BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Thursday 9th September, JW Marriott Grosvenor House
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ExCeL London - 30 Sep - 01 Oct 2021
Eurostar's record run
High seeps train operator Eurostar achieved a record time of two hours and three minutes for a run between Paris and its new terminal at London St. Pancras International.The run was over High Speed 1, the UK's newly completed high speed track from the Channel Tunnel to St.Pancras during which the train reached speeds up 220mph. Richard Brown, Eurostar's ceo, said the "record-breaking run shows that High Speed 1 unleashes Eurostar's true capability to carry millions of travellers conveniently, comfortably and quickly between Britain and the continent."Eurostar start operations from the new terminal at St. Pancras on November 14.
BSI launches new online tools
Hotel and conference online company BSI launched enhancements to its self-booking tool.It said the upgrade marked the "completion of the first stage of a major project to launch the next generation of BSI Direct."It said the enhancements gave bookers greater policy control on company spend, set soft and hard rate caps, allowed personal and company profiles to be set up and an improved search system.
BCD buys majority stake in Australian agency
BCD Travel has bought a majority stake in its Australian network partner International Express.The agency was re-branded BCD Travel in Australia earlier this year.BCD said the move was a "significant step" towards increasing its strategic ownership position in the Asia Pacific region.Mike Buckman, CEO of BCD Travel, said: "This investment in our Australian operation demonstrates our emphasis on strengthening our proposition locally in the Australian marketplace, regionally in the Asia Pacific region and globally for our major multinational clients."
ATP opens office in Houston
The Advanced Travel Partner (ATP) has opened a new office in Houston, Texas as part of its strategy to expand its oil and gas customer base.ATP, which already has an office in Connecticut, includes companies like Halliburton and Acergy among its clients.Graham Ramsey, ATP's ceo, said the new office would be "crucial in terms of helping us to boost our presence - as well as our reputation - in this field."
Amadeus launches new fare loading tool
IT company Amadeus launched a "new generation" capability to load private fares in the distribution system.The new tool, which operates through the FareXpert Filing Platform and XML Fare Data Interface, will help airlines and agencies to load fares resulting from bilateral agreements between airlines and their distribution partners.
Hotelscene acquires partner
Hotel and conference booking agency Hotelscene has acquired a partner.Bestport Ventures has taken a 33% stake in the company.Under the deal, the current management team, led by Nick Foot, managing director, and Chris Needham, the chief executive, will stay in place.But Ian Hamilton, previously a non-executive director, becomes finance director.Mr Needham said: "This is the right investment at the right time with the right investor.“Together with Bestport I am confident we can take Hotelscene on to another level by becoming the agency of choice for the corporate travel market."
Dragonair to join oneworld
Hong Kong-based airline Dragonair is to join the oneworld alliance in November.The carrier, which serves 19 destinations in China, becomes the alliance's 12th member.
Avis Europe reports loss
Avis Europe reported a pre-tax loss of €7.9m for the first six months of 2007 compared to a €13.2m loss for the same period in 2006.Murray Hennessy, Group ceo, said: "First half trading saw further good volume growth and utilisation improvements, higher licensee fee income, and the continued Budget turnaround. However, overall pricing was lower, but with some improvement since Easter, partially driven by revenue management actions. In addition, cost pressures continued, particularly relating to fleet and interest costs."The company said expectations for the full year were "unchanged."
And while BTE took its summer break:
Global rise in room rates
Room rates are continuing to rise according to HRG UK's half yearly hotel survey.Moscow remained the world's most expensive city for a hotel room with average rates of £236.06 a night.Mumbai also stayed the city with the fastest rising rate. The Indian city showed a 30% rise over the six month period to £147.55. Six of the top ten cities with the fastest rising room rate were from Europe: Barcelona which showed an 18% rise, Berlin (17%), Aberdeen (12%), Stockholm (10%), Munich (9%) and Glasgow (8%).Six of the cities with the most expensive hotel rates were also in Europe. Besides Moscow, Paris (£165.84), Milan (£159.62), Stockholm (£156.44), London (£152.20) and Rome (£151.3*) also featured.Margaret Bowler, HRG's director global hotel relations, said: “The figures show average room rates are generally performing well and the global hotel industry has once again experienced healthy growth in the first six months of 2007."Europe has seen strong increases, and rates in the Middle East and Asia have also risen. As these two particular markets have yet to reach full maturity, we expect to see the trends continue over the foreseeable future."Indeed, as economic investment in each local economy increases, we may even see a significant increase in the pace of growth."
Travelport completes purchase of Worldspan
Travel conglomerate Travelport completed its $1.4bn acquisition of Worldspan after the EC approved the deal.The EC's investigation into the takeover of the GDS by a company which already owns Galileo found that it would not lead to increased prices.The deal makes Travelport which also owns Orbitz Worldwide, an online agency, OctopusTravel.com and GTA, a travel services provider, one of the largest networks of travel companies.Jeff Clarke, its ceo, welcomed the completion of the deal.He said: "We will be working on enhancements and operational efficiencies including systems integrity, fare accuracy, and ease-of-use that capitalize on the GDS knowledge and experience of Galileo and Worldspan."Gordon Wilson, president and ceo of Travelport GDS division, said: "Galileo will be enhanced by Worldspan's online distribution technology platform, while Worldspan will benefit from Galileo's expanded supplier base and expansive content."
American further expands transatlantic services
American Airlines announced it plans to start two new routes next year from New York JFK to Milan and Barcelona.The carrier said it was also adding a second daily service between London Stansted and JFK.
CWT buys US company
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) bought the US regional travel agency of Preferred Travel.Carslon said Preferred, based in the north east, was an established company which handled about $80m annually in air fares for clients.Jack O'Neill, chief operating officer, CWT North America, said: "The acquisition of Preferred Travel is an illustration of our growth strategy in action, enabling us to add strength to our business and deliver our valued products and services to a growing client base."
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