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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 travel managers and buyers, the innovations 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

When I spoke with TripBAM CEO Steve Reynolds last week about the relationship between hotels and travel managers, it became clear that better technology is truly shaking up the traditional relationship between the two.

“In addition to this legacy process [of corporate travel buying] being just broken, in my opinion, there’s been a lack of transparency or data for travel managers to make any sort of decisions and analysis,” he said.

The laborious yearly grind for travel managers of renewing hotel contracts, and the ensuing process of making sure hotels are keeping up their end of the bargain, is slowly shifting to a more accountable relationship.

Tools that automate better buying decisions, and increase intelligence about what companies are actually paying for hotel stays, will come to reshape the corporate travel ecosystem.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift

Social Quote of the Day

: LinkedIn’s global travel manager shares traveler engagement strategies ” Great example of building brand — @NinaRuokonen

Business of Buying

The Growing Conflict Between Hotels and Travel Managers: A more honest accounting of how hotels manipulate their room rates to create more revenue helps both consumers and corporate travel managers make smarter travel decisions. Read more at Skift

The Inside Story of Anbang’s Long Pursuit to Acquire Starwood: If you thought the drama playing out between Starwood, Marriott, and Anbang was already complicated enough, wait until you read this. Read more at Skift

The Future of Predictive Buying: Automating actions like checking-in for air travel or changing flight itineraries on the fly is becoming more of a reality for travel management companies. Read more at Buying Business Travel

Four Charts on the Cost of Last-Minute Travel Booking: The amount of data available to travel managers is growing. They just need to know how best to use those numbers to help them make the best choices for their travelers and companies. Read more at Skift

Safety for Travelers

Airport Security Will Never Be Foolproof: It can seem that regardless of whatever precautions airports have implemented to increase security, vulnerabilities are always exposed. Read more at The Economist

The Critical Need for Duty of Care: Tragedies like last week’s Brussels attack are a remind of the crucial role that travel managers play for business travelers during times of crisis. Read more at The GBTA Blog

Disruption + Innovation

IBM Watson Is Changing Travel in Ways Nobody’s Expecting:  IBM is attempting to build a global business around its Watson cognitive computing platform, but there are significant challenges for many C-suite executives in travel and transportation to understand how to develop new strategies in the fast moving data and digital landscape. Read more at Skift

American Biz Travelers Are Traveling for Cheap: The strong U.S. dollar has been a boon for U.S. business travelers, but Asia is ready to embrace business travel in a big way. Read more at Business Travel News


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

Subscribe to Skift’s Free Corporate Travel Innovation Report

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Photo Credit: The Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe. Hilton Worldwide