Business Travel Travel News

Christopherson is One of Utah’s Fifty Fastest Growing Companies

Christopherson Business Travel, the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, was recently named a Fast 50 company by Utah Business Magazine.

The Fast 50 program highlights fifty of Utah’s fastest-growing companies determined by a combination of compound annual growth and revenue. This is the fourth year Christopherson has been ranked on the Fast 50 list.

Grand America Hotel on August 29, 2012.

To view a portion of Christopherson CEO Mike Cameron’s interview, click here or see below. To view the full list of all fifty companies and their rankings, click here.

Travel Industry Travel News

“Vote Travel” Campaign – What is it?

Let the political conventions begin! I don’t know about you but I am looking forward to the them as well as the debates.

Vote Travel

The U.S. Travel Association detailed the second phase of its Vote Travel campaign last week, which will take place in conjunction with the political party conventions in Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. In February of this year the Vote Travel campaign launched. This campaign was instituted to ensure that policymakers understand the value of the travel industry, and that they view travel as a key to economic recovery. Blain Rethmeier, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations at U.S. Travel Association, outlined plans to “embrace an aggressive and muscular presence at these conventions, leveraging the assets of the industry.”

The Vote Travel initiative at each convention will include:

  • Vote Travel branded key cards handed out at Marriott hotels in both Tampa and Charlotte
  • Vote Travel digi-clean microfiber screen cleaners provided to anyone renting a car from Hertz or Enterprise
  • Back-of-the-house tours, available to policymakers and delegates, to show the nuts and bolts of how a convention works
  • Marketing street teams handing out Vote Travel t-shirts and buttons
  • Taxi cabs outfitted with Vote Travel air fresheners
  • Convention bus drivers wearing Vote Travel buttons

Everyone loves travel, whether it be a relaxing vacation, visiting and reconnecting with family, or attending a business meeting, but not everyone realizes travel’s significant economic impact. Travel contributes $1.9 trillion to our economy and supports 14.4 million American jobs that cannot be outsourced. This is precisely why we need policies that allow the travel industry to thrive.



Travel Industry Travel News

Dreamliner Coming to United Airlines

United unveiled it’s Dreamliner 787 aircraft on August 2nd, however it will not be in commercial service until October. United has not announced what cities it will serve first, however it will ease into service on domestic routes before transitioning to long-haul service. By March the Dreamliner will begin non-stop service between Tokyo and Denver.

United has 50 Dreamliners on order, five of which the carrier expects to have in its possession by the end of this year.

This particular Dreamliner will come with signature advances allowed by the jet’s modern construction. They include: windows that are 30% bigger than those on other wide-body planes, storage bins built to accommodate roll-aboard bags common with today’s fliers, flights pressurized to the equivalent of 6,000 feet in elevation, and higher humidity levels, which Boeing and United say should mitigate issues such as fatigue, headaches, and jet lag.

Travel News Vacation Travel

The St. Regis San Francisco Hotel: A Beauty

I recently returned from a weekend in San Francisco. I was able to visit the St. Regis at 125 3rd Street. This elegant hotel is in a great location, with the Museum of Modern Art directly next door, Union Square for shopping and theater, and the ballpark if you are taking in a Giants baseball game. The 260 guest rooms and 46 suites are beautiful, with lovely views. For suite guests, St. Regis’s Butler Service provides for any request.

As a Virtuoso agency you receive added amenities if you book the hotel through Andavo Travel.

Complimentary Virtuoso Exclusive Benefits

  • Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests, in our breakfast restaurant Vitrine or via in-room dining
  • Lunch for two in Vitrine restaurant, once per stay
  • 4pm late check-out, subject to availability
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Ranked #1

Christopherson Business Travel, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, was recently ranked the #1 travel agency in Utah by Utah Business Magazine. Rankings were based on 2011 sales and were listed in the August 2012 issue of Utah Business.

Christopherson has been Utah’s business travel leader for more than 50 years. A certified, woman-owned corporation, Christopherson also ranks as the 12th largest agency in the nation, providing intelligent travel management for more than 900 clients across the country.

Founded in 1953 by Merrill and Lucille Christopherson, the agency was purchased by Mike and Camille Cameron in 1990. At that time, the company had two employees and booked $1 million in travel. Today, Christopherson operates three full-service locations (Salt Lake City, Utah, Denver, Colorado, San Francisco, California) as well as 35 client-dedicated on-site locations, maintains a successful leisure travel division (Andavo Travel), employs more than 250 travel professionals, and booked $287 million in travel in 2011.

Business Travel Travel Industry

New Airline Ancillary Fees

Airlines continue to implement new ancillary fees and increase charges on existing fees. It’s important for companies to update their expense policy to address these costs and equally important for travelers to be aware of what their company will, or will not, reimburse.

IdeaWorks Company recently released a study of airline ancillary fees which has sparked a couple of interesting articles worth reviewing:

  1. Ancillary Fees Up but Companies Less Likely to Reimburse, Fox Business
  2. What Airline Fees Are Coming Next?, USA Today
Travel Industry Travel News

Delta Expands at LaGuardia and Invests in the Customer Experience

Delta Launches the Final Phase of Their Expansion at the New York-LaGuardia Airport
In July Delta added 11 new destinations from the hub in addition to a dozen new routes launched in March, completing the largest route expansion at the New York City gateway in more than 40 years. Since March, Delta has increased service at LaGuardia by more than 60 percent, with 100 new flights and 26 new destinations.

Delta Offers Improved Productivity and Convenience for New York Travelers
Travelers arriving at LaGuardia enjoy the airport’s easy access to Manhattan. They can also connect at the conveniently positioned hub to dozens of business destinations. At LaGuardia, Delta operates a combination of narrow body and regional jets, the latter of which offer the convenience of First Class Cabins on most routes.

Facility Improvements at LGA Enhance the Customer Experience
In addition to new flights at LaGuardia, Delta is investing more than $160 million to modernize LaGuardia, with work expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The project includes a 630-foot connector bridge linking Terminals C and D, a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal C and expanded security lanes in both terminals. The connector bridge will allow Delta customers to walk between terminals behind security, providing easy access to departure and arrival gates and facilitating convenient connections.

$1.2 Billion in Improvements at JFK Complements LaGuardia Expansion
Besides modernizing facilities at LaGuardia, Delta also is part of a $1.2 billion expansion project at their JFK hub to add nine additional gates to Terminal 4. That terminal, which will become Delta’s international gateway at New York, will include a state-of-the-art baggage handling system, additional Customs and security lanes and one of the largest Delta Sky Clubs in the airline’s system. Customers can use their global hub at JFK to reach nearly 50 international destinations on five continents.

Business Travel Travel Industry

Hotel rates on the Rise: U.S. ranks #4 for hotels with best business outlook

As we jump over the “hump” 2012, I thought it would be helpful to share what will be happening with hotel rates this Fall as a result of the economy’s (somewhat) improvement and the fact that travelers are spending a little more money.

Hotel rates increasing

In the latest TripAdvisor Industry Index, we find that U.S. hoteliers expect pricier rates for the Fall travel season. Nearly half (47 percent) expect rates to be higher this year compared to the same time last year, while only 16 percent expect comparatively lower rates.

The top five countries where hoteliers expect higher rates are:

  • the U.S. (47 percent)
  • Brazil (42 percent)
  • Russia (42 percent)
  • Indonesia (37 percent)
  • Turkey (35 percent)

The top five countries where hoteliers expect lower rates are:

  • Greece (58 percent)
  • Spain (43 percent)
  • Italy (37 percent)
  • Australia (32 percent)
  • New Zealand (29 percent)
  • And did you know that the U.S. ranks fourth in the world for hotels with the best business outlook, while Greece ranks last?

Countries with hoteliers having the most positive outlook were, in order:

  • Indonesia
  • Brazil
  • Russia
  • United States
  • India

Countries with hoteliers having the most negative outlook were, in order:

  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • New Zealand

TripAdvisor also conducted a survey on how U.S. hotels win guests. Those surveyed said discounts on rooms (58 percent) led the way, followed by special amenities like free Wi-Fi (44 percent), free parking (31 percent), rewards points (30 percent), and free newspapers (20 percent). Twelve percent of U.S. accommodations said they do not offer any specials. Ninety-three percent of U.S. respondents report offering free in-room Wi-Fi Internet access. However, 17 percent of those who do not currently offer free Wi-Fi plan to do so in the next six months.