FCM last week at the Global Business Travel Association conference in San Diego demoed a prototype for its Smart Assistant for Mobile system that featured chat-based booking capabilities from 30SecondsToFly's bot, Claire.
Expedia Group-owned travel management company Egencia is finalizing a direct-to-hotel communications system that enables client travelers to chat with hotel property representatives through the Egencia mobile app. Tapping in to established technologies and supplier relationships of its parent company, Egencia plans soon to give managed travelers a unique conduit to pose questions, make special requests, heap praise or lodge complaints related to their hotel stays.
IBM and Travelport are launching a jointly developed data system for corporate travel programs that blends IBM Watson artificial intelligence capabilities with Travelport's real-time shopping and historical fare data.
Corporate booking system provider NuTravel and expense system operator Interplx have formed a joint venture that will offer integrated booking and expense as well as joint pricing, contracting and servicing for travel management company resellers.
During the International Air Transport Association's World Passenger Symposium in San Diego last month, Amadeus announced what it called a "vision" for a "travel ecosystem" designed to "unlock more than $130 billion in additional airline revenue annually by 2020."
Following an 18-year run at Amadeus, Tom Cates last month became executive vice president of strategic development at Balboa Travel Management. The San Diego-based travel management company hired him to oversee "global growth initiatives, more than anything," said president and CEO Denise Jackson.
Expedia Media Solutions (the media arm of Expedia Inc.) yesterday announced that the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau had named Expedia.com "Partner of the Year." According to the press release, the San Diego CVB was recognized as "a top advertising partner and major sales channel for San Diego hotels."
[UPDATE: Jay Leno will replace Richard Branson.]Twelve-time Olympic medalist Dara Torres isn't the biggest superstar scheduled to speak at this summer's National Business Travel Association convention in San Diego. Brought to you by Sabre, Torres will join the separately sponsored founder of Virgin, Richard Branson, and President Bill Clinton on a speaker roster that also includes the CEOs of Continental and Southwest airlines. An NBTA official declined to address the financial power required t
Backed by $2.4 million in seed funding when it launched last summer, Stayful straddles the line between the traditional online booking tool model and the opaque Priceline model. It's a booking and bidding service for boutique hotels led by cofounder and CEO Cheryl Rosner, a former president of Expedia Corporate Travel. This month, Stayful boosted its distribution reach by adding two cities to its roster.
Short's Travel Management on Aug. 1 acquired from ProcureApp "the exclusive rights" to technology supporting the FindIt application. Initially known as BookIt, FindIt allows travelers to search on consumer sites for travel options, choose an itinerary and send it to the travel management company for booking. FindIt can apply traveler profile info, travel policy parameters and any negotiated discounts to which the traveler may be entitled as it searches for potentially more favorable options.