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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel News

Good News for 2015 Business Travel Budgets: Airfares Predicted to Decrease

According to Christopherson Business Travel’s global affiliate BCD Travel’s consultancy arm, Advito, airline tickets for 2015, which were originally thought to increase, are not predicted to do so. In North America, instead of increasing 4 percent, they are predicted to decrease year-over-year by 1 percent.

This is wonderful news for all travelers, both business and leisure. With the major North America players not decreasing their fuel surcharges, at this point, this is certainly something to by happy about. (For more information on this topic, click here to read “Falling Cost of Fuel and Airline Surchages: Business Travelers Take Note.”) It would be difficult, in my estimation, for airlines to even consider fare increases for 2015 with these lower fuel costs.

Unfortunately, Europe will not be as lucky as North America with fares now predicted to likely remain flat. For more information, visit Advito’s projections details at BusinessTravelNews.com.

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Business Travel

Driving Loyalty: Turning Every Customer and Employee into a Raving Fan for Your Brand

book-img21I had the privilege of hearing Ron Cerko, Vice President of Travel Industry Relations for Enterprise Holdings, speak at the BCD Affiliates annual sales and account management meeting, held at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia last month.

In his remarks, Ron referred to Driving Loyalty, by Kirk Kazanjian. The book, though written about the National Enterprise Rent-a-Car story, teaches how any business can be successful through brand loyalty. Some of the highlights Ron pointed out included:

  • Think differently!
  • Meet an overlooked need in the marketplace
  • Find and serve a specific un-crowded niche
  • Take care of your customers and employees first–the profits will follow
  • Be ready to seize an opportunity when it strikes
  • Be the best company your clients have ever done business with
  • 68% of lost customers leave because they had poor customer service
  • Deliver dazzling service

At Christopherson Business Travel, we work diligently to create and maintain a unique competitive advantage. We have approached the development of our unique services and technology offerings as a science. This is the only way you’re able to succeed in a competitive marketplace.

In order for something to be defined as a “unique competitive advantage” we require that it pass a four-part test:

  1. It must be objective.
  2. It must be quantifiable.
  3. It can’t be a cliché.
  4. It can’t be claimed by our competitors.

Read more about Christopherson’s four-part test here.

 

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management

Companies Continue to Discuss Managed Travel 2.0 and its Impact on Business Travel

travel 2.0With the Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) annual convention less than 90 days away, it’s becoming very clear as to what will, once again, be an important topic–Managed Travel 2.0 (also called “open booking”). I find this to be such a fascinating business travel industry matter, some might think I’m becoming obsessed. You can find my older blog posts here, here, and here where I discuss what Managed Travel 2.0 exactly is as well as its impact on our business travel industry. As new ideas continue to develop, many travel management companies, Christopherson Business Travel included, as well as other business travel groups and organizations, are diving even deeper into the details.

For example, Carlson Wagonlit Travel has developed a so-called “industry–first algorithm that assesses traveler stress on a company-by-company basis.” The results (hours of stressful business travel) can then be translated into a financial loss equivalent. (Read more about the algorithm here.)

The ultimate goal of the algorithm is to help companies uncover the actual costs of travel, as well as the hidden ones–particularly how business travel “stressors” affect the bottom line.

BCD Travel is also delving into the economics of traveler behaviors, particularly how the practice of building stronger relationships with travelers saves companies money, boosts productivity, and keeps travelers safe.

Additionally, a LinkedIn Group has been started, Managed Travel 2.0, to advance more discussions at a grassroots level. And be sure to keep an eye out for former travel management consultant Scott Gillespie to announce his new venture to assist companies in understanding productivity and employee retention consequences.

As you can see, Managed Travel 2.0 continues to be a hot topic and everyone is in on the discussion. I, personally, continue to enjoy learning about it and I look forward to the GBTA Convention August 4-7 in San Diego, California where (hopefully) more discussions, findings, and results are presented.

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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
Travel Management

And the fee is?

The other day when a friend of mine was getting ready to leave on a trip and was flying on three different carriers, he asked me what the baggage fee was going to be for each airline. Now for the most part, one can remember the cost of a candy bar, a can of soda pop or even the price for a gallon of milk. But now days, the ability to remember the cost per baggage is like trying to remember what the price of gas was last year at this time. The Airline that you are a frequent traveler on might be easy to remember, but what about all the other two Airlines that my friend is going to board from one city to another in a 2 week time period.
I told him that I thought that the fee was one cost, when in reality, I was wrong. The next day at work I found the cool grid that BCD travel had sent out. Attached is this link for your reference that should be helpful. It seems like sometimes you can find some great airfare, but by the time you pay all the fees for all your baggage, you might be paying the close to the same amount as your ticket cost you. You never know, you might be like my friend. You will either buck up and pay the baggage fees, take a carry on and figure out a way to wear two to three sets of clothes in a two week period or you will ask your travel agent to ship your clothes to you. The 3rd option might end up to be more cost effective in the long run.
Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell him I charge a fee for the shipping….