BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Virtual Event - 9 June 2021
ExCeL London - 30 Sep - 01 Oct 2021
Recognising the best
Simone Buckley, who is joining TripActions
CEO of travel management company Fello and of the ITM, Simone Buckley, has today joined TripActions
as vice president of EMEA marketing. Buckley resigned from Fello in October
after a change in strategy from the TMC.
Buckley said. “I wanted to work for a company that has the enthusiasm, financial backing and instincts to get this industry back up and running and help create opportunities for all the talented people in our industry community who find themselves displaced because of the pandemic.”
Speaking to BTN Europe, she said, “The big question
is why would you go from CEO to a strategic marketing role: the fact is I am
moving from a boutique travel management company with 40 people to a huge, well-funded
global tech company.”
She added, “TripActions is a technology
company that will do the travel management service, unlike some other tech companies. With all the funding TripActions
has, they have recognised they need some travel expertise in there and they
have recognised that Europe is different to the US.
"In order to provide the level of service required to operate successfully in EMEA, you first have to understand the nuances, and that’s where TripActions impressed me. Their investment in an engineering hub in Europe shows their absolute commitment to re-surge from the pandemic with a truly holistic and global solution for travel, payments, and expense.”
travel management platform secured US$155 million in Series E growth funding in
January and says it plans to use some of the investment to increase UK
headcount by 50 per cent.
company is also investing in its EMEA product offering.
includes a partnership with Trainline for Business to give access to a wider
range of European rail content. It will also take
NDC content from Lufthansa Group airlines and has added local airline
inventory, including negotiated rates and additional low-cost carriers.
TripActions has also secured
direct commercial partnerships with Dalata
Hotel Group, Doyle Collection and Millennium Hotel Group and added nearly 1,000
TripActions Lodging Collection properties across Europe, with negotiated discounts
of up to 20 per cent.
Two of Buckley’s first jobs will be to
drive the rollout of expense and payment platform Liquid in Europe and creating
a VIP section of the business.
Liquid will allow a traveller passing
through Heathrow, say, to buy a bottle of water at WH Smith using the Liquid
card held on their phone, which will be checked against the company’s expense policy
and recognised as being within the per diem. It flows through the expense
process without any approval.
It is currently being tested in certain
markets in Europe, said Buckley.
Buckley is well placed to drive the
launch of the VIP part of the business with her experience with high-net-worth
individuals at Fello.
“No matter how much tech you have, the
CEO will not use it; the PA will do it for them. That is not something you need
in the US,” she said.
Buckley believes TripActions will grow
in Europe through acquisition and says there are TMC "bargains" to be had both now
and when furlough schemes end and some have "good clients and good people" despite their current financial issues.
which launched in Europe in mid-2019, has recently won the accounts of retailer
Primark, publisher Springer Nature and technology company Advanced.