News Clips for Corporate Travel Management: March 2011

  1. A plea for Fair Tax for UK Air travellers

    A campaign for the reform of Air Passenger Duty has been launched ahead of the Budget, backed by 25 of the industry's biggest names.

    The Fair Tax on Flying campaign, coordinated by Abta, has the support of airlines including British Airways and easyJet plus airports, tour operators and organisations including the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK. It will use the internet to put pressure on the government via an online petition on Facebook.

    Source: Business Traveller - report by Gary Noakes

  2. Eurostar in TripAdvisor first

    Eurostar has become the first European rail operator to incorporate TripAdvisor content into its product offering.

    TripAdvisor's user reviews and ratings are now integrated into more than 18,000 pre-trip emails sent each month by Eurostar to passengers travelling on its high-speed services.

    TripAdvisor also offers passengers a 'Best of' overview of their chosen Eurostar destination, including details of the city's top-rated attractions and restaurants and access to a downloadable guide packed with tips.

    Source: e-Tid - full story

  3. Who's the best - London City that's who!

    London City Airport collected the Best UK Airport Award, at the Business Travel Awards Gala Dinner 2011, held at the Grosvenor House. Judges praised the airports' efficiency in dealing with the challenges of heightened security and weather disruption, and recognised the Airport's continuous commitment to service excellence, with the continued emphasis on speedy passenger processing.

    Source: press release for the full story.

    Later this month Skywork will start operating a daily service to Bern for the summer schedule using a D328 aircraft. This will allow direct access into the Swiss capital from London. For more information click here

  4. Procurement Interwoven In Travel Management: What Skills Will Tomorrow's Buyer Need?

    Once considered a threat to travel and meetings managers, procurement in the past couple of years has become interwoven in most facets of travel management.

    Travel buyers today are more likely than ever to work in or report to procurement or purchasing instead of administration, human resources or shared services, as in past decades of the profession.

    Nearly one-third of 294 travel buyers surveyed for's "The Buyer" said they worked in procurement/purchasing/ sourcing. The travel management function reported to procurement/purchasing/sourcing, said 31 percent of buyers; finance, said 26 percent; executive offices, said 20 percent.

    Source: Procurement Travel news - full article

  5. Spring 2011 Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum

    The Planning Committee for our Spring Forum has been working overtime to deliver another sparkling event and we are delighted to announce that bookings are already rolling in.

    The theme for the next MS-UK/ACTE Forum has changed from "The Corporate Travel Game - are you a Player?" to "Are You losing control?"

    The four sessions will feature panels specially chosen to produce a lively debate.

    Our Keynote address for the day "Are You losing control?" will be delivered by Marianne Sammann, the General Manager for UK & Ireland of the Lufthansa Group Airlines, Austrian, Brussels & Lufthansa

    Session 1: Technology Divergence
    This session will explore the latest issues in the increasingly complex arena of distribution.

    Session 2: Do you pay a fair price?
    Here we will seeing if you think you pay a fair price for the service you receive or do you think the supply chain and intermediaries (TMCs) try to pass too many costs back?

    Session 3: Managing the Unmanageable?
    Here we will be examining the key questions Who benefits? Travellers, buyers or suppliers?

    Session 4: The 'Buyer Speakeasy'
    In this final session of the day the Buyers will dictate the agenda and speak their minds on the topics that really matter to them.

    Moderators who have been invited to lead the sessions include Bob Papworth, Ian Heywood and Mike Toynbee.

    Our sponsors so far confirmed are BCD Travel, Lufthansa,, NH Hesperia Hotel, Traveldoo, London City Airport and Buying Business Travel to ensure that the MS-UK / ACTE Global Forums continue to set the pace in the Corporate Travel industry in Europe.

    If you missed our event in September you can still get a flavour of the day by clicking through to these pages to see the video interviews and the gallery of pictures taken during the day.

    If you cannot make the May Forum you might like to make a diary note now to ensure that you don't miss our Autumn 2011 event on Thursday 22nd September.

  6. Accor adds three Mercure hotels in the UK

    The French hotel group will rebrand three more UK hotels under its growing Mercure offering, the second such franchise agreement this year.

    The move will see the Mercure brand added to two London hotels and a Nottingham property owned by the London Town Hotel Group.

    The Mercure London Paddington Hotel will be rebranded next month, while Mercure London Kensington will be unveiled in June. A third property in Nottingham is currently closed for refurbishment and will become the Mercure Nottingham Lace Market in June. The three properties had previously been branded under Choice Hotel's Quality and Comfort brands.

    Source: Business Traveller online - full report by Mark Caswell

  7. Air Baltic to cancel London route

    Latvian carrier Air Baltic claims it has been forced to cancel a number of European routes because of encroaching competition from other budget airlines.

    From March 27, Air Baltic is cancelling flights from its base at the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to London, Paris, Dublin and Rome.

    The airline has blamed the demise of the four routes on expansion out of Vilnius by Ryanair and Wizzair.

    Source: ABTN - full story by Sara Turner

  8. Hilton opens second Doubletree property in London

    The Park Inn London, Russell Square (formerly known as the Bonnington Hote;) has been rebranded under Hilton's full service Doubletree brand, following a "multi-phase renovation project".

    Now known as the Doubletree by Hilton-West End, the hotel joins the Courthouse Doubletree by Hilton London-Regent Street (itself formerly a Kempinski property) as the brand's second London hotel.

    The property is located in the Bloomsbury district next to the British Museum, and features 214 rooms and suites with wi-fi internet access and the brand's signature Sweet Dreams by Doubletree bedding.

    Source: Business Traveller online - full report by Mark Caswell

  9. Be Hip. Be Smart. Be Seen

    ACTE's motto in 2011 is Be Smart. (educated and informed) Be Hip. (progressive thinking and in-the-know) Be Seen. (network and grow) and this year's conference will make that theme into a reality. Join business travel leaders from around the world, drive the future of the industry, and have some fun while doing it!

    So Be Seen in New York for the Global Conference 10 - 12 April. The latest Key note speaker confirmed is Stephen Dubner the author of Superfreakonomics

    What sets a Freakonomics presentation apart is that while most economics presentations present great tools for coming up with answers, they don't come up with the interesting questions. In this engaging presentation, Stephen Dubner uses research from Superfreakonomics to pose the following questions:
    • Why is behavior change so difficult?
    • Why is "consensus building" often a waste of time and resources?
    • Why do firms need to run more experiments?
    • How can you change the world using data - rather than emotion, opinion, or anecdote?
    More details of this event

  10. BTM increases hosted buyer numbers by a quarter

    Business Travel Market claims to have increased the number of hosted buyers attending this summer's show by 25%.

    BTM, which takes place at ExCel in London on June 22 and 23, plans to bring up to 500 VIP buyers to the show. They are chosen from 20 countries, including, for the first time, those from Austria, Switzerland, Greece, Finland and Poland.

    To be eligible, buyers must meet strict criteria based on size and responsibility for travel budget and level of decision making within their company. They receive flights, accommodation, ground arrangements and access to all conference sessions and social functions. In return they must set up a minimum of six meetings with exhibitors.

    The show is now in its third year and set to attract around 4,000 attendees.

    Source: ABTN - full article by Gary Noakes

  11. London Overground Rail Services resume after successful upgrade

    The multi-million pound upgrade of the London Overground network is close to completion following the successful commissioning of new signalling equipment, which will allow more trains to run on the line connecting Richmond and Clapham Junction with Stratford.

    Once complete in May, passengers using London Overground services will benefit from up to eight trains an hour during peak times on parts of the network, double the current number and with a more reliable timetable. New and longer platforms at some stations will also allow four carriages per train, increasing capacity.

    Source: BreakingTravel News - full article

  12. Want a room in London - can let you have 43

    The Four Season Hotel near Baker Street in London has been put on sale for £9m. This city hotel built in 1815 comprises 42 bedrooms in three mid-terraced, early 19th century property located on two separate sites. Property agent Christie & Co is doing the marketing on behalf of a private client.

    The hotel claims to have the perfect location with two minutes walking from Baker Street station with five underground lines and thirteen bus lines to St Pancras, Picadilly Circus, Euston, Hyde Park, west end Shopping Theatres & Museums. It is also located within walking distance from Madame Tussauds, Lords Cricket Ground, London Zoo and Oxford Street. London city airport is some 16 km away, the Gatwick airport is 50 km away and the Heathrow is 29 km from the hotel.

    Source: HRI - full story

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