Spot­light on: TMC part­ner­ships

The Business Travel Magazine - - Contents -

In­creas­ingly more TMCS are sign­ing part­ner­ships around the world to ex­pand their pres­ence and bet­ter serve their fast-grow­ing clients.

“Busi­ness Travel Direct de­liv­ers global TMC al­ter­na­tive with ATG” – that was the key mar­ket­ing mes­sage from Uk-based BTD af­ter ty­ing up a deal to be­come the ex­clu­sive UK fran­chise part­ner for the Ohio-based agency.

“As an in­de­pen­dent TMC we have many strengths that our clients value such as in­ti­mate market knowl­edge, a real fo­cus on in­no­va­tion and the abil­ity to pro­vide a per­son­alised ser­vice but with global stan­dards,” says Julie Oliver, BTD Manag­ing Direc­tor.

“But we had a chal­lenge in not be­ing able to pro­vide the same lev­els of ser­vice for clients on a global level. With ATG, we have found the miss­ing piece,” adds Oliver.

ATPI Group's new transat­lantic deal is also about strength­en­ing its pres­ence in North Amer­ica. It has teamed up with Us-based Direct Travel to form Direct ATPI Global Travel. Each busi­ness will con­tinue op­er­at­ing un­der its ex­ist­ing name, but the new ven­ture – in which the TMCS have made equal in­vest­ments – is tar­get­ing mid­mar­ket com­pa­nies with global travel needs.

“We're big in North Amer­ica and ATPI is big in the rest of the world. It's the per­fect com­ing to­gether of two com­pa­nies,” says Ed Adams, CEO of Direct Travel. “Direct ATPI Global Travel is per­fectly aligned to ser­vice any com­pany that re­quires scal­able, per­sonal ser­vice on a multi­na­tional ba­sis.”

ATPI'S Chief Com­mer­cial Of­fi­cer, Gary Pearce, says that al­though the TMC'S net­work is strong glob­ally, there is some room for im­prove­ment in North Amer­ica and the deal with Direct Travel en­ables it to bet­ter serve its glob­ally grow­ing clients.

“As ex­ist­ing clients need help around the world we can push Direct ATPI, giv­ing them a seam­less op­er­a­tion glob­ally,” he says.

Both TMCS have grown through merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions which puts them in good stead, says Adams. “Peo­ple on both sides un­der­stand col­lab­o­ra­tion. If you can man­age change – and change is not a bad word – then you will get the most out of peo­ple.”

The ven­ture has al­ready won a num­ber of joint bids to­talling £50mil­lion's worth in busi­ness from a mix­ture of UK, US and Euro­pean com­pa­nies.

It is a dif­fer­ent ar­range­ment to BTD'S and to net­works such as Ra­dius, Glob­al­star and WIN Travel Net­work. Each set-up has its own mer­its, but Direct's Adams be­lieve it has hit upon the ideal ar­range­ment.

“Direct has been part of other global groups and had other one-off part­ners out­side North Amer­ica but things weren’t al­ways that ef­fi­cient. Buy­ers wanted a re­la­tion­ship with a one-com­pany feel and that's what we've now got,” he says.

What works best is down to the par­tic­u­lar needs of a client, but a market with more TMCS geared up to of­fer re­gional ex­per­tise on a global scale, is good news for us all.

We had a chal­lenge in not be­ing able to pro­vide the same lev­els of ser­vice for clients on a global level”

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