The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is our weekly newsletter focused on the future of corporate travel, the big fault lines of disruption for travel managers and buyers, the innovators emerging from the sector, and changing business traveler habits that are upending how corporate travel is packaged, bought, and sold.
We heard a lot this week about and from “supertravelers,” those road warriors who spend an inordinate amount of time in the air, on the road, and in hotels.
While our storiesthis week may not apply to all, we think there are common threads that travel companies would do well to heed, especially as the battle to win loyalty from high-spending customers persists.
Some of the requests are simple: less noise on planes, print newspapers in hotels, and more thoughtful in-flight entertainment options. And some are more complicated: easier loyalty points redemption, better digital and mobile tools for hotels, and improved infrastructure around major global airports.
No frequent traveler will ever be happy all the time, but making an effort to address even small needs could go a long way.
Did U.S. Business Travel Benefit From a Trump Bump? Unexpected business travel growth in the U.S. is good news for the travel industry — but will it last? A new report from the U.S. Travel Association says higher business investment spending and the rallying stock market contributed to a “positive yet modest outlook” for domestic business travel. Read more at Skift
Rising Fuel Costs Spell Trouble for the U.S. Airline Industry: The good times had to end at some point. Have airlines learned from the past and factored in fuel price rises or are we going to see a return to heavy financial losses? Read more at Skift
British Airways CEO Interview: How to Bring a Low-Cost Mindset to a Legacy Airline: Some old-school companies talk about embracing start-up thinking without knowing what that really means. This, though, is what they wish it looked like in practice.Read more at Skift
A Supertraveler’s Wish List for Travel in 2017 and Beyond: We don’t need supersonic travel, robot butlers, or Alexa in every hotel room. Just a few upgrades to improve the experience overall. Read more at Skift
Skift Podcast: How Travel Companies Can Win the Hearts of Supertravelers: In this episode, supertravelers weigh in on what travel companies get right — and wrong — when it comes to practices and customer service. Read more at Skift
Safety and Security
Guns in Checked Luggage Become an Issue After Murder of Five People at Fort Lauderdale Airport: The recent mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale’s airport raises questions about the rules surrounding guns in checked luggage. But given inaction in the wake of other gun deaths, we have a hard time imagining anything will change. Read more at Skift
How Airport Security Could Change in the Wake of the Fort Lauderdale Shooting: In the short term, expect more police presence in public areas at airports. Debate about guns in checked bags and mandatory law enforcement presence in pre-security areas will likely follow — but may not amount to action. Read more at Condé Nast Traveler
DISRUPTION + INNOVATION
Future of Hotel Fitness: More On Demand, Tech-Driven and Branded: New year, new you — at least that’s what a lot of us are telling ourselves this week now that the holidays are over, and so are our days of gluttony (or so we believe). And since we’re all collectively tackling that perennial New Year’s resolution to get healthier, now is as good a time as any to take a closer look at how hotel fitness and wellness is evolving. Read more at Skift
Bombastic Rhetoric Won’t Crimp Travel Between China and U.S.: The incoming U.S. President creates a classic ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’ situation for U.S.-China travel. Despite concern over tension between the two countries, Chinese business travelers see more potential investment opportunities under the new administration, while a strong dollar and continuing interest in China should continue the flow of Americans heading east. Read more at Skift
Artificial Intelligence Is Becoming Widespread in Travel: Artificial intelligence is turning into a big travel buzzword. It’s not that travelers want human interaction to be replaced by computers altogether — but they want technology to help humans do their job better. Read more at MarketWatch