Business Travel Travel Technology

The Hotel Attachment Problem

Hotel Attachment
Hotel Attachment, Christopherson’s new hotel compliance system, assists travel managers in fulfilling duty of care responsibilities and commitments to contracted vendors.

The Beat’s Editor-in-Chief, Jay Boehmer, recently reported on Christopherson Business Travel’s new hotel compliance system, Hotel Attachment. The article and its title, “Christopherson Thinks It Has Solved The Hotel Attachment Problem,” were bold and certainly provocative. I’m not surprised that some responses were somewhere between curious and even incredulous.

Our view is that a low hotel attachment rate is not a simple problem to solve. There are many complex reasons as to why hotel attachment rates are low. Christopherson decided to take a holistic approach to the solving the problem.

At a high-level, there are likely four main reasons a client would book airfare but not book a hotel at the same time:

  1. They need a hotel and simply haven’t gotten around to booking it yet.
  2. They need a hotel and don’t have enough information about their trip to book it yet.
  3. They plan to book their hotel through a different channel, or it was booked for them.
  4. They actually don’t need a hotel.

Of course, there are many nuances within those four categories. For example, under reason No. 3, the traveler may have booked their room “out of channel” because:

  • They were part of a group who booked the hotel room block separately.
  • They’re attending a conference or a meeting that included the hotel booking.
  • They were not able to get the hotel inventory through the GDS-powered booking option.
  • They were able to get a lower price using a different booking method.
  • They have a personal preference for booking their own hotel (better user experience).

But ultimately, it’s not good for a traveler to have an incomplete itinerary with no hotel data included. Our goal was to first, identify which of the four reasons a traveler didn’t book a hotel and then provide them with a simple, digital path to help them easily complete their itinerary and solve the problem. Our technology platform, AirPortal®, supports and powers the Hotel Attachment system and provides us with enough unique information about the traveler, the company they work for, and their specific airline booking to simplify that process.

As clients begin to use our solution, we will be able to track why travelers haven’t booked their hotel initially and gather data on how we solved the problem. This will give our travel managers business intelligence metrics to increase their hotel attachment rates, provide better duty of care, and give them better negotiating power with their preferred vendors.

Our solution is much more than a marketing email.

Business Travel

Christopherson’s Newly Acquired All Seasons Travel Undergoes Rebranding

Christopherson Business Travel purchased All Seasons Travel in December of last year. As we continue to integrate our new Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama offices into our organization, we will be rebranding the Alabama operations into three separate divisions:

1. Christopherson Business Travel

CBT_SmallThe Alabama business travel team members will all operate under our Christopherson Business Travel brand, with Jeanine Eissler as the manager of the Southeast region. We have already won $20 Million in new business travel contracts in the Southeast, all of which is in the process of being implemented into our Alabama offices.

2. Andavo Travel

Andavo Logo_335x60The leisure travel agents and independent contractors will operate under our Andavo Travel brand (which specializes in luxury travel and hosted agent travel), with Meredith Price as the operations manager of the Southeast region. Our Alabama offices will also be part of Andavo’s world-class luxury travel consortium, Virtuoso.

3. All Seasons Sports Travel

AllSeasonsSportsTravel_Logo-v2All Seasons Sports Travel is a newly created division and will primarily focus on the fan-based collegiate sports travel that All Seasons has done so well for so many years. Ellen Ray has been named manager of this division. Click here to see the new website,


Business Travel Travel Management

Business Travel News Publishes 2014 Corporate Travel Index

When creating travel policy applications for companies, we use several sources to benchmark rates and per diems in order to create a policy that will be valuable and used.

Business Travel News just released their Corporate Travel Index for 2014.  It puts emphasis on the daily cost of doing business in 200 cities world wide.  This information will help you when creating your travel policy and deciding per deims for cities around the world. Here is a sample, taken from the Index, of what the daily costs of business travel is in various cities:

1- San Francisco: Hotel – $275.06, Car – $52.83, Food – $116.75 = Total – $444.66/day, Change 0.6%*

2- New York: Hotel – $244.24, Car – $78.83, Food – $119.52 = Total – $442.68/day, Change -4.8%*

3- Boston: Hotel – $255.90, Car – $51.70, Food – $105.43 = Total – $413.03/day, Change -3.5%*

4- Washington D.C.: Hotel – $249.36, Car – $44.69, Food – $104.93 = Total – $398.98/day, Change -1.1%*

5- Los Angeles: Hotel – $249.24, Car – $48.13, Food – $96.56 = Total – $393.93/day, Change  -1.1%*

17- Denver: Hotel – $194.50, Car – $50.41, Food – $84.69 = Total – $329.60/day, Change 5.7%*

20- Minneapolis: Hotel – $181.62, Car – $51.79, Food – $93.75 = Total – $326.76/day, Change 0.8%*

30- Las Vegas: Hotel – $156.03, Car – $48.97, Food – $97.09 = Total – $302.09/day, Change 4.5%*

55- Birmingham: Hotel – $143.34, Car – $48.70, Food – $84.95 = Total – $276.99/day, Change 2.2%*

58- Salt Lake City: Hotel – $138.32, Car – $52.12, Food – $84.58 = Total – $275.02/day, Change 1.9%*

100- Shreveport: Hotel – $113.00, Car – $41.47, Food – $78.73 = Total – $233.20/day, Change -1.8%*

Most expensive international cities (hotel and food):

1- Caracas: Total $611/day, Change 28.0%*

2- Geneva: $547/day, Change 1.5%*

3- Stockholm: $528/day, Change 2.7%*

4- Stavanger: $524/day, Change 1.5%*

5- Hong Kong: $523/day, Change 0.1%*

30- Osaka-Kobe: $414/day, Change -16.3%*

40- Athens: $384/day, Change 3.3%*

50- Calgary: $356/day, Change -0.8%*

100- Cape Town: $195/day, Change -11.0%

Most expensive U.S. city for food is Honolulu at $128/day.  Least expensive? Oklahoma City at $69.53/day.

Are you having trouble creating a travel policy or would you like ideas and suggestions on how to better manage your policy? Please contact a Christopherson Account Manager.  We are here to help make your travel program the best it can be.

*Year over year change.

The 2014 edition of the Business Travel News Corporate Travel Index is based on actual prices paid in 2013 by corporate clients of BCD Travel, provided to BTN by BCD’s Advito consulting arm, as well as research conducted by the BTN Group and Chicago based consulting firm Mercer Inc., a subsidiary of Marsh and McLennan Cos. Christopherson Business Travel is an affiliate of BCD Travel.

Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News

Christopherson is Ranked #11 by Business Travel News

Christopherson Business Travel is now the 11th largest business travel agency in the country.

We are pleased to announce that Christopherson Business Travel was recently ranked the 11th largest business travel agency in the United States by Business Travel News.

Rankings are based upon audited results of annual transaction and sales volume data provided by the Airline Reporting Corporation. Results were announced in the 2013 Business Travel Survey issue of Business Travel News’ monthly magazine.

Christopherson has a long legacy of growth, innovation, and client retention which has guided the agency from its #14 spot in 2011 to its current position, #11, in the 2013 report.

Particularly notable is Christopherson’s growth over the last six years. Since 2007, the company has more than doubled in size, having grown from a $160 million company in 2007 to a $341 million company in 2012.

Currently, Christopherson operates from 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, as previously stated, booked $341 million in travel in 2012 for more than 900 companies and organizations across the country.

Business Travel Travel Industry Travel News

2013 Corporate Travel Index: Per Deim Rates Are Out

The 2013 edition of the Corporate Travel Index, Business Travel News’ magazine which publishes per diem rates and averages for the top 200 cities around the world was released March 18.

The methodology of the Corporate Travel Index:

The Business Travel News Corporate Travel Index is based on actual prices paid in 2012 by corporate clients of BCD Travel, provided to Business Travel News by BCD’s Advito consulting arm, as well as research conducted by The BTN Group and New York-based consulting firm Mercer Inc.

U.S. Per Diems

Total U.S. per diems listed are compiled by adding the average hotel, car, and food costs listed on subsequent pages. Business Travel News calculated year-over-year percentage changes in relation to total per diems listed in the 2012 Corporate Travel Index, which was compiled in the same manner as this year’s data.

For a complete listing of the 2013 Corporate Travel Index, click here.

For more information on constructing a travel policy that coincides with appropriate per deim rate’s, contact Christopherson’s Account Management team.

Business Travel Travel Industry

BCD Travel Founder, John A. Fentener van Vlissingen, Talks about BCD History

BCD_AffiliateChristopherson Business Travel is a BCD Travel Affiliate. We joined as an affiliate 20 years ago, when it was then called BTI Americas. Being affiliated with the third largest global travel management company has been good, both for us and our clients.

BCD Travel operates in more than 95 countries, with US $20.8 billion in total sales, and a combined worldwide workforce of 11,000.

Recently BCD’s founder, John van Vlissingen spoke with Business Travel News editorial director Jay Campbell about “his legacy and lessons of business.” In his interview, he related the story of the 1998 acquisition of BTI Americas and the subsequent BTI-WorldTravel Partners merger. (Read more about that merger here.)

I was actually serving on the affiliate board of BTI Americas, prior to the acquisition by World Travel Partners taking place. We knew that BTI was for sale so we held an emergency board meeting in August of 1998 to talk about the various selling options BTI was contemplating, as well as the possible consequences of each one to the BTI affiliate organization. We learned about the deal with World Travel some time later and were thrilled to hear they decided to make the deal with WTP. It turned out to be a good thing for the affiliates.

In his interview with Business Travel News, van Vlissingen talked about the advantages of being privately owned and being able to make better long term decisions rather than what he calls “the quarterly thinking” (the short term need to meet “earnings numbers” required as a publically traded company).

Christopherson Business Travel is also privately owned and we too have the ability to make decisions based upon a longer term horizon. For example we have recently been investing significant amounts of capital in our people, new facilities, and technology that will benefit our long term future.

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.

Business Travel Travel Management

Managed Travel 2.0: Resources and Information for Business Travel Managers

In September I first wrote about the concept of Managed Travel 2.0. In the weeks since, there has been much additional information by way of blog posts, emails, and news, both for and against this concept as it continues to be a “hot” topic of 2012. While its principles are unique, shocking to some, and encouraging to others, I sense it will be a while before corporations are comfortable giving so much freedom to travelers. Scott Gillespie discusses this in a post on his blog, Gillespie’s Guide to Travel+Procurement, and essentially boils the difference between traditionally managed travel and Managed Travel 2.0 down to one word: Freedom. He lists the principles of Managed Travel 2.0 as follows:

  1. Shop anywhere — period
  2. Book anyone — as long as the supplier is safe
  3. Book anywhere — as long as employer gets the data fast
  4. Book anything — so long as the trip is in budget
  5. Pay with the corporate card

On another site,, CEO Alan Tyson discusses his misgivings about this business travel trend in a post called, Perspective: Shooting Holes In Travel 2.0. Having worked with financiers thru the years, I fully understand his concerns. His article goes on to suggest that traveler satisfaction with a trip is not what matters–it’s the traveler’s satisfaction with his organization regarding the trip that does.

The final article to read regarding this idea of Managed Travel 2.0 is by David Jonas, titled, Study: Travel Policies Work, And will Continue To Do So. This study, conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and AirPlus, reports few signs of employee resistance to traditional managed travel.

Hopefully, these articles and resources will shed a bit more light on the subject and I will surely keep you posted as more is revealed.

Travel News

Christopherson moves up to #12 in BTN 2010 ranking

Christopherson is pleased to have moved up to #12 in the Business Travel News (BTN) 2010 Business Travel Agencies Ranking. Christopherson’s growth is attributed to the merger with Andavo Travel and the acquisition of new corporate accounts.
Industry reports indicate the U.S. business travel spend was down over 20% in 2009 causing a challenging year for travel management companies. Christopherson was well positioned to not only withstand the tough economy of 2009, but also improve in national ranking to #12!

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.”