Northern Territory Government awards $3.6 million contract for corporate travel provider

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The Northern Territory Government has awarded a three-year $3.6 million contract for its corporate travel provider services to QBT Pty Ltd.

Minister for Corporate and Information Services Peter Styles said the contract included provisions for significant job opportunities for Territorians.

“The service model proposed by QBT involves establishing and operating a local office in Darwin which will underpin its long-term presence in the Territory generating at least 15 new jobs for Territorians. QBT’s commitment includes providing support for Aboriginal workers through traineeships and education scholarship programs,” Mr Styles said.

“The contract awarded is for three years with a three-year extension option and has an expanded scope to cover charter and accommodation bookings as well as airline travel.

“This new corporate travel provider contract is the final key element in establishing robust and consistent arrangements for government travel. It will deliver cost efficiencies predicted to be in excess of $1 million per year within an accountable framework and will ensure Territorians tax dollars are being spent in the most cost-efficient and responsible manner in relation to travel.”

Significant savings have already been achieved since entering an initial trial of corporate travel providers for all governmental travel.

With that trial nearing completion the NT Government sought a sole travel provider service to enable it to access better discounts on airfares with commercial airlines and hotel accommodation.

This approach aligns the Northern Territory Government with the travel policies and practices that are operating in other jurisdictions across Australia.

The Government’s public tender required the successful contractor to provide:
* Feature-rich online portal and booking tools for making travel bookings, including airfares, accommodation and car hire.
* Comprehensive reporting on travel activity at unit, agency and government levels.
* Travel consultant services for complex travel.
* Booking capability for air charters, facilitating shared bookings.

The public tender attracted eight responses, with five tenderers shortlisted and one tender withdrawn. Group General Manager of QBT Russell Carstensen said he was very pleased with the tender outcome which was recognition of hard work put in over the past three and a half years.

“The Northern Territory Government tender has been an extremely rigorous and professional process which has allowed QBT to demonstrate our travel expertise and the sophisticated advances we have made in both our customer service and technology offerings,” Mr Carstensen said.

“This region of Northern Australia has incredible growth potential and is the gateway for both inbound
and outbound travel to Asia.

“We are looking forward to employing, training, mentoring and engaging the people of the Northern Territory and the incredible businesses situated in this region of opportunity.”

Extensive industry engagement was conducted prior to going to market. A wide range of travel industry participants were consulted including Territory travel agents with consultation sessions held in Darwin and Alice Springs, as well as airlines, corporate travel providers and accommodation brokers.

The NT Government encouraged Territory travel agents to consider ways to work together to form a business model for providing corporate travel services in order to tender for this government contract.

The Department of Business coordinated business assistance and advisory services specifically for local travel agents including dedicated forums to enable attendees to explore business options, understand requirements of joint business models and be informed about assistance measures available.

The transition to the new corporate travel provider will begin immediately and will be managed progressively across government. Existing corporate travel arrangement will remain in place over the transition period. The transition period is expected to be fully completed by mid-2016.

About QBT
QBT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Helloworld Limited. QBT is a travel management expert, specialising in providing outstanding corporate travel solutions to our clients. QBT looks after a range of government, educational, and corporate enterprises. Services include booking air transportation, accommodation, car hire, rail, transfers and a wide range of travel products together with detailed cost analysis and reporting in order to assist organisations to manage their travel programs and expenditures.

Are you interested in learning more about corporate travel? BTTB Australia is returning to Melbourne for the first time since 2001 and will enable travel category managers and their suppliers to meet, learn and share best practise. The conference will be held on 4th and 5th May 2016, Melbourne. Read more details here: http://bttbonline.com/ 

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