THE REVIEW T H E L O W D O W N “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 BusinessTravel 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connectivity across the North, and to implement the rail operation and ticketing reform recommendations of the as yet unpublished Williams Review.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. few TRAVEL 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 thebusinesstravel peopleawards.com 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.
THE REVIEW T H E L O W D O W N IN BRIEF 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 provider. Areka sets the bar Areka Consulting has added two benchmarking tools. TheTravel 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 travellers. 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 automation. 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. ITM 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! THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM 45