Business Travel Travel Industry

BCD’s Acquisition of TBiz Continues the Convergence of Full-Service and Online TMC Channels

BCDBCD Travel acquired Travelocity Business, otherwise known as TBiz, from its parent company Travelocity. Travelocity is a unit of Sabre Holding.

This is particularly interesting to us at Christopherson Business Travel because we are an affiliate of BCD Travel. We see this as a positive announcement and anticipate that this should benefit our clients in the future, by giving us access to any discounted hotel and other discounted vendor content that Tbiz might have.

This transaction brings full circle the decade-long trend of online travel agencies and traditional full-service travel management companies converging. The trend started in 2002 when Expedia bought full-service corporate travel agency, Metropolitan Travel.

An interesting side-note to the story is that World Travel Partners, the predecessor company to BCD Travel, was the original fulfillment partner for Expedia. They issued and serviced all of the tickets for Expedia for many years, and by 1999 had as many as 250 customer service representatives assigned to the account.

Orbitz joined the convergence trend with the launch of Orbitz for Business in 2002 and then Travelocity followed suit by launching Tbiz in 2003. Expedia bought Paris-based Egencia in 2004 and eventually rebranded its entire business travel unit under the Egencia name.

During this same time period full-service business travel management companies were converging from the opposite direction and rapidly selling and implementing corporate online booking tools. Online adoption rates soared with TMCs over the past decade. Concur expanded the convergence trend by acquiring the Cliqbook on-line booking tool from Outtask and integrating it into their expense management service.

We can now say that effective travel management requires all TMC participants to offer and embrace the full spectrum of online booking tools as well the as the high-touch travel agent and account management services offered by the traditional TMCs.

Christopherson is also participating in the convergence trend with increased online booking adoption rates. While our total airline transactions in 2012 increased 17% over 2011, our online bookings increased at a much more robust rate of 78% during 2012!


Business Travel

Christopherson Business Travel is an Affiliate of BCD Travel

BCD_AffiliateChristopherson Business Travel is a BCD Travel affiliate. BCD Travel operates in more than 95 countries, with $22.8 billion in total sales and a combined worldwide workforce of 11,000. (Read more about BCD, here.)

Operating throughout North America, the BCD Travel Affiliate Program is a model of innovation and excellence. A select group by design, there are more than 35 affiliates of BCD Travel in North America, with 450+ locations, totaling more than $2 billion in airline sales alone. In many regions of the U.S., the BCD affiliate is the leading independently owned TMC in the markets they represent.

Christopherson Business Travel is currently ranked as the third largest TMC amongst the BCD affiliate group and the largest TMC located west of the Mississippi.

BCD provides affiliate agencies a wealth of resources to strengthen the company and to provide clients with local presence around the world. BCD provides Christopherson with:

  1. Global footprint, clout and buying power (size)
  2. Training and sharing of industry insight (expertise)
  3. Networking and best-practices reviews (community)

BCD resources include the following buying power for our clients:

  • International Airline Programs
  • Global Hotel Program
  • Rental Car Exclusive Rates

The senior BCD leadership teams meet with us regularly and provides invaluable insight and training to our teams.

As a group, the affiliates meet regularly and act as a sounding board with each other, exchanging best-practice solutions on travel management. Personally, I have the privilege of serving on the BCD Affiliate Board of Advisors which gives me the ability to contribute to the direction of the program.

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.

Travel News

Christopherson Andavo Travel Ranks #14 in the BTN Annual Business Travel Survey

Business Travel News has ranked Christopherson Andavo Travel #14 among all participating travel management companies. The data used to rank the agencies was independently verified by ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation), which is the airline ticketing clearinghouse for all travel agencies and airlines. Air transaction counts excluded refunds, exchanges and voids.
The ranking was the first to reflect the combined operations of Christopherson Business Travel of Salt Lake City, Utah and Andavo Travel of Denver, Colorado. The two companies merged on January 28, 2008. The merger agreement between the two travel management firms combined operations to form one of the largest travel management firms in the United States and the largest national BCD Travel affiliate.
The merged company has over 220 team members, 35 offices and supports more than $250 million in annual travel bookings. Christopherson Andavo Travel provides intelligent travel management to more than 600 successful companies.
“We are pleased to see how the merger has placed us in a Super Regional status and has set the stage for us to continue to grow in this highly competitive market”, said Mike Cameron Co-CEO. “The merger was done for strategic reasons and has put us in a position where we are now qualified for larger travel management bids. We are currently implementing 6-8 new clients in states from coast-to-coast.”