Much of the talk around so-called New Distribution Capability focuses on business travelers. Airlines, looking to implement a system that often gives them more control, are providing travelers access to lower rates and package deals through the new technology. Meanwhile, critics are examining how airlines stand to gain by upending the system, questioning whether New Distribution Capability is truly better for the industry.
One piece that has often been overlooked is how travel management companies fit into the picture, however. Sure, plenty of travel management companies are implementing new distribution technology, but how does that actually change their day-to-day operations?
In many cases, not very much, according to Robin Smith, chief product manager at UK-based travel management company Click Travel. While new distribution technology has created real differences for travelers and airlines, travel management companies are often stuck using legacy IT systems that have been in place for decades.
This might be starting to change, starting with Click Travel and British Airways. The International Air Transport Association has developed a new way to automate payments booked through New Distribution Capability, helping to modernize the way travel management companies operate, and these companies will be piloting it.
Read this story, and many more, below.
— Isaac Carey, Travel Reporter
British Airways and Click Travel Pilot Automatic Payment System for Direct Booking: This is a good step for the industry, bringing tech improvements not just to the retail side but also to the companies managing the bookings through New Distribution Capability.
Expedia and United Agree to Multiyear Contract Avoiding Messy Divorce: United had previously stated that it’s a new era because of its mobile app and its ability to attract direct traffic to its websites. But the two parties found a way to come to terms.
Wellness for Business Travel Is an Uphill Slog: It only makes sense that business travel — including meetings and conventions — would incorporate more aspects of the wellness movement. While industrywide changes are happening, it’s debatable whether they’ve made a real impact on the lives of business travelers yet.
Luxury Travel Agencies Claim Bragging Rights in VIP Business Travel: Some luxury-focused leisure travel agencies are finding success in handling their clients’ business travel needs. The bleisure trend, as well as the desire for CEOs to keep their lavish travel a secret from employees, is creating opportunities for these agencies.
The Future Of Travel
UK Regulator Persuades More Travel Brands to Stop Hate-Selling: It’s 2019. Online travel agencies and hotels shouldn’t still be using high-pressure tactics to get us to part with our money. There are much better ways. Hopefully the UK’s action will spur other countries to do the same.
Social Media Requirement for Visa Waivers May Have Chilling Effect on U.S. Tourism: International arrivals to the U.S. are slowing down, so the industry is right to worry that requiring travelers to disclose social media profiles as part of the online application for the visa waiver program could be viewed as unwelcoming.
Volocopter Raises $55 Million for Flying Taxis: Travel Startup Funding This Week: This week, travel startups Volocopter, Atlas Obscura, KKDay, AmazingCo, Living Map, Sojourn, and Davinci Travel Systems announced more than $93 million in funding. The venture capital sector clearly isn’t spooked by talk of recession in some markets.
Travel Reporter Isaac Carey [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.