Avis Budget Group director of international sales & partnerships Julia Kemp discusses the company’s sponsorship of Travel Weekly’s 100K Pitch investment competition.

Avis is delighted to be a part of Travel Weekly’s 50th anniversary celebrations as sponsor of its 100K Pitch competition.  The travel industry is well-known for its entrepreneurs and it’s important for us to be encouraging future talent and innovation, both characteristics which resound with the Avis ethos.

Through 70 years of its history, Avis has never been a stranger to innovation, along with the other brands in the Avis Budget Group portfolio including Zipcar and Budget.  It is in our DNA and at the heart of developing both our existing and new product propositions.

We have a dedicated chief innovation officer responsible for leading innovation globally across all of the Group’s brands, to deliver state-of-the-art mobility solutions that respond to the changing customer expectations and to foster a culture of innovation to continue to drive the business forward.

Avis is one of the biggest and best-known global brand names in travel, but we have always known that to grow, and thrive, you must continue to evaluate your service and provide new solutions to the changing consumer needs. To do this, the sector needs to introduce new players, new thinking, constantly evolve and, yes, innovate.

Entrepreneurs, often responsible for this, need a “kick-off” investment and an encouraging environment in which to grow and we believe it falls to successful brands, like Avis, to help facilitate this – because integration and collaboration, we believe, is key to the ongoing success of the travel sector.

Our industry has always been, and must continue to be, an innovative sector – from internet distribution to on-line travel agencies; from peer-to-peer services that specialise in housing accommodation and have changed how we experience new cities, to low cost carriers that have opened up hundreds of new destinations to people who may not have been able to travel in the past. Our sector has changed the way people buy, travel and experience holidays – and much of this innovation for both the leisure and business customer, has been driven by disruptive start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, all of which would have need seed investment to make their ideas become a reality.

We hope that the £100,000 will, for one lucky recipient, change the game for them and in turn the travel sector and the consumer.

Good luck!