Skift Take

China continues to grow as a business travel powerhouse despite some economic foibles and trade spats with the U.S. As trade grows, so too does the need for travel management services that span the globe.

Despite China becoming the world’s largest business travel market in recent years, it doesn’t seem to have as large a profile in corporate travel as other sectors.

This week, we examined how Western companies have partnered over the last two decades to enter the surging Chinese travel management market and the trendlines that have defined the sector in Asia-Pacific.

I also analyzed the latest research from IATA showing what flyers really want. When things go bad, they want instant updates on disruptions and seamless ways to get rebooked. They also tend to book their flights and hotels at one time, showing the promise of packages and personalized content in corporate travel.

There’s also an interesting missive on Expedia’s bet on voice bookings through Google Assistant that contains lessons on how traveler habits are shifting across the world. The opportunity is probably bigger in business travel than for vacationers who only book a trip or two each year.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @sheivach.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Editor

Airlines, Hotels, and Innovation

The Promise of China’s Enormous Corporate Travel Market: Business travel continues to grow in the world’s largest market, presenting significant opportunities for western travel management companies. The prize is two-fold: winning global accounts from multinationals tapping into China’s growth and taking a share of the enormous domestic market as it matures.

Airline Passengers Welcome More Digital Solutions to Common Travel Problems: Flyers want technology to improve their experience going through security checkpoints and when dealing with the nightmare of a travel disruption. Airlines need to do more to smooth over the pain points, and mobile technology can help them do it.

Meeting Planners Stress Most About Dealing With Safety and Security: Destinations need to provide more services to event planners in an extremely competitive marketplace. Despite the proliferation of online destination information, nothing beats a strong relationship between planners and destinations to help ease the stress felt by event professionals.

Expedia Brings Voice Bookings, Cancellations, and Rewards to Google Assistant: Voice-based search will not only have technology issues to overcome, but in an era when news of data breaches is commonplace, companies such as Expedia will have to address the personalization and privacy issues as well.

The Future of Travel

Hyatt to Buy Two Roads Hospitality for $480 Million: Hyatt’s M&A strategy might be best summarized as this: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

How Singapore Air Made Its Ultra-Long-Haul Route to New York Viable Again: Technological advancements make the Singapore-New York route much more cost-effective, but what happens if oil breaks the $100-a-barrel mark?

Emirates Slows Its International Route Expansion: Emirates has reduced its schedule partly because of a planned closure of a runway at Dubai International airport next spring. But it also aims to be more cost-efficient in managing its network.


Skift Senior Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Tags: business travel, china, corporate travel, ctir

Photo credit: The Shanghai skyline in 2015. Gonzalo Pineda Zuniga / Flickr

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