Ann Arbor-based Conlin Travel will replace TSI-USA — formerly known as TravelFocus — as U-M’s official travel agency within Concur, the university’s automated travel and expense system, starting Dec. 2.

Faculty and staff who use Concur to book travel will not see any changes in the process as a result, and won’t need to re-create their travel profiles within the system.

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As the university’s new travel agency, Conlin Travel will offer the university reduced online reservation fees over the current vendor. These discounted fees will also be available to employees and students for personal travel when they book plans directly with Conlin Travel. 

A cross-functional team consisting of staff members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses selected Conlin Travel. The team, which represented colleges, schools, and units with significant travel expenditures and/or unique travel circumstances, worked collaboratively with Procurement Services to evaluate proposals from five travel agencies, and also participated in onsite presentations from each of the agencies.

“After careful analysis of a variety of key factors ranging from customer service and pricing to domestic/international travel experience and capabilities, the team chose Conlin Travel, which has been operating in Ann Arbor since 1959,” said Nancy Hobbs, director of procurement services. “The team felt strongly that Conlin Travel best met the university’s wide range of travel needs and was also a vendor with a local presence and reputation for high-quality service.”  

Hobbs also noted that many areas at the university already have a relationship with Conlin Travel and have been using the agency to meet their travel needs for years.

“We’ve been using Conlin Travel since 2007 and the company has done a very good job in helping us with some fairly complex travel plans. The fact that they’re local is important to our faculty and staff. We’ve gotten to know the Conlin team very well over the years and have always appreciated the extra effort they put forth on our behalf,” said Karen BakkenBowers, finance and systems director for the executive education program at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

 “We hope that employees will use Conlin Travel for their travel needs. In doing so, our employees will not only be supporting a locally-owned business, but they’ll also be helping us obtain data that the university can then use to reduce overall costs by negotiating better rates with airlines, hotels, and ground transportation companies,” Hobbs said.