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Going local

Regular travel can be a stressful undertaking, but access to local contacts offering the cheapest and most efficient options, regardless of destination, makes any trip a pleasure


If it sounds too good to be true it often is, but there is always the exception that breaks the rule. When travelling, we all want to think we are flying with our chosen airline at the best price for our seat, have a superb rate at a great hotel, and have help on hand when we need it, no matter what time it is back home. With the Worldwide Independent Travel Network (WIN), the world’s ‘local’ travel management company, this may be a reality.

Imagine an international network of local, professional and established travel companies, working together to offer the best in customer service, alongside easy access to products and prices from around the world, at the touch of a button or at the end of the telephone.

Since its founding in 1985, WIN has developed into one of the largest global travel networks with around 6,000 local offices in more than 40 countries and territories. WIN partner travel management companies anticipate the needs of its diverse global customer base by using the ability to combine global reach with local knowledge
and expertise.

Mapping the market
Neil Armorgie, CEO of WIN, and his team have quietly and efficiently been building a network of professional travel agents and travel management companies across the globe. “Our raison d’être is simple, we provide an international network enabling our partners on behalf of their customers to access the global market of travel.

“Our partners will act quickly to ensure they meet and exceed their customers’ expectations. Management at all levels will be hands-on, operating with a minimum of bureaucracy, providing guidance with wisdom and offering advice with confidence.”
“I imagine that most of your readers will not have heard of us,” Armorgie adds with a smile. “That is because WIN is a network – not a single corporate entity. With WIN, our model is based on flexibility – on the understanding that different solutions are needed for different situations, different countries, different cultures and different customers. We offer a supporting role to our respected and strong local partners.”

Wholly owned agencies in multiple markets have been the only solution for many corporate travel buyers trying to consolidate their travel programmes. It seems that their approach has been to consolidate companies into a standard management solution that may not work in all markets. WIN turns this principal on its head. Each WIN travel management partner is a leader in its specific local market, the WIN umbrella does not subdue the richness of the world’s diversity but prefers to take pride in understanding the subtleties of cultural difference. Acting locally but thinking globally: customers get the best of both worlds.

Armorgie is passionate about customer service and maintains this is reflected in the network. “Cultures and customs of people around the world are diverse, every individual has their own priorities and values, and these form the basis of many important decisions. Our travel management company partners fully understand their customers’ needs. They can provide them with a better understanding of global consolidation and whether it will help them manage their travel needs based on the make-up of their global operation. If this is the case they can customise the commercial opportunities to best meet the needs of each customer.”

Passionate partners
The multi-award winning travel management company – Business Travel Direct – is one of the UK partners of WIN. They provide corporate clients with full-service travel fulfillment, exceptional service, expertise and demonstrable value. Julie Oliver, Managing Director of Business Travel Direct, sees its participation in WIN as a vital part of their service offering: “Our passion and commitment to help our clients develop and grow its own businesses helps us stand out from our competitors.

“For larger organisations requiring more complex models, we provide innovative solutions and a strategic partnership. For smaller companies, our experienced and friendly team will ensure you get great service, best value and safety and security for your travellers. Our partners in WIN share this ethos, we need to know when we are recommending or working with a travel management company in another country that they will deliver the same high standards we pride ourselves on.”

The same level of passion is evident across the WIN network. ITL World is a major player in the Arab States of the Gulf region and offers a wide range of products and services, hotel programmes, negotiation of air deals and structured account management to provide a quality service at an optimum cost.

The standard of excellence offered and delivered by ITL World to its corporate and individual travellers is of the utmost importance. Rafeeq Mohammed, Regional Head-GCC for ITL World confirmed: “Our worldwide partnership with WIN enables ITL World to offer a comprehensive range of products and services including global hotel reservations, car rentals, cruises, conferences, leisure and holidays, inbound and outbound tours and incentive travel programmes.”

Incomparable offers
WIN offers various partners a global compliment to their local strengths. The country associates have strong relationships with their suppliers and vendors on a regional level. WIN partners are able to leverage this regional strength, while centrally WIN is able to combine the buying power to improve rates through its international reach.

This is evident in the products and services WIN makes readily available. A comprehensive hotel programme features preferred rates at over 25,000 hotels, while its luxury and boutique hotel product ‘travel without boundaries…’ features 150 of the world’s most sought after properties, again with the exclusive prices for WIN partners’ customers.

WIN has also built an enviable portfolio of destination management companies offering on-the-ground services ranging from – but not limited to – transfers, tours, accommodation and conference and meeting management. The latest development from WIN enables its partner companies to access 900 airlines for contracted, special and discounted airfares, normally only available in local markets. “In every sector of business, globalisation is having a major effect. It can be seen as a threat but at WIN we embrace it as an opportunity. We believe that local knowledge and insight is vital, so by working with the best locally, and in turn bringing them together into an international partnership, we are creating the ideal organisation not just for today but for tomorrow too,” says Armorgie.

Businesses will continue to grow by making international connections and, in the future, even the smallest business will be multinational. Whether you trade in dollars, euros, yen or renminbi, global markets are opening up to everyone. WIN has created a global travel market to connect your business to new opportunities on six continents. There’s a new world emerging and WIN might be the perfect way to guarantee the best possible rates and customer service when travelling.

Further information
Tel: +44 (0) 207 324 3987

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