The Business of Travel

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The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association


Week in Review

Thai-based hospitality group Minor Hotels has purchased an additional stock in NH Hotels, increasing its holding to 94%, Business Traveller reports. The purchase will enable Minor Hotels to expand in Europe, while also allowing NH Hotels to put down roots in Asia.

Icelandair has signed an agreement to buy budget airline WOW Air for nearly $18 million USD (approximately €15.9 million), Buying Business Travel notes.

According to France24, Airbnb is being sued by French hoteliers for unfair competition. The main trade group for French hotels, The Union of Trades and Industries of the Hotel Industry (UMIH) accuses the home-sharing company of “knowingly violating” certain imposed rules.

What will the election mean for business travel? Regardless of who wins or loses, a change in committee leadership means a change in governing philosophies, ultimately affecting our industry. Here are the main travel-related committees to keep an eye on.  

Birmingham Airport has unveiled a £500m master plan to increase capacity and improve the traveler experience, Buying Business Travel notes. The investment aligns with the airport’s desire to grow traffic by 40% (to 18 million passengers annually) by 2033.

Over the next 20 years, China will account for approximately 19% of the world’s aircraft demand, Business Traveller reports. According to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast, the country is projected to require nearly 7,400 new passenger and freighter aircraft.

Star Alliance is putting virtual reality technology to the test in select lounges, Business Traveller writes. Travelers flying through CDG in Paris and FCO in Rome can try out the virtual reality systems, which may eventually be offered on planes and across lounges globally.

The TSA will begin testing new technology that can screen multiple passengers from up to 25 feet away, Los Angeles Times reports. If the terahertz screening devices pass the initial tests at a TSA facility, they may be further tested at U.S. airports.  

According to IATA’s latest 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast, air traffic could double to 8.2 billion travelers in 2037. The forecast also outlines China, the United States, India, Indonesia and Thailand as the fastest growing aviation markets.

A no-deal Brexit would result in 5 million fewer outbound trips made globally by 2022, Travel Weekly reports. These findings come from a new study by Euromonitor International. They also claim Spain will see the brunt of this, since UK travelers account for nearly 21% of inbound revenues in the country.

Following in Lyft’s footsteps, ride-sharing company Uber has launched a Ride Pass subscription option in select cities, Business Traveller notes.

Chicago’s O’Hare Airport received a new 2.5 million square-foot parking and car rental facility on Wednesday, ABC7 reports. The $242 million facility features 13 car rental agencies, 12 electronic charging stations and “innovative parking guidance technology”.


The Momentum of Technology & Innovation in Business Travel

A new Centre Stage panel, The Momentum of Technology & Innovation in Business Travel, has been announced for GBTA Conference 2018 Toronto, adding to an already exciting line-up of industry speakers from April 16-18.                                                                            

“These phenomenal speakers can truly attest to how technology and innovation have altered the marketplace and the ways in which we conduct business,” said Nancy Tudorache, director of operations for GBTA Canada. “Because our industry evolves at such a rapid pace, today’s business travel professionals must continuously engage in these discussions to stay on top of emerging trends.”

Technology and innovation are impacting business travel in more ways than we can ever imagine. Integrations of various platforms that include artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, along with a variety of digital enhancements and smart technology are quickly and constantly advancing the business travel industry.

Moderated by Egencia CPO Michael Gulmann, the Tuesday morning panel will delve into how technology and innovation will impact the industry in the future. Panelists include:

  • Lydie Charpin, Global Head of Corporation Solutions, Amadeus
  • Mark Nasr, Vice President, Loyalty and eCommerce, Air Canada

Attendee registration is open now. For the latest developments, please visit canadaconference.gbta.org.

Media registration is complimentary for qualified media. Please contact Marianne Varkiani at mvarkiani@gbta.org or Colleen Gallagher at cgallagher@gbta.org for more information on media registration.