In total, the U.S. federal government is the largest buyer of travel in the world. And so, when a portion of the government goes unfunded and hundreds of thousands of civilian employees are furloughed or working without pay, a negative impact on suppliers and intermediaries that serve federal travel programs is expected.
Corporate clients regularly turn to their travel management companies for data reporting to better understand travel spending, policy compliance, supplier performance and other facets of program management. A few TMCs, including Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Omega World Travel and Travel Inc., are exploring new ways for clients to interrogate travel program data through natural language inputs, either typed in text or spoken by voice.
This month, GlobalStar Travel Management, which has a presence in 85 countries and such members as Omega World Travel in the U.S. and Capita in the U.K., announced the TripStar app for multinational clients. Network rival Radius launched its own mobile app after enlisting mTrip to build it more than a year ago.
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Omega World Travel this month made good on plans to join the GlobalStar network and leave the Radius organization. Omega executive vice president Goran Gligorovic on Tuesday said that the reasons were multifold.
Priceline founder Jay Walker's travel startup Upside serves the unmanaged travel segment. The company sells travel packages and positions a rewards scheme directly to end users. It is intended for neither the enterprise nor the managed travel segment—not yet.
Omega World Travel later this year will implement the Amadeus One desktop product, Amadeus announced.
The number of trips processed by business travel agencies and settled through ARC during the fourth quarter fell 2.6 percent year over year. The quarter was jagged, with a year-over-year decline in trip volume in October, a year-over-year uptick in November and another fall in December. Despite unevenness in the ARC figures, major U.S. airlines said business travel demand strengthened after the U.S. presidential election and continued into 2017.
Travel agency network Radius is dealing with two key losses in the United States and bracing for a third.