Radius Travel® member agencies and supplier partners from across the globe recently descended upon the Grand Hyatt Singapore for the annual Radius Travel Global Summit, a unique opportunity to discuss the latest global industry trends in corporate travel and share best practices. Travel and Transport’s representatives included: Tim Fleming, Chief Operating Officer; April Wheeler, Vice President of Account Management; and Rebecca Cardenas, Global Account Manager. They were also joined by our associates Evan Friedman, Michel Botbol and Carolann Martini of Ultramar Travel Management.
Radius President & CEO, Shannon Hyland, sketched out the three-year plan for Radius, including methods for growing multinational business in a sustainable way and increasing employee and member agency engagement worldwide. As an example of such global engagement, he also shared how Radius raised over $10,000 for employees of member agency North Star Travel who were affected by Typhoon Hiayan in the Philippines late last year.
A new method of engagement discussed was Radius Central, a soon to be released, comprehensive website that will enable greater collaboration and communication across member agencies.
Taking advantage of the event’s location, the summit placed a lot of emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region, discussing strategies, successes and challenges, as well as trends in technology.
Albert Ho of member agency Citystate Travel Singapore mapped out Singapore’s industry landscape, discussing the country’s low unemployment rate (just 1.8%) and the challenges this poses to finding skilled employees. Ho shared innovative staffing approaches, from intern programs to creative signing bonuses, and then explored how online booking tools help alleviate the shortages. This labor situation, as well as other factors, has caused online adoption levels in the region to rise significantly in the last five years.
Similarly, Welf Ebeling, Vice President of Operations – Asia-Pacific at GBTA discussed GDP growth in the Asia-Pacific region, describing projected growth in China, India, Japan, Singapore and other key countries.
There was also an Asia-Pacific roundtable with representatives from agencies in Australia, Singapore, the Philippines and India, discussing a wide variety of topics, from challenges with expense tool integration and visa/passport requirements to the role of mobile technology and social networks. Breakout sessions were also held throughout the summit, allowing members to share experiences regarding best-in-market online booking tools, GDS integration, open booking, New Distribution Capability (NDC), the RFP process and more.
Finally, Travel and Transport’s attendees also had the opportunity to tour the local offices of Citystate Travel, giving them a real glimpse into the nuances of managing business travel in Singapore and seeing the efficient operation first-hand.
April Wheeler, Vice President of Account Management, gained valuable insight from the summit, stating, “The relationship between Radius and Travel and Transport has been enhanced as we have moved to a more collaborative approach. We have gained major strides with global implementations, data consolidation and overall communication within the network to provide a streamlined, customer-focused approach.”
More and more Travel and Transport customers and prospects are exploring multi-national travel program expansion as they grow internationally. In order to offer the best service and technology, we continue to seek out such collaboration and networking opportunities with Radius and our member agencies to increase our knowledge, share best practices, and find the best global solutions.