Travelocity BusinessSM is launching its first wholly-owned service centre in Europe, and its plans to pursue business local to the UK this summer.
As part of this effort, Travelocity Business will move its current U.S. multinational customers that use Travelocity Business in the U.K. from an outsourced facility to its own full-service fulfilment centre in Amersham, U.K. The state-of-the-art facility will act as a base for its European operations, supporting new business local to the U.K. in its first phase. In the second phase scheduled this autumn, the service centre will support the corporate travel requirements of Travelocity Business customers that have offices in other European countries.
The announcement comes following the acquisition of lastminute.com by Travelocity in 2005, whereby Travelocity Business acquired the company’s UK-based corporate travel offerings, Travelstore and First Option. Both offerings have been re-branded as Travelocity Business, with Travelstore now serving as Travelocity Business’ local fulfilment centre, and First Option continuing to serve as a hotel reservations specialist that provides Travelocity Business customers with valuable non-GDS hotel content.
As part of the rollout, Travelocity Business is deploying localised versions of its unique technology and processes within the U.K. facility, providing U.K. corporations with the opportunity to gain efficiencies and cost savings already experienced by its U.S. customers. This centralised approach will also offer its multinational customers consistent service and consolidated travel data across the US and UK.
In addition, Travelocity Business is providing local agents and account teams that cater to the specific needs of U.K. companies and their travellers.
Ellen Keszler, president of Travelocity Business, explained: “Travelocity Business has been very successful at serving the needs of multinational corporations in the United States and we want to extend that success into Europe. Leveraging Travelstore and First Option as the base for our operations is a natural progression that will allow Travelocity Business to compete in the global marketplace with a consistent brand and service offering.”
Jason Stockwood, a former lastminute.com executive, who was named managing director of the U.K. corporate offerings in May, 2005, will continue to lead Travelocity Business’ efforts in the region. “This is a hugely exciting opportunity - not just for the staff and clients of Travelstore and First Option, but also for corporations across Europe,” said Stockwood. “We are creating a stronger entity that will ultimately offer a wider portfolio of products and services to our existing and new customer base.”