Change of travel management services provider

Change of travel management services provider

New travel provider

The University contract for Travel Management Services with Diversity Travel is due to expire on 31 August 2023. The level of service the University has experienced from Diversity Travel, particularly over the past year, was fully considered when deciding on the way forward with the next iteration of this service. And, following research of options within the Higher Education sector, in compliance with Procurement legislation and with Senior Management Team approval, a new contract has been awarded to CTM Travel.

CTM Travel has been the appointed travel provider for the Scottish Government for five years and provide travel management services to several other public sector organisations in the UK. Their online booking tool (Lightning) is intuitive and has clear displays which shows a range of different rates for air, rail and hotel bookings. Lightning accesses rates from all the major online hotel booking tools including Booking.Com and Hotels.com. In addition, discounted rates from CTM for hotels will also be displayed.

A significant improvement to the booking process is that there will no longer be a requirement to raise a Purchase Order which will reduce delays and streamline the process. Instead, accounting details from dropdown lists on the Lightning tool will be available to select. Hopefully this is welcome news for all bookers.

It is strongly encouraged that bookings are made using the Lightning tool as no fee applies for hotel or rail bookings. There are some fees from CTM, as is the case with all Travel Management Services providers. Air bookings are £1 per ticket when booked online and higher fees will be incurred for offline bookings. However, the fees are less than those charged at present by incumbent provider.

Full details of fees will be made available from 01 September 2023 and will be found here:

Business Travel | StaffNet | The University of Aberdeen (abdn.ac.uk)

University travel policies (including sustainable business travel) continue to apply with the new contract and can be viewed here:

Travelling Overseas on University Business | StaffNet | The University of Aberdeen (abdn.ac.uk)

and

Sustainable Business Travel | About | The University of Aberdeen (abdn.ac.uk)

 It is also important that when travelling you have appropriate University travel insurance documentation completed. Further information is available here:

Insurance | StaffNet | The University of Aberdeen (abdn.ac.uk)

Following the appointment of CTM Travel, it is expected that staff use their services instead of booking their own travel and claiming on expenses. There is a health and safety element to this in that should there be an incident which impacts on travellers, CTM have processes in place to provide the University with the relevant reports to help quickly identity where in the world their staff are.

Note that all bookings already made with Diversity Travel will be honoured by them, even if the travel is scheduled for after 01 September 2023. 

This new contract is due to commence from 01 September 2023. Implementation plans are well under way to allow for a successful transition from the incumbent supplier. Training will be provided via a TEAMS meeting on 29 August 2023, and this will be recorded for those who cannot attend. In addition, CTM provide weekly generic webinars (not specific to the University) which anyone can attend.

If you are interested in attending the TEAMS meeting, please contact procurement@abdn.ac.uk

Tracey Slaven
University Secretary & Chief Operating Officer

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