Sabre expects to wrap up chatbot pilots with Casto Travel and Travel Solutions International USA at the end of the summer. It then will determine whether to make the capability available for other travel management companies.
Travel management companies come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own mission, identity, product portfolio, geographic footprint and client base. Despite their distinguishing factors, TMCs share commonalities in near-term business investments, according to research published this week by The Beat.
Before American Express acquired chatbot builder Mezi, three travel management companies—Adelman Travel, Casto Travel and WTMC—had partnered with the tech startup for their own message-based offerings. Five months after the payment company acquired it, Mezi has wound down work with TMCs.
Corporate travel industry veteran Andy McGraw joined Milwaukee-based Adelman Travel as CEO in May 2017. Since then, the travel management company has positioned itself as a mobile-first "platform as a service" operator, underpinned by its mobile app, Adelman Virtual Assistant, or AVA, and an upgrade to its workforce management and agent-facing technology. He spoke with The Beat editor-in-chief Jay Boehmer.
Casto Travel CEO Marc Casto is over the transaction-based model that has dominated travel management company pricing for so long. Like a few other advocates for a shift, including AmTrav Corporate Travel and Executive Travel, he is attracted to a per-traveler, per-month "membership" model.
Another week, another couple of entrants chasing the unmanaged-to-lightly managed business travel segment.
With a recent round of seed funding, Shep is finding its footing in business travel. The Austin-based startup has built a browser extension, compatible with Google Chrome, that tracks traveler interactions on public travel websites, highlights in-policy options and pulls in booking confirmations for tracking and reporting.
New York-based W Travel this month staked its claim as the first corporate travel management company to achieve New Distribution Capability certification from the International Air Transport Association.
Travel and Transport chief information officer Mike Kubasik spoke with The Beat editor-in-chief Jay Boehmer about mobile strategy, its mobile patent and API connectivity with travel suppliers through the Dash Mobile app. An edited transcript follows.
New Zealand-based corporate T&E technology provider Serko is establishing North American operations and named former NuTravel executive Rich Miller to lead the charge as general manager of U.S. market sales.
After years of relentless focus on the user experience, a new and interesting trend is emerging in the tech world: Simplicity—and ideally invisibility—is now at the forefront of user engagement. The potential benefits and challenges associated with this philosophy are likely to change the travel industry in dramatic ways.
Milwaukee-based travel management company Adelman plans to launch an out-of-the box offering for small businesses to transition from unmanaged to managed travel.
"The word 'millennial' has been banned from my office," American Express Global Business Travel digital traveler vice president Evan Konwiser this week told a crowd at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives conference in New York. Like Konwiser, we all have our "millennials"—words or phrases that we deride, that don't accurately describe something, that get overused or misused, that have outlived their usefulness or that have become cliché.
At The Beat Live in Chicago last month, Sabre Labs director Mark McSpadden led a discussion on artificial intelligence, bots and messaging technologies. Alongside him were Servo founder Nadav Gur, American Express Global Business Travel vice president Evan Konwiser, FCM Travel Solutions chief strategy officer John Morhous and Pana CEO Devon Tivona.