Association Of Swiss Travel Management

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  • 22 Jun 2021 15:05 | Anonymous

    Seit über einem Jahr nun beschäftigt uns die Pandemie und ein Ende ist nach wie vor schwer abzusehen. Was wird sich ändern?

    Die letzten Monate waren fordernd und haben einmal mehr gezeigt, dass ein agiles Denken und Handeln von zentraler Bedeutung für die Bewältigung solcher komplexen Situationen ist. Dies betrifft nicht nur die Suche und die Umstellung nach neuen Zusammenarbeitsformen – Stichwort "Digitalisierung und Home-office" - sondern auch das Führen der Krisenlage – im globalen Kontext! In Beiden Bereichen durften wir über das vergangene Jahr diverse Kunden zielgerichtet, effizient und erfolgreich unterstützen.

    Die (Geschäfts-) Reiseindustrie war sicherlich eine der am härtesten betroffene Zweige überhaupt. Wir haben in dieser Zeit unsere Mobility Risk Plattform X-Assist  rasch mit neuen Features im Kontext mit COVID-19 ausgestattet, um unseren Kunden einen umfassenden und zentralen Überblick über die Pandemielage zu verschaffen. 

    Eine Rückkehr zu einer gewissen Normalität ist zwar nach heutigem Kenntnisstand in der zweiten Jahreshälfte 2021 absehbar, jedoch bleibt die Lage noch länger unberechenbarn. Dabei ist zu erwarten, dass insbesondere der Geschäftsreisebereich nicht mehr das Volumen des «Vorpandemiestandes» erreichen wird. Unabhängig davon, werden die Anforderungen an die Vorsorge-massnahmen für Geschäftsreisende bestehen bleiben, wenn nicht sogar noch steigen – Stichwort «Impfprävention». Auch die Einreisebestimmungen einzelner Länder werden sich wetierhin sehr rasch ändern können, was eine entsprechende Planung und Übersicht voraussetzt.

    Um Ihnen einen Überblick über die Lage zu verschaffen, bestellen Sie heute noch die X-ASSIST Risk Map 2021, welche sich gut einem Mitarbeiterfrequentierten aufhängen lässt.

  • 22 Jun 2021 11:13 | Anonymous

    Optimism is growing for a return to business travel.

    79% of Travel Managers and GBTA members say they would be “very comfortable” or “comfortable” traveling after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 55% of Travel Managers say business travelers are “willing” or “very willing” to travel for business, up from 49% at the start of 2021[1].

    To help you lead the restart of business travel for your organization, here are 7 key steps to consider.

    1. Defining Permissible Travel

    Some organizations have advised travelers that only “essential” travel can take place at this time. But what is essential travel? There isn’t a consistent answer, and that drives confusion.

    Smart organizations have implemented a clearer definition of acceptable business travel. One way of doing this is to use Permissible Travel as defined by the experts at FESTIVE ROAD. Their Permissible Travel Framework has been used (and contributed to) by hundreds of Travel Managers and suggests that pandemic-era travel is:

    Company Confidence x Traveler Confidence x Government Permission = Permissible Travel

    Next Step: The first critical step in the restart of travel is to work with your colleagues and stakeholders (such as Legal, HR, IT, Risk, Security, Procurement, C-suite) to define what Permissible Travel looks like for your organization. Key questions to help with this are included in the free-to-access Permissible Travel Framework. Company Confidence is what travel is company permissible. This covers what type of travel is allowed, where to and how this is done to mitigate business risk. Traveler Confidence is what is the employee willing to do. Government Permission is what travel is allowed by the governments, including consideration of destinations through which any trip takes place.

    2. Clarifying the Value of Business Travel

    Has your company travel budget been slashed? Will “virtual-first” be the default for meetings in the foreseeable future? If this is you, what if you could highlight the value every dollar spent on travel creates in terms of business outcomes?

    A study by Harvard Business Review[2] may help. 81% of surveyed business leaders said that business travel generates “greater empathy toward customers and coworkers”. This drives intangible benefits such as increased collaboration, stronger innovation and better customer relationships. The HBR study also found striking measurable benefits, where organizations that manage travel as a strategic enabler (versus a cost to be minimized) see:

    • 2.4x stronger customer loyalty
    • 2.2x better speed to market
    • 2.0x higher market share
    • 1.6x better profitability and new product/service introduction capabilities

    Next Step: As you engage with your colleagues and travelers, ask what business outcomes different types of travel create for your organization. Try to define what types of travel need to be retained versus what can go “virtual-first”.

    3. Travel Policy Update

    It’s time to update the travel policy and make sure it clarifies:

    • What types are travel are allowed, when, where and by who?
    • Have travel approval and booking processes been implemented (or changed), if so, how?
    • What resources are provided to help both travelers and approvers determine if a trip can proceed, for example using Egencia® Travel Advisor to check origin/destination specific travel restrictions?
    • Are there company procedures to follow pre/on/post trip, for example, pre-trip negative PCR tests or mandatory self-quarantine upon return?

    Next Step: Review and implement your travel policy updates with your Egencia account manager. We will help you to ensure your travelers are informed about your policy, whether they book online, offline or via mobile, with Egencia. Bear in mind that due to the dynamic nature of the pandemic, (for example, rapidly changing government permissions) it's important to consider your travel policy a living document and keep it regularly updated.

    4. Travel Approval

    Pre-trip approval is becoming the norm in pandemic-era travel with 55% of companies launching approval processes[3]. This allows the traveler and approver to make trip-specific risk/benefit assessments before anything is booked.

    The approval process should mirror your travel policy and organization’s permissible travel framework.

    Next Step: Work out the key criteria to be used within your approval process, for example origin/destination information, reason for travel, cost, business benefit of the trip, etc. Apply Egencia setting options to configure unique policies to meet the needs of your traveler groups or cost centers. This type of flexibility helps you ensure the right policy applies to the right traveler for each trip.

    5. Traveler Communications

    Even experienced “road-warriors” may be unsure how to travel in the pandemic-era. Do they need a pre-trip COVID test? What social distancing measures are in place along their journey? How has the airport and flight experience changed?

    Travelers have a multitude of new questions about travel. The more information and support you can provide; the more willing travelers will be to get moving again.

    Next Step: If you haven’t already carried out a traveler listening exercise, now is the time. Survey or interview a group of travelers to learn about their questions with travel in the context of your travel program. Example questions are below, and more are available in the Permissible Travel Framework.

    • Would you be comfortable to travel again?
    • What, if anything, would prevent you from traveling?
    • Do you believe that travel is critical to your job? If so how?
    • How has not being able to travel affected your work?
    • Do you anticipate any additional needs or support required pre/on/post trip?
    • If you have travelled since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, did you feel safe during your trip?
    • How can the organization best communicate with you regarding travel?

    Once you’ve identified “what” you need to communicate, think through “how” and “when”. For example, push notifications may be needed with dynamic information (such as last-minute flight schedule changes), or to manage emergency situations. It’s helpful to consider ways you can streamline communications when you and your travelers need them most. The company intranet can house guidance documents and checklists. You can use Egencia Traveler Tracker to send emails or emergency push notifications directly to travelers whose trips may be impacted by an unexpected event.

    6. New Standards > New Suppliers?

    Travel suppliers are adopting new standards in order to maintain support. Two key themes are developing:

    • New health and hygiene protocols, for example, the need to wear face masks on-trip
    • More flexible commercial polices, to handle booking changes, credits and refunds

    Some of these standards may be government controlled, but most vary by supplier. Travel Managers are typically looking to focus their support to suppliers with stringent hygiene protocols and flexible commercial policies.

    Next Step: Certain hygiene and commercial policy components can be filtered within the more progressive travel booking tools. For example, allowing booking only where the ticket can be changed or refunded. Egencia will support you to focus the choice of suppliers to those that make most sense for your organization.

    7. Coming soon: Testing and Vaccine Data

    Requirements for trip related COVID tests or vaccinations are changing rapidly.

    It's important to chat with HR, IT and legal teams about the potential need to capture testing and vaccine data. Does the company support this? How will this data be stored and secured? Will the company require its travelers to have had a COVID-19 test or vaccine?

    Technology is emerging to enable travelers to store test and vaccine information on their mobile device. Examples are IATA Travel Pass and CommonPass, both are already in trial with various airlines.

    Next Step: Stay up-to-date on this topic. Testing and vaccines look to be the most likely catalyst to a return to travel at scale, but will vary by market and supplier. Use Egencia Travel Advisor for on-demand access to current information about COVID testing and other requirements for your travelers’ destinations. And, here’s our Q&A with the medical director of International SOS and founder of World Aware as we discussed how vaccines will play out for business travel management.

    You can download the full whitepaper from Egencia's website. Click here.

  • 29 Apr 2021 14:57 | Anonymous

    Webinar: Tuesday 18 May, 1600 CET


    Association of Swiss Travel Management/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply jointly present:


    5 Ways Covid-19 Has Transformed Travel Management – And What It Means For Your Job


    Interaction management, mobility compliance, sustainability, duty of care, supply chain resilience … The way companies engage with travel suppliers and handle employee trips is going to look very different as corporate travel resumes post-pandemic. This webinar walks you through the policy, process, technology and communication changes you need to make. 


    Learn too how those who manage travel can evolve and extend their roles in the new environment, and how procurement chiefs can make use of those skills.



    Nathalie Ansermoz, Indirect Procurement Country Manager/EMEA Travel Manager, Parker Hannifin

    Scott Gillespie, Managing Director, tClara

    Karen Hutchings, Travel Services, Meetings & Events  and Brand Marketing Communication Leader, EY

    Rosaria Torriani, Talent and Organization EMEA Manager, Parker Hannifin



    Amon Cohen, Speciailst Business Travel Writer


    Book your FREE place for this reservation now!

  • 22 Apr 2021 14:53 | Anonymous

    Prepare to re-open quickly for business travel


    Business trips domestically, across Europe and globally, as well as trade fairs and congresses are foundations for current and future wealth creation. Our member companies send their engineers out into the world to build plants, commission sales staff to complete new orders globally, and send scientists to institutes and to conferences to facilitate scientific exchange, just to mention a few examples.


    In order to make sustainable, domestic and international business trips possible again during and after the corona pandemic we demand:


    1. Implementation of Digital Sanitary Certificate 

    With EU Digital Green Certificate as a standard, domestic health certificates in many European countries, CommonPass and/or IATA TravelPass, there are plenty initiatives for a digital sanitary certificate. Interoperability between various digital health certificates in Europe and globally is essential. We call for the introduction for such digital certificates as soon as possible, to allow business travelers to move again without restrictions in Europe, and possibly even globally. 


    2. No quarantine for healthy travelers when crossing borders

    Business travelers should be allowed to cross borders free of quarantine, if they have either recovered from Covid-19, are vaccinated or can present an up-to-date negative PCR test. 


    3. Re-open Europe coherently

    Restarting business travel in Europe is not only a matter of the European Union or EFTA. All European countries, of course including Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, should act aligned to open their borders for much needed business travel.



    Please contact us to learn more how we support the restart of business travel across Europe:


    ABTA Austria,                                     DBTA Denmark,

    aegve Spain,                                  FBTA Finland,

    AFTM France,                                    NATM Netherlands,

    AITMM Italy,                                   NBTA Norway,

    ASTM Switzerland,                     SBTA Sweden,

    BATM Belgium,                                VDR Germany,

    CORTAS Netherlands,



  • 10 Feb 2021 16:01 | Anonymous

    The ASTM and the German VDR join forces in Business Travel Education.

    ASTM Members can profit from reduced fees when booking a seminar at the VDR-Academy. 

    The ASTM is delighted to offer our German speaking members this excellent educational content. The VDR-Academy combines many years of expertise with a wide range of high quality seminars. This is a fantastic foundation for a cooperation that will be for the benefit of both partners. 

    The VDR and the ASTM have carefully selected courses that are relevent for the Swiss audience. You can find the selection here

    For more details you can contact the ASTM as follows:

    +4144 461 0895

    For the full press release by the VDR please visit this link:

  • 10 Feb 2021 16:01 | Anonymous

    The current COVID-19 crisis can provide a window of opportunity for promoting sustainability transitions across the globe, but these goals can only be achieved with deliberate planning and carefully designed strategies in production, services and communication within our industry. 

    The session highlights the post-covid 19 learnings and findings as well as thought to concretely reduce CO2 emission in a short time. Our moderator for this session is industry veteran Willy Schnyder.

    He will be supported by a strong keynote to set the stage. Feedback will come from the panel that will be equipped with thought leaders from the airline industry, from one of Europe's leading train networks and from corporate buyers. 

    The focus lies on midterm milestones and which transformations are needed to achieve the targets and to avoid a climate collaps for the next generation. 

    More soon under 

  • 6 Dec 2020 20:07 | Anonymous

    Q & A with Urban Lederer, CEO of Lexxton, our brand-new partner

    Urban, thanks for finding a few minutes for the ASTM.  For our members who have not yet heard of Lexxton could you please give us a quick company introduction?

    Lexxton is a Swiss based and managed company, founded in 2011, providing its services to global corporations, governmental institutions and international organizations. 

    • Our 3 main business streams are the following:

      - Integrated security concepts

      - Travel & Mobility Risk

      Crisis Management

      Lexxton is the security partner for the strategic and also the tactical level. Our global network enables us to provide custom-made best practice services - any time – anywhere. We describe ourselves as a solution provider, problem solver and business enabler.

      Thank you for this initial overview. To give this another perspective: what would your customers say about you if we were to ask them?

    • I am very happy that I can share some customer statements with you.

      “The Lexxton team supported us efficiently and highly competently in the development of the new travel policy and the integration of the AI based travel risk platform X-Assist.” 

      Jolanda Walker, Head Emergency and Crisis Management Swisscom

      “IWC has worked with Lexxton for several years. Among other things, the team has extensive knowledge and tools in the area of travel security. Especially during the COVID phase we are always kept up to date.”

      Michael Schneider, Associate Director IT & Security, IWC Schaffhausen

      Have you introduced any new products or services recently that our members could be interested in?

      We support global corporations to fulfill their duty of care by implementing processes (travel risk policies) and provide the most advanced mobility risk platform "X-ASSIST" to protect their employees and travellers / expatriates by using AI and automated communication channels. How is "X-ASSIST" working:

       It integrates travel data and maps the location of mobile assets

      -  It finds relevant security incidents rapidly with the help of artificial      intelligence

      -  Immediately it matches the location of mobile assets with ongoing security incidents. This takes just a few seconds

      -  The platform then asks proactively for the status of alerted travellers and feeds the status back to management in less than 1 minute

      Most centrally it communicates in the language your employees feel comfortable with including English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese etc.

      -  It then alarms the responsible management if support is needed and automatically triggers emergency support measures

      -  Finally the system allows our Operation Centre to take over crisis response 24/7 and worldwide.

    Thank you very much for the overview and welcome to the ASTM!

  • 6 Dec 2020 20:05 | Anonymous

    Interview with Carole Vuillerme, Sales Manager – Lake Geneva Area

    Good afternoon Carole, thanks for finding time for the ASTM. As a fairly new player in the Swiss market can you summarize for our readers the concept of Appart’City and help us understand “who you are”.  

    But of course, it is my pleasure to do so. With more than 100 apart-hotels representing 13,000 apartments, Appart'City is in the heart of the large urban areas and cities of France, Belgium and Switzerland. Our offer ranges from 2 to 4-star properties. We are set up for both business and leisure stays. The concept of Appart'City is very simple: we offer our guests the comfort of an apartment with the choice of hotel services, for one night, a week or more.

    How have you been dealing with this very difficult health crisis at Appart’City? 

    Like many companies in the hotel and tourism sector, our apart-hotels in Switzerland, France and Belgium had to close their doors for several weeks in spring. Since June, we have gradually reopened a large part of our apart-hotels and our teams welcome their guests with all the necessary health precautions and in strict compliance with the health protocol planned by Appart’City. This of course is strictly following the recommendations of the official authorities. For a peaceful stay, specific welcome measures have been put in place throughout the customer experience. Many hotel services have been redesigned, with even more flexibility given to our guests. You can see the welcome measures in our apart-hotels currently open, for a peaceful stay: WATCH THE VIDEO

    Do you have any other product updates that might be of interest to our members? 

    Generally we see that people need space and the freedom to move around. The impact of the health crisis has turned everyday life upside down and we see that a number of new behaviors are emerging: reinforced telecommuting, "homemade" cooking, small committee meetings, etc. At Appart'City we are giving a lot of attention to these changes in order to best meet the needs of our guests.

    Our apartments are on average 27 sqm, compared to 15 sqm for a classic hotel room. They offer an office space, with very high speed Wi-Fi.  Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, to which our guests can add a choice of typical hotel services. Our products are particularly adapted to the situation since they allow, thanks to the kitchen in particular, professional trips in complete safety, by offering an alternative which facilitates the respect of social distancing. In addition, we offer very flexible cancellation conditions.

    Thanks for this update, Carole!

  • 6 Dec 2020 20:04 | Anonymous

    Interview with Roxanne George, Country Director FCM Switzerland

    How does it feel to be a Travel management Company in 2020?

    Against all expectations, things are going pretty well! We are lucky to be able rely on our parent company Flight Center Travel Group (FCTG), which brought together 900 million dollars (AUD) of capital injection. We have also implemented specific measures in our Geneva branch so that the resumption of activity takes place in the best possible conditions. There have been a lot of redundancy plans or closures with our competitors, but we managed to retain all of our employees and extend remote office work.

    While FCM Switzerland did not close and business trips have been very limited, how did you keep busy?

    Even with a greatly reduced travel activity, our teams are still active. If the trips are still rare, there is nevertheless a willingness of companies to prepare for post COVID, and recent vaccine announcements have encouraged further reservations. But it's also a great time to question yourself. We were able to focus on our long-term strategy and took the opportunity to do an internal audit of our invoicing procedures, in order to improve ourselves and train our employees to use new and more efficient practices, following feedback from our customers. Beyond that, our commercial activity in Switzerland is still growing and the projects of our customers' implementation is still ongoing. We have concentrated our efforts on maintaining our quality of service so that our customers are the not impacted

    How long have you been on the Swiss market ?

    Our adventure in the Swiss market began in 2010 with the opening of our agency in Geneva by a team of 5 people. Today we are a team of 25 business travel experts based in our Carouge office. Since the beginning, we have grown at least 30% per year thanks to our growing portfolio of clients: companies and organizations in all sectors combined, including BCP (private bank), Quotient (pharmaceutical sector), Cimpress (e-commerce / printing) or Find (NGO). Our presence in Switzerland was also marked by our partnership with the STM, the launch of which we supported in 2015, and we continue on the same path with ASTM today. The Swiss business travel market is particularly demanding on the quality of service. We have been able to develop in this market thanks to our unique model.

    Please share more about your service model?

    Among the major global TMCs, FCM is different because we rely on a international network (97 countries in the world), but remain a very human agency, accessible and local, which allows us to deliver a high-quality service with a strong relational dimension. Our model is very different from that of a call center: our agents are united within teams dedicated to a reduced number of clients, and are based only in our offices in Geneva. Moreover, we are reaping the fruits of our management model, our travel agents are rewarded based on their performance and customer satisfaction. As a result, our teams are enthusiastic and very involved for the benefit of our clients.

    Thanks for this insightful update, Roxanne!

  • 6 Dec 2020 20:02 | Anonymous

    Interview with Andreas Stöckli, GM Hotel Schweizerhof, Zurich

    Let us start with an essential question - What got you to here?

    Wow, this is quite a question. I started off as a cook with an apprenticeship when I was 15 years old. I ended up travelling the world and cooking in far away places such as the Bahamas or South Africa. I even managed a Camping site in the most beautiful Sardinia. I am happy to say that I cooked for billionairs and also for homeless people. I met everybody with the same respect and cooked for them as if I was cooking for a friend. When I as 27 I went back to school and started to study hotel management in Lucerne. My teacher for political economy said that who has not made it at 30 will never make it. This was my wake up call. I went on to work for Radisson first at the Radisson Blu Basel then as GM Park Hotel Zurich Airport,then at the Radisson Blu Frankfurt and finally in St. Gallen. While my family stayed in Germany and I worked in St. Gall I was determined to find a new home for all of us and I sent a letter to the Schweizerhof asking them if they could see me as their new GM. I knew that their current GM was heading for retirement soon. I had seen what global hotel chains can offer. I wanted something better than that. Luckily they wanted to meet me and I started here in 2014 as GM. The rest, as they say, is history…

    So please tell me why this place is Paradise.

    This hotel is a brand new hotel with a nearly 150 year history. Did I say location? There is no property more centrally located in Zurich than the Schweizerhof. You walk out oft he main station and here you are. You know this house is larger than all of us. This house will be here when we are gone as it was here before we were here. In life you get to a point where you have seen every discotheque. They all look the same and play loud music. This place however is top notch. It is brand new every day and has been for nearly 150 years.  With the revenue generated through the hotel we have been able to reinvest about 2 milllion  swiss francs into the hotel every year . Imagine this at «Bahnhofstrsse» the Champs Elysées of Zurich. We now have 98 rooms of which 11 are suites and we employ 100 staff to keep this house a place to be. We can be home to business travellers and to pleople who want to discover Zurich at the same time. Our focus is to be 70% stability and 30% innovation. A good mix  even in a comlipcated year like 2020.

    Good point. How is 2020 affecting you ?

    What can I say. We spent a lot of time and money on further developing our house to be as I said before top notch every day. We took the crisis as an ivitation to transform our house to be up with the best in Zurich. We are number two on tripadvisor. Have been for months and want to stay there. If you dont move you get blown away. Faster than you can think.  My team is fantastic. They understand why we need to do what we need to do. We are operating with a clear mind and and open heart. Now and forever. Underpromising and over delivering. Step by step we create the next 150 years. 

    Thank you very much for this update!


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