A SCOTTISH corporate travel management firm – that opened less than a year ago – has unveiled exciting new growth plans to expand into the lucrative North American market by opening a US office.
Fife-based Equilibrium Travel Management (EQ) aims to drive forward transatlantic new business opportunities with its new location in Boston, Massachusetts, making it a third office for the company.
EQ was formed in November 2011 by Franc Jeffrey, one of the UK’s leading figures in travel management, and aims to challenge the industry by offering its services on a transparent, fee-based system, rather than the commonplace ‘fee plus hidden charges’ model.
Franc Jeffrey said: “It is a real coup for us to be able to establish ourselves in the U.S at such an early stage in our business – which is testament to the hard work our team has put in during the past nine months.
“It has always been a great ambition of mine for EQ to operate in the US and we have spent a significant amount of time and investment in ensuring that our Boston office is open and ready for business.
“Through my 25 years of experience in the corporate travel sector, and my previous role which saw me spending a great amount of time in the States where I have built up many contacts, we are confident that this move will be a success.”
Franc plans to use the Boston office as a base for his frequent trips to the US to develop business contracts, and is due to fly out imminently to seek further talent to help boost their operations.
EQ also recently set up an office in the North East of Scotland to cater for the oil and gas sector to support their launch of a specialist offshore and marine travel service.
EQ is projecting to reach profitability in its first year, which they plan to achieve through their expansion into the North American market, the new offshore service, a dedicated meetings and events service, clinical trials travel and expense management and through building upon their success in the Scottish corporate travel market.
The UK business travel market is worth more than £25 billion a year, according to the Institute of Travel & Meetings, but almost half of all spend is unmanaged. Industry experts suggest that £1.5 billion is wasted every year as a result of staff booking their own business travel.
The firm was created to meet the rapidly changing needs of clients who have been forced by the recession to look to maximise return on spend across all areas of their business, such as business travel.
Franc said: “Travel remains the third-largest expense for most organisations, so it is vital that they get the best value for their money.
“To do that, we look to work closely with firms to create a working partnership that understands the company’s travel needs and can evolve and react to market demands and changes.
“For the first time, we will be bringing clarity and transparency to corporate travel bookings by charging a flat fee – which means we can search and choose the best deals and options to meet the company’s travel budget and policy.”