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Company News and Announcements

THE SAMY AWARDS: Utah’s Top Sales and Marketing Professionals

UTAH BUSINESS | JAN 31, 2013

THE SAMY AWARDS: Utah’s Top Sales and Marketing Professionals

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Company News and Announcements

TMC Christopherson Adds Real-Time Report Card In Updated Portal

THE BEAT | JAN 30, 2013The Beat

TMC Christopherson Adds Real-Time Report Card In Updated Portal

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Travel Management

Travel Solutions for Humanitarian Organizations

At Christopherson Business Travel we offer a wide-ranging collection of travel programs for international travel services specific to humanitarian, and like, organizations including: non-profit organization travel, mission-based organization travel, NGO (non-government organization) travel, and charity travel. Our blended travel solutions are geared for all types of specialized travel services.

Our client consulting service team and our experienced travel agents work together with the organization’s travel manager/planner on travel research for proposals, travel budgets, and to identify savings opportunities. These types of strategies for cost containment can be applied to small organizations just as easily as large ones. We also recognize that the type of traveler is unique to your organization and in some cases might be volunteers who need extra care.

As part of our consulting engagement we offer knowledge and experience in providing travel strategies that will provide meaningful savings, duty of care for the traveler, and dashboards and scorecards to monitor the performance and progress of your travel program.

With our newly developed travel manager dashboard, AirPortal 360™, you’ll have the capability to set up multiple travel managers within an organization, you’ll have visibility to manage global travelers as they travel, and you’ll have easy access to manage all unused tickets. And those are only a few of the valuable features exclusive to Airportal 360.

The bottom line is that Christopherson Business Travel can help create a structure that allows humanitarian, and like, organizations to become better stewards of the time and dollars associated with their travel.

To learn more about Christopherson Business Travel’s services and solutions, please contact one of our executives.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Hotel Review: Hampton Inn & Suites Denver/Airport-Gateway Park

I get my best night's sleep at the Hampton Inn & Suites.
I get my best night’s sleep at the Hampton Inn & Suites.

There’s no place like home–that is, unless you are staying at a Hampton Inn & Suites, and specifically for me, the Hampton Inn & Suites Denver/Airport-Gateway Park. The first time I stayed there I was immediately convinced that I didn’t need to try any of the other hotels in the area. I can honestly say that I’ve never had a more comfortable night of sleep.

In fact, the next morning I found myself on the internet researching whether or not I could purchase the mattress and pillows. To my delight, I could! Come to find out, you can also purchase much more than just the mattress and pillow.

My experience staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites Denver/Airport-Gateway Park began by using their complimentary airport shuttle service. Upon arriving at the hotel, I found myself in a modern, well-designed lobby, and was greeted by very friendly front-desk clerks who checked me in quickly and informed me of the amenities available at the hotel.

My room was a Suite so I experienced the perfect set-up for the business traveler who needs to be able to work while traveling. The guest rooms are clean with white linens and duvet covers and come with all the extra amenities you’ve come to expect from Hampton Inn & Suites.

Though this particular hotel property is located near the airport, you do not hear any airport noise, or any noises from the hallway or elevators, for that matter. You can start your day in the well-equipped fitness room and enjoy the complimentary hot breakfast buffet. End your day with a warm cookie available in the lobby. Dinner can also be delivered by one of the many local restaurants. Just ask the front desk clerks for recommendations. Personally I recommend the Farro Salad from Uno Chicago Grill.

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Business Travel Travel Industry

Delta Airlines Announces Changes to Elite Frequent Flyer Program

skymiles_loyalty_headerDelta Airlines is adding a spend requirement to its SkyMiles Medallion Program for U.S. resident frequent flyers. The newly announced Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) Program will take effect in 2014. Travelers will be required to meet both the mileage or segment requirement and spend a minimum dollar amount on tickets during the year in order to attain elite status for 2015.

The new plan requires Medallion status to be earned in the following way:

MEDALLION QUALIFICATION

  • 25,000 MQMs* or 30 MQSs** achieves Silver Medallion status.
  • 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs achieves Gold Medallion status.
  • 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs achieves Platinum Medallion status.
  • 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs achieves Diamond Medallion status.

Travelers with a U.S. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express will have the new MQDs requirement waived each year they make $25,000 in eligible purchases using their card.

Although the program has been received with mixed reviews, Delta is the only airline that offers program benefits such as unlimited complimentary domestic upgrades, including award tickets and no mileage expiration.

Click here for additional details about Delta SkyMiles Medallion program.

*MQM: Medallion Qualification Miles

**MQS: Medallion Qualification Segments

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Business Travel Travel News

Christopherson’s Business Development Manager, Kathleen Roberts, to Receive 2013 SAMY Award

Kathleen Roberts - winner of Samy Award

Christopherson Business Travel would like to congratulate our Manager of Business Development, Kathleen Roberts, who was recently named a 2013 recipient of the Utah Business SAMY Award.

The SAMY is given to the top sales and marketing professionals who have had a direct and measurable impact on their company’s bottom line.

In 2012, Roberts closed a challenging sale that was five years in the making, and her sales team generated $40 million in new business, which represents 15 percent annual growth. Roberts has recruited four of Christopherson’s top eight clients, and her team reported $341 in sales for 2012–an increase of 106 percent since she became the Manager of Business Development five years ago.

Roberts was featured in the January 2013 issue of Utah Business Magazine and will be honored at a luncheon on January 31. Click here to read the article (page 3).

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Business Travel Travel Tips

The Rhyme and Reason Of Airport Codes

airport codes

You may have noticed that the airline industry uses three-letter codes to identify the various airports around the world. For example, if you were to travel to the New York area, your choices of airports are John F. Kennedy Airport or “JFK,” LaGuardia Airport “LGA,” or Newark International Airport “EWR.”

Some of the designations, like JFK, are pretty self explanatory, but others aren’t as easy to distinguish. For instance, why is New Orleans MSY and Knoxville, Tennessee TYS? And why isn’t Nashville NAS rather than BNA? Well, the New Orleans airport is named for the Moissant Stock Yards (hence the MSY) and Knoxville (TYS) earned its name from a local family–the Tysons. And as for Nashville, NAS is actually the code for the international airport in Nassau, Bahamas. Nashville’s code BNA stands for Berry Field International.

Some airport names, like LAX in Los Angeles and PDX in Portland, came from their two-letter weather station abbreviations–LA and PD–but since airport codes use a three-letter designator, they earned the ending “X.”

Some codes reflect former names of their airports. FAT is the Fresno, California airport which was originally called the Fresno Air Terminal. And then there are others named for the city and not the airport. For example, SNA is the John Wayne Airport but the code more closely represents the city it’s in–Santa Ana, California. Harrisburg’s airport code is MDT which is stands for the city of Middletown, Pennsylvania where the airport is located.

Canadian airports are all designated with a Y in their codes: YUL is Montreal, YYZ is Toronto, and YVR is Vancouver.

As you can see it can be difficult to figure out any sort of rhyme or reason to the system. But it’s definitely a good idea to know the code for your correct destination. You will note that your bag tag is usually marked with the three-letter code. So if you’re heading to Honolulu, be sure that tag reads HNL and not HLN so your luggage makes it to Hawaii and not Helena, Montana!

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel Starts Off the Year with a Bang

Here we are, nearly three weeks into the New Year and so much has happened here at Christopherson Business Travel.

AirPortal 360 helps your business travel program

On January 7, we released our updated and enhanced technology platform, AirPortal®. One key element of AirPortal is the newly created travel manager dashboard, AirPortal 360™, which offers enhanced tools to provide you with a 360 degree, 24/7 view of your company’s travel data.

By utilizing all the technology tools available in AirPortal 360, you will find you have access to more detailed reports, a better understanding of the ROI of your partnership with Christopherson, greater travel policy compliance, security information to help you fulfill your Duty of Care, and information on where your travelers are, have been, and will be–just to name a few benefits!

With AirPortal 360, as with all our business travel technology tools, you can be confident that Christopherson has you covered. We hope you will take an opportunity to see how efficiently we can help you manage your travel program at any given minute of any given day.

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Business Travel Travel Industry

Christopherson to Sponsor Key Travel Industry Events in 2013

Christopherson Business Travel is proud to be an ongoing partner with key industry events in 2013. In addition to several local events, Christopherson will be a sponsor with trade show space at the following national business travel industry conventions:

Concur Fusion, April 16-19, Las Vegas, NV

Fusion2013-1The Concur Fusion conference is for Concur users and potential users. The event hosts over 1,500 attendees and the schedule provides for a broad range of training and networking opportunities.

Christopherson has been a Concur partner for more than six years and manages travel for many of Concur’s corporate and university clients.

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), August 4-7, San Diego, CA

The annual GBTA convention is attended by more than 5,000 business travel industry buyers and suppliers from the U.S. and several foreign countries. The convention puts valuable industry insight and market knowledge within reach for travel managers around the world.

Christopherson has been a member of GBTA for more than 10 years. We are excited to be making our most significant presence yet at this year’s convention tradeshow with considerable booth space and state of the art technology demonstrations.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Avoid the Flu While Business Traveling

traveling-while-sick

Are you changing your business travel plans because of the flu? USA Today reports that many people are flying less this month due to the increased number of confirmed cases of the flu.

The flu has definitely become a consideration for me when I travel and I think about everything I touch or come in contact with. In an effort to be more cautious, I got a flu shot and I always carry anti-bacterial hand sanitizer with me.

Hotels have also found ways to ease decrease the risk of illness for their guests and give comfort to sick travelers. In fact, some hotels are offering chicken soup, hand sanitizer, and extra tissues.

Tips to Avoid the Flu While Traveling for Business:

  • Skip crowded elevators
  • Avoid hotel gym equipment
  • Carry mini-bottles of disinfectant spray to wipe down surfaces
  • Use the back of your hand to push elevator buttons and open doors
  • Be careful no to touch your eyes, face, or mouth after shaking hands
  • Wash hands often
  • Avoid using tray tables on airplanes or bring sanitizing wipes to disinfect them

 

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Hotel Review: Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa in Rangiroa

I recently returned from French Polynesia where I stayed at the Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa in Rangiroa. The hotel is about 20 years old, but just completed a major renovation and reopened in March 2012. The property includes 60 villas and bungalows with exceptional style, scattered throughout a coconut grove, on the beach, and overlooking the lagoon.

I was able to spend two nights in a villa where I had my own private garden and plunge pool to enjoy; it even had an outdoor bathtub. The overwater bungalows are wonderful, but for a different experience–the garden villas are fantastic as well.

The island is known for great diving and we were able to take a day trip to the Blue Lagoon for an afternoon of snorkeling and swimming with sharks. Rangiroa is about a one hour plane ride from Papeete and well worth it!

The South Pacific is home to some of the most romantic island destinations in the world and the idyllic resort settings alone make it easy to escape.

When you’re ready to take a break from business travel and the cold winter weather, look no further than the tropical islands of Tahiti.

To book your own relaxing South Pacific retreat, contact an Andavo Travel advisor today.

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Press Release

Christopherson Business Travel Saves Companies Money with AirPortal 360

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Christopherson Business Travel, the leading business travel management company in the
western United States, today launched AirPortal 360TM, a new software tool designed to drive additional savings to
customers by integrating full-service travel management with online travel tools. From real-time tracking reports to
a fully integrated dashboard, AirPortal 360 allows companies to capture and analyze all company travel data to make
the most informed travel purchase decisions.

“Every company is looking for better ways to save money on business travel,” said Mike Cameron, Christopherson
Business Travel president. “AirPortal 360 is innovative technology because it allows the travel manager to implement
a host of services designed to make better travel decisions despite the complexities of their organizational needs and
today’s travel offerings.

“For example, one new feature we’ve added to AirBank®, a tool available in the AirPortal 360 dashboard, is an alert
system that notifies a company’s travel manager when unused airline tickets are nearing expiration dates. This allows
the manager to utilize those tickets and prevent a financial loss. In testing, we’ve found that companies in today’s
economic climate love this enhanced feature.”

AirPortal 360 also provides highly customizable real-time data, which fully integrates a company’s travel policy
simultaneously with the travel agents and online tools to filter preferences with online airline or hotel offerings. That
feature alone provides customers with pricing advantages not found in traditional purchase methods.

“By dealing with your travel management and expenses in a smarter fashion, companies can realize significant
savings,” Cameron said. “Using AirPortal 360 is like employing an extra team to find efficiencies and savings at your
company, but they’re not on your payroll.”

Other AirPortal 360 features include:
• Preferred vendor contracts fully integrated with the company travel policy
• Airtineraries®, intelligent itineraries that integrate a company’s travel policy summary to ensure compliance
• ValueLogic®, real-time data to measure the ROI on a company’s partnership with Christopherson
• AirBank®, an unused airline ticket management tool that tracks and enforces the reuse of those tickets
• Fully integrated travel spend reporting
• SecurityLogic®, with maps, alerts, and reports of travel risks to facilitate a company’s Duty of Care responsibilities
• Centralized access to all company travel data at detailed levels for travel managers; and
• Instant integration of updated travel policies for cost savings.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 07, 2013
Media Contact: Krista Maurer
801-327-7615, Krista.Maurer@CBTravel.com

About Christopherson Business Travel
Christopherson Business Travel, headquartered in Salt Lake City, is the independently owned leader in business
travel management, online travel tools, and business travel resources. As the twelfth largest business travel agency in
the United States, with 250 team members and 35 offices, the company supports more than $340 million in annual
travel bookings. Christopherson provides intelligent travel management to more than 900 successful companies and
is an affiliate of BCD Travel, the leading provider of global travel logistics. BCD operates in 95 countries with $20.8
billion in annual travel management bookings and a combined worldwide workforce in excess of 11,000. To learn
more about Christopherson Business Travel, visit www.CBTravel.com.

###

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Christopherson Business Travel Offers the 2013 BCD Travel Hotel Program

As an affiliate of BCD Travel, Christopherson Business Travel offers the BCD Travel Hotel Program to our clients. BCD is a provider of global corporate travel management and operates in more than 95 countries, with US$20.8 billion in total sales.

The BCD Travel Hotel Program offers a comprehensive selection of more than 40,000 properties across 170 countries and 6 continents, with 99 percent of the properties now offering Best Available Rate (BAR) pricing. Hotels participating in the BCD Hotel Program are obligated to offer the BCD rate code at parity (equal to or less than any other travel management group or channel). In some cases, hotels offer a discount from BAR and/or offer a BCD Travel negotiated rate. All negotiated rates are guaranteed for last-room availability.

The BCD Travel Hotel Program is designed to provide the best value at quality properties, not only in key business markets, but in secondary and tertiary markets as well, where specific client negotiated hotel rates traditionally do not exist. Christopherson’s program complements client negotiated programs by providing an alternative to rack rates without steep or impractical penalties should plans change, in locations not covered under a client-negotiated program.

In addition to discounted rates, many participating hotels include value-added features or amenities, allowing travelers to realize savings off their total travel expense. Features may include complimentary breakfasts, high-speed internet access, telephone usage and airport transfers to name a few.

The percentages of hotels offering a few of the most popular complimentary amenities are as follows:

  • High speed Internet access included – 61%
  • Wi-Fi included – 58%
  • Breakfast included – 50%
  • Parking included – 52%
  • Fitness Center included – 65%

For more information about how your company can benefit from this hotel program contact your Christopherson Business Travel Account Manager or a member of our Business Development Team.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Get Lowest Possible Business Travel Rates with Car & Hotel Re-Check®

Christopherson Business Travel brings you greater value for your lodging and transportation investments

Car & Hotel Re-Check monitors lodging and transportation reservations for lower rates.[/caption]

 

Major hotel chains operate under a price parity which guarantees for the lowest available rate across all distribution channels, including your Christopherson travel agent’s powerful Global Distribution System.

While the details and guarantees of each pricing program may vary, this essentially introduces a fluid price structure to the hotel and car industries. Like the airline industry, hotel and car rental companies lower or raise their prices based on market conditions and excess, or “distressed,” inventory. Because of this, it is common for Christopherson’s Car & Hotel Re-Check to save you $25-$50 per night.

As part of our Car & Hotel Re-Check service, your Christopherson travel agent does the following to ensure you always get the lowest possible rates for hotel rooms and car rentals:

  • Individually manages and monitors each of your reservations
  • Receives notification of your upcoming reservation at least three days before your hotel check-in or rental car pick up
  • Searches for rates lower than your current reservation for the same car or type of room at the same hotel
  • Arranges for new, lower rates, if available
  • Documents savings in ValueLogic®

*Car & Hotel Re-Check is one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, Car & Hotel Re-Check, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Business Travel Cost Savings: Part 2 – Vendor Negotiations

To review Part 1 where we discuss the value of having a business travel account management team and the potential savings that come as a result, click here.

Part two of my series on business travel cost savings touches on vendor negotiations.

There are several options when negotiating for your hotel, car, and air contracts. Depending on the depth of the negotiation, one or more of the following processes may be employed: RFP (Request for Proposal), RFQ (Request for Quotation), RFI (Request for Information), ITB (Invitation to Bid), and/or ITN (Invitation to Negotiate). For example, if you are simply seeking information, then use the RFI process. If you are wanting pricing only, then an RFQ would be appropriate, and so on.

Clients who partner with Christopherson Business Travel enjoy the benefit of having an account management team who will consult with their travel managers to determine the best avenues when negotiating on their behalf. During our consultation we use the following formula for negotiation success:

  1. Visualize
  2. Prepare
  3. Strategize
  4. Empathize
  5. Commit
  6. Follow-Up

Have you ever wondered how hotels look at the negotiating process? Here is a little insight.

Hotels are ultimately judged by shareholders on their return on capital, which translates into targets for Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR), the overall revenue divided by the total potential number of room-nights over the financial year. Hotels use a range of techniques and technologies to assist them in “yield management,” the process by which they try to optimize revenue and occupancy over different market segments, through seasonal fluctuations, while taking into account national, regional and local economic circumstances. Some hotels have very sophisticated systems and experience analysts; others do not. Some hotels always follow the advice of the yield managers; others have more discretion.
Christopherson Business Travel knows that travel vendor negotiations can, and should, differ considerably company to company depending on the type of organization, size, geographic scope, and the degree of influence on the vendor. Christopherson’s account managers consult with industry experts and employ sourcing methods to help our clients create and manage their entire travel supplier network. In addition to the traditional vendor categories like airlines, hotels and ground transportation, we also support sourcing efforts related to meeting services, online booking tools, and credit card programs.

To produce cost-consistency and reductions, Christopherson Business Travel consults with you and creates strategies to:

  • Achieve optimal savings, coverage, and service goals
  • Align supplier programs with overall organizational goals
  • Track economic and industry trends to help identify opportunities for improvement
  • Take advantage of best-practice tools and benchmark information

Typical components of a sourcing management engagement include:

  • Vendor Program Assessment & Savings Opportunity Analysis
  • RFP Process Management
  • Negotiation Support
  • Vendor Program Implementation

President John F. Kennedy said, in his 1961 inaugural address, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”

Because of increasing costs and greater demands, Christopherson Business Travel’s Account Managers will meet with you to create the ultimate scenario to ensure that your company gains a profitable return on investment with regards to your travel program. For facts on actual ROI savings and additional information, contact us.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

DataLogic®: Your Central Source for All Business Travel Reporting Tools

At Christopherson Business Travel, we recognize the importance of backing up our claims with hard data. Through our comprehensive report aggregator DataLogic®, we provide our clients with easy access to an invaluable set of reporting tools and performance benchmarking analysis options.

Among those tools are DataLogic’s travel spend tracking dashboard, ValueLogic®, Christopherson’s exclusive software that manages the ROI of our travel management company, and the integration of two leading travel management reporting tools, iBank and Travel GPA.

With this assembly of options, DataLogic really is the central source for all the reporting tools essential to managing a highly effective business travel program.

ValueLogic®

By choosing Christopherson, your company gets more than just our word that we are the cost-effective business travel partner of choice. With ValueLogic, you can asses the ROI of our TMC partnership through fully-customizable reports that show exactly how and where Christopherson Business Travel is saving you money.

At any time, you have the ability to access and review the following critical information in real time data:

  • Airline, car, and hotel savings
  • Voided ticket savings
  • Average savings per itinerary
  • Unused airline ticket data (via AirBank®)

iBank

Christopherson maximizes the power of iBank by consolidating travel information into a clear, concise, and comprehensive view of your company’s travel spend.

iBank captures travel data from a variety of sources, including all major reservation systems and online bookings tools. We also provide secure internet access so you can view travel spend, measure preferred supplier usage, track travel behavior, monitor policy adherence, and improve profitability.

Travel GPA

With more than 90 benchmarking metrics available for analysis, Travel GPA identifies those key measurements that are clearly tied to your organization’s performance and then grades them good or bad with comparisons against your industry, a similar sized company, your travel spend from the previous year, or your current goals. Then, with the Travel GPA Report Card™, you can easily track how well your travelers are utilizing the contracts your company has for airlines, car rentals, and hotels.

*DataLogic is one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, DataLogic, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Enjoy Advanced Profile Management with ProfileLogic®

Avoid the hassle and time wasted communicating or re-entering your unique travel preferences every time you book your travel. With ProfileLogic®, you can select and save preferred airlines, seat locations, meals, and other travel preferences and update them when necessary.

ProfileLogic provides an intuitive user interface to deliver the following benefits:

  • Enables you to easily communicate your travel preferences online before booking trips with Christopherson
  • Saves time by giving travel consultants immediate access to your preferences so they can focus on providing cost-saving services
  • Lets you synchronize your employees’ online booking tool profiles with those used by your full-service Christopherson travel advisor
  • More sophisticated client data allows for automatic, secure feeds form your human resources department

With ProfileLogic, you can securely store your personal information, membership numbers, credit card information, and preferences to streamline booking your reservations.

*ProfileLogic is just one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, ProfileLogic, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

When to Consider Moving to a New Travel Management Company

Thinking about changing travel management companies (TMC) may seem like a daunting task, but with improved technology and a strong TMC partner, making that switch can be seamless, and will result in higher traveler satisfaction while also increasing your cost savings.

Think about your current TMC and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your travel agent always warm and friendly?
  • Are your agents always going the extra mile?
  • Does your TMC negotiate directly with airlines, hotels and car rental companies on your corporation’s behalf?
  • Does your TMC continuously provide you proactive strategies to help you save money on your travel program?
  • Does your TMC offer the latest technology for your travel manager, travel arrangers and travelers?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, you should definitely consider researching a better alternative.

Christopherson Business Travel is the independently owned leader in intelligent business travel management, online travel tools and business travel resources. Of utmost importance to Christopherson is a dedication to meeting the unique need of each customer. With that in mind, the Christopherson team–from the agents to the software developers to the account managers (and everyone in between)–works hard to configure, deliver and maintain a cost-saving, individualized service option for each client.

If you’re contemplating a switch from your current TMC, please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information on how Christopherson can improve your travel program and save you money.