Flight Centre Travel Group has launched an innovative new global added-value hotel programme exclusively for clients of its business travel divisions FCm Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller.
Called SmartSTAY, the programme offers access to generous year-round free extras such as room upgrades, wi-fi, late check-out or early check-in, breakfast, car parking, use of hotel meeting spaces, laundry services and local restaurant discounts.
There are no additional costs associated with SmartSTAY rates for FCm or Corporate Traveller customers; nor are there any upfront fees for hotels to join.
Over 130 hotels worldwide are already participating in the programme, ranging from three to five star properties.
Further hotels are being added every month.
SmartSTAY also comes with its own mobile app which provides travellers with an online directory of every participating hotel in the programme.
Special features include images of the properties, hotel descriptions, embedded Google maps and a list of free inclusions clients receive by booking a SmartSTAY rate.
The app requires iOS6.0 or later and is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Alternative platforms require Android 2.1 or later versions.
Steve Norris, corporate managing director for Flight Centre in the UK, said SmartSTAY was an exciting initiative for FCm and Corporate Traveller customers, as well as the hotel industry.
He explained: “This programme is very unique to our business and will deliver a new level of value and return to our business travellers.
“Our corporate clients are increasingly looking to secure greater value for the money they spend on accommodation and this style of programme offers valuable extras that are in demand specifically from the corporate travel market.
“The value added features of SmartSTAY like the free wi-fi, breakfast or use of a hotel’s conference rooms, can add up to substantial savings for FCm or Corporate Traveller clients.
“And companies also benefit from increased visibility of their spend as all bookings can be tracked as part of our management information reporting services.”
Norris continued: “No other travel management company in the market is offering year-round hotel inclusions like this; where there are no extra costs, no memberships and no complicated terms and conditions.
“This programme offers exactly what the name implies, a ‘SmartSTAY’ – in that there are smarter benefits on offer, smarter services available to guests and a smarter all-round value from your hotel rates.”
In the UK, FCm Travel Solutions has promoted James Runnicles to the position of head of sales.
Runnicles joined parent company Flight Centre Limited in 2003 as a retail travel consultant, but moved to the business travel side of the group one year later.
He has since held key business development manager roles for both Corporate Traveller and FCm Travel Solutions and has been instrumental in securing new business for both brands.
Since January 2012 he has held the role of sales director at FCm Travel Solutions winning new client accounts worth £20 million, primarily from the banking and retail sectors.
“My extensive experience in business development for both of Flight Centre’s corporate travel brands means that I can bring great insight to this role,” commented Runnicles.
“I am looking forward to mentoring the UK sales team so that we remain on track to achieve our current financial year’s target of £40m signed new business.”
James Runnicles assumes the UK head of sales role from Alex Armstrong, who continued to lead FCm’s UK sales operation as part of his promotion to global sales director in February 2012.
Runnicles reports to Jo Greenfield, general manager, FCm Travel Solutions UK.