Abby Penston, CEO of Focus Travel Partnership has won the Institute of Travel Management Resilience Award for pivoting the business travel consortium during the COVID-19 pandemic to a bridging strategy to improve business connections, efficiencies and resilience to support its TMC partners through the toughest time they would ever face.

In the first 12 weeks of the pandemic each Focus Travel Partner received £20,000 of management consultancy services.

Focus Travel Partnership offers business support with HR, accountancy and legal services; operational support in terms of training; as well as providing an extranet and weekly updates on industry issues.

Partners also benefit from being part of a community that belongs to the Federation of Small Businesses and the Business Travel Association and provides excellent networking opportunities through Focus events, which have been held online. 

Accolades for Abby, who was unaware of her nomination, came from industry suppliers, employees and TMC partners and outlined how she collaborated with the Partners and utilised her many connections to provide them with the support they needed at each stage of change.

Wendy Walker, Director of Wotton Travel said: “Abby has shown her true leadership skills throughout this pandemic.  Her ability to provide the Focus TMC Partners with continuous relevant information has been second to none and I can’t think of anyone better to be in charge of this multi-billion pound business.”

Nick Scott, MD from ArrangeMy said: “During such a difficult period for our industry Abby’s leadership of Focus has been exemplary. She always provides a boost of positivity in every interaction.”

Cilla Goldberger, MD of ABT-UK said: “Abby has one thought throughout this crucial year, and that is what she can do to help, support and guide the Focus members, her incredible team and the industry on a whole.”

About Focus Travel Partnership

Focus Travel Partnership is the leading business travel consortium for the independent and SME sector and has 50 members with a turnover of a £1 billion. The partnership uses the members’ collective size and buying power to negotiate the best deals with suppliers in the air, rail and tech sectors. Focus Travel Partnership believes that as SMEs make up 80% of jobs in the UK and over 99% of all private sector businesses, it will be key to economic recovery.