Worldgo’s Trevor Sawatsky and Eric Sakawsky met 15 years ago through a travel mix-up. Because of their similar last names, Trevor’s luggage was delivered to Eric’s room when they attended the same conference. After tracking down the missing bags, Trevor knocked on Eric’s door. That was the start to a great friendship and, eventually, joining forces at Eric’s corporate travel company, Worldgo.
The men each have backgrounds in travel. Eric began his career as a leisure sales travel agent and, later, moved to a large corporate travel agency in South Africa. “I love travel and always wanted to stay in the space,” he said. Eric co-founded Worldgo with a friend in 2015. Trevor built his experience over more than a decade at a large, international travel company before joining Worldgo as its technology director.
Based in Vancouver, B.C., Worldgo’s corporate clientele spans Canada and ranges across many industries. Retail and technology are particular business areas with which the company excels. “I think it’s because our culture is young and fun and vibrant. We attract those similar kinds of companies,” said Eric.
The Worldgo co-founder continued, “Our main reasons for starting the business are that we wanted to offer a very transparent and honest corporate travel model, and also marry exceptional service with exceptional technology. When it comes to tech, ease of use is 100% the biggest thing for travelers.”
Because travel technology is always evolving, the team keeps an eye out for the latest advances. They always felt their legacy online booking tool was lacking in functionality and usability, so they were excited when they discovered Etta, the travel booking and management solution from Deem that offers superior functionality, user experience, and accessibility.
“Etta is efficient and intuitive — travelers really love the experience,” said Eric. “It’s got that wow factor that we were seeking for our clients. We wanted something that looked 2020-ish instead of 2010-ish, and Etta more than delivers on that.”
“We wanted an online booking platform with a user-friendly interface and full mobile functionality,” said Trevor, the company’s director of technology. “So we set out on the journey to find another solution.” After considering another typical online booking tool, choosing the complete travel platform Etta provides was easy. He added, “The innovation [Deem] is doing — all the upgrades — we could see that quickly and we wanted to be a part of that.”
The Worldgo team understands the needs of its client businesses and their travelers, and believes Etta will provide lasting benefits for each group. For travelers, the modern interface and its mobile platform are big advantages.
“The mobile experience is amazing,” said Eric. “The look and feel is awesome, and the functionality is far superior. Most people are on their phones throughout the day, so being able to have a fluid, enjoyable experience booking travel that’s easy on a mobile app is a game changer. The fact that Deem put so much time and effort into the app is exciting.”
They also cite benefits to their clients’ businesses from using the Etta software, including its built-in automation like the Automatic Ticket Exhange functionality that maximizes unused tickets, its integration with nearly any expense platform, and cost savings.
“We couldn’t do exchanges through [our other, legacy tool,]” said Trevor. “From the back-end perspective, Etta has a lot of great functionality and rules we can add into the system to keep travelers in policy, more so than other booking options. And the fact that Deem is expense-platform agnostic gives our clients a lot more flexibility. Those features are going to get the finance people excited.”
The Worldgo team also loves that they can offer clients the ability to manage guest travel, coupled with split ticketing and virtual payments features. These cost-saving elements help companies by allowing travelers to select lower cost flight segments and protecting the company from fraudulent charges.
“You can do everything in the platform, not only from a traveler’s perspective but also from the company’s,” said Eric. “We can structure Etta in a way that works best for each individual company and its specific needs.”
Implementing Etta was a positive experience for the Worldgo team. “It’s very organized and it’s been fantastic,” said Eric. “On every call with the Deem team, we’ve got a clear list of objectives to get through. After the call, there’s always a clear list of notes and action items to follow up on. Everyone there is very supportive. It’s been a nice experience compared to some that we’ve had in the past with other companies.”
“The one thing I would really like to note,” added Trevor, “is that the patience on Deem’s side has been amazing. As we’re continuing to implement a lot of new software, Deem works with us to make sure our booking technology remains constant and available for our clients.
“Any time that we need additional assistance, Deem has someone who can help us. That’s been really good and touches on why we chose Deem to begin with. Beyond the technology, this kind of positive, helpful corporate culture aligns well with what we’re doing.”
The Worldgo team is enthusiastic about using more technology to assist business travel and is optimistic about the future. Deem is part of their plan for growth into the future.
“I have a feeling most of our clients going forward will want Etta,” said Eric. “A complete solution that benefits the business and that travelers want to use is an easy choice to make.”