Wednesday 20 February 2019

GUEST BLOG: Is Your Travel SuperCaliFragilisticExpialiDocious?

Spit spot. Your travel agent just booked your flight along with the expected hotel accommodation. Everything is practically perfect in every way, right? Well almost. The difference between a good trip and the most extraordinary one comes down to how three key ingredients manifest on your mobile phone: irresistible destination content, sensible user experience and indubitable dynamic communication channels.

It begins with a quest to discover ‘what to do’ and then ‘how to do it’ as soon as you have booked your flight and lodging. This isn’t an insignificant question when you consider the volume of travel taking place:

In 2017, a study of outbound tourism found that the average UK resident was abroad for a total of 10.2 nights, and spent £616 while there. In total, 72.8 million trips were taken, amounting to £44.8 billion spent abroad by tourists from the UK.  Conversely according to Visit Britain, the 39.2 million overseas visitors who came to the UK in 2017 spent £24.5 billion – both setting records. These figures represent a 4% increase in volume and 9% (nominal) increase in value compared with 2016.

Next, toss in a myriad of sites all declaring they have the answer to your destination needs.  But navigating all of this disparate content without the ability to weigh previous travel behaviour or current context feels like a ‘piecrust promise’ – easily made then broken, Miss Poppins herself would say.

Lastly, how we learn about all of the delightful accoutrements that can make or break one’s trip require that the communication surrounding them ‘step in time’. In other words, the delivery of push notifications, text messages, and email about ways to enhance and tailor your journey have to operate in a perfect symphony.

Good news, anything can happen if you let it. Truly. Travel agencies like Travel Up, Uniglobe and Wexas within the United Kingdom are already tapping into the latest mobile capabilities and best practices thanks to the Amadeus Mobile platform. This same white label platform powers CheckMyTrip, now the World’s Leading Travel App as of 2018, and is available to travel agencies worldwide to service and delight their travellers wherever they go.

It takes a village to successfully deliver a world-class travel app experience across content, user experience and multiple channels. Hence, Amadeus is cultivating the best and brightest global content and technology partners across activities, dining, parking, transfers, tours and more through the Amadeus Mobile COLLECTIVE to help travel agencies access everything they need to own and operate their travel apps so their travel clients enjoy the most productive and memorable journey.

Do you have a travel app, but not sure how to take it from good to brilliant? Well begun is only half done according to Mary Poppins. Pop by the Business Travel Show & Travel Technology Europe on 20-21 February at Olympia London to hear from top experts cultivated by Amadeus on the breaking trends and best practices defining the present as well as shaping the future of travel.

This post was written by Michelle Batten and her job title is Global Head of Marketing for Mobile, Amadeus. Register for your free visitor pass now at 

GUEST BLOG: A medium fish in a big pond: managing a midmarket travel programme

Sometimes it seems like the ‘global giants’ take all the focus in the business travel industry.
The industry as a whole is laser-focused on large multinational clients who spend USD 100M+ across multiple global markets. Client panels at industry events mainly feature managers of these more substantial programmes, where it's hard to know what applies to you as a midmarket client.

So what's a mid-market travel programme manager to do? Where do you start when looking at global consolidation? Where should your key focus areas be, and which elements are more relevant to the ‘global giants’?

What is a mid-sized global client?
Generally, the industry categorises mid-market clients as companies spending between 20M - 60M USD on global transient business travel in 3+ markets, usually with meetings and events as an additional spend line.

Where should your focus be?
When we look at mid-market global consolidation at Radius Travel, we focus on three key areas:

1)    The user experience

User experience is vital to driving internal adoption and ensuring users make the right choices for the business.
Here’s what to consider:
  • The user journey – your process should make life easier for bookers
  • Presenting bookers with not only the best options but also the right options, in line with company policy
  • Addressing security needs, such as traveller tracking
  • Rates and products sourced covering all requirements
  • Everything in one place: offline/online capabilities and technology that is supported by a 24-hour team
With an enjoyable user experience, travellers will come on board willingly, stay within policy and make good choices for the business.

Consider stakeholder engagement. Needs across all the departments and people connected to a global travel programme are often varied and specific to each area. Bookers, the procurement team, regional departmental heads, human resources and finance (to name a few!) will all require the system to work for them and solve their specific needs.

By actively encouraging early stakeholder engagement through discovery sessions, you can understand the pain points of each area, whilst also making sure the business understands the overall aims of implementing a centralised system. If you get this right, you can hugely increase policy compliance and adoption rates across your organisation.

2)    Global leverage

Consider the return of investment of your programme. Does your TMC have:
  • expert rate sourcing capabilities
  • global reach
  • a vision to grow and incorporate value-added services when the time is right (such as integrating meetings & events)

If your TMC has global leverage, they will tick all of these boxes, and ensure you are investing with a TMC with the resource, scale and expertise to maximise your global opportunity.

Savings optimisation and value add statements should provide you with a clear picture of where the return will be driven from for your organisation. Be sure you have a clear overview of the value you will gain, and that the programme is not only ready for current requirements but is also ‘future-proofed’.

3)    Overall programme costs

There is a lot of choice out there when determining a travel programme, so take the time to understand which solution best fits your needs. Your TMC should provide a clear picture of the pros and cons of industry technology, payment forms, and travel management interaction.

Ask yourself the following questions when determining what will fit best for your organisation:
  • What are you investing in?
  • Which online booking tool suits your needs?
  • Are you better suited with a best-in-market solution or a more standardised system?

Reporting is often one of the first requirements on a global consolidator’s list. Reporting tools should provide both a snapshot of your global business spend, but also a more in-depth overview for more informed business decisions.

A dedicated global account manager will be vital to analysing your data and providing recommendations. Once you have the basics right, you can look at additional technology such as repricing tools and data analytics, which will provide further opportunities to optimise a travel programme.

Overall, these three key areas will provide you with a strong foundation to implement a travel programme that drives value and grants transparency, and allow you to focus on driving meaningful actions, avoiding cost, and managing traveller behaviour.

This blog was posted by Greg Mannix, Director of Global Sales, EMEA for Radius Travel, who are exhibiting at the Business Travel Show next week in BTS Hub D. Please register for your free visitor pass at