Coming to America

Gray Dawes Launches In The USA

As part of our continuing global expansion strategy, Gray Dawes Travel has launched operations in North America with two key appointments; we’re delighted to announce that Michel Botbol joins us as Chairman of the Board (North America) and Carolann Martini has taken the role of Chief Customer Officer, based in New York.

Following our expansion into Australia last month with the acquisition of MP Travel in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne (read about it here) the launch of Gray Dawes Travel in the USA enhances our services to existing international clients as well as opening new global markets.

With a turnover of over £250m and employee numbers beyond the 250 mark, Gray Dawes has built an enviable foundation which paves the way for our exciting expansion into America. Well known in the UK and Europe for our technical innovation and high-touch service, our focus on providing complete business travel management solutions with a personal touch is what sets us apart in the corporate travel arena and is the core reason behind our ongoing commercial success. We now look forward to replicating this winning formula on a global scale!

Michel Botbol, Carolann Martini and Suzanne Horner

Michel Botbol, Carolann Martini & Suzanne Horner

Commenting on the announcement, Suzanne Horner, Gray Dawes Group CEO, said,

“Our expansion into the USA is incredibly exciting. It represents the next step in our global growth plan and closes the circle on our unique service delivery strategy.” Horner continues. “Out of hours, for example, is simply no longer a thing for Gray Dawes; we are now ALWAYS ON – there for our clients, where they need us, when they need us. And with a shared technology platform across the entire Gray Dawes operation, our clients will enjoy a seamless personal service as we follow the sun from the UK to Australia to America.”

Michel Botbol joins Gray Dawes from Frosch, prior to that he was at Ultramar Travel Management, where he was President Travel and Transport Ultramar and International. Under his leadership Ultramar’s revenue increased tenfold. “I am thrilled to be joining such a forward thinking, client and employee focused organisation. Despite being almost 100 years old, Gray Dawes Travel’s drive and ambition makes it feel like a start-up and that energy is infectious,” Botbol says. “With so much corporate consolidation happening in the US, there’s a fantastic opportunity for us to fill the void of delivering a genuine high-touch service on a global scale.”

Carolann Martini shares Botbol’s excitement. She comments, “Gray Dawes Travel’s success in the UK is such a great foundation to launch the brand in the USA. I’m thrilled to be looking after our global customers and excited to reconnect with contacts in New York as I introduce them to what Gray Dawes has to offer, which I believe is truly unique thinking within the corporate travel space. My goal is to leverage my expertise in the USA and Gray Dawes’ established service delivery model to build outstanding and fully customised global managed travel programmes.” Martini continues, “We have so many amazing ideas for our customers and with Gray Dawes, nothing is off the table!”

Commenting on her appointment, Martini said “I’ve definitely found a home with Gray Dawes and I’m thrilled to have already met so many like-minded colleagues; they’re ideas people and go-getters. We already have lots of interest from people wanting to learn more, both prospects and talent!” Martini continues, “The history and heritage Gray Dawes has is really something; it gives the company such strong foundations – global customers really value that safe pair of hands assurance. But what they’ll also get from Gray Dawes is an incredibly contemporary outlook on global travel management and a fresh focus which is really exciting.”

Martini joins the Gray Dawes family from TakeTwo Travel Solutions where she was Executive Vice President for Global Solutions. Prior to that, Martini was part of the senior executive team at CTM and Ultramar Travel Management. Suzanne Horner concludes:

“I have long been an admirer of both Michel and Carolann; what they achieved in their respective careers, at Ultramar and beyond, has been extraordinary and their knowledge of the North American market, New York especially, is unrivalled. Michel and Carolann are both such a perfect match for the Gray Dawes brand and I am hugely excited that they’re here to help us realise our ambitions in the USA.”

Horner teased: “Michel and Carolann’s appointments are just the beginning of our expansion into the Americas; we have even more exciting news to share very soon!”

Related Articles

Chicago: A Business Traveller’s Guide

Chicago: A Business Traveller’s Guide

Whether its digging into a traditional deep-dish pizza or making deals in the boardrooms of the The Loop business district, get to know the Windy City better in this comprehensive guide for business travellers.

An Expert’s Guide to Ancillaries

An Expert’s Guide to Ancillaries

Arriving at your destination is just one step of the journey. In this article, we sit down with Matthew Bond, Enterprise Account Manager, to talk about ancillaries and how by booking “added extras” as part of a complete, door-to-door trip with Gray Dawes you can streamline your business trips.

I Can Find It Cheaper On The Internet

I Can Find It Cheaper On The Internet

American Airlines announced in February 2024 that it would require travel agencies and online booking tools to connect directly to their NDC channel or lose access to up to 50% of fares, with travellers no longer receiving Advantage points on bookings. Here’s what happened next…