Posts

Industry leaders answer GTM’s client’s questions on business travel, coronavirus measures and the future use of the UK’s busiest airport

Senior travel industry representatives have set out a clear roadmap for business travel growth through London’s busiest airport and have answered questions from GTM’s clients. 

Global Travel Management was one of a selected group of travel management companies to address John Holland-Kaye and Clive Wratten in an online Q&A. 

Holland-Kaye, CEO of London Heathrow Airport repeated his calls for a “Common International Standard for health in aviation”, which would pave the way for infection-free passengers to be able to travel freely.  And Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association (BTA) set out his organisation’s five-point plan to get business travel moving again. 

Global Travel Management’s clients were asked what questions they would like to see put to the industry figures.

Global Travel Management Managing Director Scott Pawley asked

The key to stimulating travel and to ensure clients see a swift and comprehensive return to travel plans is confidence.  Until clients have confidence that their travel objectives can be met safely, there remains a barrier to returning to travel.  What specific measures can we tell our clients that Heathrow is undertaking to ensure all travel meets with social distancing guidance and that airport staff, as well as passengers, are screened for coronavirus symptoms?

John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Airport, called for a Common International Standard for health in aviation

Holland-Kaye explained that the Common International Standard for health in aviation is something that needs to be in place and confirmed that the UK government is in a good place to bring together international parties to ensure that this happens. 

He also explained that Heathrow is taking several steps to ensure safe, secure passage through the airport for business and leisure travellers:

  • Passengers and staff will be required to wear face masks at the airport  
  • Surfaces will undergo more rigorous and frequent cleaning
  • Hand sanitiser will be made available for general use
  • Investments will be made to ensure zero-touch passage through security becomes the norm – this investment may take up to two years to put in place
  • Once passengers are screened, through security and air-side, the comprehensive use face masks will reduce the need to adhere to typical two metre social distancing

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management asked

Does Heathrow Airport Ltd have plans to instigate something similar to the testing on arrival carried out at Vienna Airport, which helps infection-free passengers avoid quarantine?

Holland-Kaye explained that tests should be carried prior to departure, rather than on arrival, and repeated his request for a Common International Standard to include an internationally agreed permit to guarantee arrival.

Wratten also explained the BTA’s five-point plan.

BTA CEO Clive Wratten has set out a clear, five-point plan to get businesses travelling again

The BTA recognises the many and complex challenges ahead in the fight against Covid-19, but firmly believes the following five key steps are necessary to get the business world travelling again:

  1. Timeframe – No one knows when travel can begin, and this missing date means consumers and businesses cannot be confident about future journeys. We need to move from a restriction of “All but essential” to “Essential business travel permitted”.
  2. International co-operation and clarity – The BTA is arguing for a set of globally consistent guidelines on social distancing, the use of masks and other hygiene measures.
  3. Protected travellers – When Governments and travel providers give the green light, the need to ensure everyone stays safe will remain crucial. This requires insurance to cover employees when they travel and, in case of disruption or infection, that businesses’ actions will not cause employee concern or dissent.
  4. Safe services – Airlines, airports, train companies, car rental firms, hotels and other accommodation providers will need to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt, the steps they are taking to ensure cleanliness and social distancing. This could be overseen by travel associations such as the BTA across the globe with a recognisable marque provided to those who meet the criteria.
  5. Competitive pricing – Economies are being squeezed; companies are under pressure. Hence, travel budgets for the latter half of this year, and for 2021, will be challenging. Consequently, all elements of the business travel supply chain will need to ensure they remain highly competitive on pricing. Achieving this requires government intervention and financial commitment today to keep struggling businesses afloat – both in the business travel sector and amongst those who buy from it. 

We would like to thank Clive Wratten and John Holland-Kaye for taking the time to answer these questions.

GTM deploys new, cloud-based telephony system

Global Travel Management has invested in a new, cutting-edge telephone system to enable industry-leading levels of customer service to be delivered from any location.

As part of Global Travel Management’s on-going investment in customer service, we have commissioned and installed a cloud-based telephony system, ensuring that our customers can reach any of our travel consultants, account managers and other staff, easily and quickly. 

The system, produced by British company Daisy, links our Woking headquarters office, our Watford office and remote locations.  This means that we are able to route and connect calls to the right contact, quickly and easily.  And it means that whenever customers call us, we can offer the highest levels of customer service, immediately, on-demand.

So, if you are calling to make changes to an itinerary, update information about your traveller profile or need immediate assistance due to changes in travel plans en route, we can make sure you speak to the right person to help you out, straight away.

Scott Pawley, our managing director said:

We aim to ensure we continue to provide our customers with the best-possible service.  By investing in an industry-leading telephone service, we can ensure that we are able to assist customers with every aspect of their business travel, in the shortest-possible time.

We will continue to make customer-focused investments so that we are able to live up to – and exceed – our reputation for unequalled customer service.

The new telephone system forms part of the 24 x 7 customer service Global Travel Management provides.  If you need information about any travel booked with Global Travel Management, or need to change, cancel, amend or postpone travel arrangements, you can contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Scott Pawley receives Outstanding Achievement award

Scott Pawley, Managing Director of Global Travel Management, has received an award for his outstanding contribution to business travel innovation from Advantage Focus Partnership.

The award came during the Advantage Focus twentieth anniversary celebrations, presentation ceremony and conference at a central London hotel.

The presentation came as a complete surprise to Scott, who said afterwards:

I was completely bowled-over. It is very flattering to be put forward by the team at Advantage Focus for an award like this. I had no idea at all.

The award is in recognition of Scott’s contribution to Advantage Focus and its member companies for a number of years. Most recently, Global Travel Management developed Focus Fare Finder – a tool to ensure business travellers get the best-priced fare on every flight booking – and made it available to every Advantage Focus member.

Scott explained why he does this:

It’s for the greater good. We know that, when we develop a piece of technology that benefits Global Travel Management and share that with the wider membership of Advantage Focus, we are doing one really important thing: making the marketplace bigger.

Ultimately, if a business is well-served by an Advantage Focus member company, every Advantage Focus member benefits.

Abby Penston is Head of Focus. She took time to explain why Scott received his award and what it means:

It was an absolute pleasure to present Scott Pawley with this Focus Partnership award for his Innovative contribution to Business Travel Technology at our 20th Anniversary celebrations.

The ethos of Focus is a Partnership run by the Partners for the Partners and Scott is an absolute example of this in practice. Scott’s commitment to the Partnership is evident to everyone who works closely with us, our Panels and the Focus Central team. He is respected not just within the Partnership but also with our Supplier Partners for being a progressive innovative leader.

Scott has played a lead role in many of our products within our technology suite including implementing and maintaining our award winning Focus Fare Finder product, affording the Partnership the ability to stay competitive and efficient. This product strengthened our Technology portfolio and is utilised throughout our Partnership, daily.

Scott and his team at Global Travel Management were instrumental in our latest data project which again revolutionises the way we operate, allowing us to utilise our data to drive our businesses forward.

It’s this innovative approach to Business Travel that places The Focus Partnership and its technology as leaders within the Business Travel sector.

Well Done Scott, thank you once again for always going above and beyond!

GTM boss receives Outstanding Achievement Award

Global Travel Management Managing Director Scott Pawley, on receiving the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award from Advantage Travel Partnership, the UKs largest independent travel agent consortium, called on the travel industry to pull together.

 

GTM is one of the UKs leading business Travel Management Companies and Scott, acknowledging the accolade from industry peers, says:”I take pride in making sure our sector is strong,” he says. “The pressures on the travel industry are these days affecting the everyday lives of so many people. So we have to accept that as businesses, my own company included, we are only as strong as the market we are a part of.”

 

Scott, Managing Director of GTM, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, has led many of the initiatives through his leading role in Focus Partnership a network of 69 UK TMCs, affiliated to Advantage. This has included the Focus Fare Finder Tool, invented by Scott, and which has achieved over £1million of air savings for the group’s member year on year.

 

“At GTM we have been able to take a leading role in helping to ensure that, investing time and energy in supporting Advantage Focus members,” he explains. “That’s why I gave the Focus Fare Finder Tool to the partnership for free, enabling all our members to benefit financially and make the industry more secure.”

 

Advantage Travel Partnership whose members collectively produce over £4.5bn of travel sales each year, brought together 240 delegates at the Grange City Hotel, London, on 6 October for the awards ceremony at its second annual Big Celebration Lunch.

 

“Scott Pawley is a business leader who is passionate about his business and the industry” says Julia Lo Bue-Said, Managing Director, Advantage Travel Partnership. “He is a champion for Global Travel’s customers and staff.  A worthy winner.”

 

SLP award