Friday 27 February 2015


Visitor numbers rose again for the Business Travel Show this year, with early estimates pointing to a 15 per cent increase in attendees. 7,427 corporate travel professionals attended the show compared to 6,459 in 2014, which in itself was a ten per cent rise year on year.

The Business Travel Show is Europe’s leading specialised event for European travel buyers and managers and 2015 was the biggest in the show’s 21-year history with 252 exhibitors, an increase of ten per cent on last year. The show took place on 25-26 February in its new venue – Olympia Grand – and three weeks later than normal. It will return to Olympia in 2016 on 24-25 February.

The show experienced the highest rebooking rate in its 21-year history. Exhibitors for 2015 included easyJet, Concur, Kenya Airways, Carlson Rezidor, Star Alliance, Click Travel, Egencia, Amadeus, Airbnb, Barclaycard, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Premier Inn, Flybe, Hailo, FCm Travel Solutions, HRG, Addison Lee, Fraedom, Hilton, Qatar Airways and American Express Global Business Travel.

Fifty-eight conference sessions took place including the exclusive Hosted Buyer Pre-Show Conference on 24 February. Speakers included Google, Airbnb, Schott, Roche, Nomura, Bacardi, Carphone, LEGO, Sony Mobile, AON, Electronic Arts and WINiT.

easyJet’s Frederic the rabbit opened the show on Tuesday after walking the orange carpet. Go Native also hosted celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale, who was showing visitors how to cook for one in a serviced apartment kitchen. Kenya Airways and Enterprise sponsored the post show networking dinner and drinks, which featured a personal appearance from charity Born Free and ambassador Peter Andre. £10,000 was raised for Born Free at the event.

David Rodriquez from first time exhibitor Hailo said: “We have received a very positive response to our disruptive business model at the Business Travel Show where we’ve held a lot of pre-booked meetings and had some interesting conversations. It’s been great chance to catch up with some familiar faces too, as this is the event where everyone comes to network.” 

Graham Kingsmill, Managing Director, Egencia UK, said: “We are thrilled with the turnout at the Business Travel Show 2015. It exceeded our expectations, especially in terms of walk-on meetings and opportunities in the pan-European and global market.”

Simon McLean, Managing Director, Click Travel: “Click made a substantially greater investment in this year’s event, with a larger stand and the sponsorship of the Central CafĂ©, and it has paid off. We’ve capitalised on this great opportunity with record numbers of people visiting our stand, where we’ve been able to demonstrate why we achieve record growth year after year.”

“What a fantastic two days we’ve just had – the biggest ever Business Travel Show on record, the highest number of visitors for at least eight years and a return to Olympia, which has no doubt contributed to an amazing feel good atmosphere in the hall. The buzz of buyers and suppliers networking and doing business has been audible throughout the entire show. It’s a wonderful noise to hear and we thank our exhibitors, visitors, sponsors and speakers for making it such a fantastic event,” commented Sam Cande, Business Travel Show Sales Director.

The Business Travel Show, Europe’s leading specialised event for the corporate travel industry, will take place 24-25 February 2016 at Olympia Grand in London. For more information please visit Registration will go live in the autumn.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

GUEST BLOG: Safety first.

It’s every manager’s worst nightmare – a seemingly regular business trip goes wrong and your employee goes missing abroad. Your emails are unanswered, calls unreturned, and the employee fails to turn up to their scheduled meeting.

Whilst the possible harm to your employee is undoubtedly and rightly your main concern, the consequences for businesses which have failed to adequately pre-empt and plan for risk can be dire – from finding yourself in the middle of a media inquisition to the possibility of criminal charges.

Under the UK’s Health & Safety legislation, companies owe a duty of care to their employees and must take reasonable steps to protect their personnel (from sourcing safe vehicle hire to understanding the employee’s pre-existing illnesses). However, many businesses are ill informed about exactly what constitutes ‘reasonable steps’, as the buck doesn’t simply stop with a travel insurance policy. This, in isolation, does not represent a duty of care plan and will not prevent the employee from being exposed to risk. Instead, careful planning and ongoing management should be at the foundation of every overseas trip, particularly when considering the unique and unexpected risk factors that some countries face. From the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the recent uncharacteristic protests in Hong Kong and terrorist attacks in Europe, the varied nature and scope of risk has certainly been shown by events of late.

The overwhelming force of globalisation has changed the structure and pace of corporate life – meaning travelling internationally is a necessary part of doing business for globally operating companies. Assessing the risks for business travellers is about so much more than insurance, as the costs to a business of an employee coming to harm whilst working away from home can be far more significant. Pre-empting risk is essential in order for every business that works internationally to avoid fines, imprisonment – and ultimately danger to their employees.

This post was written by Matthew Judge, Group Managing Director, ANVIL, which is launching the next generation of its traveller security application TRIS at the Business Travel Show today and tomorrow. Register online or onsite - 

Tuesday 24 February 2015

GUEST BLOG: Have you considered apart'hotels for relocation?

Relocation in the short-term when travelling on business can be a tricky area to negotiate. Short term leases can be complicated to arrange and staying at a hotel is far from ideal. Living out of a suitcase and eating out can be an expensive drag and not as convenient as perhaps thought for any longer than a week.

If you look carefully, right in the middle ground you will find the solution to this conundrum: the apart’hotel. Flexible and cost effective, apart’hotels offer the home-from-home comforts of a private apartment with some of the extras that you would find at a hotel. The added benefit of having your own kitchen saves money and offers convenience whilst the extra security of a reception and extra facilities such as a gym and communal areas are added extras you get above and beyond going private.

It seems that in Europe, where the industry is fairly new, having only really become established 30 years ago, the idea of apart’hotels is catching on. Now the second largest apart’hotel industry in the world after the US, people are realising the benefits.

With the EU open border policy, relocation within Europe is a trend set to grow. The country attracting the largest number of migrants moving within EU is Germany, with almost 30 per cent choosing to go there in 2012. It’s no wonder, then, that Germany has one of the fastest growing apart’hotel sectors in Europe. Providers are recognising this drift and more and more properties are now opening in central Europe. 

This blog post was written by Rebecca Hollants Van Loocke, The Ascott Limited. The Ascott is opening two new properties in 2015, the Citadines Michel Hamburg and Citadines City Centre Frankfurt. Find out more at the Business Travel Show on Wednesday and Thursday. Register now at

Monday 23 February 2015

GUEST BLOG: Duty of care and responsible travel management

Jetting off to Kuala Lumpur for a conference? Visiting a client in Lagos? Auditing a new distribution centre in Sao Paulo? It may sound exciting, but take a moment to consider the risks you could face, as well as the policies and processes that you and your colleagues should implement to make these trips happen safely. Under the UK Corporate Manslaughter Act, organisations are required to do their utmost to inform travellers of and protect them from the risks they face when travelling. 

Here are three factors to consider when sending employees abroad:

Firstly, there’s the itinerary; booking flights, car hire or taxi services, hotel reservations, organising visas, and arranging insurance. This is just the tip of the iceberg from a travel management perspective; not only do these details have to be organised, but there should be quality criteria for all these elements. Choosing reliable airlines, safe hotels and registered taxi firms are just some of the considerations for such trips. Depending on your destination, you may need more specialist assistance such as security-trained drivers or close protection. Does your organisation have travel policies in place? Do you know them? Do you follow them?

Secondly, there’s the information. Before you travel, it’s important from both a duty of care and personal perspective that you know the risks you may face on your trip. Different destinations pose different threats, which can range from pickpocketing to kidnapping and terrorism. Being aware of these risks and knowing how to respond if faced with such an incident are crucial elements of undertaking any travel.

Finally, there’s the incident response. How does your organisation ensure that everything is going according to plan? Do you have an established crisis management plan? How and to what extent can they assist if something goes wrong? All these factors have to be considered in order to fulfil the duty of care which an organisation has to its employees.

This post was written by Red24 which is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show next week. Register now at and make sure you visit the Responsible Travel Management Zone and enjoy the RTM conference sessions. 

GUEST BLOG: How to stay safe when mobile abroad

For those responsible for the safety of travellers, travel risk management is climbing ever higher on the agenda. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Sydney, outbreaks of Ebola in West Africa and atypical protests in Hong Kong, bring into sharp focus the myriad of challenges employees face, even when travelling to countries that are generally considered safe. However, with the unrelenting development of technology, it is now possible to provide even more acute levels of security to employees travelling on company business.

The use of technology systems to support travel risk management has evolved enormously since the early 2000’s, which now provide a comprehensive solution to incident management and mitigation. Furthermore, the incorporation of GPS technology in mobile devices has led to a new generation of employee monitoring techniques, offering more substantial support at all stages of the risk management process, providing both traveller and corporate management with a far more responsive and interactive experience.

Mobile applications enable travel managers and corporate security departments (tasked with overseeing the safety of travelling employees) to offer an immediate and dynamic response directly to employees affected by an incident. However, it is imperative to remember that use of this technology performs only one part of a wider security strategy and that such applications are, designed for use in exceptional circumstances, at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner. Comprehensive risk mitigation is only possible through the additional monitoring of traveller’s itineraries, whilst also maintaining an awareness of the potential risks in the host country.

This post was written by Anvil, which is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show next week. You can still register - simply visit 

ANVIL has led the field over the last ten years in delivering technology solutions and associated services that help corporations fulfil their duty of care obligations. With the introduction of intuitive technology platforms, increase in demand for mobile applications and the readiness for corporations to use newer web browsers, ANVIL has been able to develop the next generation of its traveller security application TRIS, which will be launched at the forthcoming Business Travel Show in London. 

Friday 20 February 2015

GUEST BLOG: How the corporate travel industry needs to adapt to emerging trends

With the advent of a global economy and supply chain, the business travel sector has had to evolve in order to address new trends and challenges.  Whilst trip authorisation, duty of care and negotiated rates with travel providers are still the minimum standards required to address corporate needs, business travellers are looking for more than just the bare minimum. 

One trend we’ve seen is the growing demand for even more independent and boutique hotel inventory. According to Euromonitor International, hotel booking value is projected to grow 6% per year, from $480 billion in 2013 to $600 billion in 2017 in current terms, using year on year exchange rates. Travel management companies which address this growing demand and offer business travellers more choice will reap the rewards.

There are vast numbers of distribution channels for content (hotel and otherwise) and the challenge is to find the most efficient way to integrate that content and make it useable within the confines of the corporate travel program. Next generation travel providers are looking not just for ease of use and convenience, but also complete and transparent access. It is important that corporate travel providers have access to unique hotel content and ancillary spends in order to meet the needs of their customers and stay ahead of the competition.

It is for these reasons that Travelport has expanded beyond a traditional ‘GDS’ to become a broader travel commerce platform. We are giving travel providers new ways to merchandise their content and more intuitive ways to search, sell and book.  

This blog was written by Lorraine Jacobs, Vice President, Corporate Sales & Development, at Travelport. You can visit Travelport at the Business Travel Show from 25-26 February (stand B933) to find out more about how they can integrate any hotel in the world into your programme. 

Thursday 19 February 2015

GUEST BLOG: Controlling travel spend through automation

In a 2014 GBTA Foundation survey,1 travel managers in North America and Europe cited containing rising costs as their #2 priority, behind enforcing travel policies, and it’s no wonder — given the anticipated 2.6 per cent increase in global hotel rates.2 Yet so many corporate travel managers have to scramble just to stay on top of administrative tasks associated with their hospitality programmes — making it hard to focus on reducing costs.  Inefficient processes for sourcing hotel rooms, inadequate negotiating leverage, and noncompliant bookings only add to the problem and make controlling these costs virtually impossible.

To truly get a handle on costs, travel managers need to automate these processes as much as possible. By automating the RFP process, travel managers gain control over negotiations with suppliers by being able to manage higher bid volumes.
But getting great hotel rates isn’t enough. Travel managers need to ensure that their travellers are booking hotels at correct negotiated rates. That’s why automated rate auditing is also crucial to keeping costs down.
Travel programmes that have embraced automation have seen dramatic reductions in their overall spend — by negotiating lower rates on hotels, increasing traveller compliance and by reducing the labour spent manually managing these processes.  If that’s the case, then why aren’t all travel programmes getting on board? 
One reason is complacency; people are just used to doing things a certain way, even when it’s not in their best interest. Perhaps they aren’t bothered by all those nebulous spread sheets, or perhaps they’re afraid they’ll be sacked and replaced by a computer.
More likely, travel managers are simply unaware of the significant return to be made on an investment in an automated travel management solution. And while there’s not much to be done for the complacent, this can and must be addressed.
In 2014, Lanyon partnered with Hobson & Company, experts in ROI/TCO modelling, to help quantify the return on investment of our travel management solutions. We found that, by using our software, travel programmes could receive upwards of 448% ROI over three years.3 Working with Hobson & Company, we’ve also developed a travel programme ROI calculator, which we will be demonstrating this February at the Business Travel Show. 

This post was written by Jean Squires, director business development EMEA, Lanyon. You can visit Lanyon at the Business Travel Show, which takes place 25-26 February 2015 at Olympia Grand in London. Register now at


1. A Day in the Life: The Role of Travel Managers (North America and Europe), Global Business Travel Association Foundation, October 2014
2. 2015 Global Travel Price Outlook, Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) & GBTA

3. Driving ROI: The Business Case for Comprehensive Travel Management Software, Lanyon, 2015

Wednesday 18 February 2015

GUEST BLOG: Technology means travellers can take consultants away with them

Thanks to technology business travellers today are able to take a travel consultant with them wherever they go.

The advent of specialist booking tools and apps means that business travellers can use their smartphones to keep track of their itineraries, make changes when necessary, share any changes with the office and loved ones and even log expenses and even.

Apps such as TripCase or Tripit provide an ‘interactive itinerary’ enabling business travellers to view all the individual elements of their trip on one master itinerary on one screen doing away with the need to trawl through emails for individual trip details.

The virtual travel consultant is available 24 hours a day and makes the process of booking quick and easy.  And the technology can offer many other useful features such as driving instructions, airline seat maps and assisting with those time consuming, but essential tasks, such as logging expenses. 

The smart business traveller can also benefit from this new technology as long as they choose the right product, keep it user friendly and avoid unnecessary complications. 

Now it is much easier to inform travellers of changes to flight times, gate changes or other issues which may impact on their itineraries.  It goes some way in enabling companies to fulfill their duty of care obligations by knowing where their staff are at any given moment.

But perhaps the greatest attraction for travellers is the fact that technology can help them to make savings.  Savings are achieved through lower booking fees and, if implemented correctly, increased compliance with mandated travel policies.

Booking tools can be configured to corporate specifications and travellers can be given reminders when they start to stray from the policy.  There is evidence that visual guilt can help to achieve lower average ticket prices as users are more inclined to take the cheaper fare options they see on the screen rather than have to give a reason for not doing so.

Overall technology plays an invaluable role in making travel easier for employees and helps employers achieve greater control over policy compliance and expenditure.

This blog post was written by Julie Oliver, managing director of Business Travel Direct, who are exhibiting at the Business Travel Show. Register now to attend Europe's biggest specialised corporate travel event at