TMC networks and consortia have provided vital support for many members during the pandemic
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During the pandemic, independent TMCs who are part of networks and consortia – typically smaller and mid-market players – have enjoyed the support that these organisations provide.
Joining a network allows TMCs to tap into the benefits of scale. In some cases, this is just about air and hotel buying power but increasingly it is about technology, with the networks developing their own products and services or buying on behalf of the network as a whole, which individual members can then choose to adopt if appropriate. GlobalStar, for example, announced a strategic partnership with Snowstorm Technologies during the year for its members to use its OneWurld online booking tool aimed at SMEs, extending their previous collaboration on hotel booking technology.
Joining a network is also about brand and marketing. Customers know and trust names like Radius, LCC and Travel Leaders and understand the comfort they bring when working with them in other countries. In 2021, Uniglobe celebrated its 40th birthday and began rolling out the refreshed brand announced a year earlier.
2021 also marked the first year of Corporate Travel Management’s ownership of the Radius Travel network, acquired through its purchase of Travel and Transport in October 2020. When it comes to mergers and acquisition, TMCs often look to their network partners as potential targets and it will be interesting to see whether CTM goes down that route.