Expedia Inc’s standalone travel management company Egencia is seeing increased interest from business travellers who want to have some leisure time while on the road.
The crossover is giving the business an advantage over traditional travel management companies, according to Christophe Peymirat, UK Vice President, Egencia.
Peymirat told Travolution that Egencia customers had access to the same level of hotel details as Expedia, but with “additional information specific to corporate” added on, such as more detailed information about wireless access within the property.
Clients were also taking advantage of the Egencia call centre, which can advise them on leisure activities in their destination.
There is also a dedicated high-level concierge-style service for top executives. Peymirat said that a social network for business travellers was also under development.
Egencia is the fifth largest travel management company in the world. It has been operating in the UK for four years now and is “still growing fast, quarter on quarter”. The UK picks up some trade from satellite offices of Egencia’s US-based clients, but the focus is on UK-based businesses.
More than 70% of business is booked through the web site. When it launched, it deliberately went after SMEs, “because they were the businesses most interested in online”.
However, he added that “over the past two years the companies we deal with have been getting bigger and bigger and we are talking with many companies because of the savings and service we can offer.”
Earlier this week, Egencia released a survey which revealed that British business travellers are the more worried than other nationals about eating bad food and sleeping in bad accommodation while on the clock.
Brits are also the most fed up about early starts and late nights, the disruption to their daily routine while also being the least enthusiastic about having to speak a foreign language.