Flight Centre Acquires WhereTo

WHY IT RATES: FCTG will integrate WhereTo into products and services across both its Corporate Traveler and FCM Travel Solutions brands. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) is pleased to announce the acquisition of San Francisco-based WhereTo, an enterprise travel platform and technology company that simplifies and improves business travel planning for corporations. WhereTo pulls in content from dozens of sources and uses artificial intelligence-based algorithms to quickly guide users to the optimal trip options within policy, factoring in criteria like traffic conditions, travel deals and personal preferences.

This acquisition follows on the heels of several other technology-based businesses that FCTG has acquired or invested in over the past two years, as well as the full acquisition of Silicon Valley-based Casto Travel. FCTG plans to integrate the WhereTo offering into products & services offered across both its Corporate Traveler and FCM Travel Solutions brands.

“Flight Centre’s acquisition of WhereTo will serve multiple purposes within our businesses, in addition to fortifying the continued growth of the already successful WhereTo portfolio with our global resources and footprint.” said Charlene Leiss, President of Flight Centre Travel Group in the Americas. “Our continued investments in booking technology, content aggregation, AI, and mobile services provide our corporate customers with best-in-class technology tools to help them stay ahead of the rapidly evolving corporate travel landscape. We are delighted to come together with WhereTo during this unprecedented time to make a significant advancement in our technology capability, which will allow us to emerge from the crisis in an incredibly powerful way.”

“The need to provide our customers with an advanced digital platform that accentuates the blended service model we offer is further heightened with the COVID-19 pandemic.” FCTG Chief Experience Officer John Morhous added. “We look forward to leveraging the WhereTo technology within our existing products to help expose the complex duty of care requirements we’ll be facing as global travel restrictions are lifted, in line with the ‘design & control’ of user experiences which underpin the strategies of our two largest brands.”

Over the past several years, FCTG has put a great deal of emphasis and resources to build a dynamic and robust system that can easily work in tandem with a variety of technologies and platforms utilized by airline partners. The partnership with WhereTo is a critical step in building a customer experience from the group up that can handle an increasingly complex distribution environment. In addition, FCTG is eager to explore the potential application of WherTo’s leisure offering, WhereFor, a search engine providing the best options based on a traveler’s budget.

“We are very excited to have WhereTo become part of the Flight Centre Travel Group family,” said Ryan Wenger, WhereTo’s, CEO and founder. As we began with a focus on large enterprise customers, we’re eager to bring that premier level of security, customizability, and functionality to clients of all sizes. FCTG has a strong technology and service foundation that we will leverage to become the best in class travel management platform for any employee or travel manager.”

WhereTo will continue business as usual with its current client base and fulfillment partners. Terms of the deal are undisclosed.

SOURCE: Flight Centre Travel Group press release.

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