Event report: Travel Counsellors Business Travel Conference
“It’s the personal touch that really sets us apart,” said Travel Counsellor Helena Raleigh. “It’s also about knowing our clients’ businesses as well as we know our own, taking on a consultant role that helps to work out the best ways to meet their busines
Business growth, client relationships and technology were among the key themes discussed at Travel Counsellors’ Business Travel Conference in Birmingham
Opening the event, CEO Steve Byrne set the scene with details on the company’s strategy as it celebrates another year of double digit growth – the Travel Counsellors corporate travel division now accounts for over 25% of company revenue.
Byrne confirmed that over 1,000 corporate travel accounts were won in the last 12 months, generating over £16million in dedicated business travel revenue alone.
“We’ve created a business model for the future based on nurturing close relationships with our clients, underpinned by technology that helps offer an outstanding corporate travel service with a human touch.
“Travel Counsellors is as relevant and disruptive now as we were 24 years ago. So much so that our corporate travel offering is set to make £140million in sales across seven countries this year,” said Byrne.
The company is investing £6million in technology throughout 2018 (twice what it spent in 2015) following an injection by Vitruvian partners which backed the company in a secondary management buyout from Equistone Partners Europe.
New investment in technology includes enhanced MI reports and automation across the booking journey, together with the development of online booking tools incorporating artificial intelligence.
Global Sales Director Jim Eastwood highlighted that over a third of the company’s Travel Counsellors now run corporate travel businesses, supporting nearly 300,000 passengers per year.
Many of the company’s business franchise owners are 100% focussed on delivering corporate travel services, as well as the provision of dedicated MICE initiatives with the support of special events and groups teams at Travel Counsellors Manchester HQ.
Eastwood added that many of the company’s corporate Travel Counsellors are “seeing an increase in leisure bookings from their corporate clients, whether that’s increasing the length of stay to accommodate ‘bleisure’ time, or booking holidays for their regular business travellers.
“We’re well placed to provide a 360-degree travel experience for our clients that includes any form of travel they need.”