There are two very interesting stories involving business travel behavior this week.
One shows that travel buyers are spending more on alternative accommodations instead of expensive hotels. Another shows that only half of European business travelers use their organization’s corporate booking tool.
Taken as a whole, these two stories are really the result of one trend.
Business travelers want to book what they want however they want, and the corporate travel industry is finally catching up to that reality.
2018 should be an interesting year.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor
Business of Buying
Travel Buyers Spend Less on Five-Star Hotels and More on Sharing Economy: As more affordable sharing economy, serviced apartment, and mid-scale hotel options have become popular with business travelers, high-end hotels have taken a hit.
Australia’s New Long-Haul Service to Europe Could Be Just the Beginning: A new direct route will change traveler habits on Australia’s west coast and may deliver more market share to Qantas. But, more importantly, it looks set to herald more ultra-long-distance connections between Australia and Europe.
Air Canada Adds Free Wi-Fi for Elite Travelers: Elite frequent flyers have been pining over free Wi-Fi for some time and Air Canada finally delivered. But the free connectivity will come at a cost to other benefits.
Rosewood’s Newest Brand Is Aimed at Modern Business Travelers: Again, do we really need another lifestyle brand? We’ll just have to see if this is a worthy-enough Khos for reinventing business travel.
Safety + Security
Trump’s Third Travel Ban Goes Into Effect Despite Pending Lawsuits: The revised version of the travel ban goes into effect, for now. Pending lawsuits mean there is still a chance the Supreme Court will strike down the restrictions.
Disruption + Innovation
Marriott CEO Sees the Line Between Leisure and Business Travel Blurring: Marriott recognizes that business travelers want more than just fast Wi-Fi, convenient locations, and flexible cancellation policies. CEO Arne Sorenson is right to be considering the kind of emotional experience the hotel company is delivering to road warriors.
Half of European Business Travelers Shun Their Corporate Booking Tools: Business travelers in Europe are completely divided on how they prefer to book their work travel. Travel management companies need to make their online booking tools more compelling and easier to use.
Facebook Wants to Get a Little More Like Google in Identifying Traveler Intent: Is it just the varied nature of the two advertising platforms that makes Google more effective at identifying traveler intent than Facebook? Some would make that argument. If the travel industry hopes that Facebook will ever supplant Google as an advertising platform, then buckle up for an extended wait.
Alphabet Leads Latest Lyft Funding Round as IPO Looms: Lyft is looking to finally stop losing money as it prepares to go public in the coming years. More funding will help them finance their Canada expansion and corporate travel push.
Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.