Skift Take

Travelers want comfort and convenience, while travel buyers want to save money. It's no wonder there is so much friction between the two groups. Why adhere to corporate travel policy when the person in charge doesn't have your best interest in mind?

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 CEOs of Marriott, Expedia, Club Med, and More Are Speaking at Skift Global Forum 2016. Join Us.

A new report from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives shows what everyone in the corporate travel ecosystem is hesitant to admit: Travel buyers care more about airfare discounts than providing amenities or comfort to flyers.

There’s no dispute that managing a company’s travel spend is a core element of the travel manager and buyer’s value proposition. But travelers are never going to buy into their company’s travel policy if it makes them miserable.

Another survey from the Global Business Travel Association, meanwhile, shows that about two-thirds of business travelers would book a hotel room direct if they received free Wi-Fi in return. That’s bad news for travel management companies that want travelers to use specific booking tools.

The evidence is clear: Business travelers are happier when they receive perks and amenities. And they don’t care what channel they book through, especially if it gets them the upgrades that makes life on the road easier.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift

Social Quote of the Day

The real walk of shame is arriving at the airport and heading to the Spirit Airlines counter. @TheDiLLon1

Business of Buying

Travel Buyers Don’t Really Care About Keeping Flyers Comfortable: It’s no surprise that travel buyers want to save money for their company. But they also need to realize that uncomfortable or inconvenienced flyers are going to spend extra on seat upgrades, Wi-Fi, meals, and more. Read more at Skift

La Compagnie Blames Brexit for London Route Suspension: Brexit is a fig leaf that can be used to cover up pretty much anything. Would the carrier be halting the service if it had been a runaway success? Read more at Skift

Business Travelers Want Free Hotel Wi-Fi and Smart Power Outlets More Than Anything Else: We think there’s plenty of opportunity for hotels to get more creative with the services they offer on their mobile apps, but they should also prioritize the basics: free, fast Wi-Fi and convenient, plentiful power outlets. Read more at Skift

Expedia Is Now Helping Marriott Sell Hotels on the Chain’s Website: When it comes to relationships, hotel chains and online travel agencies have a lot of baggage but Marriott and Expedia, at least, are being open-minded and are taking advantage of each other. Expedia is becoming a technology provider for hotels in a move that has parallels with the way rival’s BookingSuite division is providing market intelligence and website services for properties. Where this all ends up is anyone’s guess. Read more at Skift

Security + Safety

EasyJet, IAG CEOs Say Market Overreacted to Brexit: Yes, Brexit is a big deal politically in the United Kingdom. But the decision should not affect the nation’s airlines much. Read more at Skift

Travel Managers Need to Understand LGBTQ Travelers: Travel managers should pay attention to the reality faced by LGBTQ employees when they are on the road. In this case, a one-size-fits-all travel policy may not be the best choice. Read more at Business Travel News 

Disruption + Innovation

Marriott Partners With TED Talks for In-Room, Social Media and Live Programming: All travelers can already access more than 2,200 TED Talks online. Marriott and TED will need to differentiate the content enough to make it compelling for guests and loyalty members to want to tap into, as well as market it effectively. Read more at Skift

The 10 Best Travel Experiences Right Now Using Virtual Reality: Originally, the idea for this story was to find the top 25 travel virtual reality experiences, but there aren’t many quality pieces of content right now. It looks like travel companies are making all the same mistakes they made with blogs and online video again, just in the virtual reality space this time. More experienced content creators, however, are finding ways to push the medium forward. Read more at Skift

How Bonnaroo and SXSW Have Reinvented Live Events: The future of conferences and live events places a priority on bringing together thought leaders and influencers from more diverse segments, because creative audiences today want a mashup of tech, arts, and educational experiences. 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: ctir, travel buyers

Photo credit: Perks like complimentary checked baggage and expedited check-in are among the most popular amenities for business travelers. In this May 16, 2016 file photo, travelers wait in a long line at a TSA security checkpoint at O'Hare International airport in Chicago. Teresa Crawford / Associated Press

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