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December 7, 2020

Business Travel + Payments News for the Week: December 7

Samantha Shankman
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News
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With only four weeks left until 2020 is officially over, we’re already looking forward to the new year and the ability to put the strategies and strengths we’ve developed into practice. That’s right: The business world has overcome amazing challenges in 2020 and the payoff is a wealth of new tools and technologies that will position the community to build travel and expense programs back stronger than before.

If you need evidence for yourself, check out the latest report from Skift and TripActions - “The State of Corporate T&E 2021: The Path to Recovery” - to hear about what’s ahead from experts, business travelers, travel managers, and T&E leaders.

With the few weeks left in the year, you can start dreaming about which European city you’d like to visit for business first — if the news below holds water.

Remember, as you chart a path to return to business travel, we encourage you to continue to reference our free-to-the-public TripActions Business Travel Recovery™ Tool and our COVID-19 Report in the TripActions Travel Manager Dashboard. These will help you assess the safety of travel, understand any associated government regulations, and use other pertinent real-time data to guide your policy decisions. You can also explore the most pressing industry topics on the TripActions Community, which offers valuable insights from travel managers, finance leaders, HR professionals, and others.

Now, let’s dive into what’s happening across the industry today. You can check out past weekly news roundups here.

Taiwan and New Zealand Show Business Travel’s Future [Financial Times]

A Financial Times columnist investigates what’s happening to business travel in countries that handled the COVID-19 outbreak well and experienced few deaths. His findings in countries like Taiwan and New Zealand are uplifting and point towards a future where business travel has an important role and is part of an integrated in-person and digital work culture.

Delta to Launch First Quarantine-Free, COVID-Free Travel to Europe [Forbes]

Delta Air Lines, the Aeroporti di Roma and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have joined in a first-of-its-kind trans-Atlantic COVID-19 testing program that will enable quarantine-free entry into Italy, in accordance with a decree expected to be issued soon by the government of Italy.

Airline Cards Lose Luster as Coronavirus Persists [The Wall Street Journal]

Nearly nine months into the pandemic, banks and airlines are scrambling to rescue their airline rewards cards. The companies have deployed the cards for years to win big-spending customers, but the perks they offer—like flight upgrades and airport lounge access—are not currently as attractive. As organizations begin to deploy corporate cards to increased visibility and control of spend, they might find employees more willing to trade the benefits of their personal cards for company cards as part of this trend.

72-Hour Quarantine-Free Journeys Will Revive International Business Travel [Travel Daily Media]

International business travel could restart if agreement is secured to safeguard journeys of up to 72-hours free from quarantines, says the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). European organizations have called for an exemption on quarantine for people traveling for less than 72 hours, a move which WTTC believes could signal the return of international business travel and provide a significant economic boost.

Hyatt Shrugs Off Pandemic Losses with European Expansion Plans [Financial Times]

The U.S. hotel group Hyatt is moving ahead with its most rapid expansion in Europe to date, with plans to extend its portfolio by at least a third over the next three years. The company will add more than 20 hotels to its 63-site European estate targeting mostly leisure travel. Hyatt’s European group president Peter Fulton believes there is pent-up demand to travel.

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 and join the TripActions Community.

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