Room 101: What drives you crazy about the business travel industry?

Buying Business Travel quizzed some of the Business Travel Show speakers ahead of the event about what they would put in an industry ‘Room 101’

“Protectionism and sticking to an outdated business model.”  Ad Imhof, owner, AWise. (Moderator: ‘Predictive analytics – What does it mean, and can it improve your travel programme?’ 20 February, 1130-1230)

“There are too many dark rooms with a lack of mirrors and not enough plug sockets in hotel rooms!” Barbara Kolosinska, director, C&M Travel Recruitment. (Panellist: ‘What are the new skills I need to win as a travel manager?’ 20 February, 1600)

“A big loudspeaker.” Helder Mendes, travel supplier relations supervisor, NetJets Europe. (Panellist: ‘NDC – Will travel buyers win or lose?’ 20 February, 1430-1530)

“The lack of emphasis on traveller wellness. The link from wellbeing to business outcomes is well established; research shows travellers are at a higher risk than non-travelling colleagues and travellers are often undertaking important roles when travelling, creating a potent mix. It should, therefore, be a top three priority for organisations and TMCs with a dedicated budget allocation to have policies incorporating wellbeing, the right wellbeing support and wellbeing strategies – brainstorming and road-mapping that goes into Room 101.” Dr Lucy Rattrie, chartered psychologist and lecturer/researcher, Creating Sona and University of Stirling. (Panellist: ‘How to improve traveller wellbeing without harming your travel budget’, 21 February, 1000-1100)

“That is very easy… it’s the changes that suppliers want to make, sometimes for the right reasons but without understanding the ramifications across the eco system. Instead of applying a ‘this is our solution to our requirement mentality’ why not – in collaborative style – ask those best placed: “How do you think we could solve this issue we have?” Mick Gibbs, chairman and CEO, Norad Travel Group. (Panellist: ‘Get ready for One Order to transform business travel’, 21 February, 1300-1400)

“Acronyms! Hate them. Never seen an industry with so many, even in the names of the businesses within it. They make the explanation of things more difficult and less accessible and brands become bland and non-descript.” Pat McDonagh, CEO, Clarity. (Panellist: ‘Stars of the East – getting to grips with managing travel in China and India’. 20 February, 1300-1400)

“The incessant commoditisation of an essential service. Customer C-suite apathy to how travel is managed, especially since it impacts valuable human resources in risk and productivity terms. Travel programmes need urgent attention from key decision makers as they are strategically relevant to the ecosystem.” Rakshit Desai, managing director, India, Flight Centre Travel Group. (Panellist: ‘Stars of the East – getting to grips with managing travel in China and India’. 20 February, 1300-1400)

“What frustrates me most is the legacy technology stack that the industry has been operating on for the last few years. When questioned I have been told this is just how it is. That has never made any sense to me. Which is why we are bent on challenging the way things are being done.” Sarosh Waghmar, founder and CEO, WTMC. (Panellist: ‘NDC – Will travel buyers win or lose?’ 20 February, 1430-1530)

The Business Travel Show runs 20-21 February at Olympia London. Register for a free visitor pass at

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