Last week we shared our top highlights from the business travel world in 2019. This week we're taking a look back at what was a very busy and exciting decade for Travel and Transport. Here are some of the highlights:
1. Dash Mobile (2011)
The concept of a mobile app was only a few years old in 2011, let alone a mobile app designed specifically for business travelers. That's when Travel and Transport became one of the first two travel management companies to release a proprietary mobile business travel app. Last year, Travel and Transport EVP and CIO Mike Kubasik told CIO Review how Dash Mobile got its start. Dash Mobile has seen numerous updates and enhancements over the past decade and it continues to be a valuable tool for business travelers.
2. Travel and Transport Acquires Ultramar Travel (2012)
In the fall of 2012, Travel and Transport announced that it had acquired Ultramar Travel Management. The move solidified Travel and Transport's position in the important New York City business travel market and it set the stage for many of the subsequent highlights you'll read about in this post.
3. A New Generation of Travel Advisors (2013)
Noting a need for new corporate travel advisors across the business travel industry, Travel and Transport opened its Travel Academy in 2013 in partnership with a local community college. In 2018, the Travel Academy became a paid, 12-week training program. “Upon exploring the profession for the first time, some individuals are surprised to find that we aren’t looking for order takers,” says Travel and Transport VP of Operations Karen Skinner. “We’re filling our Travel Academy classes with people who can think outside the box to take proactive measures to enhance the travel experience.” Read more about how we're creating the next generation of travel agents here.
Helping to make the journey for new travel advisors a little easier and enhancing the service that our travelers receive when booking travel is Travel and Transport's proprietary agent desktop system, BARTT. “BARTT coaches travel advisor interactions in how to make the next move,” says Skinner. “When a customer calls in, the travel advisor can instantly see their travel history, preferences and protocols as well as that of the company. This means we can book at a hotel they prefer or if they’re visiting a new city for the first time, we can tell them where 30% of their colleagues, for example, stay when they are there on business. That kind of data enhances the travel experience regardless of which travel advisor a customer connects with on any given call.”
4. A Continuation of Leadership (2014-2015)
In 2014, Travel and Transport President and CEO Bill Tech announced his retirement after 27 years with the company. Executive leadership transitions can often be unsettling for companies and their employees. Thankfully, Travel and Transport's transition was really more of a continuation, with
Kevin O'Malley (who joined in 1994) taking over as CEO and Tim Fleming (who joined in 1982) as President and COO.
Bill Tech remained chairman of Travel and Transport's board of directors up until his passing earlier this year. His legacy lives on in the culture he helped to create here, in the Employee Stock Ownership Program that he championed and in the hearts of the many Travel and Transport employee-owners who were privileged to know him. Thanks, Bill.
5. Travel and Transport grows in Europe (2015-2017)
Travel and Transport got its start in 1946 by offering group travel to Europe. Since that time, global business travel has become a very important part of the service we provide, and many of our top customers have locations and employees based in Europe. We have made several big investments in European business travel over the past decade. In 2015, Travel and Transport took a significant stake in German travel management company and Radius Travel network agency Derpart MfG Reisen. In 2016, Travel and Transport opened our first office in Lyon, France. In 2017, Travel and Transport announced the acquisition of Statesman Travel Group in London, U.K.
6. Travel Design Lounge (2015)
Travel and Transport became an innovator in the vacation travel agency space in 2015 with the opening of Travel Design Lounge in Omaha, Nebraska. This warm and inviting space helps visitors explore the world through our curated selections of wine, beer, cocktails, and coffee; a wide array of travel and exploration-oriented books and magazines; and regular events that highlight the sights, sounds, flavors, and cultures of areas all over the world. There are also dedicated on-site travel advisors who have the tools and expertise to plan and book virtually any travel adventure you can imagine.
7. Revolutionizing Data (2016)
In 2016, Travel and Transport announced the formation of a new company called Data Visualization Intelligence, Inc. (DVI). Led by industry technology veteran Brian Beard, the company has set out to help companies make informed decisions about business travel through quality data from virtually limitless sources, compelling, user-friendly visualizations and actionable insights. DVI continues to grow and enhance its service offering and has been successful in delivering real savings and efficiencies for many of its clients.
8. Travel and Transport Acquires Radius Travel (2018)
Last year, Travel and Transport, a founding member of Radius Travel, announced the acquisition of the global network. The Radius network is made up of 131 agencies worldwide and manages more than USD 35 billion of annual corporate travel spending. The Radius Global Hotel Program, featuring the world’s leading hotel brands, is one of the largest in the corporate travel market.
“This acquisition will harness the power of Travel and Transport, with the global reach of Radius and its network partners. This is a significant component of our global strategy going forward.” stated Travel and Transport CEO, Kevin O’Malley.
9. Awards and Recognition (2010-today)
Over the past decade, Travel and Transport was honored to be recognized by many different organizations and media outlets over the past 10 years. Here are just a few of the most recent:
- National ESOP Company of the Year (2015) - See moment #10 for more on this award
- Forbes: America's Best Mid-Size Employers (2018)
- BBB Silver Award of Distinction (2019) - Awarded by the Better Business Bureau in 2019 for Significant Commitment to Ethical Business Practices
- Supplier of the Year (2019) - Travel and Transport received this accolade from one of our customers, Raymond James
- MeetingsNet’s CMI 25 (2019) - Honors the largest full-service meeting and incentive travel management companies focused on the U.S. corporate market.
10. Employee-Ownership at its Finest (2010-today)
Travel and Transport has been an employee-owned travel management company since 1991, however, this past decade was particularly monumental. We saw strong sales years, positive acquisitions and growth in global business travel lead to record-breaking share price increases for our employee-owners. We have also added a large number of new employee-owners as we have grown. In 2015, Travel and Transport was recognized as the ESOP Company of the Year by The ESOP Association. Earlier in 2019, Travel and Transport announced that it had extended ESOP benefits to its U.K. employees in the form of a profit-sharing plan.
Happy New Year (and New Decade)!
Travel and Transport would like to wish all of our employees, customers, partners and travelers a happy New Year! As always, safe travels and see you in 2020. #FocusOnWhatMatters pic.twitter.com/I8JY5ySlMO— Travel and Transport (@TandTNews) December 30, 2019
We hope you have enjoyed this look back at some of the best moments from the past decade at Travel and Transport. On behalf of each of Travel and Transport's employees around the world, we'd like to thank you for spending some time with us here at Insights in 2019. We've got some great things planned for 2020 and look forward to sharing them with you soon. Please let us know if you've got ideas for content you'd like to see in 2020. You can do that here or via any of our social media channels above.