Diversity Travel lands biggest client in its history

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Diversity Travel has won a “multi-million” pound contract to provide travel services to the University of Edinburgh – the TMC’s largest client win in its 14-year history.

The TMC, which specialises in the academic, charity and non-profit sectors, said the University of Edinburgh deal was among £15 million worth of new client wins secured in the final three months of 2021.

Diversity, which has offices in London, Manchester and Washington DC, will arrange study trips for the university’s 45,000 students, as well as booking and managing travel for 15,500 academic and professional services staff.

The TMC said the University of Edinburgh deal was also a “significant milestone” for its Study Trips division, which was launched in 2021 after the collapse of longstanding student travel agency STA Travel.

Diversity Travel’s managing director Christopher Airey said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be enlisted by an institution as prestigious as the University of Edinburgh to provide travel services for both their staff and students.

“After the hard hit the travel sector has taken over the past two years, it really is a testament to the work and dedication of our team to win our biggest ever client at this time.

“It is also a great win for our new Study Trips division, which we are very driven and committed to expanding in order to become the preferred partner for academic travel within the UK.”

Airey said that working in the NGO and charity sector during the Covid-19 pandemic meant that organising travel “never fully stopped for us” during the past two years.

“While the volume of travel reduced significantly during the pandemic, aid and relief missions were still vital and many of our clients continued to travel, it was just more complex to get people into certain countries,” he added.

“We’re starting to see a shift back to more normal levels, with lots of enquiries, changes to countries’ entry and testing policies that travellers need help to navigate, and lots of organisations who are eager to travel again.

“Omicron did reduce levels somewhat pre-Christmas, however, booking levels are starting to increase once again and optimism continues to grow.”

Airey said Diversity was seeing “strong growth” in the UK academic market, as well as from European-based NGOs.

“We’re stronger than ever and in a great position to help support this uplift, as we have continued to invest in our people, service and technology during the pandemic, and onboarded many new customers as a result,” he added.

Diversity wants to attract more universities as clients in 2022, as academic staff and students resume travelling after the Covid crisis.

“We’ll do this while we continue to work closely with our customers to minimise their environmental impact, as well as help them to manage their duty of care,” continued Airey.

Gordon Whittaker, head of category, professional and campus services procurement, at the University of Edinburgh, said sustainability was a “top priority” when appointing its travel provider.

“Through the tender process, Diversity Travel demonstrated their quality and how seriously they take their commitment to minimising the environmental impact of travel,” said Whittaker. “We look forward to working with Diversity Travel as our strategic travel partner.”

source : businesstravelnewseurope

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