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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.

January 5, 2017

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Introducing Skift Research: Your New Resource for Travel Industry Insight and Intelligence

We’ve upped our game with considerable investments in talent and data, in order to prepare our subscribers for another turbulent year in travel. Our mission: To transform our knowledge services from a nice-to-have to a must-have resource for smart decision-makers and savvy executives in travel. Learn more.

THE FUTURE OF CORPORATE + BUSINESS TRAVEL

It’s a new year, and corporate travel experts are expecting more consolidation in an industry that saw a surprising amount of change in 2016.

The effects of the Marriott-Starwood merger, along with Concur’s acquisition of Hipmunk, may not be felt immediately by the industry at large.

But the uncertainty caused by global events, especially terrorism and isolationist political policies, post a more immediate concern.

“There wasn’t a single event so much as a general sense of uncertainty that filtered into the world of corporate travel [in 2016],” Rocketrip founder and CEO Dan Ruch told Skift. “Everything from political surprises (the U.S. election and Brexit vote) to high profile terrorist attacks gave travel managers occasion to reassess foundational parts of their programs. There’s some anxiety about whether the tried and true systems companies have built for traveling employees — around duty of care, spend management, reporting — are still suitable. The need for corporate travel to adapt, and quickly, is something I heard discussed a lot in 2016.”

Still, there is reason to be optimistic for increased business travel growth as the global economy continues to grow, especially in Asia. As corporate travel technology gets smarter, there will also be more opportunity for companies in the space to provide better products and experiences to their clients.

Time will tell what 2017 holds for corporate travel, but it will certainly be an interesting year for an industry undergoing disruptive change.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Skift

SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY

I want an emotional support marmoset. What the hell? More animals are flying these days: http://nbcnews.to/2hO3HKN – ‏‏@mcourcel

BUSINESS OF BUYING

Corporate Travel Leaders Hope for Stability and Plan for Growth in 2017: Many executives in the corporate travel space are planning for expansion and growth in the year ahead. The question on everyone’s mind is whether global and economic events will foster more business travel or keep growth subdued. Read more at Skift

Airbnb Is Becoming an Even Bigger Threat to Hotels Says a New Report: Although much focus as of late has been on Airbnb’s ability to become a new kind of online travel agency, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that it continues to be a major disruptor to the traditional hotel industry, too. Read more at Skift

Hotel Rates Are Going Up in Europe: Eastern Europe is seeing the biggest rate hikes, due to increased room demand. Rates in Western Europe, however, are relatively flat for a variety of reasons. Read more at Buying Business Travel

Buyers May Have Higher Budgets in 2017: Business travel buyers are optimistic that they will have more to spend this year, after four years of declining resources. Read more at Travel Weekly UK

Safety and Security

Mastercard Could Share Your Height and Weight With Airlines, But Will It? Yes, this seems like a potential invasion of privacy, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The chances of airlines adopting this technology are low. Read more at Skift

DISRUPTION + INNOVATION

10 Hotel Trends That Will Shape Guest Experience in 2017: We make our predictions for some of the biggest trends that will impact the hospitality industry and the overall guest experience. Read more at Skift

Has Personalization of Passenger Experience Entered a Critical Stage? We may be further along than we were just a year ago, but there’s still a long way to go. Read more at Skift

China To Spend $125 Billion Per Year to Expand Rail Network by 2020: China officials are making a big push to ramp up infrastructure spending. Sound familiar? They are actually doing it, though. Read more at Skift

New York’s Governor Proposes $10 Billion Plan to (Finally) Fix JFK Airport: With New York LaGuardia finally getting a much-needed facelift, it makes sense that New York’s governor is turning his attention to JFK. Most of JFK’s terminals are in better shape than LaGuardia, but they’re far from being among the world’s best. Read more at Skift

COMMENTS

The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is curated by Skift editors Hannah Sampson [[email protected]] and Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]]. The newsletter is emailed every Thursday.

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