Business Travel + Payments News for the Week: March 1
The future of work has become one of the most interesting topics to discuss today. Will remote work become the new normal? Will dispersed work teams actually travel more often, swapping daily drives for monthly flights?
Last Friday, TripActions co-founder and CEO Ariel Cohen joined investors and tech founders on Clubhouse to discuss the future of work and business travel. Throughout the conversation, we saw how these two once-separate topics intersect more every day and just how intertwined the way we work, where we work, and why we travel are poised to become.
TripActions will have more to share around this in the coming months, but it’s clear the company is not alone in its thinking: The CEOs of nearly every major travel company have recently said that how we work and travel is going to return, but in a whole new way. Read below for more.
And remember, 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.
U.S. airlines will begin collecting traveler data for contact tracing as part of a new partnership with the CDC. But the current voluntary nature of the program raises questions over its effectiveness, slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Marriott Bets on the ‘Bleisure’ Lifestyle [Wall Street Journal]
Marriott’s stock is up 44% over the past six months and is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, signaling investors’ faith that its business will fully rebound, and quickly. There are certainly signs this could be the case: Occupancy rates in mainland China, where the virus has eased, reached 60% in July and remained above that level for the remainder of the year.
Delta Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian believes that travelers will return to an improved aviation industry when they start flying again. The pandemic and the events of 2020 have led companies and their leaders to reinvent themselves with an eye toward sustainability, resiliency, and inclusivity—inspiring industry-wide improvements that will far outlast Covid-19.
As more companies switch to remote work as a result of the pandemic, InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Keith Barr believes the shift could be great for business travel’s recovery. “Instead of driving to the office five days a week, (their employees) may have to fly in once a month,” Barr said in an earnings call with analysts yesterday.
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