Company News and Announcements


TRAVEL WEEKLY  |  MAR 18 , 2019

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Business Travel Travel Industry

Starting In 2021, Americans Will Need Visas To Travel To Europe

Along with other countries and regions in the world, Europe has recently decided to improve their security levels regarding illegal immigration and terrorism. One way they’re becoming more secure? Requiring visas to enter, specifically to the Schengen Zone. That’s right, starting in 2021, all Americans traveling to a European country in the Schengen Zone will need to apply for the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) in order to enter.

What is the European Schengen Zone?

26 countries in Europe make up the Schengen Area. Within it are 22 countries from the European Union (EU), 4 countries that are part of the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and 3 microstates.

The countries making up the Schengen Zone are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • France
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Estonia
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Hungry
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Czech Republic
  • Malta
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City


Apart from the 26 total Schengen states, there are 6 non-Schengen European Union members. They are currently not a part of the Schengen Zone and will not require a ETIAS to enter.
They include:

  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus


What does this mean for Americans?

So far, the requirements for an American to obtain a European visa waiver is pretty basic. The U.S. Citizen will need to have a valid passport, a credit or debit card, and an email account. When applying, the passport must be valid for 3 months beyond the period of intended stay. The ETAIS visa waiver must be paid in advance through secure online payment via credit or debit card.

The ETAIS visa waiver will be valid for 3 years. During this 3-year validity of the ETIAS for U.S. travelers, it will be possible to enter the Schengen Zone European countries as many times as necessary.

What does this mean for business travel?

The new requirement does not go into action for another two years. At this time, visas are not required for Americans to visit Europe. It should also be expected for some details to change by the time it is required, so stay informed if your company frequently travels to Europe from the United States.

The requirements for the visa are relatively low and obtaining one should be streamlined. The applicant will be notified via email if they are granted or denied the ETIAS. The main hurdles for travel managers and travelers will be remembering to allow time before a trip to apply and receive the visa. Remembering to re-apply after the three year validity time will also be a hurdle in the distant future. As you may recall, when a passport was required to travel to Mexico or Canada from the U.S., a rush of passport applicants caused lengthy delays to the whole process. This rush should also be expected with the ETIAS process, and it would be wise to apply as early as possible.

Press Release

Christopherson Business Travel Acquires Andavo Meetings & Incentives

SALT LAKE CITY – March 13, 2019 – Christopherson Business Travel announced today the acquisition of Andavo Meetings & Incentives.

Christopherson previously acquired Andavo’s business travel and leisure travel portfolios from owner Brenda Rivers in 2010. Rivers originally retained ownership of Andavo’s meetings and incentive travel portfolio.

With the merger of the remaining business, Andavo Meetings & Incentives will join Christopherson’s meetings division, Christopherson Meetings & Events. The merged entity will conduct business under the Andavo Meetings & Incentives brand name.

“We are incredibly pleased to bring Andavo Meetings & Incentives into our family of brands,” said Christopherson’s CEO Mike Cameron. “This merger will allow for greater efficiencies and enhanced service opportunities for our meetings and events division.”

The combined $690 million company will employ 490 travel professionals across the country, with Cameron and Rivers working with Beth Faller, current Vice President of Christopherson Meetings & Events and Britt Robinson, Vice President of Andavo Meetings & Incentives, to make the united division successful. The acquisition will provide jobs for all current employees of each company.

Christopherson’s new meetings and events team will focus on delivering their combined expertise, creativity, and innovation in event design, planning, and management for a diverse clientele including Fortune 500, non-profits, universities, and private companies.

“Combining the strengths of these two travel firms will align corporate goals, bolster the offerings available to clients, and propel the customer experience to a higher plane than could be achieved independently,” Rivers said.

About Christopherson Business Travel
Christopherson Business Travel is the independently-owned leader in intelligent business travel management. The company operates from five full-service locations across the country and sold more than $680 million in travel in 2018. Christopherson maintains a successful leisure travel division (Andavo Travel), Detroit business travel division (Hamilton, Miller, Hudson & Fayne Travel Management), sports travel division (All Seasons Sports Travel), meetings division (Christopherson Meetings & Events), and humanitarian travel division (CV Humanitarian Travel). The company is a certified woman-owned company and is an affiliate of BCD Travel and Virtuoso.

About Andavo Meetings & Incentives
Andavo Meetings & Incentives, is a meetings and incentive travel company with 27 years of experience specializing in event planning, creative design, and logistics. Founded in 1992 by Brenda Rivers, the company manages events from 50-5000 attendees around the world each year. Andavo Meetings & Incentives is headquartered in Greenwood Village, CO.


Media Contact: Krista Ercin-Maurer | 303-694-8770 |

Business Travel Travel Management

Do You Know The Most Common Business Travel Expense?

What do you think is the most common expense from business travelers? They need to get to their destination, so you might think it’s airfare or maybe a car service. They also need to sleep, so hotels would be another good guess. Would you be surprised to find that it’s actually dining expenses?

That’s right, Certify recently released a study examining more than 50 million expenses on their platform. Trying to understand how business travelers spend their money, they discovered a few insights along the way. 

Common expenses for business travelers

  • Dining is not only the most common expense, but also the expense that has increased the highest in the last three years. The average meal is now $5 more than it was in 2016.
  • Within those dining expenses, Starbucks remained the most popular vendor in 2018. Not really a surprise to fellow business travelers, right? It represented 23.4% of all dining expenses.
  • Hotels and fuel have also increased in the last few years. Hotels are on average $50 more expensive.
  • Airfares and ride hailing services have declined in price. (Thanks Uber and Lyft!) Airfares are about $40 less on average.

What does this mean for your business travelers:

  • Travelers are now accustomed to convenience and getting exactly what they want, when they want it. Having a travel program with this flexibility will keep your travelers more comfortable in the long run. If you don’t it’s time to start thinking of ways to include this in your travel policy and program.
  • Understand that costs overall have increased for the travel industry. Yes, flights have decreased and the sharing economy has also helped changed the game. But overall, travel is increasing and is expected to continue that way. Though obviously one of your main objectives is to keep costs low, try to be fair to your business travelers and their needs. They shouldn’t get the short end of the stick because fuel is more expensive.
  • Understand which expenses are most important to your travelers.  See if there is a way to provide that service within the travel policy at a better price point. Negotiate with vendors if possible and don’t be afraid to get creative.