ATPI’s ITV win in the UK highlights how TMCs can play an important role supporting sustainability drives within corporate travel programmes

28 May, 2021

UK broadcaster ITV announced this past week that it has appointed ATPI as its sole travel management company (TMC) in the UK. The multi-year contract sees ATPI take responsibility for travel logistics, with a keen eye on supporting the organisation reach its sustainability targets and highlights how TMCs will increasingly provide a vital role supporting the environmental drives that will support industry recovery.

Working to “create the biggest shows with the smallest environmental footprint,” ITV says that ATPI’s sustainability and technology credentials, global footprint, years of experience in production travel and moving large groups of people, were all important factors supporting the appointment.

“The enhanced carbon emissions data will really assist our productions in achieving Albert Certification, as well as integrating the Co2 detail at the point of booking, to encourage our bookers to make the right choice, which in turn will support ITV’s Climate Action targets,” says Imelda Aspinall, ITV Travel Manager EMEA APAC of the contract appointment.

Under its remit ATPI will work closely with ITV to reduce its carbon emissions within the travel programme – helping it to achieve its goals and report effectively and efficiently on sustainable travel developments.

“We will be working with them to develop and roll-out a travel programme that fits within their climate change targets. Sustainable travel is an area we’re passionate about as a business, and we’re looking forward to seeing where we can get to in partnership with ITV,” explains James Draper, head of sales – corporate, media & sports UK at ATPI.

The ATPI Group operates from more than 100 offices worldwide and has successful operations in corporate travel, corporate event management, online travel technology and specialist travel management for a number of key industries including the film and broadcast sectors.

This latest appointment represents a significant business win for ATPI which has just confirmed the addition of four new partners to its expanding international network. The expansion enhances the reach of the global travel management and events leader in key strategic locations relevant to servicing its client portfolio.

In Spain, new partner Azul Marino adds office locations in Bilbao, Barcelona and Madrid, while in Latin America, the Quito-based Euroviajes brings Ecuador into the Group. A key location for the global energy industry, the Erbil-headquartered London Sky adds representation in Iraq, while in Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh City-based Quang Thinh complements ATPI’s network in South East Asia.

The four new partners and long-term extensions follow the announcement of partners in Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Qatar and Peru in 2020. ATPI recently also announced the acquisition of German travel agency Hamburg Süd Reiseagentur GmbH from Danish shipping conglomerate A.P. Moller – Maersk.

The role of TMCs is changing under the cloud of COVID-19 pandemic and expertise in travel sustainability will be just one area they can deliver true value to a business partner. As Accenture GM India travel Amarnath Lal Das stated in the Feb-2021 edition of CAPA Live, TMCs are now expected to offer "more of a consultative and collaborative approach" and become a “subject matter expert" providing information and feedback on travel programmes and providing services across the entire traveller journey.

A month earlier, Business Travel Association CEO Clive Wratten acknowledged the ongoing "natural evolution" in TMC revenue streams and corporate travel buyer behaviour have been accelerated by the pandemic crisis. Mr Wratten said the pandemic represents "the perfect storm coming together and there is the desire on both sides to review what the current commercial models are".

TMCs have acted as “essential support systems for corporates since Mar-2020,” according to Katie Skitterall, director of sales and operations at ATPI, but acknowledges that the role of the TMC has turned into one that is more service-driven than it has been before. “Clients are seeing their TMC as more of a travel information source, rather than as a way to book,” she adds.

TMCs now have a real opportunity to become invaluable partners to their customers and justify their worth. The ATPI contract with ITV perfectly highlights this in action.