New Research Seeks to Advance Measurement in Corporate Travel

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ACTE BCD release New Research Seeks to Advance Measurement in Corporate Travel

New Research Seeks to Advance Measurement in Corporate Travel

Corporate travel programs not measuring quality indicators that most travel managers consider important, according to new study from ACTE Global (Association of Corporate Travel Executives) and BCD Travel

PARIS and UTRECHT, The Netherlands, Oct. 12, 2018 – Travel managers don’t think the metrics now used to determine trip success truly measure whether the $1.3 trillion spent annually by businesses globally helps companies meet their goals for travel, finds a study released today by the ACTE Global (Association of Corporate Travel Executives) and BCD Travel.

Asked what factors were most important to determine travel program quality—and what factors they actually measured—more than 300 travel managers polled came up with two completely disparate sets of answers (see chart below). The study highlights the fact that approaches to quality measurement in corporate travel management have remained unchanged for decades, despite transformational changes to the industry, such as moving from mostly phone reservations to mostly online bookings, and from paper ticketing to digital trip management.

“The travel industry has evolved to a startling degree over the past 20 years, from one providing a deeply human, streamlined experience through travel agents, to one that embraces technology, customisation and traveller-centricity,” said Greeley Koch, Executive Director, ACTE Global. “It is incumbent upon travel managers to adapt to this new reality and establish meaningful KPIs that capture not only the numbers—cost savings, hotel attachment, productivity—but also intangible elements, such as traveller safety and morale, and the programme’s impact on recruitment and retention efforts. No one within the organisation is better positioned to do this.”

“We’ve known for a long time that call centre data and booking statistics no longer have any correlation to a trip’s contribution to the company’s bottom line, or to its efforts to recruit and retain the best employees,” said Miriam Moscovici, Senior Director, Research and Corporate Innovation, BCD Travel. “Travel managers continue to measure these things, because our industry hasn’t adopted a new standard for measuring quality—despite the fact that emerging technologies now make it possible to figure out what trip components lead to business success.”

Standardisation may be the way forward

There is no single industry standard for best practices around quality management. Travel managers and suppliers alike have their own systems in place, and without a universal understanding of both what quality management is and what factors go into it, it can be difficult to benchmark success and reconcile reporting data. Travel managers clearly grapple with this challenge and are hungry for a better system: 80% believe a standard system of measurement would have a positive impact on corporate travel.

“There certainly needs to be greater definition of what quality management and satisfaction are to help travel managers action data in a more meaningful way,” said Yannis Karmis, BCD Travel Senior Vice President, Product Planning & Development. “As a sector, we’re measuring the wrong things, with metrics that are dated for modern and future travel programs. For example, the industry places too much emphasis on call centre metrics. With fewer and fewer transactions going through the call centres, we need to pivot our thinking and measure traveller engagements through technology. For BCD, for example, this expands to the actions a traveller takes after receiving a trip alert on their phone via TripSource.”

Travel managers are culling data from disparate sources

Overall, travel mangers rely heavily on third-party sources to measure programme quality, with 94% of travel managers relying on their TMCs and 81% on suppliers. Meanwhile, 71% say they use internal expense reporting, 67% say they use corporate card data, and just 61% leverage traveller surveys. The prioritisation of external sources points to a potential overvaluing of hard data and undervaluing of qualitative feedback—inhibiting full visibility into a programme’s success.

Travel managers must embrace technology

New technologies continue to proliferate across industries, from financial services to retail, allowing businesses to better analyse data and establish consistent, measurable quality management programmes, and to improve their ROI.

“We are in a golden age of advanced technology and digital transformation,” added Koch. “We see the Amazons of the world leaning into AI, Big Data, robotics and more to drive their businesses forward and make a real mark on the global economy. As a major contributor to international commerce, the corporate travel sector should be no different. Measuring success begets more success, and a high-quality travel programme can play a major role in propelling a business forward and fostering economic growth.”

Read the full report at www.bcdtravel.com.

About Quality Management in Business Travel

In collaboration with BCD Travel, ACTE conducted an online survey of its membership in September 2018. The respondent pool consisted of 301 members operating in regions worldwide, including Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North America.

About ACTE Global

ACTE Global (Association of Corporate Travel Executives) has a 30-year reputation for leading the way corporate travel is conducted. As a global association comprised of executive-level members in more than 100 countries, ACTE Global pioneers educational and technological advances that make business travel productive, cost-effective and straightforward. ACTE Global advocacy and initiatives continue to support impactful changes in safety and security, privacy, duty of care and compliance along with traveller productivity that supports global commerce.

Learn more at www.acte.org.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

BCD Travel named ‘Most Admired TMC’ by The Beat readers for sixth time

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BCD Travel named Most Admired TMC by The Beat readers

BCD Travel named ‘Most Admired TMC’ by The Beat readers for sixth time

UTRECHT, The Netherlands, Oct. 5, 2018  – The BTN Group today recognized BCD Travel as the 2018 Most Admired Travel Management Company. The designation was bestowed by readers of The Beat, a widely-read business travel newsletter and website that provides breaking news, in-depth articles and high-level interviews on corporate travel distribution, travel management and technology.

The award was based on a poll conducted this summer that asked readers to choose the company they “most admire for its policies, management style and service for business clients.” Participants were not allowed to vote for their own employers.

“We’re honored by this recognition that our colleagues, peers and clients have given to our company,” said John Snyder, BCD Travel President and CEO. “I’m proud of our entire global workforce for their commitment to innovation and excellence in customer service, which is reflected in our being singled out.”

The Beat readers identified their “most admired” companies in six categories: airline, hotel, car rental, TMC, tech provider and payment system.

The Beat is published by The BTN Group, which also publishes Business Travel News and Travel Procurement magazine and is part of Northstar Travel Group. The Beat serves an audience of over 10,000 through its paid-subscription newsletter and website. Its readers include travel executives from corporations, TMCs, airlines, hotels, global distribution systems, technology providers, car rental firms, payment systems, consultants, financial analysts and media.

The ‘Most Admired TMC’ award joins other recent accolades for BCD Travel including being named one of America’s Best Employers for Women 2018 by Forbes and ranking 29 on a list of 100 companies noted for flexible work environments by Flexjobs, among others.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

2019 Industry Forecast for Global Corporate Travel BCD Travel: Global hotel rates to increase 1-3% and air fares by 1-2% in most markets; strong competition to check increased demand for regional fares

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BCD’s Industry Forecast predicts global hotel rates to increase 1-3% and air fares by 1-2% in most markets

2019 Industry Forecast for Global Corporate Travel BCD Travel: Global hotel rates to increase 1-3% and air fares by 1-2% in most markets; strong competition to check increased demand for regional fares

UTRECHT, The Netherlands – September 19, 2018 – Global hotel rates will increase around the world by 1-3% in 2019 and air fares by 1-2% in most markets, according to leading business travel management company BCD Travel’s newly released 2019 Industry Forecast. The increase in hotel rates is largely due to demand growth slightly outpacing supply in most markets. Air fares are expected to remain flat in Africa, decrease 2% in Latin America and increase by 1% or 2% in all other regions.

The 2019 Industry Forecast provides travel and procurement managers with projected prices in preparation for supplier negotiations and budgeting. The forecast, published in prior years by Advito, the consulting arm of BCD Travel, includes supply, demand, and pricing trends for air, hotel, meetings, and ground transportation for all major regions of the world.

Globally, average ticket prices for regional and intercontinental travel in both business and economy class are expected to rise by 1% in 2019. Regionally, average ticket prices will vary between -2 and +3%, with the largest decreases seen in economy fares in Latin America and the largest increases in business class fares in the Southwest Pacific region. In Latin America, increased competition will be responsible for downward pricing pressure while in the Southwest Pacific, flat capacity and increasing demand will lift regional air fares.

Hotel rates are expected to increase by 1-3% worldwide, with little variation by region. Much wider ranges can be seen on a country level, such as in India, where a 6% to 8% rate increase is forecast. Inversely, lower rates are most likely in African markets, particularly in Ethiopia and Morocco. In the U.S., hotel occupancy is generally higher year-over-year, especially in the major cities, thanks to the continued strength of the U.S. economy. Travelers may experience severe availability issues in some locations.

In addition to its pricing forecasts and buying strategy recommendations for air, hotel, meetings and ground transportation for each major region of the world, BCD Travel’s 2019 Industry Forecast also includes discussions of:

  • Travel risk and security
  • Hotel chainwide agreements
  • Alternative accommodations
  • Global and regional macroeconomic trends
  • Hotel mergers and meetings
  • Hotel dynamic pricing
  • And more

The BCD Travel 2019 Industry Forecast is available at www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

BCD Travel examines the implications of technology on sourcing in the corporate travel industry with release of first ‘Inform’ series paper

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Debut paper in BCD Travels Inform series explores impact of tech on corp travel sourcing

BCD Travel examines the implications of technology on sourcing in the corporate travel industry with release of first ‘Inform’ series paper

UTRECHT, The Netherlands – August 16, 2018 – A new report by global travel management company BCD Travel examines how emerging technologies will impact sourcing in the business travel industry. Approached from the corporate travel buyer’s point of view, the paper is intended to close a knowledge gap within the travel industry when it comes to understanding the implications of digital technology.

“Given that corporate travel buyers are now headed into annual supplier negotiations, we thought the sourcing topic would be a good one for our debut paper in the Inform series,” says BCD’s Miriam Moscovici, director of emerging technologies and leader of the team that produces Inform and the widely ready Industry Forecast. “The paper helps travel buyers better understand how to use digital technologies – like AI and chatbots – in sourcing scenarios. This is real-world information for real-world programs.”

The report on sourcing is the first paper in a six-part series on Emerging technology and Travel Management examining how blockchain, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, machine learning, chatbots and artificial intelligence will impact six key areas of corporate travel program management:

  1. Sourcing
  2. Policy
  3. Communications
  4. Duty of care
  5. Payment & expense
  6. Performance management

Specific areas of sourcing examined by the debut paper in the series include the identification and selection of suppliers, the specification of products and services, pricing and contracting, the presentation of choices to travelers, payment and supplier performance management.

Areas of influence on sourcing examined in the report include:

  • The ability of blockchain to allow smart contracts, as well as redemption and exchange of rewards points across hotel programs
  • The role of machine learning in automatically lowering rate caps and giving preference to less expensive hotels to save money
  • The role of virtual reality in meeting room configurations and the replacement of in-person meetings.

The role of bots to expand beyond chat into the automation of routine tasks like spend analysis, catalog management, purchase order creation, invoicing and payment processing.

The sourcing report concludes with tips that executives and travel managers can use to drive innovation forward, such as joining beta test groups and consolidating data and systems before introducing new technologies.

The Inform series is being published by BCD Travel’s Research and Intelligence team, most widely recognized for its work producing the travel management company’s annual Industry Forecast as well as white papers and research briefs. With their combined analytical skills and deep knowledge of the corporate travel industry, the team’s members are frequently cited as sources for industry news reports and invited to appear as speakers at industry events.

The second report in the Inform series, focusing on policy, and will be published in October. Among the key subjects explored in the policy report is the role new technology is playing in the transformation of policy development and policy detail. “Technology doesn’t mean policy is necessarily dead, but technology will help tailor policy to individual needs and provide better compliance,” says the policy paper’s lead author, Mike Eggleton, Senior Manager Analytics and Research at BCD Travel.

To receive all six reports as they are published throughout 2018 and the first half of 2019, visit www.bcdtravel.com/inform/ and subscribe to our move blog.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

BCD adds Pana to SolutionSource marketplace to make guest travel simple for clients

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BCD adds Pana to SolutionSource marketplace to make guest travel simple for clients

BCD adds Pana to SolutionSource marketplace to make guest travel simple for clients

UTRECHT, The Netherlands, Aug. 9, 2018 BCD Travel announced today it has added booking technology company Pana to its SolutionSource® marketplace. Pana, a technology company that focuses on business travel for guests, is the first solution of its kind to join the SolutionSource marketplace. The BCD-Pana integration will leverage a cross platform exchange of key travel data for seamless delivery of Pana services to BCD customers.

It is challenging for traditional corporate travel programs to accommodate non-employee travelers such as recruits, contractors, consultants, interns, and more. Trips are not always accounted for in a duty of care system, or in travel spend reports. It can also represent an inconvenience for the traveler if upfront payment is required.

With Pana, the corporate client can configure the booking process to meet their needs, specifying their preferred suppliers, determining form of payment, and setting reimbursement policies. Pana then coordinates all the travel logistics directly with the traveler via their award-winning chat platform and sends the final itinerary to the client.

“Pana provides a unique solution that transforms what is typically a manual, complex process into a simple, elegant experience for guest travelers,” says Yannis Karmis, BCD Travel’s senior vice president of product planning and development. “By including Pana in SolutionSource, we are able to integrate this technology in a way that easily fits into our client’s current travel program.”

In this first-of-its kind full integration, BCD now can offer clients a seamless experience for managing guest bookings. Companies will be able to easily extend their negotiated rates and amenities to guest travelers, and their bookings will stay within the BCD Travel environment. All booking data will be available in BCD’s proprietary intelligence platform, DecisionSource®, giving travel managers a single place to manage their program.

“We’re thrilled to be working with BCD to expand our reach to more customers who want a differentiated travel experience for some of their most important travelers—their guests,” says Devon Tivona, co-founder and chief commercial officer at Pana. “We chose BCD as a global partner because they are a widely-respected industry leader whose customer-first mission aligns with our own. By delivering a deeply-integrated product to BCD’s customers, we’re taking a huge step closer to fulfilling that mission.”

Visit the BCD Travel’s tradeshow booth at GBTA in San Diego to learn more about Pana, and BCD’s other SolutionSource Authorized Partners who will present to guests on their unique approach to tackling today’s corporate travel challenges.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

BCD Travel extends Hotel Price Assurance as standard offering — giving travelers and clients confidence that they’re getting the lowest hotel rates

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BCD Travel extends price assurance to all clients as standard offering

BCD Travel extends Hotel Price Assurance as standard offering — giving travelers and clients confidence that they’re getting the lowest hotel rates

UTRECHT, The Netherlands, Aug. 8, 2018 – Global travel management company BCD Travel is extending their best-in-class Hotel Price Assurance offering as a standard feature to all clients — giving travelers and clients confidence that they’re getting the lowest available rates when booking hotel rooms. The new offering is available as part of BCD’s TripSource Hotels offering at no cost.

BCD’s proprietary hotel platform integrates with TRIPBAM’s market-leading hotel price monitoring technology, which automatically rebooks rooms if rates drop between the time a room is booked and the cancellation period. The most sophisticated price monitoring tool in the industry, Hotel Price Assurance on average finds lower rates up to 8% of the time with average saving of $50 per booking.

A hotelier’s primary tool for controlling supply is price, and hotel inventory is perishable (if a room isn’t booked, it goes empty). For these reasons, room rates fluctuate drastically—sometimes daily—right up until the day of check-in. Hotel Price Assurance, the most sophisticated price monitoring tool in the industry, takes advantage of the fluctuations and rebooks when prices fall.

“Dynamic hotel pricing provides great savings opportunities for corporate travel buyers who have tools in place to take advantage of rate fluctuations,” said Yannis Karmis, BCD Travel Senior Vice President, Product Planning & Development. “Our decision to roll out a standard price assurance offering lets BCD clients begin saving immediately without waiting for the next budget cycle or having to first prove its value to their stakeholders.”

Another advantage of the standard offering: Hotel Price Assurance is ready to use “out of the box.” The standard product requires no complex settings or hidden configurations. Room-comparison rules used to monitor rates are clearly defined and based on client feedback and best practices. The service applies regardless of how the booking is made — whether using BCD’s TripSource traveler experience platform, a preferred online booking tool or through a BCD agent. Even incremental hotel savings, when multiplied across an entire program, can significantly accumulate over time.

For example, Abercrombie & Fitch has seen an average $60 per night reduction on hotel room rates when Hotel Price Assurance rebooks original reservations. The American Cancer Society has seen average nightly savings triple over the course of four months.

“Hotel Price Assurance, powered by TRIPBAM, provides corporate travel buyers the most powerful solution available today for capturing, measuring and managing hotel spend,” said Steve Reynolds, Founder and CEO of TRIPBAM. “This first-of-its-kind solution pairs fully automated hotel rate assurance with a fully automated rebooking service for a truly unique offering that is free to BCD clients.”

BCD Travel’s new standard Hotel Price Assurance offering will initially launch in North America before rolling out to other regions—monitoring hotel rates and rebooking like rooms based on a core set of savings principles. A Premium version, including advanced methods of shopping for lower rates, also powered by TRIPBAM, is already available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany, and will soon be available in Switzerland.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

BCD Travel expands on ‘anywhere’ hotel booking with addition of air to their TripSource® traveler experience platform

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BCD Travel expands on ‘anywhere’ hotel booking with addition of air to their TripSource® traveler experience platform

BCD Travel expands on ‘anywhere’ hotel booking with addition of air to their TripSource® traveler experience platform

UTRECHT, The Netherlands, Aug. 2, 2018 – Global travel management company BCD Travel is expanding ‘anywhere’ booking capabilities in their TripSource trip management platform. The big leap forward in booking choice results from BCD Travel’s strategic focus on—and significant investment in—improved depth and breadth of content for travelers and cost savings for their companies.

The new expanded booking capability, TripSourceGo, provides a simple and convenient platform for business travelers to shop for and directly book hotel and air content through TripSource. The platform provides convenient access from any connected device whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, computer or voice-enabled digital assistant. Especially useful for customers with simple program needs, TripSourceGo will first add air booking to existing hotel booking capabilities in the coming months. Ground, rail and car booking will follow.

“Business travelers, like everyone else, are looking for ways to simplify their tasks. The easier a platform is to use, the more likely people are to use it,” says Yannis Karmis, Senior Vice President of Product Planning and Development. “We want to make it as easy and pleasant to book the company’s preferred air and hotel content as it is to buy a mobile charger on Amazon Prime.”

TripSourceGo expands upon the hugely successful hotel capabilities BCD introduced to TripSource two years ago. A commitment to ongoing improvement and multiple iterations based on user feedback helped BCD exceed the high expectations of travelers, travel managers and travel agents alike. Now, with the hotel shopping and booking capabilities available to clients globally, with local  and regional  support in 29 countries, BCD has a clear map for success in adding air, ground, car and rail content, Karmis said.

As part of their larger planning and booking strategy, BCD is also enabling third-party online booking tool access through their TripSource platform. Travelers can access their company preferred OBTs directly while managing their entire trip using the TripSource app or website.

TripSourceGo is first being introduced to clients in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, with additional markets to follow.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

BCD Travel extends its trip management platform to voice-enabled devices

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BCD Travel extends its trip management platform to voice enabled devices

BCD Travel extends its trip management platform to voice-enabled devices

UTRECHT, The Netherlands, July 31, 2018 – Business travelers serviced by global travel management company BCD Travel are seeing some of the most advanced digital technologies from consumer retail extended to corporate travelers to enhance the business trip.

BCD is extending its powerful trip management platform, TripSource®, into cloud-based voice services. The move offers business travelers the convenience of a voice-activated trip management experience on any Alexa-enabled device, such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Plus or Echo Dot—as well as any smart phone with the Alexa app loaded.

TripSource and Alexa-enabled devices can use the new Alexa skill to request specific details about upcoming trips, including arrival and departure dates and times, hotel confirmation information and even the address for rental car pick up.

“We want to offer business travelers access to trip information using their favorite tools and devices wherever they are—the office, at home or on the go,” said Yannis Karmis, Senior Vice President of Product Planning and Development. “Virtual voice technology gives us the opportunity to seamlessly integrate natural-language technologies into our TripSource platform and expand our self-service capabilities.”

BCD utilized a team of voice user-experience designers and engineers to humanize the experience. BCD’s TripSource Alexa skill expands intelligent communications beyond email by introducing the ability to add “nicknames” to the virtual personal assistant — so family members can stay updated too. For example, the kids might say: “Alexa, ask TripSource when mom’s flight is arriving,” and the system recognizes the identity of mom.

Recent research suggests that human interaction with voice-recognition technologies is on the verge of exploding. By 2020, over 200 billion searches per month will be voice based, according to a July 2018 Phocuswright report, “The State of Voice in Travel.” Sixty percent of U.S. travelers already use voice to access personal information.

As the service evolves, BCD will extend voice capabilities to planning and booking—not only on Alexa, but other virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. The company will continue to deliver on those throughout the remainder of this year and into next.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

BCD Travel focuses research on impact of digital technologies on business travel in upcoming Inform series

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BCD Travel research team to focus on emerging tech impact on business travel industry

BCD Travel focuses research on impact of digital technologies on business travel in upcoming Inform series

UTRECHT, The Netherlands – July 26, 2018 – BCD Travel, a leading business travel management company, today announced the forthcoming publication of a series of reports aimed at helping companies take advantage of new and emerging technologies expected to profoundly change the travel industry.

The goal of Inform research is to help corporations with a series of simple-to-understand and relevant papers, think about and prepare to use emerging technologies to increase the impact of travel management programs on their businesses, regardless of their size.

Each paper in this “Inform” series will focus on the implication of blockchain, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, machine learning, chatbots and artificial intelligence on one of six key areas of corporate travel program management: sourcing, policy, communications, duty of care, payment & expense and performance management. The first paper on sourcing will be published Aug. 16, with the remaining five scheduled to be released over the following 12 months.

“We’re finding a knowledge gap within our industry when it comes to digital technology,” said Miriam Moscovici, BCD Travel’s Senior Director, Research and Corporate Innovation. “There’s no shortage of papers exploring the various emerging technologies, but few clearly explain the direct tie-in to managed travel. We’re approaching the Inform papers from a travel manager’s point of view.”

Added Inform co-author Natalia Tretyakevich: “The findings we present in the upcoming six-part series of reports are the result of extended and ongoing research. Our research into these topics included a survey of the relevant literature and extensive interviews with subject matter experts across the corporate travel discipline at BCD Travel and our consulting group, Advito.”

The Inform series is being published by BCD Travel’s Research and Intelligence team, most widely recognized for its work producing the travel management company’s annual Industry Forecast as well as white papers and research briefs. With their combined analytical skills and deep knowledge of the corporate travel industry, the team’s members are frequently cited as sources for industry news reports and invited to appear as speakers at industry events.

Meet the team behind the six-part series

Miriam Moscovici, Senior Director, Research and Corporate Innovation

As a former travel manager, Miriam focuses on product and service improvements that deliver value for companies of all sizes. Based in Denver, Colo., she leads research and introduces concepts aimed at engendering a culture of innovation throughout the organization.

Mike Eggleton, Senior Manager Analytics and Research

Based in the U.K., Mike served as lead author of the Inform report series. His areas of expertise include business strategy and network planning, competitor analysis, airline strategy and economics, market analysis, and demand forecasting.

Natalia Tretyakevich, Senior Manager Research and Intelligence

Based in Spain, Natalia served as Inform series co-author. She works on a variety of innovative research projects around product planning, corporate strategy and industry thought leadership, exploring a wide range of current business travel trends and topics.

To learn more about BCD’s Research & Intelligence team, as well as its other corporate travel experts, visit the company’s Speaker’s Bureau at www.bcdtravel.com/i-want-to/meet-our-experts/.

The first Inform report, “Emerging technology and travel management: Sourcing” will be available August 16. Among its topics explored: how blockchain can open the door to smart contracts as well as redemption and exchange of rewards points across hotel programs.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

BCD Travel takes majority stake in Colombia as part of ongoing investment growth strategy in South America

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BCD Travel takes ownership of its Colombia operations.pdf

BCD Travel takes majority stake in Colombia as part of ongoing investment growth strategy in South America

UTRECHT, The Netherlands, July 16, 2018 – BCD Travel today announced that it has taken a majority ownership stake in its operation in Colombia, a BCD partner since 1999. Longtime BCD Travel Colombia partner Andres Mongui will continue as country manager under the new ownership structure, reporting to Rob McTeague, Managing Director, Latin America.

Colombia will join Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru in BCD’s owned markets in Latin America. The Colombia operation plans to retain the current workforce and expects to continue growing the business.

“Ownership in Colombia made a lot of sense for us because of the outstanding work Andres has done in building a successful agency with a reputation for excellence,” said Mike Janssen, BCD’s Global COO and President of the Americas region. “Our M&A strategy prioritizes acquisitions in markets with significant customer transactions that also represent large growth and revenue potential. Many of our global customers invest significant travel spend in Colombia, and we project long-term growth in the country.”

The fourth largest country in South America and one of the continent’s most populous nations with 47 million people, Colombia attracts major global corporations with its substantial oil reserves and major production of gold, silver, emeralds, platinum and coal.

BCD’s investment in Colombia is the latest in a multi-year series of expansion moves. Other acquisitions of majority stakes and full ownership include travel operations in Brazil, China, Dubai Hong Kong and Poland, Acendas Travel and World Travel Services in the U.S., Nordic travel agency Ticket Biz, global Grass Roots Meetings & Events, U.K.-based international events agency Zibrant, marketing logistics agency Plan 365 Life Sciences and mobile technology company GetGoing.

“My partnership with BCD Travel for nearly 20 years has helped my agency reach a leading position  in the Colombian market, and we’ve developed a high level of trust in the entire global organization,” Mongui said.

McTeague added: “Based on our track record of successful travel management consolidations, I have extremely high confidence in our ability to continue offering businesses from around the globe the highest service quality available in Colombia without compromising savings.”

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. For travelers, this means keeping them safe and productive, and equipping them to make good choices on the road. For travel and procurement managers, it means advising them on how to grow the value of their travel program. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,500 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate (95% over the past 10 years), with 2017 sales of US$25.7 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,500 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$27.9 billion, including US$10.4 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.