Skift Take

Change is coming to corporate travel; how quickly, and how widely accepted it will be, is still to be determined.

The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is our new weekly newsletter focused on the future of corporate travel, the big fault lines of disruption for the travel managers and buyers, the innovators emerging from the sector, and the changing business traveler habits that are upending how corporate travel is packaged, bought, and sold.

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The Future of Corporate + Business Travel

Technology is prompting dramatic change in travel, forcing corporate travel managers to confront new and once-unimaginable questions: Does your policy allow booking of Airbnb and Uber? What about, eventually, self-driving cars? The question is how quickly companies will adapt.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives held a forum in New York City recently that examined some of those issues, plus more suggested by self-described “global technology evangelist” Johnny Thorsen.

A former Concur senior director who is now with SAP Mobile Services, Thorsen named several advancements that are already in use: travel robots, virtual assistants, and fingerprint scanners that work from a distance.

“How much are you going to keep up with all this and how much do you want to?” Thorsen asked a crowd of more than 100 people. “If you’re not involved, your travelers are involved. People who travel the most are more likely to take new technology and use it faster.”

All the more reason to try to keep up.

— Hannah Sampson

Social Quote of the Day

“#Didyouknow…? TMCs manage every aspect of your business travel, from dietary requirements to king size beds.” – @TheGTMC

Technology Solutions

Yapta CEO on the Innovation That’s Creeping Into Corporate Travel: Services that automate smarter buying decisions in corporate travel are part of a wave of transformative change that will cause the corporate travel ecosystem to evolve. Read more at Skift

Startups Are Keeping Business Travelers in Mind:  The Business Travel Show in London was a prime spot for startups to show off their services aimed at road warriors, from a company that stores, cleans, and ships work attire to an app that helps travelers get access to airport lounges. Read more at CNN

Responsibility in Travel

Survey: Employees Don’t Mind Being Monitored for Safety While Traveling: Workers expect their employers to be responsible for their safety while they travel, and many who responded to a survey said they would be comfortable with their movements and purchases being tracked in the name of safety. Read more at Business Travel News

Travelers Mixing Leisure and Business Travel Should Know When Employers Are Looking out for Them: According to a new study, many travelers who are tacking vacation time onto business trips may not be covered under their employers’ duty of care policies during leisure time. Read more at Buying Business Travel

Despite Scrutiny, Executives Are Still Taking Personal Trips on Corporate Jets: In the last several years, the use of corporate jets for personal travel by executives has come under fire. But an analysis of regulatory filings shows that a “significant number” of corporations are still paying for those trips. Read more at Financial Times

Disruption + Innovation

Uber Is Now Easier for Business Travelers to Expense:  Uber’s integration into the habits of business travelers continues to move forward. Read more at Skift

Some Corporate Travel Executives Are Still Dismissing the Sharing Economy: Sites such as Airbnb still have a long way to go to be fully accepted in the corporate travel industry, as evidenced by one executive’s comments at a panel discussion recently. Read more at Travolution

Buyers Are Worried that the Marriott-Starwood Merger Will Lead to Higher Prices: As the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide by Marriott International gets closer to a done deal, a survey shows that corporate customers are mostly worried about rate hikes, tougher negotiations, and a less-welcoming attitude. Read more at Business Travel News


The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is curated by Skift editors Hannah Sampson [[email protected]] and Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]]. The newsletter is emailed every Thursday.

Subscribe to Skift’s Free Corporate Travel Innovation Report


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Tags: business travel, corporate travel, ctir

Photo credit: Uber is still the cutting edge for some corporate travel planners. It's not for consumers. Skift

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