Is Young Talent Changing the Workplace?

30th November 2018 -

A recent breakfast event, organised by Travolution and held during WTM, discussed the changing role of leadership and management skills within a millennial workforce in the age of digital disruption. During the event, attendees were told that travel is one of the world’s top-three sectors for digital talent due to the impact of technology and the internet. Senior industry figures from Traveltek and big travel names discussed how management and leadership have faced an extraordinary transformation in the digital age.

London-Centric Talent?

One of the topics of discussion was the necessity for travel businesses to base themselves in central London in order to attract the best talent. Grant Duncan, a consultant at global headhunting and leadership consultant SpencerStuart, said that London remains one of the key hubs for digital talent globally after strongholds like Silicon Valley in the US. However, Duncan added: “One of the challenges, is that there is definitely the need to be at the heart of things, so in the hub of a city.

“For young talented employees today, it’s about having a city centre existence and that brings about all sorts of ancillary pressures to do with the cost of living. I think in the end market forces will take over and actually we will start to see a move to other cities and urban locations in the UK.”

Cressida Sergeant, Chief Commercial Officer for Traveltek, said that this shift is already becoming apparent within the industry, stating that the regeneration going on in hubs and cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow is quite phenomenal.

Headquartered near Glasgow, Traveltek currently works with local universities within Scotland to ensure it attracts the brightest young talent.  Running annual intern programmes, Traveltek selects candidates based on their academic background, personality and passion for technology. Sergeant also added that Traveltek is currently looking at restructuring its technology teams to give them a greater understanding of how the business works as a whole in a bit to better retain staff who come into the business.

Risk-Seeking Millenials 

The conversation then moved on to how the traditional risk-averse mentality jars with the modern attitude of young employees who, according the Gunjan Verma, chief technology officer at The Travel Corporation, wish to “test ideas, celebrate failure and learn from that failure.”

Sergeant acknowledged that in the field of technology it is important to take risks to continue to innovate but highlighted that in a client-facing role, failure is not an option.

“It’s OK to fail, but it’s not OK when you’re dealing with a client. Testing and learning in a live environment are always challenges in a client-facing business.”

One of the final topics for analysis surrounded businesses’ expectations of their workforce. Sergeant commented: “The nature of flexibility [in our business] is something that’s client driven, its 24/7, you have to be available to clients but I think you have to set the expectations of your team too.

“If I send an email at the weekend, I don’t expect an immediate response, it’s simply because it’s popped into my head, Monday is absolutely fine.

“We don’t expect people to work weekends unless we’ve got serious client issues and then it’s an all hands on deck situation. We have a very passionate tech team who are committed to doing that.”

“We don’t expect people to work weekends unless we’ve got serious client issues and then it’s an all hands on deck situation. We have a very passionate tech team who are committed to doing that.”

Cressida Sergeant

Traveltek Announces Departure of Chief Operating Officer Kirsty Orr

28th November 2018 -

Well-known industry identity, Kirsty Orr, has left Traveltek after a 12-year tenure with the travel technology specialist

The Traveltek Group has implemented fairly considerable changes during 2018, including a restructured and much bolstered sales team, the appointment of a new Chief Technical Officer and the opening of new international offices.

The latest change comes following the departure of the firm’s widely-respected Chief Operating Officer, Kirsty Orr, who over the past 12 years has played a significant role in helping to transform the business into the success story it is today.

Speaking of her decision, Kirsty commented: “It wasn’t a conclusion I came to lightly but, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and now feels like the right time for me to move on.

“I’ve done everything in my power to help Traveltek thrive and I’m really proud of what we have achieved together. The company has grown considerably since I joined, particularly in the last 18 months, and is in excellent shape as it looks to embark on the next stage of its ambitious global expansion plan.

“I’ll be following the company – which will always be close to my heart – as it progresses on its journey and I’ve no doubt that headier heights await. Meanwhile, I’m very much looking forward to pursuing new opportunities as I look to the next stage of my career.”

Kenny Picken, President & CEO

President & CEO, Kenny Picken, said: “Kirsty is a true travel industry professional and a great person on top. She is hugely motivated and her tenacity and commitment to driving us forward during the last 12 years has been instrumental to our success.

“She will be sadly missed, both by colleagues and clients alike. But I fully support her decision, which is the right one for her, and wish her every success in her future endeavours.”

While she hasn’t disclosed what her next move will be, it’s expected that Kirsty will continue to work in the travel industry, where she has amassed over 28 years’ experience; 16 of which held in senior management positions.

Traveltek is expected to announce the appointment of a new operational leader in the coming weeks.

Traveltek Shares Industry Insights at Cruiseworld Indonesia

21st November 2018 -

Organised by Travel Weekly Asia, the inaugural CruiseWorld Indonesia takes place in Jakarta on 22nd November.

Following the success of previous Cruiseworld events such as Cruiseworld Asia and Cruiseworld USA, Travel Weekly has introduced two new events to the calendar – Indonesia and Hong Kong (10th December 2018).

The focus of the event in Jakarta is on educating travel professionals to become true cruise specialists. It aims to provide attendees with a variety of information specific to the Indonesia cruise market.

Potential for Growth 

The Asian cruise industry has widely been promoted as having a huge potential for growth.  However, specifically in Indonesia, penetration is still very low. Only one percent of the Indonesian population has cruised, said Pauline Suharno, secretary general, Astindo National Board, which presents a huge opportunity to capitalise on first-time cruisers within the market.

Suharno made a further interesting point about the typical Asian cruiser demographic, stating that travellers are much younger (4 in 10 are under 40) and they choose to take cruises for a shorter duration (between 4-6 nights).

With younger cruisers, shorter duration trips and a vast pool of first-time cruisers from emerging markets, this means that the typical cruiser will be more inclined to search and book on digital channels.

Which is where Traveltek comes in. As the leading cruise software supplier, Traveltek is keen to advise travel professionals at the event how they can capitalise on this growing interest, with the correct technology in place.

Paul Millan, SVP APAC, and Javine Tan, regional business development manager, will be speaking at the event, in conjunction with the Cruise Lines International Association. They will provide insightful industry observations and showcase Traveltek’s advanced cruise software to better enable travel professionals to deal with both the increase in cruise demand and the digital disposition of modern cruisers.

Traveltek Gunning for Five in a Row

13th November 2018 - Glasgow, UK

Traveltek has been nominated for two high-profile World Travel Awards, both of which recognise the company’s expertise in the travel technology arena. The Glasgow-headquartered company, which is widely regarded as a pioneer of cutting-edge solutions for the global travel trade, has reached the final round of this year’s World Travel Awards in two categories – ‘World Leading Dynamic Packaging Solutions Provider 2018’ and ‘World Leading Travel Technology Provider 2018’.

History of Award Wins 

It’s not the first time Traveltek has received accolades at this ceremony, with the company having scooped the title of ‘World Leading Dynamic Packaging Solutions Provider’ for the last four years. Having made the final in this category again this year, the company hopes to continue its winning streak at the Grand Final Gala, which will take place at the Pátio de Galé in Lisbon, Portugal on December 1.

Given the company’s previous accolades and its strong track record the travel technology specialist has all the desired credentials to seize this sought-after trophy once again.

Now in its 25th year, the World Travel Awards celebrate excellence across key sectors of the travel and tourism industry, including travel technology. Winners are initially selected at six regional ceremonies before progressing to a year-end global finale. Traveltek has already been successful this year in the regional ceremonies having been awarded the title of “Europe’s Leading Travel Technology Provider 2018.”

Innovative Product Portfolio 

Traveltek’s unrivalled suite of products includes dynamic packaging solutions; consumer-facing websites; integrated booking platforms for staff and clients; mid-office systems that produce booking reports and client documentation; a CRM to manage clients and enquiries; a tour operating platform that controls pricing and distributes contracts; and an API that connects travel companies to a global database of leading travel suppliers.

Traveltek is also the industry’s leading provider of cruise booking solutions, empowering the trade to hand-pick every component of a customised cruise itinerary and sell it as one package.

Customers worldwide value Traveltek’s comprehensive range of bespoke solutions that help them work smarter, improve their bottom line, and enhance customer experience and retention.

In the UK, where Traveltek has a strong customer base, the company is also a finalist at the Globe Travel Awards 2019. It’s one of eight travel technology firms battling it out in the ‘Best Technology Provider’ category. The awards ceremony will take 17th January 2019 in Park Lane, London. Voting for these awards is still open so please give Traveltek your support and head to https://www.globetravelawards.co.uk/globetravelawards2019/en/page/vote

Traveltek is looking forward to both a successful end to 2018 and a promising start to 2019.