Travel Executives Gather at St. Andrews Links to Play on the World Famous Old Course
The inaugural invite-only ASTA Travel Masters supports the trade association’s advocacy
St. Andrews, Scotland, April 14, 2022 – The most famous golf course in the world was the backdrop for the American Society of Travel Advisors’ (ASTA) first-ever Travel Masters, held April 4-6, 2022, at St. Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf and the 2022 British Open in July. This invitation-only leadership event brought together agency owners and supplier executives at the renowned Fairmont St. Andrews, where close to fifty participants gathered for a once-in-a-lifetime experience to golf on the Castle Course (April 4) and Old Course (April 5).
“We are a mission-driven organization comprised of over 17,000 U.S. based travel advisors who rely on us to represent them at all levels of government, within the industry and to the traveling public,” said Zane Kerby, President and CEO of ASTA. “The Travel Masters brought together executive leaders, from both the supplier and agency community, who believe in this mission and who believe in ASTA’s advocacy. The generous support of our partner sponsors; BCD and United Airlines, American Airlines, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Signature Travel Network, and Viking, literally made this event possible. Their presence builds ASTA and strengthens our ability to fulfill our mission.”
Ken McNab, Managing Director at the Travel Company Edinburgh and ASTA’s UK chapter president, spotted and made ASTA aware of the opening at St. Andrews back in 2020, working with ASTA’s late Bob Duglin. Ken, along with his compatriot, Angelina Fairgrieve at The Travel Company Edinburgh, worked tirelessly to bring the Travel Masters program to life.
“ASTA’s commitment to support this event brought Scotland an open door to improve our international traffic through the stream of our U.S. trade partners,” said McNab. “The team at The Travel Company Edinburgh and In2Scotland believe that the refreshed relationships developed through our partnership will help us face the new world of travel together. With the success of this event, we can focus on strengthening trade and ties with the U.S. and our partners through ASTA.”
Supporting ASTA’s advocacy mission through executive leadership was the primary focus of this inaugural event in St. Andrews. Jennifer Wilson Buttigieg, Co-President of Valerie Wilson Travel, a Froch Company, is the co-chair of ASTA’s Government & Political Affairs Committee and the driving force behind gathering industry advocacy support as Honorary Chair of the Travel Masters event.
“I am a long-standing partner and advocate for ASTA,” said Wilson Buttigieg. “I was honored to be a part of this inaugural ASTA Travel Masters event. With two major industry shifts occurring: (1) a rebound in travel as we migrate from pandemic to endemic globally and (2) the heighten role of the travel advisor - it is critical that we continue to speak in one unified voice. This event was a fantastic forum to discuss, share and raise money. We still have a long way to go, and this is one of many initiatives. Please get involved!”
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org.
Content C/o ASTA Erika Richter email@example.com
Staycation Insurance is very important as there are various situations that may mean you need to cancel or postpone your holiday in the UK.
Holiday Insurance has always been thought of as something that you take out when you travel abroad, however we all know how much the travel landscape has changed over the last few years and having staycation insurance is more important than ever.
It is recommended to take out staycation insurance as soon as you have placed your booking so that you are covered for those 'just in case' situations and you need to postpone or cancel your holiday.
For your online quote please click here
Assuming you are not already using a Travel Management Company such as The Travel Company Edinburgh so I’m going to let you in on the some of the secrets to save some money and make your trip easier, safer and ensure you get best value for this business expense.
Firstly do your research. A little work early on can save a lot of time later. Think about the trip and what it entails. For example, certain countries require visas and/or immunisations. Make sure you get advice on the steps needed to be taken and be wary of timescales. Think about the itinerary. It’s easy to make the experience more efficient if you can save the traveller’s time.
Create traveller profiles. This is something we do automatically for our clients but you can also do this. It saves so much time when making bookings so you don’t have to constantly email or call the traveller to find out about essential personal preferences, loyalty scheme numbers, seating or room preferences.
Before you actually book, make sure you are clear on what is required. The cheapest train tickets and hotel rooms are usually those which have the least flexibility. They may save money initially but if plans change and you are unable to transfer, this will have to be written off.
If cost is the main consideration, consider the following:
Consider avoiding flexible tickets to save money (e.g. it's often cheaper to book three advance rail tickets, giving you flexibility, than it is to buy a fully-flex rail ticket). Sometimes the best solution is to book a fixed outbound ticket and a flexible ticket on the return.
Consider the full cost of a trip, not just the component parts, e.g. it's worth paying £100 per night for a hotel that is on site, rather than £80 per night for one a few miles out but incurs a £15 taxi each way
Consider starting internal meetings later to allow non-peak train travel for all attendees – this can save 60% per attendee
Pay attention to what you are being charged, it’s easy to go through a whole booking process and not notice all the extras.
Once the travel bookings are completed, it’s time to ensure the traveller is up to speed with what they need to provide and do. Important considerations include:
Travel Documentation: Make sure you prepare and organise any necessary documentation that your boss may need. These can include train and plane tickets/reference numbers, accommodation loyalty cards, passport, visas and immunisation certificates.
Travel Insurance: Make sure they have sufficient travel insurance, there are countless options these days and by shopping around you may be able to select a better package.
If this all sounds a little complicated as well as time consuming why not let us do all the work for you and here are some added advantages of using us:
Dedicated travel consultant or consultants along with a dedicated account manager.
Payment terms we offer one consolidated invoice per month
24 hour support – Airlines don't all operate 24 hours a day, if your boss is on the other side of the world and needs to call at 3am in the morning to change their return flight this becomes an issue
Impartial, expert advice. We have no preference for any supplier only years of experience dealing with a wide range of clients.
Having all bookings in one place makes it easier to manage your business travel, track business travellers and analyse data.
Find out how we can transform your business travel.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Changes to international travel rules
From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to
England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a
single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals
from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and
territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status. For
more information on travel from rest of world for vaccinated and nonvaccinated travellers, click here
US to relax travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign air travellers
The United States will reopen in November to air travellers from 33
countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully
vaccinated against COVID-19.
The United States will admit fully vaccinated air travellers from the 26
so-called Schengen countries in Europe including France, Germany, Italy,
Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India,
South Africa, Iran and Brazil. The unprecedented US restrictions have
barred non-US citizens who were in those countries within the past 14
Further information is expected about the exact date that the US will
open their borders as well as details of vaccination status’ allowed.
Changes to passport rules for entry to the UK from 1 Oct 2021
From 1 October 2021 EU, EEA or Swiss national ID cards will no longer be
valid for travel to the UK unless travellers live in the UK and have settled
or pre-settled status. Passports will be mandatory for all other
passengers including children. Passengers with settled or pre-settled
status can continue to use national ID cards until 31 December 2025. For
more information, click here
TSA increases fines for violations of face mask rules
The Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security
Administration has increased the penalties which can be imposed on
travellers if they fail to wear face masks when required. The TSA has
increased the range of civil penalties that may be imposed on individuals
who violate the federal mask mandate at airports, on commercial
aircraft, and in various modes of surface transportation, including
passenger railroads, intercity bus services, and other public
The rules – which are currently set to remain in effect until January 18,
2022 – mean travellers can be fined between $500 and $1,000 for a first
offence, and between $1,000 and $3,000 for a second offence. The new
penalties are double the previous levels
The very first thing to think of is 'What is this meeting for and what do we want to achieve?'
Is it: A brainstorming session, simple meeting, training, inspirational staff meeting, fun day out, an awards event, a serious meeting to discuss strategy or anything else you can think of.
Once you know what you are looking to do in the meeting, that’s when you can decide what you need and you can then source the perfect venue. This can take a long time to get right, especially if you are not familiar with the town or city you want to hold it in. This is where we can help you by doing all the leg work and negotiating the best rates for your meeting.
What are you looking for?
My idea of the perfect meeting is something like this:
If you want some help in finding the best venue for your meeting or event anywhere in the world then get intouch:
The Travel Company Edinburgh
0131 467 7000
By consolidating your travel spend with your preferred Travel Management Company, The Travel Company Edinburgh, we are able to work closely with your procurement/purchasing department to ensure that best value is provided for all your travel requirements. By travel policy adherence, proactive account management and the extensive knowledge and expertise of our travel consultants we can drive down your company spend and make recommendations for best practice – improving the way you book travel.
Here are some of the key benefits that we provide:
0131 467 7000 or email email@example.com
Why Is Travel Insurance important?
Travel insurance or 'holiday insurance' and now 'Staycation Insurance' is a precaution and gives you peace of mind. When going on holiday you invest money in your trip in so many ways: from transport, parking, accommodation and luggage. Not to mention your health too.
Whether it is for a single trip or annual travel insurance policy, or you are setting sail and need cruise insurance. When you talk to our team we have a full selection of comparable cover level options for you to choose from.
Alongside our trusted, reliable and comprehensive cover, we can also provide specialist medical cover though our specialist team. If you have a serious medical condition (or multiple conditions), our compassionate and understanding team will work with you to find you a policy that meets your requirements.
With over 99% of common conditions covered, we are proud to say that our specialist medical cover meets the requirements for inclusion on the Money Advice Service (MAS) travel insurance directory.
Travel Insurance and the FCDO
Our travel insurance coverage continues to be based on the latest FCDO advice, and is not impacted by the new traffic light system. Please always refer to the latest FCDO advice to ensure there are no advisories against travel which may affect your travel insurance policy.
Get Intouch for peace of mind so we can get you covered
firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 0131 467 7000
or get an online quote here
Smart Travel Makes Better Use of Funds
We don’t need to remind you that controlling spend is as important as ever especially in the not-for-profit sector. As doing more with less becomes ever more urgent, travel is one area of a charity's cost base that cannot be overlooked. For charities working overseas, travel is an integral part of their work. Many would struggle to provide their core services if they were not able to send volunteers, staff and supporters to manage essential operations abroad. Charities face a dilemma as their travel costs rise and their incomes fall. We've worked with charities working overseas which spend up to 20% of their income on travel. Keeping travel costs under control can therefore be the difference between survival and extinction. Charities large or small operating internationally need to be able to move fast and respond to natural disasters, conflicts and humanitarian crises as well as negotiate hazards such as delays, ash clouds and industrial strikes. To manage scenarios such as this, it is vital that charities make travel arrangements that are flexible and adaptable.
1 Initiate a travel policy. A logical first step for any charity working abroad. Set out clearly which airlines and classes employees can book so that all travel spending can be monitored and evaluated. It also helps to be flexible. A travel policy is also a good place to start when managing the safety and wellbeing of travelling staff, an essential duty for employers. We help to put a travel policy in place that is robust and fit for purpose.
2 Make your staff aware of your travel policy. Make the policy easily accessible and send out periodic reminders and share stories of best practice. If staff don't know about it, they can't abide by it.
3 Don't DIY. It is needlessly expensive to have employees, especially in large organisations, sorting out their own travel. Although individuals may think they are getting the best deal, online fares often have restrictive conditions and no agent support should things go wrong – and they often do. When travel purchasing is centralised, it is far easier to keep an eye on costs and trends and identify where savings can be made.
4 Book early. We've found that a client ends up spending an extra £4 per ticket for each day that they wait before booking a flight. If you consistently book at the earliest possible moment you will, on average, save 30% compared to someone who always books last minute.
5 Know what you're getting. We all hear about airlines charging separate fees for things such as checked baggage, food, drink and even things like pillows – a process known as unbundling. Be conscious of this when looking for flights online as what seems on the surface like a great fare may increase considerably as non-inclusive items are added.
Want to know more? Please contact us email@example.com or call 0131 467 7000 and we can arrange a free consultation to get a better understanding of your requirements.
The role of procurement departments has certainly changed over the years, with value, levels of service and duty of care all becoming significant considerations when taking on a new supplier. However, there is one aspect of the procurement process that has stood the test of time and underpins everything that procurement department’s work towards and that’s cost.
I’m often asked to benchmark against existing practices but what is the best way to do this?
Understanding transaction fees and how they relate to your overall spend is a crucial element in selecting a TMC.
Equipping yourself with as much industry knowledge as possible is the best way to get the procurement process off to a good start. If you’re keen to drive online bookings then, by doing research, you should be able to find a realistic online adoption rate expectation. The volume of online bookings your organisation makes will have a direct impact on the fees you pay, as online bookings are usually charged at a lower rate than offline bookings.
Don’t focus exclusively on offline fees.
In recent years there has been a real drive within the business travel industry to increase the amount of bookings made online. With transaction fees for online bookings being typically lower, this has been a great result for travel buyers. However, the same kind of fees should not apply to offline bookings. When it comes to offline assistance, it really is a case of you get what you pay for. It is imperative you work with your TMC to work out how realistic your online adoption rate really is, if you have a lot of multi-sector long haul travel I’d suggest you will be doing more offline than online but if it is simple point to point low cost travel a higher online adoption is probably realistic.
TMCs do not all have access to the same fares and so will not deliver the same online/offline booking ratios. If you really want to know what it would cost to work with each TMC you need to tailor your analysis based on your research and their figures.
Once you’ve done your calculations, based on a tailored online adoption per TMC, you can then work out what percentage of your total travel spend the transaction fees would equate to. The industry average sits at around 5%, so if you’re preferred TMC comes in less than this, with excellent customer service and a great all-encompassing solution as well, then from a cost perspective they are very much worth considering.
Get in in touch and we can show you how much we can help you and make life easier for you.
Give us a call on 0131 467 7000 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Travel Company Edinburgh
Many people believe that because they are regular travellers this makes them best equipped to make their own travel arrangements and whilst they may have best intentions, by acting in this way it may in actual fact not only be false economy but it could be leaving the company wide open in terms of risk management. Organisations have legal and moral obligations to provide safety and security to their people, as much as possible, as they travel on business; that comes in the form of duty of care and a travel management company (TMC) should offer you access to tools and services that support you in looking after your travellers and help you in holding up your end of the duty of care bargain.
So next time you are booking your business trip and you think you can save a couple of pounds by booking your hotel room through some 3rd party website or going on a price comparison site for your flight just think about the following:
If you don't book through your TMC, they won't know where you are, which means they can't help you in a crisis.
Let's say you book a hotel on your own, and when you arrive, you are not happy with the condition of your room or worse still, the hotel doesn't have a record of your reservation. Who do you call for help? No one. That's who.
You are probably NOT even saving your company money by finding the deal of the century even if you think you are. Want to know why? Your company negotiates deals with specific suppliers on an annual basis. These deals frequently include behind-the-scenes incentives based on quantity of bookings. The TMC may well be offering your company a rebate on commissions earned and you also have to factor in time, your time to make the booking and your finance department who then have to spend time cross referencing your expense claim.
So you may be an experienced traveller and you may feel that a TMC restricts what you can or can’t book. This is very rarely the case, we work with all of our clients to give the end user a pleasurable experience, give them choices and a high level of personal service all whilst controlling the companies spend, making sure the staff are as safe as possible and streamlining the back office processing.
Get in touch so we can help you. email@example.com +44 (0)131 467 7000