A Global Implementation
An ATPI Corporate Travel case study
Booking.com B.V. is the world leader in booking accommodation online. Each day, over 1.1m room nights are reserved on the
site. The Booking.com website and apps
attract visitors from both the leisure and
business sectors worldwide. Truly international, Booking.com is available
in more than 40 languages, and offers
over 1 million active properties in 226
countries and territories. The travel buying
team is based in Holland, centralised in Amsterdam, whilst the office managers are key stakeholders at a local level.
ATPI originally won the Booking.com account in 2008, when it was just a
local SME account with sales of less than €100k. They had a lot in common with ATPI both geographically and culturally, which contributed to ATPI winning the global business in 2014. By this time Booking.com sales where projected at between €10-12m, with more than 10,000 employees worldwide, approximately 3000 in Amsterdam.
Travel is essential to Booking.com staff whose account managers have to sign up hotels to add to, and enrich, their content.
ATPI had a number of challenges: Most importantly, a plan needed to be developed to consolidate the service locations as Booking.com at the time had around 68 entities. So strategic locations were chosen, such as Columbia, Miami, Singapore and Amsterdam. Booking.com needed to strengthen their travel and expense management across all of their offices. Another key challenge for ATPI was to work with a single global online booking tool and expense solution in the implementation. The goal of Booking.com was to book travel online in a single uniform process with expense management.
The issue here is that the airline world is not the same in each country. Content is not always stored in one GDS and sometimes only available offline. Booking.com has a direct relationship with the online booking tool and expense solution provider, with ATPI as the fulfilment partner. The milestones were developed between Booking.com and the online booking tool company and ATPI had to follow, often with local tweaks due to market circumstances, and very tight deadlines.
The Netherlands was first to be implemented, followed by the UK, and
then by fortnightly implementations in other European locations. The implementation procedure comprised a road show of internal training for local designated ATPI agents and client business meetings.
After the implementation of the countries in Europe, using the same implementation process, it was followed by the US, then South America, followed by the Asia Pacific region. The full programme was completed by the end of 2016.
ATPI provided a solution of hubs for service centres that fulfilled quality
checks and delivered local service. ATPI introduced a so called ‘hybrid service model’, a combination of online fulfilment and offline quality assistance to ensure the lowest logical fare is chosen by the
If, for whatever reason, a trip can’t be booked via the online booking tool, a travel request module is available in the tool and seamlessly follows the same process as a regular online booking.
Both offline and online bookings are handled by the same operational teams per location to ensure maximum client satisfaction.
ATPI departments of E-commerce, Global Implementations, Account Management, Operations and Management Information worked with the Booking.com departments of the Travel Management team, Finance, IT and HR to achieve the successful implementation.
The global implementation has resulted in bespoke programmes for each region and not a ‘one fits all’ solution but all with an underlying consistency.
Global procedures have been achieved through one global framework with ATPI streamlining Booking.com’s processes to become leaner and more efficient.
With global visibility of worldwide travel spend and programme data, plus consolidation through an exclusive business partner for the future, it has empowered Booking.com to make smarter, more strategic decisions on the operating framework of their travel programme.
I have been impressed by
the professional and friendly
attitude of ATPI staff who
always go the extra mile
to achieve the right result.
ATPI have adapted to local
market needs and situations,
and shown great flexibility
as a travel partner. For us at
Booking.com, it is important
to deliver items with an
attention to detail that ATPI
have done so well
Lawrence van der Bijl
Global Travel and Expense Manager