Meaningful Client Partnerships Since 1970
It began with the opening of the first Ickenham Travel retail shop 45 years ago. Now, Business Travel Direct are an award winning travel solutions company with three UK offices and over 70 employees
Founded by our current CEO Peter Reglar, Ickenham Travel Group was established 45 years ago. It began with the opening of the first Ickenham Travel retail shop, located in Ickenham itself, which focused entirely on leisure travel. By 1975, we had launched ‘Ickenham Business Travel’ and over the next 20 years, expanded the company to open up corporate travel branches in Hillingdon, Northwood, Harrow, Rickmansworth, Ruislip and Uxbridge. We began to establish ourselves within both the leisure and business travel market and were widely recognised for our exceptional service and innovation within the market.
In 1995, the business rebranded as Business Travel Direct and in 2005 the business moved the headquarters to Uxbridge. This move facilitated the growth of the company infrastructure and gave us the platform to develop our travel technology and online booking tools. During the same year in which we branded ourselves as Business Travel Direct, our leisure services were rebranded under the name of our current sister company, ‘letsgo2’, who offer a range of holiday destinations/packages.
In 2013, we moved into the marine/maritime travel arena and launched our dedicated marine department to cater for the growth of our maritime clients. Our team of experienced client partnership managers oversee the development of our marine department and since its inception, Marine Travel Direct has seen exceptional growth and client satisfaction.
In 2015 we cemented our long-term business relationship with SAP Concur when they appointed us as one of four Preferred Partners in the UK and the only business travel company to be TMC Certified as well; an achievement we are very proud of as it has established us as innovative technology pioneers within the travel management sector. Since then we’ve developed this relationship further by becoming the first Travel Management Company in the UK and Europe to adopt SAP Concur’s toolbox of technology that enables us to offer our clients a seamless travel solution and duty of care fulfilment.
Business Travel Direct launched Planit Consulting in 2015, designed to operate independently from our corporate travel services, open to clients and organisations, alike.
2017 was a year of big change with our HQ offices moving to a new, modern building in Langley, Berkshire. Business Travel Direct continued to grow both organically and through acquisitions. After acquiring both Keith Bailey Travel and Amity World Travel in recent years, the latest addition to the Ickenham Travel Group has just been announced. Brighton-based Uniglobe Preferred Travel takes the total company turnover of Business Travel Direct to over £100 million – one of the leading TMCs in the UK.
We also signed an agreement with ATG in 2017, becoming the exclusive franchise partner in the UK. ATG is one of the largest independently-owned global travel companies, meaning we are able to offer a truly global platform to our clients whilst still providing local expertise.
In 2018, we were named the Best TMC (£50 – 200 million) at the prestigious Business Travel Awards; the culmination of all our work over the previous few years has paid off as we establish ourselves as a top 20 TMC in the UK. We are continuing to focus of the development of innovative technology to offer cost-efficient tools to our clients, future-proofing corporate travel programmes against the constant influx of disruptive influences.
Recent partnerships with rate-auditing companies mean our clients will be automatically contacted if their room or flight is cheaper after booking, and our SMARTinsight predictive analytics tool accurately shows where our clients can save money using their previous data. The latest in-house technology development is BizzyPortal: our very own single sign-on portal where you can access your most used websites in one, simple-to-use place.