June 13, 2019 View in browser

Players in corporate travel are finally getting more serious about using New Distribution Capability technology to connect with airlines after spending years resisting the change.

When you basically print money as it is, why risk anything by alienating the global distribution systems that power the backbone of global business travel?

This week TripActions deployed its connection with United Airlines, making it the first of the new breed of upstart travel management companies to do so. Many more established competitors have already deployed similar solutions, but one has to wonder what impact this model will have on the industry going forward.

We've also got the latest on Best Western embracing boutique hotels and Star Alliance building partnerships in Asia.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at as@skift.com or tweet @sheivach.

Skift Design Awards 2019
Speaker Spotlight: Oliver Heckmann, VP of Engineering for Google Travel

Oliver Heckmann is vice president of engineering for Google Travel, responsible for Google's travel products including Google Flight Search, QPX, Hotel Ads, and Travel in Google Search. His total organization is about 300 people based in Mountain View, Cambridge, and Zürich.

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Featured Stories
TripActions Teams Up With United Airlines to Offer More Efficient Booking

Going forward TripActions hopes direct connections with airlines can give it a leg up on the competition. Encouraging its customers to use the functionality, though, could be tricky.

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Star Alliance Gets a New Partner in Asia

Provisional partners are all the rage in the airline alliance community. Fiji last year joined Oneworld as an interim partner. Now Thai Smile is doing the same with the Star Alliance.

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Best Western Doubles Down on Boutique Hotels

One could find Best Western's boutique hotel strategy confusing on price comparisons, but it's the customer's choice if they want to pay for the experience.

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CellPoint Mobile Raises $14 Million for App Services

CellPoint Mobile, which helps airlines and other travel companies run their mobile apps more effectively, has received $14 million in investment. The move underscores the ongoing venture capital interest in business-to-business services in travel.

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The Future of Travel
Marriott Homesharing Strategy Is About Guest Loyalty, Not Profits

Some hotel chains, such as Marriott, feel they have no choice but to get into homesharing. Marriott is trying to turn it into a loyalty play to keep its customers engaged with the brand.

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Cvent Acquires DoubleDutch to Fuel Event Engagement Growth

Cvent has spent the last few years gobbling up innovative companies to round out its gigantic platform for planners, hotels, and corporations. DoubleDutch is yet another example of Cvent's aggressive approach to building its platform through acquisitions.

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How Travel Brands Are Getting Wellness Right

Given the macro shift toward wellness in culture, it shouldn't be surprising that travel brands, with their expansive reach, need to be innovating in this space as well. Some of the smartest brands here are trying thoughtful new strategies to improve guest comfort and boost well-being.

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Skift Senior Enterprise Editor Andrew Sheivachman [as@skift.com] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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