Toronto, ON—Egencia®, the business travel brand of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), today reported on the company's success in Canada during the first three quarters of 2013 as well as highlighted new clients and its innovative technology and service offerings for Canadian corporations and business travellers.
Egencia reported an increase of 174 per cent in contracts signed in Canada from Q1-Q3 2013 compared to Q1-Q3 2012. A wide-range of Canadian businesses including the likes of Aritzia, HootSuite, Exp Global, Newell Rubbermaid, Sears and Volvo turned to Egencia in 2013 to manage their corporate travel needs.
"It's been a great year in Canada," says Dirk Baerts, managing director of Egencia Canada. "Business travel across our client base has remained strong; we retained clients and signed new ones – all of which is a testament to our people, robust content, and Egencia's technology and service innovation."
Personalized Customer Service for Business Travellers
Egencia announced at the GBTA 2013 Convention it is utilizing contextual interactive voice response (IVR) to match a caller's phone number and ID with what is in the traveller's Egencia profile to expedite service. This enhanced service offering has been rolled out in the U.S. and is being rolled out to Egencia clients in Canada during the first half of 2014.
With Enhanced IVR technology, Egencia Travel Consultants automatically know who they are speaking to and have immediate desktop access to the trip itinerary that the traveller wants to discuss. During heavy call periods, the traveller may also request a "Callback" versus waiting on hold.
Smarter Service with a Tap of the App, Egencia® TripNavigator
Egencia® AssistMe is accessible within Egencia's iPhone app Egencia® TripNavigator, which launched globally on Nov. 5, 2013, to give Canadian business travellers' access to agent-assistance how they want it, and when they need it via their mobile phone.
Egencia TripNavigator offers a standard 'click to call' functionality that is available to travellers worldwide. For select travellers in the U.S., the app offers a "Callback" option under Egencia AssistMe that gives Egencia Travel Consultants additional information about mobile callers ahead of the call, including: name, company, role, and the traveller's specific itinerary. Travellers are personally greeted for immediate engagement. Egencia AssistMe with "Callback" will be made available in Canada in 2014.
Egencia TripNavigator is initially available to Egencia clients on the iOS platform, followed by a native app for Android phones in early 2014. Any user, including non-Egencia clients, can download the app and take it for a test drive via the "Explore" option available on the "Sign In" screen.
Millennials: More Business Trips, Mobile Matters and "Me" Time
A recent Future of Travel survey from Egencia and Expedia® found that millennials (those aged 18-30) in North America are taking more business trips each year compared to their older peers. Millennials take approximately six business trips, compared to three for those aged 31-45 and fewer than four for those aged 46-65.
The study also found that 18-30 year-olds are far likelier than their peers aged 46-65 to consider mobile devices central to their travel experience. Additionally, 54 per cent of those aged 18-34 surveyed in Canada say they have extended a business trip into a vacation, but traveled alone for the business part and/or had a family member or friend join them.
"We are committed to improving the business travel experience for all generations including those millennials in the workforce or those just entering it," says Mark Hollyhead, Egencia's senior vice president, Americas. "We have and will continue to smartly engage travellers with personalized, mobile offerings to meet their expectations as the lines blur between business and leisure travel."
The Future of Travel study was conducted online between Aug. 20-Sept. 12, 2013 by Harris Interactive across five continents, asking 8,535 employed adults in 24 countries about how they conduct business and leisure travel – their likes, dislikes, preferences and pet peeves. Full details on the Future of Travel Study are available on the Expedia® Viewfinder Blog here: http://viewfinder.expedia.com/.
About Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. brand
Egencia is a leading full-service travel management company delivering innovative corporate travel solutions and expert local service to more than 10,000 clients in more than 60 countries around the world. As part of Expedia, Inc., the world's largest travel company, Egencia provides forward-looking companies with the ability to drive compliance and cost savings in their travel programs, while meeting the needs and requirements of the modern business traveller. For more information, please visit www.egencia.ca or follow us on Twitter@Egencia.