Christopherson Business Travel is a BCD Travel Affiliate. We joined as an affiliate 20 years ago, when it was then called BTI Americas. Being affiliated with the third largest global travel management company has been good, both for us and our clients.
BCD Travel operates in more than 95 countries, with US $20.8 billion in total sales, and a combined worldwide workforce of 11,000.
Recently BCD’s founder, John van Vlissingen spoke with Business Travel News editorial director Jay Campbell about “his legacy and lessons of business.” In his interview, he related the story of the 1998 acquisition of BTI Americas and the subsequent BTI-WorldTravel Partners merger. (Read more about that merger here.)
I was actually serving on the affiliate board of BTI Americas, prior to the acquisition by World Travel Partners taking place. We knew that BTI was for sale so we held an emergency board meeting in August of 1998 to talk about the various selling options BTI was contemplating, as well as the possible consequences of each one to the BTI affiliate organization. We learned about the deal with World Travel some time later and were thrilled to hear they decided to make the deal with WTP. It turned out to be a good thing for the affiliates.
In his interview with Business Travel News, van Vlissingen talked about the advantages of being privately owned and being able to make better long term decisions rather than what he calls “the quarterly thinking” (the short term need to meet “earnings numbers” required as a publically traded company).
Christopherson Business Travel is also privately owned and we too have the ability to make decisions based upon a longer term horizon. For example we have recently been investing significant amounts of capital in our people, new facilities, and technology that will benefit our long term future.