Digitalization as a business process.

Digitalization as a process (instead of as an objective) needs from change attitudes and continue adaptation, which includes getting out of the comfort zone, looking for new opportunities. The key for a digital organization is to see the digital conversion as an opportunity to combine practices which may result new techniques and skills.

  • Digital conversion generates new experiences for the customer.
  • It improves the operating efficiency.
  • It generates new source of income.
  • Quick answer against trade changes.
  • It creates a competitive advantage.
  • It boosts culture of innovation inside the organization.
  • It improves the intern collaboration.
  • Big Data in-depth inquiry.

Customer’s experience predominate above the traditional values and places technology, especially software, as the key and main item on a business model. As a study made by Salesforce (a company specialized in administration based in relationship with costumers) says, 70% of clients expect brands to understand and anticipate their needs.

 

Make yourself visible. Use technology to come forward through every available platform that nowadays exists. The purpose is to be connected every time and on every moment, wherever your company may need it. This task is also beneficial for your clients: it’s going to open a communication channel opened on each directions, making possible to know how he customer is feeling about your actions and values and redirecting them in the good point.

 

Feel the client’s place. Be concern about your client’s needs, know him, and invest on what they care about. Do you what are your clients waiting from your company? Or how high are they satisfaction feeling about you? Do an in-depth research and use these information to start a responsive technological change.

 

Think in the long-term. The digital challenge will not end only adopting new systems and processes. Technology is alive and it will be developing year by year and decade by decade. The best way to assume this project is to establish a long-term strategy, simplify it in smaller and measurable processes and monitor it in order to redirect possible fails, following the same way all the time.

 

Involve your team. It’s obvious that a company works better with their employees implication, so it’s important to involve them on the digital process, to ensure it works from each instance and departments.

 

Visiting Barcelona: 5 Places Not to Miss

Spain has a lot of charming places to visit and deciding where to go first is not an easy task, but today, we present 5 reasons why you simply cannot miss Barcelona. Urban areas, architectural heritage, leisure and museums are only few reasons to choose Catalonia for MICE travel, but the region also boasts hidden spaces that can only be discovered by taking a stroll. Discover the city’s top spots:

 

Rambles and Born.

Rambles Boulevard starts in Catalonia Square and finishes near the port, where there the Christopher Columbus statue stands tall, pointing out to the sea. The walk is surrounded by flowers, street actors, bars, restaurants and shops. There are some painters near the port area, which has become a cosmopolitan and artistic hub. The medieval neighborhood of El Born is now the center of new urban trends, a place to enjoy an avant-garde lifestyle while feeling the echoes of the past.

 

Sagrada Familia.

The Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s most famous silhouette, and each of its façades are a symbol created by the genius of Gaudí. One must consider that there are 4 different styles in their 4 façades, with each one giving different perspective of Gaudi’s creation. To give his building splendor and emphasis, he utilized light and color. This is all with the aim of depicting Jesus’ nativity and life story that is clear to see for visitors once they are in Barcelona. The evolution of the structure has already spanned 5 generations. Today, its construction continues. The project is each year visited by thousands of tourists and locals alike as each day can bring a surprise with a new development.

 

Montjuic con Mnac.

Montjuïc’s natural park is the best place to enjoy nature and culture together, as it is full of splendid gardens and cultural gems. In the mountains you can find Olympic facilities, where Olympic Games were hosted in 1992.

 

Passeig de Gracia.

A window to the XIX Century bourgeoisie, this elegant boulevard joins Catalonia Square with the neighborhood of Gracia. It is surrounded by modern Barcelona buildings which turn the avenue into an outdoor museum. Walking on the organic floor designed by Gaudi is as charming as the street lamps lighting the white mosaic covered benches. These architectural features go hand in hand with the most prestigious shops and businesses.

 

Barceloneta.

Fishermen were the first people to discover this area known as “Barceloneta”. It is a sailor neighborhood that was built in the XVIII century. But the Barceloneta neighborhood has changed a lot since then, now a cosmopolitan area, full of bars coffees and life, with music being played both day and night. It appeals to all senses with the colours of the clothes hanging outdoors, the murmur of the waves, the smell of the sea and the salty taste.

7 Reasons to put Tenerife on your bucket list.

Tenerife is an island where everything is possible: stunning nature, relaxing beaches, the tallest volcano in Spain (el Teide), shopping, golf and much, much more. Enjoy Tenerife whichever way you want and don’t leave without tasting its gastronomy!

Here we have compiled Tenerife’s Top 7 Highlights to prove that is a place you simply must visit.

 

Teide National Park.

Teide National Park is located in the centre of the island, with an altitude of 2.000 meters, while the Volcano’s peak (3.718 metres) is the tallest in Spain. Teide National Park is the most popular National Park in all of Europe, receiving around 3 million tourists a year. 

The aborigines of the Canary Islands (guanches) believed that Guayota, the King of Evil, lived inside the volcano Teide and kidnapped the god Magec (god of the light and the Sun), carrying him down to the volcano depths. Guanches asked Achamán (their ultimate god) for clemency, who finally achieved the triumph over Guayota, rescued Magec from the Teide’s insides and plugged its crater. It’s said that this cap is the ‘crown’ of the volcano and is white in colour.

 

La Laguna.

In Tenerife’s North, San Cristobal de la Laguna was the first and only Canary city that has been declared a UNESCO World heritage site. It’s the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll in the streets and enjoy the XV Century churches and historical buildings. A popular option is to combine cultural walking trails with trips to some of the many typical tapas bars.

 

Garden Beach.

Canary artist César Manrique is the talented artist behind the beauty of the Garden beach, a picturesque beach in Puerto de la Cruz. His vision of creating an attractive coastal landscape really comes alive here; palm trees and long expanses of volcanic sand surrounded by colourful botanical gardens. The result: an elegant and charming place space. Waterfalls, plants and flowers, small swimming pools with marine life… Visiting this magical place leaves people speechless.

 

Whale Watching.

Due the fact they are wild animals; each tour is a different experience. Their behavior depends on multiple factors such as the time of day, the breed, available food, sea conditions etc. However, because whales are very active, it is possible to observe them playing with the waves, making bubbles or even spying on the visitors. They might first appear as mere spots in the sea, appearing and disappearing with the waves or, they may pop out of the waves and appear as the imposing creatures they are. Whales swim through the ocean, without limits or course and for a moment, you’ll share with them a daunting feeling: the freedom of the open sea.

 

The Giant Cliffs.

This is a must-see in Tenerife, on the west coast. These vertical cliffs overlook the Atlantic Ocean from a height between 300 and 600 metres. It is the main attraction on the west coast where it’s possible to admire the different rock colors through the landscape.

 

Anaga Mountains.

The Anaga Mountains take up a large section of Tenerife and consist of coastline, forests and villages. This area is a protected natural landscape, and it is breathtaking. Here you will find places of natural interest, such as the Roques de Anaga, which are rock formations in the sea. Despite all its beauty, the Anaga Mountain is still unexplored. There are people who still live in caves in the surrounding Anaga villages!

 

Garachico.

Garachico is located in the Northeast region of the island. More than half of its landscape is covered by canary pine, volcanic stones and an ancient cliff, which separates the historical part of the town from the surroundings.  It consists of banana fields and its own leisure port together with black sand beaches and small cliffs. There is also a natural swimming pool zone, called El Caletón where you can enjoy the amazing boulders that overlook the coast.

5 places in Seville you must visit in 2018.

According to Lonely Planet, Seville is the best city to visit in 2018, and we certainly agree with them! Seville is the essence of everything that crosses your mind when thinking “Spain”: sunshine, flamenco, tapas, ceramics, opera, stunning monuments of rich architectural heritage (Moorish, Catholic, Jewish…), bulls and much more.

When visiting Seville, the following places are ‘must see’:

 

Cathedral & Giralda Tower.

Built on top of the Mosque after the Catholic Kings’re-conquest, the Cathedral of Seville is the third largest church in the World after Saint Peter’s in the Vatican and Saint Paul’s in London. The Giralda Tower was the former minaret which has been preserved within the Cathedral structure because of its outstanding beauty. Nowadays, the Giralda Tower is the city bell tower.

Royal Alcazar.

This fortress of Moorish influences is a jewel of architecture. The oldest part of the fortress dates back to the 10th Ceramics and beautiful tiles cut according to the tradition of the alicatado, courtyards with fountains, beautifully carved wooden ceilings and plaster walls and amazing flowered gardens are what this structure has to offer. This monument is certainly one of the most beautiful in town.

Plaza de España.

Built as the main information pavilion during the 1929 Iberian-American exhibition, Plaza de España is another jewel of architecture in Seville. Located in María Luisa Park, the green epicentre of the city, it invites visitors to relax and wander around the beautiful ceramics representing the 50 provinces of Spain. This place is stunning and has been part of the set for many movies including Star Wars and Lawrence of Arabia.

Santa Cruz & Triana Quarters.

Santa Cruz quarter is located just behind the Cathedral and Alcazar. It is a maze of narrow streets full of white-washed houses with flowered courtyards (although private property, some are open to the public). This quarter is also full of small boutique hotels, tapas bars, souvenir shops and museums. This is probably the most touristic neighborhood in town but it definitely is worth the visit. If you wish to visit a more “genuine” quarter, cross the Guadalquivir River and visit Triana. Triana is one of the favourite quarters of the locals. Famous for its ceramic shops, churches and its colourful market, we highly recommend you pay a visit to this part of the city. The market is located inside Saint George Castle, a castle that served as Tribunal of the Inquisition; you can visit, on its -1 floor, a museum dedicated to this theme.

Metropol Parasol.

Seville is not only traditions and old monuments, it is also a vibrant and evolving city, constantly looking to the future. Metropol Parasol is a perfect example of this mix between past, present and future. Built a few years ago by a German architect, Metropol Parasol offers a very modern type of architecture (all made from white concrete and wood). On the -1 floor you will find a museum dedicated to the Roman ruins that were discovered during the resurrection of this building. On the top of the building, you will find a venue (suitable for gala dinner or meetings), a bar and a stunning rooftop where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. An interesting contrast of architecture in the middle of the old town.

What’s more, don’t forget to try as many tapas bars as possible (Iberian ham, salmorejo, spinach with chickpeas, fried fishes, sangria & sherry wines are only some examples). Enter a tablao flamenco to immerse yourself in our traditional flamenco or enjoy an opera performance at the Teatro de la Maestranza. Come and visit Seville, you won’t regret it!

Technology usage trends in business travels. Infographic.

Nowadays, companies and business travel are connected by technology: tablets, smartphones, smart watches… all sorts of mobile devices are now being used by travellers – for work, to take photos, to find a restaurant or to simply not get lost in a foreign city! It’s important to be prepared at the beginning of a business trip and to have previously download all the necessary apps to help, but…

What’s the technology usage of an average traveller, before starting a trip?

  • 50% of them take videos and photos.
  • 47% use their devices to check maps and routes in foreign cities.
  • 45% of travellers need them to stay connected with other people and to share on social media.
  • 38% also check the weather.

Optical doctors asked Cititravel to get 300 pigs’ eyes.

How does a DMC Company help their clients in certain situations? It obviously depends on each company, but what we can let you know, is how Cititravel reacts, after all the experience gained during more than 30 years of groups´ operations in these cases. Solving problems, events´ special logistics or last minute requests from clients, are our daily tasks, but today, and as an anecdote to illustrate our savoir-faire, we would like to share with you, an episode we underwent, not long ago.

At the beginning of October, we had an Optical Medical event in Spain, this time in Madrid. The 300 doctors on the event, made a real “peculiar” request; they made us look for 300 pig’s eyes, to test a medication during their event. It was the reason why so many physicians were in attendance too. Imagine how to get 300 fresh pig’s eyes in such short notice! Our Madrid’s Project Manager started by asking many slaughterhouses, starting in Madrid and finishing in Gerona, where he finally found them. It was the company Friselva, who helped us get the eyes we needed, understanding the urgent situation and collaborating with us all the time. It seemed that, luckily enough, they were very much demanded for the Chinese market and though it took some time, the Factory made it happen and we got them just in time.

The next step was to get them to Madrid, so we asked different companies if they could help us. The problem was that, on that very same day, a transport strike in Cataluña started. No car, van, private company or refrigerated truck could be able to help us transporting the goods to Madrid…airports and highways were closed, so here, we had the second challenge!

On top of that, the eyes had to be kept fresh, so we needed a fast solution. We had the valuable help of our Barcelona office, buying cool boxes, to maintain the eyes fresh. And, then, it happened: our Project Manager had the idea of using an ambulance, as due to force majeure, no strike could stop it. The trip started in Gerona and on its way to Madrid, the ambulance driver had to make some stops during the way, to buy and replace the ice. When it finally arrived, every delegate was talking about the ambulance and they couldn´t be more grateful to Cititravel. They finally had their fresh pig’s eyes on time: «Thanks again for making this happen!!  We really appreciate everything you did for us!» Were their appreciative words all the time, which made us feel real proud.

It was a real odyssey, but we finally resolved it, thanks to Friselva, our Madrid’s Project Manager, our Barcelona office and, of course, Cititravel expertise on solving satisfactorily, any issue. Our clients’ satisfaction is our main concern and top priority!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 useful apps for business travelers

It’s important to be prepared for a business trip because it might be an opportunity to network, meet new contacts and to learn new skills and to later apply them to your business. As you know, portable device and especially mobile phone usage is increasing day by day, as they are becoming powerful allies for the traveler. With this in mind, we show you the TOP 5 Apps to use on a business trip.

  1. Evernote Business: this app allows you to connect all your devices at the same time, so it’s possible to work from anywhere. It’s useful to take notes and keep them in their original format: personal notes, websites extracts, e-mail addresses, images, blogs, videos…It’s also possible to add images at any note by copying them (JPEG, PNG, GIF), audio (MP3) or documents (PDF, HTML, TXT). Evernote offers its own screenshot tool and the possibility to organize the notes by naming them using key words or topics.

https://evernote.com/intl/es/business/use-cases

  1. Invoice 2go: Real time invoices, in just minutes! This app allows you to create a client’s bill without a laptop or a computer, by using different types of pre-designed layouts. The options are: writing up bills, creating budgets or purchase orders. You start by filling out the form with necessary information such as the client name or products and, automatically, a full invoice is produced with subtotal, taxes, discounts and the total to pay. The bill can be exported as PDF, ready to send, or a document with a PayPal link, to make payment easier.

https://invoice.2go.com/es-es/

  1. Producteev: This app helps manage personal and team tasks. Each worker can create one or several private workspaces and, on each space, different people can work on it at the same time, coordinating together to achieve their tasks or goals. Organising workspaces is simple, just name them and (optional) include other aspects like date, priority, comments or type of tasks. It’s also possible to synchronize Producteev with Email accounts, so tasks can be created by sending messages with hashtags.

https://www.producteev.com/

  1. CamScanner: This app sends scanned documents or images by exporting them in PDF or JPG. It works very easily: it starts by taking pictures of the document and choosing a filter (for example, a black and white one). The document can then be shared in different apps (WhatsApp, Telegram…), save it in a new phone note, send it by mail or Fax. It supports 16 languages, including English, Chinese and Japanese.

https://www.camscanner.com/

  1. Business Plan Premier: This app guides the user through the steps to prepare and organize his/her own business plan, to make a professional presentation to investors or interested people. First, it helps the user with the project summary, its structure, ideas and concepts. It defines the product-service characteristics, with its target and competence too. It’s possible to edit the result, print it, send it by mail or upload it to Dropbox.

https://itunes.apple.com/es/app/business-plan-premier/id527732934?mt=8

Planning and organizing your tasks and company will be much easier for the Business traveler with the help of some of these TOP Apps!

 

 

Business travels tips: how to transform an exhaustive journey in a practical and enjoyable one.

These days, business travels (and travelers) are increasing due to how the world is globalizing and, as a consequence, how networking is gaining importance. Movements, flights, transfers… all what a travel means, may be exhausting for travelers, especially if they do it because of business. Below we are going to leave you some tips, to make your journey more pleasant and comfortable, and some factors you might need to know before arriving to your destination.

About Security.

  1. Be informed about the possible risks and necessary documents before starting the travel.
  2. Book your activities, hotel, and transport…through secure channels, normally recommended by the company you are flying with.
  3. Have on hand every booking information, medical insurance and contact phones, to use in case of emergency.
  4. Try not to drive after long-haul flights.
  5. Pay attention to your luggage at all times.
  6. Take the taxi always in the waiting post/line.
  7. Close the latch in your hotel room always.
  8. Once you have made your hotel check-in, we recommend leaving your passport at the hotel (safe box).
  9. Always use the hotel safe box, to keep your valuable personal belongings like laptop, jewelry, etc.
  10. Check who is knocking at the room door, if you’re not waiting for visits.
  11. Try not to carry more credit cards or cash than what you will need.
  12. In countries with politic instability, register your personal information at your embassy.
  13. It’s important to know how to block your credit cards or access to your personal information, in a remote way in the event of theft or loss.
  14. Check all the official information at the countries’ web pages, at least if your destination country is a high-risk one.

Remember, a happier employee is a more productive one: not all the journeys must be work; try to reconcile it with spare time activities: bleisure (business+leisure) is always an option. You won’t want to be remembered tired or grumpy by your possible contacts; always enjoy your free time!

About the flight.

  1. Try to travel without a lot of baggage: carry only what you’re going to use. Plan your daily outfit, think about each day, separately. If you’re going to do a demonstration, try to send your products to the hotel some time before.
  2. Use your time during the flight. There is not Internet on the plane, but you can write mails to send them later on, or work in pending projects. Don’t forget you can also start networking, looking for contacts, and have interesting and productive conversations.
  3. Fight with the jet lag: to struggle this type of time changes, try to plan a similar schedule, as the one you would have at your destination, at least one or two days before the journey. Carrying a mask and headphones may be beneficial. if you want to sleep.
  4. Organize yourself: use apps like Evernote to note that ideas you have at any time, and save them all in your dispositive.

 

Portugal, Leading Destination in 2017 by the World Travel Awards.

Last September, Portugal was one of the big winners at World’s Travel Awards’ Europe Gala Ceremony 2017. The country was voted Europe’s Leading Destination and Portugal’s Leading Conference Hotel 2017 among others. In addition, the Portuguese archipielago of Madeira obtained the Europe’s Leading Island Destination Award and El Algarve, located in South Portugal, was recognized as Europe’s Leading Beach Destination 2017.

The World Travel Awards recognize the winner countries with the hallmark of quality and also set the mark to which others countries will aspire in the future.

Spain received awards too, like the Europe’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre 2017 (Barcelona), the Spain’s Leading MICE Hotel 2017 and the Spain’s Leading Business Hotel 2017.

On a night of high drama in host city St. Petersburg, Portugal was voted Europe’s Leading Destination with Turismo de Portugal, scooping the prize for Europe’s Leading Tourist Board.

The president and Founder of the World Travel Awards, Graham Cooke, declared it was an honor to visit Russia for the first time and he wanted to congratulate all the winners. Cooke also said that he was sure St. Petersburg is going to take “its rightful place as a top rank tourism destination”.

See all the Awards by clicking here.

Cititravel DMC Presented with Prestigious European Award for Merit in Work

The European Association of Economy and Competitiveness was created to promote, develop and recognise the mechanisms of companies that demonstrate excellence in business development and performance within a European framework.

The Association’s annual awards pick out high achievers across a number of fields including entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, magistrates and communication experts. This year Cititravel, organisers of corporate events in Spain and Portugal, joined their ranks as the proud recipient of the European Gold Medal for Merit in Work.

Companies that receive this award are recognised as a model to follow and a benchmark in their field. Factors taken into account are quality, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and business awareness – all of which Cititravel has displayed in abundance over more than three decades of offering clients the highest levels of service, always striving to exceed expectations.

The award ceremony took place at the NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding on 15 September 2017 attended by high ranking dignitaries from all over the continent. After having won multiple prizes on a national and international level in the world of corporate group travel, winning this award, Europe-wide and with all business sectors eligible, is especially satisfying for Cititravel DMC.