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September 16, 2016

Roundup: AIME’s New “My Association | My Club” Program




aime

AIME’s new “My Association | My Club” program and a pair of studies from Travel Leaders Group and the GBTA Foundation are the headlines you should be watching in the meetings industry today. 

AIME’s New “My Association | My Club” Program

The Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) has announced the launch of the new My Association | My Club program, which is billed as the first hosted program in the event’s 25 year history. 

At this year’s event, which will take place February 21 - 22, 2017, the planners picked for the program will get a flexible schedule to enable them to explore the show floor; a range of hosting options including complimentary flights, accommodation and transfers; a personalized diary of pre-scheduled appointments with national and international exhibitors; exclusive association networking events; a comprehensive program of educational sessions; access to the dedicated Hosted Buyers lounge; and more.

Ian Wainwright, event director – AIME, Reed Travel Exhibitions, launched the program at the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux national conference on September 9, 2016.

Travel Leaders Group: Over 1 in 10 Corporate Travel Planners Have Handled “Duty of Care” Situation

A new study from Travel Leaders Group shows that more than one in 10 of the organization’s corporate travel planners have handled a “Duty of Care” situation involving a business traveler. The top three circumstances were airline emergencies, civil unrest in international countries, and snowstorms. The survey also explored the rise of ground transportation in the “sharing economy” and a rise in business travel bookings overall. 

The data on business travel is based on responses from 354 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents who indicated that 50 percent or more of their portfolio is made up of business travelers. These results are part of the larger 2016 Fall Travel Trends Survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group from July 28 - August 24, 2016.

In this survey, when asked “Have you ever been involved with a ‘Duty of Care’ situation for one of your business travel clients?” 11.3 percent of Travel Leaders Group’s business-focused travel agents said yes.
 
The top 5 situations that required these business travel agents to assist their clients included:
 
1. Airline emergency
2 (tie). Civil unrest in an international country
2 (tie). Snowstorm
4. Terrorist incident
5. Hurricane

When asked “What percentage of your business travel clients add a hotel reservation to their travel itinerary?” nearly 70 percent (69.5%) of Travel Leaders Group agents reported that more than half of their clients request a hotel booking in addition to their airline reservation; while 20.7 percent stated that between 21-50 percent of their business travel clients require a hotel booking in addition to their airfare.

When asked “Which hotel category would you say the majority of your business travel clients book?” 70.0 percent of Travel Leaders Group agents stated the “Luxury” and “Upper Upscale” categories, while 27.7 percent indicate “Upscale” and “Upper Midscale” categories.

Ground Transportation and the Sharing Economy

When asked “What percentage of your business travel clients add a car rental reservation to their travel itinerary?” 39.6 percent of Travel Leaders Group agents reported that more than half of their clients request a car rental in addition to their airline reservation; while 36.7 percent stated that between 21-50 percent of their business travel clients require a rental car in addition to their airfare.

When asked, “What percentage of your business travel clients are using an alternative supplier for their accommodations?” the responses were:

  Fall 2016 Fall 2015
0% of my clients 55.4% 55.6%
1-10% of my clients 34.1% 29.6%
11% or more of my clients 10.5% 14.8%

When asked, “What percentage of your business travel clients are using an alternative supplier for their ground transportation?” the responses were:

  Fall 2016 Fall 2015
0% of my clients 14.3% 33.8%
1-10% of my clients 31.1% 33.8%
11% or more of my clients 54.6% 32.4%

Premium Cabin (First/Business) vs. Coach

When asked “For your 2016 year-to-date business travel air bookings, what percentage of clients are purchasing ‘front of the cabin’?” a majority (63.5%) of survey participants indicated over 10 percent of their clients are flying in the front of the plane, a slight decrease from the previous two years.

  Fall 2016 Fall 2015 Fall 2014 Fall 2013 Fall 2012
11% of More of Bookings in First/Business Class 63.5% 67.4% 66.8% 55.9% 51.3%
1-10% of Bookings in First/Business Class 31.4% 28.5% 30.9% 38.9% 44.6%
0% of Bookings in First/Business Class 5.1% 4.1% 2.3% 5.2% 4.1%

Travel Leaders Group also asked specifically about international business travel air bookings and reservations for premium cabin seats. Two-thirds (66.6%) of Travel Leaders Group’s business-focused travel agents indicated that over 10 percent of their clients are flying in the front of the plane and 29 percent stated 1-10 percent of their international air bookings are in First/Business Class.

Year-Over-Year Comparable Business Travel Bookings

When asked “Comparing your overall 2016 business travel bookings so far to your 2015 business travel bookings at this time last year, which is true?” approximately 75 percent stated bookings were equal to or higher than this time last year.

They're higher 39.0%
They're about even 35.6%
They're lower 25.4%

When specifically asked about business travel bookings to Europe, 68.9 percent stated bookings were on par or higher than this time last year (20.3% stated “higher” and 48.6% stated “the same”), while 31.1 percent stated bookings to Europe were lower.

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GBTA: 53 Percent of Companies Provide Travel Insurance and Assistance

In another notable new study, a majority (53 percent) of travel professionals report their company provides both travel insurance and assistance services to their business travelers. The report comes from the GBTA Foundation – the education and research of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – in partnership with AIG Travel. Additionally, almost all travel professionals (95 percent) feel providing insurance or assistance services offerings to employees are valuable for international trips with a vast majority (76 percent) agreeing they are valuable for domestic trips as well.

Currently four out of five travel professionals report their companies offer travel advisories (85%), including travel health advisories (82%) to their business travelers. Offerings like risk management training (41%) and GPS tracking of travelers (26%), however, are much less common.

Travel professionals working at companies offering travel insurance find benefits like emergency evacuations very important with 90 percent feeling that way about evacuations due to a medical emergency and 88 percent feeling that way about evacuations due to a security emergency. Less dire consequences such as trip delays (2 percent “very important” and 42 percent “somewhat important”) or missed connections (4 percent “very important” and 35 percent “somewhat important”) are more often considered only somewhat important.

Similar to travel insurance, services involving assistance with medical or security evacuations were most important with 88 percent and 86 percent of travel professionals, respectively, finding each very important. These benefits were followed closely in level of importance by logistical aid such as referrals to a local hospital (75 percent) or help replacing a missing passport (66 percent). While roughly three in five travel professionals view financial assistance like emergency cash transfers and identity theft assistance important, less than one-half find these benefits very important (36 percent and 38 percent, respectively).

The study is based on an online survey of 167 travel managers in North America, and was fielded from March 22 to April 1, 2016.

katy yongNew Director of Adventures & Experiences at Claremont Club & Spa

In personnel news, Claremont Club & Spa has promoted Katy Yong to the newly created position of director of adventures and experiences (A&E) at the 276-room Oakland Hills hotel. In the new role Yong will create programming and design tailored experiences for groups, individuals and families with local and regional partners. 

The Director of A & E will also collaborate to create and execute group activities and events, offering entertainment, electrical, audio-visual, display, floral and décor needs. In addition, she will expand the current Wellness Activities menu and further develop Signature Claremont Activities, including Lifetime Well Being, Sports Performance Coaching, Claremont’s GeoTrek, Arts+Vino+Fashion.

A tenured Claremont ambassador, Katy joined the team in 1999 as a spa administrative assistant and club fitness instructor; she has held progressively senior positions over the years. Prior to her promotion, she held the position of director of development, where she was responsible for the conceptualization and execution of wellness, social and cultural programing for the Claremont Club.

Claremont Club & Spa has over 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including the Empire Ballroom that can accommodate upwards of 450 attendees and a number of meeting rooms with bay views. 

Have a tip on major meetings and events industry news, or an inspiring story you’d like to share? Reach out at aleposa@questex.com

And keep visiting www.internationalmeetingsreview.com for the latest meetings and events industry news, trends and updates. 


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