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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.
THE FUTURE OF CORPORATE + BUSINESS TRAVEL
Skift travel tech editor Sean O’Neill took a deep look at Egencia’s fortunes following parent company Expedia Inc.’s fourth quarter earnings call last week.
The company’s bold goal of doubling its overall sales volume by 2020 will be challenging, given the strong position of other major travel management companies when it comes to customizing solutions for their larger accounts. What Egencia can continue to do, for now, is incrementally improve its product offerings.
The easier it is for travelers to use Egencia technology, and the more systems Egencia’s backend can connect with, the more likely larger accounts will sign with the travel management company.
Egencia president Rob Greyber told Skift yesterday that the company will be focused on improving its hotel offerings and technology in 2017, after announcing a new suite of expense capabilities this week. The goal is to make things better for the traveler, and increase the connectivity of Egencia’s platform to other systems that its clients use.
Greyber also said the newfound focus on the importance of technology from Egencia’s competitors will be good for the industry at large, since stronger competition will lead to a better experience for travelers.
This competition will lead to corporate travel technology evolving at a quicker pace, as more companies iterate and add capabilities instead of proceeding on three-year roadmaps. It will be interesting to watch the areas beyond expense and hotel that Egencia targets as it looks to double its volume in the next three years.
Check back in a few weeks for our full talk with Greyber on the subject of corporate travel disruption.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift
SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY
Vending machine sandwiches are the ultimate business travel perk. — @DavidSikorski
BUSINESS OF BUYING
Airbnb Is Making More Deals to Become a Travel Industry Giant: As Airbnb attempts to become the “super brand of travel,” it’s realizing it needs to make some acquisitions along the way. Read more at Skift
Egencia Is Growing Fast but Corporate Travel Rivals Still Dominate Large Accounts: Egencia’s ambitious growth will likely pressure two of the remaining global travel management companies to merge as a defensive move. Read more at Skift
U.S. Airlines Cancelled Fewer Flights in 2016 Than Any Year on Record: U.S. airlines set records in 2016 for lowest cancelled flights and lost bags and fewest passengers bumped from oversold flights. Either someone is cooking the books or the biggest airlines in the country, despite several high-profile tech outages, are getting their acts together. Read more at Skift
Safety and Security
Key Business Travel Group Urges Trump to Rethink His Travel Ban: Last week’s court decision means travel can continue as it was before the executive order. But as GBTA’s executive director pointed out, potential travelers know the situation is temporary and might be reluctant to make long-term plans. Read more at Skift
DISRUPTION + INNOVATION
Onefinestay CEO: The Vacation Rental Market Is Fragmented and Ripe for Disruption: Onefinestay’s parent company, Accor, and homesharing juggernaut, Airbnb, aren’t the only companies interested in the traditional vacation rental market. Read more at Skift
What Marriott Learned From Starwood’s Loyalty and Digital Expertise: Big data, AI, and geo-fencing are coming together to reshape the hotel guest experience, and their combined influence will no doubt change the way hotel brands manage their loyalty programs. Read more at Skift
Kayak-Momondo: What to Watch for as the Companies Combine: Expedia poured money into Trivago marketing at a loss. Current Priceline Group CEO Glenn Fogel just spent $550 million on helping Kayak grow. Does this mean he’s going to open the bankroll even further to assist Kayak-Momondo in its expansion? Read more at Skift