2015 was an eye-opening year for corporations in terms of traveler duty of care.
iJet International counted nearly 6,000 travel disruption events for the year, up
13 percent from 2014. It was the high profile of a handful of events that had the
most impact on awareness, however. Terror attacks in Paris alone spurred more
than half of the travel managers Business Travel News surveyed either to review
their traveler tracking tool set or to consider expanding their tracking policies.
Aggressive tactics like tracking the GPS signal of a mobile device require privacy
considerations and traveler opt-in. While high-tech solutions offer real-time
information and effective ways to connect immediately with travelers, they aren’t
a full solution. Travel management company itinerary data plays a critical role in
tracking where travelers plan to go; booking through the TMC remains a high
priority for travel managers.
Peace of mind comes with locating travelers, but once a corporation knows that
a traveler is in crisis, it must be prepared to respond.
At a cursory glance, the diagnosis
for global corporate travel demand
looks healthy. Global air traffic
posted its strongest year-over-year
growth since the recovery from
the 2008 U.S. financial crisis, and
hotels in many global regions are
seeing record occupancies.
At the same time, threats to that
growth loom, and there are murmurs
of a global recession on the horizon.
While low oil prices can stimulate
demand through lower travel costs,
they also are causing heavy travel
cutbacks from the energy sector.
China’s behemoth economy, meanwhile, is teetering toward recession,
which would bring global demand
repercussions, as could the United
Kingdom’s potential exit from the
European Union later this year. The
Zika virus, too, has emerged as a
For now, chief executives from
both airlines and hotels continue
to express optimism in their cor-
porate travel demand outlook for
2016, at least relating to clients
outside the energy sector. “We’re
pretty optimistic relative to what
you see on CNBC or in The Wall
Street Journal,” Delta Air Lines
CEO Richard Anderson said during the carrier’s fourth-quarter
earnings call. “We are booked
ahead in terms of load factor for
each of the months for February,
March, April and into early summer. Core demand strength seems
very strong in terms of corporate.”
Similarly, American Airlines
president Scott Kirby reported
“sizable increases” in corporate
travel volume during the fourth
quarter and said he expected corporate demand to growth this year.
On the hotel side, Marriott International president and CEO Arne
Sorenson said room sales from the
company’s 300 largest corporate
3 ON THE HORIZON
• Automation advances for VAT recovery
• U.S. carriers get day flights to Haneda
• Air access to Cuba
• UN agency sets aircraft carbon limits
• TMC apps hook up with Uber
• Amadeus e-Travel no longer to be updated
• 2016 hotel contract negotiations
• ESA renovations court new business type
• Spirit CEO eyes business travelers
• Three companies make plays for Europe
• IATA: Premium air traffic slows down;
no decline in fares
DELTA PRESIDENT OF
SEARS DISCUSSES THE
COMPANY’S COMMITMENT TO CORPORATES
What’s Inside 4 | On the Record Corporate Travel Demand &
Macroeconomics in 2016
“We are committed
to our easy-to-do-business-with strategy. Part of that
will be continued simplification of contracts ...
and continued leveraging
of our technology investments to improve our
BY MICHAEL B. BAKER
BY JOANN DELUNA
FULL STORY ON PG 8
SMALL & MIDSIZE
Is the one-page travel
policy a myth, or reality?
Here are pros, cons and
advice for SME travel
managers who want to
chase the dream.
Now that the U.S.
Department of Justice
and Federal Trade Commission have given the
go-ahead to the Marriott-Starwood merger, what
concerns travel buyers?
BTN’s new quarterly
feature, What the
real thoughts about
for traveler tracking.
Electronic Miscellaneous Document sale
transactions that United States-based travel
agents booked through ARC, including ticketed
ancillaries like seat upgrades, have skyrocketed.
January 2015 7,100
January 2016 42,000