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bcd travel apac

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BCD Travel strengthens Asia-Pacific operations by adding Colombo

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  • Sep 13, 2023
  • With the launch of wholly owned Asia-Pacific Service Center

 ‘BCD Travel’, one of the leading corporate travel management companies (TMC) in the world, based in Utrecht, Netherlands, has achieved a milestone by expanding its market presence and global footprint with a new wholly owned Asia-Pacific Service Center (ASC) in Colombo. This is their fifth Global Service Center in the world after Barcelona, Costa Rica, Poland and India.

bcd travel apac

Asia-Pacific Service Center in Colombo comes under the Asia-Pacific Headquarters in Singapore. Located at Level 15, One Galle Face Office Tower offering round-the-clock support to ensure efficient programme deployment for clients in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore the new ASC already has 230 high paying employees and this number is expected to increase to 300 next year. The service center also extends assistance to global clients and to travellers worldwide, providing front-line services during respective out-of-office hours in their regions.

‘Our ongoing global growth strategy relies on investments that benefit our clients, our employees and our corporate culture,’ said Greg O'Neil, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Global Network, BCD Travel. ‘We are proud to create sustainable development opportunities for new talent as we support our customers’ evolving needs.’

With a mission to help people and companies travel smart and achieve more, BCD offers a comprehensive range of travel-related services and is ranked the world’s second-largest global TMC. Today, BCD serves clients in over 170 countries and employs more than 13,000 personnel, with clients that include 25% of Fortune 500 companies.

The ASC is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio in a multi-year series of investments. Sri Lanka was selected as the home for the ASC for the resilience and tenacity demonstrated by its people, innate culture of service and ease of conducting business. Further, owing to its close connections with Sri Lanka, BCD possesses a deep understanding of the local market dynamics and benefits from access to an abundant pool of skilled talent and favorable market economics. These factors combined have made the country an ideal and strategic location for the new service center.

The ASC operation is led by Pradeep Kumar, Executive Director, BCD Travel Asia-Pacific Service Centre, and his local leadership team. The company expects the ASC to be one of its largest operations in APAC by the end of 2023, with an expanded employee base of 300 by 2024.

‘The new Service Center in Sri Lanka reinforces BCD Travel's strategic position in the Asia-Pacific market by enhancing services in a region where business travel demand is growing,” said Kumar. “It also allows us to leverage our robust technology infrastructure and reflects our commitment to aligning resources to deliver exceptional travel solutions to clients across the region.’

Since 2018, BCD’s presence in Sri Lanka has been through their long-time global network partner. In establishing a wholly owned operation in Sri Lanka in 2023, the new center reflects the company's long-term sustainable operating strategy for growth and investment in the region and ability to offer extraordinary value for businesses. BCD is also the first global TMC to join the Sri Lanka Board of Investment. Demonstrating its contribution to the local economy, skill enhancement and job creation.

‘Sri Lanka is a country brimming with potential to become a hub for service-driven industries, and we believe the ASC to be an absolute game changer within our global business landscape, said Dinuka Sumithrarachchi, Director, Operations, BCD Travel Asia-Pacific Service Centre.

‘Our diverse and talented workforce sets exceptional service standards that harness the natural warmth and hospitality of our people. We are confident the ASC will prove to be a groundbreaking initiative showcasing the country’s capabilities on the global stage.’

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen from The Netherlands and consists of BCD Travel, its subsidiaries BCD Meetings & Events and Advito, and Park ‘N Fly. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.

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Company takes majority ownership in partner, Hitachi Travel Bureau

UTRECHT, July 2, 2019  – BCD Travel has signed an agreement to take a majority ownership in Japan. The agreement gives BCD controlling interest in their operations in Japan, one of the Asia-Pacific region’s most important markets for corporate travel.

“This investment is the result of careful, long-term planning and also a reflection of our commitment to Asia Pacific,” said Greg O’Neil, BCD’s president of Asia Pacific. “As the majority stakeholder in our Japan venture with our trusted partner Hitachi Travel Bureau, we look forward to enhancing our product and service offerings for both global and local clients in this key market.”

Hitachi Travel Bureau is one of Japan’s leading travel management companies, with 280 employees, offices in Japan and China and annual sales of more than US$330 million. As one of Asia Pacific’s leading economies, Japan’s wide variety of export industries such as automobiles, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, bioengineering, semiconductors, shipbuilding, aerospace and processed foods make it a lucrative corporate hub in the region.

Kazuhiko Otani, the current President of Hitachi Travel Bureau, remains at the helm as President/Managing Director for BCD in Japan. With over 30 years of local experience and deep industry knowledge, Kazuhiko will be responsible for leading BCD’s growth strategy in this high-potential market.

BCD’s investment in Japan is the latest in a multi-year series of expansion moves. Other acquisitions of majority stakes and full ownership include travel operations in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Poland and Colombia; Acendas Travel and World Travel Services in the U.S.; Nordic travel agency Ticket Biz, global Grass Roots Meetings & Events; U.K.-based international events agency Zibrant; U.S.-based Universal Meetings Management, Inc. and marketing logistics agency Plan 365 Life Sciences; and mobile technology company GetGoing.

“Our majority ownership of Japan demonstrates our aggressive acquisition strategy,” said John Snyder, president and CEO of BCD Travel. “We’re growing in markets where demand for corporate travel services is increasing and where our clients want us to be. This acquisition opens up new business opportunities for us in one of the world’s most unique travel markets.”

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies travel smart and achieve more. We drive program adoption, cost savings and talent retention through digital experiences that simplify business travel. Our 13,000 dedicated team members service clients in 170+ countries as we shape a sustainable future for business travel. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com .

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BCD Travel invests in Asia-Pacific Service Center

bcd travel apac

New wholly owned operation provides firm foundation for service excellence and sustainable growth.

UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS – Global travel management company (TMC) BCD Travel has opened a new wholly owned service center in Colombo, Sri Lanka. BCD Travel Asia-Pacific Service Center (BCD ASC) talent and technology hub provides always-on service for efficient program deployment for clients in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. In addition, the service center also supports travelers from around the world with front-line services during out of office hours in their regions.

The launch of BCD ASC welcomes a new era of extraordinary expertise and sustainable growth for BCD’s clients and its communities in the Asia Pacific region. Sri Lanka’s abundant pool of skilled talent and favorable market economics make it the ideal location for the new service center. BCD’s presence in Sri Lanka through their long-time global network partner since 2018 has also given the company a strong understanding of the local market dynamics to ensure BCD’s success in Sri Lanka. BCD is the first global TMC to join the Sri Lanka Board of Investment, which demonstrates BCD ASC’s contribution to the local economy and job creation. BCD ASC is also creating a local Sustainability Committee and will appoint a local charity to further expand its outreach to the local communities.

“Coming out of the pandemic, our laser focus was on ‘building forward’ through a sustainable operating strategy,” said John Snyder , president and CEO at BCD Travel. “Investing in a country emerging from political and economic instability not only supports our strategy for sustainable growth, but also demonstrates our commitment to care for our communities and feed the future.”

BCD ASC is pivotal to BCD’s preparation for the travel industry’s emergence from the pandemic and for clients’ subsequent growing demand for travel. The service center currently has close to 200 full-time employees and is in active expansion mode; the company expects it to be one of its largest operations in APAC by the end of this year. BCD ASC will be led by a local management team, with Pradeep Kumar as the executive director. Kumar, who reports to Greg O’Neil , BCD’s president for Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa & Global Network, will oversee talent recruitment and operational efficiency for the service center.

“Our ongoing global growth strategy relies on investments that benefit our clients, our employees and our corporate culture,” said O’Neil. “We’re proud to create sustainable development opportunities for new talent as we support our customers’ evolving needs.”

The BCD ASC launch is the latest in a multi-year series of investments BCD has made to grow its business. Other significant developments include the expansion of BCD operations in Brazil, China, Colombia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Panama, Peru and Poland; and acquisitions of event production and creative media agency L37 Creative (U.S.), Acendas Travel , Adelman Travel Group and World Travel Services (U.S.), Nordic travel agency Ticket Biz , global Grass Roots Meetings & Events (U.K)., international events agency Zibrant (U.K)., marketing and logistics agency Plan 365 (U.S.), GetGoing asset purchase (U.S), and Universal Meetings Management Inc. (U.S.).

Vicky Karantzavelou

Vicky Karantzavelou

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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BCD Travel strengthens Asia-Pacific operations with formal launch of wholly owned service center in Sri Lanka

September, 25, 2023 -->

Global travel management company (TMC) BCD Travel has achieved a significant milestone by expanding its market presence and global footprint with a new wholly owned Asia-Pacific Service Center (ASC) in Colombo.

Located at Level 15, One Galle Face Office Tower, the new ASC aims to drive a new era of expertise and sustainable growth in the region for clients, the company and the community. As a talent and technology hub, the ASC comprises a team of 225 members, offering round-the-clock support to ensure efficient program deployment for clients in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The service center also extends assistance to global clients and to travelers worldwide, providing front-line services during respective out-of-office hours in their regions.

“Our ongoing global growth strategy relies on investments that benefit our clients, our employees and our corporate culture,” said Greg O'Neil, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Global Network, BCD Travel. “We are proud to create sustainable development opportunities for new talent as we support our customers’ evolving needs.”

With a mission to help people and companies travel smart and achieve more, BCD offers a comprehensive range of travel-related services and is ranked the world’s second-largest global TMC. Today, BCD serves clients in over 170 countries and employs more than 13,000 personnel, with clients that include 25% of Fortune 500 companies.

The ASC is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio in a multi-year series of investments. Sri Lanka was selected as the home for the ASC for the resilience and tenacity demonstrated by its people, innate culture of service and ease of conducting business. Further, owing to its close connections with Sri Lanka, BCD possesses a deep understanding of the local market dynamics and benefits from access to an abundant pool of skilled talent and favorable market economics. These factors combined have made the country an ideal and strategic location for the new service center.

The ASC operation is led by Pradeep Kumar, Executive Director, BCD Travel Asia-Pacific Service Centre, and his local leadership team. The company expects the ASC to be one of its largest operations in APAC by the end of 2023, with an expanded employee base of 300 by 2024.

“The new Service Center in Sri Lanka reinforces BCD Travel's strategic position in the Asia-Pacific market by enhancing services in a region where business travel demand is growing,” said Kumar. “It also allows us to leverage our robust technology infrastructure and reflects our commitment to aligning resources to deliver exceptional travel solutions to clients across the region.”

Since 2018, BCD’s presence in Sri Lanka has been through their long-time global network partner. In establishing a wholly owned operation in Sri Lanka in 2023, the new center reflects the company's long-term sustainable operating strategy for growth and investment in the region and ability to offer extraordinary value for businesses. BCD is also the first global TMC to join the Sri Lanka Board of Investment. demonstrating its contribution to the local economy, skill enhancement and job creation.

“Sri Lanka is a country brimming with potential to become a hub for service-driven industries, and we believe the ASC to be an absolute game changer within our global business landscape, said Dinuka Sumithrarachchi, Director, Operations, BCD Travel Asia-Pacific Service Centre. “Our diverse and talented workforce sets exceptional service standards that harness the natural warmth and hospitality of our people. We are confident the ASC will prove to be a groundbreaking initiative showcasing the country’s capabilities on the global stage.”

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BCD Travel strengthens Asia-Pacific operations with formal launch of wholly owned service center in Sri Lanka (06 photos)

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BCD Travel strengthens Asia Pacific operations with formal launch of wholly owned service center in Sri Lanka

Businesscafe - Global travel management company (TMC) BCD Travel has achieved a significant milestone by expanding its market presence and global footprint with a new wholly owned Asia-Pacific Service Center (ASC) in Colombo.

Located at Level 15, One Galle Face Office Tower, the new ASC aims to drive a new era of expertise and sustainable growth in the region for clients, the company and the community.

As a talent and technology hub, the ASC comprises a team of 225 members, offering round-the-clock support to ensure efficient program deployment for clients in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

The service center also extends assistance to global clients and to travelers worldwide, providing front-line services during respective out-of-office hours in their regions.

“Our ongoing global growth strategy relies on investments that benefit our clients, our employees and our corporate culture,” said Greg O'Neil, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Global Network, BCD Travel.

“We are proud to create sustainable development opportunities for new talent as we support our customers’ evolving needs.”

With a mission to help people and companies travel smart and achieve more, BCD offers a comprehensive range of travel-related services and is ranked the world’s second-largest global TMC.

Today, BCD serves clients in over 170 countries and employs more than 13,000 personnel, with clients that include 25% of Fortune 500 companies.

The ASC is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio in a multi-year series of investments.

Sri Lanka was selected as the home for the ASC for the resilience and tenacity demonstrated by its people, innate culture of service and ease of conducting business.

Further, owing to its close connections with Sri Lanka, BCD possesses a deep understanding of the local market dynamics and benefits from access to an abundant pool of skilled talent and favorable market economics.

These factors combined have made the country an ideal and strategic location for the new service center.

The ASC operation is led by Pradeep Kumar, Executive Director, BCD Travel Asia-Pacific Service Centre, and his local leadership team.

The company expects the ASC to be one of its largest operations in APAC by the end of 2023, with an expanded employee base of 300 by 2024.

“The new Service Center in Sri Lanka reinforces BCD Travel's strategic position in the Asia-Pacific market by enhancing services in a region where business travel demand is growing,” said Kumar.

“It also allows us to leverage our robust technology infrastructure and reflects our commitment to aligning resources to deliver exceptional travel solutions to clients across the region.”

Since 2018, BCD’s presence in Sri Lanka has been through their long-time global network partner.

In establishing a wholly owned operation in Sri Lanka in 2023, the new center reflects the company's long-term sustainable operating strategy for growth and investment in the region and ability to offer extraordinary value for businesses.

BCD is also the first global TMC to join the Sri Lanka Board of Investment.

Demonstrating its contribution to the local economy, skill enhancement and job creation.

“Sri Lanka is a country brimming with potential to become a hub for service-driven industries, and we believe the ASC to be an absolute game changer within our global business landscape, said Dinuka Sumithrarachchi, Director, Operations, BCD Travel Asia-Pacific Service Centre.

“Our diverse and talented workforce sets exceptional service standards that harness the natural warmth and hospitality of our people. We are confident the ASC will prove to be a groundbreaking initiative showcasing the country’s capabilities on the global stage.” .

  About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies travel smart and achieve more.

We drive program adoption, cost savings and talent retention through digital experiences that simplify business travel.

Our 13,000 dedicated team members service clients in 170+ countries as we shape a sustainable future for business travel.

For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com . 

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry.

The privately owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel, its subsidiaries BCD Meetings & Events and Advito, and Park ‘N Fly.

For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com . 

  • Asia Pacific Service Center
  • travel and tourism
  • Pradeep Kumar
  • Dinuka Sumithrarachchi

Japan: Market Insights

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Japan’s Economic Landscape: Insights You Need to Know

Uncover the latest economic trends and market insights in Japan with our report.

Download the report now to access valuable data and forecasts on:

  • Economic Growth & Inflation:  Understand the trajectory of Japan’s GDP and inflation, including projections for the coming years.
  • Regional Economic Outlook:  Get insights into the economic recovery of key cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.
  • Air Travel Market:  Explore the current state and future expectations for both domestic and international air travel demand.
  • Hotel Industry Performance:  Review the progress of the hotel industry’s recovery, including occupancy rates and average daily rates.

Here’s a quick snapshot of key findings:

  • GDP growth:  Increased from 0.9% to 2.0% in 2023, but expected to slow down in 2024.
  • Inflation:  Rose to 3.3% in 2023, projected to decrease in coming years.
  • Wage increases:  Anticipated due to labor shortages, potentially easing consumer strain.
  • Regional outlook:  Tokyo recovering quickly, other cities like Osaka and Kyoto may take longer.
  • Air travel:  Domestic demand is sluggish, and international recovering slowly.
  • Hotel industry:  Occupancy improving, ADRs up 23% compared to 2019.

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Okhotny Ryad station in Soviet times and today.

The Moscow metro system has 275 stations, and 28 of them have been renamed at some point or other—and several times in some cases. Most of these are the oldest stations, which opened in 1935.

The politics of place names

The first station to change its name was Ulitsa Kominterna (Comintern Street). The Comintern was an international communist organization that ceased to exist in 1943, and after the war Moscow authorities decided to call the street named after it something else. In 1946, the station was renamed Kalininskaya. Then for several days in 1990, the station was called Vozdvizhenka, before eventually settling on Aleksandrovsky Sad, which is what it is called today.

The banner on the entraince reads:

The banner on the entraince reads: "Kalininskaya station." Now it's Alexandrovsky Sad.

Until 1957, Kropotkinskaya station was called Dvorets Sovetov ( Palace of Soviets ). There were plans to build a monumental Stalinist high-rise on the site of the nearby Cathedral of Christ the Saviour , which had been demolished. However, the project never got off the ground, and after Stalin's death the station was named after Kropotkinskaya Street, which passes above it.

Dvorets Sovetov station, 1935. Letters on the entrance:

Dvorets Sovetov station, 1935. Letters on the entrance: "Metro after Kaganovich."

Of course, politics was the main reason for changing station names. Initially, the Moscow Metro itself was named after Lazar Kaganovich, Joseph Stalin’s right-hand man. Kaganovich supervised the construction of the first metro line and was in charge of drawing up a master plan for reconstructing Moscow as the "capital of the proletariat."

In 1955, under Nikita Khrushchev's rule and during the denunciation of Stalin's personality cult, the Moscow Metro was named in honor of Vladimir Lenin.

Kropotkinskaya station, our days. Letters on the entrance:

Kropotkinskaya station, our days. Letters on the entrance: "Metropolitan after Lenin."

New Metro stations that have been opened since the collapse of the Soviet Union simply say "Moscow Metro," although the metro's affiliation with Vladimir Lenin has never officially been dropped.

Zyablikovo station. On the entrance, there are no more signs that the metro is named after Lenin.

Zyablikovo station. On the entrance, there are no more signs that the metro is named after Lenin.

Stations that bore the names of Stalin's associates were also renamed under Khrushchev. Additionally, some stations were named after a neighborhood or street and if these underwent name changes, the stations themselves had to be renamed as well.

Until 1961 the Moscow Metro had a Stalinskaya station that was adorned by a five-meter statue of the supreme leader. It is now called Semyonovskaya station.

Left: Stalinskaya station. Right: Now it's Semyonovskaya.

Left: Stalinskaya station. Right: Now it's Semyonovskaya.

The biggest wholesale renaming of stations took place in 1990, when Moscow’s government decided to get rid of Soviet names. Overnight, 11 metro stations named after revolutionaries were given new names. Shcherbakovskaya became Alekseyevskaya, Gorkovskaya became Tverskaya, Ploshchad Nogina became Kitay-Gorod and Kirovskaya turned into Chistye Prudy. This seriously confused passengers, to put it mildly, and some older Muscovites still call Lubyanka station Dzerzhinskaya for old times' sake.

At the same time, certain stations have held onto their Soviet names. Marksistskaya and Kropotkinskaya, for instance, although there were plans to rename them too at one point.

"I still sometimes mix up Teatralnaya and Tverskaya stations,” one Moscow resident recalls .

 “Both have been renamed and both start with a ‘T.’ Vykhino still grates on the ear and, when in 1991 on the last day of my final year at school, we went to Kitay-Gorod to go on the river cruise boats, my classmates couldn’t believe that a station with that name existed."

The city government submitted a station name change for public discussion for the first time in 2015. The station in question was Voykovskaya, whose name derives from the revolutionary figure Pyotr Voykov. In the end, city residents voted against the name change, evidently not out of any affection for Voykov personally, but mainly because that was the name they were used to.

What stations changed their name most frequently?

Some stations have changed names three times. Apart from the above-mentioned Aleksandrovsky Sad (Ulitsa Kominterna->Kalininskaya->Vozdvizhenka->Aleksandrovsky Sad), a similar fate befell Partizanskaya station in the east of Moscow. Opened in 1944, it initially bore the ridiculously long name Izmaylovsky PKiO im. Stalina (Izmaylovsky Park of Culture and Rest Named After Stalin). In 1947, the station was renamed and simplified for convenience to Izmaylovskaya. Then in 1963 it was renamed yet again—this time to Izmaylovsky Park, having "donated" its previous name to the next station on the line. And in 2005 it was rechristened Partizanskaya to mark the 60th anniversary of victory in World War II. 

Partizanskaya metro station, nowadays.

Partizanskaya metro station, nowadays.

Another interesting story involves Alekseyevskaya metro station. This name was originally proposed for the station, which opened in 1958, since a village with this name had been located here. It was then decided to call the station Shcherbakovskaya in honor of Aleksandr Shcherbakov, a politician who had been an associate of Stalin. Nikita Khrushchev had strained relations with Shcherbakov, however, and when he got word of it literally a few days before the station opening the builders had to hastily change all the signs. It ended up with the concise and politically correct name of Mir (Peace).

The name Shcherbakovskaya was restored in 1966 after Khrushchev's fall from power. It then became Alekseyevskaya in 1990.

Alekseyevskaya metro station.

Alekseyevskaya metro station.

But the station that holds the record for the most name changes is Okhotny Ryad, which opened in 1935 on the site of a cluster of market shops. When the metro system was renamed in honor of Lenin in 1955, this station was renamed after Kaganovich by way of compensation. The name lasted just two years though because in 1957 Kaganovich fell out of favor with Khrushchev, and the previous name was returned. But in 1961 it was rechristened yet again, this time in honor of Prospekt Marksa, which had just been built nearby.

Okhotny Ryad station in 1954 and Prospekt Marksa in 1986.

Okhotny Ryad station in 1954 and Prospekt Marksa in 1986.

In 1990, two historical street names—Teatralny Proyezd and Mokhovaya Street—were revived to replace Prospekt Marksa, and the station once again became Okhotny Ryad.

Okhotny Ryad in 2020.

Okhotny Ryad in 2020.

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    The company expects the ASC to be one of its largest operations in APAC by the end of 2023, with an expanded employee base of 300 by 2024. "The new Service Center in Sri Lanka reinforces BCD Travel's strategic position in the Asia-Pacific market by enhancing services in a region where business travel demand is growing," said Kumar.

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