BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
ExCeL London - 24-25 February 2021
Luxembourg TMC joins HRG
Luxembourg travel management company Select Travel has joined the HRG Worldwide network.The company, one of the largest agencies in the country, will trade as HRG Luxembourg.The company is part of the Voyages Flammang group and has offices in Luxembourg City and at the airport.Berny Ley, vp of Select, said: "Being part of the HRG worldwide network helps us maintain our position as one of Luxembourg's leading TMCs and ensures that we have access to the extensive range of products, services and global capabilities with which HRG is synonymous."David Radcliffe, ceo of HRG, added: "We are…delighted to formally welcome Berny and his colleagues to the HRG worldwide network and look forward to working with them in the future to enhance the service we are able to offer our clients."
20% "fiddle their exes"
Nearly one in five employees has cheated on expenses claims, according to a new report by IT company KDS.A survey of 400 business travellers this spring found that the Americans and French were the nationals most likely to cheat, followed by the Germans and the British.KDS said 21.4% Americans and 20.6% French said they had cheated on their claims with 16.1% of Germans and 13% of Britons also confessing.The amounts were small, with most owning up to claiming an extra €5 or less. But 11% of Britons and 20% of the French put the figure far higher at €50 or more.Taxis fares were the area where most Americans and Britons cheated while the French and Germans concentrated on mileage claims.But in mitigation, 60% of those questioned said that at some stage in the past they had not claimed legitimate expenses because of lost receipts or simply forgetting to do so.
Lufthansa SWISS integration nearly complete
Lufthansa will complete the integration of SWISS next month when it acquires all the remaining shares in Swiss International Air Lines.The German carrier said the integration had been completed more quickly and more successfully than expected.The tie up had generated synergies of more than €200m in 2006, also far higher than expected.Wolfgang Mayrhuber, ceo of Lufthansa, said: "The SWISS business model is a success. The airline is still heading for growth and progressing extremely well."Also in future, SWISS with its own brand identity will further develop its strengths and expand its locational advantage in the Swiss market."SWISS will stay SWISS – but also in partnership with Lufthansa."
Expedia Corporate moves into Italy
Expedia Corporate Travel (ECT) is to launch a full service offering in Italy providing local content, language and support.The online travel management company has also signed a partnership agreement with Italian agency L'Orchidea Viaggi to provide local fulfillment.Italy is the fifth European country that ECT has moved into. The previous ones are France, Germany, the UK and Belgium.L'Orchidea Viaggi is based in Milan and owned and directed by Mr Gianfranco Mainardi who founded it in 1973. Christophe Pingard, vp Europe, ECT, said: "Combining L'Orchidea Viaggi's local market knowledge and service expertise with Expedia Corporate Travel's award-winning technology ensures that our customers will have the same consistent corporate travel management experience they have come to expect from us."
Spain steps up use of credit cards for travelling
A growing number of Spanish companies is using corporate credit cards to pay travelling expenses, according to new research by American Express Corporate Cards.A survey of 600 medium-sized companies the country found that 46% of their credit card transactions were to pay for business trips.The poll found that 81% of the companies polled travelled regularly, with the manufacturing, services and building industries being the one with the most travellers.Nearly three quarters of business with a credit card spend of €5m-€20m a year and 92.4% of companies with a card spend of €251m-€1000m used their cards for travel. Many companies told American Express that they saw credit cards as a replacement for cash when staff members were on trips or eating at restaurants.They also helped control expenses and created saving when transactions were processed.
Trainline bids for smartcard company
The Trainline, the UK online rail booking engine, has offered to buy smartcard technology company AST for £18.7m.The cash bid was approved by the company's board and recommended by the independent directors of AST.There are increasing moves in the UK rail industry to introduce smartcards for travel and the country's Department for Transport has insisted that bidders for rail franchises now include information of their progress with the use of smartcard.