FCM gains SAP Concur TMC Elite Partner Level

TravelDailyNews International | November 26, 2019

FCM gains SAP Concur TMC Elite Partner Level
FCM Travel Solutions is one of the first major global travel management companies to achieve the coveted TMC Elite level within the SAP Concur Partner Program for TMCs – the highest level of engagement and collaboration attainable between any TMC and the travel expense and invoice management solutions provider. TMC Elite partner level reflects FCM’s continued focus on delivering the best possible levels of service and experience across the industry’s leading solutions. In order to qualify for the TMC Elite partner level, FCM had to meet strict criteria, including TMC certification. This three-month operational process assessed FCM staff’s aptitude for implementing and supporting SAP Concur solutions for their customers and provided training programs to sharpen their expertise and product knowledge.

Spotlight

Travel business has shown incredible growth in recent years, far exceeding the growth of global GDP in general and will continue to do so over the next decade. The use of innovative digital technology is the most advanced one of the main drivers of this growth, create giant online travel like Airbnb and TripAdvisor.

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Hawaii Officials to Tighten Travel Rules for Visitors' Safety

Hawaii Tourism Authority | May 19, 2020

Hawaii officials are implementing new measures, from the airport to accommodations, to crack down on scofflaws. The Hawaii Tourism Authority launched a media campaign telling prospective visitors to stay home until the Islands are ready for them. According to an HTA report submitted to the Hawaii Senate Committee on Covid-19, roughly 70% of the hotels contacted agreed to participate in the initiative. On March 15, Gov. David Ige publicly pleaded for visitors to postpone their Hawaii vacations and business trips and followed up a few days later with the quarantine measure. Since mid-March, the majority of hotels have closed, vacation rentals have been ordered to halt operations, beach activities have been extremely limited, and all but essential businesses have shuttered. The Hawaii Tourism Authority launched a media campaign telling prospective visitors to stay home until the Islands are ready for them, and the agency, through the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, has been funding return flights for visitors who are not able to quarantine. Still, like party guests who can't read the room and overstay their welcome, people keep arriving in Hawaii despite the quarantine order and the best efforts of multiple state agencies to discourage travel to the Aloha State. From March 26, when the quarantine went into effect, through April 30, an average of 125 visitors arrived in Hawaii airports each day -- a far cry from the 30,000 daily arrivals at normal times, but concerning for state officials, who would prefer zero arrivals. Although Ige has extended the quarantine order through June 30, visitation ticked up when the calendar turned from April to May. Through the first 10 days of the month, an average of 233 visitors have landed daily. Reports of quarantine violators are flooding in, and now the state is looking to bolster its methods to guarantee compliance, including a newly launched system designed to help monitor the movement of hotel guests. Despite these efforts at the airports, we have been receiving consistent reports from members of the public ~ Mayor Kirk Caldwell the Hawaii Senate Special Committee on Covid-19 "They have observed, through social media or in person, travelers blatantly violating the quarantine orders. "This is particularly frustrating for members of the public who are complying with the stay-at-home/stay-safe declarations imposed by the state and county in good faith. All the while, watching others flaunt their noncompliance with complete disregard for not only our laws but the health concerns behind these laws. Disturbingly, we have also received reports the City and County of Honolulu have avoided addressing these public concerns of noncompliance with regularity." Spurred by demands for tighter enforcement, the HTA has been contacting the 91 hotels that have remained open during the crisis, some of which are housing medical personnel, National Guard and other essential workers, to sign them up for a "single-use key" program. Hotel guests would be given room keys that work only once. If they leave the room after entry, they would need to contact the front desk to access the room again. According to an HTA report submitted to the Hawaii Senate Committee on Covid-19, roughly 70% of the hotels contacted agreed to participate in the initiative, with more than 20 properties yet to be reached. Four hotels had declined to participate as of May 9, at least one because it uses hard keys that cannot be programmed. One gave no explanation and another argued that its "apartment-style" accommodations precluded it from participating. Management at the Grand Naniloa Hotel on Hawaii Island said it could not currently comply with the program because state officials are failing to notify them of guests subject to quarantine prior to their check-in and they are short-staffed while housing National Guard members and local residents. The state attorney general's office told the Senate committee on April 24 that it is also examining the legality and viability of other enforcement methods, including designated quarantine sites, ankle bracelets, facial recognition and GPS tracking. The Department of Transportation and HTA have been working together to monitor arrivals, but the process has proven challenging. After deplaning, passengers' contact information and address while in Hawaii is verified while they also undergo a medical screening including temperature check. Recently, the state has added new questions to an agricultural form all arrivals fill out to glean more information about each passenger, including nature of the visit and expected departure date. In a two-week period from mid-April to the end of the month, after the DOT stepped up enforcement, 27 visitors were forced to leave Hawaii for quarantine violations or lacking proper lodging and 330 arrivals were referred to law enforcement, according to a May 2 update to the Senate committee. The hotels are notified of guests subject to quarantine, and both at the airport and the hotel, visitors are asked to fill out forms in which they acknowledge they are aware of the quarantine, which means they can only leave their room for "medical emergencies or to seek medical care" with no access to fitness centers, restaurants or other public areas. State employees have been calling new arrivals to do spot check-ins to confirm compliance with the quarantine, but during a May 7 meeting of the Senate Covid-19 committee, officials acknowledged most of the contact numbers are for mobile phones and physical checks may be needed. Quarantine violators are subject to arrest, a $5,000 fine and imprisonment for up to a year. While some visitors have been arrested, brought before a judge and sent home, the flow of arrivals continues. Learn More: DIGITAL MARKETING IN THE AGE OF CORONAVIRUS - WHAT TRAVEL BRANDS NEED TO KNOW

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Vonage Contact Center Helps Key Travel Deliver an Enhanced Experience for Humanitarian and Academic Travelers Worldwide

Vonage | August 20, 2021

Vonage , a global leader in cloud communications helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation, today announced that Key Travel has delivered an enhanced omnichannel experience for humanitarian and academic travelers worldwide with Vonage Contact Center for Salesforce. Key Travel is the world’s largest travel management company specialising in the humanitarian, faith and academic sectors. With offices in the U.S., Europe, and Africa, Key Travel books flights, hotels and transportation all over the world. Customers can also use the company’s digital tools to book cost-effective and eco-friendly travel, and access 24/7 customer service through its new Global Travel Hub — powered by Vonage Contact Center. "We need to ensure that we're delivering the highest quality customer experience possible, so the selection of Vonage was absolutely a core part of our strategy," said Daniel Morris, group IT director for Key Travel. "If we didn't get our selection of a reliable omnichannel communications provider right, the rest of our strategy would have been seriously flawed. Failing our customers means people who save lives cannot get to where they need to go. Implementing Vonage Contact Center not only enabled us to provide a great customer experience, but also made a difference for our customers and the people they serve." Vonage Contact Center is a reliable and flexible omnichannel communications solution integrated with Salesforce, which Key Travel relies on to connect agents with customers around the world via phone, video, chat, and SMS. Calls can also be automatically routed to agents with the right expertise and who speak the same language as the caller. "The range of communications channels that you need as a humanitarian travel provider is vast," adds Morris. "You need to have the full multichannel capabilities, and the ability to deliver an omnichannel customer experience. No matter how the customer reaches you, the experience must be seamless and personalised across channels." As a cloud solution, agents can access the Vonage Contact Center from anywhere and it can be easily scaled in line with the company’s needs. This provides the technology necessary to boost Key Travel’s response to an increase in demand. During COVID-19, the company was able to transition more than 600 contact centre agents worldwide into remote workers without missing a single customer call. “Communication is key in any business, but it's particularly important for a humanitarian travel agency like Key Travel,” said Rodolpho Cardenuto, President, Applications Group for Vonage, “Customers need to be able to connect with an agent quickly if something goes wrong or their plans change. Because Key Travel's customers travel globally, and their agents and supervisors work globally, the organisation needed a contact centre solution that works from anywhere.” About Vonage Vonage, a global cloud communications leader, helps businesses accelerate their digital transformation. Vonage's Communications Platform is fully programmable and allows for the integration of Video, Voice, Chat, Messaging and Verification into existing products, workflows and systems. Vonage's fully programmable unified communications and contact center applications are built from the Vonage platform and enable companies to transform how they communicate and operate from the office or anywhere, providing enormous flexibility and ensuring business continuity.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Tambourine Reveals Rebrand of Award-Winning Spice Island Beach Resort

Tambourine | January 05, 2022

Tambourine, the Fort Lauderdale-headquartered digital marketing technology company serving hotels, resorts, and tourism destinations worldwide is proud to build upon its long standing experience with luxury properties, as it reveals an immersive rebrand to coincide with the reopening of the award-winning, all-inclusive Spice Island Beach Resort."We've had the honor of collaborating with iconic Spice Island Beach Resort Grenada for the past 20 years and truly admire the Hopkin family's dedication to innovation and excellence. As we began exploring how the brand would emerge in this new realm of travel, we found an opportunity to evolve its existing essence to fully capture all of the elements that make an escape here incredibly unique," said Rafael Cardozo, founder and CEO, Tambourine. Through an elegant reimagination and representation of the brand's enduring values, rich heritage, and upscale atmosphere, Tambourine has further differentiated the AAA Five Diamond property with subtle, understated nods to the beachfront lifestyle, including a new, refined logo, fresh iconography, and an island-focused color palette that mirrors the natural beauty of Grenada. "Communicating the Spice Island Beach Resort story is no simple feat. It takes intentionality, inspiration, creativity and curiosity to present exactly who we are. Tambourine has been an exceptional partner in bringing our vision to life, balancing history and heritage with a stunning new aesthetic. We are confident this rebrand will be the driving force in our next chapter of success together," -Janelle M. Hopkin, President & Managing Director, Spice Island Beach Resort. About Tambourine Tambourine continues to shake up the hospitality industry with custom integrated marketing solutions for hotels, resorts, and destinations worldwide. The company's emergence as the market leader for both branded and independent hotels is a testament to their core values: putting customer service center stage, setting the standards for hotel website design, and making performance digital marketing easier and more profitable for its valued partners.

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Spotlight

Travel business has shown incredible growth in recent years, far exceeding the growth of global GDP in general and will continue to do so over the next decade. The use of innovative digital technology is the most advanced one of the main drivers of this growth, create giant online travel like Airbnb and TripAdvisor.