Skift Take

The biggest travel management companies keep getting bigger, but the digital era has ushered in a wave of startups that are rapidly winning over business travelers. The legacy companies will have to modernize to compete in the years ahead.

Consolidation within the corporate travel industry has changed the landscape for many companies and travelers. Whether this change is a good or bad thing depends on who you ask, but it’s undoubtedly a rapidly accelerating trend. Travel management companies like BCD Travel and American Express Global Business Travel continue to expand their global reach, regularly acquiring new businesses.

At the same time, smaller startups such as TravelPerk and TripActions are continuing to emerge and grow, tackling some of the problems in corporate travel that the bigger companies never seem to address. Lack of flexibility and a clunky user interface keep the business travel experience far behind the leisure travel experience. As these newer companies expand, the massive legacy travel management companies will have to modernize if they want to keep up.

BCD Travel executive Michael Janssen spoke to Skift about the company’s aggressive acquisition strategy, while TravelPerk CEO Avi Meir discussed how he sees the industry changing over the next five years. Plus we talk to Expedia’s CEO about alternative accommodations.

Check out these stories, and many more, below.

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

Isaac Carey, Travel Reporter

Featured Stories

Travel Management Behemoths Consolidate to Compete in a Digital World: The travel management space will probably continue to consolidate, with no real end in sight. That said, even the largest companies will start to lose ground if they can’t keep up with rapidly changing traveler expectations.

Skift Global Forum Preview: Expedia CEO Plays the Long Game in Short-Term Rentals: Is Airbnb going to eat Expedia’s lunch? The brand name Vrbo, really? Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom faces some real challenges as the online travel agency pecking order will likely be disrupted in coming years.

IATA CEO Wants Help, Not New Taxes in Bid to Cut Airline Emissions: If governments are serious about reducing the environmental impact of aviation, they may have to make biofuels a more attractive alternative. However, this might come at the cost of taxing ordinary jet fuel, something that will likely upset a lot of airlines.

Skift Global Forum Preview: Amtrak CEO Wants to Bring Airline Nimbleness to the Rails: Amtrak needed someone to come in and run it like a private business. Former Delta CEO Richard Anderson was probably the right choice. He knows how to turn things around, even if he may ruffle a few feathers along the way.

The Future Of Travel

Virgin Atlantic CEO Predicts Airline’s Issue With Rolls-Royce Engines Is Almost Over: Emirates President Tim Clark blasted two engine manufacturers for producing shoddy products. Virgin Atlantic has had more than its share of problems with Rolls-Royce engines, but the airline’s CEO said the situation is improving. Finally.

What the Reappointment of the EU’s Top Antitrust Regulator Means for Travel: Margrethe Vestager has been a thorn in the side of Google in the past. Will she use her next term to go after the technology giant’s travel vertical?

Hotel Engine Raises $16 Million for Business Travel Booking: The funding of business travel management startup Hotel Engine underscores how there’s a lot of money and energy pouring into the sector.

Travel Reporter Isaac Carey [[email protected]] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Tags: bcd travel, corporate travel, ctir

Photo credit: Travelers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport line up to go through security. monsieur paradis / Flickr

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