Skift Take

More travel companies are reporting a reduction in business travel spending, which clashes with reports that business travel is still on the rise globally. Stay tuned for the rest of the year to see which narrative is borne out, especially as we get closer to the U.S. presidential election.

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

It’s corporate earnings season again, and travel executives are voicing concerns about a reduction in business travel spending.

The leaders of distribution giants Sabre, Travelport, and Amadeus, for instance, said they are seeing some industries like finance become more cost-conscious.

Car rental companies, in their latest earnings announcements this week, said corporate pricing remained competitive despite an overall uptick in rates, including for leisure travelers.

It seems like companies are getting more frugal with their spending at a time when security concerns are top of mind in Europe and Asia. It could also be that travel budgets are stagnant due to concerns about the global economy.

Regardless, the Global Business Travel Association is still forecasting major growth in the sector. We’ll see if that changes soon.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift

Social Quote of the Day

I am having a hard time imagining a worse way to start Monday than to be a corporate travel agent on a day Delta computer goes down. — @JagsFanBrian

Business of Buying

Distribution Execs See Business Travel Slowdown Extending Beyond Energy Sector: As companies become more cautious about business travel spending, the corporate travel ecosystem will begin to feel the pressure. Read more at Skift

Is China Holding the Marriott-Starwood Deal Hostage?: In China, anything is possible when it comes to antitrust clearance and there are a number of potential reasons why regulatory authorities there extended their review of the Marriott-Starwood merger. This prolonged waiting game could be part of a larger strategy to extract concessions and finish off part of what Anbang started in March. Read more at Skift

London Hotels Have Been Hurting for Six Consecutive Quarters: Lower occupancy in London hotels is leading to lower room rates for business travelers. Read more at Buying Business Travel

Security + Safety

Paris and Luxury Hotels Take Brunt of French Tourism Slump: Revenue per available room in Paris was down 14 percent this year through May and that was before the tragedy in Nice, which has further exacerbated France’s tourism slump. Read more at Skift

Rental Car Execs Say Business Is Strong Despite Brexit and Terror: Car rental companies have bounced back in the last year by becoming smarter about how they reach customers and invest in technology. Read more at Skift

Disruption + Innovation

Driver Unionization at Uber and Lyft Escapes a Court Challenge: It isn’t often that you see an organization such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce come to the defense of ride-sharing companies that compete with more established car-rental and taxi interests out of concern about unionization efforts at these sharing-economy companies. Lyft and Uber are finding friends in all kinds of crazy places. Read more at Skift

Companies Look Beyond Hotels to the Sharing Economy For Cool Meeting Venues: The ease and availability of booking creative meeting venues online is shifting how and where companies host their internal meetings. Read more at Skift

Google Study Forecasts Southeast Asia Online Travel Market at $76 Billion in 2025: When it comes to the potential of Southeast Asia’s diverse online travel market, investors and online travel brands can no longer view what will be a gigantic market as something they can ignore for now and figure out later. Read more at Skift

Boingo Adds Major U.S. Cell Carrier to Make Wi-Fi Faster at U.S. Airports: Airports with decent Wi-Fi are becoming more common than those without it. Boingo’s new partnership with a major U.S. carrier will hopefully take airport Wi-Fi even further towards a seamless experience. 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: Hints of a downturn in business-travel demand keep on coming. In this photo, a lone business traveler wanders Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. 154796 / 154796

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