Business Travel Sept-Oct 2021

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86 <strong>Sept</strong>ember/<strong>Oct</strong>ober <strong>2021</strong><br />

ALL<br />


It’s time to reconnect,<br />

reset, restart<br />

+<br />

The <strong>2021</strong> Tech Hotlist<br />

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

UK accommodation<br />

Instilling travel confidence<br />


UP FRONT<br />

Contents<br />


<strong>2021</strong><br />

8 42<br />

Features<br />

10 SMEs: They're first off the blocks<br />

with the long-awaited restart,<br />

but will it be a clear run?<br />

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

40<br />

16<br />

Awards: With the big night just<br />

days away, here's what's in<br />

store, plus the <strong>2021</strong> shortlist<br />

22<br />

Th e<strong>2021</strong><br />

Tech Hotlist<br />

From sexy start-ups to established<br />

players, see which tech innovations<br />

and innovators made it into our<br />

hotlist this year<br />

24<br />

20<br />

26 Airport Update: As air travel<br />

ramps up, we investigate how<br />

airports are speeding up arrivals<br />

and departures<br />

28 <strong>2021</strong> Tech Hotlist: Our pick of<br />

the top tech specialists who are<br />

shaking up the industry<br />

34 Accommodation: Join us on a<br />

tour of the most exciting new<br />

openings and renovations on<br />

the UK's accommodation scene<br />

26<br />

(p28-32)<br />

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

Conference: Expert panels, top<br />

tips and an immersive moviethemed<br />

experience - see what's<br />

on the agenda this year<br />

21<br />

Up front<br />

6 Everyone's Talking About:<br />

The transatlantic restart<br />

7 Speaking Out: The GBTA’s new<br />

25<br />

Executive Director, Suzanne<br />

Neufang, champions the power<br />

of connection<br />

8 The Knowledge: How to instill<br />

confidence in your travellers<br />

News Review<br />

38<br />

19 News and trends, plus comment<br />

from the BTA and the ITM<br />

23<br />

43<br />

Departures<br />

42 Reality check: We test drive an<br />

electric rental vehicle and<br />

escape to a rural retreat just<br />

minutes from Belfast<br />

7<br />

43 Final word: The lighter<br />

side of travel<br />



Welcome<br />

Back together again<br />

After months of being restricted and<br />

relying on virtual communication,<br />

our lives are finally getting back to<br />

normal again - and doesn't it feel<br />

great. We're seeing each other faceto-face,<br />

popping back into the office,<br />

and meeting industry friends and colleagues for coffees and lunches.<br />

We've been on trains, even planes, and posted selfies about it on LinkedIn<br />

- in our masks, of course. Our lives aren't completely back to the way they<br />

were – and they might well never be – but the vaccine roll-out has allowed<br />

us to venture out again into the world with more confidence.<br />

On <strong>Sept</strong>ember 14-15 many of us will meet in London for two of our<br />

sector's most important annual events: The <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference<br />

and The <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People Awards. For the conference (see page 40)<br />

we've got a fantastic line-up of speakers and some great sessions planned<br />

under the theme Reconnect, Reset, Restart. There's lots to talk about and<br />

still so much to learn. For the People Awards (see page 16) there's a new<br />

relaxed, evening format, new categories, and it's the 10th anniversary too.<br />

For both, there'll be plenty of time for networking and socialising, which<br />

is always a big part of these events and now more than ever.<br />

Being apart for so long has made us all realise how important it is to be<br />

together, to make those spontaneous connections, to put a face to a<br />

name, to forge closer relationships, share experiences, a joke - all those<br />

things that don't happen naturally on a screen and, after all, the reason<br />

why we're in the industry we're in.<br />

For me personally, these events will be a chance to finally meet many of<br />

the people I've only known virtually in the year since I joined The <strong>Business</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Magazine and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it.<br />


EDITOR<br />

Bev Fearis<br />


Catherine Chetwynd,<br />

Gillian Upton & Gary Noakes<br />


April Waterston<br />


Julie Baxter<br />


Steve Hartridge<br />



Kirsty Hicks<br />



Caitlan Francis & Emma Norton<br />


Clare Hunter<br />


Steve Hunter<br />


Subscribe for free at<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com/subscribe<br />



Matt Bonner<br />

CEO<br />

Martin Steady<br />

Bev Fearis, Editor<br />



GUILDFORD, GU1 3DA, UK. TEL: 020 8649 7233<br />






©BMI PUBLISHING LTD <strong>2021</strong><br />





UP FRONT<br />


Everyone's talking about...<br />

restarting transatlantic travel<br />









Jason Oshiokpekhai, Managing Director,<br />

Global <strong>Travel</strong> Collection UK<br />

“Transatlantic routes are crucial as<br />

British businesses strive to re-energise<br />

our economy and even more so for some<br />

of our agile and growing SMEs clients that<br />

see the US as a vital market to break into"<br />

Bex Deadman, Managing Director Blue Cube <strong>Travel</strong><br />







Martin Ferguson, Vice President Public Affairs, Amex GBT<br />

The safe re-opening of the<br />

transatlantic corridor is<br />

critical so that we can begin<br />

to see a meaningful restart<br />

and recovery of business<br />

travel, and support the<br />

thousands of businesses<br />

and jobs across the UK<br />

and globally”<br />

Sonia Michaels, Head of <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Services and Events, Advantage <strong>Travel</strong> Partnership<br />




Niklas Andreen, CWT President and Chief Operating Officer<br />

“Before the pandemic devastated the sector, the US<br />

was the biggest source market for the UK in terms of<br />

visitor numbers and the UK was the third biggest<br />

source market for the US. This shows just how vital a<br />

corridor would be in boosting both economies”<br />

Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President and Acting CEO<br />


UP FRONT<br />


When you take a new role in the<br />

midst of a pandemic you’re not<br />

quite sure what to expect, but<br />

in the six months since I joined GBTA I<br />

continue to know one thing for sure:<br />

there’s an important task ahead in<br />

navigating the challenges and fostering<br />

recovery in the business travel industry<br />

and the travel ecosystem.<br />

In normal years, my role would involve<br />

lots of business travel, conferences, and<br />

events, but like so many of you I’ve found<br />

myself working almost solely remotely, with<br />

only my laptop and virtual meeting tools as<br />

a way of connecting with our members,<br />

teams, and industry colleagues.<br />

A big step forward came in early August<br />

when I was delighted to attend my first<br />

in-person conference since the outset of the<br />

pandemic. Walking into a convention centre<br />

with 1,000-plus other attendees felt familiar<br />



WORLD<br />

Life is starting to feel more familiar, says the GBTA’s<br />

Suzanne Neufang, but will it ever be the same?<br />

— but also different. It was energising to<br />

feel the buzz, to see so many people<br />

networking, learning and collaborating,<br />

while event organisers prioritised health<br />

and safety for all.<br />

But the reality is there are still some<br />

detours on the road back to business travel.<br />

Government restrictions and lockdowns<br />

have made it difficult for businesses to plan<br />

a return to travel, especially across borders.<br />

This summer I was able to visit my<br />

husband, who is spending time in Germany,<br />

but I couldn’t travel to the UK for the<br />

industry Day of Action – a reminder that we<br />

still need to keep up our advocacy efforts<br />

for a consistent approach across nations.<br />

There have been upsides too. The pause<br />

in business travel gave the GBTA the<br />

opportunity to reset and implement<br />

changes. I’ve made it my top priority to<br />

listen and speak to members, buyers,<br />

suppliers, partners, staff, and volunteers<br />

across each of the regions. This will enable<br />

us to transform as an association fit for<br />

purpose, to ensure a solid foundation to<br />

see us through the pandemic and support<br />

members through education, networking,<br />

and of course advocacy efforts, to aid the<br />

recovery of the industry.<br />

We’ve also increased global representation<br />

with the recent GBTA Board of Directors<br />

elections, welcoming a UK-based Vice-<br />

President as well as regional board<br />

members to represent Canada and Europe.<br />

Even though there are challenges, our<br />

industry has and will always be resilient.<br />

We know that GBTA members are also<br />

keen to get out on the road again.<br />

In our most recent Covid-19 poll, most<br />

respondents reported they’ve been<br />

vaccinated with their vaccine passport at the<br />

ready. We are optimistic for a future where<br />

in-person events will be the norm again,<br />

even if a little different. The power of<br />

meeting, collaborating and connecting in<br />

person cannot be underestimated nor<br />

replaced.<br />

GBTA is committed to hosting several<br />

in-person events during the final quarter of<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, with events in Paris, Orlando, Canada<br />

and Berlin. I very much look forward seeing<br />

many of you there.<br />


Suzanne Neufang was appointed<br />

Chief Executive of the GBTA in<br />

February <strong>2021</strong>. She was<br />

previously Senior VP Americas<br />

for HRS Global Hotel Solutions<br />

and before that held roles at<br />

Sabre <strong>Travel</strong> Network,<br />

GetThere and <strong>Travel</strong>ocity.<br />




UP FRONT<br />


How to...<br />

instil traveller confidence<br />

With its essential workers continuing to<br />

travel overseas throughout the<br />

pandemic, Oil Spill Response was quick to<br />

put procedures in place to protect its<br />

teams and instil confidence.<br />


Oil Spill Response Limited is an<br />

international industry-funded<br />

cooperative which responds to<br />

oil spills around the world. It<br />

has 12 global locations<br />

employing around 270 people<br />

– with 150 travelling regularly throughout<br />

the pandemic. Since June, its emergency<br />

response teams have been assisting with a<br />

major environmental disaster in Sri Lanka<br />

after a container ship caught fire off<br />

Colombo’s port. Alongside its emergency<br />

response teams, other employees travel<br />

regularly to undertake essential equipment<br />

maintenance. Although the company<br />

already had effective procedures in place to<br />

protect traveller safety, the outbreak of<br />

Covid-19 meant it had to add a whole new<br />

layer of support and reassurance.<br />


With the company’s work deemed<br />

essential, some employees<br />

have continued to travel,<br />

even at the peak of<br />

the pandemic.<br />

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

There hasn’t been a lot<br />

of nervousness among<br />

our travellers, or their loved<br />

ones, because we’ve been so<br />

thorough in our procedures"<br />

have had to navigate complex and fastchanging<br />

border requirements, which are<br />

different for vaccinated and non-vaccinated<br />

travellers, and also deal<br />

with air and hotel capacity<br />

constraints. “We’re<br />

nowhere near the<br />

previous levels of travel<br />

but as a travel manager it<br />

feels like more because<br />

it’s now so complicated,”<br />

said the company's Alice<br />

Linley-Munro. “We’ve been rushed off our<br />

feet and I only breathe out when travellers<br />

return home.” The company prides itself on<br />

supporting the mental wellbeing of its<br />

people and recognised that concerns over<br />

Covid-19 made this even more vital.<br />


Within weeks of the coronavirus emerging,<br />

the company began putting together a<br />

document, called the 'Human Factor',<br />

designed to allay as many fears<br />

as possible for its travellers. It<br />

covers off everything,”<br />

explains Linley-Munro.<br />

“It’s a 12-page document<br />

which runs through all the<br />

different scenarios, such as<br />

‘what if I have to<br />

quarantine?’, ‘what if I catch<br />

Covid while I’m away?’ or<br />

‘what if one of my family<br />

members catches it?’. It’s a<br />

comprehensive checklist, down to tiniest of<br />

details. We wanted to cover off anything our<br />

people could potentially worry about.”<br />

Crucially, the company also distributed a<br />

leaflet for the families of travelling<br />

employees. “We made sure the leaflet was<br />

written in layman’s terms, with no jargon,<br />

explaining how we were going to keep our<br />

people safe at every step of the journey,”<br />

says Linley-Munro. <strong>Travel</strong>ling employees<br />

have also posted blogs about their journeys<br />

on the group’s intranet, sharing their<br />

personal experiences and tips, often in a<br />

light-hearted way. These posts have led to<br />

online conversations, creating a sense of<br />

community and alleviating concerns. “We<br />

have our documents and checklists but this<br />

is people living the documents, which really<br />

helps. It’s nice to see it taking shape.”<br />


“There hasn’t been a lot of<br />

nervousness among our<br />

travellers, or their loved<br />

ones, because we’ve been<br />

so thorough in our<br />

procedures, constantly<br />

checking everything and<br />

adjusting measures along the way,” says<br />

Linley-Munro. For example, employees who<br />

have had to isolate – either at home or in<br />

hotels - are now sent hampers with their<br />

favourite snacks and magazines, along with<br />

all the necessary IT equipment. “We’ve<br />

arranged the delivery of toasters, an<br />

afternoon tea, car magazines.” HR teams<br />

send fortnightly wellbeing questionnaires<br />

asking employees to score 1/10 on how<br />

they’re feeling. “It helps us to spot patterns,”<br />

says Linley-Munro. “We’ve learnt things<br />

from the first wave of travellers and we’ve<br />

updated the procedures in place.”<br />


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SMEs<br />

First<br />

off the blocks<br />

SMEs are way out in front when it comes to getting<br />

back to business travel, but there are still many<br />

hurdles to overcome, says Gill Upton<br />

It’s no surprise that the more nimble<br />

SMEs, with their flat hierarchies and<br />

quick decision-making skills, are<br />

leading the charge back to business travel.<br />

Return-to-travel policies have been created,<br />

pre-trip approvals tightened up and thirdparty<br />

providers engaged to share the latest<br />

on quarantine rules, certificates, vaccination<br />

centres, new testing requirements, safety<br />

protocols and the like.<br />

James Mcilvenna, Corporate <strong>Travel</strong>ler Head<br />

of Account Management, neatly sums up the<br />

sentiment: “SMEs are done with the<br />

pandemic. They're all hyper-focussed on<br />

growth and getting back to normality.”<br />

The situation is particularly acute for those<br />

companies who acquired other firms during<br />

lockdown and haven’t been able to meet any<br />

of their new employees or colleagues.<br />

In contrast, the larger PLCs are slowed by<br />

their structure, believes Douglas O’Neill,<br />

Managing Director of Inntel. “Our larger<br />

corporates (generally plc level) have very<br />

strict internal governance that is restricting<br />

travel and meeting enquiries being placed.<br />

Overcoming this internal governance or the<br />

changing of it does not happen very quickly.”<br />

Maggie Monteith, Client Services Director –<br />

Corporate at VENTUR, believes the large<br />

PLCs have another reason to be slower off<br />

the mark. “Some larger, blue-chip companies<br />

may hold out a little longer as they’ll have the<br />

financial luxury to do so,” she says.<br />

Wyndham Hotels, however, has witnessed<br />

a mix of demand for hotel stays from both<br />

SMEs and large corporates, “which is a good<br />

sign of economic recovery momentum,” says<br />

Julie White, VP Commercial, EMEA.<br />

Leading the way by sector are the IT,<br />

creative industries, media, entertainment,<br />

sport, training, HR and consultancy<br />

companies, while critical oil, gas and energy<br />

workers had no need to dust off their<br />

suitcases as they continued to operate<br />

throughout the pandemic.<br />

The early push was domestic travel and the<br />

end of quarantine for fully-vaccinated<br />

journeys between amber-list countries<br />

announced in early July gave a fillip to<br />

international travel. The EU vaccine passport<br />

kickstarted frantic intra-European travel and<br />

the UK has now reached agreements so<br />

foreign vaccination records can be<br />

recognised. At the time of going to press,<br />

talks continued on a US-UK 'travel corridor'.<br />

A corporate travel ban is still in place at<br />

Inchcape Shipping services, a global maritime<br />

services company with offices in 68<br />

countries. Simon Potter, Group Procurement<br />

& QHSSE Officer, says the ban won’t be lifted<br />

until the passport vaccination scheme takes<br />

off. “Clear guidance from government would<br />

make my life easier and an international<br />

vaccination scheme recognised by all the<br />

major nations,” he says.<br />

It is the vagaries of different countries’<br />

restrictions he finds the most challenging.<br />

His costs have also increased, not only for<br />

PCR testing but from higher hotel rates<br />

and the need for more hotel stays.<br />

<br />

<br />


SMEs<br />

istock.com/ Nastasic<br />



SMEs<br />

All companies are keen to fill their<br />

business pipeline, while British companies<br />

must find new markets for their goods in a<br />

post-Brexit world. They have overcome huge<br />

challenges to get back on the road,<br />

exemplified by SME corporate Samantha<br />

Matthews, Admin Manager/Engineer<br />

Supervisor at LBBC Technologies.<br />

“To start with it was understanding the<br />

travel rules, reference isolation periods, what<br />

and how many PCR tests are required, what<br />

supporting paperwork is required to get our<br />

engineers safely through the borders and<br />

what PPE equipment is required," she says.<br />

“We also have to make sure our customers<br />

have their Covid measures in place in<br />

preparation for a visit and sometimes we<br />

have to educate them if they’re unsure.<br />

Essential workers letters are required from<br />

every customer for overseas work, so there<br />

is a lot of prep work involved. “<br />

To add to the strain, government websites<br />

are sometimes not very clear and offer<br />

conflicting information, she says, causing a<br />

lot of confusion for both LBBC and its TMC,<br />

Good <strong>Travel</strong> Management.<br />

Helping hand<br />

Corporates are relying heavily on their TMCs<br />

to ensure clients are prepared and their<br />

travellers kept safe. Sourcing and<br />

understanding the current guidelines is a<br />

minefield because of the uncertainty. “As<br />

long as there is confusion and disparity<br />

between governments globally we’ll be<br />

needed,” says Corporate <strong>Travel</strong>ler's Mcilvenna.<br />

Much of the groundwork was undertaken<br />

during lockdown. TMCs helped travel<br />

managers update travel policies, with<br />

stronger pre-trip approvals, shared links to<br />

official sites and communicated a clear<br />

process flow from approval to journey end.<br />

“Robust travel policies are a must,” adds<br />

SMEs are done<br />

with the pandemic.<br />

They're all hyper-focussed on<br />

growth and getting back to<br />

normality”<br />

Emma Louise Forrestall, Head of Service<br />

Delivery at VENTUR. “We are considering<br />

things such as accommodation requirements<br />

in a Covid world, the process for booking<br />

travel to amber or red-listed countries, and<br />

ensuring bookers leave flexibility in their<br />

plans should things needs to change.<br />

“We can provide quotes and route<br />

suggestions, which then change in less than<br />

24 hours, so we need to be on top of the<br />

current recommendations around entry<br />

requirements and tests, always.”<br />

Starting bookings much earlier than usual<br />

is key, largely to satisfy the ever-changing<br />

testing requirements. TMCs are generally<br />

outsourcing this service to third party<br />

providers but corporates are footing the bill.<br />

LBBC Technologies’s Matthews says: “We<br />

are taking the hit. There are lots of extra<br />

costs, in the hundreds for each engineer for<br />

each visit. There is much more prep work for<br />

engineers planning a trip, to make sure they<br />

have the tests done within the required<br />

travel windows." LBBC has a big US customer<br />

base and has had to apply for visa entry for<br />

each trip, not only a long process but not<br />

always successful.<br />

“This has had a big impact on our<br />

scheduling and planning work. We have a<br />

massive backlog due to all the postponed<br />

visits. The list goes on….” says Matthews.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> managers, bookers and PAs are also<br />

having to balance a return to travel with ESG<br />

(environmental, social and governance)<br />

agendas to reduce unnecessary travel.<br />

Bill Gates’ gloomy prediction that 50% of<br />

business travel will disappear permanently<br />

hangs over the industry and many<br />

corporates are grabbing this once-in-alifetime<br />

moment to use their zero emissions<br />

status as a new sustainability baseline.<br />

Sense of purpose<br />

All corporates are deciding what travel is<br />

really critical. Blue Cube <strong>Travel</strong>, for example,<br />

ran a series of client webinars earlier this<br />

year to re-set expectations and challenge the<br />

purpose of travel.<br />

Corporates are also asking TMCs to cajole<br />

reluctant travellers. “We’ve been helping to<br />

restore traveller confidence as they’re<br />

reticent over their safety,” says Blue Cube’s<br />

Managing Director Bex Deadman.<br />

“What Covid has done is allowed travellers<br />

to spend time with their families and they’ve<br />

bought into working from home so they<br />

don’t want to travel as much,” she says.<br />

Blue Cube has also been helping clients<br />

to change the office environment, adding <br />


A pioneer of<br />

modern nursing<br />

Florence Nightingale introduced effective sanitisation in military hospitals during<br />

the Crimea War in 1854 and laid the foundations of modern nursing. Surprisingly,<br />

the ‘Lady of the Lamp’ was a sharp statistician too. Her ability to visualise data<br />

revealed in one study that 89% of 18,000 military deaths were from preventable<br />

diseases not battle. This helped revolutionise military medical care but also<br />

shaped civilian hospital nursing the world over.<br />


OF THE<br />

CAUSES<br />

OF<br />




AUGUST<br />


JULY<br />


CRIMEA<br />

1854-55<br />



WOUNDS<br />

MARCH<br />


<strong>Business</strong>es get judged<br />

by how they look after<br />

their employees<br />

How many corporate websites declare ‘our people are our most valuable asset’?<br />

So, when did we lose sight of treating business travellers with appropriate due care and<br />

attention? Whether you are a global corporation or a fledgling SME business, is the<br />

mental and physical wellbeing of your travellers truly a priority?<br />

Global opportunities have driven expansion at an unprecedented rate, and expectations<br />

for travellers being available 24/7 wherever they are in the world have increased<br />

dramatically. But the cost to human capital has also escalated. And the downsides of<br />

reduced productivity, demotivated employees, and mental burnout often undermine<br />

business goals, risking project disruption and potentially dissatisfied customers.<br />

Blue Cube is pioneering a shift in corporate expectations, moving away from a narrow<br />

cost-driven focus to treating travel as an investment. And the best way to invest in future<br />

success is to look after your people, especially when they travel on business.<br />

We’re here to help you integrate traveller wellbeing into your travel programme as a<br />

crucial part of a wider approach to making travel safer, productive, and more sustainable.<br />

TO FIND OUT MORE TALK TO US ON 0208 948 8188 - OR EMAIL sales@bluecubetravel.co.uk<br />


SMEs<br />

Starting bookings<br />

much earlier is<br />

key, largely to satisfy the<br />

ever-changing testing<br />

requirements”<br />

Deliveroo services, pop-up cafes and the<br />

like. “Some clients want to make their office a<br />

destination,” she says.<br />

Inchcape is moving offices in London,<br />

triggering such a re-think, explains Potter.<br />

“There was quite a lot of uproar when we<br />

first sent staff home and I think we will<br />

probably experience a reluctance to come<br />

back but it’s the commuting before the<br />

travelling that is the challenge,” he says.<br />

He hopes new offices with a more openplan<br />

workspace, no fixed offices, more Zoom<br />

booths and a social area will entice them.<br />

Blue Cube <strong>Travel</strong> books the flights to<br />

manage the crew rotations and Potter and<br />

his 30-strong team manage the journey<br />

between the airport and vessel.<br />

“It certainly hasn’t got easier,” he says.<br />

But the logistical nightmare that is now<br />

corporate travel has an unlikely silver lining.<br />

Kevin Harrison, Managing Director of Good<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Management, points to a closer<br />

engagement between TMCs and clients.<br />

“Our Account Managers and Relationship<br />

Managers have been able to step up further<br />

in their consultancy offering and this is now<br />

starting to translate into an improving trading<br />

environment," he says.<br />

The right balance<br />

While the value proposition of a TMC has<br />

been perfectly demonstrated over the last 15<br />

months, questions remain whether they can<br />

handle the surge in demand as travel<br />

resumes. TMCs have empty coffers and many<br />

staff are still on furlough, so tough decisions<br />

have to be made on when and how many<br />

staff to bring back to meet demand.<br />

“The hardest time for TMCs is coming,”<br />

reckons Clive Wratten, CEO of the BTA.<br />

“There is a lot of work going on to get the<br />

balance right; it will be tricky,” he says. He<br />

cites urgent training issues of TMC staff who<br />

have been out of the business for 15 months<br />

and others who have lost confidence. “It’s<br />

going to be a long climb out,” he says.<br />

But Douglas O’Neill, Managing Director of<br />

Inntel, believes TMCs should be primed and<br />

ready to take on business. "We have all had<br />

enough time to think about it and to train our<br />

teams to be ready for it! - so there can be no<br />

excuses. Furlough etc is no excuse.”<br />

ATPI has brought all ops staff back, despite<br />

istock.com/kate_sept2004<br />

not having sufficient demand, and will bring a<br />

further 25-30 staff back in <strong>Sept</strong>ember.<br />

“We’ve had to invest in bringing more staff<br />

back as we can’t manage on the same<br />

staffing levels so it’s an investment decision<br />

for the longer term,” says Adam Knights, ATPI<br />

Regional MD Europe & Middle East.<br />

“We’ve budgeted for travel not to come<br />

back to 2019 levels but bookings are taking<br />

six to 10 times as long. It’s very, very difficult<br />

to make a booking. We say, ‘Bear with us’.”<br />

ITM’s CEO Scott Davies agrees: “TMCs have<br />

performed miracles to survive on meagre<br />

volumes and will need support and<br />

understanding to regain their strength and<br />

service levels.”<br />

What is taking the time is the more labourintensive,<br />

white glove, offline service. “People<br />

are avoiding booking online,” says Wratten.<br />

“Bookings are so complex that service will<br />

certainly be high-touch to start with.”<br />

“The average booking took 2.5 minutes<br />

before and now it takes an hour,” says Blue<br />

Cube’s Deadman. That is labour-intensive<br />

and the company is busy recruiting, having<br />

made 50% of its staff redundant.<br />

“I’d rather the headache of a smaller TMC<br />

who can scale up,” says Barry Fleming, Head<br />

of Marketing at Blue Cube. “There is a pool of<br />

incredible talent out there without jobs.”<br />

Some TMCs are starting to charge for calls;<br />

others are looking at costs as a short-term<br />

pain. “To recover quickly, the temptation<br />

would be to hike fees and I can see that<br />

appeal but our model is not a high-volume,<br />

sausage factory,” says Fleming. The company<br />

offers a pay-as-you-go/transaction model and<br />

a subscription model.<br />

Good <strong>Travel</strong> Management's Harrison says<br />

business models need to change. “We are<br />

seeing that travel managers and PAs are far<br />

more reliant on their TMC and are looking for<br />

guidance in aspects far deeper than it had<br />

been pre-Covid. That creates an opportunity<br />

to look at consulting and financial models<br />

that truly reflect what customers need and<br />

places a value on the expertise we provide.”<br />


Map your return<br />

to travel.<br />

Corporate travel has changed. It's now time to get back on course and continue<br />

the journey, while taking the opportunity to review and renew your wider goals<br />

and targets – specifically in relation to sustainability, content and service.<br />

Wherever your destination and whatever the future holds,<br />

Direct ATPI has the expertise to get you there.<br />

Delivering what really matters<br />


AWARDS<br />


Just days away, The <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People Awards will celebrate their 10th<br />

anniversary this year with a new-look ceremony, new categories and a new<br />

judging panel. Join the industry's finest talent for a night to remember...<br />

SINCE their inception a decade<br />

ago, the <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People<br />

Awards have become one of the<br />

major highlights of the business<br />

travel social calendar.<br />

After a year of being<br />

virtual, they're making a<br />

comeback this year<br />

with a new evening<br />

format, new judges,<br />

brand new categories<br />

and, of course, a new<br />

shortlist of potential winners all<br />

hoping to take one of the<br />

prestigious trophies back to<br />

their desks.<br />

This year the<br />

ceremony has been<br />

timed to coincide with<br />

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

Conference (see page<br />

40), and will take place at<br />

the same venue, the Hilton<br />

London Bankside, on the evening<br />

of Wednesday <strong>Sept</strong>ember 15.<br />

After all these<br />

months apart,<br />

the business travel<br />

community cannot wait to<br />

meet face-to-face again<br />

to network and celebrate<br />

with the winners”<br />

If you haven't already got<br />

your tickets, there are still<br />

some available, but be<br />

quick: after all these<br />

months apart, the<br />

business travel<br />

community<br />

cannot wait<br />

to meet<br />

face-to-face<br />

again to<br />

network and<br />

celebrate with the<br />

winners.<br />

As always, the fizz will be<br />

flowing but guests can<br />

also be reassured that<br />

the evening has been<br />

planned with Covid<br />

safety and comfort<br />

firmly in mind.<br />

Tickets will be sent<br />

electronically prior to the event<br />

to simplify arrivals and registration<br />

staff will be increased to further<br />

speed up the process.<br />

Bowl food will be served on trays<br />

so guests can select their choice<br />

and have minimal contact with<br />

waiting staff.<br />

Hilton's stringent EventReady<br />

and CleanStay programmes will be<br />

in place and all hotel staff will be<br />

wearing masks and taking regular<br />

lateral flow tests in the lead-up to<br />

and during the event.<br />

Tickets cost £95 plus VAT and<br />

include welcome drinks, bowl<br />

food, and entry to the after party<br />

in the Hilton London Bankside's<br />

fabulous ballroom. We look<br />

forward to seeing you there.<br />

As always, the fizz<br />

will be flowing<br />

but guests can be also<br />

reassured that the evening<br />

has been planned with<br />

Covid safety and comfort<br />

firmly in mind”<br />


AWARDS<br />



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

Reed & Mackay <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Agiito<br />

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

SilverDoor<br />


Amy Ashby, Inntel<br />

Emma Horton, Synergy Global Housing<br />

Ann Thomas, Agiito<br />

Trish Williams, Clarity<br />


Production Team, TAG<br />

Operations Team, ATPI<br />

Operations Team, Reed & Mackay <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Continuity Team, Diversity <strong>Travel</strong><br />


Charlotte Winter, Synergy Global Housing<br />

Danielle Myers, TAG<br />

Hazel Maw, Click <strong>Travel</strong><br />


TAG<br />

Agiito<br />

Reed & Mackay <strong>Travel</strong><br />


Jadene Cook, Agiito<br />

Dani Ives, Focus <strong>Travel</strong> Partnership<br />


TrustedStays, UnderTheDoormat<br />

The Working Party, Reed & Mackay <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Sarah Wilson, ACE <strong>Travel</strong> Management<br />

Lynne Griffiths, Sirius Talent Solutions<br />


Colleagues Unite, Clyde <strong>Travel</strong> Management<br />

Covid Shield, Agiito<br />

Juliette Hassell, Fastrack VIP<br />


Repatriation Service, Focus <strong>Travel</strong> Partnership<br />

ATPI<br />

Accor<br />

Supplier Management Team, Agiito<br />


Amber Madden, Agiito<br />

Kris Kolev, SITU<br />


Jennifer Cummins, Synergy Global Housing<br />

Molly Winterton, Agiito<br />

Dani Ives, Focus <strong>Travel</strong> Partnership<br />

Matt Furnell, SITU<br />


Katie Blount, Agiito<br />

Samantha McKnight, London North Eastern Railway (LNER)<br />

Nico Nicholas, Trees4<strong>Travel</strong><br />

Annette Ritson, Clarity<br />


Clive Wratten, <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Association<br />

James Parkhouse, Agiito<br />

Julia Lo Bue-Said, Advantage <strong>Travel</strong> Partnership<br />


Charlotte Winter, Synergy Global Housing<br />

Danielle Myers, TAG<br />

Hazel Maw, Click <strong>Travel</strong><br />


Homes For NHS, UnderTheDoormat<br />

Sirius Talent Solutions<br />

Agiito<br />

Synergy Global Housing<br />


With special thanks to our sponsors<br />


[ Subscribe for free ]<br />

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and our online newsletter at:<br />



G O O N L I N E F O R L A T E S T N E W S<br />



BRITISH nationals will have to pay<br />

a visa waiver fee to enter Europe’s<br />

Schengen Area from next year<br />

under new rules confirmed by the<br />

European Commission.<br />

An online platform – the European<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Information and Authorisation<br />

System (ETIAS) – will come into<br />

operation before the end of 2022.<br />

ETIAS authorisation will cost €7<br />

for all applicants between the ages<br />

of 18 and 70.<br />

It will be a one-off fee, valid for<br />

three years, and will allow multiple<br />

entries into Schengen states.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>lers will need to complete<br />

an online application form via an<br />

official website or app to receive<br />

their approval.<br />

The European Commission said it<br />

expects a "vast majority" of cases<br />

(expected to be over 95%) will<br />

result in automatic approval.<br />

If further checks are needed, the<br />

authorisation may take up to 30<br />

days.<br />

The EC said the scheme would<br />

facilitate border checks, avoid<br />

bureaucracy and delays and<br />

substantially reduce the number<br />

of refusals of entry at border<br />

crossing points.<br />

IAtA IntEGRAtES nHS CovId APP<br />

Into dIGItAl tRAvEl PASS<br />

THe NHS COVID Pass and EU Digital COVID Certificate<br />

can now be uploaded into the IATA <strong>Travel</strong> Pass as<br />

verified proof of vaccination for travel.<br />

Nick Careen, IATA Senior VP for Operations Safety and<br />

Security, said it was “an important step forward,<br />

providing convenience for travellers, authenticity for<br />

governments and efficiency for airlines" and urged the<br />

WHO to revisit its work to develop a global standard.<br />

Eurostar adds trains<br />

after rise in demand<br />

eURoSTAR is adding more rail services between the UK and<br />

the continent in response to growing demand following the<br />

relaxation of travel restrictions.<br />

It will expand schedules from <strong>Sept</strong>ember 6 after the<br />

removal of quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers from<br />

France to the UK and the easing of restrictions for travel to<br />

Belgium and the Netherlands.<br />

A new timetable, running until November 1, will see eight<br />

daily return services, with five in each direction on the<br />

London to Paris route and three in each direction between<br />

London and Brussels, with one each way extended to<br />

Rotterdam and Amsterdam.<br />

All tickets are flexible with no exchange fee up to seven<br />

days before departure. Fares start from £39 each way.<br />

98%<br />

expect travel to return<br />

before the end of <strong>2021</strong><br />

The majority (98%) of<br />

American Express GBT<br />

clients expect travel to<br />

return before the end of<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, according to the<br />

TMC's latest report on<br />

business travel trends<br />

and insights, based<br />

on client research,<br />

traveller surveys,<br />

and data analysis<br />

[ NEWS BITES ]<br />

>> ADVANTAGE Global <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> and WIN Global <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Network have signed two TMC partners in Australia – Bay <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Group in New South Wales and FBI <strong>Travel</strong> in Victoria >> HYATT<br />

has opened its second property in Ekaterinburg and its first Hyatt<br />

Place property in Russia, developed by LLC Hotel Development<br />

Company >> AIR CANADA is increasing its non-stop flights<br />

between Heathrow and its Montréal hub from three times weekly<br />

to four times weekly from <strong>Sept</strong>ember 8 >> GBTA has moved its<br />

<strong>2021</strong> European conference from Weisbaden on <strong>Oct</strong>ober 13-15 to<br />

Berlin on December 6-8 after a survey of members and potential<br />

delegates >> TRANSPENNINE Express has added two extra train<br />

services on its Glasgow-Manchester route


G O O N L I N E F O R L A T E S T N E W S<br />



WoRlD TRAVel PRoTeCTIoN has<br />

expanded into the UK with a core<br />

London-based team and has<br />

announced plans to open a<br />

purpose-built Command Centre in<br />

the city in the coming year.<br />

The company, part of Zurich<br />

Insurance Group, already operates<br />

two Command Centres in Brisbane<br />

and Toronto, providing 24-hour<br />

emergency assistance to travellers.<br />

CEO Adrian Leach said: “Until<br />

recently World <strong>Travel</strong> Protection<br />

didn’t have a team in place within<br />

the UK but with a growing team<br />

based in our new office in London<br />

we’re working hard to raise<br />

awareness that our travel risk<br />

management services are now<br />

available for UK organisations.<br />

"Discussions are already starting<br />

on how travel has changed since<br />

Covid and our services will be even<br />

more essential as travel resumes<br />

for organisations in the UK.”<br />

Zurich’s Global Head of Accident<br />

and Health, Drazen Jaksic, added:<br />

"The growing complexity of<br />

business travel risks has brought<br />

into sharp focus the value of<br />

assistance services helping<br />

travellers on the ground."<br />


fEEl SAfE on boARd<br />

THe MAJoRITY of travellers who have flown since June<br />

2020 felt safe onboard (86%), while 89% believe<br />

Covid-19 protective measures were well implemented.<br />

According to an IATA survey of 4,700 global travellers,<br />

air passengers also strongly support mask wearing<br />

onboard flights (83% ) and strict enforcement of mask<br />

rules (86%), but the majority also believe mask<br />

requirements should be ended as soon as possible.<br />

Emirates scales up<br />

UK operations<br />

eMIRATeS is expanding services to and from five UK<br />

gateways after a relaxation of travel restrictions prompted a<br />

spike in demand.<br />

Since August Emirates has been serving London Heathrow<br />

with three daily flights, all operated by its flagship A380, and<br />

by the middle of <strong>Oct</strong>ober it will have restored its Heathrow<br />

operations to six daily flights, four served by the A380.<br />

It will also fly double-daily A380 flights from Manchester, 10<br />

services a week from Birmingham, daily flights from Glasgow<br />

and twice a week from Newcastle.<br />

Across its entire network, Emirates will be restoring<br />

capacity across 29 cities and fine-tuning its schedules to<br />

boost frequencies and capacity this autumn.<br />

32%<br />

increase in average<br />

EMEA air fares<br />

Average flight ticket<br />

prices for the EMEA<br />

region in April<br />

to June <strong>2021</strong> jumped<br />

32% compared to<br />

January to March <strong>2021</strong>,<br />

according to the latest<br />

quarterly report from<br />

travel management<br />

company FCM, based<br />

on data from its<br />

corporate bookings<br />

[ NEWS BITES ]<br />

>> CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT (CTM) has been selected<br />

as Supporter <strong>Travel</strong> Provider for Arsenal FC for the <strong>2021</strong>/2022<br />

season >> ACCOR has teamed up with venuedirectory.com to<br />

make it easier for meeting and event planners to make bookings at<br />

its properties >> GRAY DAWES EVENTS, the MICE division of the<br />

Gray Dawes Group, has signed an agreement with venuedirectory.<br />

com for its end-to-end venue finding software, GRATIS >> RADIUS<br />

TRAVEL has announced that Clyde <strong>Travel</strong> Management, a<br />

specialist in corporate, maritime, offshore and renewables travel,<br />

has joined the its partner network >> ENTERPRISE has opened a<br />

new £1.8m flagship vehicle rental site and technology hub in<br />

Sheepscar, Leeds, replacing a smaller branch on North Street


T H E B U S I N E S S T R A V E L M A G . C O M<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember is a time of new<br />

beginnings and this year a<br />

new start is needed more<br />

than ever. As children start<br />

a new school year, workers<br />

head to the office and MPs<br />

return to Westminster, we<br />

in the business travel<br />

industry need urgent action.<br />

Many will have enjoyed a<br />

staycation and applauded<br />

themselves for helping the<br />

UK’s economy. This is to be<br />

celebrated, but two vital<br />

sectors – business and<br />

leisure travel – are being<br />

prevented from making<br />

valuable contributions to<br />

this economy.<br />

For MPs keen to do their<br />

homework, business travel<br />

contributes £220billion to<br />

UK GDP every year and we<br />

employ tens of thousands<br />

of people across the supply<br />

chain. <strong>Business</strong> travel is<br />

essential to the aviation<br />

sector and enables lower<br />

fares for holiday makers.<br />

This term, we are setting<br />

three tests that MPs must<br />

pass to keep this vital sector<br />

alive. Firstly, end the arrivals<br />

testing debacle.<br />

The expense and Wild<br />

West nature of the process<br />

is a huge barrier for the<br />

corporate traveller.<br />

Instead, work with the<br />


It's time to go<br />

back to school<br />

Clive Wratten<br />

Chief Executive Officer<br />

business travel community<br />

to do a proper trial of daily<br />

lateral flow tests on arriving<br />

travellers. If it’s good<br />

enough for Michael Gove,<br />

we’re willing to give it a go.<br />

Secondly, abolish the<br />

traffic light system. Bring<br />

forward the final review and<br />

rid travellers of the<br />

confusion around green<br />

and amber countries.<br />

With the UK’s effective<br />

vaccine roll-out, we should<br />

be making it easier for<br />

people to go about their<br />

daily lives. This involves<br />

travelling for work. <strong>Travel</strong><br />

remains the only sector<br />

being governed by Covid<br />

regulations. We need to be<br />

opened up once more.<br />

Finally, extend furlough<br />

for our sector.<br />

While the current<br />

conditions remain, we can’t<br />

fling open our doors and<br />

operate effectively in a<br />

pre-pandemic fashion.<br />

We want to trade, to<br />

travel, to facilitate global<br />

Britain. We urge the hand<br />

that is taking so much away<br />

from us to give back the<br />

furlough scheme in a<br />

targeted way.<br />

At the BTA, our door is<br />

open for MPs who need a<br />

cramming session.<br />

TapTrip ventures<br />

into new waters<br />

FolloWINg a further £1.7 million investment, TapTrip has<br />

unveiled Vessul, an online service to more efficiently manage<br />

the movement of essential marine and energy workers.<br />

Using similar technology to its online booking tool, TapTrip<br />

says Vessul is set to “revolutionise the industry”, where 98%<br />

of travel bookings are still made offline.<br />

Vessul is a dedicated marine and energy solution, providing<br />

travel bookers with easy-to-use, hands-on, real-time travel<br />

management technology blended with human support.<br />

A key feature of the technology is a multi-city departures<br />

function, a smart tool which gives companies the ability to<br />

book up to 50 flights for multiple travellers, in a single<br />

booking, to arrive at the same destination at the same time,<br />

no matter which location they have departed from.<br />



AeR lINgUS has signed a 10-year<br />

franchise agreement with Emerald<br />

Airlines to operate its regional<br />

flights, starting from January 2023.<br />

Emerald will replace former<br />

franchise partner, Stobart Air,<br />

which ceased trading in June.<br />

Aer Lingus said until the<br />

agreement comes into play, it will<br />

continue to “work closely with<br />

Emerald Airlines to evaluate<br />

options with respect to an earlier<br />

contract start date".<br />

Lynne Embleton, Aer Lingus<br />

Chief Executive, said the franchise<br />

agreement "marks a new chapter"<br />

and “significantly boosts" the<br />

airline’s intent to develop Dublin<br />

Airport as a hub between Europe<br />

and the US.<br />

She said it will also facilitate<br />

convenient connections between<br />

Ireland and regional airports in the<br />

UK, the Isle of Man and Jersey, with<br />

options for network expansion to<br />

other airports in the future.<br />




G O O N L I N E F O R L A T E S T N E W S<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Cairo change<br />

British Airways will start<br />

operating a second daily<br />

flight from London<br />

Heathrow Terminal 5 to<br />

Cairo from <strong>Oct</strong>ober 31. The<br />

service will operate on<br />

BA’s short-haul Airbus<br />

fleet. Services will run<br />

year-round with a slight<br />

change in schedules from<br />

March 27 2022.<br />

Flexi time<br />

Accor has launched a<br />

Commute and Stay aimed<br />

at flexi workers. It gives<br />

workers a central base in a<br />

city hotel, with discounts<br />

up to 15%, enabling two<br />

days in the office and a<br />

venue for evening<br />

entertainment before<br />

commuting back home.<br />

Train link<br />

TapTrip has teamed up<br />

with Trainline Partner<br />

Solutions (TPS), Trainline’s<br />

B2B arm, to further<br />

streamline its service<br />

and give users greater<br />

rail coverage.<br />

Capital returns<br />

Air Astana resumes direct<br />

flights from Kazakstan’s<br />

capital Nur-Sultan to<br />

London Heathrow on<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember 18, starting<br />

with two frequencies on<br />

Saturdays and<br />

Wednesdays. Economy<br />

Class return fares<br />

start from £511.<br />

EasyJet seat<br />

Former Royal Bank of<br />

Scotland boss Stephen<br />

Hester has been named as<br />

the new Chairman of<br />

easyJet. He initially joins as<br />

Non-Executive Director<br />

and will succeed John<br />

Barton as Chairman in<br />

December.<br />

IAn SCHRAGER's Public hotel has<br />

become the first in new York city to<br />

require guests and visitors to<br />

show proof of covid-19 vaccination<br />

on arrival. The new policy came<br />

into force on <strong>Sept</strong>ember 5<br />

TRIPBAM begins<br />

trials of air solution<br />

TRIPBAM, the hotel reshopping specialist, has begun the<br />

Beta testing phase for its air solution, working in partnership<br />

with selected global TMCs and corporate clients.<br />

CEO Steve Reynolds said if the trials are successful the<br />

product will be officially released in mid-<strong>Oct</strong>ober.<br />

With NDC content available from the start, the solution will<br />

give users ‘lowest qualified fares’ to accurately measure the<br />

value of air travel contracts. Clients will also be able to audit<br />

contracts to make sure they are being applied accurately.<br />

This data, along with some historical data, will be fed into a<br />

benchmarking solution called Air Intelligence.<br />

Reynolds said the next step would be to move into the car<br />

rental space, with discussions set to start in early 2022.<br />




QANTAS is to make it compulsary<br />

for all frontline employees – including<br />

cabin crew, pilots and<br />

airport workers – to be fully<br />

vaccinated by November 15 <strong>2021</strong><br />

and the remainder of employees<br />

by March 31 2022.<br />

The decision follows a major<br />

consultation with Qantas and<br />

Jetstar employees, including a<br />

survey sent to 22,000 people to<br />

seek their views on vaccination.<br />

The results showed that of those<br />

who responded 89% had already<br />

been vaccinated or are planning to<br />

be and only 4% were unwilling or<br />

unable to get the jab.<br />

In a separate survey of more<br />

than 1,000 Qantas customers, 92%<br />

cent said they expect Qantas crew<br />

to be fully vaccinated.<br />

United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines<br />

and Cathay Pacific are also<br />

mandating Covid vaccinations for<br />

their employees. There will be<br />

exemptions for those who have<br />

documented medical reasons for<br />

not having the vaccine.<br />

SIA revamps<br />

highflyer<br />

programme<br />

Singapore Airlines has<br />

combined its SIA Corporate <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Programme, aimed at large<br />

corporates, with its SME-focussed<br />

programme, HighFlyer. From<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember 1 they will both come<br />

under the HighFlyer brand.<br />

Current SIA Corporate <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Programme accounts will have<br />

their contracts renewed under the<br />

new HighFlyer programme.<br />

The airline said all benefits will<br />

be retained and new features will<br />

also be introduced, including the<br />

option to "earn and burn" options<br />

with non-air partners such as<br />

hotels and car rental services.<br />



thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

Delta on track<br />

Delta has launched an<br />

Air+Rail programme in<br />

partnership with Thalys<br />

high-speed trains to<br />

provide speedy rail<br />

connections between<br />

Brussels and Antwerp.<br />

Passengers can seamlessly<br />

transfer between plane<br />

and train at Amsterdam<br />

Airport Schiphol with<br />

one ticket booking.<br />

Kayak launch<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> search engine<br />

KAYAK has officially<br />

launched its free<br />

corporate travel solution,<br />

KAYAK for <strong>Business</strong>, and<br />

is promising to bring<br />

“the leisure travel<br />

experience to the outdated<br />

interface of the corporate<br />

travel world”.<br />

TAG app<br />

TAG has developed a<br />

new integrated travel<br />

app, TAGgo, to help<br />

travellers and travel<br />

managers prepare for the<br />

return to business travel.<br />

Part of the TAG Digital<br />

suite, TAGgo provides real<br />

time updates and traveller<br />

essentials like gate<br />

changes and baggage<br />

collection.<br />

Brand loyalty<br />

Ascott has launched a<br />

single global online<br />

booking platform,<br />

discoverasr.com, for its<br />

Ascott Star Rewards (ASR)<br />

loyalty members, covering<br />

all of its brands.<br />

Covid alerts<br />

Shep has enlisted Riskline<br />

to provide API-driven,<br />

in-depth local, city and<br />

state-level Covid-19 travel<br />

information for its alerts<br />

and notifications.<br />

SME travellers keen<br />

to get back on the road<br />

the vast majority (95%) of travellers working for SMEs are<br />

willing to travel again for business within the next year and<br />

63% are actively willing to do so, according to new research.<br />

The study, commissioned by SAP Concur, found travellers<br />

from small businesses see their companies facing severe<br />

consequences if they don’t increase travel soon.<br />

Among their concerns, SME travellers fear there will be<br />

fewer deals signed (35%) and a difficulty to build new<br />

relationships (33%).<br />

According to SAP Concur, travellers at SMEs are more likely<br />

than those at larger companies to have professional<br />

concerns about not travelling (79% compared with 72%).<br />

See feature on SMEs on page 10.<br />

British airways reopens flagship<br />

lounge at New York JFK<br />

British Airways has reopened its flagship US lounge<br />

at JFK’s Terminal 7 after a 16-month closure due to the<br />

Covid-19 pandemic. It came after a change in entry<br />

requirements for US customers flying to the UK.<br />

The lounge is available for those travelling in First,<br />

Club World and eligible card holders.<br />

BA also recently reopened three domestic lounges<br />

in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.<br />

ITM<br />

Scott Davies<br />

Chief Executive<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> managers have, for<br />

many years, been adaptable<br />

chameleons, embracing new<br />

skillsets and frames of<br />

reference. During the<br />

pandemic, their priorities<br />

have morphed from<br />

emergency response to<br />

crystal ball-style forecasting,<br />

to budget cancelling, to<br />

border immigration/<br />

quarantine gurus – all while<br />

reviewing and improving<br />

existing suppliers and<br />

programme management.<br />

Many travel buyers have<br />

earned enhanced respect<br />

within their businesses by<br />

demonstrating their value in<br />

new forums as their<br />

companies revise their<br />

strategic understanding of the<br />

way travel oils the wheels of<br />

their operation.<br />

Of course, some travel<br />

buyers have felt the same<br />

pressure on headcount that<br />

has bitten so hard on<br />

suppliers and providers.<br />

The irony here is that travel<br />

is likely to be a little more<br />

complex than before as it<br />

picks up again, so the very<br />

experts that have reduced in<br />

number may be disproportionately<br />

needed and central<br />

to a recovery.<br />

Next time you meet with a<br />

travel manager, ask what they<br />

are focussed on in the short<br />

term. I guarantee you will gain<br />

a new level of respect.<br />




O N T H E M O V E<br />

EVENTS<br />

SEPTEMBER 14-15<br />


London Hilton Bankside<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />

SEPTEMBER 15<br />


London Hilton Bankside<br />

(evening event)<br />

thebusinesstravelpeopleawards.com<br />

SEPTEMBER 19-21<br />


JOINS: HotelHub<br />

AS: <strong>Business</strong> Development Manager<br />

FROM: Gray Dawes Group<br />

Formerly Global Corporate<br />

Sales Manager at Gray Dawes<br />

Group, Rob Jones has joined<br />

HotelHub to help grow its TMC<br />

customer base in the UK and<br />

across Europe.<br />

JOINS: Festive Road<br />

AS: Consultant<br />

FROM: American Express<br />

Carol Peters joins the team at<br />

global consultancy firm Festive<br />

Road. She was previously at<br />

American Express, where she<br />

worked as <strong>Travel</strong> and Expense<br />

Consulting Manager.<br />

PROMOTED AT: Healix International<br />

TO: Chairman<br />

FROM: CEO<br />

After four years as CEO, Mike<br />

Webb has been promoted to<br />

the role of Chairman for Healix<br />

International. Charlie Butcher,<br />

formerly Commercial Director,<br />

takes over as CEO.<br />


Liverpool<br />

thebta.org.uk<br />



ExCel London<br />

btn.businesstravelshow.com<br />


OCTOBER 5<br />

JOINS: TripActions<br />

AS: Senior Director of Communications<br />


JOINS: Flight Centre <strong>Travel</strong> Group<br />

AS: Global Chief Technology Officer<br />

FROM: Prudential Financial<br />

JOINS: CAP Worldwide<br />

AS: Director Key Accounts North America<br />

FROM: The Apartment Service<br />


Corinthia London<br />

thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />

NOVEMBER 17-19<br />

GBTA CONVENTION <strong>2021</strong><br />

Orlando<br />

convention.gbta.org<br />

DECEMBER 6-8<br />


Berlin<br />

europeconference.gbta.org<br />

APRIL 26-27 2022<br />

TripActions has appointed<br />

Nikki Stimson as Senior<br />

Director of Communications.<br />

Stimson, who runs her own<br />

marketing and PR consultancy,<br />

continues to work with GBTA.<br />

Flight Centre <strong>Travel</strong> Group has<br />

appointed industry outsider<br />

Peter Gianusso to the role of<br />

Global Chief Technology<br />

Officer, Core Systems, for its<br />

Corporate Division.<br />

CAP Worldwide Serviced<br />

Apartments has welcomed<br />

Laura Rurode to its global<br />

senior leadership team to<br />

manage CAP service delivery<br />

in North America.<br />

ALSO ON THE MOVE... HotelHub has appointed Andrew Harreiter, previously Marketing Manager for<br />

ACC Aviation, as Head of Marketing >> Mark Cuschieri, Executive Director Global Head of <strong>Travel</strong> UBS,<br />

has been elected Vice President of the GBTA and will serve a two-year term, while Jens Liltorp,<br />

Manager Global <strong>Travel</strong> and Meetings LEO Pharma, also joins the GBTA's Board of Directors in the role<br />

of Direct Seat, Regional European, for a three-year term >> Sarah Hanan joins Dohop as Commercial<br />

Director from Omio >> CWT has appointed Cheng Meng, Hwang as Head of Global Market Management<br />

and Development to its dedicated APAC Leadership team >> Air Transat has promoted UK and<br />

Ireland Commercial Director Adrian Keating to a role which also covers Europe and the Americas


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

Dinner Club<br />

The first Dinner Club since the start<br />

of the pandemic was the chance for<br />

travel buyers, TMCs and suppliers to<br />

experience, once again, the joy of<br />

meeting face-to-face. The event, held<br />

at The Corinthia Hotel London, was<br />

sponsored by South Western Railway<br />

and Sixt Rent-A-Car. Pre-dinner<br />

drinks, with Covid safety measures in<br />

place, were followed by a threecourse<br />

dinner and a fascinating talk<br />

and discussion on the travel restart.<br />

An industry overview was shared<br />

by American Express GBT CCO<br />

Drew Crawley<br />

Dinner Club ▼<br />

The Corinthia Hotel<br />

London<br />

▲ 12.07.<strong>2021</strong><br />

The after dinner talk was<br />

followed by a lively Q&A<br />

Guests enjoyed<br />

networking and a<br />

three-course dinner<br />

In association with<br />

Travega<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Marketing Solutions Worldwide<br />



Airport Update<br />

Fast<br />

track<br />

Additional checks will be required as air travel<br />

resumes but new technology is helping to<br />

counteract any disruption. Gary Noakes reports<br />


Airport Update<br />

<strong>Business</strong> travellers who breezed<br />

through empty airports during the<br />

pandemic must be dreading the<br />

return of normality and the crowds that<br />

will follow. The good news, however, is<br />

that technology is making getting moving<br />

again more seamless and less stressful.<br />

Negotiating immigration control on return<br />

to the UK has been a challenge during the<br />

Covid crisis but the UK Government is due to<br />

finish upgrading e-Gates by the autumn,<br />

when corporate travel is expected to restart<br />

in a meaningful way.<br />

According to a Government spokesperson,<br />

upgraded digital gates will then recognise<br />

Passenger Locator Forms and pre-departure<br />

test certificates. London City airport had<br />

upgraded all its e-Gates by July but bigger<br />

airports were still completing changes.<br />

While Border Force deals with incoming<br />

passengers, airlines must process those<br />

departing and develop systems to do so.<br />

“Carriers will play a critical role, checking<br />

passengers’ documents before boarding and<br />

ensuring people have the right Covid-19<br />

certification,” said the Government<br />

spokesperson.<br />

The whole departure and arrival process<br />

will take longer but there are ways travellers<br />

can make some up some of this lost time.<br />

For British Airways passengers, the luxury<br />

of checking in their bags at the airline's<br />

London Paddington station desks<br />

disappeared after 9/11 but Covid has<br />

prompted BA to revive this concept for<br />

Heathrow Express customers, who can drop<br />

their luggage on train platforms and get it<br />

taken straight to Terminal 5.<br />

The new fast bag-drop is free to passengers<br />

who have checked in at home but is initially<br />

only available between 05.00 and 10.00. BA<br />

said it would continue to look at options for<br />

bag-drop areas “at other key locations”.<br />

The stop-gap measure is in response to the<br />

extra time needed to check Covid<br />

credentials. BA’s partner on this, Airportr, is<br />

testing whether London Underground<br />

locations could also be used to alleviate<br />

queuing at terminals.<br />

Airportr screens travel documents and tags<br />

bags, storing them in secure cages before<br />

shipping them airside. It also offers BA<br />

passengers baggage collection and check-in<br />

from home or the office up to 24 hours<br />

before the flight (from £19), in an area<br />

spanning Guildford, Oxford, Watford and<br />

Greater London – something Airportr feels<br />

will be in demand once airports fill again.<br />

Its founder Randel Darby believes Covid<br />

prompted the beginning of the end of legacy<br />

airport processes. “If you look at trends<br />

coming from the pandemic, it’s e-commerce,<br />

home delivery and logistics. They appeal to<br />

Airlines are way<br />

behind theme parks,<br />

attractions and retail in<br />

offering virtual queuing, but<br />

it's coming"<br />

consumers not previously engaged with<br />

delivery solutions,” he said.<br />

Ground handlers, airports and airlines are<br />

examining long-term developments, shocked<br />

into action by the pandemic. The need to<br />

fast-forward integration of health credentials<br />

with bookings was one example, Darby said.<br />

“The pace with which this is happening is<br />

really surprising. People would have laughed<br />

five years ago. In the near future the journey<br />

can be entirely contactless.”<br />

The pandemic’s legacy means more<br />

passengers will arrive at airports readier to<br />

fly, having undertaken extra procedures at<br />

home that digital systems enable. “It all lends<br />

itself to the trend of doing it before you<br />

travel. You will be able to confirm your digital<br />

ID from home, check in, send bags, book a<br />

shared ride and proceed through a<br />

designated security channel,” said Darby.<br />

For Airportr the next stage, from late<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember, is a luggage delivery service for<br />

inbound passengers using a digital customs<br />

declaration that will permit passengers to<br />

“entirely bypass” baggage reclaim.<br />

Contactless travel is the new trend and<br />

while many airports already match boarding<br />

passes to travellers’ photographs taken at<br />

security, facial recognition technology is a<br />

step further, removing the need for handlers<br />

to check that faces match photos.<br />

ANA introduced Face Express in July at<br />

Tokyo’s Narita airport for passengers using<br />

automatic bag check-in.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>lers are photographed by the kiosk,<br />

allowing them to pass through Security and<br />

board without presenting their ticket.<br />

Following trials on Narita-Mexico City, ANA<br />

plans to offer the facility at Haneda airport<br />

and on other international services.<br />

If Covid has prompted some radical<br />

innovations, others are more mundane.<br />

Airlines are way behind theme parks,<br />

attractions, and retail in offering virtual<br />

queuing, but it's coming. This summer BA<br />

completed trials of an intelligent queuing<br />

technology from Qmatic, which allows<br />

passengers to pre-book a timed check-in slot<br />

before they travel to the airport. The system<br />

is already used by the Post Office and during<br />

the trial BA passengers who had not booked<br />

a slot either proceeded as normal or joined<br />

the virtual queue by scanning a QR code.<br />

All these things will chip away at the extra<br />

time needed to pass through airports postpandemic.<br />

It is not all good news, however.<br />

From <strong>Oct</strong>ober, Heathrow will impose a £5<br />

drop-off fee at terminal forecourts for all<br />

vehicles, including taxis and private hires,<br />

meaning the only free option will be in<br />

Heathrow’s long stay car parks, which entail<br />

a bus transfer to the terminal. Picking up at<br />

terminal forecourts is already forbidden.<br />

The airport said the fee will help alleviate<br />

the £5 million a day lost during the<br />

pandemic, but as travel resumes it might<br />

well be this new development that frequent<br />

travellers remember, not all that new<br />

technology speeding their progress.<br />



The <strong>2021</strong><br />


Here are the innovators<br />

and innovations<br />

shaking up the industry…<br />


The young and enthusiastic TapTrip<br />

team has brought a breath of fresh<br />

air to the sector with eye-catching<br />

marketing campaigns and bold<br />

ambitions to make managing travel<br />

“as easy as watching Netflix".<br />

Its technology<br />

– designed for<br />

mobile first, not as a mobile add-on<br />

– is achieving impressive results: 95%<br />

compliance, 98% repeat business, up<br />

to 30% savings on monthly travel<br />

spend and 90% faster bookings. In a<br />

change of direction, TapTrip is about<br />

to launch Vessul, a tech solution<br />

designed to tackle the logistical<br />

challenge of crew rotation for<br />

marine, oil and renewables. If<br />

anyone is going to make waves in<br />

this niche corner of the sector<br />

(deliberate pun) it’s these guys.<br />


Driven by the belief that going green<br />

must be effortless, Thrust Carbon is<br />

creating the future of emissions<br />

reporting, reductions and removal<br />

with products which are easy to use,<br />

visually persuasive and designed to<br />

work with existing solutions. It’s<br />

working in partnership with TMCs<br />

and directly with Fortune 500 clients,<br />

who can view their travel emissions<br />

and see where<br />

they need to<br />

change their<br />

behaviour<br />

thanks to engaging dashboards,<br />

innovative carbon budgeting and<br />

point-of-booking nudges. It’s already<br />

making a difference and the next<br />

step is to integrate its full product<br />

suite inside the OBT environment.<br />






AltoVita’s founders – road warriors<br />

Vivi Cahyadi Himmel and Karolina<br />

Saviova – had a bold vision: to<br />

simplify the “fragmented and<br />

inefficient” corporate housing<br />

booking process. In January 2018<br />

they launched an innovative<br />

cloud-based accommodation<br />

platform, delivering duty of care<br />

compliant housing solutions<br />

across 165 countries and more<br />

than 800 cities through a two-way<br />

API integration. Their technology is<br />

designed to reduce the legacy<br />

sourcing timeline from 48-72<br />

hours to a few minutes, saving<br />

clients 80% in accommodation<br />

The tech teams at American Express<br />

GBT have been beavering away since<br />

the start of the pandemic updating<br />

existing technology and bringing<br />

brand-new products to market.<br />

Quick off the mark was <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Vitals, deserving particular<br />

credit because it was<br />

immediately made available<br />

not just to the TMC’s own<br />

clients but to the wider<br />

industry. It’s a one-stop shop for<br />

up-to-date Covid information,<br />

providing data aggregated from<br />

hundreds of sources, including GBT’s<br />

travel risk intelligence partner<br />

Riskline. All the information can be<br />

searched by destination, airline,<br />

airport, hotel chain, train operator or<br />

ground transport provider.<br />

What began as an agile response to<br />

an acute situation has evolved into<br />

being part of the TMC's longer-term<br />

strategy to help the industry navigate<br />

the safe return to travel and, at the<br />

last count, there had been<br />

more than 2.35 million<br />

searches in the <strong>Travel</strong> Vitals<br />

portal. Meanwhile, in<br />

recognition of the new ways<br />

of working, GBT has<br />

developed Workspaces, a booking<br />

service which helps remote workers<br />

and teams make flexible, daytime<br />

bookings of co-working spaces, hotel<br />

rooms, meeting venues and small<br />

hotel meeting rooms for work and<br />

collaboration. Launched in the US in<br />

March <strong>2021</strong>, it is now being rolled<br />

out to clients across Europe.<br />

charges. This year Alto Vita added<br />

new functionalities, helping clients<br />

contrast and compare average and<br />

seasonal market prices and search<br />

more easily for specific needs,<br />

such as accommodation that’s<br />

pet-friendly, comes with good<br />

entertainment facilities, or is<br />

geared up for remote working.<br />

Based on the company’s most<br />

recent figures – 976% revenue<br />

growth year-on-year – they’re<br />

clearly doing something right<br />

and have earned their place in<br />

our <strong>2021</strong> Tech Hotlist.<br />


Ride hailing is nothing new, of course,<br />

but Blacklane took it to a whole new<br />

level earlier this year when it<br />

introduced chauffeur hailing in 21<br />

key cities, including London, New<br />

York, Paris and Berlin. Crucially for<br />

corporate travellers, Blacklane<br />

chauffeur hailing promises the same<br />

quality, health and safety standards<br />

and fixed competitive fares as its<br />

pre-booked trips. Better still, in<br />

London if you hail a chauffeur drive it<br />

will always be in an all-electric Jaguar<br />

I-PACE or Tesla thanks to the<br />

company’s investment in Havn,<br />

London’s all-electric chauffeur<br />

service. In other cities, Blacklane<br />

offsets journeys, helping you reach<br />

your sustainability targets.<br />

29<br />



The <strong>2021</strong><br />



With TMC revenues drastically<br />

down in the travel downturn,<br />

Grapevine is coming into its<br />

own. It’s a selling platform,<br />

driven by an AI engine called Marvin<br />

(get it?), to help TMCs grow their<br />

ancillary sales beyond air tickets,<br />

using techniques widely used by the<br />

retail industry to capture revenue<br />

from hotels, car hire, parking and<br />

ground transportation. Eventually it<br />

will also capture in-destination spend<br />

such as restaurants and attractions.<br />

Its a no-brainer for TMCs – Advantage<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Partnership and WIN Global<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Network have adopted it –<br />

while for corporates it provides a<br />

single source for ancillary bookings,<br />

which is crucial with duty of care<br />

higher than ever on the agenda.<br />

JYRNEY<br />


It’s still relatively early days for this<br />

Manchester-based start-up, due to<br />

officially launch this autumn, but<br />

backed by a highly-experienced<br />

team and already signing some key<br />

deals in the corporate travel space,<br />

we felt it was worthy of a place in<br />

our hotlist. In a particularly<br />

fragmented market, Jyrney brings<br />

Mobility as a Service to business<br />

travel, offering ground transport<br />

within a traveller's online booking<br />

tool or directly into its portal, with<br />

visibility of total journey cost, CO2<br />

emissions and meeting duty of<br />

care. The only thing we’re not so<br />

keen on – because it confuses our<br />

sub-editors – is its spelling!<br />

We’re jumping the gun a bit with this<br />

one, but having witnessed how<br />

TRIPBAM’s global rate auditing,<br />

benchmarking, analytics and<br />

sourcing has shaken up the hotel<br />

sector, we’re confident that its foray<br />

into air travel later this year will be<br />


Inefficient processes, low visibility of<br />

volumes and leakages are just some<br />

of the pain points HotelHub promises<br />

to help eradicate with its next<br />

generation tech, which consolidates<br />

GDS and non-GDS content into<br />

intuitive web-based platforms – one<br />

for TMCs and another self-booking<br />

tool. In addition, its Rate Optimiser<br />

dynamically tracks hotel rates,<br />

continuously searching for lower<br />

rates and rebooking if a better rate is<br />

just as impactful. If all goes to plan,<br />

travel buyers will be able to enjoy big<br />

savings by rebooking flights, auditing<br />

air contracts, grading suppliers for<br />

how well they uphold agreements,<br />

and benchmark against peer<br />

companies down to a single route.<br />

found. Already a long-term partner<br />

of CWT, it was recently selected by<br />

Flight Centre after a rigorous RFP.<br />


Launching <strong>Oct</strong>ober ‘21<br />

Crew rotation<br />

logistics tech<br />

Sign up for updates at:<br />

Vessul.com<br />

A TapTrip company

The <strong>2021</strong><br />

tech hotlist<br />

Locomote<br />

Traxo<br />

Detecting and eliminating travel<br />

programme leakage is more vital<br />

than ever as we emerge from the<br />

Covid crisis and, in this area, Traxo<br />

continues to lead the pack. Its tech<br />

solution automatically captures<br />

comprehensive information on TMC<br />

and non-TMC bookings to help travel<br />

managers drive compliance, identify<br />


When Covid-19 struck, TripActions<br />

jumped into action and developed a<br />

Return to <strong>Travel</strong> Feature Suite<br />

to help clients upload,<br />

manage and share health<br />

documents and track entry<br />

requirements, with instant<br />

chat support and a travel<br />

impact dashboard. But the main<br />

reason it's in our hotlist are its new<br />

See businesstravelmag.com for video<br />

entries from the 14 innovators who<br />

made it on to our <strong>2021</strong> Tech Hotlist<br />

savings and maximise duty of care.<br />

As its CEO Andres Fabris says:<br />

“Expectations for traveller safety and<br />

support are higher than ever. If<br />

itinerary blindspots prevent<br />

companies from knowing where<br />

travellers are, or plan to be, they’re<br />

putting themselves and their<br />

travellers at unnecessary risk.”<br />

sustainability tools, added this year.<br />

Users can set carbon budgets based<br />

on historical spend and<br />

industry benchmarking data<br />

and get real-time data for all<br />

inventory via an easy-to-use<br />

analytics dashboard, and<br />

with access to three<br />

globally-recognised methodologies<br />

to measure and track progress.<br />

This Melbourne-based tech-led<br />

TMC made the business travel<br />

headlines back in 2016 when it was<br />

snapped up by <strong>Travel</strong>port. But<br />

following a change of leadership at<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>port and the arrival of the<br />

global pandemic, the original<br />

founders – cousins David and Ross<br />

Fastuca – bought back the<br />

company in early 2020 and say it’s<br />

time to complete some unfinished<br />

business. They’ve got some of the<br />

old gang back on board and have<br />

been busy expanding beyond Asia<br />

Pacific into the UK and US.<br />

Definitely one to watch.<br />

NavAgent<br />

“A game changer for the travel<br />

industry - we love it!” says Scott<br />

Pawley, MD at Global <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Management, an early adopter of<br />

NavAgent. In a nutshell, NavAgent<br />

makes life much easier for travel<br />

consultants who<br />

use the GDS by<br />

giving them<br />

dynamic<br />

customer data<br />

without<br />

interrupting<br />

their normal workflow, freeing<br />

them up to deliver a more<br />

consistent and personalised service<br />

to you, the client. With TMCs under<br />

enough pressure already, it got a<br />

well-earned spot on our hotlist.<br />





<strong>2021</strong> AWARDS CEREMONY ON THE<br />

EVENING OF SEPTEMBER 15, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Recognising outstanding individuals and teams across all<br />

aspects of the supplier element of corporate travel<br />



step<br />

INSIDE<br />

Catherine Chetwynd takes a tour of some of the most<br />

exciting developments in the UK’s accommodation sector<br />

this year – from renovations to new openings<br />

Lockdowns might have been<br />

financially punishing for hoteliers<br />

and serviced apartment operators<br />

but on the plus side they provided an<br />

opportunity for refurbishment without<br />

disrupting guests.<br />

The pandemic also failed to suppress<br />

investment in new-builds and conversions –<br />

many projects were already too far down<br />

the line to stop – so as domestic business<br />

travellers get back on the road they will<br />

discover some new kids on the block.<br />

Let's start our tour in London. Quick off<br />

the mark was the Cheval Collection, with<br />

the opening of its first four-star brand,<br />

Cheval Maison, just off Cromwell Road.<br />

The building was taken over from another<br />

provider, stripped down, redecorated and a<br />

ground floor lounge and lower-ground gym<br />

introduced. The group’s upgraded app<br />

brings pre-arrival check-in and instant<br />

messaging with front office teams.<br />

The Savoy opened its forecourt as a<br />

1920s-inspired pop-up bar and terrace in<br />

April, allowing it to welcome visitors before<br />

taking overnight guests in May; and the<br />

former The Curtain Hotel launched as<br />

Mondrian Shoreditch London after a<br />

comprehensive redesign, with 120 rooms<br />

and BIBO Shoreditch brasserie and tapas<br />

bar under Andalucian Michelin-starred chef<br />

Dani García, complete with an adjoining<br />

Spanish Courtyard with a retracting glass<br />

roof. With Covid safety and comfort in<br />

mind, many hotels have created such<br />

outdoor spaces for their guests.<br />

Over in Soho, the much-anticipated debut<br />

of The Londoner – billed as 'the world’s first<br />

super boutique hotel' is set to breathe new<br />

life into Leicester Square. From Edwardian<br />

Hotels London, the 16-storey hotel opens in<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember and brings 350 rooms, six<br />

concept eateries, a members club-style<br />

private area, a wealth of meeting and event<br />

space, a cinema and an entire floor<br />

dedicated to wellness.<br />

Beaverbrook Town House, a 14-room<br />

sister hotel to the luxury country house<br />

hotel in the Surrey Hills, has just opened in<br />

Sloane Street in partnership with Cadogan<br />

and The Westin London City is another<br />

notable <strong>Sept</strong>ember opening.<br />

Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane has<br />

added a spa with a 20-metre pool, private<br />

training room, gym, sauna and steam<br />

rooms, and hydrotherapy pool to Mayfair<br />

Park Residences – facilities that are open to<br />

guests in either property.<br />

Leonardo Hotels spent an aggregate £34.5<br />

million on the Royal London City, Royal MONDRIAN SHOREDITCH<br />



As domestic business<br />

travellers get back on<br />

the road they will discover<br />

some new kids on the block”<br />






London St. Paul’s and Royal London<br />

Tower Bridge, providing updated bedrooms<br />

and Leo’s bar and a restaurant on all three<br />

sites. New is a rooftop bar with public<br />

access at the St. Paul’s property and a<br />

renovated and rebranded Spa at Royal<br />

London City. In addition, May saw the<br />

launch of BREEAM-certified Leonardo Hotel<br />

Bristol Glassfields on Temple Way, with 197<br />

rooms, meeting room, bar and restaurant.<br />

A massive makeover took place at The<br />

Hoxton, Holborn, creating a brighter, larger<br />

lobby, a coffee bar, restaurant and wine bar<br />

Rondo, 46 additional bedrooms, and<br />

redesigned event space described as ‘disco<br />

chic’ (which sounds more distracting than<br />

conducive to work!). Lower occupancies<br />

and lockdowns allowed all the work to be<br />

done at once, rather than in phases.<br />

Bishopsgate Plaza, opposite Liverpool<br />

Street Station, hosts Pan Pacific London,<br />

which will open at the start of <strong>Sept</strong>ember<br />

and represent the group’s entry into<br />

Europe. An entire floor will be dedicated to<br />

wellness with an 18.5m infinity pool and<br />

gym, while the hotel's meeting rooms will<br />

come with floor-to-ceiling windows.<br />

Flying Butler took on 12 new properties<br />

throughout London and in Reading as part<br />

of its plan to grow inventory by 140 units<br />

and undertook major refurbishments of<br />

four of them. This included a £800,000 refit<br />

of Flying Butler Reading Central, where in<br />

response to the isolation some guests may<br />

have experienced during lockdowns a<br />

multifunctional communal area was created<br />

on the ground floor with a café and zoned<br />

spaces for working or socialising.<br />

It was important to<br />

offer our corporate<br />

guests a chance to socialise<br />

with other like-minded<br />

customers outside their<br />

private apartment”<br />

“It was important to offer our corporate<br />

guests a chance to socialise with other likeminded<br />

customers outside their private<br />

apartment,” says CEO Dominic Sherry.<br />

As Flying Butler hosts many long-stay<br />

travellers, the apartments are notably<br />

spacious, starting at 33sq.m for a studio.<br />

Properties on London’s doorstep have<br />

also had a retelling. For example, Coworth<br />

Park in Ascot has opened a three-bedroom<br />

gatehouse cottage, North Lodge, on the<br />

outskirts of the grounds, with a private<br />

garden and outdoor dining area.<br />

De Vere Beaumont Estate in Windsor<br />

undertook a refurbishment of Georgian<br />

mansion house The White House, which<br />

forms part of the property. The upgraded<br />

26 bedrooms include walk-in showers,<br />

Roberts radios and smart TVs.<br />

<br />





Lower occupancies<br />

and lockdowns<br />

allowed all the work to be<br />

done at once, rather than<br />

in phases"<br />

Hilton has opened the latest Curio<br />

Collection property, aparthotel The Fellows<br />

House Cambridge, with 131 rooms, pool,<br />

sauna and steam room.<br />

Cycas’ signature double-decker properties<br />

now include aparthotel 92-unit Residence<br />

Inn Slough and the 152-room Moxy, with a<br />

shared Thunderbirds-themed bar, fitness<br />

studio and six meeting rooms. They are in<br />

the former library, part of a multi-use<br />

development that includes restaurants,<br />

retail space and stylish private apartments.<br />

Oxford is benefitting from the opening in<br />

July of Westgate Premier Inn, with the top<br />

floor dedicated to Premier Plus rooms<br />

which come with improved working areas,<br />

air conditioning, flatscreen TVs, fridges with<br />

free water, Nespresso machines with pods,<br />

stronger Wifi and more. The hotel hosts the<br />

brand’s 1000th Premier Plus room and<br />

there are plans to double the number of<br />

these to 2,000 across the network.<br />

Development in Manchester continues<br />

apace, including the opening of Staycity in<br />

the Northern Quarter, with 224 apartments,<br />

24-hour reception, lounge, pantry, Staycafé,<br />

exercise room and laundry.<br />

Meanwhile, The Midland Manchester has<br />

emerged from a £17 million overhaul of its<br />

bedrooms. New is a split-level bar and<br />

Say hello to<br />

Turing Locke.<br />

Opening <strong>Oct</strong>ober.<br />

Whether you’re here for punting or partying, working<br />

or researching, discover a thoroughly modern side to<br />

magical Cambridge.<br />

# FEELFREE<br />

lockeliving.com | @lockehotels<br />

Turing Locke, 47 Eddington Ave, Cambridge CB3 1SE



lounge in the foyer; Mount Street restaurant<br />

now serves classic dishes all day.<br />

Meliá property INNSide Liverpool opened<br />

in August after a three-year redevelopment<br />

of the former Echo and Daily Post building,<br />

with 207 rooms, restaurant, Sky Bar with<br />

360-degree city views, and seven meeting<br />

rooms on a floor with a dedicated kitchen.<br />

In Scotland, Cheval Abbey Strand<br />

Apartments at Holyrood were renovated<br />

ready for reopening in June, with new<br />

access to the physic garden – with its<br />

medicinal and culinary plants that would<br />

have grown in the 17th-century garden – in<br />

the grounds of the Palace of<br />

Holyroodhouse. It is exclusive to Cheval<br />

guests in the evening, once the palace is<br />

closed to the public.<br />

Meanwhile Cheval Old Town Chambers<br />

has added an extension, with 24 new<br />

apartments, ground-floor reception, lounge,<br />

bar and restaurant, plus a new entrance on<br />

the Royal Mile (rather than via an alley).<br />

A £1.3 million renovation of The<br />

Ballachulish Hotel, Glencoe, upgraded 53<br />


bedrooms, restaurants and three meeting<br />

rooms for a reopening in April, while Crerar<br />

Hotels invested £500,000 in Glencoe Inn,<br />

modernising 15 bedrooms, public areas and<br />

introducing a garden Spa. Its restaurant,<br />

The Gathering, features a new Steak &<br />

Lobster Bistro and Red Shed Pizzas.<br />

And last on our tour is The Isle of Mull<br />

Hotel & Spa, which has undergone a £3.5<br />

million makeover of its 75 bedrooms with<br />

six Seaview and two Retreat suites. Its<br />

public areas, restaurant, spa and pool have<br />

been upgraded and a new sea deck<br />

overlooks Craignure Bay. It's dog friendly<br />

too, so perfect for all the lockdown puppies.<br />

With Covid safety<br />

and comfort in mind,<br />

many hotels have been quick<br />

to create outdoor spaces for<br />

their guests”<br />

People deserve to feel at home -<br />

even when they’re not.<br />



Long-awaited and much-needed, The<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference is back for<br />

<strong>2021</strong> and promises to be one of the most<br />

memorable in its 15-year history.<br />

The intimate event, with a maximum of 200<br />

buyer delegates, is being held at the Hilton<br />

London Bankside on <strong>Sept</strong>ember 14-15 with a<br />

top line-up of speakers and a programme<br />

packed full of content that will help you and<br />

your travellers get back to business travel.<br />

With a theme of ‘Reconnect, Reset, Restart’,<br />

the event will kick off with a keynote speech<br />

from MP Stephen Hammond, Chairman of<br />

the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)<br />

dedicated to business travel.<br />

Delegates will then hear from industry<br />

leaders, including Ian Sinderson, CEO of<br />

ATPI, and James Parkhouse, CEO of Agiito<br />

(formerly Capita <strong>Travel</strong> and Events), and<br />

Dave Bishop, CCO Gray Dawes Group,<br />

who will set the scene<br />

before the<br />

TBTC'21<br />



With just days to go until The <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Conference <strong>2021</strong>, here's a reminder of what's in store...<br />

conference sessions begin. Programme<br />

highlights include a Back to the Futurethemed<br />

immersive experience, with headline<br />

sponsors Blue Cube <strong>Travel</strong>, where delegates<br />

will step into Doc Brown's time machine for<br />

an unforgettable journey back to the origins<br />

of business travel and into its future.<br />

Alongside lively and engaging sessions,<br />

there'll be plenty of time for the networking<br />

that we've all missed so much during the<br />

pandemic and exhibitors representing all<br />

corners of the sector are looking forward to<br />

meeting you and updating you about their<br />

products and services.<br />

Peace of mind<br />

With the safety and comfort of visitors in<br />

mind, the conference organisers and the<br />

Hilton London Bankside have put a number<br />

of measures in place. Hilton is continuing to<br />

implement EventReady, its stringent global<br />

meetings and events programme designed<br />

to create event experiences that are<br />

clean, flexible, safe<br />

and socially<br />

responsible. This<br />

includes room<br />

seals for guest and<br />

meeting rooms,<br />

sanitising stations<br />

in public areas and<br />

meeting spaces and an<br />

EventReady Room<br />

Checklist.<br />

Hilton Bankside staff<br />

will continue to wear<br />

masks throughout the<br />

conference and will also be<br />

taking regular voluntary lateral<br />

flow tests. There will be numerous<br />

hand sanitisation stations positioned<br />

throughout the venue and attendees will be<br />

encouraged to use them frequently.<br />

Speedy arrivals<br />

To minimise queuing and speed up the<br />

arrivals process, conference registration will<br />

be open an hour early each morning (8am)<br />

and registration teams have been expanded.<br />

Registration teams and all conference staff<br />

will wear masks when interacting with<br />

attendees and will also take daily lateral flow<br />

tests in the run-up to and during the event.<br />

Attendees will also be asked to take a<br />

voluntary lateral flow test prior to attending.<br />

The right signals<br />

In order to meet different levels of comfort<br />

with regards to social distancing, visitors to<br />

the conference will be offered optional<br />

wristbands in three colours, based on a<br />

traffic light theme.<br />

Wearing a green wristband will indicate to<br />

others that you're comfortable with hugs<br />

and physical contact, amber will show that<br />

any greetings should be restricted to fist or<br />

elbow pumps, while red signals that you're<br />

comfortable to chat but prefer to avoid any<br />

physical contact. Wristbands can be changed<br />

during the conference.<br />

“We hope this will help all attendees relax<br />

and respect comfort levels and avoid any<br />

awkward moments!” says Kirsty Hicks,<br />

Publisher and Head of <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> for<br />

event organisers BMI Publishing.<br />

Risk factors<br />

In collaboration with the Hilton London<br />

Bankside, a full risk assessment has been<br />

completed for the event.<br />

The hotel has an NHS check-in/check-out<br />

code displayed at the entrance to the<br />

property and if anyone presents with Covid<br />

symptoms at the conference there are plans<br />

in place to protect them and others from the<br />

risk of transmission.<br />

Double celebration<br />

All of the safety measures outlined here will<br />

also apply to the conference refreshment<br />

breaks, lunches and evening events.<br />

On the first night, delegates will be able to<br />

catch up with friends and colleagues over<br />

drinks and canopés and, for the first time,<br />

the <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> People Awards will be<br />

held on the evening of the second day of the<br />

conference. There's so much to catch up on<br />

and we can't wait to see you there.<br />

thebusinesstravelconference.com<br />




DAY ONE Tuesday <strong>Sept</strong>ember 14<br />

8AM Registration opens/breakfast networking<br />

9.30AM WELCOME<br />

9.45AM OPENING KEYNOTE AND Q&A Stephen<br />

Hammond MP, Chairman of the All Party<br />

Parliamentary Group for <strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

10.20AM VIEW FROM THE TOP Where are we now?<br />

Industry experts share their insights into the<br />

current state of the business travel sector and set<br />

the scene for the conference.<br />

4PM<br />

4.30PM<br />

5PM<br />

SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS Now is the time to<br />

make your travel programme truly sustainable,<br />

but how is that achieved? Our experts offer<br />

practical ways to make your business travel more<br />

responsible and outline what suppliers are doing<br />

to help you meet your targets.<br />

DIVERSITY CHALLENGE In an open and honest<br />

conversation, our experts will discuss what the<br />

corporate travel sector must do to be truly<br />

representative and how it can fully represent the<br />

business travellers it serves.<br />


11.00AM<br />

11.40AM<br />

12.20PM<br />

12.50PM<br />

2PM<br />

Refreshments/networking<br />

TMC TRANSFORMATION Brand, culture,<br />

servicing, data capabilities and business models<br />

are all under the spotlight as buyers look for their<br />

future TMC partners. Experts will discuss the<br />

shifting landscape to help you ensure you have<br />

the right relationship for success.<br />

READY FOR TAKE-OFF As domestic and<br />

international air travel restarts - with reduced<br />

schedules, fewer suppliers and no meaningful data<br />

to base your negotiations on - an expert panel<br />

shares top tips on how to get your programmes<br />

back in the air and instill confidence in flying.<br />

Lunch/networking<br />

WAKE UP CALL Representatives from across the<br />

accommodation sector provide valuable insights<br />

on rate and booking trends and how to progress<br />

your hotel programme post-pandemic.<br />

DAY TWO Wednesday <strong>Sept</strong>ember 15<br />

8AM Registration opens/breakfast networking<br />

9AM VIEW FROM THE TOP What’s next? Industry<br />

leaders share their insights into what the future<br />

brings for the sector, how it should respond to<br />

current challenges and take advantage of the<br />

exciting opportunities going forward.<br />

10AM Late breakfast/networking<br />

10.45AM BACK TO THE FUTURE In a first for The<br />

<strong>Business</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Conference, an immersive<br />

experience will take delegates on a journey to the<br />

origins of business travel and back to the future of<br />

corporate travel, featuring travel risk management<br />

as the flux capacitor and traveller wellbeing safely<br />

strapped into a DeLorean. Hold on tight!<br />

11.45PM Refreshments/networking<br />

2.30PM<br />

TRANSPORT LINKS Experts from rail, car rental<br />

and taxis and transfers debate the impact of<br />

technological innovation, remote working, and<br />

growing concerns about sustainability and safety,<br />

and tell you how to better manage that 'last mile'.<br />

12.15PM<br />

THE NEXT GENERATION A buyer-focussed<br />

panel discusses the changing role of the travel<br />

manager and the exciting new opportunities for<br />

those who are up for the challenge.<br />

3PM<br />

Afternoon refreshments<br />

12.50PM<br />

1PM<br />


Lunch/final networking<br />

6.30PM THE BUSINESS TRAVEL PEOPLE AWARDS <strong>2021</strong><br />




Reality check<br />

Go online for the full reviews: thebusinesstravelmag.com<br />



Starting with Teslas two<br />


Branch staff had told<br />

years ago, Enterprise has been<br />

us charging the car was a very easy<br />

expanding its electric fleet and this<br />

plug-in-and-go process but whilst this is<br />

summer added a selection of lower-mid<br />

the case for Teslas, all other makes of<br />

range cars, including the Vauxhall Corsa<br />

electric cars use a different network of<br />

E. With five doors, built-in satnav,<br />

chargers and it’s more complicated. It<br />

climate control, and up to 160 miles<br />

turned out we needed an account with<br />

range on a full charge, it seemed<br />

‘Charging Place Scotland’ to access the<br />

perfect for our 850-mile Scotland trip.<br />

network, and ideally a RFID card linked<br />


The online booking<br />

to our account to tap on the machines<br />

process was easy. We’d originally<br />

to begin charging. It's also possible to<br />

booked to collect the car from the<br />

charge using an app but this caused us<br />

Edinburgh Waverly branch but due to<br />

a wealth of problems as internet signal<br />

Covid it was temporarily closed. Instead<br />

was limited, if not non-existent, in many<br />

we were offered complimentary pick-up<br />

locations. The machines themselves<br />

from our accommodation to collect<br />

also needed internet connection to<br />

very receptive of our comments on<br />

from the Edinburgh City Centre branch.<br />

receive data from the app and more<br />

charging issues and said they'd relay<br />


The wheel was<br />

often than not this proved impossible.<br />

this back to the head office.<br />

wrapped in a protective cover and with<br />

Enterprise’s ‘Complete Clean Pledge’ we<br />

felt very confident the car was sanitised<br />

and all necessary precautions had been<br />

taken. Masks were worn at all times,<br />

Thankfully, mid-way through our trip, a<br />

fellow EV driver kindly lent us his<br />

personal 'Charging Place Scotland' card<br />

so we no longer had to worry about<br />

difficulties charging. This meant we<br />




THE ROAD<br />

THE VERDICT A smooth drive overall,<br />

but with a few bumps in the road.<br />

Directions on charging could have been<br />

clearer but otherwise the process, and<br />

the car, was efficient and enjoyable.<br />

even outside. After a thorough check<br />

could begin to really enjoy the car –<br />


enterprise.co.uk;<br />

and a brief on how the charging worked<br />

(more on that later), we hit the road.<br />

effortlessly smooth and almost eerily<br />

quiet to drive. At drop-off, staff were<br />

0800 800 227. Rentals from £88 a day.<br />

April Waterston<br />



A Hastings Hotel<br />

THE ROOM<br />

My spacious and ultra-<br />

property and a Small Luxury Hotel of<br />

comfortable Bishop Suite on the fourth<br />

the World, this five-star hotel is six miles<br />

floor had a partial dividing wall<br />

from Belfast city centre and yet its<br />

separating the bedroom from the<br />

setting is more akin to a tranquil rural<br />

lounge area. Features included a King<br />

retreat. With the wooded slopes of the<br />

Coil ‘Cloud Bed’, a work table, couch and<br />

Holywood hills as its backdrop and 12<br />

lounge chairs, and two TVs. A large bay<br />

acres of manicured gardens, it has a<br />

window offered views down to Belfast<br />

real sense of grandeur, history and<br />

Lough and the County Antrim Coastline.<br />

serenity. Its 98 elegant rooms and<br />


There's a dedicated<br />

suites, spa and restaurant have been<br />

business reception area, with secretarial<br />

recently refurbished.<br />

services, and a plethora of conference<br />


Health and safety<br />

and meeting rooms. The gardens offer<br />

protocols are in line with industry-wide<br />

team building exercises and activities<br />

'Peace of Mind Policy' guidelines, an<br />

like archery, laser clay pigeon shooting<br />

industry standard established in<br />

and target golf. WiFi is free and speedy.<br />

treatments), a pool (with Jacuzzi), a<br />

association with the National Tourism<br />


The main restaurant,<br />

weight room, sauna and an eucalyptus<br />

Organisations of Great Britain and<br />

Northern Ireland. Measures include<br />

sanitising stations throughout the hotel<br />

and a chemical-free disinfectant system.<br />

THE CHECK-IN The reception area is<br />

surprisingly small for such a large<br />

Vespers, is serving dinner only on a<br />

Friday and Saturday but is open daily<br />

for breakfast. The Lough Room, which<br />

will revert to a residents' bar once Covid<br />

rules allow, offered a limited but<br />

wholesome menu. At the bottom of the<br />






steam room.<br />

THE VERDICT A premium-class hotel<br />

with top-range facilities that offers a<br />

sense of peace and solitude that no city<br />

centre hotel could match.<br />

THE DETAILS Bangor Rd, Hollywood,<br />

property but never felt crowded. Two<br />

estate is the pub-cosy Cultra Inn.<br />

Belfast, BT18 0EX; hastingshotels.com.<br />

front desk staff members, wearing<br />

masks, were friendly and efficient.<br />

Afternoon Tea is served in the Drawing<br />

Room. There's a gym, Spa (with ESPA<br />

Rooms from £300, including breakfast.<br />

Steve Hartridge<br />



The final word<br />

From Shitterton to Twatt<br />

F<br />

orget Lands End to John<br />

O' Groats. If all those<br />

lockdowns have left you<br />

with the urge to do something<br />

worthwhile, like a charity<br />

fundraising trip across<br />

Britain, there's now a much<br />

more fun way to do it.<br />

Follow in the footsteps of Paul<br />

Taylor, from Oxfordshire, who<br />

this summer sped off on a 50cc<br />

moped for a 1,800-mile tour, in<br />

memory of a friend, taking in all<br />

the places with names that'll<br />

make you chuckle.<br />

Starting in the Dorset hamlet<br />

of Shitterton (tee-hee) he'll be<br />

calling at Crazies Hill and<br />

Cockpole Green near Reading,<br />

Berkshire, Butthole Lane in<br />

Shepshed, Leicestershire, and<br />

Titty Ho in Northamptonshire.<br />

His tour - known as the<br />

Moronic Moped Marathon - also<br />

takes in Happy Bottom Nature<br />

Reserve, Sandy Balls Holiday<br />

Park, Pishill, The Knob, Butthole<br />

Lane, Slack Bottom Road, and<br />

more, before ending up in Twatt<br />

in the Orkney Isles.<br />

At the last count, cheeky Paul<br />

had already raised just under<br />

£20,000 for Cancer Research -<br />

way over his initial £1,800<br />

target. If you want to add a<br />

donation, check out this link:<br />

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/<br />

paul-taylor233<br />

Sunhat or<br />

umbrella?<br />

Packing is so much easier when<br />

you know if it's going to rain or<br />

shine, so here's a handy list of<br />

European cities with the most<br />

predictable weather:<br />

1 Valetta<br />

2 Nicosia<br />

3 Dublin<br />

4 London<br />

5 Rome<br />

6 Athens<br />

7 Reykjavik<br />

8 Amsterdam<br />

9 Brussels<br />

10 Paris<br />

Research by Uswitch Car Insurance<br />

Oh, I do like to be...<br />

Whether you jetted<br />

off to sunny Spain<br />

or cloudy Cornwall,<br />

hopefully most of you got a<br />

well-deserved seaside break<br />

this summer. This year, more<br />

than ever, what we've all<br />

yearned for is a day at the<br />

beach, to feel the sea air and<br />

the sand between our toes<br />

Or have we? Apparently not,<br />

according to hotel platform,<br />

Hoo, which looked at some<br />

data and found that 63% of<br />

us prefer a dip in the pool to<br />

the beach, and for a number<br />

of reasons: our dislike of<br />

pebbles, sand, and seawater<br />

and a fear of what lies<br />

beneath. The makers of Jaws<br />

have got a lot to answer for.<br />

What we had for dinner became the most<br />

exciting thing that happened to many of us in<br />

those long, dark days of the lockdowns. With<br />

nothing else to brag about, social media<br />

became flooded with heavily-filtered photos<br />

of mealtimes, showcasing our national<br />

dishes. According to Dutch delivery website,<br />

Thuisbezorgd, pizzas were the instagram<br />

favourites across Europe, while in the UK we<br />

were all keen to share snaps<br />

of our beloved fish<br />

and chips, Sunday<br />

roasts and<br />

Shepherd's Pie.<br />

Sadly, not quite so<br />

photogenic!<br />



Reconnect<br />

Reset<br />

Restart<br />

Register now - for free -<br />

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

Conference <strong>2021</strong>, the<br />

intimate, in-person event<br />

exclusively for corporate<br />

buyers and arrangers of<br />

business travel and meetings<br />

<strong>Sept</strong>ember 14 -15, <strong>2021</strong><br />

London Hilton Bankside<br />

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conference.com<br />

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