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Feb 24, 2020

Business Travel News for the Week: February 24

Samantha Shankman

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Last week at TripActions, we announced that our UK travelers can now add Priority Boarding to bookings with easyJet, Wizz Air, and RyanAir. We’re also excited by Southwest’s recently announced initiative to update their distribution strategy to focus more heavily on corporate travel. We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with Southwest as they make these enhancements. In other news, we shared an airport guide to Tokyo Narita Airport and looked at how business hotels might change before 2032.

The travel industry continues to monitor how Coronavirus will impact travelers’ plans as we shift into the spring -- a popular season for events and conferences. The situation has given business travelers and suppliers the opportunity to pause and think more deeply about how we travel, which we continue to see through sustainability initiatives. There is also some new research out this week around corporate travel buyers’ intention to simplify their travel programs for the sake of business travelers and their internal operations.

You can check out all of our weekly news roundups here.

Now, here’s the top news of the week:

Corp Travel Buyers have a Hard Time Keeping Programs Simple [Skift]

Skift outlined some interesting data from The Simplifying Managed Travel 2020 report from ACTE and HRS in its recent corporate travel column. The report found that travel buyers are keen to make things simpler but face a number of organizational and technological roadblocks.

Almost all, or 97%, of buyers said more effective business travel programs support their company’s goals, compared to 72% in 2017. The findings suggest that travel buyers are making it a priority to simplify all aspects of their travel process -- “not only to improve internal processes but in a bid to align themselves with the wider business’s strategic goals and drive efficiencies.”

Tips for Greener Trips: How FT Readers Cut Carbon [Financial Times]

The readers of business publication Financial Times are well acquainted with business travel and had some unique recommendations on how to be more carbon-conscious. Two suggestions that you don’t usually see are booking a single bed in order to cut down to minimize the environmental impact of bed-linen laundry and “think like a student.”

The reader recommends, “Use Skype and calls rather than travel. Fly economy. Take public transport when you arrive. Always reuse your towels where you stay. Eat two meals a day, not three. Run outside rather than using the gym treadmill. Take the key out of the slot so that the air con isn’t running when you’re not in your hotel room, and ensure the lights are off. Avoid using the free hotel plastic toothbrushes, bathrobes and single-use slippers. Take the stairs, not the lift. Avoid space-inefficient suites at all costs.”

The State of Artificial Intelligence in Travel [Hospitality Net]

Artificial intelligence is one of the most revolutionary aspects of technology today. In this report, Hospitality Net looks at how online travel agencies are using AI to offer travelers deeper personalization and more automated customer service during the search, shop, and buy process. AI is an integral part of TripActions and allows us to deliver a superior user experience by using data to surface the hotel and flight options best suited to the traveler and being alerted to travel disruptions and possible remedies immediately.

NH Collection to Make U.S. Debut in New York [Business Traveller]

The Spanish hotel brand NH Hotel Group will open its first hotel in New York in April. In the group, NH Collection is one of its most upscale brands. The entrance to the U.S. marks an interesting moment in which global brands are ensuring their business travelers have a home while abroad much like U.S. hotel groups Marriott or Hyatt have done in the past.

Delta Commits $1 Billion to Sustainability Drive [Buying Business Travel]

Delta Air Lines has announced that it will commit $1 billion over the next decade as part of its goal to mitigate all emissions from its global business in the future. The carrier said it will invest in driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions. The strategy will also account for emissions across the business – both in the air and via ground transportation.

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