2015 & 2016 Newsletter Archives
The Covington Connection, our monthly Newsletter, provides timely industry news briefs, travel tips and trends relating to business travel, corporate meetings, events and incentive trips. Destinations, hotels, agent and client testimonials are also featured.
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How to Stay Productive and Sane during Business Travel
Every “road warrior” knows that travel is an effective means of closing the deal, managing widespread operations, networking with peers, and learning new tactics and technologies. To help business travelers stay productive and sane while they crisscross the country or even the globe to achieve their goals, we’ve compiled 10 tips for making the most of business travel.
Covington’s Team Keeps Growing
Meet Two New Members of Our Corporate Division
Kate Beattie joined Covington as a Corporate Travel Advisor. Kate graduated from James Madison University in 2016 with a degree in Hospitality Management. She has previously worked with hotels and special events and comes to Covington with a true love of travel.
Teresa Cain joined Covington as a Business Travel Analyst in the Business Travel Services department. She has been in the travel industry for over twenty-five years in reservations, quality control, customer service and as supervisor of onsite corporate travel offices.
What I Did in Tokyo That Will Make You Want to Go There
by Lisa Pitzer, Business Travel Services
This summer, I enjoyed an incredible experience in Tokyo! I was invited to participate in a trip sponsored by ANA, Shangri-La Hotels, and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority. It was organized so that a group of travel professionals could experience Tokyo firsthand and share what we learned with our clients. Let me tell you what I did there and I’m sure you’ll want to visit, too.
Three Practical Ways to Improve Sustainability in Meetings
by Christi Ruddy, Covington Meetings & Events
I am a self-described “Recycling Queen.” As a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), improving sustainability in meetings is always on my mind. I have been recycling plastic name badges for 20+ years, bring my cloth bags into the grocery store when I shop, and I’m proud that my workplace offers paper, plastic, and aluminum recycling. When it comes to sustainable efforts at meetings, I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my dedication and assist our clients in making their meetings as green as possible.
How to Implement Strategic Meeting Management
At the recent Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) annual convention, there was a wide range of educational sessions including Strategic Meeting Management (SMM). Robert Haislip, Vice President of Business Development at Covington provides recommendations for implementing SMM in your organization – both large and small.
New Faces: Welcome Amanda Taylor to the Online Booking Team
Amanda brings ten years of marketing and customer service experience to support corporate online booking clients.
Client Testimonial: Having you arrange a private guide was the best thing we could have done. Others hired guides by using the Internet, but I do not think they had the marvelous experience we had.
Highlights from GBTA Conference
The theme for this year’s GBTA Convention was “Balance,” which aptly describes today’s business travel environment where both buyers and sellers of travel services must balance many different priorities. These concerns range from Duty of Care and Risk Management to incorporating new booking technologies to help better manage travel costs and ensure travel policy compliance.
Gain Complete Control over Your Car Rental – Avis Offers Time-saving New Connectivity
Avis Car Rental has just released new mobile app features that completely transform the car rental experience. Travelers can now control every aspect of the rental process right from their phone or tablet by using the Avis Now mobile app.
Client Testimonial: Covington Anticipates my needs before I do
Covington makes booking Corporate travel easy! Everyone there is a pleasure to work with, but no one provides better service than my travel advisor Donna Loftus. Donna anticipates my needs before I do and she always goes above and beyond to take care of me, as well as my travelers. I couldn’t do it without Donna OR Covington!
Voice Your Opinion: What is your top frustration about business travel?
Vote here anonymously and see an instant comparison to your peers’ opinions.
Client Testimonial: First Class Service and Hometown Approach
“I just want to say I have never worked with a finer travel company than Covington. We have high demand travel and Covington’s staff goes well beyond the call of duty to accommodate our needs whether it is long term planning or short term within the hour. Covington has stayed over time after the normal work hours to make flight connections work. They provide first class service but at the same time, they make you feel like family. We will never entertain the thought of using any other travel group. Thank you Covington for your first class service and hometown approach! You make our life easier!”
~ a Corporate Travel Planner
Is Booking Hotels Direct Really in your best interest?
Over the last couple months, major hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG have launched marketing campaigns to woo travelers into booking hotels direct. As a Travel Management Company, Covington explains what these new initiatives really mean to the traveler.
Did you know that TSA Precheck lanes process twice the amount of travelers that of regular lanes? Apply for TSA Precheck
Corporate Meetings Testimonial – “Thank you all for a job quite well done! Anita, your team deserves an A++. Madhavi and Mary make everyone and everything look easy and brilliant! The Gaylord National also receives high marks. It was easy to navigate and the service was impeccable.”
Scott Blackwell, V.P. Learning & Communications, Owens & Minor
April 14, 2016 was the first Global Meetings Industry Day, a day of advocacy to showcase the substantial value derived from business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions. In case you missed it, we’ve distilled five ways meetings contribute to the economic well-being of individuals, organizations and communities.
Voice Your Opinion
Which of these corporate meetings trends do you enjoy most?
Vote here anonymously and see an instant comparison to your peers’ opinions.
Ten Benefits of Booking Your Business Hotel with Covington – When you book your hotel with Covington, often negotiated extras are included as standard. These perks might include a complimentary upgrade to the club level accommodations (upon availability), daily breakfast, or late check out.
Plus, when your hotel membership numbers are included in your Covington traveler profile, you are assured that you will always receive your loyalty points. These benefits can make the rigors of business travel a bit more comfortable.
Voice Your Opinion – How do you typically book your business travel hotels?
Vote here anonymously and see an instant comparison to your peers’ opinions.
Pro tips for Efficient Business Travel – Take control of your time and go from chaotic to productive.
Covington’s Customer Service Group Keep Expanding – Jennifer Eggleston has joined Covington Travel as an Online Booking Specialist. She is the smiling voice who provide technical support and troubleshooting for the online travel systems – Concur and Deem.
Take a 2-Day Trip to London in Comfort and Style – A leisurely visit to Europe is always a pleasure; however many of the business travelers we serve don’t have the luxury of time. Read recommendations from a Covington Business Travel Advisor on how to make a quick trip easy.
Our Business Travel Services Team is Expanding – Phil Hillier has joined Covington Travel as Account Manager and looks forward to working with you!
Covington Travel Springs Into Action When Travel Disruptions Occur
Our team went into “Storm Alert” mode on Thursday before the storm by identifying our travelers who were likely to be impacted. Many clients were contacted and hundreds of flights, hotels and car rentals were changed even before the epic storm hit.
TSA Quietly Makes Security Changes – All travelers know that airport security is an inescapable component of air travel. Airport security screening continues to change in order to mitigate threats and improve the passenger experience. Here we review the most updated details of TSA airport security that will help your travels run smoothly.
New Service between Richmond and Denver
First-Ever Nonstop Access to the Mile High City Starts April 5, 2016
United Airlines will offer new daily, non-stop service between Richmond International Airport and Denver International Airport starting on April 5, 2016.
Dubai – Whether you visit for work or play, Dubai will make you reconsider any preconceived perceptions of this desert oasis.
Berlin – Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Berlin has reinvented itself as a political, business and entertainment center with a unique and diverse character along with a mix of culture and counterculture.
St. Louis, Missouri – St. Louis, Missouri, known as the Gateway to the West, has a unique charm characterized by pioneer spirit and ragtime blues. Enough history has been preserved to give the city a real sense of place, yet it perpetuates its pioneer spirit through high-tech industries.
Singapore, Changi Airport– Singapore’s Changi Airport is a marvel of efficiency and technology, providing a world-class visitor experience and confirmed many times over the most awarded “Best Airport.
Johannesburg, South Africa-Johannesburg, often affectionately called Jo’burg or Jozi, is the economic powerhouse and holds an important place in the heart of modern South Africa for its role in the demise of apartheid.
Charlottesville, Virginia – Nestled in the rolling hills at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville is steeped in early-American history, enjoys a rich arts and entertainment scene, and is surrounded by orchards and vineyards.
First of all – stay a Step Ahead of the Pack – If your flight is cancelled, contact your travel advisor immediately. Your agent can quickly give you alternative options and rebook you on a new flight while the rest of the canceled flight’s passengers are standing in line to be helped by a couple of inundated gate agents.
Advito’s 2016 Industry Forecast
Contact Covington Travel’s Account team for a full report and discuss insights to improve your company’s travel program.
Surge in passport renewals is expected to create processing backlogs. As nearly 30 million U.S. passports issued in 2007 approach expiration, the U.S. State Department is expecting a repeat of the application surge, this time for renewals: passport crisis 2.0.
Continuing education is important in every profession. For a travel advisor, that means gaining first-hand destination knowledge, inspecting hotels and making personal connections with travel suppliers. Discover what Martha learned to make your next trip to Seoul or Hong Kong better.
A group of our travel professionals recently traveled to NYC for a fast-paced, two-night familiarization trip sponsored by Hyatt Hotels and Delta Airlines. Read more about their observations and experience during their site inspections at five Hyatt properties.
After years of hearing about the annual GBTA Convention, this year I had the chance to attend this premier business travel event and experience the educational opportunities and camaraderie among the participants.
What is a Virtual Card?
Virtual cards are single-use credit card numbers issued for a specific dollar amount, vendor and time period. This card can be used to pay for airfare, hotel stays and car rentals. Ask yourself just three simple questions to find out if your company should consider a virtual card program.
Featured Destination: Luxembourg City – A Delightful Mix of Old and New
Luxenbourg City has a thousand-year history and yet, it’s a contemporary, cosmopolitan city. As the capital city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, throughout it’s history, Luxembourg was ruled or occupied by European powers including the Habsburgs, France, Spain, Germany and originally, the Romans.
Hotel Spotlight: Grand Hotel Cravet
This hotel is an ideal location from which to discover the old city of Luxembourg and the perfect venue for business meetings.
2015 GBTA Convention: # Sharing
Covington Travel’s Business Travel Team recently attended the GBTA Convention in Orlando, Florida. This premier provides the opportunity for us to stay at the forefront of the ideas that shape business travel which ultimately affect our corporate clients and travelers. Learn more about the hot topics discussed at the GBTA convention.
During the Convention, Sam Keene, VP Business Development Manager at Covington Travel, received the 2015 GBTA Chapter Presidents Council Business Travel Service Award. Each year, GBTA CPC recognizes ten individuals for outstanding contributions to their state chapters and the travel industry.
Group Travel Fundraising – An Engaging Way to Raise Funds for your Organization
Over the years, Covington Travel has helped many arts organizations such as the Richmond Symphony, Virginia Repertory Theatre and Virginia Opera raise funds through travel. Discover how affinity travel can be a productive fundraiser for your organization.
Featured Destination: Myrtle Beach is for Meetings & Events
“This isn’t your Mama’s Myrtle Beach anymore!” exclaimed Dee Dee White of Covington Meetings & Events after inspecting hotels and meeting venues in the South Carolina coastal resort city.
9 Ways Incentive Travel Works
Time and time again, organizations have seen the positive effects that incentive travel can have on the bottom line, and as the economy has improved over the last several years, incentive events are increasingly used to bolster both the employee and the organization.
Featured Destination: Mumbai
Mumbai is India’s center of business and one of the most important commercial hubs between Singapore and Europe, as well as home of the prolific Bollywood film industry.
Featured Destination: Houston
It’s a diverse melting pot of industry and culture, so if you travel for work, there’s a reasonable chance you’ll find yourself in Houston sometime.
What is a Known Traveler Number and Why Do You Need One?
A faster, smoother way to clear security at 133 U.S. airports is to obtain a Known Traveler Number and be eligible for selection to use the expedited screening TSA Pre✓® lanes where you don’t have to remove shoes or laptops.
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a cultural buff, visiting on business or strictly for pleasure, Vancouver has plenty to do year round. The city boasts the best and biggest attractions in many categories, making it a draw for business and vacation travelers.
9 Traits Learned From Travel That Will Impress Your Boss
Travel makes you a more well-rounded and interesting person – which will certainly serve you well holding up your end of conversation.
Covington Helps You During Winter Weather Travel
At Covington Travel, it’s all hands on deck in a weather emergency. Even when our physical office locations are in the weather zone, Covington remains fully staffed with travel advisors.
The airlines normally relax their exchange and cancellation restrictions during weather incidents, and often advise us of the affected airports a day or so ahead of the expected time frame. We pull reports of tickets we’ve issued for the affected destinations and contact those travelers to proactively protect reservations with alternate flights.
Destination: New Orleans
Check out the Favorite Festivals in New Orleans where you can play as hard as you work. The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel in now restored to its full art deco glory, Louis Armstrong once played in the opulent Blue Room at the Roosevelt in New Orleans.
2015 Hotel occupancy continues to grow steadily, and the industry keeps adding rooms and new brands to answer the demand. But even though travelers need the accommodations, hotels have to offer new services and amenities to attract guests to their property over a competitor’s. Here’s a look at some of the emerging hotel trends for 2015.
Featured Destination: Business Etiquette In Paris
The French capital is especially proud of its way of life, so use these tips for business etiquette in Paris to show your hosts that you’re a culturally astute business partner and set he scene for a successful exchange.