Request for Proposal # 0053631

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Request for Proposal # 0053631

Athletic Travel Management Services

December 11, 2017
Note: This public body does not discriminate against faith-based organizations in accordance with the Code of Virginia, § 2.2-4343.1 or against a bidder or offeror because of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by state law relating to discrimination in employment.
RFP 0053631


QUESTIONS: All inquiries for information regarding this solicitation should be directed to: Kimberly Dulaney, Assistant Director & Contracts Manager Phone: (540) 231-8543 e-mail:
DUE DATE: Proposals will be received until Friday, January 12, 2018 at PM. Failure to submit proposals to the correct location by the designated date and hour will result in disqualification.
ADDRESS: Proposals should be mailed or hand delivered to: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Procurement Department (MC 0333) North End Center, Suite 2100, 300 Turner Street NW, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061. Reference the due date and hour, and RFP Number in the lower left corner of the return envelope or package.
Please note that USPS is delivered to a central location and is not delivered directly to Procurement. Allow extra time if sending proposal via USPS. It is the vendor’s responsibility to ensure proposals are received in the Procurement office at the appropriate date and time for consideration.
Please note that the University will be closed from December 22, 2017 thru January 2, 2018
TYPE OF BUSINESS: (Please check all applicable classifications). If your classification is certified by the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), provide your certification number: ___________. For assistance with SWaM certification, visit the SBSD website at .
____ Large
____ Small business – An independently owned and operated business which, together with affiliates, has 250 or fewer employees or average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years. Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) certified women-owned and minority-owned business shall also be considered small business when they have received SBSD small business certification.
____ Women-owned business – A business concern that is at least 51% owned by one or more women who are U. S. citizens or legal resident aliens, or in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51% of the equity ownership interest is owned by one or more women who are citizens of the United States or non-citizens who are in full compliance with the United States immigration law, and both the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women who are U. S. citizens or legal resident aliens.
____ Minority-owned business – A business concern that is at least 51% owned by one or more minority individuals (see Section 2.2-1401, Code of Virginia) or in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51% of the equity ownership interest in the corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity is owned by one or more minority individuals and both the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more minority individuals.
COMPANY INFORMATION/SIGNATURE: In compliance with this Request For Proposal and to all the conditions imposed therein and hereby incorporated by reference, the undersigned offers and agrees to furnish the goods or services in accordance with the attached signed proposal and as mutually agreed upon by subsequent negotiation.


(Company name as it appears with your Federal Taxpayer Number)



(If different than the Full Legal Name)


(Company name as it appears on your invoice)









Is any member of the firm an employee of the Commonwealth of Virginia who has a personal interest in this contract pursuant to the Code of Virginia, 2.2 – 3102 - 3112

YES____________ NO_____________

SIGNATURE ____________________________________ Date: _________________________

Revised 07/01/2017


The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals to establish a contract through competitive negotiations for Athletic Travel Management Services by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The term of this contract is for two (2) years, or as negotiated. There will be an option for 2 two- year renewals, or as negotiated.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is located in Blacksburg, Virginia, approximately 40 miles southwest of Roanoke, Virginia, the major commercial hub of the area. In addition to the university’s main campus in Blacksburg, major off campus locations include twelve agriculture experiment research stations, the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center and graduate centers in Roanoke and Fairfax, Virginia. Regularly scheduled air service is provided at the Roanoke Regional Airport.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the Commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of nearly $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.
The Virginia Tech Department of Athletics officially represents the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in intercollegiate athletics. The Hokies participate in the NCAA's Division I Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 22 varsity sports. The University’s Department of Athletics employs over 200 employees, and has over 550 student-athletes. Throughout the competitive playing season during the school year, the teams travel to a variety of locations in order to compete against various other institutions, including regular season play, conference championships, and NCAA Championships.
The Athletic Department uses travel agencies to arrange both team travel to competitions and individual travel for recruiting purposes. Flights for teams are often required for competitions against ACC conference members Miami, Florida State, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Boston College, as well as for distant non-conference opponents and post-season competitions.
Many teams charter a bus to the airport and to locations within a few hours drive of Blacksburg; although often arranged through existing university contracts for this service, transportation is sometimes needed in distant locations when the team has traveled by airline, or when the coach prefers to use a travel agency to make all-inclusive arrangements.
A listing of current Athletic teams and schedules may be viewed by going to, and selecting “schedules” in the left side listing of links.
In an effort to maintain the highest quality services for its customers, we are searching for an experienced firm to provide comprehensive Travel Management Services for the University’s Department of Athletics to begin April 1, 2018.
The Department of Athletics currently spends approximately $5 million annually on team travel, recruiting travel and administrative travel. Teams and individuals frequently travel to a multitude of locations across the country, and the Department of Athletics travel needs are very large in scope, size, and flexibility. Travel for the department consists of:

  1. Team Travel for 22 varsity sports.

    1. Team sizes are as small as 10 students and as large as 105 students. Although travel is almost exclusively in the United States, there are a few trips to other countries. Travel takes place throughout the entire calendar year.

  1. Recruiting Travel.

    1. Coaches need support on travel (which frequently is a complex, multiple trip journey) and to recruits visiting the University.

The Department of Athletics currently uses private charters for long distance team travel for the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams, but is open to having these arrangements made via commercial flights if cost savings are significant.

Due to the volume of travel and complexities of following University, NCAA, and Atlantic Coast Conference rules and regulations associated with travel, the Department of Athletics is strongly considering providing a physical location within its building at the University, for a travel management firm to place an in-house travel agent. The decision by the Department of Athletics will be based on the quality of the proposals received.
The eVA Internet electronic procurement solution streamlines and automates government purchasing activities within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia Tech, and other state agencies and institutions, have been directed by the Governor to maximize the use of this system in the procurement of goods and services. We are, therefore, requesting that your firm register as a vendor within the eVA system.
There are transaction fees involved with the use of eVA. These fees must be considered in the provision of quotes, bids and price proposals offered to Virginia Tech. Failure to register within the eVA system may result in the quote, bid or proposal from your firm being rejected and the award made to another vendor who is registered in the eVA system.
Registration in the eVA system is accomplished on-line. Your firm must provide the necessary information. Please visit the eVA website portal at and register both with eVA and Ariba. This process needs to be completed before Virginia Tech can issue your firm a Purchase Order or contract. If your firm conducts business from multiple geographic locations, please register these locations in your initial registration.
For registration and technical assistance, reference the eVA website at:, or call 866-289-7367 or 804-371-2525.


It is the intent of this solicitation and resulting contract to allow for cooperative procurement. Accordingly, any public body, public or private health or educational institutions, or Virginia Tech’s affiliated corporations and/or partnerships may access any resulting contract if authorized by the contractor.
Participation in this cooperative procurement is strictly voluntary. If authorized by the Contractor, the resultant contract may be extended to the entities indicated above to purchase at contract prices in accordance with contract terms. The Contractor shall notify Virginia Tech in writing of any such entities accessing the contract, if requested. No modification of this contract or execution of a separate contract is required to participate. The Contractor will provide semi-annual usage reports for all entities accessing the Contract, as requested. Participating entities shall place their own orders directly with the Contractor and shall fully and independently administer their use of the contract to include contractual disputes, invoicing and payments without direct administration from Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech shall not be held liable for any costs or damages incurred by any other participating entity as a result of any authorization by the Contractor to extend the contract. It is understood and agreed that Virginia Tech is not responsible for the acts or omissions of any entity, and will not be considered in default of the contract no matter the circumstances.
Please refer to Attachment B, Zone Map, if the offeror wishes to submit separate pricing structure based on approved zones for cooperative institutions. Refer to Attachment B for the approved Zone Map. If no other prices are offered, pricing provided will apply to all zones in the Commonwealth. If you wish to provide pricing for a zone other than which this solicitation originated, please indicate you are doing so in the response. If you anticipate pricing differentials for different zones, a separate pricing sheet must be submitted for each zone that includes appropriate pricing for that zone.
Use of this contract does not preclude any participating entity from using other contracts or competitive processes as the need may be.
We are searching for an experienced firm to provide comprehensive Travel Management Services for the University’s Department of Athletics. It is the University’s intent to enter into an agreement with the selected firm(s) for services necessary to help the University achieve its goals as outlined in this RFP. In order to achieve these goals, the selected firm(s) may be requested to provide those services outlined in this section.

  1. General Travel Management Services will include:

    1. Book airline (commercial and charter), lodging, car rental, chauffeur or car service, and / or charter bus travel at the most favorable rates and routing. The Selected Firm(s) are expected to utilize any contracts that the University has in place with rental cars companies, airlines, or hotels chains – if those are the lowest priced option.

    1. Provide delivery of tickets and or trip itineraries within 24 hours after reservations are confirmed to the requesting University end user, unless a longer period of time is requested by the end user. All tickets, with few exceptions, should be delivered electronically.

    1. Advise University departments of savings opportunities as it pertains to bundling air, lodging, and / or rental car reservations.

    1. Provide maintenance of travel profiles on individual University travelers including, but not limited to, seat preference, food requirements, award program numbers, and any other special request.

    1. Ensure accuracy in booking, invoicing, and itineraries. Must be able to supply all original receipts available to traveler.

    1. Follow all local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

    1. Communicate to the traveler and / or the travel arranger, when the reservation takes the traveler to locations requiring immunizations, what and when immunizations are needed by.

    1. Communicate any travel alerts or warnings, issued by the US Government and / or destination area, including travel restrictions to sanctioned countries.

    1. Monitor current fares against tickets already booked and issued, if a lower fare is discovered, refund or credit the University booking department the difference.

    1. Accept the University’s P-card as the preferred form of payment for all University travel.

    1. Provide Visa and Passport services.

    1. Provide estimates of travel cost as requested by University departments for budget planning.

  1. Specific Athletics Department Services may include:

    1. Solicitations for airline charter quotes, upon request from the University’s Athletics Department. Quotes should be based upon all specific University and Athletic requirements (insurance, etc.).

    1. Provide group hotel booking services. Selected Firm(s) will solicit bids for group hotel stays as requested by the University’s Athletics Department. A summary of quotes will be provided to the University’s Athletics Department and, if requested, the actual lodging quotations received.

    1. Provide an account manager specifically for the University’s Athletics Department. This account manager will be of managerial level (have the authority to act and make decisions to resolve issues, including contractual issues, without the need for extensive consultation within the Selected Firm’s organization), will be the main point of contact to coordinate all athletics travel requirements, and will handle any problems or inquires.

    1. Provide an on-site employee who will conduct operations from the University’s Athletics Department (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F). This individual must have a minimum of two years of experience in handling athletics team travel and will be required to learn NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference travel rules. The University’s Athletics Department will have final approval on who will be the designated on-site employee. The on-site employee will adhere to travel procedures.

    1. Provide group airfare expertise, the Selected Firm(s) must be able to use administrative or high-level carrier contracts to obtain favorable fares, seats on capacity controlled flights and have the proven ability to address other challenges typically associated with group airfare.

    1. Provide special reservation services, specifically accommodating standard airline requirements, to address the unique University’s Athletics’ Department requirement where occasionally the exact roster of athletes traveling to an away game is not known until just before the departure.

  1. Specific Travel Abroad Services will include:

    1. Provide quotes and pricing in both US and the hosting country’s currency.

    1. Provide customized travel itineraries that meet recruiting goals for coaches.

  1. Customer Services will include:

    1. Return phone calls and emails from the University within three business hours.

    1. Notification to travelers of all itinerary changes.

    1. Offer professional trip counseling for travelers and the travel arrangers for complex or unique itineraries.

    1. Provide effective procedures for complaint resolution.

    1. Provide phone support, via a 1-800 number, on a Monday through Friday schedule between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), but also have a 24-7 support number for emergency needs to provide assistance to travelers during the night, weekends, and holidays.

    1. Provide training for the online booking tool, if applicable, on an annual basis, via a combination of on grounds training and web training.

    1. Provide a customer service survey tool via the Selected Firm’s website, where University customers will be able to rate the Firm on a number of topics (overall satisfaction with transaction, travel agent’s customers service and knowledge, price, etc.). The Selected Firm’s management team will be expected to monitor this quality information and address any issues which become apparent.

  1. Technology will include providing an on-line tool which:

    1. Allows travelers to shop and reserve airlines fares, hotel rooms, and rental cars.

    1. Allow travelers to view and update their personal profile preferences.

    1. Display traveler’s current and past trip itineraries. Detailed receipt printing should be an option. These documents should also be accessible by select individuals, such as a travel arranger, coach, or department business manager.

    1. Allows accessibility via multiple software and electronic device platforms, including, but not be limited to: Windows and Apple operated systems, and Smart phones and other devices (specifically the iPhone and iPad).

    1. Communicate to the traveler of any airline credits or unused tickets, when the traveler is making a reservation in which those credits or tickets could be used.

  1. Reporting will include:

    1. Quarterly reports showing;

      1. Airline, lodging, and rental car spend.

      2. Total number of lodging nights booked and top five cities by volume.

      3. Total number of rental car days booked and top five cities by volume.

      4. Trip cancelation fees.

      5. Unused airline tickets.

      6. Reservation method report; online, email, in person, or via the phone, and after hours service support.

      7. Carbon emissions report.

      8. Summary of University complaints and Selected Firm(s) corrective actions.

      9. Other reports as requested by the University.

    1. Annual analysis showing;

      1. University savings from negotiated discounts with airlines, rental car companies, and / or lodging.

      2. Recommendations to the University on how to reduce travel cost for the following fiscal year.

      3. Annual report that shows detailed travel spend per each commodity and expected spend for the following year, for each requesting department.

      4. Other analysis as requested by the University

  1. Services to guests and visitors of the University which may include:

    1. Provide travel management Services (air, lodging, and / or rental car) as requested by visitors and guests of the University. These services should be provided at a discount when compared to standard list price, but this discount should not be greater than the discount extended directly to the University.

    1. Capability to track and report the amount of business provided to visitors and guests of the University.

  1. Specific Services for travel commodities which may include:

    1. Hotels;

      1. Provide national hotel chain discounts.

      2. Provide negotiated discounts with local hotels.

      3. Provide a process for the University to receive a credit (in the form of a rebate, hotel points, or room certificates) based upon all hotel business booked through the Selected Firm(s) (equivalent to a preferred guest program, but on a corporate level).

    1. Rental Cars

      1. Provide discounts with rental car chains on a local and / or national level.

      2. Provide a process for the University to receive a credit (in the form of a rebate, rental car points, or rental car certificates) based upon all rental car business booked through the Selected Firm(s) (equivalent to a preferred guest program, but on a corporate level).

    1. Airlines

      1. Negotiate and create discounts with one or more airlines – for both Domestic and International travel.

      2. Provide the data reporting requirements as contractually required per any airline contract.

      3. Provide a process for the University to receive a credit (in the form of a rebate, airline points, or airline ticket certificates) based upon all air travel business booked through the Selected Firm(s) (equivalent to a frequent flyer program, but on a corporate level).

  1. Auditing Services which may include:

    1. Provide level 3 Purchasing Card (“P-card”) details for auditing.

    1. Ensure no first class tickets are purchased unless allowed by University policy or an

exemption is granted.

    1. Ensure rental cars are limited to non-luxury, unless exemption is granted.

    1. Ensure the University does not pay for others traveling with University employees (spouses, children, etc.).

    1. Ensure University lodging and per diem limits are followed and the University does not pay for over limit lodging.

    1. Ensure non-allowable travel expenses are not charged to the University.

    1. Ensure proper justification and approval for refundable tickets. Price difference of regular ticket and a refundable ticket must not exceed the price of travelers insurance.

    1. Ensure business purpose of trip is always provided.


  1. Specific Requirements

Proposals should be as thorough and detailed as possible so that Virginia Tech may properly evaluate your capabilities to provide the required goods or services. Offerors are required to submit the following information/items as a complete proposal:

    1. Plan For Providing Services:

        1. Provide specific plans for providing service to Virginia Tech employees located throughout the state. Include plans for delivering tickets, costs or such delivery, express mail costs, toll free phone numbers if available and plan for obtaining the PO / TA from the departments.

        1. Describe your approach to securing the lowest rates available to meet the traveler’s needs.

        1. Provide a list of additional services that you could provide Virginia Tech to improve its travel program.

        1. If applicable, identify and list the amount of any fees (transaction, processing, service charge, etc.) that may be charged.

        1. Provide completed sample forms including itinerary, invoice, reservation vouchers, customer reports, as well as internal forms such as procedures and policies, which your staff is required to follow.

        1. Identify the location of the office that will provide services and its proximity to Virginia Tech.

  1. Qualifications and Experience:

    1. Describe the experience and variety of services provided by your agency.

    1. Describe the expertise of your staff and a description of your training and development program, which will assure that all personnel assigned to perform under any resultant contract, shall be capable and qualified in the work assigned to them. Include resumes for staff that will provide service to Virginia Tech.

    1. Provide evidence of financial stability.

    1. Describe service enhancements unique to your agency including franchise agreements.

    1. Are you a member of a consortium? If so, which one and why did you select that one? Provide a list of services that the consortium provides to your agency.

    1. Provide four (4) recent references, either educational or governmental, for whom you have provided the type of services described herein. Include the date(s) the services were furnished, the client name, address and the name and phone number of the individual Virginia Tech has your permission to contact

  1. Equipment, Systems, Automation:

Describe your degree of automation, procedures for electronically transferring data, and plans for future enhancements that may provide efficiencies for processing invoices at Virginia Tech.

  1. Participation of Small, Women-owned and Minority-owned Business (SWAM) Business:

If your business can not be classified as SWaM, describe your plan for utilizing SWaM subcontractors if awarded a contract. Describe your ability to provide reporting on SWaM subcontracting spend when requested. If your firm or any business that you plan to subcontract with can be classified as SWaM, but has not been certified by the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), it is expected that the certification process will be initiated no later than the time of the award. If your firm is currently certified, you agree to maintain your certification for the life of the contract. For assistance with SWaM certification, visit the SBSD website at .

  1. The return of the General Information Form and addenda, if any, signed and filled out as required.

  1. General Requirements

    1. RFP Response: In order to be considered for selection, Offerors shall submit a complete response to this RFP to include;

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