According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
With most employees considering business travel a perk, small and medium enterprises must find ways to offer business travel benefits without increasing company costs. IHG Business Edge, a free-to-use corporate travel solution, helps by enabling travel managers to give attractive benefits to employees to increase in-policy bookings, drive savings for the company and simplify travel management. The IHG Business Edge portal, which provides visibility into spend for travel managers, premium content, volume-based discounts and many other benefits, also works with employees’ IHG® Rewards Club accounts, upgrading them to Gold Elite status after their first stay and allowing them to use their corporate ID for discounted personal travel as well.
Another way IHG Business Edge looks to the future is through partnerships with other travel providers, including American Airlines. One of the first steps in this pairing is to offer bonus rewards to small businesses that become members of both American Airlines Business Extra and IHG Business Edge. By partnering, the two programs expand networking opportunities for members and can pool research and insights to create improved offerings.
For small- and medium-sized businesses, market uncertainty can prove a challenge, and oftentimes, face-to-face meetings are the among the first cuts; however, if an SME can find the right travel partner, business travel doesn’t have to go by the wayside, and, when revenues return, smaller companies are still top of mind.
IHG Business Edge recognizes and responds to industry challenges. SMEs that don’t generate billions of dollars can face difficulty when negotiating for best rates. “We recognized this, which is why IHG Business Edge provides a global discount without the need for lengthy negotiations,” said Jonathan Kaplan, vice president of global sales strategy, IHG. And that’s just one of the ways IHG Business Edge is an answer to many SMEs’ dilemmas.
IHG Business Edge is, after all, “designed for SMEs, by SMEs,” according to Kaplan. Benefits, loyalty upgrades, flexible booking, guaranteed access and more are a direct result of IHG speaking to more than 2,000 people at small- and medium-sized businesses about supporting travel policies and processes while developing the program. IHG Business Edge had nearly 17,000 corporate accounts in its first 1.5 years in existence.
Research proves a strong correlation between employee satisfaction with benefits and overall job satisfaction. Adopting a platform like IHG Business Edge is just the digital transformation a small- to medium-sized enterprise needs to make business faster, smarter and more nimble.
Learn more at businessedge.ihg.com.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
The Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization, recently released a statement from GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang regarding the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. travel ban will be relaxed in November for vaccinated travelers from 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.