries. Predictive analytics

even allows the business to decide to send

fewer people to a conference in Asia-Pacific,

for example, if airfares to the destination are

forecast to rise at that time of year.

AI can also rapidly analyse attendee expense

claims and individual behaviours to detect

anomalies. It can identify the 5% of delegates

making bogus claims without aggravating

the 70% who never cheat or the 25% who

make the occasional mistake. What’s more,

intelligent analysis can highlight how,

although a meeting attendee spent an

unauthorised £10 on an in-room movie,

they skipped a £30 dinner as a result.

The challenge is how to make the most of a

mountain of unstructured data housed with

multiple online and offline providers. This is

where the expertise of a meetings and

events management company is invaluable.


Douglas O'Neill is CEO and

owner of Inntel, the meetings

and travel management

company. He is Chair of the

GBTA Europe Meetings

Committee and is a member

of several other industry and

non-industry associations.




the 2020 vision

Regardless of the economic and geopolitical outlook, the business travel industry will continue to evolve in 2020.

Jenny Southan, founder of Globetrender, picks out notable openings, launches and trends for the year ahead

As the Brexit saga

rolls on, Trump

tries to shrug off


investigations ahead of another

US election, a critical COP26

climate summit takes place in

Glasgow, and China and the US

continue to lock horns in a trade

war, 2020 feels like a pivotal year

for the entire world. Business

travel, of course, has to go on

regardless, even if another global

economic crisis is triggered.

But caution will prevent the

industry from gathering much

momentum, with adjustments to

travel policies required to futureproof

company endeavours

by tightening up on expense


Here is a


of trends,


and news

to help you




1 The first “urban resort” from the

luxury group, the Jean-Michel

Gathy-designed Four Seasons

Bangkok will have 299 rooms and

a private boat to take people down

the Chao Phraya River that runs

alongside. (Opening February).


2 The trendy W Melbourne (opening

in June 2020) will have a poolside

Wet Deck that can be hired for

cocktail parties of up to 80 people.

There will also be 294 rooms with

floor-to-ceiling windows and a FIT

gym. A third Australian W Hotel will

open in Sydney next year (pictured).


3 Part of the Rocco Forte hotels

group, the Westbund has been

designed by Olga Polizzi and

MUZALAB, and will feature an

al fresco bar on the 52nd floor, plus

four restaurants and 219 rooms.

(Opening date to be confirmed).


4 The seventh Bulgari hotel to

open, this 76-room Paris property

will be located on Avenue George V,

and will have a 25-metre pool, a

courtyard garden and a restaurant

from Michelin-chef Niko Romito.

(Opening date to be confirmed).


5 Designed by Zaha Hadid

Architects, the ME Dubai will be

located in the new cube-shaped

Opus building, where it will have

93 rooms, 98 serviced apartments

and 15 restaurants. Opening in

January in the heart of the upcoming

Burj Khalifa district in Downtown

Dubai, it is the ME group's first hotel

in the Middle East.








New super-fast mobile

connectivity is going to

make downloading data

extremely speedy – seconds

instead of minutes.


With the imminent arrival of

Facebook’s Libra, consumer

uptake of digital currencies

will begin to take off.


Rolls-Royce will be testing its

debut electric plane next year,

promising a new era for

environmentally kinder flying.


As people tire of endless online

scrolling, many are turning to

internet-free mobiles as a way of

freeing them up from distraction.


As cyber attacks increase,

blockchain will be used to

improve the security of travellers’

personal data when it is

stored and shared.


As the climate crisis heats up,

companies need to be seen to be

taking serious steps in mitigating

their environmental impact. Carbon

offsetting will become the norm, as

will the banning of single-use

plastics (Marriott says it will be

eliminating mini bottles of toiletries

from all its 7,000-plus hotels by

December 2020). More than 200

European airports have committed

to reaching net zero carbon

emissions by 2050, and there is

an increase in demand for taking

trains instead of planes as “flight

shaming” becomes a new buzzword.

In the new decade, health will be the

new wealth. Not just physical health

but mental health too. Innovators

such as Equinox Hotels is

continuing its roll-out of high-end

wellness hotels across the US, where

minibars come stocked with dozens

of healthy elixirs and snacks instead

of whisky and Pringles. Overall,

wellness tourism is set to become a

$900billion industry by 2022

according to the Global Wellness

Institute (up from $640bn in 2017).

ARtiFiCiAL inteLLiGenCe

As we race towards the 'singularity',

the point where AI exceeds the

abilities of humans, travel companies

in the new decade will be experimenting

with it as a multi-faceted

tool for improving personalisation,

financial forecasting and big data

crunching. Robot helpers are being

deployed in Tokyo’s Narita airport

and voice is taking off as the new

interface between people and tech.

PwC says AI could contribute as

much as $15.7 trillion by 2030.




The world

economy is

heading into troubled

waters, with recession

in 2020 now a clear

and present danger”

Source: United Nations

Challenges &




Hotel rates will increase

1%-3% in most regions but

hikes will be particularly high

in Japan, host of the

2020 Olympic Games.

Airfares will rise 1%-2%

Source: BCD Travel

Taking off

notABLe 2020 LAUnChes



Twice daily from March 30



Four times a week from January 1




Daily from March 29



Daily from March 29



Three times a week from October 29

NDC isn’t going to be a 'big bang’ moment

– it’s a journey. But it is going to force the global travel industry is

estimated to be $200billion

corporates to think more about

the details of their travel policies”

Charlotte Baikie, Head of Account Management, Sabre




“I believe we’ll see ‘super apps’ that

integrate on-demand services such

as taxis and food delivery to bring a

more consumer-focused experience

for the business traveller”




“OTAs and business travel

bookers will look for islands of

certainty as they face an

economically unpredictable

picture. We anticipate they

will explore optimising their

payments processes, including

airline payments, as one of the

most significant but largely

untapped ways to combat

persistently low margins”



The global economy is

expected to grow 3.6%

in 2020 (from 3% in 2019),

although advanced economies

will only grow 1.7%, down

from 1.8% in 2019



94% of business travellers

are willing to share personal

information to improve their

travel experience


As the next generation of

travellers comes of age (the

oldest Gen Z will be 25 in

2020), the value of them to

Source: International Monetary Fund

Source: SAP Concur

Source: FCM Travel Solutions




Discover a network of over 160 destinations

worldwide with Eurowings.







TBR Global’s Thomas Tuschek, Head of Global Major

Events, celebrates the company’s People Awards triumph

in-house proprietary system and the

expertise and skill of our strategically placed

project managers. This creates an unrivalled

ability to deliver large-scale complex logistics

projects to a world-class service standard.

After the successful delivery of its first project,

the team has gone on to obtain further

contracts for blue-chip corporations, global

governing bodies and luxury brands, as well

as undertaking a strategic operational programme

for major sporting events in Japan.

What does the team particularly enjoy

about the role they play in the industry?

Although often overlooked, the ground

transportation portion of an event is the

first and last touch point for every guest.

Successful delivery is the backbone to a

seamless project and the team love nothing

more than making that possible.

What do you think of the Awards and of

the winners’ event in particular?

The award ceremony was a great way to

interact with our peers and clients and

celebrate the best in the industry – and our

caricatures are proudly displayed at our

Glasgow headquarters.

How did it feel to be named MICE Team

of the Year?

We were elated! TBR’s Major Global Events

service line was only launched in January

2018 and from its inception the

team has worked tirelessly to

deliver outstanding ground

transportation solutions

across the globe for

some of the world’s

most prestigious

brands. To win in such

a competitive category

was amazing.

Why did you enter the

awards or how did you

come to be nominated?

The formation of the team was

derived through the acquisition of a

The Business Travel

People Awards recognise

outstanding individuals and

teams across all aspects of the

supplier element of corporate

travel. Nominations for the

2020 awards open in


multi-million-pound contract. Its bespoke

requirements called for the facilitation of

movements for over 3,000 VIP passengers,

over 500 mixed vehicles and a 58 strong

on-site team. We thought the

outstanding feedback

received from that project,

including the team’s

innovative approach to

event transportation

management, merited

industry recognition.

Tell us about the role

of the team and the

work they did to clinch

the award?

TBR’s Major Global Events

team combines the bespoke

technological capabilities of our

What impact do you think winning will

have on the team and their careers?

Winning the award has solidified what we

already knew about the team. They are a

group of hardworking and ambitious

individuals, who are truly passionate about

the exceptional service they deliver and

the ever changing world of events. The win

has given them more confidence in their

own ability and the industry recognition

they really deserve.

What are some of the biggest challenges

the team are currently facing in their

various roles?

As the team is so strong, there is an

increasing requirement to utilise their

services in key projects across the globe.

For example, at the moment, we have

activations in Tokyo, Seoul, Panama City,

Washington and London. It is a great

problem to have so as the demand grows,

so too will our dynamic team of experts.




The Business Travel People

Awards comprise 16

categories across the TMC,

MICE and supplier elements of

the corporate travel industry.

Nominate a colleague,

acquaintance or yourself at



Now in its

9th year!


January, 2020


March, 2020


Friday 22nd May 2020

Park Plaza, Westminster

Bridge, London



Recognising outstanding

individuals and teams across all

aspects of the supplier element of

corporate travel

It's time to nominate

that shining star!

THE Business Travel People Awards return in 2020 for the

ninth consecutive year. Recognising the industry's diverse

talent, the awards are open to all TMC and supplier staff

and include a wide range of categories. So when the online

nominations open in January, be sure to put forward that

colleague or acquaintance that has really gone the extra

mile – or simply nominate yourself!

“Probably the best

awards in travel.

It's very motivating

for our staff to see

their name in lights

and socialise with

industry peers”

“An excellent

opportunity to

recognise and

reward what is

at the heart of

our industry - its

amazing people”

The Business Travel

People Awards has

quickly become one

of the most sought

after and prestigious

events in travel”

“I feel this is a true

awards presentation

that celebrates

genuine criteria

and winners”




Travel management


Reservations Consultant

of the Year

Reservations Team of

the Year

Operations Manager of

the Year

Operations Team of the Year

Account Manager of the Year

Account Management Team

of the Year

Sales / Business Development

Manager of the Year

Sales / Business Development

Team of the Year


Meetings & Events Manager

of the year

Meetings & Events Team

of the year


(Open to all industry suppliers,

including airlines, accommodation

providers, car hire companies,

train operating companies, travel

technology solutions, duty of care

specialists... and more!)

Account Manager of the Year

Account Management Team

of the Year

Sales / Business Development

Manager of the Year

Sales / Business Development

Team of the Year

Industry Categories

Rising Star award

Best Newcomer


TMCs AND HBAs CATEGORIES >> Account Manager of the Year:

Colin Harvey, BCD >> Account Management Team of the Year:

Click Travel >> Operations Manager of the Year: Tracey Wilson,

Blue Cube Travel >> Operations Team of the Year: Client Services,

Business Travel Direct >> Reservations Consultant of the Year:

Jill Burnett, BCD Travel >> Reservations Team of the Year:

Production, Sports & Creative Team, Corporate Traveller >>

Sales/Business Development Manager of the Year: Andy Boorman,

Advantage Travel Partnership >> Sales/Business Development

Team of the Year: Click Travel >> MICE CATEGORIES >> MICE

Manager of the Year: Sarah Symington, Capita Travel and Events

>> MICE Team of the Year: TBR Global Major Global Events Team

>> SUPPLIER CATEGORIES >> Account Manager of the Year:

Mohammed Laher, Sixt Rent A Car >> Account

Management Team of the Year: Corporate and

TMC Account Management Team, Virgin Atlantic

and Delta Air Lines >> Sales/Business

Development Manager of the Year: Jason

Dunderdale, Sixt Rent A Car >> Sales/Business

Development Team of the Year: London

North Eastern Railway (LNER) >>


Newcomer: Rob Cope, Corporate

Travel Management >> Rising Star:

Hugo Jarvis, Blue Cube Travel


Power to the people!

”THE AWARDS are a great way to connect with our peers

in the sector and celebrate the current strength of the

industry,” says Jill Palmer, CEO of Click Travel, who won

the Account Management Team of the Year in 2019.

”Our team is an ambitious bunch and being awarded for

their exceptional effort will only spur them on even more,“

says Palmer. ”I'm so proud of the team – they've worked

incredibly hard and truly deserved this accolade.“

Palmer says the team landed 55 new

clients in the last 12 months, achieving a

25% increase in total sales, and moved

more than 1,000 customers on to a new

booking platform.

”Winning the award will also help us

to continue recruiting the highest

calibre of new team members, as

well as continuing to promote from

within the business,” adds Palmer.

The People Awards

are quite simply one

of the best award

ceremonies I have

been to”

“You could tell by

the excitement of

everyone in the

room that these

awards are taken

very seriously by

the nominees

and winners”

These awards are

all about recognising

the people in our

industry that don't

always get the

recognition they


“It feels absolutely

amazing to win

one of these awards

and it's a brilliant

recognition of our

hard work over

the years”




The groundswell of

interest in wellbeing

isn't just coming from

professionals interested

in duty of care. More

importantly, it's being driven

by employees themselves”



Going the extra


It's a subject that can no longer be ignored, but how

are companies embracing traveller wellbeing?

Nick Easen reports

It’s said that work-life balance is one

of the biggest causes of stress and

anxiety around the globe, so surely

work-life-travel balance should be up

there too?

Few business trips don’t have at least an

element of tiredness, tension, fatigue, sweat

or tears. Some can even lead to exhaustion

or poor mental health. This is why traveller

wellbeing now tops the agenda.

“Trips are stressful, with some travellers

putting themselves under a lot of pressure.

Everything in travel is evolving fast – travel

policy, workplace elements and travel itself,”

explains Sarah Marshall, Travel & Security

Manager at DAI.

In an age where duty of care means

everything, wellbeing is high on the agenda

and is an issue that's here to stay. This year,

the World Health Organisation even

included ‘burnout’ – caused by work-related

stress – as an official illness, while a recent

World Bank study found that 75% of staff

reported high or very high stress levels

related specifically to business travel.

“Corporations now understand that they

need to help employees manage ‘company

time’ outside of the office and ensure that

employees are compensated for the time

taken to travel – time off in lieu is key. This

also extends to jet lag and travelling to

regions with a significant time difference,”

says Suzanne Sangiovese, Operations

Manager for the Americas at Riskline.

It helps that attitudes are evolving rapidly,

with organisations now looking to manage

traveller welfare as much as they do cost.

There is an increasing realisation that a

frazzled and tired employee isn’t productive

or creative on the road. This can lead to

sickness, low productivity and even affect

staff turnover, but these are still early days.

“Practical changes to travel programmes

to positively impact people's lives are yet

to become mainstream. Some larger

corporates are leading the way with

wellbeing programmes, but to date most

SMEs haven’t followed suit,” says Bex

Deadman, Commercial Director at Blue

Cube Travel.

It's all about data

Data-driven analysis via tech platforms and

tools are coming to the fore. Wellbeing

scores and stress indexes, based on delays,

red-eye flights, troublesome long-haul trips,

layovers, the quality of the airline, class of

travel, weekends away, and ‘out of hours’




There is an increasing

realisation that a

frazzled and tired employee

isn't productive or creative

on the road. This can lead to

sickness, low productivity and

even affect staff turnover”

travel, even such gripes as sitting in the

middle seat of an airplane, now help travel

bookers make sense of a complex issue.

“With predictive analytics we can highlight

the patterns that compromise traveller

experience and employee satisfaction. This

insight can then be used to build a more

comprehensive strategy, based on real

behaviour,” says Katie Skitterall, Director of

UK Sales and Operations, the ATPI Group.

“By using meaningful data, the right

decisions can start to be made. Whilst we

know conversations are taking place in the

boardroom, the facts and data to back up

the story aren’t necessarily being used.”

Some organisations are measuring

so-called ‘traveller friction’ via automated

and simple surveys after each trip. These

can help identify flaws in travel policies, as

well as areas for improvement.

“But if you’re doing this you also need to

have systems and resources in place to

respond,” argues Richard Stabbins, Vice

President, Traveller Care UK at American

Express GBT. “It can certainly be counterproductive

if feedback goes unanswered.”

Data has always been used to control

travel spend, but now there’s a clearer

understanding of how the total cost of each

trip sits alongside its real value or return

on investment (ROI) to the company, and

whether it's a positive experience. There is

a trade-off and this is why this triumvirate

of factors is a crucial nexus going forward.

“Now we can make clear linkages between

employee wellbeing and productivity that

can be quantified to a pound or dollar value.

The overall loss in employee productivity on

a trip can actually outweigh the cost of the

airline ticket in some cases,” says Richard

Johnson, Senior Director for EMEA at CWT

Solutions Group.

A lack of ownership

One big challenge is that employee

wellbeing strays well beyond travel policy

and often comes knocking on the door of

human resources and procurement. Yet a

broader stakeholder umbrella rarely comes

into play, even though it’s needed in order

to make better informed policy decisions in

this more enlightened 21st century.

There is a lack of ownership of the

traveller wellbeing space and a lack of

understanding of who should be responsible

for delivering this within an organisation.

Everyone thinks the solution is going to cost

too much, so they won't invest. This is a very

old fashioned and narrow-focused vision,”

exclaims Matthew Holman, Head of Traveller

Wellbeing at Capita Travel and Events.

It’s also starting to dawn on many large

organisations that if they want to retain

talent, reduce burnout and promote

employee longevity then they need to invest

in traveller wellbeing in a way that balances

cost and worker welfare in equal measure.

“It’s now all about engagement, engagement,

engagement,” says Chris Crowley,

Partner at Nina & Pinta.

The good thing is that the genie is out of

the bottle, with high profile figures such as

Prince Harry and other celebrities now

highlighting mental health issues.

“With the continued raised consciousness

around wellbeing, employees are going to

be less willing to make the sacrifices that

were expected in the past, and employers

therefore have to recognise that worker

wellbeing must be a higher priority for

them,” says Lorna Dunning, Mindset Coach

and former VP for Transformation at

American Express GBT.

Taking back control

Let’s also recognise that the groundswell of

interest in wellbeing isn’t just coming from

professionals concerned with duty of care.


traveller wellbeing

More importantly it's being driven by the

employees themselves who are interested

in investing in their own welfare and

personal development. It's therefore crucial

that employers are catering to this newly

engaged audience.

“Offering training on how to take better

care of yourself can have a positive impact

on traveller welfare. Wellbeing courses are

becoming increasingly popular,” says Eric

Tyree, Vice President, CTO & Chief Data

Scientist at CWT.

There’s also a steadily growing demand

for travellers to be given a license for

'bleisure' activities as well. This might be as

simple as allowing travellers to stay the

weekend at a destination.”

Part of that wider process also involves

providing more pre-trip medical screening

– often offered by third parties and TMCs –

and pre-trip wellbeing questionnaires. These

involve asking travellers specific questions

about their current mental health needs or

psychological issues around pre-existing or

newly developing conditions.

“It's not about stopping people travelling.

It's to help better support them and put

measures in place while they're abroad,”

says Deborah Avery, Head of International

Assistance at Anvil Group.

“It is all about early identification and

giving individuals the confidence that they

know support is there and in whatever

format they may need it.”

Stepping up to the mark

With this groundswell of wellbeing activity,

business travel providers are also having to

up their game and offer something for both

the buyer and traveller. Some hotels now

provide ‘natural’ lighting to help with sleep

problems business travellers often face, or

airport lounges that have their own

wellness initiatives. Amsterdam’s Schiphol

Airport, for example, even has its own

meditation centre.

“We’re now seeing customers ask for

certain hotel chains to be included in their

policies because they meet their particular

duty of care and wellbeing standards,”

states Vicki Williams, Director of Sales &

Implementation at Click Travel.

There is no doubt that incorporating

wellbeing into any travel programme is a

complex issue. It also involves making a

wide range of detailed decisions. The

challenges are always going to be around

cost and there is always going to be a tradeoff.

But wellbeing is all about thinking of

employees in a wider context. Travel trip

ROI, employee retention and welfare all

come into play. “Each company has to work

out their own balance,” explains Tyree –

and there lies the crux of the matter.

The good thing is

that the genie is

out of the bottle, with high

profile figures such as

Prince Harry and other

celebrities highlighting

mental health issues”

[ Tips on traveller wellbeing ]

• Raise awareness. Start talking about the

challenges and potential issues openly with

travellers and encourage them to manage

their own wellbeing and healthy routines

whilst on trips. Having honest conversations

and dialogue with travellers is essential.

• Draw up a wellbeing plan. The idea is to

bring HR, procurement, buyers and

managers together around a single source

of truth that aligns company and wellbeing

objectives. Clearly articulated, they will give

direction as to what you want to achieve.

• Build flexible travel plans. This can include

levels of downtime, either during trips or on

people’s return, plus details of rest days,

training, classes of travel, even sourcing

hotels with fitness facilities and healthier

eating. Recognise what you can achieve.

• Measure everything. If you are

implementing a wellbeing policy you need to

know whether the changes you put in place

will actually make a difference. You also

need a baseline set of parameters before

you start up any policy.

• Start small. Creating an all-singing,

all-dancing programme can cause

headaches. Pick a handful of changes you

would like to implement when it comes to

wellness and see how things improve.




How many of you really, truly,

consider the impact that working

in different countries may have on

the wellbeing of your travellers?

I am not talking about the logistical hassles,

packed schedules and fatigue that often go

hand-in-hand with business travel. This is

something deeper and more subtle – a sort

of ‘cultural impact’.

It is the local


that determine

how people view,

respond and

behave differently

towards visitors.

It is one reason why,

even when the stars

are aligned – with

a good travel



itinerary, extensive

preparation and a killer

pitch – that things can still fall

apart once in a country. The

traveller struggles with interactions, shows

unexpected signs of stress, a change in

attitude, or simply can’t adjust regardless of

how long they spend in a destination.

According to social psychologist Geert

Hofstede, all countries have a set of inherent

values that distinguish one society from

another – intangible yet visible rituals, norms,

beliefs, customs and behaviours.

These include different expectations

around qualities like work-life balance,

modesty, short-term versus long-term

outcomes, assertiveness versus

cooperation, and whether people




Dr. Lucy Rattrie discusses new evidence on the

complexities of navigating cultural expectations

look after themselves (an ‘I’ culture) or their

team (a ‘we’ culture).

In order to find out if differences in national

cultural values affect the likelihood of

developing burnout, myself (University of

Stirling and Management Center Innsbruck),

Professor Markus Kittler

(Management Center Innsbruck),

and Professor Karsten Paul

(Friedrich-Alexander University

Erlangen-Nuremberg) analysed

132 peer-reviewed research

studies conducted from 2001 to

2018, incorporating more than

100,000 participants from five

global regions. It’s a pretty in-depth

academic study but we have some

interesting take-home

messages for you.

While there is the caveat that more research

is needed, particularly from non-US and non-

European regions and specifically with

business travellers, it was clear that only

some dimensions affect the likelihood of

developing burnout, and this likelihood

depends on whether the job is perceived as

particularly demanding, or whether it has a

high presence of supporting resources.

For example, if a traveller is in a particularly

demanding role, their wellbeing will be

protected if they work in countries such as

Denmark but it is more at risk in other

destinations like the United States.

If a traveller is needed in the US, sending

someone who is in a less demanding job

means they are less at risk of burnout. Or

consider offering traveller-specific support

and increasing the resources available to

them to counteract the negative impact of

the demands on them.

Similarly, under normal circumstances, a

job with plentiful resources means the

person is by default protected from burnout

developing. However, if someone from

All countries have a

set of inherent values

that distinguish one society

from another – intangible yet

visible rituals, norms, beliefs,

customs and behaviours”

Austria is sent to Malaysia to work, the

protective capacity of resources could be

undermined and the person is therefore at

risk of burnout.

Travel management can therefore advance

to a new level when deciding who goes where

and to do what by considering these factors:

how demanding or resourceful is the

individual's job; what is the individual’s

capacity to self-manage; what is the role of

the destination's culture for protecting people

from burnout. In a sense, it is simply about

better job design.

Dr lUCY raTTrie

Lucy is a psychologist in

wellbeing, thriving and

sustainability of people

who travel for work. She

advises organisations,

offers training and

coaching, and conducts

academic research. Email



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Chief Marketing Officer, citizenM

Robin Chadha

Sasha Wood chats to citizenM CMO Robin Chadha about establishing

and growing a new hotel brand in an already crowded marketplace

Abrand is a living thing that has

values, heritage, personality, tone of

voice and DNA that never changes.

Human beings have all these things but a

strong brand has them too,” says citizenM’s

Chief Marketing Officer, Robin Chadha.

He is the man responsible for growing the

hotel brand into a distinctly recognisable set

of 13 hotels in seven countries (so far) since

its inception back in 2008.

The group aimed to establish a luxury

hotel brand with a unique identity that is

predominantly aimed at business travellers.

“We looked at the market and said ‘let’s

disrupt this traditional hotel industry model’”

says Chadha. With his design partner at

Concrete, Chadha set about deconstructing

the traditional hotel model, deciding what

aspects to streamline or change.

Not quite a ‘disruptor’ in the modern

sense, the group is nevertheless showing

how things can be done differently in the

hospitality industry. It’s found a gap in the

market for affordable luxury and it’s

identified its core customer in the savvy

urbanites and creative millennials that travel

the world’s cities for work and play.

“If you look at strong brands such as

Tesler, Virgin and Starbucks, they all have

personality and a tone of voice,” says Chadha.

He knows from his experience in the often

fickle fashion industry that establishing a

strong and unique brand identity is half the

battle. His family used to own Mexx – the

US fashion company – which once had a

staggering turnover. But Chadha says when

they sold the company, the new owners

made too many changes, forgot the core

identity, confused the customer, and

ultimately the brand was dead.

Chadha’s father’s experience running Mexx

also provided the lightbulb moment that led

to the founding of citizenM. Mexx was quite

cost-conscious so when the designers and

buyers travelled for work – to Tokyo, New

York, Paris, Milan – they could never spend

more than 100 euros per night on hotels.

This led them to stay in non-descript

places right outside of the city centre and

they’d always come back a little loose-faced

and lacklustre. A gap in the market was

identified for hotels that combine great

design, good locations and top amenities at

a price that doesn't break the bank.

Chadha is very clear about what citizenM

represents: “We’re accessible to everyone,

we’re urban and we always offer value. We

always try to be below the market,” he states.

The core brand values have filtered

through to every aspect of the hotels from

the design ethos to the friendly staff

‘ambassadors’ who are picked through a

All our guest rooms

are the same, offering

everything you need and

nothing you don’t. It’s all

about the experience and

easing the journey for guests”

casting process and trained in every aspect

of hotel management. Its properties manage

to be both smart and quirky. The living room

– essentially the hotel’s lobby lounge – is

scattered with the kind of interesting objects

you might find at a friend’s house, and bar

staff act with the familiar ease of flatmates.

The ambassador concept has also been

very successful in delivering high levels of

service: “In New York City we rank 9.4 for

service, while the Four Seasons ranks 9,”

Chadha proudly boasts.

He knows his customers too. Chadha says

they have four core customers including

‘cultural citizens’ and ‘business citizens’ but

acknowledges that we can be all things at

different times. “You may be travelling for

work, in meetings during the day but

checking out the latest cocktail bars and

restaurants in the evening,” he says. And the

brand is designed to reflect that.

By walking in guests’ shoes, citizenM has

also changed the way hotels traditionally

operate. Self check-in has proved

particularly popular, eliminating the need for

guests to queue at a reception desk and

instead use a kiosk to receive their room key

in less than a minute. And by the end of 2019

it will have launched the citizenM app which

will bypass check-in and check-out altogether.

“Everything we do is for the good of the

brand, but eventually for the good of the

guest too,” says Chadha. Following recent

openings in Boston, Zurich and Amsterdam,

additions in 2020 will include hotels in

Seattle, Geneva and Washington DC.



in brief...

You must travel a lot for

work – do you have a

favourite city? What

makes it special to you?

I travel the world for work,

which is fantastic. My two

top cities would have to be

New York and London.

They are full of inspiration,

subcultures, incredible food

and beverage concepts,

and both have an amazing

art scene too.

What do you do when

you’re not working?

I'm always working! I enjoy

spending time walking the

streets in Amsterdam,

visiting art galleries, eating

out with friends and family,

catching up on reading

and, of course, I'm addicted

to my Apple TV.

You only have one room

category at citizenM


It is a unique thing about

citizenM that we only have

one type of room. We’ve

emphasised the bed,

comfort and Italian linens,

put in state-of-the-art rain

showers and lots of natural

light, but all our guest

rooms are the same,

offering everything you

need and nothing you

don’t. It’s much more about

the experience and easing

the journey for the guest.


Robin Chadha is the Amsterdam-based Chief Marketing

Officer of citizenM. His career began on the floor of

Wall Street’s New York Stock Exchange as a specialist

clerk for Vandermolen. He then worked in fashion for

a number of years. In 2005 Chadha moved into

hospitality, launching Rain, a unique design-led food

and drink experience venue in Amsterdam. He sold

the business in 2008 to join citizenM, founded by his

father and Chair of the brand Kul Rattan Chadha.



Spring Sparkle

PA & EA Networking Evening

Brought to you by The Business Travel Conference

Monday 23rd March 2020

The Bloomsbury,

Doyle Collection – London

Join us for an evening of hospitality and

networking in the George V ballroom at this

luxury property from The Doyle Collection. Set in

London’s literary heartland, this hotel is housed

in a stunning 1930s listed neo-Georgian building

offering chic guestrooms and luxury suites.

The hotel features one of London’s most

instagrammed restaurants – Dalloway Terrace

– as well as The Coral Room and the intimate

and atmospheric Bloomsbury Club Bar.

PAs & EAs can discover the hotel facilities and

meet a range of travel companies whilst enjoying

complimentary drinks, delicious food and the

chance to win some fabulous prizes courtesy of

our event sponsors.

PA/EAs interested in attending can apply for

places via thebusinesstravelconference.com

Suppliers can contact Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk regarding sponsorship opportunities



Hitting the high notes


Photo by Victor Malyushev on Unsplash

Austria’s Alpine city of

Salzburg was named

the number one city in

Lonely Planet’s Best in

Travel 2020 report. The

birthplace of Mozart has

three universities, stateof-the-art


a highly qualified workforce

and excellent

quality of life – a medley

that makes Salzburg

particularly attractive to

businesses, says ABA

Invest in Austria. The city

will celebrate the centenary

of its eponymous

music festival in 2020.





New distribution


Are changes in airline distribution finally picking up speed?

Linda Fox charts the latest NDC developments

IATA’s New Distribution Capability

(NDC) was recently likened to a child

born prematurely that's only now

beginning to find its feet. It’s not a bad

analogy when we think back to 2012,

when NDC was first announced, and look

at where we're at today.

The industry has gone from trying to

understand it – and the motivations behind it

– to a collaborative approach to how it might

be implemented. Now, finally, it's starting to

be put into action.

But while there is collaboration, partnerships

and engagement from all sides, technically

speaking the industry isn’t there yet. Like

most technological evolutions, this is not

something that will simply happen overnight.

A spate of recent announcements from

large TMCs shows progress, but when you

read between the lines it's all still about pilots

and trials and not yet close to full deployment.

In the late summer Travelport did its first

live bookings for Qantas via the NDC

standard, and using its Smartpoint agency

technology. FCM, and parent company Flight

Centre Travel Group, announced recently

that they had completed NDC airline content

booking via Amadeus Selling Platform

Connect. American Express Global Business

Travel says the latest release of its Neo tool

connects to both Amadeus and Sabre’s NDC

solutions and Concur is integrating British

Airways and Lufthansa NDC content into its

TripLink system. And most recently Expedia’s

business travel arm, Egencia, announced that

it was making Lufthansa NDC content

available to its customers.

But while all of these developments might

give the impression that NDC is ready for

wider use, patience is still required. Nicola

Ping, Manager Air Content and Distribution,

EMEA, for FCM and Flight Centre, says there

is still some confusion.

“IATA is telling the industry that 70-plus

airlines are doing NDC, certification is

progressing and the standards are ready.

The airlines are telling their agents and

customers that they have a lot of capability

and transaction volumes are growing. Both of

these things are true but the vast majority of

transactions are coming from straightforward

leisure bookings.”

Commercial considerations

Others in the industry also acknowledge

that progress is being made but point to

the remaining challenges that are now

becoming apparent.

David Chappell, Technology Director for

Fello Travel, says: “There is real progress with

NDC and it’s evolving at pace. New standards

and new versions of NDC are being evolved

(two per year) with, finally, good engagement

between airlines, retailers and aggregators.”

But therein lies one of the challenges. NDC

was meant to set a standard but as new

versions become available, airlines are

developing their own different versions of

that standard. Chappell believes airlines will

not want to keep investing in every new

version and will choose to make “step

changes in the standard when there are

commercial advantages to the enhanced

functionality in the later versions”.

There are varying views as to whether the




It's important not to

run before we can

walk. It's easy to get seduced

by technology without fully

realising the problem you

are trying to solve”

Photo by Bhavik Dalal on Unsplash

announcements are meaningful or not. While

some might say that at least they are keeping

visibility on progress, and keeping discussions

going, others believe the time to sing from

the rooftops is only when the NDC standard

can do what it set out to do. David Bishop,

Commercial Director of Gray Dawes Group,

falls in to the latter camp.

“When airlines, aggregators and GDSs can

manage the whole range of shop, book,

issue, pay, refund, exchange/change and

void then, yes, this is something to shout

about,” he explains. Bishop thinks NDC at

scale, which is needed for all the other

elements above to fall into place, is about

18 months way with the key airlines.

Behind closed doors

Once that technical base is there, there

must be commercial discussion around how

NDC content will be distributed to the TMC

community more widely, especially for

smaller agencies. These talks will take place

behind closed doors and it’s unlikely they will

happen quickly, fuelling further uncertainty.

Some believe the time for “honest and

open” discussions is now. Bex Deadman,

Commercial Director of Blue Cube Travel,

describes the conversation as “a triangle of

trust between the TMC, airline and corporate

– and those that can step into it are

potentially paving the way for the corporate

travel industry of the future”. She maintains

that the issue is already slowing progress.

Going forward, airlines will want to see a

return on their investment in developing and

delivering NDC content but it’s harder for

agents to invest in and adopt something

when the future picture remains unclear.

That also leads to the belief from most in

the TMC community that there will be more

sticks than carrots when it comes to driving

any new distribution process.

However, many are seeing opportunities for

agents too in terms of the ability to negotiate

with airlines on a one-to-one basis around

ancillaries, for example.

Gray Dawes’ Bishop says it is up to agents

to negotiate deals with carriers to make NDC

capabilities work for them.

“I’m happy with this as it encourages us to

invest knowing the returns are there. This is

one of the drivers behind our retail strategy.

We’re working with two universities on this.

We need to get an ROI and this is a key

component. If we help the airline sell high

margin products and ancillaries, we should

be rewarded,” says Bishop.

Taking it one step at a time

With so many twists and turns in the NDC

journey, it’s easy to skip over other developments

in distribution. IATA’s OneOrder is

now on the radar, according to TMCs, who

are keen to be involved at the early stages to

ensure the industry works together.

Deadman says it is being spoken about

but believes there are other challenges to

overcome first: ”For TMCs it will really force

us to think about our proposition as many of

the things we place value on will no longer

exist. But it is important not to run before

we can walk. It's easy to get seduced by

technology without fully realising the

problem you are trying to solve.




While online booking tools are

said to be the most frequently

integrated element of the

travel programme, it seems further

integration can be left on the table.

In a poll of travel buyers worldwide,

carried out by the Association of Corporate

Travel Executives, 72% say their travel

programme is only somewhat integrated.

Findings from The Journey to Integrated

Travel Management whitepaper, which is

supported by American Express Global

Business Travel, also reveal that many travel

managers (22%) have no plans to integrate

further, which seems surprising given the

holy grail of end-to-end integration.

After online booking tools, corporate cards

and expense management platforms are

the most commonly integrated elements

of programmes. Perhaps travel managers

perceive further integration as too

challenging. Respondents cited a number

of barriers to integration, including the

business travellers themselves.

Integrated systems and processes are

not only a good thing in terms of existing

technologies but also for bringing in newer

tech. Companies which take strides to

integrate existing systems

should find it easier to

add in new





Booking tools deliver convenience and efficiency

but aren’t always properly optimised, finds Linda Fox

Flight Centre Business Travel is one

company that has thought about changing

consumer expectations and the need for

technology to keep up. The company’s

new booking tool, HelloFCBT, was

recently launched because it

wanted to offer an online booking

service. UK General Manager Joe

Beevis says other elements, such as

traveller tracking and FCM’s travel

management app Sam, have also

been built into the system.

Beevis adds: “FCBT’s systems are

all fully integrated and we have actively

avoided developing a platform reliant

on punch-outs. All air, hotel and rail

bookings flow into the same platform for

our travel consultants allowing effective

travel management.

“We’re introducing Sam to make this

process even smoother for the customer.

All bookings made both online and offline

will integrate into Sam, providing a

seamless automated itinerary management

experience, whilst also keeping travellers up

to date via various alerts.”

Despite challenges from travellers, the

ACTE report found 34% of respondents

believe travellers are also seen as a driver

for integrated programmes, which perhaps

suggests the ongoing need for managers to

strike a balance between those reticent to

adopt new ways of doing things and those

demanding them.

The report goes on to cite lack of internal

and stakeholder support as further

challengers to integration for 30% and lack

of resources for 25%. However, 28% say

incompatible systems are holding back

further integration.

The report also highlights the necessity

of buy-in from internal and external

stakeholders, with 62% of travel managers

citing support from tech platform providers,

59% saying travel management companies

and 39% citing payment providers as

instrumental in helping achieve

integration. It’s no surprise that

travel managers see advantages

in integrated systems, such as

spend visibility and expenses

control for 70%, duty of care for

58% and improvement in user

experience, according to 65%.

Leigh Bochicchio, Executive

Director ACTE, says: “Having to

navigate a constellation of tools and

technology to plan a trip can hinder

productivity for travellers. End-to-end travel

programmes solve this issue, and at the end

of the day, everyone wins:

the traveller, the travel

manager and the

organisation as

a whole.”


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Pushing the boundaries


The comedian, columnist and travel writer tells Angela Sara West

about braving the Congo, deserts and celebrity-filled jungles

Pulling pranks on unsuspecting

celebrities and members of the

public on his pioneering Trigger

Happy TV show, screened in over 80

countries, means boundary-pushing

funnyman, Dom Joly, hears his globallyfamous

catchphrases worldwide.

“I get ‘HELLO!’ shouted at me in more

languages than you might have thought

possible,” he tells me. “And I still don’t have a

good comeback!”

His edgy exploits as a serial globe-trotter,

seeking dangerous travel spots to satisfy his

interest in the places most people avoid, has

seen him hit some of the most hostile

environments on earth: North Korea, Syria,

Chernobyl... “I’m addicted to wanderlust.

There is no bigger thrill for me than the first

moments in a new destination, trying to

work the place out and get a feel for it. I then

embark on an adventure that allows my

books to write themselves,” he says.

Joly is also drawn to destinations with a

dark past, and adores sharing stories of his

amazing off-the-beaten-track adventures

in his books and travelogues, aiming to

challenge people’s perceptions of places

often misrepresented and misunderstood.

In his quest to visit the world's most

unlikely tourist spots, he has skied the

segregated slopes of Iran and taken in

Chernobyl “before it became trendy”.

Beirut-born Joly grew up in a warzone,

with shells landing literally on his back

doorstep, and went to the same school as

Osama Bin Laden. His war-torn childhood

and subsequent travels are both a source of

inspiration for his comedy TV material, along

with his books, which captivatingly recount

some of the scariest, strangest and most

downright dangerous places he's

encountered on his travels.

With a distinct taste for deserts, he’s done

the Sahara, the Mojave, The Gobi and the

legendary Empty Quarter. The appeal? “I find

deserts enormously relaxing,” he explains.

They’re the only places where I unwind.

They are definitely my happy place.”

Fearless Joly believes everyone should

get out of their comfort zone and ‘lose

themselves’ for a month. “Head to Morocco if

The Congo was

hair-raising, Syria

is a staggeringly beautiful

country, and North Korea is

like visiting another planet”

you’re a lightweight; Algeria, if you’re serious

about it,” he advises.

The unrelenting explorer describes his

latest book, The Hezbollah Hiking Club,

recounting tales from his epic hike with two

pals trekking the Lebanese Mountain Trail,

from the Israeli border to the Syrian border,

as a “love letter” to Lebanon.

The highlights of reconnecting with the

country so close to his heart? “I loved visiting

the Hezbollah Resistance Museum, a kind of

alternative Disneyland, and the Qadisha

Valley, the jewel in Lebanon’s Crown.”

He encourages readers to visit his homeland,

but why should it be on our travel radar?

“Lebanon, at its best, is a combination of the

South of France, California and Switzerland.

Think pine forests, beaches, skiing, Roman

ruins and the food… oh God, the food!”

He’s felt most frightened while ‘monster

hunting’ in the Congo, trekking through

forests to a machete-wielding tribe whose

permission he needed to reach a lake which

is home to a mythical monster. It was no

laughing matter when they got drunk on

“jungle gin” and, after one attacked him, a

petrified Joly escaped by canoe. “I’m most

uneasy when I feel a complete loss of

control. The Congo was hair-raising and very

difficult to travel through as a solo traveller.”

Cambodia, Syria and North Korea are

among his favourite destinations, despite

once being forced at gunpoint to go for tea

after rejecting an invitation from a lorryload

of Syrian Bedouin! “Mainly because there

aren’t many other tourists about, although

Cambodia is getting there. Syria is a

staggeringly beautiful country and North

Korea is like visiting another planet.”

Joly’s experience on ‘The Island’ off Panama

with Bear Grylls is the hardest thing he’s ever

done. “The biggest high was just surviving. I

didn’t eat a thing for two weeks and lost two

and a half stone, which was a bonus. By day

ten, I had lost all energy and was pretty

useless, plus things weren’t helped by being

eaten alive by sandflies.”

And how was his experience down under,

on ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here’?

“Compared to the ‘The Island’ it was like an

exotic spa holiday. It was the ultimate

technology and social detox. I didn’t have to

worry about anything for 21 days – except

spiders and Gillian McKeith!”





Dom Joly’s book, The Hezbollah Hiking Club: A Short

Walk Across The Lebanon, is out now, priced £20, from

stanfords.co.uk. Dom will be speaking at Stanfords’

Travel Writers Festival at Destinations: The Holiday and

Travel Show, 30th January–2nd February 2020 at

Olympia London. His tour, Holiday Snaps: Travel and

Comedy In The Danger Zone, visits 52 venues next

spring, starting in Kent in February. awaywithmedia.com



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Sustainability is the watchword

at GBTA Conference



Airlines begin offsetting

carbon emissions



IHG says 'Meet On Us'

with new Voco brand



Europcar accelerates

service upgrades



Treehouse Hotel takes

guests back to nature



The latest industry appointments p52





“the awards are

recognition of

the people

that turn the

wheels of our

industry every

single day”

BTA's investment plea

to new government

THE Business Travel Association has unveiled a ‘manifesto’

in which it urges the next government to invest in a range of

infrastructure projects and sustainable travel initiatives.

It calls for the new government to support the expansion

of Heathrow Airport and ensure access to the expanded

airport for 14 regional airports. It also recommends that the

government sees through the delivery of HS2 as planned, to

improve connectivity across the North, and to implement

the rail operation and ticketing reform recommendations of

the as yet unpublished Williams Review.

There are also calls to reform APD and ultimately abolish it,

to modernise UK airspace to help reduce pollution, and to

encourage more investment in alternative fuels and the

development of electric aircraft. “The government has been

paralysed by Brexit,” says Clive Wratten, CEO of the BTA.


Policies are

'going green'

FOR all the talk of sustainability

and responsible travel, few

companies are actually taking

action by implementing 'green'

initiatives in their travel policies,

according to new research.

The findings from GBTA and

Concur show only 27% of travel

managers surveyed say their

company encourages travellers to

book with sustainable suppliers.

Only 31% are currently working

sustainable initiatives into travel

policy and only 4% mandate

travellers to select suppliers using

sustainable practices.

“While individual contributions to

choosing sustainable and

eco-conscious options around

travel and consumerism is great

and shows willing, it’s corporations

that are capable of steering us

toward a more sustainable future.

But there’s much work to be

done,” says Pierre-Emmanuel

Tetaz, SVP & GM – EMEA, Concur.

Nominations open

January 2020



Plaza Premium Group is investing

$55million in 15 new lounges and

hotels at 11 international airports.

IT has recently opened Aerotel

properties at Heathrow t3 and Beijing

Daxing Airport and will open

another at Sydney Airport in 2020

avanti moves

forward on

west coast

avanti West Coast is the name

of the new intercity operation

from FirstGroup and Trenitalia

who take over the franchise from

Virgin Trains on December 8.

Italian for 'forward', Avanti

“reflects a mission to deliver an

innovative railway service that is

ready for today and fit for the

future”, according to the new

operators. The operators will

refurbish 56 Pendolino trains,

introduce a fleet of new trains

and add 263 services per week

by 2022. The 400-mile long route

serves cities like Birmingham,

Manchester, Liverpool and

Glasgow as well as London and

North Wales.




Elite concur

Travel management

companies BCD and FCM

have both achieved Elite

partner level with SAP

Concur. It is the highest

level of engagement and

collaboration attainable

between any TMC and the

travel, expense and invoice

management solutions


Areka sets the bar

Areka Consulting has

added two benchmarking

tools. The Travel Scan tool

looks at ten dimensions of

a company's travel

programme and produces

a roadmap with suggested

actions. And its new Travel

Index tool compares the

travel spend of a client to

similar organisations,

comparing the ratio of

spend versus the number

of employees and


HRs pay platform

Hotel booking platform

HRS has introduced a new

corporate payment

platform, Invisible Pay, a

solution it believes could

increase policy compliance

by 30%. HRS says it helps

address high levels of

out-of-policy spend and

insufficient use of

preferred hotels by

enhancing payment


co2 reporting

TripActions has added

carbon impact monitoring

for clients using its

booking platform. Users

can access a new Carbon

View element of its

redesigned Admin

Dashboard, which also

enables users to purchase

offsets through the

organisation of their choice.

sustainability is the

watchword at gBTA

SUSTainaBiLiTY took centre stage at the GBTA Conference

in Munich in November, as delegates addressed the urgent

need to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.

Travel managers, TMCs and airlines aired their views, all

espousing the need for action, but a show of hands revealed

only a small minority of delegates have sustainable travel

policies in place. Lonneke de Kort of bookdifferent.com said

the WWF operates its travel policy with both monetary and

CO2 emissions budgets, and that while “many companies

offset air emissions, reducing emissions should be the goal”.

“Try and avoid travel before thinking about compensating

it, and make the most sustainable options your preferred

suppliers,” she advised. “That helps incentivise them too.”

United Airline’s Jake Cefolia told delegates that the carrier

was concentrating on mitigating emissions using biofuels

rather than offsetting. It is the only US airline to use biofuel

in its regular operations, including to help sustainably power

every flight from its Los Angeles hub.

Lufthansa’s Jurgen Siebenrock said the airline has not seen

any evidence of ‘flygskam’ – flight-shaming – in the form of

passenger traffic decline as has been seen in Sweden.

Boeing’s Randy Tinseth said: “I don’t think anyone should

be ashamed of flying,” adding that there is no alternative to

flying for around 80% of all flights. Tinseth said that while

Boeing is investing in making more environmentally friendly

aircraft, governments also need to take responsibility and

invest in alternatives fuels and better airspace management.

A poll of attendees showed 69% were confident in the

industry’s ability to make the future more sustainable.


scott davies

Chief Executive

On a recent ITM Podcast,

Amex GBT’s Martin Ferguson

helped our listeners to be

effective communicators with

three key pointers, and the

first is to know your audience.

So many people at all levels

of business focus too much

on what they want to say and

not enough on what their

audience will value hearing.

Martin’s second piece of

advice is to be succinct and

interesting. Most peoples’

attention spans are very short

and their ability to retain

information degrades very

quickly over time. It’s always a

good idea to pre-plan the

three things you would like

them to take away, in the

knowledge that everything

else you’re going to say will

soon fade away into the ether!

Finally, Martin suggests that

speakers are true to their

authentic self. Although it can

be tempting to replicate the

wit and style of that orator

you admire, it just doesn’t

come across naturally unless

it’s the real you. There is

nothing that will connect a

speaker more with an

audience than honesty and

openness, including sharing if

you’re nervous. In general,

audiences want the speaker

to be a success, so relax, be

brief, act less and don’t forget

to smile – it’s infectious!





“it feels


fantastic to

win this award

– it means so

much – and

we’ve had an

amazing day!”

Nominations open

January 2020

Airline offsetting

gaining momentum

EASYJET has become the first major airline to operate

net-zero carbon flights across its network following a move

to offset emissions from the fuel it consumes.

In a similar move, British Airways will begin offsetting

carbon emissions for all UK domestic flights from January

2020 by investing in verified carbon reduction projects

around the world including renewable energy, protection of

rainforests and reforestation programmes.

The initiative will cost easyJet around £25million per year –

an expense that will not be passed on to customers through

higher fares, an airline representative told The Business

Travel Magazine. The airline will also continue investing in

research into hybrid-electric aircraft with Airbus.




THE head of low-cost carrier Wizz

Air, József Váradi, has suggested it

would be more effective to get rid

of business class than to impose

‘green taxes’ on flights as the

airline industry tackles its

contribution to carbon emissions.

Speaking at World Travel Market

in November, Váradi hit out at the

French and Dutch governments

for their plans to introduce

environmental taxes, claiming it

would only help sustain underperforming

national airlines

such as Air France/KLM.

Business class should be

banned. These passengers

account for twice the carbon

footprint of an economy

passenger, and the industry is

guilty of preserving an inefficient

and archaic model,” says Váradi.

“A rethink is long overdue, and we

call on fellow airlines to commit to

a total ban on business class travel

for any flight under five hours.”






16 minutes

The average security queue

at Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport has

been named the worst

UK airport for security

queues in a survey by

consumer watchdog

Which?. Stansted (13.7

mins) and Luton (11.7

mins) airports were also

among the worst large

airports for security

queues, while Heathrow

Terminal 5 was the best

performer (8.6 mins)

ETIHAD Airways and Boeing have

launched a B787 ‘Greenliner’ that

will be used to test products,

services and initiatives to reduce

carbon emissions whilst operating

scheduled services. The aircraft

will enter service in early 2020 and

both partners will use it to explore

and assess new environmental

initiatives. Suppliers and regulators

will also be invited to put forward

new products and ideas.

The Greenliner is expected to

operate several flights using

biofuels derived from saltwatertolerant

plants following the first

commercial service to use the fuel

– an Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi

to Amsterdam earlier this year.





Air NZ axes LHR-LA

Air New Zealand will end

its London Heathrow to

Los Angeles service in

October 2020 citing fierce

competition across the

Atlantic for its decision.

The ‘flagship route’ was

launched in 1982 but will

be replaced by a threetimes-weekly


between New York and

Auckland. It will become

the carrier’s longest route

by distance and the fifth

longest globally.

Norwegian from LHR

Norwegian looks set to

launch flights from

Heathrow Airport in

March having been

granted three pairs of slots

for the summer season.

It will also increase its

services from London

Gatwick to San Francisco,

Austin, Denver and Tampa,

but reduce frequencies to

Buenos Aires, Orlando,

Rio de Janeiro and Miami.

Project sunrise

Qantas has operated a

non-stop service between

London Heathrow and

Sydney, the second

'Project Sunrise' research

flight into the viability of

regular scheduled services

on the route. The airline

says it could come to

fruition by 2023.

New ID for Flybe

Flybe will move forward

under the name of Virgin

Connect, it has been

confirmed, following its

acquisition by the Connect

Airways consortium

backed by Virgin Atlantic

and Stobart Aviation. A full

rebrand is scheduled for

2020 together with the

introduction of a new

loyalty programme.







IAG lines up €1billion

deal for Air Europa

THE International Airlines Group (IAG) is poised to buy

Air Europa for €1billion. It is the third largest airline in Spain

after Iberia and Vueling, both of which are already owned by

IAG, together with British Airways, Aer Lingus and Level.

The group intends to transform its Madrid hub into a ‘true

rival’ to Europe’s four largest hubs – Amsterdam Schiphol,

Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Paris Charles De Gaulle.

The deal, which is expected to complete in the second half of

2020, will also re-establish its market dominance on routes

from Europe to Latin American and the Caribbean.

Air Europa currently operates flights in 69 destinations,

including frequent services between London Gatwick and its

Madrid hub. The Air Europa brand ‘will initially be retained’

and will operate as a standalone profit centre within Iberia.


Clive Wratten

Chief Executive Officer

Flying the flag has long had all

sorts of patriotic and political

connotations – and it’s back in

the news again.

This time, it is Virgin Atlantic

with a call for official status as

the UK’s ‘second’ official flag

carrier. At first glance, this

seems little more than a

marketing issue, but in reality

having this status would give

the airline the rights to around

one-third of additional slots at

an extended Heathrow.

The likelihood of a third

runway actually happening is

still up in the air but, given

we’re talking hypothetically, it

is a move the BTA would be

minded to support. It could

open up a wealth of new

routes and provide increased

competition on those

currently without it.

Of course, there’s always a

‘but’. Could Virgin guarantee

that it will blaze a trail to new

destinations? And what if it

didn’t become a flag carrier?

In that case, extra Heathrow

slots would likely be shared

much wider, giving the likes of

easyJet and even Ryanair a

West London foothold.

Perhaps the bigger issue is

making sure that the cost of

airport expansion doesn’t fall

on airlines and impact fares. It

is the government that really

needs to ‘fly the flag’ for

Britain and ensure this.





“we talk a lot

about product

and service,

investments and


in technology,

but these

awards are all

about the

people that

make all of that

come to life”

Nominations open

January 2020



The Londoner set for

summer opening

The Londoner hotel is on course to open in June 2020 in

one of the year's most eagerly anticipated additions to the

capital's accommodation portfolio.

Developed by Edwardian Hotels London and located near

Leicester Square, the new-build 16-storey property will have

350 rooms and is being described as 'boutique in feel yet

staggering in scale'. It will also have a penthouse with

panoramic views, two private screening rooms, six restaurants

and bars – including a ground floor tavern and a rooftop

terrace – plus a ballroom for up to 864 guests and various

meeting and event spaces.

Its developers have secured a £175million Green Loan

from HSBC UK to ensure the new hotel ”doesn’t just meet

but exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building

environmental and sustainable performance“.

THe ibis Styles London Heathrow

Airport East will open by the end of

December. ITS interior design

Reflects the local Art Deco

architecture of the 'Golden Mile'

including the Hoover building, the

Gillette Factory and Firestone HQ


hotels named

and shamed

Britannia Hotels has been

ranked the worst large UK hotel

chain for the seventh year in a row

in a survey by Which? Travel.

Guests are ten times more likely

to award it a poor rating for

cleanliness than any other hotel,

while it achieved a one-star rating

in nearly all categories – including

bathrooms, bed comfort, facilities

and value for money – and an

overall score of 39%. The group’s

solitary two-star achievement was

in the customer service category.

EasyHotel (58%) and Ibis Budget

(60%) were the next poorest

performers, but scored significantly

better than Britannia.

Meanwhile, Premier Inn retained

its place at the top of the rankings

but had to share the crown with

Wetherspoon Hotels, with both

groups scoring 79%. They were

closely followed by Hilton Garden

Inn (78%) and Radisson Blu

Edwardian (77%), while Hilton

Hampton (74%) was fifth.

staycity takes

wilde brand

into berlin

Aparthotel group Staycity has

opened its second property under

its Wilde brand in the German

capital of Berlin, with a third to

follow in Edinburgh in December.

Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity,

Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie is

Staycity’s first property of any

brand in Germany. The 48-unit

development is part of a new

scheme occupying what was the

best-known crossing point of the

Berlin Wall during the Cold War.

The new Wilde Aparthotels by

Staycity, Edinburgh, Grassmarket

has 128 studios and apartments in

a central city location, at the foot

of Edinburgh Castle.





Yotel goes Dutch

Budget hotel brand Yotel

has opened its first city

hotel in mainland Europe.

The Yotel Amsterdam

Noord, located close to the

city's Centraal Station,

has 202 rooms styled as

‘cabins’ with signature

features such as adjustable

space-saving beds. It is the

brand’s second city centre

hotel in Europe, following

the opening of Yotel

Edinburgh New Town.

Yotel Porto, Glasgow and

London are slated to open

in early 2020.

Six up for Travelodge

Budget hotel chain

Travelodge has opened six

new properties in the

closing months of the year.

The new properties in

Chippenham, Edinburgh,

London Dagenham and

Beckton, Rochester and

Sittingbourne represent an

investment value of


Selina doubles up

Latin American hotel

group Selina has opened

its second UK property in

the heart of Birmingham’s

creative and historical

Jewellery Quarter. The

39-room hotel follows hot

on the heels of its first UK

opening in Manchester,

with a third expected to

open in Liverpool.

City debuts

Hyatt will make its debut

in the Czech Republic with

the opening of the Andaz

Prague hotel in 2021, while

the Barceló Hotel Group

has lined up its first hotel

in Slovenia – a 151-room

hotel with extensive

conference space set to

open in capital city

Ljubljana in 2021.

LRA gets the

Tripbam treatment

Reshopping specialist Tripbam has issued two service

enhancements: Smart Sourcing and LRA Enforcement. The

latter will help ensure clients’ negotiated terms on last room

availability are honoured by their hotel partners.

If the client’s agreed rates are not available to book,

Tripbam will notify the non-compliant hotel and rebook

the reservation at the corrected rate. Early use in trials has

led to 3%-5% savings on overall hotel spend and a 90%

increase in rate availability.

Meanwhile, Smart Sourcing enables clients to source

and add dynamic or static discounted rates at a particular

hotel – at any time of year – when changes in volume in a

particular location necessitate the addition of a new property.

A pilot with ten Tripbam clients saw 74% of offers accepted

at the rate and discount provided.

treehouse hotel takes

guests back to nature

A new nature-inspired lifestyle

hotel has opened in central

London. Situated in Marylebone,

Treehouse London features 95

guest rooms, including 15 suites.

Interiors are designed to reflect

the great outdoors, with quirky

touches such as cuckoo clocks and

sleeping bag throws. Every guest

room has organic cotton sheets as

well as locally-sourced bath and

other products. In keeping with the

design, the hotel’s sustainable

initiatives include using reclaimed

wood, exposed rafters and a

robust composting and recycling

program. It is also committed to

reducing single-use plastics. The

hotel features a coffee lounge,

restaurant and rooftop bar.

The hotel has been developed

by Sternlicht as a sister-brand to

1 Hotels and will be operated by

Starwood Hotels.

new identity

signals locke


Serviced apartments specialist

SACO has rebranded as Edyn, with

its new group identity and online

portal signalling a phase of rapid

pan-European growth with nine

new properties in the pipeline.

Edyn will bring the group’s

portfolio of hospitality brands –

SACO, Locke, The Moorgate

extended-stay serviced

apartments in London and

boutique aparthotel The

Wittenberg in Amsterdam –

together under a new group

identity. Nine new properties

under the Locke brand,

comprising more than 1,500

aparthotel rooms across the UK

and Europe, will open by 2022.

“We’re on a journey of acceleration

with the Locke brand and,

as well as the pipeline of nine new

destinations, we’re constantly

looking for new opportunities

across pan-European gateway and

hub cities,” says Edyn Chief

Executive Officer, Stephen McCall.


gets a taste

of brooklyn

A new design-led hotel will open

in central Manchester in February.

Named Brooklyn and featuring

décor inspired by the New York

borough, the Bespoke Hotels

property is set within Manchester’s

old industrial district and features

189 New York loft-style bedrooms.

Bespoke Hotels’ Robin Sheppard,

says: “We are thrilled to have

secured this fantastic site in the

heart of Manchester’s historic

industrial thoroughfare of

Portland Street. It is a perfect fit

for Manchester, not solely in terms

of the architectural grandeur and

convenience of its location, but the

abundant character of the city.”




M e e T I n g P L A c e

“probably the

best awards

in travel. It’s

so motivating

for our staff

to see their

name in lights

and socialise

with industry


Nominations open

January 2020



ihg says 'meet on Us'

with new Voco brand

iHG Has launched a 'Meet On Us' campaign designed to

drive groups and meetings business across its year-old Voco

hotels brand. Aimed at occasional meeting planners, those

booking more than ten guest rooms per night at any Voco

hotel will be offered a complimentary meeting room.

The promotion applies to all bookings made before 1st

February 2020 for group stays, meetings or events taking

place before 31st December 2020. The launch comes as IHG

has set its sights on opening more than 200 Voco hotels over

the coming 10 years. Since launching a year ago, IHG has

opened Voco properties in Cardiff, Solihull and Oxford, as

well as two in Australia (Gold Coast and Hunter Valley) and

two in the Middle East (Riyadh and Dubai).


Average food wastage at

meetings and events

The average event

wastes between 15%

and 20% of the food it

produces, according

to a report from Lime

Venue Portfolio and

BCD. "Food waste

isn’t about ignorance,

it’s about changing

behaviour", it says, as

the report addresses

the 'Fear of Running

Out' syndrome



m&E sTancE

sustainaBiLitY will be a key

consideration for the meetings

and events industry in 2020,

says CWT Meetings & Events.

As part of its M&E 2020 Future

Trends report, the TMC has

published a Future of Sustainable

Events guide in which it says

sustainability will be an ever more

important business consideration

for the $840billion industry.

“It’s supported by the next

generation of travellers – the

millennials who are poised to

become the biggest group of

business travellers globally from

2024 onwards, and the centennials

who are right behind them,” says

says Derek Sharp, Senior Vice

President and Managing Director,

CWT Meetings & Events.

They want to continue meeting

in popular destinations, but they

are also hyper aware of the need

to adopt sustainable practices that

respect the environment and local

communities wherever they go.”


nEW TEch for

laTE BookErs

HaLLMarK HotELs has

launched a new online system to

make meeting room bookings for

up to 20 delegates quicker than

ever, “for a new generation of last

minute organisers”. The group has

seen a 15% increase in small

group meeting enquiries online.

The new functionality - which

works across 22 of the group's

hotels nationwide – simply takes

details of group size, preferred

hotel, date and contact details for

bookers to secure a meeting

space at any time of day. Small

group meetings account for

almost 50% of all the group’s

online meeting queries.





Bigger Bolt

Ride-hailing service Bolt

has added an XL category,

allowing users to request

vehicles for up to seven

passengers. Previously

known as Taxify, the

company launched in

London in June this year

and says it will offset

emissions to ensure all

passenger journeys are

carbon neutral. As part of

the initiative, it has

launched a dedicated

environmental impact

fund with seed capital of

€10million aimed at

schemes that deliver

global social and

environmental benefits.

Taxi v Uber

Uber rides aren't always

cheaper than catching a

cab, according to research

from Globehunters. It

identified 11 cities

worldwide where regular

taxis are cheaper than

Uber. They are Riyadh,

Dammam City and Mecca

in Saudi Arabia; the

Iberian cities of Madrid,

Porto and Lisbon; plus

New York, Honolulu,

Milan, Seoul and Agra.

Virgin's farewell

After operating the West

Coast intercity route for 22

years, Virgin Trains hands

over to First Trenitalia on

December 8 who will

operate services under the

name of Avanti. During its

time running the service

in partnership with

Stagecoach, Virgin

introduced Pendolino

trains, a pioneering

automated delay repay

scheme, onboard

streaming service, and

become the first operator

to offer m-Tickets for all

ticket types.

Europcar accelerates

service upgrades

Europcar customers using its vehicle delivery and collection

service will now receive a text message within a two-hour

window of when their vehicle is due for drop-off or pick-up.

“Something that many business users ask for was advance

notice from the service agent of their delivery and collection

time slot – much like consumers now receive for other

deliveries,” explains Gary Smith, Managing Director,

Europcar Mobility Group UK. Smith says the service will

reduce the chance of missed deliveries and collections.

The DeliverRight initiative will also see hand-held technology

used to geo-stamp vehicle checks at the start and end of

rentals “to provide greater transparency into all charges

associated with hire, including mileage, fuel and damage”.

[ ground force ]

>> Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Sweden has the most

expensive airport parking in Europe at a rate of €9.28/£8.01 per

hour, according to Taxi2Airport. Heathrow Airport is the second

most expensive, with parking costing €8.69/£7.50 per hour >>

Heathrow Express' new dynamic pricing structure means its

popular £5.50 weekend-only fares are now available every day of

the week during peak and off-peak periods, subject to availability

and when booked in advance. Previously, the cheapest weekday

fare was £12.50 >> Serco Caledonian Sleeper has completed

the roll-out of its new overnight trains with the fleet now

operating all services between London and Scotland.


drive from


Enterprise Car Club has

partnered with Liftshare to

increase access to shared vehicles

for both car club members and

business users.

The ‘Shared Asset Model’ works

on the principle that a car club

vehicle is driven to work, shared

with a colleague or colleagues.

During the day the car is then

available for use either by staff for

company travel, removing the

need for them to use their own

vehicle, or by the general public.

Additionally, the car is available

as an Enterprise Car Club vehicle

on a simple pay-as-you-go tariff at

weekends and evenings.

The two companies are already

speaking to a number of private

and public sector organisations

about introducing the scheme.

CEO of Liftshare, Ali Clabburn,

says: “Enterprise’s Car Club offering

aims to make the best use of

resources, and our collaboration

makes it much easier for those

assets to be shared.”


shake-up for


UBER will continue to operate in

London while it appeals Transport

for London's decision not to grant

it a new licence in the capital due

to repeated safety failures.

The appeal process could take

several months but rival services

are already lining up to take

advantage in London.

If Uber fails in its appeal it's

likely that many of its drivers

would move across to rival

services such as Bolt, Kapten,

Free Now and Ola, with the latter

reportedly in the process of

signing up more drivers ahead

of a London launch.








Etc Venues, Bishopsgate, London




Nominations open!







JOINS: Norwegian

AS: Chief Executive Officer

FROM: McKinsey

Jacob Schram is the new CEO

at low-cost airline Norwegian.

He has previously held

management roles at Circle K,

Statoil Fuel & Retail (SFR),

McDonalds and McKinsey.

JOINS: British Airways

AS: Head of Global Sales

FROM: United Airlines

Mark Muren has joined British

Airways to head up global

sales. He will oversee the

airline’s relationships with

agents, travel management

companies and corporates.


TO: Head of Commercial UK

FROM: Head of Private Travel

Ruth Hilton is now looking after

TAG's UK supplier relations,

corporate sales and marketing

teams, including all new

business at the high-end travel

management company.



Olympia London








Melia White House, London


APRIL 26-28


New York City



JOINS: Inntel

AS: Head of Business Travel

FROM: TMC background

Inntel has appointed John

Davey as its new Head of

Business Travel. His career in

the business travel industry

spans more than 25 years with

a background in TMCs.

JOINS: CAP Worldwide Serviced Apartments

AS: Global Relations


Clare Ace has joined the senior

leadership team at CAP

Worldwide, owned by Jo Layton

and Andrew Hopgood. At SACO

Ace held the role of Director of

Global Supply and Revenue.

PROMOTED AT: Evolvi Rail Systems

TO: Managing Director

FROM: IT Director

Andrew Cantrell has taken up

the position of Managing

Director at Evolvi, having been

with the company 12 years and

with more than 30 years'

experience in operations.

MAY 12-13




MAY 15-18




MORE NEW ROLES... FairFly has appointed Ivan de Lantivy and Matt Roberts to lead business

development in Europe >> Trevor Elswood is moving from Chief Commercial Officer to a non-executive

position as an advisor for Capita Travel and Events >> Suzanne Horner, CEO of Gray Dawes Travel,

will join Advantage Travel Partnership’s board this December 2019 >> De Vere has appointed Hayley

Chilver to the newly created role of Operations Director >> Industry veteran Chris Crowley has

joined travel management consultancy Nina & Pinta as Partner >> ATPI Group has promoted Claire

McGuinness to lead the account management team for its specialist brand ATPI Marine & Energy >>

13225-Sirius-BritishTravelMag-AD-138x40.ai 1 11/05/2017 15:01

John Pelant has joined CWT as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

MAY 22


Park Plaza Westminster, London M


JULY 25-29


Denver, Colorado










We recruit management positions for travel industry suppliers

and travel category managers for corporate clients

Contact us to discuss your recruitment needs

Visit our website for our latest vacancies!

info@sirius-cv.com • 0845 605 9055 • www.sirius-cv.com

Untitled-6 1 25/11/2019 15:14


with agency Consolidation,

new entrants and evolving

technology all shaking up the

market, are TMCs suffering an

identity crisis? FIND OUT MORE in





Introduction, 54-56 / Debate, 58 / Service delivery, 60-64

Consolidation, 66-68 / Five reasons, 73 / New entrants, 75-78

Insight, 81 / The Directory, 82-85 / Data, 87



TMCs / Introduction



While their place in the business travel management

ecosystem has often been called into question, Gillian Upton

discovers TMCs still offer an indispensable service

There has never been a better time

to use the services of a TMC. The

industry is today so complex and

dynamic that buyers are crying out for a

provider to be the gateway.

It's an industry that's constantly evolving

too. Tech-based entrants are muddying the

picture by disrupting the status quo, while

mergers and acquisitions are frequently

changing the names and positions on the

TMC league table. It's the normal lifecycle of

any industry, when owners of independents

find an exit route to retire, attempt to fill a

large hole in their balance sheet or find a

short cut to more R&D funds.

New ‘families’ of TMCs are emerging,

offering services for all sizes and scope of

corporates, be it national, regional or global,

offline or online, or a hybrid of both. They

are all things to all men, a one-stop-shop for

the ever-increasing number of services

demanded by buyers. The downside is that it

paints them all vanilla, which is maybe why

new buying patterns are emerging.

Buyers are making brave and interesting

moves in how and to whom they award their

business. When BP awarded its global

business to Egencia it caused shockwaves,

partly because Egencia is widely perceived

as an online provider. In fact, it's a fullservice

TMC with its own technology.

Nonetheless a big, global player dared to

award a business outside of the 'big three'.

Similarly, UBS splitting its business across

three providers, not one, throws up an

interesting management challenge of how

to create a seamless operation from direct

relationships with, in this case, a single global

data provider, a travel management

company and an online booking tool.

UBS is active in over 50 markets and was

crystal clear in its travel objectives: “Acquiring

the right information at the right time in the

hands of the right person so they make the

right decision, which means the need for

simplification, personalisation and

consultative support as long as it delivers

value,” sums up Mark Cuschieri, UBS Global

Head of Travel. What’s really critical to UBS is

value and Cuschieri feels that automation

and technology play a key part. “Automation

should satisfy 70% of our business demands

and the rest is complex, high-touch and

disruption management,” he says.

Think again

The UBS move gives TMCs the chance to

think differently. “Secondary and tertiary

platforms such as Cytric and Concur can

exist themselves and no longer need to be

fixed into a TMC platform, so it changes how

TMCs present themselves to their clients,”

explains Chris Crowley, Partner for business

travel consultants Nina & Pinta.


Introduction / TMCs

New 'families' of TMCs

are emerging offering

services for all sizes and scope

of corporates, be it national,

regional or global, offline or

online, or a hybrid of both”



TMCs / Introduction

The market is in free fall where almost

anything goes. If 70% of volume is going

through a booking tool then why not

contract that out separately?

Caroline Strachan, Managing Partner at

Festive Road, sees the emergence of four

ways for buyers to proceed in this new world

order: the 'Closed Shop' route of appointing

one TMC and all services coming through

that TMC; the 'Open Provider' where a buyer

appoints a TMC and the TMC appoints third

party providers; the 'Department Store'

approach, where a buyer appoints a TMC

and any choice of data and expense provider;

and 'BYO' where buyers build their own

platform and say ”I need ten different

services from ten providers” and appoint

the likes of Skyscanner for airlines and

Cornerstone for data provision, and so on.

Once you choose the route, the selection

process is still a challenge as not all TMCs

can deliver all three core services well: strong

inventory at the right price, interfacing with

the traveller and overlaying the corporate

requirements of policy, safety and security.

Some smart buyers are cherry picking and

stitching together the best of the best.

Strachan believes TMCs must face up to

the identity crisis they have created for

themselves, break out the colour palette

and differentiate themselves from the

competition. ”TMCs have gone down lots of

different paths so they need to decide who

they really are and invest in those areas.”

Some TMCs have not been idle in finding

their point of difference and the smart ones

are focusing on five services: traveller

profiles; payments and expense integration;

data aggregation; hotel programmes; and

aligning themselves more to booking and

expense ecosystems, such as Concur.

“It is important to have unique

differentiators no matter what size the

TMC or what position a TMC holds in the

rankings,” says Simone Buckley, CEO of Fello.

Fello’s differentiator is offering the best of

both high-touch service and technology.

“Our platform allows us to do this quickly

and economically, regardless of the size of

the customer,” says Buckley.

Above and beyond

Buyers are looking for agility, which may

be via one provider or multiple providers.

“I don’t think any one model will prevail as

we go forwards, but being flexible in our

approach, delivering a strong experience and

putting the client first is something that will

always be valued,” says Fred Stratford, Chief

Executive of Reed & Mackay.

A point of differentiation can be to satisfy

something other than the three Cs that TMC

selection is based around, which is culture,

cost and capability. “Customers also want to

see their TMC being actively innovative and

driving ongoing technology improvements,”

argues Donna Fitzgerald, Customer Solutions

Director at Capita Travel & Events.

“This leads to behaviour-driven savings

from better planning, awareness and ability

for individuals to make better decisions

rather than just being compliant to a policy.”

Frictionless travel is a current buzzword

and no price can be put on support during

travel disruption. ”Value can be achieved

from a TMC's services in a variety of ways,”

says CTM's CEO Europe, Debbie Carling,

“including the often intangible value of

reliable service and expert advice especially

during unforeseen travel events.”

TMCs are clearly moving away from being

fulfilment-driven and instead to solutionsdriven

organisations. “Our role has evolved

and we’re good at it,” says Julie Oliver, MD of

Business Travel Direct. “We can find solutions

to problems and that’s really positive.“

Independent contractor Roger Peters

reckons the “golden challenge“ for TMCs is

to know how to consolidate technology and

data, between booked, stayed and

transacted bookings.

A point of

differentiation can

be to satisfy something other

than the three Cs that TMC

selection is based around:

culture, cost and capability”

How big you need to be to start benefitting

from employing a TMC? Annual travel spend

of £50,000 upwards or when you have 20 or

more frequent travellers is one guideline.

Online-based providers can give access to

non-public rates and deliver basic reporting,

which is critical to measuring and achieving

cost efficiencies. The tipping point will depend

on corporate resources – if they have PAs

they may self-book for longer, for example.

What’s to come in the TMC space is

undoubtedly more change. Everybody’s

watching what Amex GBT does with Neo for

example, while BCD has taken the ‘If you

can’t beat them, join them’ approach and

moved to a single source platform called

Solutions Source, integrating potential rivals

and disruptors such as Rocket Trip and Yapta

into their travel programme after they have

been vetted and approved.

“Clients are keen to try new things and to

shake the tree,” says Tony McGetrick, VP &

Director of Sales & Marketing UK & Ireland at

BCD. “But the end game is still the same – to

save money and improve the ROI.”


Travel TMCs / tech Debate / Five reasons


Vice President, Customer Management,

Western Europe, CWT

Denise Harman

As the TMC market evolves,



the competition is constantly

increasing too. This means

that TMCs need to keep up

with the rapidly evolving

needs of the corporate buyer and business

traveller to stand out.

Whether you're a global TMC,

niche player or tech start up,

innovation is imperative for

survival. With 79% of

travellers stating their

travel experience has an


impact on their job

satisfaction, employers

now see traveller


satisfaction and


retention more

important than cost.

Whichever mould,

scale or specialism

a TMC fits, investing

It’s often said that in a shrinking market travel

meaningfully in

data quality and

management companies need to be big

integrated service

solutions to enhance

operators or be specialist operators in

traveller wellbeing, duty

order to truly thrive. Two TMC

of care and enabling

organisations to drive

representatives have their say

decisions to transform their

business, is non-negotiable.

As a scale technology player in

the global corporate travel market,

CWT is invested in – and is investing

more now than it ever has – to enable

seamless, end-to-end traveller experiences

across all channels. It's this breadth of

technology investment that enables us to

deliver digital services that appeal to

corporate travellers, whose expectations

have evolved at the pace of technology.

And with this continued drive, deter-

mination and data

investment, we can outinnovate

in a costeffective

way that niche

players and starts-ups

simply can't.

We can innovate in

a cost-effective way

that niche players and

starts-ups can't”

A smaller TMC does

need to have its own

distinct point of difference”

Simone Buckley


Chief Executive Officer, Fello

doesn’t necessarily have

to either be big or niche.

However, in today’s world of

rapid consolidation among

TMCs, a smaller TMC does

need to have its own distinct point of

difference, communicate that effectively

and live by it. And it also needs

to understand exactly which

customers will most value those

points of difference.

Certainly there are some

specialist sectors such as

marine, oil and gas, sport

and NGOs that require

specialist expertise but

both large and small

TMCs have mastered

the art of providing

good services to

these niche


At Fello, our point

of difference is our

focus on the traveller

because we believe

that if the traveller is

happy, then the travel

manager can focus on

delivering the benefits of

a well-managed travel

programme rather than firefighting

traveller service issues.

By blending the best automation

and customer-facing travel technology

with an exemplary – and personal –

customer service we can free the travel

manager to actually do their day job of

managing travel.

Not every travel management company

thinks like this but there are plenty out

there that do. While our point of

difference satisfies our clients'

requirement and

continues to deliver

value to customers we

have a bright future,

even though we are a

relatively small TMC.


Travel smooth

Book and manage all your

business travel on one platform


Simply booked. Smoothly travelled.

TMCs / Service delivery



Whatever you expect from your TMC, be clear about

it right from the start, writes Gillian Upton

Which came first, the chicken or

the egg? The causality dilemma

neatly sums up a common

issue between client and TMC, when

what clients expect from TMCs after

implementation depends on what they

specified during the RFP. It's a flawed

process which doesn’t always result in

what the buyer wants.

So, who’s to blame? Service delivery can

be a deal breaker and it’s often not clear

who or what caused the issue but Clive

Wrattan, CEO of the Business Travel

Association, which represents 80% of the

TMC community, has an opinion. “Buyers

need to give more time to TMCs before

the beauty parade and TMCs need to be

selective in what they pitch for.” He advises

TMCs to be brave and declare that they

can’t deliver on certain requirements.

To move forward, TMCs must stop overselling

and under-delivering. “It’s all smoke

and mirrors with all of them,” sums up

independent contractor Roger Peters.

Gray Dawes, however, declined to pitch

for the BP account and for very good

reasons. “I didn’t even look at the

documents as it’s so out of our comfort

zone,” says Dave Bishop, the TMC’s

Commercial Director. “I don’t want to

waste buyers’ time.”

The right fit

Best practice should be a clearly defined

RFP with the minimum of relevant

questions and issued only to those TMCs

that can deliver. After all, it’s not worth

including a high-tech TMC if the bulk of

bookings are offline, for example, or a

national TMC if the buyer is a regional or

global player.

Some TMCs, including Traveleads, prefer

to take a more tailored approach. “We

believe in having a personal partnership

with our clients, which starts with getting

to know them inside out,” says Sally Cassidy,

Group Director of Sales. “This way, we

tailor our service to exactly their needs,

offering them something beyond the

ordinary travel management solution.”

Bringing in a new TMC is often linked to

desired change, perhaps to improve online

adoption, to implement a self-booking tool,

to consolidate supplier management, or

modify travel policy. Whatever the reason,

buyers should look for experience and

success in the specific field with similarsized


The key driver for BP in finding a new

TMC, for example, was the technology and

consumer experience and Egencia was

miles ahead on both counts.

A TMC's capability, whether geographical

spread and/or technological prowess, is

one of the three Cs that will influence TMC

selection. The other two are culture and

cost. Technology is a major driver in terms

of capability and proprietary technology is


Service delivery / TMCs

the desired option, but so is cultural fit.

It's vital that the TMC aligns with company

goals and ethos.

“We see a direct correlation between

an engaged, empowered and culturallyaligned

workforce and the satisfaction of

our customers,” says Debbie Carling, CEO

Europe at CTM.

Cost factors

Opinions vary as to the importance of

cost, which is often confused with value.

“A travel management company should

be able to easily demonstrate a positive

return for the cost of their services,

whether through achieved savings,

increased efficiencies, enhanced traveller

safety or traveller wellbeing,” says Carling.

The value of a TMC's services should far

outweigh the cost of those services.”

In the past, size has mattered and global

buyers have gravitated towards the 'big

three' TMCs. The BP award demonstrated

that this is no longer the case, but there

are other considerations.

Buyers might not want to be a dominant

account in a small TMC because that TMC

might not have the experience to manage

it well enough. Conversely, being a small

account in a large TMC might mean not

receiving sufficient support.

”It’s important to evaluate where your

Technology is a major

driver in terms of

capability and proprietary

technology is the desired

option, but so is fit. It's vital

that the TMC aligns with

company goals and ethos”



TMCs / Service delivery

In the past, size has

mattered and global

buyers have gravitated

towards the 'big three' TMCs.

The BP award demonstrated

that this is no longer the case”

business will sit,” warns Wayne Durkin,

Head of Sales and Account Management at

Good Travel Management.

All down to penalties

Service level agreements (SLAs) and key

performance indicators (KPIs) written into

the contract will ensure that key objectives

for that year are met – as long as they are

properly policed – and they should not be

added post-RFP. Otherwise this could

muddy the water in terms of a TMC being

able to accurately price the specification

from the outset.

“A good SLA should be succinct enough

to be workable and focus on the key

success metrics,” advises Scott Davies,

CEO of ITM. He also warns that penalties

within SLAs should be appropriate to focus

teams on success but not so punitive that

they end up driving fear and negativity

within service teams.

SLAs have gone beyond response times

of, say, picking up the phone within a

certain number of rings, partly because of

the move away from telephone as a form

of communication. That’s been taken over

largely by in-app chat capability. SLAs now

embrace savings, cost avoidance, traveller

wellbeing, traveller satisfaction and,

according to Douglas O’Neill, CEO of Inntel,

also “external meeting room and event ROI

and reduction of carbon footprint”.

SLAs differ by industry vertical. For

example, professional service companies

and legal firms demand more of a TMC,

usually expecting the TMC to undertake all

transactions. This will be reflected in the

SLAs. Others will expect the travellers to

do their own travel booking via a selfbooking

tool, so SLAs need to reflect that

particular requirement.

“A bank may be concerned with traveller

experience, as in premium cabins at the

last minute, so a set of KPIs will focus on

that, whereas a manufacturing firm may

seek cost efficiencies and change their

sourcing patterns and SLAs around that,”

says Michael Valkerich, VP Global Customer

Group, CWT. “Different organisations will

invest in a TMC in different ways. We don’t

believe in a single vision for each client.”

Either way, SLAs mean nothing if the

quality doesn’t provide good service.

Johan Persson, Director of Account

Management UK & Ireland at Amex GBT,

points out that: “When people get through

[from waiting on a call] and the service is

fantastic, they’re not judged on speed, but

on quality.”

Click Travel identifies savings and they

are written into the contract as a performance

metric. ”With our client Veolia we did

just that,” says MD Jill Palmer. “We marked

them as red, amber and green, with green

being the easiest, then Veolia’s internal





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recommend their

Travel Counsellor

TMCs / Service delivery

audit department checked us every six

months for the green-colour savings and

we delivered each time.”

What should be clarified in the contract is

what level of account management is

included and when that cuts off, triggering

higher consultancy services. This early level

of transparency will pay dividends later.

Day-to-day account management should

feel like an extension of the travel

manager’s role and client team. Account

managers should know the programme

intimately, be driving it forward and

optimising spend after analysing six

months’ worth of data. Priorities will differ

from client to client but basics should

include review meetings, travel analysis

reporting, technology implementation and

training, loyalty programme management

and supplier negotiations.

TMCs should understand the company

culture and be fully conversant with the

programme vision. A poor level of account

management is often at the root of a client

moving TMCs, not service, underscoring

the fact that although automation deals

with the majority of bookings, it’s still a

people business.

Some TMCs treat their account managers

as consultants who look after the totality

of the account and that's part of the

overall fee, while others separate it out as

a lucrative income stream. That’s more

likely to happen with larger clients when

specialist services are required, such as

programme improvement, benchmarking

a programme by size or industry,

formulating a strategic vision, innovation,

global consistency and so on.

For example, an account manager could

not be expected to source a full hotel

programme single handedly. “When there

is a new requirement from the client that

is resource heavy and will not benefit

another customer, this is where

consultancy fees usually begin,” says Anne

Marie Crawford, Head of Sales at Inntel.

BCD's consultancy arm Advito specialises

in complex air and hotel programmes

across the globe and specific bespoke

communications programmes to change

traveller behaviour. ”There is a cost to

providing this high-level and intelligent

programme activity. If clients had to go out

to the market and speak to a third party

they would pay significantly more,” says

Tony McGetrick, VP & Director of Sales &

Marketing UK & Ireland at BCD. “We sell in

the benefits and the genuine ROI.”

Flexible pricing

What you pay is a moot point. Pricing

models are in a state of flux as buyers seek

more consumer-based pricing models so

the market is ripe for change. Transaction

fees are the norm, but subscription-based

pricing and trip-based pricing are likely to

become more popular pay-as-you-go

formulas which suit SMEs.

The key thing is that we have to be

flexible about how we price our services,”

What you pay is a

moot point. Pricing

models are in a state of flux as

buyers seek more consumerbased

pricing models so the

market is ripe for change”

says Durkin at Good Travel Management.

“It’s done on a case by case basis, driven

by the client, and can make us more

competitive.” The TMC is using trip-based

pricing with clients in the renewable

energy sector where travel is billable.

Inntel is doing the same with some clients.

Business Travel Direct is currently in

discussion with some clients on pricing

alternatives. “The subscription model really

excites me if we are going to be more

solutions-driven and not fulfilment-driven

but it’s got to be a collaborative process

as not one size fits all,” says the TMC's

Managing Director Julie Oliver.

As ever, the market is in a state of flux,

the dynamics of which help move the

industry forward, but it’s worth noting that

the fundamentals of transparency and

honesty remain the core values desired by

buyers from their TMC suppliers.


Delivering what

really matters TM


that works

Compliance and

cost savings

Traveller safety

and security


service worldwide

Direct ATPI combines the power of leading

travel management specialists to create a

scalable solution for multinational organisations.

We offer access to the influence and consistency

of a steadfast global brand alongside the local

knowledge and sector-specific expertise of an

on-the-ground travel management company.

Find out more atpi.com

Visit us on stand B440

TMCs / Consolidation

An acquired


Mergers and acquisitions among TMCs continue unabated, but why is it

happening and what does it mean for clients? Gillian Upton reports

Charles Darwin’s theory of natural

selection published in 1869 may

not have had universal acceptance

from many naturalists at the time but his

theory of evolution – that only the strong

survive – couldn’t be a better metaphor

for the world of TMCs today.

To say that there has been movement in

the TMC marketplace is to underplay just

how many travel management companies

have disappeared recently. One industry

observer reckons ten have either been

bought or acquired over the last two years

alone, including HRG, Giles Travel, Hillgate,

Portman, Amber Road, Ian Allan Travel and

Business Travel Direct. We also know that

Diversity Travel will be up for grabs in 2020

– a surprising announcement – and they

certainly won’t be the last to seek a suitor.

“Smaller players who don’t own their own

technology will be vulnerable,” reckons Jill

Palmer, Managing Director of Click Travel.

“I can imagine four or five of those changing

hands in the next 18 months.”

Few believe that further consolidation will

touch the 'big three' – Amex GBT, CWT and

BCD – so the money is on the independents

who need scale to thrive; those with a

turnover under £100million.

“Consolidation raises the bar for entry into

the world of TMCs,” says Tony McGetrick, VP

and Director of Sales and Marketing at BCD.

“It takes a long time and deep pockets.

We’re in 109 countries for example.”

Too many players

At well over 100 in number, there are too

many TMCs operating in the UK, something

not replicated in other countries, including

our continental European cousins in the

larger business travel markets of Germany

and France. A cull is certainly in order for the

health of the entire industry. In Darwinian

terms, only TMCs with favourable adaptations

will survive and that is exactly the

strategies being employed. The step-change

in the market – chiefly around new technology

and distribution flows – is the major

trigger as scale is more important in times

of disruption.

Michael Valkerich, VP Global Customer

Group for CWT, says: “Scale creates

advantages so there is always going to be a

current of acquisitions. The larger players do

better when new changes come along as we

can exert more authority.”

Some TMC owner-managers are reaching

retirement and are looking for an exit route,

while others can no longer support their

business structures, particularly in light of

the huge investment required to develop or

acquire new technology. Some become

financially vulnerable when they lose a large

spending client, the most recent example

being Amber Road when it lost the BT

account. The ever-decreasing income from

the GDS as the airline distribution landscape

evolves is another nail in their coffin.

Dave Bishop, Commercial Director at the

acquisitive TMC Gray Dawes, believes there

are other strategies at play: “Consolidation

can shortcut the R&D route to acquire the

technology required as CTM did when it

purchased Redfern. TMCs can take out a

competitor and change the market

dynamics, as Amex GBT did when it


Consolidation / TMCs

At well over 100 in

number, there are too

many TMCs operating in the

UK, something not replicated

in other countries”



TMCs / Consolidation

bought HRG and Reed & Mackay did

when it bought Hillgate. That immediately

gives you market dominance and you can

charge a premium. Or you do it to buy scale

if there are synergies with another TMC.”

Aside from major league player HRG, the

majority of the consolidated TMCs are

smaller businesses because the current

marketplace means it’s difficult for them to

compete and stay relevant. They need to

adapt, which means either selling up or

growing, either organically or by acquisition.

Pros and cons

Consolidation isn’t all positive as the biggest

impact can fall on the corporate buyer.

Rolls-Royce, for example, selected HRG over

Amex GBT in its last TMC RFP, only to find

itself hooked up with Amex after the HRG

acquisition under a five-year contract. There

were many HRG clients playing a waiting

game to see if service delivery would remain

constant and some have not transitioned.

In contrast, Reed & Mackay’s acquisition

of Hillgate was seen differently, as a free

technology upgrade and a win-win for

buyers in terms of value-adds. These two

successful high-touch, white glove providers

were obvious partners: Hillgate with brilliant

technology and Reed & Mackay with the

better global reach.

Group CEO Fred Stratford prefers to

describe the deal as “joining forces” rather

than an acquisition. Business Travel Direct

has since moved to the group too.

Consolidation is widely seen as a positive

in the industry. In Darwin-like terms, it lets

the strongest survive. One very happy TMC

boss on the morning of the HRG announcement

was Graham Ross, General Manager

UK of FCM, who tweeted: “Good news, FCM

is now the fourth-largest TMC in the world”.

Consolidation certainly offers opportunity

as TMCs jostle for position.

Some TMC managerowners

are reaching

retirement and are looking

for an exit route, while others

can no longer support their

business structures”

Consolidation isn’t new to the industry

either. There was a period around the early

2000s when major acquisitions and mergers

also took place. What’s notably different in

the current phase is the presence of venture

capitalist and private equity firms with

plenty of money to invest and support a

TMC’s expansion plans.

Travel Counsellors, for example, backed

by independent European investment firm

Vitruvian Partners, benefitted from a

£6million investment in new technology.

Since The Appointment Group (TAG)

secured the backing of private equity firm

Apiary Capital, it has been able to expand,

acquiring SOS in the US for example.

The injection of capital from private

equity firm Inflexion to Reed & Mackay in

2016 has allowed a spate of acquisitions,

including Gray’s Travel Management, TMC

Frequent Flyer Travel Paris, Hillgate and

Business Travel Direct.

Gray Dawes has been particularly

acquisitive, buying nine TMCs over the last

four years, the most recent being Amber

Road. It utilises an integration team before

and after acquisition to ensure any new

TMC is embedded seamlessly.

”We buy businesses where we know we

can add value,” says Bishop. “Amber Road

was a business that had been considerably

larger and we had offices in the same city

(Manchester) so we consolidated there. We

were using the same technology platform

(Atriis) and the same GDS and back-off

systems and we are both re-sellers of

Concur, which is a strong value proposition.

“We weren’t looking to make another

acquisition but it gave us more scale in

Manchester and the north west generally as

Amber Road had an office in Leeds, which is

an important area for us, so there were lots

of synergies that worked for us.”

Gray Dawes can now bid for larger pieces

of business. Four years ago the company

had a turnover of £27million and could only

look for business under £5million. Anything

larger would make travel managers nervous.

Today, with a turnover of £200million, the

TMC bids for accounts not greater than

£20million, which represents around 10%

of its business. “Otherwise it would leave a

big hole in your revenue if you lost it,”

cautions Bishop.

The logic is there and Gray Dawes’ journey

typifies current activity. Clive Wratten, CEO

of the Business Travel Association, reckons

consolidation drives change for the better.

The industry hasn’t crashed and burned;

it’s just a period of disruption,” he says. The

TMC community is doing what it has always

done, adapting to survive.


Glimpse the

future of travel


Vist FCM at the Business Travel Show

Stand B130


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Look around you - whether in the

business lounge or onboard an

early morning flight - and see the

incredible tapestry woven from

different cultures, generations, and

mindsets that is created around you

on the road. Business travel is truly

global act.

There, in seat 12A, is the CFO who

wished his husband and children

good morning and goodbye as he

headed to the airport for a flight from

London to Lisbon. Coming down

the aisle is the young saleswoman

listening to a meditation to calm her

nerves as she embarks on her first onsite

pitch meeting in Aman. Behind

you, in line for coffee, was the team

of five entrepreneurs arriving from

Singapore for a startup incubator. The

loud group of colleagues in the lobby

high-fived their goodbyes after an

incredible conference in California.

Business travelers come from every

corner of the globe and fly, drive, or

take the train to distant cities and

towns in search of new business,

unprecedented deals, unexpected

partnerships, and -- in the best of

cases -- a new acquaintance. While

we all go through the machinations

of security and hear the same beat

of the in-flight safety video, business

travelers are individuals and each sets

off with their own concerns, goals,

anxieties, and objectives.

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across every continents means that

business travelers have unlimited

choice in date, time, and travel

company. They can make decisions

that are best for their health and

personal lives while remaining aligned

with company guidelines.

The Power to Move Fast: TripActions

integrates the latest machine learning

technology to understand users’

preferences and reduce average

booking time from 60 minutes

down to six (while achieving an

unprecedented 93% traveler

satisfaction). We built an app that is

as easy to use as the most popular

consumer apps, which means there’s

no barriers to booking quickly and

finding what you need when you

need it.

The Support to Succeed: Even the

best planned trips come with a few

surprises. A proactive global force of

live travel agents available 24/7 365

ensures that business travelers are

always supported -- before, during,

and after their trip.

Being there in person is powerful,

but how you get there matters.

Finally there is solution that makes it

possible to provide a great traveler

experience while empowering travel

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Our company reflects the global

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Blue Cube Travel has been booking NDC content for over a year – now it’s

spearheading a Triangle of Trust between airlines, TMCs and corporates

As 2019 draws to a close, the topic

that has gained more momentum

than ever in recent months is NDC

(New Distribution Capability).

Major TMCs and technology providers have

all made a raft of announcements about

going live with pilots and first NDC bookings.

But are any of these solutions workable or

genuinely going to give corporates access to

NDC content any time soon?

At ACTE’s recent global summit in

Amsterdam, delegates attending the ‘NDC:

loaded’ session were asked ‘Do you think

NDC is live?’ Only five per cent of attendees

put their hands up to say ‘yes’. That sums up

the confusion in the marketplace and

frustration among corporates.

Blue Cube Travel is on a mission to help

corporates make sense of it all. The

independent travel management company

has been booking NDC fares since June 2018

via its online booking tool, BC Online,

powered by Atriis.

This includes British Airways, Lufthansa and

American Airlines. Coming soon will be Air

France/KLM, United Airlines and Finnair. Blue

Cube is also now piloting the ability to service

and amend NDC bookings with Atriis.

Bex Deadman, Blue Cube Travel’s

Commercial Director, who represents the

TMC at high-level IATA NDC workshops, says:

There is no doubt that corporates in general

are beginning to feel frustrated, as from their

perspective they are trying to run a travel

programme which utilises best available

rates and gives parity.

“From our perspective at

Blue Cube, because we are a

smaller independent TMC,

we have been able to take a

much more agile approach

to integrating a workable

NDC solution.

The larger TMCs are now

suddenly announcing that

they’ve made their first live NDC

bookings, but Blue Cube has been

making live bookings for over 18 months

– we just didn’t shout about it publicly.”

Not only has Blue Cube been quietly

leading the way among SME TMCs in terms

of NDC integration, but they have also been

proactively positioning themselves as

‘educators’ on the topic, sharing knowledge

with industry peers and feedback with

IATA implementation teams.

“We are passionate about creating a

‘Triangle of Trust’ between airlines, TMCs

and corporates, as we see this as the key to

busting the myths around NDC and making

it a reality across the corporate sector as a

whole,” says Deadman.

There are two different aspects to

NDC – the first is based on technology,

booking functionality

and the utopia it presents.

This is where real progress

is being made.

“But the second is around

the commercials between

each party in the value chain

– that’s the elephant in the

room which is hindering progress.

As an industry, we all want NDC to

work, but there needs to be understanding

between everyone involved.

“Our aim now is to encourage open

conversations, to bridge the gap between

suppliers and corporates and spearhead

mutual understanding for the benefit of our

customers and the industry as a whole.”

bluecubetravel.co.uk / sales@bluecubetravel.co.uk / 020 8948 8188


5 reasons / TMCs



Neil Ruth, co-founder of Taptrip, argues the case for managing a

corporate travel programme without the aid of a TMC


1 2


TMCs often impose

spend qualification

thresholds or large

booking fees. These are

a potent barrier to entry

for some companies,

especially for SMEs

looking to take their first

steps into a co-ordinated

travel and expenses

strategy. Faced with

these financial obstacles,

many growth businesses

choose to manage their

own early travel needs

and simply grow with

the demands.


In an age where holidays

can be booked with three

taps on a screen and all

your travel documents

are on a smartphone, the

fact that some TMCs still

operate primarily via

telephone conversations

can feel archaic, especially

when there are multiple

trips to book or odd

travel legs. Telephone

conversations do not

scale, and they impose a

lot of informal process

on the customer before

they ring the TMC,

especially compared to

booking direct online.


Bleisure – adding leisure

travel at the start or end

of business trips – is a

reality. In a recent survey

by hotel group Great

Hotels of the World, 75%

of respondents said they

had extended business

trips for leisure purposes,

and in most cases doing

so multiple times in a

year. Dealing direct

with the travel or

accommodation provider

makes this far more

accessible and easier to

keep track of.


The relationship between

many end users and their

TMCs is highly transactional.

This leaves little

room for personalisation

for frequent travellers

and in many cases this

personalisation is vital.

It is not just about the

preferences of the CEO,

but any need for personalisation

that is better

handled by going direct

to the suppliers.


Let’s be honest: using

TMC software can suck.

In an age of consumer

grade user experience

(UX) and highly intuitive

apps, business users

will simply not tolerate

awkward processes,

jargon-filled screens

and ugly software. By

comparison, a smartphone

app that mimics

their favourite social

media layout and

integrates with a management

dashboard will

win every time.

Business users will

simply not tolerate

awkward processes, jargon

and ugly software”




Flight booking

Weather & traffic alerts

Check-in reminder

Travel alerts

City guides


Delivered by

New entrants / TMCs

Making it


A breed of new technology-based travel management

platforms are shaking up the global business travel market,

writes Rob Gill

The user experience of online

booking tools provided by

traditional travel management

companies has long been a bugbear of

both buyers and travellers, with a

typical comment being: 'why can’t these

tools be as easy to use as consumer

travel sites?'

Quite reasonably, TMCs usually reply that

their online booking tools are doing a lot

more complex work than a consumer

booking platform. This includes giving

travellers access to negotiated rates with

preferred suppliers, adding travel policy

requirements and offering tracking abilities

to improve duty-of-care. But TMCs are

now facing renewed pressure from a new

breed of technology-orientated business

travel specialists – including TravelPerk,

TripActions and Lola – who are well funded

and are already making inroads into the

corporate market, particularly at the SME

end of the spectrum.

User experience, or UX as it is often

called these days, is everything to these

new entrants and the chief selling points

for their platforms are their ease of use

and access to a wider range of travel

suppliers. This is also backed up by

customer support services for travellers

and providing the capabilities buyers are

looking for, such as the inclusion of their

travel policies, approvals processes,

invoicing, tracking and reporting.



TMCs / New entrants

Content and user

experience will be

key, giving the end user

confidence in the pricing,

and the booking process leads

to higher adoption levels”

Richard Viner, UK Country Manager for

Barcelona-based TravelPerk, says: “We are

different from traditional TMCs because we

offer a shopping and booking experience

every bit as good as the one you have when

booking your holidays. In some ways it’s

even better, as we believe we’ve built the

world’s largest bookable inventory.”

TripActions says it can reduce the average

booking time for a business trip from 60 to

six minutes, as well as increasing adoption

and traveller satisfaction rates, which in

turn drives higher savings for the client.

Ariel Cohen, TripActions co-founder and

CEO, adds: “Business travellers expect the

same convenience, choice and instant

gratification they get as consumers, yet

until now the vast majority of the

corporate travel management industry

has failed them.

“We’re building on our history of

innovation, reimagining the TMC to give

enterprises and their travellers unheard of

choice and transparency to earn their trust.

Travel managers no longer have to

compromise; they can finally get a great

user experience and scalable global

infrastructure in a single platform.”

TMCs under threat?

With this influx of new tech-based

competitors, are the traditional TMCs

quaking in their boots? Or are the likes

of TravelPerk and TripActions more of a

competitor in the SME market than for

larger global corporations looking for a

multi-country or global approach to their

travel management needs?

Caroline Strachan, managing partner at

consultancy Festive Road, says Expedia’s

tech-based TMC Egencia was a forerunner

to the new entrants now making their

presence felt.

“If I were a betting woman, I’d be sure to

place a bet on the likes of TripActions and

TravelPerk’s ability to run fast and solve

problems legacy players haven’t even

thought about,” she says. “Their ownership

of every customer touchpoint is what will

make the difference, whether it’s online,

mobile or with an agent, the platform

experience is all the same.”

John Hobbs-Hurrell, international

partnership manager for WIN Global Travel

Network, believes the new tech-based

players will “become just another

competitor” over the next few years.

“Content and user experience will be key,

giving the end user confidence in the

pricing, and the booking process leads to

higher adoption levels,” says Hobbs-Hurrell.

“TMCs will need to match that offering

via their own solutions. Providing the

customer choice, around-the-clock support

and a blend of online and offline will

ensure the traditional TMC remains a

viable solution.”


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TMCs / New entrants

Some traditional TMCs are also working

with these newcomers. American Express

Global Business Travel has been partnering

with Lola for the past 12 months, a move

which helped Lola to add “hundreds” of

new SME customers in the first half of

2019. Meanwhile ATPI Group has been

working with TripActions as a “fulfilment

partner” to the technology platform since

the start of 2018.

“We are one of the global fulfilment

partners for TripActions, currently ticketing

and invoicing across seven markets with

new markets being added every week due

to their rapid growth,” explains Katie

Skitterall, Director of Sales and Operations

UK, for ATPI.

Brave new world

So what’s next for these new entrants to

the TMC world? Expect more rapid growth

as the likes of TripActions, TravelPerk and

Lola raise even more money for investors.

In July, San Francisco-based TripActions

raised another $250million from investors

in its fourth round of fundraising – taking

total investment to just under half a billion

dollars. This latest cash injection means

TripActions as a company is valued at a

staggering $4billion; not bad for a company

only launched in 2015.

Unlike some of its competitors, TripActions

is also looking beyond the SME market

with the aim of capturing business from

organisations of “every size”. Currently the

company says it has 2,000 clients around

the world with up to $1.1billion in annual

travel spending, including clients such

as WeWork, Lyft, SurveyMonkey and

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery.

Meanwhile TravelPerk raised another

$60million this summer, taking total

investment up to $134million, with

revenues forecast to increase by 300%

If each TMC knows its

strengths and identity,

and then operates in that way,

there is still room for many to

succeed. What they can’t all

do is chase the same customer

with the same promises”

in 2019 and the number of employees set

to reach 430 by the end of the year.

There are also even newer competitors

entering the market, such as Manchesterbased

Taptrip, which launched in 2018 and

won the Business Travel Disrupt Award at

this year’s Business Travel Show. It offers

a “free to use” platform combining

personalised travel arrangements, expense

management, live journey updates and

management information.

How this kind of burgeoning competition

shapes the TMC market in the next few

years will be one of the industry’s most

fascinating trends.

“As technology and content lead the way

in the industry, these guys have the size

and scale to be a threat to TMCs of all

shapes and sizes,” says ATPI’s Skitterall.

Meanwhile Festive Road’s Strachan

suggests a TMC’s ability to prosper will

depend on deciding “which bit of the

market you want to thrive in”.

“If each TMC knows its strengths and

identity, and then operates in that way,

there is still room for many to succeed.

What they can't all do is just chase the

same customer with the same promises,”

Strachan explains.

At the very least, the tech-based

newcomers should force traditional TMCs

to speed up the improvement of their

online booking tools and platforms. With

this kind of market dynamic, maybe one

day both buyers and travellers will stop

moaning that they aren’t up to scratch.




To a travel management platform

that lets your business glide through.

One that drills down deep to find you the best value.

A savvy system that always keeps your staff up to date.

So they stay connected.

And never miss a connection.

A platform where you can see everything clearly

with complete business transparency.

Here’s to working smarter.

To travelling the world.



We put innovation

at the heart of your programme.

© 2019 BCD Travel. All rights reserved. bcdtravel.com




2020 MEANS


It could be a busy year for TMCs as buyers consider

their next move, writes Chris Crowley of Nina & Pinta

were. Emerging players such as TripActions

were not necessarily ready for the big bids

at that time, and there were areas of impact

within the bigger TMC networks around

content and profile management that

needed to play out.

Priorities elsewhere

Many large programmes have been

focussing on other areas, most notably

end-to-end expense integration, security

and hotel programme optimisation – not to

mention the continuing shift to mobile and

its impact across corporate policy in more

areas than just travel.

Many topics are hot on the

agenda as we head into 2020,

including NDC, data privacy

and protection, sustainability, traveller

wellbeing, meetings management, hotel

programmes and traveller security, to

name just a few. It promises to be a busy

year by all accounts, with the global

political climate almost as turbulent as

the environmental one.

Yet underneath all of this, a very familiar

topic is gathering strength for many

corporate travel managers – the selection

and management of their TMC, technology

and expense vendors for the years ahead.

We don’t tend to publish contract

life cycles as an industry. Its

not really good business

sense to begin with, but it’s

also an area – especially in

the TMC arena – where

extensions, market


mergers and

acquisitions can

all play a part in

moving the

goalposts for

many corporate buyers. That being said,

2020 looks like being a very active year in

the TMC Sourcing business. Why is that?

A number of factors come into play here

which are worth noting.

The need for choice

The bigger programmes have always been

influenced by the need for choice. The

acquisition of HRG by American Express

Global Business Travel in 2018 had a

significant impact on the perception of

choice available to the larger customers. It’s

hard to say how many RFP processes were

delayed, but some

most certainly

Natural contract turnover

Another point of reference here is a more

organic one. The majority of large programmes

are more likely to retain their

vendor (barring disaster or bad performance)

for a second, and often third,

contract. Most TMC contracts are usually

positioned around a three-year term with

a two-year extension (the 3+2). Assuming

two retentions from the original contract,

programmes that have been secure since

the late 2000s will now be in a situation

where good governance and market

development simply forces an RFP process.

For many corporate buyers this will be the

first time in a few years they go to market

for a TMC partner; in many cases they may

be questioning if they need one at all.

Given the factors above, 2020 is poised

to be an interesting year for the travel

consulting space.


Chris has recently joined travel

consultancy Nina & Pinta. He

has extensive experience

across the industry including

roles at HRS, BCD, Concorde

Hotels and Accor Hotels.






TMCs / The 2020 Directory

TMCs 2020: Who does what

Your guide to a selection of leading travel management companies in the UK (A to G)

Travel management company Annual turnover UK Annual transactions Online / Offline Company size Head office Established Alliance membership

ABT-UK £9million 17,000 50% / 50% 10 staff / 1 office (400 staff globally) London 2001 Advantage

Information supplied directly by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine. Annual figures quoted refer to a TMC's most recent financial or calendar year and to UK corporate business only unless stated otherwise. *as at 30 September 2019

Access Bookings Ltd £50million 351,000 30% / 70% 207 staff / 7 offices Lichfield, Staffordshire 1985

ACE Travel Management £7.8million 22,500 80% / 20% 14 staff / 1 office Brentwood, Essex 1992 Advantage / WIN

American Express Global Business Travel £190million Not disclosed Not disclosed 2,300+ FTE staff London 2014

Applehouse Travel £29.1million 59,300 17% / 83% 40 staff / 1 office London 1984

arrangeMy £32million 88,700 70% / 30% 64 staff / 2 offices / 1 implant Worcester 1990 Advantage / WIN

ATPI £1.29billion (globally) 4.78million 30% / 70% 1,850 staff / 100+ locations worldwide London 2002

Baldwins Travel (BBTM) £5million 13,000 100% offline 8 staff / 1 office Tunbridge Wells, Kent 1895 Advantage

BCD Travel £674million ($27.1bn globally) Not disclosed 55% / 45% 1,026 staff (13,800 globally) / 12 offices London 1981

Blue Cube Travel £36.4million 39,500 15% / 85% 36 staff / 3 offices London 2003 Advantage

Business First Partnership Limited £25million 60,000 20% / 80% 32 staff / 1 office Beaconsfield, Bucks 1997 Radius Travel

Capita Travel and Events £580million 4.1million 80% / 20% 707 staff / 5 offices Derby 1972 Advantage / GlobalStar

Clarity £441million 2.5million Not disclosed 600 staff / 15 offices (UK&I & Netherlands) Manchester 1959 Radius Travel

Click Travel £237million 2.25million 97% / 3% 237 staff / 1 office Birmingham 1999 Advantage

Clyde Travel Management £60million (globally) 180,000 2% / 98% 90 staff / 5 offices (plus USA/India/Sweden) Glasgow 1989 Advantage / WIN

Corporate Travel Management (CTM) Europe £680million (Europe) 4.89million (Europe) Not disclosed 2,600+ FTE staff across four continents* London 1994

CT Travel Group £33million 60,000 30% / 70% 85 staff / 3 offices Tunbridge Wells, Kent 1988

CWT $25billion (globally) 62million Not disclosed 17,300+ staff across 153 offices globally Minneapolis (global HQ) 1994

DialAFlight Corporate Travel £148million 302,400 100% offline 130 staff / 4 offices London 1980

Diversity Travel £82.9million (globally) 234,000 36% / 64% 151 UK-based staff Manchester 2008

EFR Travel £37million 41,600 11% / 89% 37 staff / 3 offices Bushey, Hertfordshire 2002 Advantage

Egencia $12billion (globally) Not disclosed 92% / 8% 3,200+ staff globally across 65+ countries London 2002

Eton Travel £35million 104,400 40% / 60% 80 staff / 2 offices Eton, Berkshire 1969 Advantage / WIN

FCM Travel Solutions (inc. Corporate Traveller) £849million 2.2million 46% / 54% 845 staff / 21 offices (6,500 staff globally) New Malden, Surrey 2004

Fello £30million 40,250 30% / 70% 41 staff / 1 office London 2018 Advantage / GlobalStar

Flightline Travel Management £5.65million 27,600 18% / 82% 10 staff / 1 office Haddenham, Bucks 1999 Advantage

Global Travel Management Limited £24.7million 39,400 22% / 78% 30 staff / 2 offices Woking, Surrey 1997 Advantage / WIN


The 2020 Directory / TMCs

Business sectors in which clients operate or the TMC specialises in










General SMEs











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TMCs / The 2020 Directory

TMCs 2020: Who does what

Your guide to a selection of leading travel management companies in the UK (G to W)

Travel management company Annual turnover Annual transactions Online / Offline Company size Head office Established Alliance membership

Information supplied by TMCs to The Business Travel Magazine. Annual figures quoted refer to a TMC's most recent financial or calendar year and to UK corporate business only unless stated otherwise. *inc. Altour, Pro Travel, Tzell & Colletts Travel

Good Travel Management £22.5million 66,000 27% / 73% 44 staff / 2 offices Kingston Upon Hull 1833 UNIGLOBE

Gray Dawes Group (inc. Amber Road) £200million 550,000 55% / 45% 242 staff / 7 offices Colchester, Essex 1927 Advantage / Radius Travel

Harridge Business Travel £17.4million 50,000 20% / 80% 23 staff / 2 offices London 1983


Hotel and Travel Solutions (HTS) £16.1million Not disclosed 22% / 78% 26 staff / 1 office Worcestershire 2010

Inntel Limited £89million 410,000 73% / 27% 145 staff / 3 offices Colchester, Essex 1984 Advantage / Radius Travel

Key Travel £375million (globally) Not disclosed 64% / 36% 600 staff / 15 offices (globally) London 1980 Advantage

Meon Valley Business Travel Limited £40million 120,000 40% / 60% 81 staff / 2 offices Petersfield, Hampshire 2002 Advantage / WIN

MIDAS Travel Management £23million Not Disclosed 8% / 92% 25 staff / 1 office London 1998 Advantage / WIN

Norad Travel Limited £34million 112,000 5% / 95% 54 staff / 1 office Liss, Hampshire



Omega Business Travel £10million 25,000 10% / 90% 13 staff / 1 office Hersham, Surrey 1982 Advantage

Omega World Travel £39million 175,000 60% / 40% 25 staff UK (460 in 40 US locations) London 1972 Advantage / GlobalStar

Quintessentially Corporate Travel Management £20million 20,500 15% / 85% 30 staff / 1 office London 1971 Advantage

Reed & Mackay (inc. Business Travel Direct) £608million 1.6million 34% / 66% 511 staff / 10 offices London 1962 Advantage

Review Travel Limited £12.3million 89,000 34% / 66% 23 staff / 2 offices Cheshire 1982 Advantage / WIN

Selective Travel Management £91.2million 212,300 26% / 74% 130 staff (Belfast & Dublin) Belfast 1972 Advantage / WIN / TSI

Simplexity Travel management Limited £7.1million 27,000 100% offline 14 staff / 1 office London 2011 Advantage / Virtuoso

Sunways Business Travel £14million 35,000 10% / 90% 20 staff / 1 office Longfield, Kent 1973 Advantage

TAG £232.6million 471,300 6% / 94% 194 UK staff (380 staff globally) London 1988 Advantage / Virtuoso

Trailfinders Corporate Travel £33.5million 11,700 100% offline 1,080 staff / 34 offices London 1970

Travel and Transport Statesman £201.6million ($3.5bn globally) 512,000 47% / 53% 165 staff / 3 offices (1,750 staff globally) London 1975 Advantage / Radius Travel

Travel Counsellors for Business £170million Not disclosed 100% offline 200+ Corp. Counsellors / 7 countries Manchester 1994

Traveleads £38million 105,000 38% / 62% 80 staff / 3 offices Leeds 1971

Travel Leaders Group UK Ltd* £252million 407,000 24% / 76% 362 staff / 6 offices London 1999 Advantage / Virtuoso

Wayte Travel Management £39million 86,000 100% offline 50 staff / 4 offices London 1980 Advantage

West End Travel Ltd

£12.8million 32,000 100% offline 19 staff / 2 offices London 1972

Wexas Travel Management £27million 55,500 40% / 60% 45 staff / 2 offices London 1970 Advantage / ITMA

Wings Travel Management £108million 140,800 12% / 88% 75 staff / 4 offices London 1992


The 2020 Directory / TMCs

Business sectors in which clients operate or the TMC specialises in










General SMEs











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W h a te v e r


Travel technology moves fast.

We keep ahead by embracing

the very latest developments.

So whether the future brings

disruptive new tech, new data

or new thinking, we’ll plug it

straight in and continue to

evolve, Bring it on.

Happy to help manage your business travel.

+44 (0)20 7650 3106 | fello.co.uk

Data / TMCs



Online adoption, TMC acquisitions, bleisure travel and more…


...of companies

are generally

supportive of

bleisure travel

if employees

pay their way





...of business travellers are willing to share


business travel experience

the number of times a

year, on average, that

European business

travellers extend a

trip for pleasure


37 %

...of business travellers feel

the most stress before a trip

when they’re planning, booking

and organising travel



Notable exceptions

Three TMCs that have regularly featured

in our annual Directory do not appear

in this year's edition following their

respective acquisitions. THEY ARE…

Amber Road (bought by Gray Dawes)

Business Travel Direct (bought by Reed & Mackay)

Ian Allan Travel (bought by Clarity)

The online

adoption challenge

What percentage of your travel

bookings are made through an

online booking tool?

Don’t use

an OBT


Less than








about business travel?





Don’t know







Visiting new


33% 35% 34% 28%




21% 18% 27% 16%


...of travel managers have

considered ditching their TMC

and ‘going it alone’


...of business travellers believe their

company lags behind when it comes to

adopting the latest technologies

Getting out of

your work


Meeting a

colleague for

THE first time

18% 18% 13% 25%

17% 16% 16% 19%





On the road with Matthew Bagwell

Matthew Bagwell, the co-founder of footwear

company Seven Feet Apart, shares his travel habits

and preferences


Name: Matthew Bagwell

Position and company: Co-founder,

Seven Feet Apart

Based in: London and St Albans, UK

Business trips per year: 4-6

Estimated annual mileage:

around 5,000–8,000 miles

Regular destinations: Porto,


Most recent trip: It was for a

photoshoot in Porto.

Next trip: March next year... for

another photoshoot!


Best business travel

experience: I once flew to

Necker Island for an

interview. When staff

realised my destination - or

perhaps because Virgin Atlantic

understood the concept of ‘jetset’

– I had the time of my life.

Worst business travel experience:

Six failed landing attempts at

Philadelphia in a snow white-out

before aborting to Washington. You

know things are rough when people

start praying.


Preferred airline or hotel and why:

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class (back in

i don't

want to be

plugged in

the day, not now I’m a startup!).

They understand


entertainment and that

where port

travelling is a significant part gets its

of the trip.


Loyalty points – obsessive

collector or not bothered?

I haven’t made the effort to become

a collector. I need my loyalty to be

engendered when I’m in the

experience, not before or after it.

Favourite loyalty scheme:

I did fly Gold with Virgin, which

comes with some great perks like

the Clubhouse lounges.


Flights: work, rest or play? All

three, although I need to be more

mindful of my carbon footprint so

the frequency may need to fall.

Onboard connectivity –

take it or leave it? Oh, please leave

it. I don’t want to be plugged in when

travelling. My flights to New York –

monthly in my previous career –

were pure escapism and a chance to

read or watch films.

Onboard habits: I love airline

food and films, so I like to get

the absolute most out of

every flight. I’ll do a little bit

of work or perhaps read a

journal. If it’s a leisure trip, I’ll

turn the page of a new book to

mark the start of my holiday.


Happy never to go back to: I used

to commute to Dusseldorf and stay

in a lacklustre hotel in the middle of

nowhere. I’m not keen to return to

that barren industrial landscape.

Send me back to: New York – it's

invigorating. The city is constantly

changing but that vibe and energy

never seem to change. And a trip to

Japan was one of the most

fascinating of my life.

Top overseas landmark: The

Colosseum in Rome. It’s spellbinding.


One thing that would improve

business travel: Aerodynamics and

fuel efficiency. More needs to be

done to maintain the viability of

sustainable flying.

Biggest business travel irritation:

Like for many, it's hand baggage

allowances on short haul flights.

Pack light or go prepared?

Pack for the destination, not

for where you’re leaving

from. Take a passport and

cards and a change of

clothes. Much of the rest, you

either don’t need or can buy

don't pack

too much!

locally. Too often,

I’ve packed far too

much and not worn it.

Never leave home without:

Running shoes – it’s my favourite

way to get orientated in a new place.

There's nothing like turning a corner

in Rome and seeing something that’s

stood there for thousands of years!


Stick to the travel policy or a bit of

a maverick? We don’t have one.

I must get round to writing it!

If you could change one

no travel thing about your travel

policy...Yet policy: To be more carbonsensitive,

so you only take a

trip – anywhere - if there really

is no viable alternative.



Meeting in Leeds

Leeds is the cultural,

financial and commercial

hub of West Yorkshire

and is a lively and

affluent city. It’s also the

largest financial and legal

centre outside London,

with more than 30 banks

located here. Other

strong industry sectors

include manufacturing,

engineering and medical

tech, writes Emma Allen

Wow factor

Leeds City Museum

This grand Grade II listed civic

building, which was transformed

into a state of the art museum

in 2000, makes an impressive

backdrop for gala dinners,

receptions and ceremonies.

The centrepiece is the stunning

Brodrick Hall, a 401sqm atrium

with balcony which can seat up

to 360 guests, and there are a

number of smaller meeting

rooms available. Evening tours

can also be arranged.

Millennium Square, Leeds LS1 8BH


making an


Quirky venue

Duke Studios

Less than a ten-minute walk

from Leeds train station, this

co-working space in the up and

coming South Bank area has a

number of interesting rooms

for hire. The Event Room is the

largest, and offers an industrial

feel space for up to 250 people,

while the cosy Not Bored Room

can host up to 10 boardroom

style. There is also the plant

adorned Conservatory, which

can seat 40 theatre-style.

3 Sheaf Street, Leeds LS10 1HD


On a shoestring

Swarthmore Leeds

Set in an attractive row of

Georgian buildings, this

education centre is a wellestablished

budget venue with

room hire available from £17

per hour. Seven light-filled

meeting rooms are available

for up to 40 people, a large hall

can host up to 140 and there

are several smaller breakout

spaces. Electronic whiteboards,

flipcharts and other AV

equipment can be added.

2-7 Woodhouse Square, LS3 1AD


Small but perfectly formed

Wired up

Out of town

Getting there

Frequent rail services

from London to Leeds take

just over two hours, with peak

services running every 30

minutes. Motorway access is

good, with Leeds sitting at the

crossroads of the M1 and M62.

Leeds Bradford Airport is eight

miles from the city centre, and

serves more than 75

destinations worldwide.

Further information

Conference Leeds can

assist with venue sourcing

and accommodation. Contact

0113 378 1183 or see


Dakota Hotel

The Leeds outpost of the chic

boutique hotel chain offers a

sophisticated city vibe, with 84

bedrooms decked out in muted

tones of grey, and a buzzy Bar

and Grill restaurant. There are

two smart event spaces: the

Boardroom, which can also be

used for private dining, for up to

16 guests, and the Champagne

room for parties of up to 20.

There is also a cocktail bar with

a heated outdoor terrace.

8 Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5RN


super chic



The Rose Bowl

Part of Leeds Beckett University,

the striking glass-clad Rose

Bowl is well located in the

heart of the city centre.

Offering state-of-the-art

conferencing facilities,

design and AV, the venue’s

event space includes meeting

rooms for up to 80 people,

several auditoria and banqueting

for up to 300 dinner guests. A

further 25 rooms are available

out of term for workshops.

Portland Crescent, Leeds LS1 3HB




Oulton Hall

Surrounded by a 300-acre

estate, it’s easy to forget this

18th-century mansion is

just a 30-minute taxi ride

from Leeds city centre.

There are nine flexible

meeting rooms of varying

sizes and the grand Oulton

Suite can accommodate up to

350 people. The hotel also offers

group teambuilding activities like

archery, golf and clay pigeon

shooting in its grounds.

Rothwell Lane, Oulton, Leeds LS26 8HN





New kid on the block

ruby lucy, london

THE LOWDOWN Munich-based

Ruby Hotels is promising to bring the

carnival to town with its first UK

property, opening in January on

London's Southbank. Defining itself

as 'lean luxury', the brand says it

focuses on the essentials – location,

fittings and design – but keeps it

affordable by cutting out frills like

room service and overpriced

minibars. A three-minute walk from

Waterloo Station, the hotel's

interiors – rich, dark tones with

bright brass, subtle stripes and

carnival-themed touches like drums

and juggling pins – are inspired by

the surrounding markets, galleries,

and theatre scene. There's a 24-hour

bar, communal work station, a

library and 76 bedrooms, from cosy

'Nest' rooms to more spacious 'Loft'

rooms. All come with sleep-inducing

soundproofing, blackout curtains,

posh linen, and extra long and wide

custom mattresses. Ruby Hotels

plans to open a second hotel in the

capital by 2022, so watch this space.

that's a FACT Every room comes

with its own Marshall guitar amp to

plug into. If you don't have your own

guitar, you can borrow one from

reception (thank goodness for the


they said it “The model

works because we accommodate

luxury in a relatively condensed

space, similar to luxury yachts, and

we forego unnecessary services.”

rates Rooms start

from around £110 per night.



On business in... Amsterdam

A city of waterways,

boutiques and

bicycles, Amsterdam

may seem quaint

but it’s also a


European Capital of

Innovation with an


mindset – and always

on trend, writes

Sasha Wood

spot the






Getting there

Eurostar services from

London Kings Cross St Pancras

to Amsterdam Centraal station

take around four hours.

Returning to London,

passengers are required to

change trains in Brussels,

though a direct service begins

on 15 December. EasyJet, BA,

KLM and Flybe all fly direct from

London and regional airports to

Amsterdam with a flight time of

around an hour.

Further information

For further visitor information

see holland.com

A hip and affordable business

bolthole seconds away from

the Amstel River, citizenM

Tucked inside the canal belt, the

area around Rembrandt

Square is a lively location

Amstel is a good choice.

A high-tech hotel with

high-end meeting rooms

and co-working areas, it’s also

dine at de


for drinking, socialising and

dancing after hours. The

Flying Dutchman cocktail

bar serves up interesting

within walking distance of

Amsterdam’s prime places of

interest for an inspiring break from

work. Other picks include the Moxy

Amsterdam Houthavens or, for

longer stays, SACO's canalside

Wittenberg aparthotel.

artisanal creations. To extend your

evening, head to Claire, a club in

Rembrandt Square with a diverse

crowd, a good sound system and

two rooms of thumping music

curated by local as well as

internationally-renowned DJs.


Overlooking the Amstel River,

Bam Boa restaurant has relaxed

Scandi summer house vibes and

delicious food. Dining at De Plantage

feels like eating in a greenhouse at

Kew. Although you might have to be

a little patient waiting to order, the

gourmet Italian and Spanish inspired

dishes are faultless.


Eurostar services deposit visitors

right in the heart of the city at

Amsterdam Centraal train station.

Travellers flying into Schiphol

International Airport can take the

airport train into the centre of the

city, with a journey time of 15-20

minutes. Taxis and Ubers are

readily available.

Board a Pure Boat tour outside Royal

Theatre Carre on the Amstel River for

a leisurely tour of Amsterdam’s cute

and utterly charming canal belt. Many

of the city’s museums are clustered

neatly together in Museum Square.

The Rijksmuseum houses a stellar

collection of Van Goghs and

Rembrandts, and boutique art venue

the Moco Museum showcases

subversive art from the likes of

Banksy, inside a rambling old Dutch

house. Elsewhere, Anne Frank’s House

is a must-see memorial to the WWII

heroine, but it’s very popular so be

sure to book tickets in advance.




Focus on... the USA

The number one business

travel destination with the

world's largest economy,

the USA's traditionally

close relationship with the

UK is ever more critical as

we depart the EU trade

bloc, fuelling more British

business travel to the

region than ever before,

says Sasha Wood

Natural trading partners, the USA

and the UK have historically been firm

economic friends. Today we have

$1.2trillion tied up in each other’s

economies, and the USA is the UK’s

largest export market for goods and

services, accounting for 18.9% of total

exports in the year ending March

2019, according to the Office for

National Statistics (ONS).

While the UK is dwarfed by the

USA's juggernaut economy – the

world's largest – it’s nevertheless the

USA’s fourth largest export market,

accounting for more trade than any

other European nation by a wide

margin. Goods traded trans-Atlantic

include electronics and food and

drink. UK products are in demand in

the USA and have a strong reputation

for quality. Emerging categories

include English sparkling wines,

cheese, and gin, and UK services are

also highly valued, with £65.2billion

worth of services exported to the

States between 2018 and 2019.

Crucially, Britain is the USA’s largest

international investor, representing

18% of foreign direct investment,

more than Japan and Canada, and

significantly more than the fastgrowing

economies of India and China.

In fact, UK businesses support more

than a million jobs across the Atlantic,

including almost a quarter in manufacturing,

a sector where the UK is the

single biggest investor at $232billion,

says the CBI. British companies create

jobs in every State too, with the lion's

share in Texas, followed by New York

and California. US firms support a

similar chunk of workers in the UK.

The close relationship between the

two nations is even more vital as the

UK leaves the EU trading bloc, though

there are signs that negotiating a fresh

free trade agreement with the USA

may take longer than first thought.


Time zones:

GMT -4hrs (Eastern);

GMT -5hrs (Central);

GMT -6hrs (Mountain);

GMT -7hrs (Pacific)

Currency: US Dollar:

£1 = $1.28. Exchange rates are


Visas: UK passport holders can

visit the USA for business for

up to 90 days through the US

Visa Waiver Program. Travellers

will need to apply for an ESTA

(Electronic System for Travel

Authorization) online. This is

usually valid for two years or

until the passport expires.

Dialling code: +1



Addressing the anticipated

shift, CBI's International

Director, Ben Digby, is

optimistic: "It is a source of

great pride and credit to the

UK and the USA that our two

nations have the largest

bilateral trade and investment

relationship in the world.

"Trade is not all about free

trade agreements – there is

so much we can do now to

improve it. The first

priority is protecting

what we’ve already

got by ensuring

continuity in trade when the UK leaves

the EU. Westminster and Washington

must then focus on things that can be

done now, such as mutual recognition

of professional qualifications, greater

regulatory collaboration and making

the case for free trade together on the

international stage... these are low

hanging fruits."

Among the region's key cities for

international business, everyone

wants a bite of the Big Apple. Globally

New York is the biggest business

travel destination according to data

from Big Four TMC Egencia. British

Airways’ On Business program for

SMEs shows the number of business

travellers flying between London

Gatwick and New York’s JFK airport

rose by 10% in 2018 on what is

traditionally a leisure route. What's

more, nearly $5.5billion worth of

goods were shipped to the UK from

New York.

While finance is obviously the

mainstay of New York's Wall Streetbased

businesses, and it's East Coast

counterpart Boston thrives on high

technology, down south it's black gold

that's king. Houston no longer

produces so much as co-ordinates

the industry, acting as a chief technical

centre employing hundreds of

thousands of highly-skilled engineers.

Its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico also

makes the area critical for trade.

The famously forward-thinking City

by the Bay, San Francisco has become

a major international tech hub and

also features in Egencia’s top 25

business destinations, along with

Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles.

There’s a clear mutual dependency

between the Americans and the British

that's only set to be cemented further

post-Brexit. So it’s little wonder the

USA remains the UK’s single biggest

business travel destination.




Factfile: the USA


AIR NEW ZEALAND: Flies Heathrow

to Los Angeles (ends Oct 2020).

and Boston (summer); and Glasgow

to New York (summer).

• Information provided by Cirium (cirium.com) and named airlines


Heathrow to Charlotte, Chicago,

Dallas Fort Worth, Philadelphia,

Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix,

Raleigh Durham, New York and,

from March 2020, Boston. Also flies

to Philadelphia from Manchester,

Glasgow and Edinburgh,


following US cities: Atlanta, Austin,

Baltimore, Boston, Charleston,

Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston,

Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New

Orleans, New York, Orlando,

Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh,

San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose,

Seattle, Tampa and Washington.


Heathrow to Atlanta, Boston,

Detroit, Minneapolis, New York,

Portland (summer) and Salt Lake

City; from Edinburgh to New York

NORWEGIAN: Flies Gatwick to

Boston, LA, Miami, New York,

Orlando, San Francisco and Tampa.


Manchester to Houston.

UNITED: Flies Heathrow to New

York, Chicago, Washington-Dulles,

Houston, Denver, Los Angeles and

San Francisco; from Manchester

and Edinburgh to New York; and

seasonally from Edinburgh to

Chicago and Washington, and

from Glasgow to New York.


Heathrow to Atlanta, Boston, LA,

Las Vegas, Miami, New York, San

Francisco and Seattle; from

Manchester to Atlanta, Boston, Las

Vegas, New York, Orlando and LA;

and to Orlando from Gatwick,

Glasgow and Belfast.


full of


MARRIOTT: The world’s largest

hotel operator, Marriott has its HQ

in Maryland. With 4,000 properties

in the USA, it has a presence in

every major city including

Atlanta, San Francisco,

Chicago, Boston and

Houston. In New York it

has more than two dozen

properties under brands

including The Lexington Hotel

and W New York – Times Square.

IHG: Pan American Airways opened

the first InterContinental Hotel

back in 1946, making it the world’s



272 hotels on

home turf

oldest international hotel brand. It

offers high-end accommodation in

virtually every key US city. The

Willard InterContinental in

Washington D.C. and

InterContinental Chicago

Magnificent Mile are

housed in historic

buildings while the

InterContinental Boston

has won several awards.

BEST WESTERN: The three-star

hotel chain offers great value

accommodation across the States

with more than 2,000 hotels in

convenient locations such as

airports and business districts,

including Best Western Plus

Houston Downtown and Hobby

Airport Inn in Houston and similar

properties in Dallas and Miami.

HILTON: The famous brand

founded in the USA has hotels in

every major US city and continues

to grow on its home turf with 272

properties and counting. The

recently-revamped San Francisco

Marriott Marquis hotel (pictured) is

a staple on the city's skyline.

BOSTON: America’s oldest city is

also one of its top tourist

destinations with more than 62

historic sites, and nearly 2,000

restaurants. Follow the 2.5-mile

Freedom Trail to tick off sites such

as the Revolutionary War

battleground. For panoramic views

head to the Skywalk Observatory.

NEW YORK: For first-time visitors,

ascending the Empire State

Building, visiting the Statue of

Liberty and browsing the Met’s

astounding art collection are

absolute musts. But the city is

awash with places such as Central

Park and Fifth Avenue, made

familiar by the movies.

LOS ANGELES: LA’s tourist

trail includes Hollywood

Boulevard’s Walk of Fame

and the Dolby theatre,

home to the Oscars.

Tours past the homes of

the rich and famous in

Beverly Hills are popular.

Head to Santa Monica to soak

up LA’s seaside scene, including

weird and wonderful Venice Beach.

off duty





MIAMI: Take in classic Miami

architecture on South Beach’s

Ocean Drive, enjoy a touch of

colourful Cuban culture and music

in Little Havana, or head to the

Everglades National Park, an hour's

drive away.


Millennium Park for

renowned public art such

as Cloud Gate (aka the

Bean), or the Chicago History

Museum to see the story of the

city, and sample a slice of famous

deep dish Chicago pizza.


Business across

the pond?

Enjoy amazing benefits from two

amazing airlines. Business sorted.

Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines are redefining transatlantic

travel, creating a seamless experience that makes business travel

a pleasure. And there are plenty of reasons to choose us when

flying across the Atlantic.

• Over 200 connections across North America

• Both Virgin Atlantic and Delta are award-winning airlines

• Super convenient co-locations at key US hubs like

JFK and Atlanta

• Sleep like a dream in your fully flat bed

in Upper Class and Delta One®

• WiFi way up high, on nearly all our

transatlantic routes

Find out more at virginatlantic.com


Reality check



This 106-room

studio was perfectly well set up for

aparthotel opened in 2018 and was the

longer stays, with a small sofa, table

first Wilde property from Staycity. It

and chairs, kitchenette with basin,

says its premium brand 'was inspired by

Nespresso coffee machine, SMEG kettle

Oscar Wilde'. It's in a prime location on

and toaster, microwave, hob, fridge,

the corner of the Strand and just a

mini dishwasher and 43-inch wall-

short walk from Charing Cross Station.

mounted TV. There was reasonable

The group has recently opened a

hanging space for clothes and a fairly

second Wilde aparthotel in Berlin with a

small but good quality shower room.

third opening imminently in Edinburgh.

Electric blinds and lighting were all


The small and simple

controlled by a touch panel by the bed,

lobby had a couple of self check-in

while a whatsapp number was available

units but a friendly member of staff

to contact staff with any queries. There

nevertheless completed the process for

was also a small basket full of crisps

me and showed me to my room.

and snacks that were available to buy.


My studio room was


There are no facilities

of the quirky artwork and touches

nice and light, with floor-to-ceiling

of note. The property has been kept

like copies of Oscar Wilde's books

windows and views of the busy Strand

simple and there's no bar, restaurant

stacked on the bedside table. The

below. Decor was understated with

just a splash of colour here and there.

The bed, with Hypnos mattress, was

comfortable if a little high off the

ground – although I understood why

or even communal space, although

discounted breakfast is available at

nearby Smith & Wollensky for £15 and

there's a room service menu too.

THE VERDICT I enjoyed my fleeting





location is also a boon for business

and leisure guests alike.

THE DETAILS Wilde Covent Garden,

11 Adam Street, London WC2N 6AA.

Rates start from £229 per night for

when I eventually found the iron and

stay at this aparthotel and would

studios. 'Stay Sweet' members receive

ironing board stashed away in the large

storage area beneath the bed. The

happily visit for longer. It was stylish

without trying too hard and I liked some

a 10% discount. staycity.com/wilde

Andy Hoskins



Perfectly pitched on

and nothing you don’t”. Immensely

the edge of Amsterdam’s canal belt, the

comfortable king-size beds are topped

new CitizenM is the brand’s third hotel

with crisp white Egyptian cotton sheets

in its home city, and is named after the

and fluffy soft pillows. The lighting,

river Amstel that flows close by.

television, blinds and climate are all

Inhabiting a smart 1920s building, it has

controlled by an easy-to-use iPad and I

88 stylish rooms, hip interiors and cool

spent a while playing with the novel

co-working spaces that help it stand out

room settings that allow guests to

from the crowd.

customise their environment according


The hotel has

to their mood.

embraced all the latest technology


A boutique business

including self-check-in kiosks that will

hotel, its arty communal areas are the

put an electronic room-key in your

perfect co-working space with an all-

hands within minutes. Nevertheless,

day café, bar and snack canteen in the

the desk is still manned by friendly

'Living Room' and plenty of cosy

CitizenM ‘ambassadors’ who were able

nooks. Designed by CitizenM’s


A brilliant and

to check me into a free room when I

Amsterdam-based partner Concrete,

affordable alternative to more

arrived early.

THE ROOM CitizenM doesn’t have

room categories – they are usually the

same except for the original artworks.

But for this hotel it developed two

different room designs to fit with the

the hotel features original artworks,

bookcases full of literature and stylish

ergonomic furniture by renowned

designers Vitra. There are also two

meeting rooms that can accommodate

up to 16 people, and include AV






traditional hotels, this is a relaxing

bolthole for a business trip with a

convenient location for exploring

Amsterdam’s charming canal belt.

THE DETAILS Sarphatistraat 47, 1018

EW, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Rates

configuration of the building. Compact

equipment and cables, designer

start at £90 per night. For more

minimalist rooms are functional but

design-led with “everything you need

furniture and blackboard and

whiteboard walls to write on.

information see citizenm.com

Sasha Wood





Set on the edge of

comfortable and the Egyptian cotton

central Amman between the bustling

sheets and airy duvet helped me get a

downtown and business districts, the

good night’s rest. The marble walk-in

Amman Marriott makes a convenient

rain shower and generous amenities

base for forays into its pleasantly

were ideal for the kind of regular

buzzing streets and souks of the city,

refreshing washes necessitated by the

while also having easy access to the

hot dusty heat in this part of the world.

Queen Alia International Airport via the

In Jordan, Marriott hotels offer Dead

city’s wide highways.

Sea mud products in its bathrooms,


I arrived in a large

which are a really nice perk.

group so we were invited to take a seat


Five-star facilities

in the grand reception area where the

include a lovely Arabian-style pool and

hotel manager joined us and handed us

terrace that’s an outdoor oasis of calm

room key cards individually. My suitcase

in the heart of the city, while the on-site

arrived at my room before I did, and

Oasis Health Club is an indoor haven

there was a sweet welcome gift of Dead

with a cool circular pool, saunas, steam

ten meetings and event rooms, the

Sea products waiting on my bed, as well

rooms and fluffy robes. Guests looking

largest of which has capacity for 400

as fresh fruit on the table.

for some peace and quiet or the finer

people for receptions.

THE ROOM A welcome message

on my huge flat-screen television read

‘Welcome Mr Wood’ which made me

chuckle. My room was bathed in light

things in life can head to the elegant

Library Lounge and Cigar Bar for

premium tobacco and artisan cocktails.

I dined at the Italian Il Terrazzo




THE VERDICT This trusty Marriott

offers a reliable and comfortable retreat

that’s well located for all the key spots

in this thriving, inviting city.

through wide windows overlooking the

restaurant that opens out onto the pool


Issam Al-Ajlouni Street

city, with heavy curtains and ambient

area with live cooking stations serving

11190, Amman, Jordan. Rates start at

lighting for the evening. The king-sized

pillow-topped bed was deeply

delicious Italian cuisine, including

yummy gelato for dessert. There are

£87 per night. marriott.co.uk

Sasha Wood



This Four Seasons hotel

would be ready and then met and

is set in a restored 18th century manor

shown to it around 15 minutes later.

house on 500 acres of ground in


A light, spacious

Hampshire. It's a 15-minute drive from

room with 'classic' decor overlooking

Basingstoke and 45 minutes from

the hotel's central courtyard. There was

Heathrow Airport. I'd downloaded the

an enormous double bed, table and

Four Seasons app before my visit and

chairs, large walk-in closet, minibar,

successfully added my reservation,

coffee machine and a marble bathroom

enabling me to input an estimated arrival

with separate bath and shower.

time and make a dinner reservation


Amenities include the

through the chat function – this was

spa, pools, tennis courts and activities

automatically added to my 'trip itinerary'.

such as croquet, a ropes course, horse-

Other bookings such as spa treatments

riding, fishing and clay pigeon shooting

and activities can also be arranged via

– a wide range is available for corporate

the app and added to an itinerary.

events. There's a number of event


I drove to the hotel

spaces including a ballroom, Fox Hollow

and staff on the door dressed in

and, although valet parking was available,

private dining room, a boardroom and

country attire setting the tone from

chose to park in the main car park a

short walk from the main entrance. A

log fire greeted new arrivals in the busy

reception area. Friendly staff swiftly

completed the check-in paperwork but

as the room wasn't ready I was shown

even a canal boat, plus outdoor spaces

such as the Walled Garden. Dinner at

the hotel restaurant, Wild Carrot, was

excellent. It was remarkably busy but

staff were abundant – and forthcoming

with recommendations from the menu.






the start. A great country escape for

impressive meetings and events, and

the app is a useful addition too.

THE DETAILS Dogmersfield Park,

Chalky Lane, Dogmersfield, Hampshire

RG27 8TD. Rates start from £315 per

to The Library and invited to have a


It doesn't get much

night in a Mews Room including

drink. I was messaged via the app to let

me know approximately when the room

more quintessentially English than this,

with the long drive through the grounds

breakfast. fourseasons.com/hampshire

Andy Hoskins




The final word

A royal apppointment...

Is your dreary office getting

you down through these

long winter months? Then

why not opt for a change of

scenery and apply to work at

Buckingham Palace with the

Queen herself?

In what might be considered

the pinnacle of travel management,

the Royal Family is looking

for a Director of Royal Travel to

help keep costs down on royal

visits. Perhaps in response to

the criticism of Harry and

Meghan’s recent favouring of

private jets, the successful

candidate will “operate and

purchase safe, efficient, cost

effective and appropriate travel

services for the official duties of

Members of the Royal Family

and their Households”.

And they will have “overall

responsibility for organising

air travel and overseeing the

operations of The Queen’s

Helicopter Flight and usage of

scheduled train services and

the Royal Train”, says the job

description, which states the

hours of work as 37.5 per week.

It might be a little more

complicated than booking the

cheapest Ryanair flights from

London Stansted, but for any

travel managers up to the

challenge, there’s a starting

salary of up to £85,000 up

for grabs. But be quick…

applications for the role close

December 20 2019.

Keep it small

Size isn’t everything! Global

affairs magazine Monocle has

ranked the world’s best ‘small’

cities with populations of up

to 200,000 people.

1 Lausanne, Switzerland

2 Boulder, USA

3 Bergen, Norway

4 Hobart, Australia

5 Chigasaki, Japan

6 Bolzano, Italy

7 Bordeaux, France

8 Innsbruck, Austria

9 Porto, Portugal

10 Aachen, Germany

Striking a chord

Have you ever

wanted to spend

the night in a giant

guitar? Us neither.

But there's no need to fret

because the good (?!) news is

that now you can! The new

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in

Greater Fort Lauderdale,

Florida, is the world’s first

hotel shaped like a guitar

and seems to be hitting all

the right notes with guests.

The newly expanded hotel

has 638 guest rooms – no

strings attached – a 4.5-acre

lagoon-style pool, a flagship

casino and some 100 shows

a year lined up. At 450 feet

tall, the Florida skyline will

never be the same again.

Absence does makes the hear grow fonder,

according to a survey from Travelodge which

found Britons who work away on business

have happier relationships than those who

don’t. In fact, as many as 40% of

those who regularly work away

from home describe their

relationship as “extremely

happy”, compared to just

28% of those who never go

away on business. So

next time your partner

moans about you

having to travel for

work, let them know

it’s for their own good.


Los Angeles

Rio de Janeiro

Mexico City


Oakwood ® Knows Dublin






Peter A.

Prefers to

be close to

the office


cooking, loves



jogging by

the river


a dining

area fit for


No matter the journey, Oakwood ® is always the perfect

destination. Our global footprint, regional presence and local

market knowledge gives us the flexibility to customise our serviced

apartment solutions to best suit your business requirements, wherever

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

Oakwood ® .


room for

relatives with

weekends to


Call or visit us online to see how we can help you today.

Oakwood.com +44 (0) 20 7749 4460


© Copyright 2018 Oakwood. All Rights Reserved

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