The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

GBTA Research and Professional Development Update

Are Business Travel Programs Barring Basic Economy?

According to new research, business travel programs are not on board with basic economy fares. These fares were introduced by many airlines last year and are typically cheaper than standard airfare, but come with restrictions. The report, put out by GBTA in partnership with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), revealed that 63 percent of travel programs never allow basic economy, and even more (79 percent) configure their booking tool to hide basic economy fares when travelers are not authorized. Delve into additional research findings.  


GBTA Announces Formation of WINiT Strategic Advisory Board

In early October, GBTA announced the formation of the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board, which will provide strategic guidance and direction for the future of WINiT as a GBTA Board of Directors initiative. GBTA announced its acquisition of WINiT in August at GBTA Convention 2018 in San Diego. More details on this acquisition and initiative can be found here.


Mobile Payments among Travel Buyers and Suppliers Still in Early Adoption Phase

New research by GBTA, in partnership with U.S. Bank, reveals that mobile payments among travel buyers and suppliers are still in the early adoption phase. While most travel buyers and suppliers are familiar with mobile wallet and contactless payment solutions, 49 percent of travel buyers are still unclear on the benefits. Learn more about this new research.


GBTA & ITM Announce Long-Term Joint Venture

During GBTA Convention 2018, GBTA and The Institute of Travel Management (ITM), the leading managed business travel association in the UK and Ireland, announced the creation of a new London-based event for the managed travel and meetings sector. The new joint venture will kick off with an event, focused on Strategic Meetings Management, that will take place in London on 31 January 2019. Find out more about this partnership.


83 Percent of Female Business Travelers Report Safety Concern or Incident in Past Year

A recent study, conducted in partnership with AIG Travel, revealed that more than 8 in 10, or 83 percent, of women have experienced one or more safety-related concerns or incidents while traveling for business in the past year. The report delves into various precautions that female business travelers take due to safety concerns, highlights gaps in managed travel programs, and more. Read on for more statistics on female business traveler safety.


Business Travelers Say Loyalty Matters in Hotel Booking

According to new research by GBTA, in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts, 82 percent of business travelers say loyalty programs matter when making a decision to book a hotel. Additionally, a vast majority (84 percent) of business travelers feel having a personalized guest experience is important. Learn more about trends in hotel personalization and loyalty programs.


Upcoming Events

October 30: GBTA Canada Market Call – Canadian Cannabis Legalization and Its Business Travel Implications 

November 6: Benchmark Your Air Travel Policy – Findings from GBTA ARC Research 

November 14: New GBTA Research – Simple Meetings by the Numbers – A Huge Process and Savings Opportunity 

November 26-27: Advanced Principles of Business Travel Management™ 

See More Upcoming Events



Thank You to Our Partners



AirPlus International


Avis Budget Group

BCD Travel

Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Carlson Family Foundation


Delta Air Lines



EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services

Enterprise Holdings, Inc.



HRS Global Hotel Solutions

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

IHG® - InterContinental Hotels Group

Lufthansa German Airlines

Millennium Hotels and Resorts

Omni Hotels & Resorts

Radius Travel

RoomIt by CWT

SAP Concur

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Southwest Airlines

United Airlines

U.S. Bank



Wyndham Hotel Group

Mobile Payments among Travel Buyers and Suppliers Still in Early Adoption Phase

Most travel buyers and suppliers are familiar with both mobile wallet and contactless payment solutions, however, 49 percent of travel buyers are still unclear on the benefits, according to research released today by GBTA, in partnership with U.S. Bank. The results signal more work needs to be done to grow adoption of these payment methods in the business travel community.

The research shows opportunity as many organizations within the business travel industry are receptive to new technology adoption, but as with any emerging product, there will be some hurdles before it is fully embraced.

The study reveals chip cards are widely offered by issuers (82 percent) and organizations (87 percent). Mobile payments are still relatively new to both parties. Only 18 percent of organizations currently offer mobile wallets as a payment type to their employees, while even fewer (11 percent) offer contactless cards as an option. Mobile wallets, such as ApplePay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, enable users to make payments by holding a mobile device at a terminal. Contactless cards are physical cards with features allowing them to be tapped at a terminal, replacing the need for swiping or inserting cards at point of sale systems.

Challenges and Opportunities

For organizations that have already adopted mobile payments, the challenges they encounter are cardholder education (47 percent), incorporating organizational travel and expense policies (33 percent), and complications with the card setup process (27 percent).

Those who have adopted mobile and contactless technology found benefits including increased employee satisfaction, a reduction in lost or stolen cards and better adherence to travel policy. 

The Future of Mobile Payments

It will be important to watch consumer trends and adoption of mobile wallets for personal purchases, as use of fast, easy and convenient consumer-grade technology and innovations tends to eventually spill over to growing demand for the same experience on the business side.

“GBTA’s research results confirm what we have long believed, which is there is great potential for added convenience and security by using mobile payments. In fact, the impact of these features is why U.S. Bank was the first financial institution to offer a mobile payment solution for Visa and Mastercard corporate card transactions,” said Jennifer Swenson, vice president of Corporate Payment Systems at U.S. Bank. “These benefits, combined with growing consumer use of mobile payments, are positive indicators for greater mobile payment adoption among business travelers in the future.”

More Information

Download an infographic here with key highlights from the research. An Executive Summary for Business Traveler Payment Solutions: Perceptions, Pain Points, and Payoffs for Adoption is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here.


GBTA conducted an online survey of 311 travel buyers and suppliers based in North America. Fielding took place from February 21 to March 2, 2018.