DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL | JUL 18, 2010
Andavo Travel grows, changes name
Andavo Travel grows, changes name
Whether personal or job-related, corporate travel professionals are participating in more social networks than they did one year ago, and they are doing so at a higher rate, according to a Spring 2010 online survey conducted by AirPlus International. The recent exercise follows up on a year-ago survey also conducted by AirPlus, and included additional social networking platforms where respondents might be active users. Not only did the survey show fairly robust usage numbers for the new inclusions—Plaxo and TripIt—it also showed increased usage on for nearly every social platform making a repeat appearance in the survey this year.
While Linked In users held steady at about 58 percent, use of Facebook increased among surveyed travel management pros by almost 25 percent over last year’s numbers. Use of Twitter, which was employed by 15.5 percent of survey respondents last year, ostensibly doubled its numbers in the 2010 survey. Corporate travel industry blogs were another big performer in year-over-year comparisons, with 20 percent of respondents indicating they participated in this format in 2010 compared to less than 13 percent who did so in 2009, an increase of 50 percent.
In which of the following social media platforms do you participate?
|Social Media Platforms||2009||2010|
Overall, a higher percentage of survey respondents cited use of social networking sites this year. Just under 72 percent of respondents indicated they were using social media cites either personally or professionally last year. That number increased to 77 percent in the 2010 survey.
Survey respondents indicated that traveler use of social media sites for travel-related recommendations and/or services has also been on the rise since last year. Forty percent said that their travelers had increased use of social networks for travel-related research, while less than 5 percent thought that it had decreased.
Specialized travel sites that incorporate social networking elements as well as itinerary management tools have developed a devoted following among leisure and business travelers. TripIt, which showed a strong debut in the AirPlus survey this year, has capitalized on that business traveler interest by offering a free “groups” service that allows a company to create a private network through the site based on the company’s email domain name. The group function allows co-workers with corresponding email domains to exchange itineraries and recommendations away from the eyes of the general TripIt user, sidestepping some of the privacy and confidentiality concerns that continue to give pause to travel management stakeholders when it comes to dealing with the influence of social media sites. Indeed, the open sharing of company travel itineraries and preferred supplier information on consumer-oriented social media sites has been reported in industry media as a widespread concern for corporate travel managers. Still, there is a growing recognition that being able to share information with colleagues through a social media platform has significant advantages for travel management.
More than 52 percent of survey respondents indicated that traveler satisfaction benefits from the informal exchange of information that a social media platform offers. Nearly 42 percent of respondents said that travel managers could also benefit by listening to feedback about traveler needs. Almost 36 percent cited social media platforms as a way to refine preferred supplier choices based on traveler input.
Outside of the AirPlus survey, leading-edge travel managers have recommended using these platforms as a way to keep travel programs agile and relevant not simply by participating in of-the-moment technologies but using them in innovative ways to push savings opportunities and special benefits to travelers . As a new generation of business traveler enters the workplace with plugged-in lives and consumer-style expectations for enterprise technologies, managed travel programs would do well to explore the options now.
Since we are celebrating our country’s history let’s take a look at some of our own….
Christopherson Business Travel…. on the move!
Sales results 2002 – $79.9 million. Sales were over $200 million in 2009.
Voice mail implemented April 2003 – The vote is in 75% of our clients surveyed said they would like us to have voice mail and 85% of the employees agreed!
Christopherson billboard advertising campaign 2004 –Remember those great blue billboards with those clever sayings? “We draw the line at packing your bags”, “Hear that? It’s your bottom line saying “Thank You”, and “Travel Agency for Capitalists and their tightwad CFO’s” to name a few.
Denver travel agency purchased 2005 – Travel Connections was purchased which added 14 new team members and $15 million in new travel bookings.
AirPortal® trademark approved 2006– Great news! The name AirPortal® is exclusively ours. AirPortal was the beginning of many great things to come from our incredible technology team.
Christopherson selected as #1 in the “Readers’ Choice Awards” survey by Connect Magazine 2007 – The survey was taken among high-income readers in business decision-maker positions.
Christopherson Business Travel and Denver based Andavo Travel Announce Merger 2008 –
The combined operations formed one of the largest travel management firms in the United States and the largest national BCD Travel affiliate.
Christopherson Wins the Alfred P. Sloan Award 2009 – What a great place to work!
And now for some frivolous but ‘thought you might like to know’ facts….
A LONG TIME AGO: Nov 21, 1783 – Who thought then, at the early start of aviation history what air travel would mean. The modern age of aviation began with the first untethered human lighter- than-air flight on November 21, 1783, in a hot air balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers.
WHAT’S A “QANTAS?” You probably recognize the name of this Australian national airline… but what’s it mean? It’s an acronym for: Queensland and Northern Territories Air Service.
ANY QUESTIONS? As printed on an American Airlines package of peanuts: “Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.”
NO TIME TO NAP: The shortest scheduled airline flight is from the Scottish island of Westray to its neighbor island, Papa Westray. Flight time: 2 minutes!
THINK YOU LIKE TRAVELING? The world’s first travel agency was founded by Englishman Thomas Cook in 1850. Not only did he introduce the concept of the hotel reservation, Cook also personally organized and led the first round-the-world tour, lasting 222 days and covering over 40225 kilometers!
HA! HA! HA! A young and foolish pilot wanted to sound cool on the aviation frequencies. So, this was his first time approaching a field during the nighttime. Instead of making any official requests to the tower, he said: “Guess who?”
The controller switched the field lights off and replied: “Guess where!”
And last but certainly not least…
WHAT?! Hijacking of airplanes was outlawed in 1961.
Christopherson is pleased to have moved up to #12 in the Business Travel News (BTN) 2010 Business Travel Agencies Ranking. Christopherson’s growth is attributed to the merger with Andavo Travel and the acquisition of new corporate accounts.
Industry reports indicate the U.S. business travel spend was down over 20% in 2009 causing a challenging year for travel management companies. Christopherson was well positioned to not only withstand the tough economy of 2009, but also improve in national ranking to #12!