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COUNTDOWN TO CHAOS For corporate travel and meetings arrangers


THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE (Print) ISSN 1754-8543


Publishing Director & Managing Editor: Alan Orbell Publisher: David Clare


david.clare@thebusinesstravelmag.com Editor: Gillian Upton


HERE WE are in 2012, with just under six months to go until the Olympics opens its doors on, I suspect, a worryingly large number of unprepared corporates. Full marks if you’re hanging


back waiting for better hotel rates, but 50 per cent of companies, it seems, have no plan in place to circumnavigate disruptions to business, according to Deloitte’s most recent Games Readiness report. Read what to do on page 70. Changing fast to new market


forces is Gatwick Airport, by making the most of spare slots and larger aircraft to tweak its business mix. Find out what it has to offer business travellers on page 18. Fundamental to any planned change is data analysis and this hoary


chestnut of a subject is laid bare on page 60 as a guide to what numbers you need to do your job properly. Do SMEs get a raw deal from travel management companies? We have sought three industry views in our Debate feature on page 16, while on pages 22-30 we‘ve compiled our annual guide to TMCs, looking closely at how they’re evolving in these straightened times. If the predictions of belt-tightening and more austerity measures come


about then our guides to Premium Economy (page 62) and booking tools (page 32) will help curb excesses in process and product choice. More practical advice comes in the shape of one corporate, Hyder Consulting, that has generated not insignificant savings by clawing back 100 per cent VAT from hotel bookings and by switching to hotel billback. See the first of our Knowledge features on page 6 to find out how they did it. Guides to doing business in Athens and Beirut and how best to fly around the UK complete what is a bumper issue to see the New Year in. Enjoy!


gillian.upton@thebusinesstravelmag.com Deputy Editor: Andy Hoskins andy.hoskins@thebusinesstravelmag.com Senior Editor: Steve Hartridge Editorial Assistants: Julie Baxter & Laura Gelder Creative Director: Matt Bonner Art Director: Dan Franklin Designer: Tina-Lee McDougall Production Manager: Clare Hunter Production Controller: Steve Hunter Subscriptions Manager: Cheryl Staniforth Managing Director: Martin Steady


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CONTRIBUTORS


Mike Swindell TECHNOLOGY EDITOR Mike is a veteran of the travel industry, specialising in business travel, trade technology and aviation. He has been features editor of Travel Trade Gazette and deputy editor of Airline World.


Linda Fox JOURNALIST Linda has worked as a freelance travel writer for over five years and prior to that spent seven years covering the hotels and technology sectors on Travel Trade Gazette.


Dinah Hatch JOURNALIST Dinah began specialising in travel writing nine years ago. Today she contributes to a variety of publications including The Observer, The Times and Travel Weekly.


Roger Gardner CONSULTANT Roger is an aviation environmental expert with nearly 30 years experience of policy development, regulation and research management, currently providing consulting advice to various stakeholders.


Colin Ellson JOURNALIST Colin is a highly experienced travel journalist, specialising in the aviation sector and the Middle East. Before venturing into the travel sector, Colin was an award-winning journalist on TV Times.


Gillian Upton EDITOR


Tony Pilcher CONSULTANT Tony is director of Pilcher Associates which provides independent consultancy to the corporate market on all aspects of business travel. He was previously head of business travel and expense management at HSBC.


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