Category Archives: Travel Technology

Google and STR- Giving Hotels More Data

STR-Google-Travel

Here’s good news for hotels – preferred hotel properties are getting even smarter. STR, the leading travel industry data provider, recently partnered with Google to study the association between Google searches and hotel demand. This study found there is a strong correlation between Google search trends and hotel bookings.

The STAR report, STR’s leading product for hotels, allows hotels to study their individual property performance and benchmark against their competition. Specifically, the product allows individual hotel properties to follow trends in ADR (average daily rate) and RevPar (revenue per available room) to ensure they are performing well in contrast to their competition.

The study

Using London and New York City as their case study locations, they tried their theory. Both cities are global hubs with existing high traffic. They both also have achieved occupancy levels above 80% for at least the past seven years.

They were able to conclude that higher Google search volumes can be associated with higher STR demand levels. With the positive conclusion of this study, hotel executives can look to Google in combination with STR benchmarking data to make a more accurate prediction on hotel occupancy levels.

Whether you are a hotel executive, travel agent, or vender, this is a sign that if you aren’t promoting on Google, you may be missing out. With this high correlation of hotel rates and Google searches, other travel searches may have similar correlations. Staying relevant and easy to find online is becoming more and more important for businesses.

How to use Google to get more searches and bookings

  • Promote your website on Google or through a booking site.
  • Use all of Google’s available tools to help differentiate. Add your phone number, official website and any positive reviews to Google.
  • Try out Google’s new ‘Plan a Trip’ tab. It easily allows users to plan each step of their trip within Google.

For more information and access the entire study, click here.

 

How Christopherson Provides Organization for Travel Management

organization for travel managers

It could be the ‘type A’ personality in me, but I often think there’s room for improvement in most situations. I’ve also noticed this trait in many travel managers, procurement officers and executives. In positions as busy as these, isn’t the job more manageable with a structured and reliable system? Fortunately, I know Christopherson can provide that oh-so-necessary organization for travel management tasks. Our technology allows for peace of mind and instant access to information for company’s travel management needs. Why are we so confident that we can provide that satisfaction? Read some of our top benefits below:

How Christopherson provides organization for travel management

– With our AirPortal 360™ Dashboard and Mobile App, you have a 360° view of your travel program instantly and at all times.
– No more digging through your inbox to find a traveler’s itinerary. Christopherson’s SecurityLogic® will tell you exactly where your travelers are in seconds. You can even look at their past or upcoming trips by customizing your search.
– Eliminate that spreadsheet tracking your company’s unused tickets. AirBank® technology seamlessly tracks the unused funds from cancelled tickets. We even provide reminders, ensuring they are used before expiring.
– All of your traveler’s pertinent travel information and preferences is stored in our Traveler Profiles, allowing you to take one less step when booking. There is no need to keep a series of post-it notes on your desk with traveler’s information written on them.
– Lastly, eliminate the need to “shop” for fares prior to booking a trip. With PolicyLogic™, your company’s travel policy is built into our software. When travelers book their travel either with an agent or through one of our online booking tools, your travel policy will always comply.
By choosing Christopherson Business Travel as your travel management partner, you are signing on from streamlined and organized travel management. We are at the forefront of travel technology, and have been since we opened our doors in 1953. Contact us to learn more about our AirPortal® platform, and how we can declutter your travel management procedures.

Christopherson Business Travel and your Risk Management Program

CBT_SmallI recently had the pleasure of hearing Charles Brossman, a prominent risk management author and consultant speak at GBTA- North Carolina’s Education Breakfast. His informal but informative conversation educated our group on the legal terms associated with risk management. These terms, coupled with real- life examples, left us thinking about ways to improve the risk management programs for our own organizations.

How Christopherson provides risk management security

Guess what? By partnering with Christopherson as your Travel Management Company, you already have the shoe on the right foot. Housed in our AirPortal 360 platform, SecurityLogic allows travel managers can access real-time threats. This includes security updates, weather, traffic, airport delays, and disaster alerts. These alerts can be automatically pushed to travelers via text and email. With the intuitive Safety Check feature, you can request safety verification from your travelers, from anywhere in the world. Once activated, the traveler will immediately be messaged. Knowing that you are worried about their safety and they can also quickly respond. Additionally, SecurityLogic provides multiple global map overlays. All travel information is geocoded to street-level accuracy. So you can zoom into any country, city, or street to find risks near your travelers.
Learn more about how Christopherson can assist with your duty of care and risk management goals.

Charles Brossman is the author of the book “Building a Travel Risk Management Program: Traveler Safety and Duty of Care for Any Organization”. For more information on Charles Brossman and his services, see his website.

Christopherson Business Travel provides full-service travel management for companies. With advanced technology and customized service, we are one of the top TMCs in the nation. Contact us to learn how we can save your company time and money on future travel.

Delta’s New Baggage Tracking System

Almost two months ago, Delta introduced their much-anticipated new baggage tracking process. Originally announced last spring, their new checked luggage process is now active in 84 airports. If you are a frequent business traveler, make sure you take advantage of this new technology.

Delta’s New Baggage Tracking System

What makes Delta’s new tracking system so innovative? Bags checked through Delta Air Lines receive a tag. These Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags transmit an individual frequency, making them easier to locate. This is the same technology as used in E-Z Lane toll passes, id badges, electronic locks and even library books.

Once the RFID tags are attached to the luggage, they continue down the conveyor belt to the designated plane. A red light/green light system identifies the bags and their correct flow. The system shuts down when a bag is scanned and found to be headed the wrong way. If this happens, an agent easily locates the bag and moves it to the correct flow.  Delta claims it has 99.9 percent accuracy of luggage making it to their correct destination.

Mobile app provides instant information for the flyer

Delta baggage tracking appDelta’s conjoining app notifies the flyer when their luggage reaches baggage claim. More incredibly, it allows the flyer to see their bag’s journey throughout the day.  I already know I’ll be obsessively monitoring my bags the next time I fly with Delta!

Christopherson Business Travel is a leading travel management company in the United States. We specialize in exceptional customer service and forward thinking travel technology, making the lives of our clients and their travelers easier.

SecurityLogic Provides Immediate Communication During Disaster

Does anyone else remember the nightly news slogan from years ago, “It’s 10 o’clock… do you know where your children are?”  This catchphrase, of keeping an eye on your loved ones, still resonates today. The past few weeks the airwaves have been flooded with terrorists attacks in New Jersey, New York, Washington State and Minnesota. And now, Hurricane Matthew is about to hit the east coast, potentially causing massive damage.  I also find myself thinking of family, but also co-workers and other business travelers when distaster strikes.

Working in an industry filled constantly with travel and constantly changing schedules, it’s hard to know where everyone is in a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, it’s important now more than ever to not only get in touch with employees or co-workers, but have a plan in place should disaster occur.

Communicating with your business travelers during a disaster

Having an established plan in case of an emergency is the first step. Ask yourself, what is your company’s current protocol should an event occur in a city your employee is currently traveling? Do you have their email and cell number readily available? Will you need to dig through emails to find their itinerary? Who will be in charge of making these safety calls to traveling employees?

Answering these questions ahead of time will make your company more prepared, should an event occur. Developing a travel policy usually helps to establish these protocols. If you don’t have a travel policy, check out our travel policy FAQ to get started.

SecurityLogic provides peace of mind for travel managers

One of my favorite features of the Christopherson software is our SecurityLogic technology. Perhaps it’s because I can be a worrywart, but the value of this immediate and interactive technology is a lifesaver in dire situations.

For a travel manager, the goal is simple – locate all of your business travelers instantly. Through our AirPortal360 interface, you immediately know how many employees are traveling at a moment’s notice.  We supply a world map view, with pins representing your travelers. From there, you can overlay alerts, warnings, and weather. Really anything that may influence your business travelers is viewable from the map.

SecurityLogic by Christopherson

Using the rest of our technology suite, we offer easy access to your traveler’s itinerary and contact information. Travel, security, and human resource managers are able to locate  travelers and send them messages. Your business travelers can then respond to the security check and let you know they are safe. Our SecurityLogic takes the guessing out of what could be a hectic situation and provides immediate answers.

Christopherson Business Travel is an award-winning corporate travel management company. We’re passionate about assisting companies with their travel, and we think our travel technology and consultative account management does a pretty great job at it.  Contact us to learn more about SecurityLogic or our other travel technology tools.

How AirPortal 360 Provides Actionable Intelligence

At Christopherson Business Travel, we strive to continually develop travel technology that effortlessly eases travel and travel management headaches.  We’ve learned that while an engaging and useable platform is necessary, quick analysis and actionable take-aways are becoming crucial components to our clients. That’s why we further developed our AirPortal 360 technology to include actionable intelligence. We provide actionable items that your team can run with immediately in addition to our existing technology.

AirPortal 360 provides actionable intelligence

AirPortal includes many tools that help travel managers and travelers. Travel managers can keep tabs on various aspects of their travel programs.  We have always focused on creating tools that are elegant and easy to use.  Now with actionable intelligence, we take it one step further by reaching into the various products and retrieving the items that actually need attention. This helps ensure that important items do not slip through the cracks. This give travel managers the confidence that they are supporting both their travelers and their managed travel program.  

Travel Manager’s Actionable Intelligence includes:

  1. Travel Approvals Pending
  2. Hotel Payment Authorizations Failed
  3. Safety Check Assistance Requests
  4. New Traveler Enrollment Requests
  5. Trips Missing Hotels
  6. Unused Tickets Expiring
  7. Vendor Contracts Expiring

Additionally, we make sure travelers have their own dashboard to view their itinerary and documents. With our My Travel dashboard, they can quickly access their travel information in one place. Here they can effectively communicate their hotel plans, unused tickets and additional items, further completing compliance and duty of care responsibilities.  

Traveler’s Actionable Intelligence includes:

  1. Travel Approvals Pending
  2. Trips Missing Hotels
  3. Unused Tickets Expiring
  4. Credit Card Expiring (coming soon)
  5. Passport Expiring (coming soon)

AirPortal users receive a daily digest email with a list of their action items.  The user can choose the time of day they would like their daily digest delivered.  From the email they login into AirPortal Actionable Intelligence Dashboard and handle the items that require their attention.  

To learn more about our new AirPortal 360 Dashboard, contact your Christopherson Business Travel Account Manager or fill our the contact form on this page. Want to learn more? Read our company philosophy or additional travel technology solutions.

Seamless Technology Integration Is Vital For Travel Management

While Travel Management Companies (TMCs) provide many solutions for businesses, I’ve found that one of the most valuable is offering effective system integrations.  A managed travel program needs the flexibility to easily connect to many diverse systems that are required for a complete and effective travel management system.

That’s one reason why we created our own proprietary system, AirPortal. Not only does this provide access to our own unique travel solutions, but it manages all of the information flowing between these systems as well.  AirPortal also provides the user interface for our clients, giving them one central location from which to manage their travel program. 

AirPortal 360_Actionable Intelligence

Our new AirPortal Integrations highlights many of the integrations that we offer, including some ‘one click’ installs.  Take a look and see what we can do for your travel program.  If you have a key vendor that is not on the list, give us a call — we are always adding additional integrations.

integrations8-9

The following are some of the category choices that we offer:

  • Data Feeds/Reporting
  • Traveler Safety/Security
  • Virtual Payment Solutions
  • Online Expense Tools
  • Online Booking Tools
  • Traveler Apps/Integrations

So, leave the heavy lifting to us and get on with the rest of your day. Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company that specializes in innovative travel technology and consultative customer service. Contact us to learn more about our proprietary technology and how we continually save our clients time and money.

How To Get Through U.S. Customs Faster

My last experience going through customs was pretty typical. I deplaned, walked endlessly through the airport, collected my bags and then madly ran to get a spot in line at customs. Sure, you can shorten your wait time if you bring only carry-on luggage or you are an extra fast runner, but overall the process definitely has room for improvement.

Global Entry

Global Entry for customsOne option to speed through customs is signing up for the Global Entry program. Similar to TSA PreCheck, Global Entry expedites you through U.S. custom lines based on your pre-approved status. Offered through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there is a multi-step approval process needed before your trip. It is available to U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and accepted by a few other countries. It does have some restrictions for eligibility, including criminal convictions, outstanding warrants, or previous violations of immigration or custom regulations. If you are eligible, you can create an account on their Global Online Enrollment System (GOES), and complete the application. There is a  $100 non-refundable fee required for each applications. From there, your application will be reviewed. If it is conditionally approved, you will then be instructed to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Once fully approved, you can skip all processing lines, paperwork and significantly reduce your wait time!

Mobile Passport

mobile passport app for customsThe app Mobile Passport offers an alternative to the Global Entry program and is available at growing number of airports in the country. All you need to do is fill out the Customs and Border Protection form in the app on your mobile phone and enter your flight information and submit. Once this is complete, you will receive a electronic confirmation with a QR code and you can proceed to the line at customs indicated for “Mobile Passport Control”. Like the paper version of the form, the form in the app can be filled out for family members making traveling with kids just a tiny bit easier. As another benefit, it is free to use with no additional charges!

Whichever process you choose, you will make the customs process easier and less stressful. Use the comments below to tell us about your experiences using either Global Entry or Mobile Passport!

Christopherson’s Technology Provides Actionable Intelligence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Christopherson Business Travel is launching a number of technology enhancements in conjunction with an initiative to advance their integrated software platform, AirPortal, to a new level of travel management. By providing business intelligence that is digitally transformed into actions, these enhancements help travel managers direct their programs both proactively and preemptively.

“We live in an age of information overload,” said Mike Cameron, CEO of Christopherson. “Companies need more than just business intelligence to be competitive. But the challenge isn’t where or how to find the data, it’s what to do with it once you have it. We’re designing tools to help you figure that out. Our latest technology developments provide the advantage of ‘actionable intelligence’ to empower travel managers as they direct their travel programs faster and smarter.”

Among the most notable enhancements are those made to Christopherson’s AirPortal 360 dashboard for travel managers, and Airtinerary, the company’s intelligent itinerary for business travelers.

AirPortal 360 now includes My Action Items, a work-to-zero tool which pulls data from Christopherson’s various technology and presents a list of action items. Such items may include travel plans needing approval, reminders to use expiring airline tickets, risk management duties, expiring vendor contracts, and more.

“Providing our clients with a work-to-zero dashboard that allows them to manage all their pending action items in real time is revolutionary for travel managers,” Cameron said. “My Action Items is one more way we are helping our travel managers think forward and work strategically.”

Another enhanced tool is Christopherson’s Airtinerary, which now allows travelers to interact with their travel plans. Travelers can modify, add, or delete plans, and purchase trip insurance, among other actions, directly from the mobile-responsive Airtinerary.

“‘Mobile first’ is one of our mantras,” Cameron said. “Whether it’s our existing technology or new tools, we develop intuitive, elegant, and responsive technology that meets the needs of our clients where they are and helps them be proactive about their pending action items.”

Among other enhancements is a new dashboard for the company’s Hotel Attachment tool, that helps travel managers better manage compliance and risk by knowing which travelers’ plans are incomplete and provides the ability to send reminders to complete those plans prior to travel.

Christopherson plans to unveil these enhancements at the 2016 GBTA Convention and Trade Show in Denver, CO July 18-20.

What Is Duty of Care?

What is duty of care?I recently wrote the blog,  What does a Travel Management Company do?  In the process of writing it, I realized that we use industry phrases, assuming everyone understands what we are referring to.  Take Duty of Care for instance.  If you were to ask your next door neighbor, your hair dresser and your mother what Duty of Care is, you will probably get three totally different answers.  I even googled Duty of Care and found more than three different definitions! But this definition by Merriam-Webster was the most simple and straightforward: ‘a duty to use due care toward others in order to protect them from unnecessary risk of harm’.

So what does that mean for travel?  Simply put, it is an employers moral and legal obligation for the safety of their employees while traveling.  In the university setting, this even includes students!  Many countries, including the US, are in the process of developing strict laws to help protect business travelers. But until these laws are worldwide and regulated, corporations and universities without a managed travel program run the risk of serious consequences in the event of an emergency.

To assist corporations and universities with their duty of care obligations, Christopherson Business Travel developed SecurityLogic.  Our clients have access to global alerts and valuable tools to ensure the safety of your travelers.  With SecurityLogic, travel managers can access real-time security, weather, flight delays, and disaster alerts. They are then automatically pushed to travelers via text and email. And, with the intuitive Safety Check feature, you can also request safety verification from your travelers anywhere in the world.

SecurityLogic provides multiple global map overlays, and because all travel information is geocoded to street-level accuracy, you can zoom in on any country, city, or street to find your travelers through the tool’s customized search options. With customized search options our clients can quickly locate their travelers by name, department, date, and/or location.

An effective duty of care program is essential for every corporation and university. To discuss if SecurityLogic is a good fit for your company, feel free to contact us using the form on this page.

Read next – How To Get Started – Duty Of Care Advice