It was a year of surprising change in corporate travel. By embracing some of the innovations that are commonplace in leisure companies, travel management companies are slowly bringing themselves into the 21st century.
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
A year ago, Skift launched our corporate travel coverage in earnest with our weekly Corporate Travel Innovation Report newsletter. Our goal was to cast a light on the areas in corporate travel that lag behind the leisure space, and highlight companies that are doing truly innovative things in a world that tends to embrace the status quo.
Something unexpected, however, has happened over the course of the last year: the biggest travel management companies on the planet have made technological innovation and traveler-centric improvements a priority. A wave of interesting acquisitions (ranging from American Express Global Business Travel’s purchase of KDS and Concur’s surprising deal for consumer metasearch underperformer Hipmunk) show a new focus on reinventing the corporate travel experience for business travelers.
For the next month, we’re going to take a look back at the evolution of the corporate travel space in the last year while discussing the future with the top leaders in the sector. We’re also going to examine the trends that never truly emerged in corporate travel, and the other fault lines of disruption that smart companies are looking to embrace.
Stay tuned, we’re only getting started.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift
Social Quote of the Day
Just watched a woman in leather pants and high heeled boots chastise a TSA officer for asking her to take off her shoes. She is 77. My hero. — @JessicaHuseman
Business of Buying
To Understand Personalization, Corporate Travel Looks to Consumer Travel: Travel management companies are finally looking to approach corporate travel from a more traveler-centric perspective. The pressure is on to shift to a more progressive approach to travel technology, iterating based on what travelers actually want. Read more at Skift
Hotel CEOs Are Now Less Optimistic About Business Travel Outlook This Year: So, how about that travel ban? Read more at Skift
U.S. Business Travel Recovery Is Threatened by the Trump Travel Ban: Business travel had a brief moment of optimism, but the rosy forecast could be in trouble if companies slip back into old uncertainty-driven patterns and keep employees off the road. Read more at Skift
Why Some Airlines Are Investing Big in Food for Their Best Passengers: It’s little comfort to the average coach customer, but airlines are spending big money to improve food for higher-value customers. Just remember, it’s still airline food, reheated in a tiny galley, so it may never be award-winning cuisine. Read more at Skift
Disruption + Innovation
Basic Economy Fares Hit the Market: Basic Economy fares have now reached all three U.S. legacy carriers, though only on certain routes. Read more at Skift
Gogo Has More In-Flight Internet Bandwidth Than It Knows What to Do With (Sometimes): At least on some planes, Gogo finally has enough bandwidth to satisfy every passenger. That’s good news, but it will take some time before passengers can count on reliably fast Wi-Fi on every flight. Read more at Skift
Marriott Turns to Starwood Vet to Run All Three of Its Loyalty Programs: Marriott really, really, really wants SPG members to know it won’t forsake them as it tries to combine all three of its loyalty programs into one by next year. Read more at Skift
Ctrip Is Trying to Corner China’s Business Travel Market: The revenue of Ctrip’s corporate travel division grew 29 percent from 2015 to 2016. It’s expecting a similar increase in 2017, capitalizing on the world’s second largest business travel market. Read more at Tnooz
Skift editors Hannah Sampson [[email protected]] and Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curate the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.
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Tags: airlines, ctir, hotels, wi-fi
Photo credit: Corporate travel is finally undergoing major changes that could make life better for business travelers. In this November 27, 2013 photo, a plane takes off over a departure board at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. David Goldman / Associated Press