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Five business travel agencies went under the spotlight during a series interviews with TTG’s group editor Pippa Jacks and Travelport’s commercial director Guy Snelgar


First to face a grilling is CTM’s marketing director Scott Alboni who talks about the big changes that have taken place since Chambers Travel Group was rebranded as CTM last year. Scott says the changes within the

company have been “humungous” in the last 12 months following the purchase of Chambers by Australian- based CTM. More change is coming too with the acquisition of another UK-based agency, Redfern Travel. But these changes have clearly not

encouraged many of the 200 staff to move as CTM UK enjoys a staff turnover rate of only 3%. Scott says one of the reasons for

this retention rate is the high level of training and development, with the company spending an average of £750 per employee last year, through its Training Academy. CTM has a diverse range of clients

ranging from the Houses of Parliament and NHS Scotland to companies in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, law, financial and retail. The emphasis on “exceptional” customer service is supported by a 99.3% client retention rate, while in-house technology such as the CTM

Smart suite of online tools continues to be rolled out and developed.


Small is beautiful for Corporate Traveller’s general manager Graeme Milne, who runs Flight Centre’s travel management company (TMC) for small and medium-sized firms with travel spending of up to £2 million per year. Although it is part of a large travel

company, Corporate Traveller operates very much as its own brand with 400 staff across 20 locations around the UK. Graeme is keen to stress the

personalised service offered by the TMC and that it does not operate a call- centre model. Instead, there are up to 70 business development managers out on the road visiting customers. Corporate Traveller also operates a

“flat” management structure within the agency, which empowers staff to be “client-facing” and make their own decisions without having to consult managers. The TMC has also developed its own

technology including the VeloCT online booking tool and a suite of mobile apps, such as the Request app allowing a traveller to send a request to a

Corporate Traveller prides itself on empowering its staff

Pippa Jacks and Guy Snelgar grill CTM’s Scott Alboni

consultant to put together a booking based on their profile and preferences. These developments have helped

Corporate Traveller to record impressive sales growth of 15-20% per year for the last six years.


The homeworking giant may be best known for its leisure business, but chief executive Steve Byrne points

out that around 400 of its 950 UK agents already have at least one corporate account among their clients. Steve says that those homeworkers

who already primarily focus on business travel benefit from the whole range of services offered by Travel Counsellors and are “not siloed” from the leisure side of the company. In fact, Travel Counsellors sees lots of potential in the trend of “bleisure”, which is the increasing number of people who want to combine a business trip with a holiday, especially from those in the millennial age group. The company is also setting up a customer acquisition team to find business

The Corporate Travel Management team 36


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