The Ensemble International Conference kicked off this week in Seattle, and at the opening session, Ensemble Travel Group CEO David Harris shared several important updates from the company. This year’s event is themed Travel With Purpose.
Harris said that the company had the best year in its history in 2018, with more growth to come this year: preferred supplier sales are forecast to top $1.4 billion, up 8 percent year-over-year.
Harris also shared a shift in approach when it comes to how the company measures its business. Up to now, Ensemble has only tracked its managed business, concentrating on that to facilitate tracking and compensation of the organization’s shareholders. Recently, Ensemble has been working to capture the full value of its unmanaged business, which it calls its Total Travel Value. Because of that effort, Harris said that the company can now validate that its unmanaged air business alone represents over $1.5 billion annually in North America. Including airline web and online sales, GDS sales in Canada and all unmanaged air sales and non-preferred supplier sales from its members, Ensemble has an industry footprint that’s at least $4 billion worth of business, Harris said.
Going forward, Harris said that Ensemble is planning to work on five fundamental pillars for its members:
- Build skills and training
- Create unique product offerings
- Innovative partnerships
- Analytics that create efficiency
- A Holistic approach
In keeping with this year’s Travel With Purpose theme, sustainability will also be a big focus for Ensemble in the future, particularly as it becomes more top-of-mind for the traveling public. Harris said that the company will be announcing some new partnerships to help members educate and help their clients travel consciously, which he said could be a real differentiator for the organization and its members.