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.
The Future of Corporate + Business Travel
For the last year as Skift has covered corporate travel, we’ve butted up against one clear fact time and time again: corporate travel needs to learn from the consumer space, particularly in the areas of user experience, branding, and technology.
But TripAdvisor’s investment in Traxo shows that elements of the corporate travel ecosystem can be valuable to consumer travel companies looking to improve their product.
In particular, TripAdvisor’s big goal of becoming a one-stop shop for travel advice and booking can be helped by more powerful technology surrounding itinerary management and user behavior. It also ties into a behavioral trend we’ve been following for years: traveler behavior is no longer siloed in leisure and corporate bookings, as the lines between the two types of trips blur more often than ever before.
Traxo itself entered the market geared toward consumers, but later pivoted to the business travel space.
“We make less of a distinction between corporate and leisure,” Traxo CEO Andres Fabris told Skift this week. “Travelers sometimes have their corporate persona on and sometimes they have their leisure persona on.”
Since online travel agencies now offer different trip elements, from flights to hotels and car rentals, in one place, itinerary management has become more important as trip complexity has increased.
“The point is, now, who needs that 360-degree view of the traveler?” asked Fabris in a telling March interview. “Well, a lot of people. The traveler wants it for themselves. The corporate travel manager does, and then some of the travel companies do as well.”
— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift
Social Quote of the Day
Just landed from a red eye to Philly, it’s 0 degrees outside and there’s a pigeon at baggage claim. An office job sounds ok sometimes – @amymiller
Business of Buying
TripAdvisor Leads $5.2 Million Traxo Funding in Business Travel Push: As TripAdvisor evolves into more of a booking site than it is today, it makes total sense over the long term for it to get increasingly interested in corporate travel. Business travelers yearn for that elusive perfect trip, too. Read more at Skift
Alaska Completes Virgin America Acquisition but Changes Will Come Slowly: Alaska got what it wanted, and it’s now among the strongest U.S. airlines on the West Coast. But the hard part is still to come. Alaska must meld two airlines with different cultures and customer bases. Read more at Skift
Expedia and Priceline Can Expect Tougher Negotiations With Marriott the Next Time They Meet: Sometimes, being bigger really can be better. Or at least that’s what Marriott is telling itself. Read more at Skift
President-Elect Trump’s Bombast Could Already Be Impacting U.S. Inbound Travel: Travelers from both Mexico and Germany are beginning to rethink potential travel to the U.S. after last month’s election, according to Brand USA officials. The xenophobic tenor of the new administration is creating a global image problem for the U.S. as a travel destination. Read more at Skift
Disruption + Innovation
New York LaGuardia Is North America’s Least Favorite Airport: North America’s airports will never match some of the best in Europe or Asia, where nations are more likely to invest in infrastructure. But airports in North America are slowly improving, and that’s good news for passengers. Read more at Skift
In-Flight Calling: DOT Considers Passing New Rules: The DOT doesn’t have as much regulatory power as other government agencies, so it’s doing what it can to try to protect consumers. At the least, if an airline permits voice calls, it will have to tell consumers what it’s doing — before they buy a ticket. Read more at Skift
Is Uber Spying on Your Employees? New evidence suggests that Uber is collecting customer location data and not doing enough to secure that information from potential security threats. Read more at The Reveal
Contrarian Flight-App Hopper Attracts $61 Million in Series C Financing: Is there a big enough market for travelers to track flights through push notifications and wait weeks or months to buy instead of going to a website and entering their itinerary details? Hopper, Hitlist, and others think Millennials and others will shop this way, but there is skepticism about how large these businesses can become. Read more at Skift