Strength and quality, in numbers and systems

VISION 2000 INVESTS IN GREAT PEOPLE AND SABRE SOLUTIONS TO POWER GROWTH

How do you get bigger and better at the same time? It's a tough question, and Vision 2000 Travel Group has answered it well.

Vision 2000 is Canada's largest independently- owned travel management company, with some 300 travel professionals in more than 25 cities across Canada. It's also a member of RADIUS, a global network of the biggest and best travel management companies in the world.

The reach of Vision 2000 and its deployment of technology to quickly find and book the best travel options have made the company a trusted resource for corporate and leisure travel. With more than 640 business clients, 70 percent of its revenue is from the corporate side.

To handle growth and insure quality, Vision 2000 has relied on Sabre® as its technology provider.

VISION 2000 HELPS CLIENTS GET THERE

Brian Robertson, chief operating officer of Vision 2000, credits Sabre and its corporate travel solution, GetThere®, with helping Vision 2000 provide seamless and simple booking, tracking and itinerary management tools.

"Sabre is an integral part of what we do," Robertson said. "In fact, GetThere has helped position us as one of the best travel companies in the marketplace. Clients really like it, and so do we."

GetThere gives customers the ability to book the lowest-available airline tickets and hotel stays through their own desktop computers and smartphones or tablets. Vision 2000 travel consultants also have access to these bookings to provide service, support and reporting as needed.

GetThere is available in 15 languages and is used by thousands of companies in more than 85 countries, including most of the Fortune 200.

"It's our number one booking tool," Robertson said. "It's a great product and accessible 24/7."

Vision 2000 has grown steadily through clear strategy, great acquisitions and smart operations. Revenues grew last year by 25 percent to approximately $530 million.

OUT OF MANY CAME ONE

Robertson has had a front row seat for the Vision 2000 success story that began in the late 1990s. In the travel management field since 1978, Robertson owned and operated a successful travel management company. He and some other travel company owners started talking about the advantages of strength in numbers.

"A few of us decided it would be better if we put our travel companies under one umbrella," Robertson said. Vision 2000 was formed in the year 2000 as the regional groups became one integrated travel management enterprise, spanning Canada from coast to coast.

"The company was formed with an entrepreneurial spirit," Robertson said. "It's an owner-operated business and all parties are active in the organization. The company has great energy."

The executive management team includes CEO Arend Roos, President Joel Ostrov, Secretary-Treasurer Jack Lazare and Executive Vice-President Michael Broadhurst.

Most clients of Vision 2000 are in the small to medium-size range, with annual revenues ranging from $500,000 to $15 million. For larger clients, Vision 2000 as more than 30 full-time travel managers on-site at client  offices.

According to Joel Ostrov, president of Vision 2000, part of the difference is in the details. Vision 2000 carefully records airline, hotel and other travel preferences for every traveler at every client location. Sabre's ClientBase® holds everything - seat preferences, room preferences, and meal preferences.

"We don't have ‘call centers' - we provide individualized, personal service, and Sabre helps us deliver on our service model and goals," said Ostrov.

While Vision 2000 can meet any travel demand, it has also developed a niche for getting teams of emloyees, such as engineers and construction crews, to remote parts of the world.

HIGH-END LEISURE TRAVEL, TOO

Vision 2000 has also become known as one of Canada's top leisure travel providers, especially for high-end cruises, tours and resort stays. As a member of Virtuoso, a by-invitation-only luxury travel network, Vision 2000 travel advisors have connections to the best hotels, airlines, cruise lines and tour companies through their Sabre tools.

"It's a good complement to our corporate business," said Robertson. "Our business travelers work hard, and when they go on holiday, we can help them with those arrangements as well."

As for growth, Vision 2000 seeks to generate it organically, but also keeps an eye out for mergers and acquisitions within Canada.

Another secret to their success: great people. The company works hard to draw the best and brightest people in the travel industry. The Vision 2000 team is well-trained and committed to the highest service levels. Turnover is also low - many employees have worked together for years.

"We try to provide a very comfortable and exciting work environment," Robertson said. "It's a big challenge, and an opportunity, in the travel industry to bring in new, young people."

Cultivating new talent is always a focus, adds Robertson: "We've learned that personal and professional development, as well as autonomy, are big drivers of happiness for our younger associates. The flexibility and efficiency of our systems, especially our Sabre tools, help us deliver on that."

STAYING AHEAD

1. VISION 2000 IS CANADA'S LARGEST INDEPENDENTLY-OWNEDTRAVEL MANAGEMENT COMPANY.

2. VISION 2000 USES THE FULL SUITE OF SABRE TOOLS FOR BOOKINGS, CLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTING.

3. AS A VIRTUOSO MEMBER, VISION 2000 ALSO BRINGS THE BEST HOTELS, AIRLINES AND TOURS TO THEIR LEISURE TRAVELERS.

4. ATTRACTING AND RETAINING THE BEST PEOPLE IS ANOTHER KEY INITIATIVE AT VISION 2000.

5. GROWTH PLANS COME FROM NEW CLIENTS, AND NEW MERGER AND ACQUISITION OPPORTUNITIES.

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