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February 16, 2021

Business Travel + Payments News for the Week: February 16

Samantha Shankman
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News
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Business travel bookings are increasing weekly, according to TripActions’ internal data. We’ll be sharing more about what we’re seeing across the market soon, but rest assured that sales people, HR representatives, technicians, and business travelers of all kinds are starting to venture out and finally meet their contacts in person again. This upward tilt is the result of months of dedicated action: Vaccinations became available, PCR testing became the norm, and there’s a new trust that the strategies in play are here to protect us as we return to normal.

TripActions is part of that system working diligently to get businesses back on the road. As you chart a path to return to business travel, our free-to-the-public TripActions Business Travel Recovery™ Tool and the COVID-19 Reports are powerful tools for rebuilding your T&E program. They’ll help you assess the safety of travel, understand any associated government regulations, and use other pertinent real-time data to guide policy decisions. You can also explore the most pressing industry topics in the TripActions Community, which offers valuable insights from travel managers, finance leaders, HR professionals, and others.

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

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson Dies After Cancer Battle [Skift]

Arne Sorenson, the CEO of Marriott for the past nine years and only the third chief executive in the company’s history, died on Monday. His passing leaves a monumental void in the hotel industry that won’t soon be filled.

White House COVID-19 Official Meets with Airline CEOs [CNN]

The chief executives of major U.S. airlines met virtually on Friday with the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator to discuss a number of travel-related issues — the first meeting of its kind with the Biden administration.

United Airlines to Buy 200 Flying Electric Taxis to Take You to the Airport [Wall Street Journal]

United envisions using the taxis to whisk passengers over congested highways to hub airports. The taxis, which will be capable of flying for 60 miles at 150 miles an hour, could nearly halve carbon dioxide emissions for passengers traveling from Hollywood to Los Angeles International Airport.

CLEAR Raises $100M to Expand Beyond Aviation [PhocusWire]

CLEAR has become a darling of the aviation industry, and now everyone from hospitality firms to sports-arena operators are looking to them to develop safer solutions for their customers and partners in the wake of COVID-19. This funding comes after CLEAR launched its Health Pass mobile app, which connects CLEAR members’ identities to COVID-related information—including vaccination results—to help reduce public health risk and keep the economy moving.

UK Hotel Markets Showing 2021 Events Boost [Travel Daily News]

Glasgow’s hotel occupancy is pushing 90% for the UN Climate Change Conference, scheduled for November 2021, and London is showing increases around two key sporting events. They’re hopeful signs in the expected comeback of business 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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