A group of travel buyers urged airlines, global distribution systems, online booking tools, travel management companies and travel managers "to do more" to advance the New Distribution Capability standard to meet buyer needs.
New Zealand-based corporate T&E technology provider Serko landed Carlson Wagonlit Travel as its first reseller of the Zeno travel booking and tech system in the U.S., the companies announced this month.
At The Beat Live this month, EAB VP of business solutions Steven Mandelbaum sat down with his fellow corporate travel buyers for the annual Buyers' Table session. Anthem's Cindy Heston, FINRA's Carol McDowell, Evercore's Jason Ring and KBB Partners' Mira Rosenzweig joined for a lively discussion on travel management company relationships, exploring new booking technologies and testing the waters with startups.
On April 1, U.K.-based travel management company CTI will introduce a white-labeled version of the Atriis online booking and content aggregation system. Called Plannet, the tool will pipe in supplier content via application programming interfaces, global distribution systems and online travel agencies.
Executive Travel CEO Steve Glenn has set his sights on "zero/zero," as in $0 in fees for online bookings and $0 for offline bookings. He thinks he's found the path, and it involves a financial model tied to client revenue performance, blockchain-based smart contracting and data access that gives transparency to each side.
Last week, a group of travel management companies in an open letter likened New Distribution Capability to a "half-built house." They want to deliver on the standard's promise of richer content for clients, they wrote, but they must enable their own new distribution capabilities to "fulfill customer requirements of comparability, policy control, cost management, reporting and duty of care."
WhereTo began as a leisure startup that helped would-be vacationers decide where to travel based on air and hotel budgets. When founder and CEO Ryan Wenger demoed the concept at South by Southwest a couple years ago, it caught the eye of a travel buyer from a large corporation. That's when everything changed.
Ever since it launched, Jay Walker's business travel startup Upside has gone directly after the end-user business traveler. More recently, the company has added a few tools and perks for the employer, including employee onboarding support, reports on spending and a cashback rewards program for participating companies.
Australia-based Corporate Travel Management by the end of the year plans to launch its full suite of client-facing technologies in the U.S., including its online booking system, managing director Jamie Pherous said during the travel management company's fiscal-year earnings call Wednesday.