Avoya Travel | November 23, 2021
Avoya Travel, one of the travel industry’s most innovative companies, is pleased to announce that it has closed on an investment from funds managed by Certares Management LLC, a global travel, tourism, and hospitality investment firm. Certares joins brothers, Jeff and Michael Anderson, as Co-Owners of Avoya and together are committed to long-term growth and scaling its vacation platform. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We are honored to welcome Certares as a partner in Avoya Travel. It’s taken tremendous endurance to build our industry-leading platform and we are excited for our brilliant employees, independent travel advisors, and suppliers – especially during these unprecedented times,” “We look forward to partnering with Certares to capitalize on the growth opportunities we see ahead as our industry begins its strong recovery.”
-Jeff Anderson, Co-Owner and Co-CEO of Avoya.
Avoya continues to invest in its people and technology which, despite the global pandemic, has driven record high customer satisfaction ratings. Avoya’s new investment from Certares will further position Avoya as an industry leader and accelerate the company in its pursuit to perfect vacation shopping, planning, and booking.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Anderson family as shareholders of Avoya and are cheering on the entire Avoya team,Through three generations of family leadership, Avoya has built an incredible team which has consistently pioneered innovative technology, industry-leading marketing and unmatched relationships with independent travel agencies, travelers, and suppliers. We are delighted to support the next phase of Avoya’s growth.”
-Colin Farmer, Senior Managing Director and Head of the Management Committee of Certares
The Anderson family has developed deep relationships in the travel industry for nearly 60 years and formed Avoya Travel in 2006. Co-Founders and brothers Jeff and Michael Anderson, having managed day-to-day operations for nearly a decade, will serve as Co-CEOs of Avoya. As part of the transaction, Brad Anderson will move to a senior advisory role and Van Anderson will retire. The first generation of the family in travel, Pal and Pat Anderson, started in the industry in Hawaii in 1964.
About Avoya Travel
Avoya Travel is redefining how vacations are booked by connecting travelers with independent travel advisors who deliver personalized service and value. Through its proprietary digital platform and vast demand channels, Avoya offers software and services to thousands of companies including cruise lines, resorts, tour companies, and independent travel agencies. Avoya has won numerous awards for its technology and innovation, including holding multiple patents, and serves travelers in North America and beyond. For more information, please visit AvoyaTravel.com.
Established in 2012, Certares focuses on direct investments in proprietary transactions, leveraging deep sector experience in the travel and hospitality industries, and with a consistent emphasis on partnership with management teams to drive growth. Certares brings together a team with decades of both operational and investment experience in private equity, travel, tourism, hospitality and travel-related business and consumer services. For more information, please visit certares.com.
Corporate Traveler | September 22, 2021
Ahead of the predicted boost in business travel demand, Corporate Traveler, the only global TMC catering exclusively for start-ups to mid-market businesses, has unveiled Melon – its new proprietary travel management platform. Launching in the US and Canada , Melon's intuitive design and simple navigation belies a host of innovative features developed in response to the evolving expectations of an increasingly travel hungry, tech-savvy and budget conscious workforce.
Commenting on the motivation for the development of Melon, Chris Lynes, Senior Vice President for Corporate Traveler said: "During this period of pause, we listened to our customers and adapted our offerings, investing in a next generation digital experience that combines rich content supported by our trademark dedicated and personalized service. Simple to use and tailored to meet the exacting needs of our customers, Melon is a different type of travel platform one that goes the extra mile just like our people.
"Our clients tell us that travel is crucial to their success, and in the US, we are already seeing encouraging signs of recovery with 35% uplift on bookings made in August alone. This indicates strong desire to return to in-person meetings in the months ahead," added Lynes.
Seamless online experience, tailored to individual needs
As a business travel expert, Corporate Traveler understands that an accessible, on-the-go travel management solution is business critical to its customers; therefore, the new omni-channel platform has been designed to switch between mobile and desktop without losing functionality.
With Melon, admins are also able to control travel options, by setting personalized algorithms and even individual spend levels. Armed with this information, the platform's AI technology does the legwork and removes the frustration typically associated when searching via multiple sites, serving up a variety of choices based on learned behaviors to align with company travel policies and program goals, while taking traveler preferences and loyalty affiliations into consideration. A breakdown of spend, alongside dashboard analysis of important KPI metrics in real-time, also helps customers extract key data needed to inform decision making and accurately manage finances.
Combining technology and personal service to support customers 24/7
Unsurprisingly, as barriers to international movement lift and companies resume travel programs, duty of care has been identified as a priority. Corporate Traveler addresses this in multiple ways with Melon: from displaying the latest guidance before booking to proactively sharing live updates. Program admins can also track employees' whereabouts in real-time, while Melon's robust health and safety capabilities provides prompt alerts on risk-related events impacting travel such as country entry requirements, latest government and supplier COVID restrictions, adverse weather, crime and more. These features are underpinned by access to dedicated travel consultants 24/7, 365 days a year.
Lynes added: "In this ever-evolving travel environment, it is difficult to keep track of the latest developments across the world. Melon ensures our customers are informed and aware at every step of their booking journey. And while on the go, help is always an instant away whether via Melon's AI mobile chat function or the expert assistance of our agent support team. At Corporate Traveler, every customer is considered a VIP, so we pride ourselves in always extending the highest level of service to all travelers at all times – with no exceptions."
Access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory
Corporate Traveler customers also enjoy an expansive choice of travel content and options sourced from the widest range of travel suppliers. And being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, this means the best market wide rates, unique added-value benefits, and exclusive deals too.
In the US, Corporate Traveler provides expert travel management services to over 6,000 businesses across the country, where its teams in more than 20 US cities are dedicated to making corporate travel simpler, faster, and easier for customers.
About Corporate Traveler
Corporate Traveler is the only global TMC catering exclusively to start-ups and mid-market businesses. Established in 1993, the company is present in seven countries where it provides expert tailored advice, dedicated travel managers, and innovative, advanced booking technology to more than 14,000 customers worldwide in a typical year. Being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory alongside added-value benefits and exclusive deals comes as standard. Corporate Traveler recently unveiled Melon – its new proprietary, on-the-go travel management platform featuring intuitive navigation and a seamless end-to-end online experience to help customers easily book, manage, and measure the performance of their business travel programs.
AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority | August 10, 2021
Corporate business travel on airlines is expected to shrink by as much as 19 percent, and that decline could become permanent, an analysis from Raleigh-headquartered Beroe, Inc. found.
“When travel restrictions were imposed worldwide, businesses replaced direct meetings with virtual ones to contain the pandemic’s spread. Many businesses adapted to virtual meetings and have realized that not all meetings must be in-person. Businesses have also realized huge cost savings on air travel spend,” said Anusree Mohan, senior analyst at Beroe, in a statement. “In the future, airline travel will be a more mindful and thought-out way of traveling, allowing employees to have a better life balance and employers to have a better return on investment.”
Prior to the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, business travelers represented about half of airline revenue, or about 1.7% of total global GDP, according to Beroe.
But with businesses seeking cost-saving measures, and integrating virtual meeting tools to conduct meetings, Beroe analysts are predicting short- and long-term effects on air travel.
“Businesses have suffered around the world in this pandemic. Thus, cost-cutting will remain their prime focus at least for the coming few years. And this will mean fewer corporate air travels,” said Anusree Mohan, Senior Analyst at Beroe. “Employee travel rate will decrease as corporate customers will remain concerned about health and safety.”
At Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU), air traffic consisted of about 50% leisure and 50% business travel, spokesperson Stephanie Hawco told WRAL TechWire.
“The leisure market is recovering faster than the business market,” said Hawco. “Our current mix is about 65% leisure and 35% business.”
At the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, and soon after, a dramatic reduction in air travel occurred at RDU, Hawco told WRAL TechWire in March. Compared to 2019, when about 14 million passengers traveled through the airport, 5 million traveled through the airport in 2020, Hawco noted.
Air travel through RDU is steadily increasing, Hawco said. The latest available data, from June 2021, released by the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, showed that June travel set a new passenger traffic peak since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
The airport saw more than 887,000 guests pass through the airport in June, nearly a 15 percent increase over May traffic levels.