Skift

New Tools and Platforms Are Changing Business Travel

  • Skift Take
    Making it easier for travelers to book how they want, and simpler for travel managers to experiment with new technology solutions, has become a focus in corporate travel.

    We’ve been following the consumerization of corporate travel for a while, since business travelers simply don’t leave their leisure travel habits at home.

    As part of our annual set of Skift Megatrends, we took a look at the companies aiming to capitalize on the large market of business travelers who work for small or medium-size businesses. They’re bringing consumer innovations into the space faster than the large travel management companies.

    This week we also spoke to BCD Travel about its new platform making it easier for startups to work with its systems. While it’s not the first travel management company to offer such a program (Concur did something similar years ago), it’s a smart move that will make it easier for travel managers to experiment with new tools.

    Head below to find out more about the week in corporate travel.

    If you have any feedback about the newsletter or tips, feel free to reach out via email at as@skift.com or tweet me @sheivach.

    — Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

    Business of Buying

    Startups Go Direct to Consumers in Battle for Business Travelers: Companies have finally realized that creating happier business travelers starts with empowering them instead of ordering them around. Now the rush is on to land those road warriors as customers with the understanding that they are experienced consumers.

    Millennials Are Defining the Chinese Business Travel Market: New research shows the outsized role that millennials have played in the evolution of the business travel market in China.

    Wyndham Finally Joins Competitors With Discounted Loyalty Rates: When it comes to Wyndham finally offering loyalty program members discounted rates, it’s always better late than never, right?

    TSA Found Record-Breaking Number of Guns at Checkpoints in 2017: More flyers are heading to the airport with their guns in tow across the U.S., and 84 percent of those found by the TSA last year were loaded. This doesn’t bode well for airport security in 2018.

    Disruption + Innovation

    BCD Travel Opens Its Platform for Simpler Integration With Startups: Big travel management companies usually operate with strict controls on how third-party companies can interact with their systems. This new platform from BCD Travel is a step in the right direction toward allowing travel managers to use more innovative solutions.

    Airbnb Strikes Deal to Make a Bigger Hotel Push: Anyone willing to bet that you may find your favorite “mass-produced” hotel chains on Airbnb in the not-too-distant future?

    Google Is One Step Closer to Its User-Centric Vision of Travel Booking: Google is making it easier for travel shoppers to find and use its flight or hotel search through some design changes rolling out in the coming weeks. Watch out, Kayak and Skyscanner. Airlines and hotels will have to pay attention, too.

    Event Tech Providers Are Ready for a Data Revolution: Many event tech providers have created platforms in recent years to offer planners a set of tools with unified access to data. As the industry embraces analytics and artificial intelligence, providing useful insights that empower decision-makers, platforms will likely take on bigger importance.

    Travel Buyers Say Global Distribution Systems Still Reign: For all the talk of new booking channels disrupting corporate travel, some say global distribution systems are just as relevant as ever before.

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    Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [as@skift.com] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

    Subscribe to Skift’s Free Corporate Travel Innovation Report

    Photo Credit: A Cvent event in Europe last year. Travel management companies are experimenting with ways to make it easier for their clients to use third-party services on their platforms. Cvent / Flickr

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