The Business of Travel

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The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association


Week in Review

On Tuesday, the UK parliament rejected the Brexit deal that PM Theresa May had reached with the European Union, NPR reports. As the March 29 deadline quickly approaches, it’s possible that the UK will leave the EU with no deal in place. The UK could also unilaterally reverse its decision to leave, as ruled by the bloc’s highest court.

Car rental giant Enterprise is set to acquire corporate travel provider Deem, Skift notes. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

Also in acquisition news, TechCrunch reports American Express acquired Japan-based restaurant booking service Pocket Concierge in an undisclosed deal.

According to The Seattle Times, divers have recovered the cockpit voice recorder from the Lion Air jet that crashed in October. The aircraft crashed into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off, killing all 189 people on board.

After the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada, China is asking some of its state-run enterprises to avoid business trips to the U.S. and its allies, Bloomberg notes. The country is also asking them to take extra precautions to protect their devices if travel is necessary.

On the branding front, Travel Weekly reports Marriott is relaunching its loyalty program as Marriott Bonvoy, encompassing its Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards platforms.

Aer Lingus also unveiled a rebrand of their logo and livery this week, Buying Business Travel writes. The airline is set to take delivery of four A321LRs this year, which will allow them to introduce a new business class product.

According to Skift, event organizers are planning for stretched budgets this year. A poll of 1,200 event creators revealed that half expect their budget for 2019 to remain the same as the previous year; however, 49% also said they expect to be responsible for more events than last year.

All Nippon Airways is trialing driverless buses in a restricted area at Tokyo Haneda Airport, Business Traveller notes. The airline will run tests until January 25, and if the trial is successful, it could lead to the implementation of driverless buses at the airport by 2020.

The future of travel could also hold flying taxi services. According to Skift, Switzerland’s national rail service is in talks to develop air taxis that would transport customers from rail stations to destinations.


Rolling Out the New Car Rental RFP

Any travel buyer or supplier knows how lengthy and time-consuming the request for proposal (RFP) process can be. They are often associated with mountains of paperwork and hours of effort, but all of that is set to change with the introduction of the new GBTA Car Rental RFP.

After an extensive development process, the GBTA Foundation recently revealed an updated Car Rental RFP, in partnership with Enterprise Holdings, Inc. GBTA Foundation Research Project Director Monica Sanchez and Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Global Sustainability Manager Claire Carstensen discussed how the RFP is designed to streamline the process for travel buyers and suppliers alike in a webinar titled Rolling Out the New Car Rental RFP.

Updates include the addition of a consolidated sustainability section and revisions to the sales section to provide a more concise and organized view. The new RFP is unique in providing a consistent framework for comparing sustainability practices and allows suppliers to highlight their sustainability efforts by including sustainability reports. rollingoutcarrentalrfpbp

As time goes on, the RFP will continue to be reviewed to ensure it stays current abreast changes in the business travel industry. The Car Rental RFP is available free of charge to all here. GBTA members may view webinars in full through the Hub. These sessions are just around the corner:

The full schedule of webinars is available here.


GBTA Foundation Rolls Out New Car Rental RFP

The GBTA Foundation today unveiled the new GBTA Request for Proposal (RFP) for Car Rental, in partnership with Enterprise. The updated RFP is global, includes a sustainability module and is more efficient and easier to use.

A task force made up of representatives from across the industry including car rental agencies, Travel Management Companies and buyers worked to update and develop this new resource for the 2017 negotiating season and beyond. The final product achieves our main objective to create an RFP that can become the universal travel industry standard. It is a global RFP that is easier to use, more efficient, and more effective at specifying what the customer is looking for and establishing the evaluation criteria for assessment.

“The integrity of the RFP process is extremely important to the businesses and travel managers we work with every day,” said Claire Carstensen, Global Sustainability Manager for Enterprise Holdings. “By making this RFP template available globally industrywide, there is consistency and transparency when they are choosing the best partners to handle their business. In addition, the new updated RFP is designed with a comprehensive sustainability section, an increasingly critical issue that all companies need to be prepared to address as part of their supply chain.”

This truly impressive resource is the result of an extensive process and the culmination of a lot of hard work with stakeholders across the travel industry. Over several months, the task force reviewed the existing Car Rental RFP, updated sections where necessary, removed outdated pieces, discussed what might be missing and also added a completely new sustainability module.

Available free of charge to all, this RFP is designed to become the new industry standard for travel professionals, simplifying and easing the RFP process. Download the new Car Rental RFP here.

Interested in learning more? Please join a complimentary GBTA Foundation webinar this Thursday at 2pm ET featuring Claire Carstensen, Global Sustainability Manager, Enterprise Holdings. Claire will provide an in-depth walk through of the new Car Rental RFP form now available for travel professionals. Participants will learn how to access the new template, understand the main areas of the Car Rental RFP and learn the benefits of including the Sustainability Module in your RFP process.


How Do German and British Business Travellers Feel about Ground Transportation Loyalty Programs?

One of the perks of being a frequent business traveller is gaining points and status through the loyalty programs of preferred ground, air and hotel providers. Indeed, being able to get an upgrade and/or earn additional extras that business travellers value makes being on the road for business that much more pleasant.

But how valuable are these loyalty programs? A new GBTA Foundation study sponsored by Enterprise, Rental Car Rewards: A Look at Ground Transportation Loyalty Programs in the United Kingdom and Germany, explores the habits and trends that are affecting the loyalty programs of ground transportation companies in two of Europe’s biggest business travel markets.

Business travellers in the UK and Germany infrequently use rental cars – only about one experience per quarter – yet business travellers in both countries say they are satisfied for the most part with their rental car experiences, with more than 60 percent in both countries expressing satisfaction.

Preferred contracts with ground transportation companies are common in both Germany – 88 percent – and the United Kingdom – 76 percent. However, a majority of business travellers in both countries do not feel the existence of a membership club or loyalty program is important. Travel buyers in the United Kingdom, though, value these types of programs much more than those in Germany do with 42 percent claiming these programs are very or somewhat important compared to 14 percent.

enterprise_importance of rental car company membership club

Even though travel buyers in the United Kingdom feel loyalty rewards programs are more important than those in Germany, such programs are much more common in German contracts.

Paradoxically, although travellers in the UK and Germany do not frequently rent cars or see the value in ground loyalty rewards programs, 68 percent of German business travellers and 77 percent of British business travellers say that having access to expedited rentals is important. Similarly, UK and German based companies value expedited rentals at just about the same rates as the individual travellers.

enterprise_prevalenceofexpeditedrentalexperience

What this latest study found is that while car rental loyalty programs themselves are not seen as valuable, the benefits that they provide – namely expedited rentals – are highly valued by both businesses and business travellers in the United Kingdom and Germany.