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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

Time and time again, research shows that employees don’t take enough time off and are routinely stressed out by business travel.

Another report from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives asserts that workers probably aren’t getting the work-life balance they want when traveling.

In fact, there are a couple troubling takeaways from the report. Workers are no longer asking to receive days off work in exchange for extra work days while traveling. This no doubt leads to reduced productivity over time.

Travel managers also don’t want to empower employees to bring their family members with them on business trips, a move that could help ease work-life balance concerns in some cases.

The good news is that younger travelers are forcing travel managers to adapt to their needs for increased leisure time on business trips and a wider range of alternate accommodations and transportation options. Younger travelers want different experiences overall, and as they mature into leadership roles, corporate travel policy is going to adapt to their needs.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift

Social Quote of the Day

TSA pre check only works if a majority of people in line are not abject morons @WesKnuckle

Business of Buying

Business Travelers Are Searching for a Better Work-Life Balance: Everyone wants a better balance between their personal and work lives. Younger travelers are leading the charge when it comes to helping push forward more progressive change in corporate travel policy. Read more at Skift

Chinese Travel Will Reach Record Highs in 2016 Despite a Slower Economy:
There’s no doubt China’s economy is going through a downturn but western travel brands can’t blame all of their shortcomings on that point. Much of foreign travel brands’ failures or missteps in China — such as Airbnb or Uber’s for example — are probably more likely because they couldn’t execute strategies that fit the Chinese market. Read more at Skift

Elena Donio Leaves Concur in Executive Shakeup: Elena Donio will be replaced by Mike Eberhard as Concur’s president. Donio is heading to a legal firm following 18 years at Concur. Read more at Business Travel News

American Airlines to Officially Launch Premium Economy Cabin April 2: American’s premium economy cabin becomes official on April 2, though its incorporation is raising as many questions as it is answers. Read more at Skift

Disruption + Innovation

Google’s Travel Business Is Already Twice the Size of Expedia’s: If publicly traded companies such as Google are bound by fiduciary duties to shareholders, then Google, which already has one of the largest travel businesses in the world, larger than the Priceline Group, TripAdvisor and Ctrip combined, would be foolhardy to shoot its advertising business in the foot to become an online travel agency. Read more at Skift

Can Direct-Booking Campaigns End Up With Both Sides Declaring Victory?: Direct booking is not really a war where one side must lose. Both the large hotel chains and online travel agencies could wind up better off if they act rationally on pricing. Read more at Skift

Starwood Layoffs at Headquarters Are Set to Begin By Year’s End: We knew this was coming, but it’s still tough to take the news in. What will be interesting to continue watching is how and when Marriott eventually moves to its new HQ building in Maryland, and how many Starwood employees will want to transfer to Maryland from Connecticut. Read more at Skift

Google’s New Assistant Has Artificial Intelligence But Can’t Detail Your Next Trip: Google is using its Google Flights capability to power its new Artificial Intelligence-filled Assistant to respond intelligently to queries about travel. The service’s inability to respond to queries about your existing travel itineraries, however, is a huge missed opportunity for now. Read more at Skift


The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is curated by Skift editors Hannah Sampson [] and Andrew Sheivachman []. The newsletter is emailed every Thursday.

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Photo Credit: Business travelers are mostly concerned about their safety on the road and the effect of too much work on their personal lives. Travelers, pictured, use their smart devices on an American Airlines plane. Carlo Allegri / Reuters