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June 8, 2020

Business Travel News for the Week: June 8

Samantha Shankman
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News
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We’re excited to get back to business safely. As you’ll read below, global airlines and hotel groups are reporting an increase in travelers and preparing diligently to provide the safest experience possible.

We’ve watched the corporate travel industry evolve over the past four months and are eager to see these changes in action. As we discussed this week, the role of the travel manager has changed dramatically and they are an essential part of any growing business -- now more than ever. Business travelers are also adapting their travel habits and taking rail more often, both for its ease and sustainability. The industry at large is also adapting to the rise in virtual payments and new corporate credit card platforms that make purchasing and expensing a more seamless process.

While there are many ways in which how we travel will change as business travel resumes, where we travel might also be different. The Open for Business podcast talked through the future of business travel in cities with two experts in the field. We can’t wait to see you in the skies again soon.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on the evolving situation, please look to the WHO Situation Reports and CDC. You can also find the latest on the TripActions Community and within the coronavirus report in the TripActions Admin Dashboard.

You can check out past weekly news roundups here. Now, here’s the top news of the week.

American Air’s 74% Jump in Flying Signals Travel on the Mend [Bloomberg]

American Airlines Group Inc. surged the most on record after the carrier said it would boost July flights 74% compared with this month, signaling that U.S. travelers freed from shelter-in-place orders are returning more quickly than expected.

Contactless Tech Promises to be Travel’s Next Big Thing: What’s Real and What’s Hype? [Skift]

Several tech firms are hoping the travel industry will rush to buy digital tools designed to reduce how much contact travelers have with surfaces touched by strangers and how often they interact face-to-face with staff. Skift took a closer look at what hotels, airports, airlines, and corporate travel managers may adopt in contactless tech.

GBTA Endorses the 'Safe Stay' Campaign for Hotel Industry [Hotel News Resource]

GBTA members called on the hotel committees to discuss the opportunities for collaboration and a joint-up approach to the recovery period, as properties around the world look to reopen and start welcoming guests. Members were united in their support for the “Safe Stay” initiative, to create a hotel industry standard on cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols.

United Airlines Eyes Big Boost To International Schedule [Simple Flying]

United Airlines is significantly stepping up its international flying. In addition to increasing transatlantic services, United Airlines is reopening schedules to destinations across the Caribbean and Latin America. Services to Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Singapore are also resuming.

Marriott Reopens All Hotels in China as Travel Rebounds [BBC]

Marriott has reopened all of its hotels in China and the group says it has seen a recovery in business travel. The world's third largest hotel chain has 350 outlets across China and says that occupancy rate is now at 40%.

Everything Amtrak is doing to Protect Travelers [Travel Pulse]

As travel restrictions are lifted, Americans are looking to hit the road again, and Amtrak is ready to provide a safe environment to protect the experience. Amtrak has operated as an essential service throughout the coronavirus outbreak despite some routes being reduced or suspended, but an increase in demand in the coming weeks is expected to mean additional services.

TSA Prepared for Summer Travelers with Updated Security Procedures [TSA]

TSA has implemented changes to the security screening process that reduce the potential for cross-contamination at the security checkpoint in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. TSA has already begun implementation of these changes – with more to be implemented at airport checkpoints nationwide by mid-June.

For more news and actionable insights from the business travel community, subscribe to Open for Business: A Corporate T&E Podcast Powered by TripActions on your favorite podcast platform.

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