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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
A thought-provoking study from Carlson Wagonlit Travel asserts that business travelers are just as likely to combine leisure elements with their business trip as they were five years ago.
This flies in the face of the traditional consensus that so-called “bleisure” travelers are on the rise.
While the methodology of the survey isn’t perfect, it shows that corporate travel managers are doing an effective job of making sure that their travelers stay in destination long enough to complete their business goals, and not long enough to go out partying or exploring tourist destinations on the company’s credit card.
The other big news of the week is Airbnb officially integrating its bookings data with BCD Travel, American Express Global Business Travel and Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
I spoke to Airbnb’s head of global payments Lex Bayer about the new connectivity earlier this week, and he made it seem like this is only the beginning of Airbnb partnering with corporate travel stakeholders.
He also said Airbnb would look to leverage its position as a preferred supplier of American Express Global Business Travel and others to create inroads among other players in the corporate travel ecosystem.
It’ll be fascinating to watch Airbnb infiltrate corporate travel, and whether the lessons it has learned in the leisure space will have value among skeptical corporate travel managers.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift
Social Quote of the Day
Corporate travel is where the money is at — @Daisydukeeeees
Business of Buying
Airbnb Scores Another Win With Corporate Travel Management Integration: There is progress being made on both the client and travel management company sides when it comes to letting employees book the accommodations that they want (in budget, of course). Read more at Skift
Global Business Travel Outlook Is ‘Cautious Optimism’ With a $1.2 Trillion Year on the Books: Uncertainty remains the key word when it comes to business travel, but a year of record spending followed by “moderate” growth is still good news for the industry. Read more at Skift
Bleisure Travel Isn’t Growing Despite the Hype That It Is: It makes sense that business travelers who don’t travel very much would try to include some leisure elements when they do hit the road. Read more at Skift
Serviced Apartment Adoption Is Stagnant, Except in Corporate Travel: A new report shows that adoption in the service apartment sector has leveled off overall. Corporate travel usage, however, continues to increase. Read more at Buying Business Travel
Security + Safety
German Worries About Terrorism Have Increased: A recent poll of German citizens shows that security concerns are beginning to weigh heavily on the country. It could make members of Europe’s strongest economy less likely to travel. Read more at The Wall Street Journal
Nearly Half of TSA Employees Have Been Cited for Misconduct: The TSA has been a mess for years. Reform itself is difficult given its current bureaucratic structure, which doesn’t punish employees strongly enough for misbehavior and insulates the TSA’s leadership from making hard decisions about those who misbehave. Read more at Skift
Disruption + Innovation
TripAdvisor’s New Flights Product Seeks to Do for Airlines What It Did for Hotels: After years of relative neglect as big online players focused on hotels, companies such as TripAdvisor, Expedia and Google are investing in and giving new attention to flight products. Kicking and screaming, airlines may end up having to pay more attention to their customers. Read more at Skift
Mobile Booking, Digital Marketing and the New Way to Sell Hostels: Like many successful companies, Hostelworld resolves to win by maintaining its focus on what it does best: Selling hostels. Its big challenge is to generate more awareness about the modern and socially oriented hostel while larger players like Airbnb and Booking.com suck the air out of Google. Read more at Skift
The 25 Best Tourism Websites in the World in 2016: The most modern tourism bureau websites today emphasize neighborhood storytelling, more nuanced content for different consumer profiles, mobile-first modular design, and full-width photos and videos with a strong human voice. Read more at Skift