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CONFERENCE


BBT’s Leading 50 TMCs, with more new members joining soon.


There are 200 independent business


travel locations across the UK within Advantage, and Armorgie later told BBT that group turnover had risen to £2.5 billion. Overall, Advantage’s leisure and business agents collectively generate £4.5 billion of travel sales each year. “We have established ourselves as the home of the independent TMC – with a potential pipeline of an extra £400 million-worth of buying power,” he said.


Keynote speaker Jerry Springer


Advantage Conference 2018


STORYTELLING WAS THE THEME of the Advantage Conference, held at the Trump National Doral hotel, Miami, in May. Delegates were urged to embrace social media and promote more than their own statistics in their marketing. Jason Nash, Travelport’s chief storyteller, urged TMCs to use emotion to better engage with potential corporate customers. “We all tell stories, but we don’t know it,” he argued. “Tell stories using logic, emotion and ethics. Currently, most TMCs use statistics to show they’re the biggest. You need to use emotion... and stories that resonate with your customers and employees.” Meanwhile, keynote speaker Jerry


Springer told delegates his story. His Jewish parents left Nazi Germany for England just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Springer was born in London in 1944, and five years later his family emigrated to the US. He reminded delegates that the US was still a nation that welcomes people – despite the best efforts of its current president.


WIN WIN The Advantage Travel Partnership had its own story to tell, too, with Neil Armorgie (right), head of the consortium’s business travel division and chief executive of WIN (Worldwide Independent Travel Network), revealing the sector was driving rapid growth. He told delegates that 32 Advantage members were currently ranked in


16 BBT July/August 2018


NEW FACES Advantage Business Travel has also grown stronger since it upped its investment stake in WIN to 95 per cent from 25 per cent in March last year. This resulted in exposure to a network of members across 70 countries. Prior to the Advantage Conference, there was a separate WIN Independent TMC Summit at the Delano resort in Miami’s South Beach area. In June, Advantage launched


a dedicated Advantage Meetings and Events division, with industry experts Andrew Winterburn and Ian Quartermaine at the helm. It offers a range of support services, from full-service events management and marketing, to venue finding and RFP and RFI development, as well as training. Martin Pearce, managing director of


Advantage member Omega Business Travel, said the launch was another string to Advantage’s bow. “We’ve recently acquired a couple of new corporate clients, and MICE is where it’s at. The division is something we’ll be using, from venue searching to the full thing.” n Next year’s Advantage Conference will be held in Cadiz, Spain, 17-20 May


FINANCE


CAXTON FX TARGETS BUSINESS TRAVEL SECTOR


CAXTON FX – THE PREPAID CURRENCY and international payments expert – has launched a “Currency Clinic” as it makes a push into the business travel sector.


Head of partnerships Andy Demetriades said: “The Currency Clinic aims to educate travel businesses on understanding the need to hedge, not speculate on, travellers’ overseas spending.” Caxton counts CTI as one of its TMC clients, while high net-worth individuals use its Premier International service to manage payments via a dedicated account manager.


Demetriades said a foreign exchange strategy was “an essential part of any finance director’s toolkit” against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainties. According to Caxton, the currency market is the biggest financial market in the world – and the most liquid. Trading has now reached US$5.4 trillion a day, or US$220 billion per hour.


TECHNOLOGY


Business travellers believe AI can make trips more secure


ACCORDING TO A SURVEY of 527 business travellers by SAP Concur, many believe technology, such as predictive alerts, would decrease travel risks. Furthermore, 75 per cent stated they think artificial intelligence will be the “engine room” of more personalised travel. Some of the potential benefits outlined by respondents include automated travel expensing (23 per cent), automated recommended actions based on events such as flights being cancelled (19 per cent), and personalised recommendations relating to restaurants (18 per cent). However, despite the majority of business travellers seeing the potential of AI, many are not willing to share data. Business travellers said they were willing to share their email (54 per cent), travel preferences (52 per cent) and gender (46 per cent), but were more hesitant to share their place of residence (25 per cent) and phone number (33 per cent).


BUYINGBUSINESSTRAVEL.COM


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