Georgia Hollywood Review March 2020


CTM Offers Exceptional Travel Management Services to Corporations and the Entertainment Industry By Ju l i e He r ron Ca r son

I n just a few short years, Georgia has become the “go to” location for movie, television. and entertainment productions. And while there are a number of permanent facilities and local residents devoted to the entertainment industry, hundreds of thousands of actors, crew members, stunt professionals, producers, and others routinely “go to” and then “leave from” our state as productions ramp up and then conclude. For many of these entertainment professionals, Corporate Travel Management (CTM, is their “go to” firm for managing the numerous logistics involved in getting the right people to the right place at the right time. CTM is a travel management company founded in 1990 and based in Charlotte, NC. It’s now an affiliate of Tzell Travel Group with offices in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Company President Kelly Noftsger grew up working in her parents’ travel company, where she and her brother Steve Taggart, who is CTM’s Director of Sales & Marketing, learned about harnessing technology from their father and personalized customer service from their mother. Today, CTM specializes in corporate travel programs, entertainment travel, and leading-edge travel technological solutions. The company is known for offering the finest customer service to its corporate clients, managing reservations, expenses, unused ticket credits, and travel logistics, as well as overseeing company compliance regulations and more. A few years ago, CTM was recommended to the producers of the TV series, Homeland, which was filming in North Carolina. Their work with the cast and crew, and the opportunities they saw to provide the same services to productions in GA, encouraged the company to add a new entertainment specialty division and open an Atlanta, GA office, which has provided travel services to the cast and crew of The Resident and Raising Dion , among other productions. “Entertainment travel often requires service above and beyond what is typically needed for our corporate clients,” says Noftsger. “First of all, an enormous number of people typically travel to and from a TV or film location throughout the duration of the production.

The company is known for offering the finest customer service to its corporate clients, managing reservations, expenses, unused ticket credits, and travel logistics.

Many are arriving from or departing to international destinations. People come and go as the production continues, and sometimes we even fly in families for visits. As you might expect with the entertainment industry, schedules are constantly changing at the last minute, and it can be extremely challenging to help our clients meet their rigorous travel deadlines. To ensure the highest possible service, trained members of our entertainment travel team are available to our clients 24/7 every day of the year. They are prepared for the unexpected. For example, not too long ago a unit change required us to immediately reschedule 45 airline tickets and we were able to accomplish this on a Friday night in less than an hour!” The entertainment industry is complicated, with a number of components. As with every business, budgets must be set and followed, so the time and cost savings offered by CTM are greatly appreciated. “With all of our clients, we track expenses and oversee corporate compliance programs. Our entertainment clients especially appreciate our ability to monitor unused ticket credits and automatically apply them, when possible. Since we deal in volume, we can pass along discounted fares and offer our clients access to preferred seating. Our clients also value our VIP Select service. It’s almost impossible for a famous actor or actress to walk through a busy airport without being mobbed. Our VIP Select service safely moves them from plane to plane and makes use of private entries and areas of airports to keep their travel private and safe.” Of course, dealing with entertainers can be entertaining itself. “One movie star on a tight schedule refused to get into the black limousine we had hired,” says Noftsger. “Apparently he and his three dogs only ride

Kelly Noftsger

Photo by Carolyn Ann Ryan

in white limos. We were able to quickly find a white limo, make the switch and get him to his flight on time. As soon as we got back to the office, we noted his preference in his travel file for all future bookings.”

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