This year promises change in the managed travel industry. Now that U.S. airline
mergers are largely in the rearview, carriers will compete for corporate business on
the merit of their products and services. Hotels will ramp up revenue management
strategies, analyzing booking patterns and the potential for displaced business as they
craft RFPs and negotiate contracts. On the payment front, chip card adoption and
upgraded point-of-sale systems will cascade unintended consequences. And watch
Uber’s forward march in 2016. It may not be all about ridesharing.
Travelers continue to influence travel management foundations, and they want
technology to support better experiences. Consumer adoption of apps like Face Time
and Google Hangouts have made remote collaboration tools a no-brainer, while
predictive analysis promises to boost traveler productivity and reduce burnout. As
travel buyers focus more on the traveler, industry insiders say they will break traditional
procurement protocols and reinvigorate the practice of travel management with
innovative supplier management and more flexible travel program structures.
Even as fears rise about the mosqui-to-borne Zika virus in Latin America
and other global regions, corporate
travelers are treating the global scare
as business as usual.
“For the moment, we haven’t seen
either a decline in new bookings,
whether it’s flight or hotel, neither
have we seen an increase in cancellations since the recent cases,” said
Vicky Fernandez, senior vice president and general manager of Latin
America at Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
Hogg Robinson Group marketing director John Harvey said the
agency has not noticed a change
in corporate travel patterns but
added,“The level of alert, especially
for businesswomen, is increasing.”
BCD Travel also has not seen a big
impact on travel patterns, said global crisis management vice president
Zika virus can bring on symptoms
similar to the flu in one in five people
and has been in Brazil since May 2015,
according to the Pan American Health
Organization. Recently, however,
researchers have suggested an ap-
parent link between the virus and
Guillain-Barré syndrome, birth de-
fects like microcephaly and poor
outcomes for pregnant women.
On Feb. 1, the World Health Or-
ganization declared Zika a global
public health emergency, and au-
thorities have cautioned pregnant
women to avoid traveling to af-
fected regions and have advised
women within the regions to con-
sider delaying pregnancy until the
outbreaks are contained.
American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, Lufthansa and
British Airways are among a growing number of air carriers that have
recently instituted some form of re-fund or rebooking policy for travelers
flying to affected regions. The hotel
industry has yet to take similar broad
actions, as companies like Marriott
International released statements
In Every Issue
3 ON THE HORIZON
6 DATA HUB
In This Issue
IATA’s Yanik Hoyles
explains the New Distribution
Capability’s benefits for both
buyers & suppliers
What’s Inside 4 | On the Record Zika Virus, So Far, Hasn’t
Curbed Business Travel
“Today, you can
only negotiate a flat price
because the airlines can’t
really deal with this stuff.
Tomorrow, the airlines
can push out many more
ancillaries, and that gives
buyers more negotiating
BY JULIE SICKEL
Seize the weekend.
Get 15% off your rental.
Use PC# 106982 at Hertz.com
What to Watch 2016
EDITED BY ELIZABETH WEST
CEO Ken Chenault
more than any other
segment in Q4.
The number of Airbnb
hosts who rent three
or more units, known
CWT’s Nick Vournakis
proposes new ways
to sort expenses and
get a grip on T&E.