“Increase Stakeholder Support to Drive Travel Programme Success.” This was a key focus of the African Business Travel Association (ABTA) Event held at the Renaissance Lagos Ikeja Hotel in Nigeria on 8 September 2017.
Corporate Travellers, Travel Agents and Suppliers who attended the event were given key pointers and techniques to help them increase stakeholder support and drive travel programme success, thereby elevating their travel management and protocol roles.
“Travel Managers and Protocol departments can raise the profile of Travel within their organisations and increase the level of support given to this category, thereby increasing programme efficiency, buy-in and overall compliance,” said ABTA founder Monique Swart in her opening address.
This was followed by a word from suppliers Marriott International and South African Airways. “Customer safety is our main priority when transporting the approximately 4,2 million Nigerians travelling in and out of the country,” said Ohis Ehimiaghe, Regional Manager of South African Airways.
Ewos Iroro, Editor of Travel Business News, conducted the panel discussion around ‘Women in Corporate Travel’. During this panel discussion, Network Travels’ Jeanette Moloto and Margaret Ekerete shared their insights on the role of women in Africa’s challenging but exciting corporate travel industry. Both Margaret and Jeanette explained that they feel the travel industry is a fulfilling industry because they can be of service to others.
Following the panel discussion, Prisca Omenai, Client Account Manager HRG Nigeria, discussed the Aviation trends and challenges in Nigeria and how travel industry players can manage them.
Delegates were introduced to the Association of certified Protocol Practitioners in Nigeria (ACPPN) by Nnenna Chikezie, Head: Travel- UBA Plc. She explained that Travel Protocol was crucial for companies and stressed the importance of regulate and professionalising the sector.
PassageGold Travels’ George Anyanwu of gave delegates an overview of the advantages of the ACTE Business & Conference Hotels Accreditation (BCHA). George explained how BCHA gives international corporate travel buyers and travellers confidence when selecting the best properties for their business needs in Nigeria as well as in other countries.
In the interactive session ‘Stakeholder engagement and elevation’ delegates discussed how to engage with their stakeholders to secure their support and their roles in the travel industry. Key challenges faced by Travel Managers and Protocol departments were identified as well as the primary objectives of stakeholders including Travellers, Department Heads, Management and Board members.
Delegates discussed how to create engagement strategies to build the support of each stakeholder group, and how to elevate the profile of the Travel department and its value within their organisation. TMC and Supplier tools for building Customer Relationship Management across all stakeholder groups were also identified.