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
We have so many good original Skift stories with a corporate travel angle this week that it’s impossible to focus on a single one.
As part of our Corporate Travel Disruptors Series, Skift interviewed Global Business Travel Association executive director and chief operating officer Michael McCormick about the changes forcing business travel to evolve today. He touched on some big ones — risk, mobility, personalization, travel bans — but also said the industry is still coming to grips with the impact of the sharing economy.
Along those lines, our story about millennial use of services such as Airbnb and Uber shows that corporations would be wise to adapt as the youngest generation of business travelers becomes more accustomed to ridesharing and homesharing. (That age group also, incidentally, tends to book business travel on mobile more than older travelers.) We also have an exploration of Airbnb’s approach to catering to women — a crucial demographic as the company tries to capture more business travelers.
The overarching theme of our coverage this week is that change is not just coming, it’s already arrived. And the smart companies are working to lead the next wave of evolution instead of trying to catch up.
— Hannah Sampson, Skift
Social Quote of the Day
“Next time you do a travel ban, how about thinking it through.” – McCain in front of @DHSgov Head Kelly at a hearing today — @GlobalBTA
Business of Buying
Interview: GBTA Executive Director on the Forces Shaping Business Travel Today: While U.S. government actions in the past couple months have caused upheaval in the business travel world, the Global Business Travel Association executive director reminds us that the industry is dealing with all kinds of change at the moment. Read more at Skift
Domestic U.S. Business Travel Hits a Downturn: International travel to the U.S. remained strong in February, probably because travelers still went on trips they had planned months in advance. Domestic business travel, however, has begun to decrease. Read more at Skift.
United Confirms Its New Business Class Cabin Is Facing Delays: United has been downplaying this problem. But the airline had been counting on its new Polaris cabin to help it close the luxury gap with other airlines, so this is a major problem. And it’s not clear when — or how — it will be solved. Read more at Skift
American’s Basic Economy Fares Are Working for the Airline So Far: Did you think Basic Economy fares would be good for consumers? Ha. Airlines are in the business to make money, and this is one more tool to maximize their ability to increase revenues. For shareholders, that’s good news. Read more at Skift
Safety + Security
Trump Team Pushes to Quickly Unblock Trump Travel Ban: The Trump team has shown little understanding of how the international tourism or business travel industries work. Read more at Skift
Homeland Security Will Continue to Search Electronic Devices at U.S. Airports: Although most passengers aren’t having their devices searched by Homeland Security, the policy is causing confusion and anxiety for countless travelers to the U.S. Read more at Skift
Disruption + Innovation
Millennials Are the Biggest Adopters of Sharing Services in Business Travel: If young business travelers are making ride-sharing and home-sharing part of their routine, it’s only a matter of time before the alternative options become mainstream. Read more at Skift
Airbnb and the Plight of the Female Host and Traveler: Can Airbnb do a bit more to address the needs of female Airbnb hosts and guests? The short answer is yes. Read more at Skift
Why the UK Travel Industry Isn’t Yet Suffering a Brexit Slowdown: So far there has been a limited impact from last June’s Brexit vote, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be an economic price to pay, especially in the long term. Read more at Skift
Audi Will Buy Luxury-Car Rental Service Silvercar: Silvercar has core devotees, especially younger car renters, but it’s far from a household name. We’ll see if Audi tries to scale the business or keeps it small. Read more at Skift