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Kategorie: Partners

Interview with the Bleisure expert Sahil Shah, CEO of Sujester

Bleisure has become a big, essential part of business travel. Still, many TMCs are struggling with the question of how they can benefit from this mega-trend. Sujester might be the right answer!

Sahil, Sujester is a smart way to support the Bleisure trend at business travel. Can you describe in three sentences what you do?

Sujester uses curated, personalised and interactive content to inspire business customers. We provide a policy-conforming content solution to TMCs to provide to their business travellers to help them discover leisure experiences and decide if they want to extend business trips.

This provides TMCs with additional revenue through commission from experiences and potentially from additional hotel nights.

How do TMCs use Sujester?

Sujester is a flexible content solution that can be easily integrated into TMC websites and apps or as a fully standalone branded web app. TMCs market the Sujester content solution to business travellers before the point of booking.

I’m interested to learn about the size of additional revenues TMCs can generate if they use Sujester

There is potentially a sizeable uplift if a TMC can generate additional revenues for each hotel booking. If a 3-night stay is extended for a full weekend, it can increase TMC revenues for that booking by as much as 67%.

Additional TMC revenues can be generated through experiences and activities.

We’ve also received a lot of positive comments on higher customer satisfaction. Many business travelers are happy to have a one-stop-show for the entire Bleisure trip.

What are the typical challenges for TMCs to benefit from Bleisure bookings?

The typical challenge for the TMC is to educate and inspire their clients. Business travellers are time poor so have little time to decide whether to extend trips. The core challenge for the TMC is to inspire them so they think the destination is worth spending a few extra days in – and that it can be booked in a policy conforming way. 

Sujester’s core business is of course still leisure oriented. Who are your customers there?

Our core customers in leisure are travel agencies and tour operators. Over the years we have worked with travel agencies across the UK, in Australia and the USA.

When and where did you start Sujester?

Sujester was started in London in Autumn 2016. 

What is your business model?

We have a SaaS (software as a service) business model. We can either charge a fixed fee, a variable fee (depending on performance/use/commission) and a blend between the two.

About you privately: Where do you live and work?

I live and work in London, UK.

What was your most remarkable travel experience?

My most remarkable travel experience was in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Never have I seen so much flora and fauna that was out of this world. The landscapes were like no other, and I had the opportunity to see penguins and flamingoes on the same day. The Galapagos Islands would be the first recommendation I’d make to a nature lover.

Interview with Magnatech

Our conversation with Paul Gioia (CEO) and Scott Millar (Director, Sales & Strategic Partnerships) revealed a great deal about the awesome TravelTech company from Montreal.

Magnatech is mostly known for its unused tickets solution. The topic is widespread in North America, but almost unknown in Europe. Why is that?

Unused tickets usually have value in both Europe and North America. In Europe, there is the possibility of a ticket refund – so the traveller receives a refund. Whereas in the US and Canada, a credit is issued for the value of the ticket minus a “penalty” when purchasing a new ticket.

Paul Gioia

With our “Ontrackplus” solution, TMCs and corporates can manage and keep track of these unused tickets ensuring they are used before expiration.

How do you achieve that exactly?

We track all of our customers’ booked tickets by scanning the corresponding GDS queues several times a day.

If a profile tool like Umbrella is used, then all unused tickets will be attached to the corresponding profile. In the case of an OBE booking, the booker will automatically be informed in the event that an appropriate balance is available.

How do you deal with non-GDS bookings?

If a corresponding ghost segment exists, we can also record, manage and report non-GDS bookings.

Scott Millar

Do you see business opportunities for Ontrackplus in Europe as well?

With our technology, the often-complicated refund process in Europe can be completely automated. This is something we are pursuing with interested parties.

What other products do you offer at Magnatech?

In addition to our flagship product for unused tickets, we also offer solutions in the following areas:

  • Duty of Care
  • Quality Control
  • Itinerary Delivery
  • Compliance Control
  • Pre-Trip Approval

Which customers are you primarily addressing with your solutions?

Magnatech is of interest to anyone using a GDS or a direct connect solution whose booking data we can read at any time.

We now work with over 30 of the 50 largest corporate travel agencies in the US and Canada.

Tell us about the company history and your participation.

Magnatech was founded in 1990. Paul joined in 2002 and Scott followed 3 years later. In 2016, we jointly acquired the company as part of a corporate restructuring. Paul is the President & CEO as well as majority shareholder.

Currently Magnatech employs 14 dynamic individuals and make up a wonderful multicultural team, which is typical of Montreal’s fast-growing software industry.

Like almost everyone in this industry, you enjoy travel. Which travel experiences have left the biggest impression on you so far?

Scott: It was actually a business trip, on the way back from Atlanta. An ice storm had paralysed all air traffic. For some reason, my flight was the very last one to be cancelled, and I didn’t realise until it was too late. As a result, I was literally the only passenger in that huge airport.

Paul: My family and I recently visited Portugal and became instant fans of the country.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Portugal, its food, its culture and its welcoming people. Albufeira is definitely one of my favourite destinations.

Thank you for the wonderful interview and your hospitality!

Interview mit Glenn Watson, Advantage Focus Partnership

Umbrella had the honour of taking part in a wonderful, very effective “speed dating” event with Focus Partnership in Manchester. The Focus Partnership is a group of 60 owner-operated TMCs in the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands.

In this interview, Glenn Watson, the mastermind behind this event, explains topics such as how Focus and its partners are preparing for new sales channels with NDC and more.  


Interview with Alon Meisels, CEO at Atriis

When we talk to TMCs about NDC, the name Atriis is on everyone’s lips. These travel tech pros from the Israeli city of Tiberias seem to be doing a lot right. And now there is also a bidirectional profile data interface between Umbrella and Atriis. 

We spoke to the company’s CEO Alon Meisels to find out more about the technology and vision that drive Atriis’ impressive growth.


Interview with Frederic de Pardieu, CEO of mTrip

Dear Reader, what do you think of the idea that travellers can maintain their profile information directly in their travel app? It’s actually a very popular idea and unsurprisingly so, as it makes perfect sense.

Umbrella’s data integration with the Canadian travel assistant app mTrip is amazingly convenient, both for travellers and for TMCs.

Here’s our interview with mTrip’s founder and CEO, Frederic de Pardieu:


GlobalStar and Umbrella

GlobalStar Travel Management operates in more than 3,500 locations in over 85 countries. Its combined turnover is more than US $14 billion.

Umbrella is pleased to announce that GlobalStar has chosen us as their global partner for profile management!

Please find below our insightful interview with GlobalStar’s president, Steve Hartwell and Benjamin Christen, Implementation & Operational Development Manager!


Umbrella und Evolvi

Die Profilschnittstelle zwischen Umbrella und Evolvi ist seit Februar 2018 live.

Peter Koukoularides ist Business Development Manager bei Evolvi, einer führenden Bahnbuchungs-Plattform in Grossbritannien. Er hat uns im folgenden Interview mit spannenden Informationen über sein Unternehmen versorgt.


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