Skift Take

Business travelers have a host of choices at their fingertips, and travel managers are trying to figure out how to get them to make decisions that please everyone.

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

A new report from the Global Business Travel Association this week got us thinking about choices — specifically, how employers can enable their travelers to choose options that make sense for everyone when a multitude of options are easily available.

According to the GBTA study, nearly 80 percent of business travelers in the United States (and more than 70 percent in a few other countries) said they would rather use self-service tools to manage their own travel than turn to their employer’s travel department or an agency. Many more of those travelers were going directly to airlines, hotels, online booking sites, or car rental services than travel management companies or itinerary management apps.

There wasn’t much guidance from employers when it came to apps: Just 20 percent or fewer of those who responded said their company had specific apps they required for business travel, while about half said no travel apps were recommended.

As mobile use continues to increase, how are travel managers supposed to keep their travelers engaged and satisfied but also booking by the rules? Are incentives for making company-approved choices the way to go? Do employers need to reconsider their travel policies altogether — or at least give marching orders that acknowledge the ease with which travelers can research and book trips however they want?

The answers may vary for different companies, but one thing is for certain: Ignoring the problem won’t solve anything.

— Hannah Sampson, Skift

Social Quote of the Day

– Don’t get in strangers’ cars
– Don’t meet ppl from internet

– Literally summon strangers from internet to get in their car  @Carols10cents

Business of Buying

Why Paying Business Travelers to Make Smarter Buying Decisions Works: Smaller companies are using new solutions to incentivize employees to make smarter travel buying decisions. Big companies with entrenched travel policies are lagging behind, and wasting money in the process. Read more at Skift

Who Will Wield More Power In Corporate Hotel Rate Negotiations? An unstable hotel market has some wondering if corporate travel buyers will have the upper hand when negotiating rates for the upcoming season. Read more at Business Travel News

Meetings Management Programs Still Take Baby Steps in Corporate Travel: Just half of the companies polled for this survey manage their meetings with the help of a travel management company. This represents a big opportunity for companies to save money and travel management companies to help provide oversight and transparency. Read more at Skift 

Security + Safety

Analysis Shows That Despite Criticism, TSA PreCheck Effectively Reduces Terrorism Risk: On the whole, PreCheck appears to be both improving the passenger experience and making the global security situation safer. Read more at Skift

Police at U.S. Airports Lack Resources to Protect Travelers From Terror Attacks: The TSA and local law enforcement should of course be communicating more effectively with each other, and there needs to be a unified approach at every U.S. airport for local police units regardless of how busy an airport is. Read more at Skift

Disruption + Innovation

Corporate Travel Embraces Chat-Based Apps With Hyper Travel Acquisition: Chat-based apps that use real travel agents are getting a lot of buzz; we’re interested to see how they will fit into the corporate travel space. Read more at Skift

Hertz Signs Deals With Uber, Lyft to Rent Very Used Cars to Drivers:  If you can’t beat ’em, then join ’em — or at least, from Hertz’s perspective, partner with Uber and Lyft to attract a new revenue stream. Hertz, Avis Budget, Enterprise and others can’t sit idly by and they are scurrying to adapt. Read more at Skift

Business Travelers Are Using Mobile Apps — But Not Necessarily the Way Employers Wish They Would: The holy grail for a travel manager would be an all-in-one app that travelers would actually want to use while staying within company policy — and on the radar in case of emergency. Goals are good. Read more at Skift


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.

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Tags: corporate travel, ctir

Photo credit: A traveler at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Nick Harris / Flickr

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