What to look for in a Travel Management Company

When you’re thinking about choosing a travel management company for your small business it’s hard to find one that looks after your needs and will provide the personalized service you require. You have likely asked the question of what makes for a good or bad small business travel management company and we’re here answer that.

What makes for a good small business travel management company (TMC)?

There’s so many parts of what makes for a really great small business TMC and a lot to consider when choosing the right one. Creating or updating your company’s travel policy is the first step and one of the most important. A good TMC will sit down with you and discuss your travel policy to find out what loyalty programs are best, will figure out airline and hotel preferences and budgets, and will make sure the time is taken to go through each moving piece to guarantee that your travel policy looks after your company and staff. Travel policies shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all, and a good travel management company can help you put it together or discuss what points to address when you’re updating your current one.

Another quality to look for in a great TMC is their available technology and what that tech can do to keep your company secure and save you money. Are they using the best tools possible for online bookings and overall system management? Everything these days is digital and you need a company that looks to the future and embraces change, keeping ahead of the game.

A great TMC is prepared for all situations…

Should anything go wrong while one of your staff is travelling, an experienced travel management company will quickly resolve it with their extensive travel knowledge, quick & creative thinking, and leading technology to get things done in a timely manner. A reliable and local after-hours emergency assistance line is comforting and usually well-versed in your company’s account and policies.

Did you know that most TMCs outsource their after-hours emergency assistance? What this means is that if one of your staff requires immediate travel help, they might not be speaking with someone local who knows your company preferences and policies. These call centres are often lacking in compassion and customer service, staff are commonly overworked as they rush through calls, and attention to detail is not a high priority so things can easily be missed. Make sure to choose a TMC that will efficiently look after your staff in an emergency situation.

Think about invoicing and areas to save money –

Choosing the best small business TMC will mean you’re going to be receiving one consolidated monthly invoice to save your accounting team headaches, and you’re not going to be waiting weeks for answers about your account, or updates to it. It’s really nice to have that personal touch and to speak with people you know. It also means things get done quickly rather than having to go through multiple departments to get a simple answer. TMCs will save your company long hold times with airlines, can make changes near-instantly and effortlessly, and will fight for you to get refunds and travel credits when possible.

The right TMC will be saving your business time, money, and further stress. They will source the best hotel chains with the best rewards programs (within budget) to get your staff great future travel perks and discounts on their stay where possible. Experienced TMCs will continually be on the lookout for other small business travel deals.

When not to choose a travel management company for your smaller business?

You might be thinking that your company is not big enough yet to justify the extra spend on a travel management company… and some of you might be right. If your employees are only travelling a handful of times a year and you’ve got the staff who can manage it for now, why would you need a TMC? Early investment in the right TMC is a huge asset to any growing business. It means you have the travel systems in place, ready for when your company grows. This will save you the future headaches of trying to look for a TMC when you should be focused on hiring more staff and all of the work that goes with it. A great travel management company doesn’t have monthly fees, so having one ready to go makes sense for when your company starts frequent travel in the future. You won’t be paying for a TMC unnecessarily as they will only charge per booking.

Of course, small business TMCs are not going to be the right fit for every company out there. For international businesses with offices located around the world, and staff travelling frequently outside of your TMCs opening hours, getting things booked and approved can take longer and might not make sense for your company when time is of the essence. In saying that, a good TMC will work with you to have policies in place so approval is instant for your VIP or frequent travellers, and this could alleviate any potential issues.

Make sure your TMC understands your business –

It’s crucial to understand if your TMC is fully equipped to handle your travel spend, and this will be discussed during your first conversation with them to see if they will be a fit for you. A bad travel management company won’t discuss your concerns fully and could dodge questions, so this is something to keep in mind. You need to fit together and that only comes with honesty from both parties and getting your questions answered. A transparent TMC is essential for small businesses to save time and money, and will allow a great relationship to form. One red flag for a possibly bad TMC would be if they accept your business without any discovery questions – make sure they know your company and your travel needs.

Emergency assistance is one of the most important things to consider!

As mentioned earlier, not all TMCs have local emergency assistance, and some don’t have after-hours assistance at all. We believe that it’s incredibly important to have localized after-hours assistance for the peace of mind it brings, and extensive knowledge of the clients travel policies. Should anything go wrong, you want your staff to be completely looked after. It is paramount. especially during a stressful situation, that your staff can trust that the TMC is working in their best interest.

How we’re structured to be the best small business travel agency in Canada –

Our Vancouver-based Worldgo Travel Management team provides 24/7 local emergency assistance and will look after your staff in line with your policies, quickly and efficiently. We’re completely transparent, have no hidden fees and we don’t charge for after-hours or emergency assistance, changes or cancellations. Worldgo strives to reduce the cost, time, and complexity of travel management with personal service and our innovative technology.

We don’t make any of our clients’ sign contracts. Yes, you read that right. Worldgo Travel Management aims to earn your business with every booking we make for you. With meticulous attention to detail, exceptional customer service, and always on the lookout for customer rewards programs for small businesses, we do everything we can to earn your trust and put your company first.

With business travel back on the rise, now is the time to look at securing a trusted and experienced travel management company for 2021.

What is the importance of business travel management for the Canadian small business sector?

So why are TMCs so important in this age of digital technology, where everything is just a few button clicks away? It is estimated that global business travel spend will reach $1.6 trillion within the next 5 years. Travel for meetings, conferences, team-building events and on-site inspections have almost doubled in the past 10 years. This increase in travel means more time spent by employees researching their travel needs, putting together their expense reports, and following up for approvals. Then the accounting department has to reconcile all of the transactions, reimbursements and forecast budgets. Not to mention the issues that arise should changes need to be made or alternative emergency travel be sorted, this quickly becomes a giant amount of work for all involved.

With employees trying to look after their own travel, it quickly becomes overwhelming for everyone and wastes valuable company time. As a small Canadian business, it makes sense to get help with the operations of your business travel program and hire a dedicated travel management company. Great TMCs services will provide transparent expenses, follow your agreed-upon travel policies and simplify the process for all involved.

Business travel can actually help with employee retention!

As a perk, your business travel policy can actually help with employee retention and appeal to new hires. For many people, business travel is not just an obligation, but it’s actually an added work bonus. It’s good to consider not just the initial cost savings, but also how the policy can benefit your employees.

To summarize, the best TMC for smaller Canadian businesses has a focus on customer service, employs innovative and leading travel technology solutions, and provides 24/7 local support. With a great travel management company, you will never feel like just a number.

Is a small business travel management company sounding good for your business, or something you’d like to hear more about? Send us an email or give us a call to set up a free consultation.

 

Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca. You can read our testimonials here.

Written By: Holly Atkins
January 20, 2021

Holly Atkins has been working in tourism for many years as a travel manager, tour guide and on the front desk in a couple of hotels. An Australian Canadian citizen that now permanently resides in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Holly can’t think of a better place to call home with the vast mountains and her oceanfront dwelling. Touring on motorcycles for the past 14 years has allowed her to see places that few discover, and get off the beaten path to experience all that the open roads have to offer. Visiting a vast amount of the Oceania region, trekking around Europe, discovering BC and most recently travelling to Jordan and Egypt, she’s always looking forward to the next adventure!

The Ultimate List of Things to do in Vancouver

Similar to my blog on Calgary, I’m asking you to keep an open mind as there will be some obvious tourist places. Just remember, they are popular for good reason! It’s okay to be a tourist, even if it is in your own backyard. I believe this extensive list encompasses the best activities, tours, and things to do to help you explore this beautiful city that I call home.

This list is written for all seasons, so there are some activities on here that are only available at certain times of the year. Don’t let that be a worry, there’s plenty of suggestions on here that are wonderful and enjoyable in all months. I just had to write this comprehensive post out with all of my favourite Vancouver activities, walks, museums, tours, markets, parks, and other adventurous pursuits to share my love of this incredible city.

Before I go any further, if you’re in Vancouver during the colder months, then you just can’t leave without seeing a live Canucks game at the Rogers Arena. The atmosphere is electric, the crowd is loud, vibrant, and passionate, the food options are *chefs kiss*, and the beers are gigantic at 24oz (albeit expensive). Being an unashamedly massive Canucks fan means that every friend of mine who visits Vancouver is going to be tagging along with me when there’s a game on. If the game is sold out, or tickets are over your budget, we still have you covered. Head to The Sportsbar LIVE! at Rogers Arena. They have huge TVs playing the game live, and the bar is filled with boisterous and jolly fans. Go Canucks go!

Find a bargain at one of our Vancouver markets

The Vancouver Flea Market is one of the quirkiest markets in Vancouver that has everything one could ever need or want, including many things that fit into neither bracket… but we buy them anyway because it’s such a good deal! Situated in the historic Ellis Building (built in 1907), it is 10,000sq ft. and filled with the most unique array of vintage, antique or new goods you’ll come across. With 50 or so vendors, you’ll find goodies such as handmade leather and pottery delights, houseplants, cute cacti and succulent displays, fantastic food, jewelry, breathtaking artwork, vintage records, upcycled one-offs, henna tattoos, fresh fruit from the Okanagan, gorgeous handbags, retro comics and games, and so much more! This market is irresistible to even the less enthusiastic shopper.

One of the most beautiful ways to spend a free day is to take the SeaBus from Waterfront Station across to Lonsdale Quay and explore North Vancouver. Stepping off the SeaBus, you’re steps away from the Lonsdale Quay Market which boasts over 60 fresh food vendors, quirky retail shops, artisans, restaurants and more. It’s a great way to spend an hour or two just strolling through with a few tasty treats you’ve purchased. Just next to the Lonsdale Quay Market is the fascinating Polygon Gallery, a vibrant art institution with a focus on photography and media based art, that is sure to inspire and captivate. After strolling the markets and art gallery, you’re surrounded by restaurants with waterfront patios to enjoy a drink and city views before returning back downtown.

Granville Island is the 2nd most visited destination in Canada, and for good reason. The Granville Island Public Market is the epicenter of Vancouver’s culinary passion. You’ll find organic breads, fresh Coho salmon, live Dungeness crabs, artisanal meats and cheeses, freshly baked goods, fruit and vegetables from local farms and more. This really is a foodie’s paradise. On the rest of the island, there’s boat tours, souvenir shops, art galleries, buskers,  and great bars. If you’re visiting from downtown, taking the AquaBus across is recommended. It’s a super cute little boat that operates on False Creek that makes for great pics, and a bonus is that it skips the traffic crossing the bridge.

(views from Granville Island, featuring my motorbike)

Exhilarating Vancouver adventures

There’s not really anything more Canadian than a lumberjack, and what better way to embrace your inner lumberjack than throwing axes? You can try your hand at axe throwing (and sword fighting!) with Axewood Crew in downtown Vancouver. Excellent for a date night, going with friends or for a corporate event, the Axewood Crew will make sure you’re having a blast. For something pretty special, a seaplane flight over Vancouver has to be at the top of the list. One of the best things I’ve done in Vancouver is take a seaplane flight and tour with Harbour Air. I can’t recommend their Taste of the West Coast tour more highly, which includes a 2 hour Zodiac boat tour through the fjords, an amazing lunch on Bowen island and a seaplane flight back to Vancouver.

Another uniquely Canadian experience is FlyOver Canada. You will hang suspended, feet dangling, while the film whisks you away on an exhilarating journey across Canada, from east to west. The film and the special effects really do make you feel like you’re flying. After your film that will inspire more love for Canada than ever before, a short and incredibly scenic seawall walk is in order, and by keeping the mountains in view, it will take you across to Stanley Park. Large hidden lakes, a Pitch n Putt course, remarkable beaches with mountain views, tennis courts, and larger than New York’s Central Park, our prized Stanley Park is sure to impress as it really has something for everyone. Make sure to visit Lost Lagoon, a 41 acre body of water where you can find beavers, turtles, raccoons, and dozens of bird species hidden amongst the tall reeds. Continuing along the seawall is a must, and you can follow the signs to the Vancouver Aquarium, which is filled with over 58,000 animals in total from land and sea. Visit the sea lions who bark and belch loudly when hungry, the playful and inquisitive otters, our local harbour seals and the smart and curious octopus. With a focus on marine research, marine animal conservation and rehabilitation, this is one aquarium you can feel good visiting.

If you know me, then you know that I’m more than a little bit motorcycle obsessed. And if you’ve been thinking about what it would be like to ride a motorcycle, or wanting to come on a ride with me, then you’re in luck! You can ride a fully automatic 49cc scooter with Cycle BC around Vancouver. They have a variety of Vancouver routes for you to explore, ranging from 1 hour to 8 hours, and all you need is a driver’s license. Cycle BC will get you equipped with all the necessary gear and give you a run-through of the controls and you’ll be on your way. Grab a baguette and some cheese and pretend you’re scooting around some Parisian streets!

Did you know that Vancouver is one of the few cities in the world where you can see Orcas? A whale watching tour is the best way to get out and have a chance of seeing these majestic animals, and we recommend Vancouver Whale Watch. Located down in Steveston (a really quaint historic town worth checking out, and our favourite spot for fresh fish and chips), it is worth the trek by car or transit. Using smaller zodiac style vessels, they are able to travel more quickly on their small tours, which means you have a higher chance of seeing killer whales, porpoises, humpbacks, seals and eagles. Whale watching season is April 1 to October 31st. Book in advance as tours do sell out.

Have you been blessed with a glorious sunny day in Vancouver? Head over to Granville Island and try out HydroBiking with Vancouver Boat Rentals! HydroBiking (or water biking) is kayaking and bicycle riding combined into one, and it’s one of the best ways to explore False Creek, as you’re higher off the water for better views of your surrounds. If you’re wanting to get out of the city, then kayaking in Deep Cove might be perfect for you. Deep Cove Kayak Centre is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Metro Vancouver, nestled in between mountains and with calm water perfect for a paddle, there’s few places more idyllic than this. If you’ve still got energy left and fancy a hike, the Quarry Rock Hike trail is a 5 minute walk from the kayaking centre. A 45 minute hike to the top will present you with captivating views of Deep Cove and the surrounding forests. After your adventures, head to Honey’s Doughnuts & Goodies for some comfort food and some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had!

(breathtaking views of Deep Cove)

Get lost in our green spaces

It would be an incomplete list without mentioning the best parks for the Christmas Lights in Vancouver. There’s two that you have to visit and both for completely different reasons. VanDusen Botanical Garden is the first, for its impressive one million lights spread out over 15 acres of their gardens. Running for over 35 years now puts the VanDusen festival lights as the longest running winter holiday attraction. A visit with Santa is on the lineup, and there’s food vendors through the garden selling treats and warm drinks. Outside of the Christmas lights festival, the VanDusen Botanical Garden covers over 55 acres, which includes an Elizabethan hedge maze and over 7500 plant species from all over the world.

The second must-see for the Christmas Lights in Vancouver is a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. With over half a million lights, it’s not quite as extravagant as VanDusen, however, they have so much going on! The suspension bridge is 140 metres long and 70 metres above the Capilano River, surrounded by views of the breathtaking rainforest and the rushing waters below. Get yourself a hot chocolate and walk through these enchanting gardens that will spark wonder and joy from even the grumpiest Grinch. Interactive light displays from sound and movement, large lit up creatures flying overhead, and ponds that glisten from the overhead lights are just a few of the wonders of this place. There’s live music playing from an enthusiastic band and the atmosphere is electric. Just down the road you can visit the Capilano Fish Hatchery (daytime only) where you’ll be able to see up close the giant salmon jumping up the stream to lay their eggs, and get to learn about their incredible life cycle.

If you’re after views of the city, a drive up to the Cypress Mountain lookout will get you just that, being able to see out to Mount Baker and Vancouver Island on a clear day. The bewitching views really are out of this world and won’t disappoint… unless there’s a lot of fog around, in which case, maybe heading to a local pub is a better idea! On a clear evening, there’s not many things nicer than some quiet stargazing, and this experience can be found at the top of Seymour Mountain. Make sure to take lots of warm gear and maybe a hot beverage, as the temperature up there is often 10 degrees less than at the base of the mountain. Both of these mountains are fantastic in the summer or winter – they offer sledding and snow shoeing, stunning and secluded walking trails, downhill mountain biking and more.

Grouse Mountain is another obvious must-see attraction. At 1,200 metres tall, they offer even better views of Metro Vancouver, though there is an admission cost. You can either do the grueling Grouse Grind hike to the top and catch the gondola down to save some money, or for those not interested in the extra exercise, you can take the gondola both directions. Grouse Mountain is probably one of the most amazing places in Vancouver you could visit – with sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating in the winter, and lumberjack shows, zip lining, a grizzly bear refuge and more in the summer, there’s something to enjoy for everyone.

Queen Elizabeth Park marks the highest point in Vancouver City from the top of Little Mountain, and it gives you sweeping views of the city center, False Creek and the towering mountains. You can enjoy pitch-and-putt golf, tennis, disc golf, and more while exploring the extensive 130-acre gardens. The Bloedel Conservatory can’t be missed during your visit, an indoor tropical garden environment consisting of over 100 birds and 500 plant species. If you’re hungry or thirsty after your wander, you should visit the Seasons in the Park restaurant, serving mouthwatering Pacific Northwest dishes, with panoramic views of the city.

If you’re wanting to get away from the main crowds, and explore a gigantic forest with great walking paths, then Lynn Canyon is the spot for you. Like the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, they also have a suspension bridge (50 metres high and 48 metres long), and you’ve got over 615 acres to explore. Plus, there’s no admission fee! Below is a photo of my friend’s dog, Bernie, exploring the wonders of Lynn Canyon on a hidden swing off one of the many trails. You can follow him on Instagram.

(hidden swing in Lynn Valley)

Take a Vancouver walking tour with the professionals

Did you know most cities around the world now have free walking tours you can enjoy? Well, Vancouver now has them too! You can go on your free walking tour with Tour Guys. Their 2 hour Gastown Historical Tour is informative and fun, giving you detailed information on the transformation of this historic part of Vancouver. Tipping your guide at the end of the tour is welcomed and encouraged. After your free walking tour, the Vancouver Lookout is a short stroll away and will give you brilliant 360° of the surrounds.

We mentioned Granville Island earlier, and it’s absolutely worth getting to, but we know it can be overwhelming if you’re going for the first time. To get the most out of your time on this quirky island we cannot more highly recommend a food walking tour of Granville Island with Vancouver Foodie Tours. The tour is 2 hours and you’ll try over 20 signature Canadian mouthwatering delights, plus you’ll get to know the island and layout more quickly so you’ll feel more like a local with your now in-depth knowledge.

A photography walking tour with Nature Photo Hikes will enable you to improve your photo skills while getting to experience some of the most beautiful parts of BC. They have an awesome 6 hour tour to Bowen Island tour with ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay (see photo below!), all while learning how to take the best landscape pics. Whether you’ve got a top of the range DSLR camera, or just your phone, your guide will help you take the best photos. If 6 hours is just too long, they have tours starting from 2 hours depending on your photography interests and schedule.

(the calm waters of Horseshoe Bay)

Cultural strolls

Tuesday nights in Vancouver are a treat, for just a donation you can get admission to the Vancouver Art Gallery (normally $24). One of North America’s most respected and innovative visual arts institutions, the Vancouver Art Gallery (which occupies a 15,300 square-metre building and was founded in 1931), is regularly the home to seasonal ground-breaking exhibitions, and is the permanent home to approximately 12,000 works by artists from Canada and around the world. Located in the heart of downtown, there’s plenty of cool bars and restaurants for after your visit to satiate your appetite. If science is a passion of yours, then a stop to Science World is an absolute must. Fun interactive exhibits, with no expense spared on their giant exhibits, this museum is ever-changing and always invoking wonder with those who visit. Located on the waterfront, this geodesic dome building stands out as one of our most beautiful pieces of architecture, originally built as the Expo Centre for the Expo 86 world’s fair. Both inside and out will amaze and it’s easy to spend your whole day at this fascinating science centre.

Located in Kits Point are 3 museums that are unique, extraordinary, and sure to quench your thirst for cultural experiences in Vancouver – the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the Museum of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Space and space history, Canadian history from the 1900s to now, indigenous culture, maritime history and ever-changing exhibitions, these three galleries will fill an entire day and evening until your heart is content. I won’t go into detail on these incredible cultural experiences as I feel they speak for themselves. Visit them and I know you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re still craving more history and culture, located in the University of British Columbia is the Museum of Anthropology, where you can learn about the First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of BC, Canada. Totem poles, carved figures, house posts and more from the mid-19th century are permanently on display in the Great Hall, with other exhibits including the works of Bill Reid, over 600 European ceramics and stone wear dating back to the 16th century, and an outdoor area featuring Haida artworks. This museum is one of the most awe-inspiring cultural museums in Canada. For more Indigenous artwork, the Bill Reid Art Gallery (located in downtown Vancouver) is Canada’s only public gallery dedicated to contemporary Indigenous Art of the Northwest Coast.

If you’re still reading, then you’ve earnt this one. One of the best hidden gems of Vancouver is the Rennie Museum, a contemporary art museum that features rotating exhibitions every couple of months. Previous featured artists include Yoko Ono, Damian Moppett and Richard Jackson. The Rennie Museum offers guided tours (for free!) held on most Saturdays and select weekday evenings. You’ll need about an hour for the tour, which includes access to a breathtaking rooftop sculpture garden. They don’t have a phone number to call, but their website lists their current exhibits and you can reach them through their contact form if needed.

(the iconic crab statue and spaceship of the Museum of Vancouver)

No matter what you choose from this list, I’m sure it will reignite your love for Vancouver in a whole new way. If this is your first time visiting Vancouver, I hope you will see the magic and wonder that I see in this vibrant city every day. Vancouver might not be the city that never sleeps, but it’s surely the city that never ceases to amaze.

If you’re looking for some Vancouver food and drinks suggestions, make sure to read my earlier article here.

*Note – Due to COVID-19, many attractions and activities are currently temporarily closed, so make sure to check their websites before you visit. This list was written as an homage to my love of Vancouver and to promote the best our city has to offer, to help others explore this unique and fantastic city.

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Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca

Written By: Holly Atkins
October 15th, 2020

Holly Atkins has been working in tourism for many years as a travel manager, tour guide and on the front desk in a couple of hotels. An Australian Canadian citizen that now permanently resides in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Holly can’t think of a better place to call home with the vast mountains and her oceanfront dwelling. Touring on motorcycles for the past 14 years has allowed her to see places that few discover, and get off the beaten path to experience all that the open roads have to offer. Visiting a vast amount of the Oceania region, trekking around Europe, discovering BC and most recently travelling to Jordan and Egypt, she’s always looking forward to the next adventure!

Make Your Next Business Trip to Calgary a Bleisure Trip

Calgary for Bleisure? Oh yes!

How many times have you been to Calgary and not stepped foot out of the hotel to explore the city? It can be so easy to fall into the trap of not leaving your hotel. Meetings are often on hotel premises, and most have good onsite bars and restaurants too. I’m here to show you how to switch that up and give you some new ideas and insider tips for your next visit to try and turn your business trip into an enjoyable bleisure trip. (Bleisure travel is a portmanteau of “business” and “leisure”, and, it refers to “the activity of combining business travel with leisure time”).

Okay, so a few of these you might turn your nose up at because you’re not one of “those” tourists. I get it! I often try to avoid the popular tourist stops on my travels as I don’t like large crowds of people. My idea of travelling is to just wander lesser known areas and stumble across hidden gems. In saying that, I’m a glutton for collecting kitsch souvenirs, eating delectable foods, and enjoying a good view… and most of the popular tourist destinations check those boxes! I promise you that these experiences will make you view Calgary in a new light. Keep reading and you’ll have all of the insider info to have the best bleisure trip possible.

Treat yourself to brunch

Okay, so Vancouver just got its first location of OEB Breakfast Co. which has been life changing, but OEB was actually established in Calgary in 2009. I have never before made the noises I made when I first ate at OEB. Their breakfast poutine will absolutely rock your world. If you’re in Calgary with a free morning, do yourself a favour and get over to one of their locations ASAP. I highly recommend the “Meat-less to Say” breakfast poutine (but make sure to get it with added bacon if you’re a meat eater like me!). Really though, you can’t go wrong with anything on their extensive menu. See my photo below for further proof of the worthiness of their brunch.

Stretch your legs

After sitting in meetings, you’re probably longing for a good stroll to stretch your legs. From downtown Calgary, the raging Bow River is a short walk away, flowing through the city with a mighty force from the glacial melts.  The southern bank of the Bow River heading east has a 2 kilometre (1.2 miles) pedestrian and cycle path from Centre Street Bridge all the way to East Village. This walk does not go unrewarded, as you arrive at the East Village you’ll find the Simmons Building. A former mattress factory, it is now home to an incredible bakery (Sidewalk Citizen), a craft coffee shop (Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters) and a phenomenal Argentinian restaurant (Charbar). Grab yourself a coffee from the experts and head to the bakery for their delectable almond cherry brown butter tart.

2kms not enough, or coffee not your thing? You could also head west along the Bow River (on the northern bank) and you’ll find yourself with the best views of the city at the top of McHugh Bluff. You will also be able to treat yourself extra for dinner after your calorie-burning adventures!

It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere

What better way to explore a city than to drink your way through it? If you’ve got a free afternoon or evening, make the most of it with a brewery tour by the beer geek experts. You can choose to visit 3 or 4 breweries and you’ll get a flight of beers at each stop. Calgary Craft Collection are the guys who will look after you. Don’t want to join a group? You can easily Uber to each brewery for your solo beer crawl.

Heart racing adventures with windswept hair

Ever been on a motorcycle? What about in the sidecar of a motorcycle? If you’ve answered no, now’s your chance. Tours departing daily from Calgary, and you can opt for a shorter city tour if you’re on a time crunch or do a full day tour into the Canadian Rockies. Check out Rocky Mountain Sidecar Adventures. I’ve been riding motorcycles for 14 years now, and I still absolutely loved it. Trust me, being in a motorcycle sidecar is an unforgettable experience.

Motorcycles not your thing? There’s mountain biking tours with Alberta 66 Mountain Biking, hot air ballooning with Sundance Balloons, white water rafting tours with Wild Water Adventures and Calgary even has Segway tours with River Valley Adventure Co!

Delight your appetite in Calgary

Had a long day of meetings, but all you’ve been thinking about for hours now is what you’d like for dinner? Say no more, we have you covered. Few things are as satisfying after a long day as tacos and a cold beer. Moose and Poncho is a small restaurant with communal style seating (we love their no frills approach!), and they will satisfy this craving for you and have you thinking of it for months to come. If you’re still hungry, they do some of the best churros outside of Mexico.

Want a meal without the meat? Tamarind Vietnamese Grill & Noodle House is a small vegetarian and vegan joint that uses old authentic family recipes that are also gluten and MSG-free. How about something a little “extra”? Get dressed up and enjoy a nice evening out with a little mystery added – Betty Lous Library is a speakeasy that requires a phone reservation to get the password for entry! Cocktail dress encouraged, but not mandatory. However, baseball caps and jerseys will need to be checked, so don’t dress too casual.

Views for days

The amount of people I’ve talked to who have been to Calgary and not visited the Calgary Tower is too high! The Calgary Tower is a must-see in my opinion, whether you’re a tourist, local or a frequent visitor to the area. If you can get up there on a clear day, the views out to the Canadian Rockies are out-of-this-world stunning. Seeing the Rockies from such a height while the rest of the land lays flat and quiet really is something else. At 190 meters (623 feet) it’s less than half the size of the CN Tower in Toronto, but out here such a height isn’t necessary because of the flat landscape beneath you.

Get your culture on

Studio Bell is set inside one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture and spans across five floors. The exhibitions are hands on and you can play some amazing instruments (with video tutorials), try out some karaoke, and have a museum experience like no other. Studio Bell is fun, creative and won’t make you yawn or want to tap out early.

If music isn’t your thing, how about a sports museum? Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is located at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park and has been around for 65 years. They’ve got 12 galleries to stroll through with lots of interactive exhibits and you’ll find your inner kid coming out to play.

Extend your stay a little while

For boutique hotels, I absolutely adore Hotel Arts. It’s modestly priced and it’s a really funky little spot with well furnished rooms, excellent dining options and centrally located. Got a larger budget to play with? The Hotel Arts Kensington is the place for you with only 19 large sized rooms and impeccable service. Their onsite restaurant is a must-visit too. Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire is a popular choice for our business travellers, along with Le Germain Hotel. Both offer great service, comfortable rooms and bit more luxury. For something no-frills the Best Western Plus Suites Downtown is a great option with stunning Calgary skyline views and an included hot breakfast.

We hope that next time you head to Calgary for business travel, you will be able to fit some of these great stops and eats in to upgrade it to a bleisure trip worth remembering!

 

Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca

We would love to plan your next Calgary trip for you.

Written By: Holly Atkins
July 29th, 2020

Holly Atkins has been working in tourism for many years as a travel manager, tour guide and on the front desk in a couple of hotels. An Australian Canadian citizen that now permanently resides in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Holly can’t think of a better place to call home with the vast mountains and her oceanfront dwelling. Touring on motorcycles for the past 14 years has allowed her to see places that few discover, and get off the beaten path to experience all that the open roads have to offer. Visiting a vast amount of the Oceania region, trekking around Europe, discovering BC and most recently travelling to Jordan and Egypt, she’s always looking forward to the next adventure!

Why You Need a Travel Management Company (NOW!)

Travel restrictions are starting to lift and your staff have important meetings they need to travel for. You don’t want to miss a mandatory quarantine requirement and be turned around at the airport if your travel dates don’t add up. This wastes a lot of time, money and resources. How do you ensure your staff are safe while travelling, and where are you getting the up-to-date information required?

That’s where Travel Management Companies (TMC’s) come in. Not only do TMC’s have access to and knowledge of the most recent travel restrictions, we work hard to look for cost saving measures to improve our clients ability to survive over the short and long term.

The Boston Globe writes that “Travel advisors will be more important than ever.” in a recent article. Why? Because we’re on your side to get you home and re-book your travel, or fight for refunds and future credits when necessary. We’re up to date on travel restrictions, and do everything in our power to ensure you’ve got the information you need so your staff can travel safely.

TMC’s have fought hard for refunds and travel credits since the start of COVID-19. We work tirelessly to save our clients money because we know how important this is to them. TMC’s fight for you and endure the long hold times with the airlines as we know this matters to you.

Every day there are new changes to airline procedures and policies, and it’s a TMC’s job to incorporate these up-to-the-minute developments into the travel quoting and booking process. We strive to protect your employees as they commence travel, so there’s less stress and worry for all involved. Safety is key in these times and we aim to stay informed to reduce risk and increase your time to focus on more important things.

So what are the biggest benefits of using a Travel Management Company?

  • Round the clock, 24/7 support for all travellers in case of an emergency or last minute travel.
  • Saves your company long hold times with Airlines. We fight for you to get refunds and travel credits.
  • Flight changes take us just minutes instead of hours as we have direct access to the booking system.
  • Educate and inform your clients on the latest travel restrictions and updates.

Here at Worldgo Travel Management, we have over 90 years of collective experience, and we offer complete transparency with personal service. On top of this, we have industry leading technology to provide a faster and more efficient booking process. Our innovative technology gives us the ability to save your company money and help out quickly in a crisis. We know each business has different travel needs, and we will sit down with you to hash out the details to implement the best travel plan for your company and staff. Give us a call to see how we can help your company survive long term.

We’re here for you.

Read our article on what to look for in a travel management company, and how to choose the right one for your business – click here.

Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca

 

Written By: Holly Atkins
July 19th, 2020

Holly Atkins has been working in tourism for many years as a travel manager, tour guide and on the front desk in a couple of hotels. An Australian Canadian citizen that now permanently resides in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Holly can’t think of a better place to call home with the vast mountains and her oceanfront dwelling. Touring on motorcycles for the past 14 years has allowed her to see places that few discover, and get off the beaten path to experience all that the open roads have to offer. Visiting a vast amount of the Oceania region, trekking around Europe, discovering BC and most recently travelling to Jordan and Egypt, she’s always looking forward to the next adventure!

 

First Class vs. Business Class: Evaluating Value For Money

Let’s revisit the time-honoured First Class vs. Business Class debate. Those who that call airport lounges their 2nd home often wrestle between whether to book first-class or business-class fares.  While the most apparent differences, lie with the price (with First-Class being the more expensive of the two), as well as the comfort of the seats, and level of service; no specific standards exist within the airline industry as a whole.  Therefore, it’s imperative to understand whether you’re receiving enough value to justify the elevated price of a first-class fare.

Here’s our evaluation:

Domestic vs. Regional

There is a significant difference between domestic and regional first-class and international first.  For short-haul flights, passengers generally won’t see a tremendous distinction between first and business as the flight duration isn’t long enough, or the aircraft is not large enough to allow for many variations.  In addition, many airlines use older aircraft to service domestic and regional routes.  This translates to first and business class having very similar seating, privacy, TV sizes, menus and thus far less value for money on first-class fares.

International Business Class

Competition for passengers and new technology has created significant improvements in international business class.  Far exceeding the offerings of domestic first class, passengers can relax in luxurious seats that fully convert to lie-flat beds.  On the latest Boeing 777 aircraft, a staggered 2-4-2 pod-like configuration allows for enhanced privacy and uninterrupted work or rest.  Travellers will also have access to on-demand entertainment on larger TV screens as well as gourmet a la carte menus.  Boasting beautifully crafted dishes that incorporate culinary creations from around the world, meals are served by attentive staff and paired with a selection of fine wines.  Lastly, those flying with major airlines can make use of a network of business-class lounges around the globe.  With the combination of both incredible onboard and airport service, international business class travel offers great value for money.

International First Class

The ultimate in travel luxury, the first-class experience begins with access to exclusive first-only lounges at major international airports.  From showers to spa treatments, passengers can wait to board their flight in a haven of tranquillity.  Once onboard, personal suites in generous configurations create totally private spaces.  With beautiful extra-wide seats that transform into soft beds, long-haul flights provide all the luxuries of home.  Watch on-demand videos from personalized wide-screen televisions or dine on made to order cuisine, prepared in a state of the art galley.  While some airlines are opting for hybrid first/business classes, many are investing substantially to maintain their first-class product.  The demand for it remains on major European and Asian routes where there is still a market segment willing to pay for first-class fare prices.

The Last Word

As for the ultimate question: Is first-class worth it?   Our market experts suggest that it often depends on the airline.  Generally, those with in-demand first-class fares such as Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa have created enough of a distinction between their business and first product through additional luxury and higher levels of personalized service so that high prices intersect with value.

How to Incorporate a Holiday into your Next Business Trip

If you have ever felt like you spend more time in the air than on the ground, it might be time to add a little fun to your next business trip.  Whether it is a day trip out in the city, an added leg to your journey or bringing along a spouse or friend, there’s a lot of great ways to get more than quality work out of your travel.

Bring a Partner

Travelling for business can be a lonely affair.  With impersonal airports and hotel rooms, the warmth of home certainly lacks at times.  Consider inviting your significant other, or a friend to come along on your next trip.  Even if you have to entertain clients, have meetings, or work in the evenings, you’d be surprised at how much better your trip can be when you experience it with a companion. While you’re working they can book a tour, explore the city, or indulge in a fun activity.  Best of all, when you’ve got some spare time, you can go have some fun together.

Extend your Stay

Arriving a few days before or staying a few days after your trip, can enable you to explore the city you’re working in.  So often, travellers leave directly after business is wrapped up and miss an opportunity to see incredible new places inexpensively.  Book in some “days off” and explore the city.  Experience incredible sights and amazing local cuisine, or try something you’ve always wanted to do.

Add a Holiday

Even if the place you’re travelling to for work isn’t very exciting, adding a holiday to somewhere interesting close by can add significant value.  Book a regional flight, take a train, or hire a car and travel to a point of interest.  With the major travel time already out of the way, this is a fantastic way to enjoy an extra holiday.

The best gifts for business travellers in 2020

It’s here again – another year of what to get for the impossible-to-buy-for business person in your life. For 2020, we’ve put together a sure-fire list to help make your life a little easier. From bags to pillows, and smartphone cases to socks, here are our picks for what to buy the business traveler in your life.

Best Travel Luggage

Best Travel Luggage: Got a long-haul trip coming up? This four-wheel Trade Large hard shell luggage offers extended trip volume. Quality construction and a minimal aesthetic are complemented by custom Herschel Supply finishes. It comes in 9 different styles. Buy from $260.

Messenger Bag

Messenger Bag: Don’t let the ‘Messenger Bag for Men’ limit your interest, this is a unisex item, and solves just as many business problems for women as it does men. The price is right, and the best part is the thoughtful padded bottom and reinforced leather corners. There are 3 styles to choose from and there is a 1-year warranty on the bag. Buy from $57.Travel Pillow for Business Travellers

Best Travel Pillow: If you are an ‘I just can’t get comfortable enough to sleep’ type on a flight than this is the pillow for you. It’s maybe a little bulkier than one would want on a short-haul flight, but if you are crossing oceans overnight, this is the one to buy.

Best Travel Umbrella: Hershel Supply Co. isn’t just one of our favourite clients they also make the best compact umbrella in the game. Protip: When in Iceland, using an umbrella tells the locals you are a visitor. Why? Notoriously heavy winds. Buy from $27.

Best iPhone case: The Catalyst case offers protection from a 3-metre drop, and has found a way to keep sleek and minimalist at the same time. It doesn’t interfere with wireless charging, and if you order directly from Catalyst they will give you a 12month manufacturer’s warranty. Buy from $60.

Best Google Pixel case:  Caseology is an award-winning designer for smartphone cases and they are great value in comparison to other brands. Sleek, thin and crash absorbent. Everything you want in a smartphone case for business travelers. Buy from $15.

Compression Socks: These compression socks are woven with copper fibers that work to benefit circulation and limit bacteria growth. They prevent lactic acid production and keep your feet dry. Buy from $19.

Feel-Good purchase: This is no ordinary backpack. Developed by a senior designer at The North Face, it is loaded with high-end features like durable ballistic nylon and tons of organizational pockets. What makes this backpack feel-good is the women who make it — graduates of St. Monica’s Tailoring School in Gulu, Uganda.  These women were captured as children by the warlord Joseph Kony and forced to become child soldiers in his rebel army. When they ultimately came out of captivity, often bearing the children of their captors, more than 2,000 of them were taken in by a Ugandan nun named Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe (CNN Hero, TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”). Recognizing it was too late to give them a full education, Sister Rosemary formed the Tailoring School to train them in practical skills to support themselves and their children. This backpack is part of their legacy. Buy from $109 on Kickstarter.

How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2020

How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2020

Business travel is a known expense and is generally one of the largest controllable expenses for many companies. While airlines are looking to increase their airfares, hotels are consistently merging, and these changes get passed on to the traveler. There are a few ways of controlling these expenses, so you can create balance, accommodate your employee’s requests or preferences, and lessen the impact of these industry changes.

Here are a few ways to reduce your travel spend in 2020:

Align Employee & Employer Interests

Coming up with a rewards-based program to reduce spending is a good way to create value in your travel policy. In essence, this just means incentivizing employees to spend less.

An example of this is creating a budget for various trip styles. Whether travelling for a trade show, meetings, conferences, each trip should have a budget assigned. If the traveller comes in under budget, they will earn points or credit which can be used for upgrades on their next trip.

Re-Evaluate Your Travel Policy

We talked about this in a previous blog, but sitting down and looking at your travel policy will give you a more accurate view of the areas you can improve. Whether it is renegotiating hotel rates, utilizing other technology, etc., knowing your travel policy inside and out can only help.

There should be enough flexibility to allow for some convenience, clarity in booking processes and the spend thresholds.

Encourage Compliance

Take some time to review your company’s 2018 travel spend. Have a look at the areas where travellers are overspending, underspending, or booking outside of policy. If overspending is an issue, why? If employees are booking outside of the policy, why? Answering these questions will allow you to communicate the travel policy clearly with employees and encourage compliance. If this remains an issue, you may want to consider implementing authorization processes.

These ideas, combined with the utilization of technology in simple reporting from travelers will save your company time and money, increase your employee satisfaction and make business travel more sustainable from all perspectives.

It’s not an expense that is likely to go away, but it is one that you can manage through good communication, clear guidelines, and setting realistic budgets.

Promote Public Transit

Encouraging the use of in-destination public transit (over a taxi), not only helps the environment, it reduces expenses. In cities like Amersterdam, visitors can now pre-pay for a digital transit pass before they leave home. When they land, they head to the airport metro station, scan their smartphone, and off they go toward their hotel. Taking initiative before your staff land creates implied convenience, a benefit which can pay for itself as soon as they land.

Some companies are even bonusing their traveling staff for hitting expense targets. For example, a company could buy its staff a transit pass, while encouraging them to stay under $20 (additional local transit) for the rest of their stay. If they hit that reduced target, they receive a $50 bonus. The numbers need to work based on the number of days in destination, but schemes like this tend to generate results.

Good Feelings or Solutions to Problems?

Good Feelings or Solutions to Problems?

As a corporate travel agency, we balance client expectations while leaving extra ‘leg room’ for unique needs, wants, and interests. We recognize that at least initially, our business travel clients come to us with a singular problem – one that requires responsible assistance. Over time, however, we’ve come to recognize that solving these problems at the highest level is not quite good enough and that a client’s problems are often more complex.

They require both a technical solution and an emotional solution, and we need to find the sweet spot between solving travel problems and good-feelings.

When one buys life-insurance they aren’t buying a piece of paper, they are buying peace of mind. When one goes out for dinner they are satiating their hunger, but what they are really buying is convenience, entertainment, and an experience. If you stop to think about it, have you ever made a purchase that wasn’t either a solution to a problem or something that made you feel good? I don’t think you have.

For every one of us at Worldgo, our clients bring travel problems to us. They need to go, to stay, and to do – all within a unique budgetary and accountable framework. It’s here that the most important part of our job occurs. We listen. We then ask What is the ideal solution to this problem?It’s like visualizing the finish line and then committing to work backward from it.

The answer is always the inner space in the Venn Diagram below – that sweet spot between problem-solving, customer service, risk mitigation and needs anticipation.

A recent Inc. article by Ilya Pozin claims that customers are really just buying experiences and that there are 4 pillars to delivering a positive experience.

  1. Focus on the shopping experience, not the buying experience.
  2. Choose quality of service, over speed.
  3. Personalize customer experiences.
  4. Communicate constantly.

Pozin goes on to say that “Delivering a great experience is powerful, and while it’s not always easy to do, it will keep your audience coming back for more“.

Similarly, Hubspot wrote an article that details ‘Service Needs’, and at Worldgo Travel Management, this is where we hang our hat.

  • Empathy – When our customers get in touch with customer service, they want empathy and understanding from the people assisting them.
  • Fairness – From pricing to terms of service to contract length, our customers expect fairness from a company.
  • Transparency – Customers expect transparency when they’re doing business with us. Service outages, pricing changes, and delays, our customers deserve openness from the businesses they give money to.
  • Control – Customers need to be in control of the business interaction from start to finish and beyond, and customer empowerment shouldn’t end with the sale. Where possible, we make it easy for them to change their plans or adjust their terms.
  • Options – Customers need options when they’re getting ready to make a reservation. We offer a variety of options, prices, and terms to provide freedom of choice.
  • Information – Customers need information, from the moment they start interacting, to the days and months after traveling. As a business, we invest in educational, instructional knowledge base content, technology, and regular communication so our customers have the information they need when they need it.
  • Accessibility – Customers need to be able to access our service and support teams. This means providing multiple channels for customer service and support.

Truth be told, our clients aren’t any different than any other business or service provider. They all have problems, and they want an experience that makes them feel good. That’s where the business relationship can flourish.

 

2019 On-Time Airline Performance

2019 On-Time Airline Performance

The Punctuality League has awarded Copa Airlines, the popular Latin American airlines with the highest on-time percentage OTP, marking nearly 90% of its flights arriving at their destination on time. There were no Canadian airlines in the top 20, and only 2 American airlines (Hawaiian and Delta) cracking the list.

What are the criteria?:

To qualify for inclusion in the Punctuality League, the OAG schedules database must have flight status data for at least 80% of all scheduled flights operated by an airline or for an airport.

  • OAG’s definitions of on-time performance (OTP is flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival/departure times.
  • Cancellations are also included.

How is it scored?:

The scoring is based on 58 million flight records using full-year data from Flight Status modules that create a ranking of the best on-time performance (OTP) for the world’s largest airlines and airports.

Why should you care?:

It’s true that the weather has a big hand in airline timeliness, but so does the mechanical health of their fleet, and efficient check-in and loading processes. An airline with a healthy on-time record is often a result of a collection of factors, some luck, but many by design.

Top 20 Rankings:

2019 Ontime Airline performance

You can download the full report here.

 

 

 

Sunrise to Sunset in The City of Saints – 24 Hours in Montreal

There are a lot of reasons to visit Montreal, the City of Saints, also well known as Canada’s Festival City. In recent years, the city has seen a number of startups in the tech industry and a recent report proposes that Montreal will see an economic growth of 3.2 percent in 2017 and 2 percent in 2018. This exciting growth is great for a number of industries, so it’s possible you’ll find yourself there for a meeting or two. If so, make sure to take some time to explore this city! It is one of the most cultural, happening cities in Canada to visit, so make the most of it. We’ve got a few ideas on the best ways to spend an extra 24 hours in Montreal:

Morning:

One of the best things about Montreal is that no matter what time of year you visit, there is always something to do. The city is easily navigated through the wonderful metro system, and if the train doesn’t go there, a bus does. Off the bat, you’ll see that Montreal operates on a different schedule than we do in Vancouver. Things start a little later, so don’t feel bad about sleeping in today. Take your time, and make your way to The Sparrow for a delicious brunch. You’ll love the cozy ambiance of this small restaurant, and its location in the heart of the Plateau.

A photo of the Sparrow in Montreal

Photo Credit: The Sparrow

After filling up at the Sparrow, take some time to explore this neighbourhood. It’s jam-packed with history and funky little shops throughout. If you’re here on a weekend, almost definitely there will be something going on! If you’re looking for ideas, check out MTL Blog, where you can always find upcoming events.  

Afternoon:

Now that you’ve explored the “Plateau” head down to the Old Port or Vieux-Port, where you’ll feel you’ve just stepped into a small town in Europe. This part of Montreal is packed with old-world charm, gorgeous buildings, great restaurants and bars, cobblestone streets and is so quintessentially Montreal. You can’t visit the city and not the Old Port. You’ll find from here you can wander through Old Montreal, and if you’re visiting from Spring to Fall, there are a number of outdoor activities scattered around. If you find yourself there in the winter, few places are more magical than Old Montreal as the sun sets and the glimmering lights come on. Montreal celebrates its winters, so watch for any number of festivals regardless of snow or cold weather!

A photo of Marche Bonsecours

Photo by: Robert Cutts

Pop into the Marche Bonsecours to check out this historic building and boutiques and restaurants. After, duck into any of the pubs or bars and restaurants and join the very happening cinq-à-sept (5pm-to-7pm), crowd.

Evening:

By this time there’s no doubt you’ve fallen in love with this part of Montreal, and you can always return later! But first make your way over to St. Denis Street (or rue St-Denis), where you’ll find Chambre À Part. This rustic-chic gem has warm ambiance as well as delicious dishes that won’t break the bank. Take a walk along St. Denis, taking in the historic buildings, colorful spheres in the trees. Stop off at one of many bars along this street, or make your way to St. Catherine where you will have unlimited options.

A photo of Place des Arts

Photo by: Matias Garabedian

Wander past Place des Arts where any time of the year you will find beautiful displays of art and light, or in the warmer months, fountains you can simply stroll through. The area is often blocked off in the summer months where music festivals and outdoor concerts delight locals and visitors alike.

Wander along St. Catherine’s and grab a pint at one of the lively pubs or bars on Rue Crescent. At Hurley’s Irish Pub you can enjoy live music every night of the week. There are two floors with completely different vibes. Downstairs you’ll find a more Irish pub feel if that’ is what you are looking for!

Late Night:

Lucky for you, Montreal is a city with an exciting nightlife. At any given point of the night, you can make your way to a new place and have a very different experience. With great live music, tasty drinks and great food, not to mention many that stay open until 4 am, there’s no need to rush around when you only have 24 hours in Montreal. Slow down, taste your meals, and take in the culture that is so uniquely Montreal.

 

WestJet for Business Travel

Why chose Westjet for Business Travel?

Since 1996, Westjet has been connecting Canadians to destinations throughout Canada and beyond. It started as a low-cost carrier based in Western Canada, serving only Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.

Today, they serve 45,000 passengers per day, to 100+ destinations in Canada, United States, Europe, Mexico and Central America. They fly in and out of major commercial centres such as London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Phoenix. This growth in destination and scale has created the demand for their comprehensive WestJet for Business Travel program.

WestJet for Business Travel

WestJet’s website states ‘We know business travel can be challenging, so we offer a variety of services and benefits to help your day go as smoothly as possible. Benefits like no overbooking, a rewards program with no blackouts, a convenient schedule and more’.

Worldgo took a deep dive into the nuances of this program and broke down the major benefits for our corporate travel clients.

Instant Savings

When a business enrolls with the WestJet for Business Travel program through a travel management company, like Worldgo <link>, they receive an instant savings of between 3-8%. That’s a significant difference over the course of a year. Queue one happy accountant.

No Overbooking

This one is straightforward. Media has shone a bright light recently on overbooking, featuring dramatic scenes of people being forced out of their scenes. With WestJet for Business Travel, your seat is your seat. Period.

Name Changes

Staff get sick? With WestJet for Business Travel you can change the name of a ticketed traveler without any fuss. Peace of mind.

WestJet Connect

WestJet for Business Travel

Internet access in the sky. WestJet offers business travelers the chance to choose from 3 different Internet options while flying. Convenience.

Fare Options and Scheduling

On a budget? No problem. WestJet is known for their low-rates fare class and convenient scheduling, but it’s their Premium Economy class options that’s ideal for business travel in Canada.

Premium Economy Options (Plus)

WestJet for Business Travel

Need more leg room, or more space for your laptop? With WestJet for Business Travel you can take advantage of low fares with more comfortable seat options. In this age of ‘pay for everything’ flights over 2.5hrs receive lunch-style fare.

Two (2) checked bags (Plus)

Lugging around brochure stands and sales equipment? Take advantage of 2 complimentary checked bags and put a smile on your accountant.

Priority Seating Available Airports (Plus)

Nobody likes lines. Get seated fast and you can get back to work quicker or stretch your legs a little sooner.

No change fees (Plus)

Ever had your New York clients cancel the day before you’re set to arrive, and a staff emergency happen in San Francisco. That can be a costly hit to your business budget. With WestJet for Business Travel in the Premium Economy (Plus) class, you can have peace of mind that and flexibility up to 2hrs before your flight takes off. There are some minor terms, but all are very reasonable.

WestJet dollars

If you spend $6000/year with WestJet for Business Travel you are rewarded with Gold Status. Gold Status earns 5% back in WestJet dollars, gets 10 airport lounge passes, and perks like 2 free checked bags, priority screening, and advance seat selection.

Partner Lounges

WestJet for Business Travel

Partner Lounges give travelers a chance to unwind comfortably before their next flight. Lounges are available in cities like Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, and London to name a few.

Although their humble roots began as low-cost carrier flying used planes into modest destinations, their vision has remained anything but. WestJet has grown into a brand that is now synonymous with customer service and ‘staff ownership’. They have earned the trust of Canadian business travel, and have evolved to meet the demands of Canadian business travelers.

Contact Worldgo today and let’s chat about how we can include WestJet for Business Travel in your corporate goals.

Duty of Care and its Impact on Employers

Duty of Care – Yesterday

In 1928, Ms. May Donaghue of Glasgow, Scotland drank what has become known in Western Law as ‘The snail in the bottle case’ and more succinctly it set the legal precedent for Duty of Care. The case states that Ms. Donaghue was given a bottle of ginger beer from a friend, and proceeded to consume the contents only to discover it contained the remains of a decomposed snail. The bottle was tinted dark, and she didn’t notice the foreign object until substantially through the bottle. She later fell ill and contracted gastroenteritis. Ms. Donaghue lodged a writ in the Scotland’s highest courts seeking £500 in damages against Mr. David Stevenson, the producer of the ginger beer.

Because she had not purchased the bottle herself, there was no breach of contract. However, her lawyers claimed Stevenson to be negligent of breaching a duty of care, an area largely untested in Western Law. In 1932, after a lengthy court battle, it was established that Mr. Stevenson to be responsible for the well-being of individuals who consume his products, given that they could not be inspected.

The outcomes of this precedent setting case were three-part.

Negligence 

A plaintiff can take civil action against a respondent if the respondent’s negligence causes the plaintiff injury or loss of property.

Duty of care 

Secondly, the case established that manufacturers have a duty of care to the end consumers or users of their products. According to Lord Atkin’s ratio decendi, “a manufacturer of products, which he sells… to reach the ultimate consumer in the form in which they left him… owes a duty to the consumer to take reasonable care”. This precedent has evolved and now forms the basis of laws that protect consumers from contaminated or faulty goods.

Neighbour principle

In Donoghue’s case she had not purchased the ginger beer but had received it as a gift; she was a ‘neighbour’ rather than a party to the contract. Atkin stated: “You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour.

Duty of Care – Today

We’ve come along way since 1932, and the Duty of Care principle has evolved from ‘goods’ to ‘goods and services which could reasonably be foreseen to cause people harm’. It extends to all of us that provides an exchange of goods and services and extends not just to clients, but to employees. This means that under Canada’s Criminal Code employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers, whether they are in Canada or working abroad.

Across the pond a recent Galaxy Research survey in Australia had startling findings, including that:

• 93% of business leaders are comfortable they can properly manage their own company’s liabilities

• Only 30% of businesses actually had a plan of action directly addressing traveling employees

• Only 50% actively assess and manage employee risk on a regular basis

• 54% of employees said their employer does not provide information and communication specific to unexpected eventualities whilst traveling for business

A few steps can make all the difference to your Duty of Care

1. Ensure your organization has both the understanding and current technology to know the location of your employees while they are traveling on your behalf

2. Plan for an incident by developing a corporate policy on travel and a response plan in the event of an incident that includes a family support plan

3. Educate your employees about potential risks and challenges to personal safety and security before they leave

4. Be able to communicate with your employees at all times, and provide assistance during an emergency

The costs associated with meeting the duty of care principle include working with credible corporate travel service providers in developing a risk management plan, training your employees and providing necessary insurance.

The costs of not meeting the duty of care principle far outweigh today’s gamble, especially for a small to a mid-sized company where the impacts are far more profound.

If you are concerned about your Duty of Care as it relates to employee travel, please contact us today.