March 2017

56 APAC / March 2017 , 1701AP23 Flying High Launched in 2000, TravelEdge has been creating refreshingly innovative travel solutions and amazing journeys for all who work for, and partner with the TravelEdge Group. We speak to KimWethmar to find out how they provide innovative solutions for customers. TravelEdge was founded 17 years ago by Grant Wilson and Sue Hollis who respectively held senior positions within Qantas. They saw an opportunity to set up a corporate travel agency which would focus on customer service and enable them to capture market share quickly. In an established industry with numerous players, many advised them not go into this type of industry, but they believed there was a niche in the market. They launched TravelEdge in 2000 and were soon heavily impacted by the September 11 disaster and the collapse of Ansett, followed shortly after by SARS and other major global events. These events taught Grant and Sue to be economical as a business, continue their investment into company values and culture and to diversify their offering to the market. At the start of 2015, Kim Wethmar took over the leadership of TravelEdge as CEO, with a wealth of knowledge and over 20 years’ travel industry experience. The corporate travel market is a constant challenging one, with many global competitors and ever changing technology. To this end, the TravelEdge Group has diversified and developed complimenting offerings to ensure they provide their customers with a comprehensive array of solutions; 1. TravelEdge Corporate is a respected partner of all things Corporate Travel related. Our approach is Refreshingly Innovative in every aspect of the travel programs we create, ensuring we create complete travel solutions which delight our customers 2. Communico Services creates and delivers collaborative tailored in-house travel management solutions for customers. 3. Business Travel by STA, a joint venture between TravelEdge and STA Travel, provides a premium travel service to the leading Australian Universities, academic and business communities. 4. TravelEdge Holidays are the leisure travel experts, offering exclusive travel deals via a professional and experienced team. 5. Granted Worldwide are the travel prizing and incentive specialists, offering a full- service, in-house dedicated prizing team. 6. TravelEdge-Events is the most recent addition to the TravelEdge group; merging corporate travel and event management into one comprehensive solution. Providing our customers with a sound return on investment for all their meetings, incentives, conferences and events. Kim talks to us specifically about the industry. TravelEdge sits in a competitive sector, so they have to ensure they keep up or stay ahead of any emerging developments in the market and in technology. “The move to a more self-service environment means we are constantly being challenged to demonstrate and deliver added value in each and every interaction we have with our customers. This means we become experts at the aspects which are important, to ensure we remain relevant. As such we are always looking for new ways to make every journey an exceptional experience. “The APAC region is still relatively fragmented, even though we see more companies looking for ways to consolidate and get a grasp on overall spend and policy compliance. Network partnerships such as the Radius Network are definitely becoming more popular, as customers start appreciating that one single global TMC isn’t necessarily the solution, and that local know-how really matters. “Technology is extremely important. Everything we develop has an end goal which is to enhance our customers experience – so our traveller’s journeys are effortless, making every journey an exceptional experience. “Technology is a key factor within the travel industry from the initial planning of a trip, through to booking and ‘on journey’ management, all the way to expense management. We focus on a product development lifecycle which covers all areas of product development including any staff member or customers being able to put forward innovative ideas, followed by an evaluation process and when successful, the implementation of the product. We ensure we constantly evaluate the success of the product to ensure we can enhance or tweak where necessary.” To help maintain the company success, Kim ensures she remains positive and motivated in her role as she explains. “Personally, I love spending quality time with friends and family and reading lots of books. Professionally, I have the support of a dynamic leadership team and wonderful people within our business, and I receive continual motivation from the business success along the way, whether that be through implementing new technology, winning new customers, receiving wonderful customer feedback, automating manual processes, or watching our people grow and develop.” Looking to the future, people will always need to travel to do business and this is where TravelEdge comes in, making every journey an exceptional experience as Kim explains. “The key focus for me is to continue to grow the TravelEdge Group as well as my team, ensuring our time at TravelEdge is an Amazing Journey. Through constantly developing and enhancing our products and service offering we will achieve our vision which is “To make every journey an exceptional experience”, both internally and externally to our business.