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The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is our 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
The past week has been full of global events — some surprising, some tragic — that have implications for the corporate travel world.
No one knows yet what the ramifications will be for business travel after the unexpected decision of UK voters to leave the European Union. Markets were shaken, the British pound plummeted, and travel companies were left to grapple with months, maybe years, of uncertainty — a condition that rarely leads to positive outcomes for the industry.
Then came Tuesday’s attack on Istanbul Ataturk Airport, which killed more than 40 in a city with aspirations to become more of an international hub for transportation. Following the massacres in Paris, Belgium and Orlando, the bombings were the latest reminder that horror can strike anywhere, at any time.
Business travel has tended to rebound after such incidents, but there are always lessons that can be learned about security measures, traveler preparedness, and systems of keeping track of employees.
Given all the chaos unfolding, it’s no wonder companies are trying to make better sense of the information that is available to them. Apart from news, one theme we kept encountering this week was data — how to get more of it, and understand it better.
Travel Leaders Corporate recently launched a new consulting and analytics practice to deliver greater insights to clients about what they spend, how they spend it, how they compare to other companies and how their travelers behave.
“Most companies understand that if they don’t have visibility, saving is throwing a dart at the dartboard with a blindfold on and hoping you hit it,” Parker Schlank, vice president of consulting and analytics at Travel Leaders Corporate, told Skift. “Savings is, I think in every instance, kind of the driving catalyst, but for many it’s having the visibility to make a sound decision, to create a sound process that drives it.”
Better information may not help companies make sense of global events, but we expect that anything that leads to sound decision-making will be welcome these days.
— Hannah Sampson, Skift
Social Quote of the Day
#EURefResults The UK travel management community now faces uncertainty. What will be the implications? We prepare to find out more… – @ITMtweets
Business of Buying
The Corporate Travel Firm That Launched a Consulting Business to Leverage Smart Data: Travel management companies that want to stay relevant are diversifying their offerings as the needs of customers evolve. Read more at Skift
Travelers Would Be Willing to Pay for More Personal Services on the Road: New research from travel tech company Sabre shows that hotels and airlines could do a better job of offering more personal services to travelers — for a fee. Read more at Buying Business Travel
U.S. Airlines Set to Lose Major Battle Against Gulf Carriers in Open Skies Debate: Delta, United, and American wanted the U.S. State Department to take unprecedented action against Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways. But the government didn’t opt for a brash approach. This may well be the beginning of the end of the complaints. Read more at Skift
Security + Safety
Security at U.S. Airports Will Increase for the Busy Holiday Weekend Following Attack in Istanbul: As summer vacationers hit the skies for the Fourth of July holiday, the Transportation Security Administration is boosting security following the deadly attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. Read more at NBC News
Are Airport Attacks Preventable? Not Always, Security Experts Say: Some travelers have unrealistic expectations about airport security. With so many people coming or going at airports worldwide, security forces may not be able to stop every attack.
Read more at Skift
Why TSA PreCheck Doesn’t Always Work for Trusted Travelers: Want to make sure you’ll have PreCheck? Double check all your personal information carefully before you fly. Read more at Skift
Disruption + Innovation
Business Travel Enters New Phase of Uncertainty After Brexit Vote: There is much to wonder about now that Britain has voted to leave the European Union. How will airlines, border crossings, visas, expats, and trade be affected? A few things are clear: Uncertainty will persist for some time, and change will come gradually. Read more at Business Travel News
Brexit Continues to Punish Global Airlines in Europe and the U.S.: Stocks for both European and U.S. carriers took a hit following the Brexit vote due to fears of less short-term travel in and out of the UK. Read more at Skift
Riders Must Beware of the Fine Print When Taking Uber and Lyft: “Read the fine print” is good advice that most of us don’t take; that warning reminds us why some companies have been wary of allowing business travelers to use options like Uber and Lyft. When ride-sharing companies treat drivers as contractors instead of employees, they limit their own liability. Read more at Skift