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.
Some good news for international business travelers: It looks like the initial laptop ban on flights from select Middle East and Africa airports to the U.S. is winding down.
Qatar Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, and Etihad Airways have been let off the hook after instituting new security screening procedures as dictated by the U.S. A handful of other airlines and airports remain affected, but many of those are working on solutions.
The UK’s ban remains in place, as well, but it’s unclear how long it will remain.
And there’s still the matter of the Gulf crisis, however, that is shaping up in opposition to Qatar from its neighbors. That’s another story altogether you should be watching.
This week we also have some insights on the future of hotels, how next-level hotels are approaching customer service, and one hotelier’s big bet on smaller rooms.
Finally, we’re gearing up for the GBTA Convention in Boston two weeks from now; if you want to meet up and chat, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Writer
Business of Buying
Thailand Invests $6 Billion at Top Airports to Boost Capacity: Thailand’s airport expansion plans are designed to ensure that infrastructure keeps pace with capacity. Its controversial military government will help determine how much demand travelers have for Thai destinations and how this new capacity will factor in. Read more at Skift
What Next-Level Hotels Have in Common: A hotel that’s just a hotel is so passé. Today’s successful hospitality brand knows that the hotel is the first chapter of a long story of connected experiences. Read more at Skift
Uber Dealt a Setback in EU Court Because of French Law: France has been a tough market for Uber and, although a final ruling on this issue is still to come, the prospects for Uber in the country don’t look promising at this point. Read more at Skift
Travel Policy Is Becoming More About Travelers, Finally: New research from Advito shows there is a noticeable shift toward designing travel policy around the behavior and needs of travelers. Read more at Buying Business Travel
Safety + Security
Qatar Airways Gets Its U.S. Laptop Ban Exemption: The move will be welcome news for Qatar Airways, which is also suffering from a rift between Qatar and its near neighbors. The original reason for the ban and the security measures put in place to combat it are both a mystery. Read more at Skift
Disruption + Innovation
Business Travel Startups and Services for Those In-Between Moments: A series of innovators are trying to address the moments between arrival and check-in, work and play, and other found moments. Read more at Skift
Pod Hotels Owner Is Thinking Small to Grow Big: Boutique hotelier Richard Born is betting big on micro-hotels — and he isn’t alone these days. Will most hotels going forward take the same approach? Or will hotel guests eventually tire of tiny rooms? Read more at Skift
Spanish Entrepreneur Offers Venue for Power Naps to Update Siesta Tradition: Spain’s national brand is about striking a balance between work and leisure, as epitomized by the siesta, or afternoon break. Ironically, statistics reveal a grumpier reality. But new trends offer hope. Read more at Skift