Traditional hotel rooms are not always the best choice for business travelers; extended stay properties are evolving to meet the needs of modern customers and homesharing companies are working to appeal to road warriors. The lobby of a Residence Inn in Vancouver, B.C. is shown in this photo. Rick Schwartz / Flickr
The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is our weekly newsletter focused on the future of corporate travel, the big fault lines of disruption for travel managers and buyers, the innovations emerging from the sector, and the changing business traveler habits that are upending how corporate travel is packaged, bought, and sold.
This week we found another reminder of the way that corporate travel is lagging behind leisure. A new study from the Global Business Travel Association shows that just 17 percent of travel policies allow travelers to use homesharing services such as Airbnb.
According to an earlier study, far more travelers — 37 percent — thought they were allowed to opt for homesharing. That discrepancy suggests business travelers might be breaking their own companies’ rules when it comes to staying at an Airbnb or similar properties.
The issue is complicated, the report points out: “For some road warriors, home shares likely feel more comfortable and less sterile than a nondescript hotel room. However, as attractive an alternative as homesharing is for many business travelers, it presents a number of considerations travel managers must take into account.”
Those include worries about safety, security, predictability, deposits, cancellation policies, and a lack of consistency.
Even as homesharing companies work to address the concerns of the corporate travel world, a longstanding business travel option is seeing increased demand. The lodging industry’s extended stay segment is evolving to appeal to younger travelers with more communal spaces and home-like environments.
How long will it take for homesharing to become widely accepted? Will Airbnb threaten extended stay, or will both see increased demand? And how will traditional hotels respond?
— Hannah Sampson, Skift
Social Quote of the Day
hunting for a pet sitter to give my cat medicine 4x a day while I’m out of town for business travel is the most adult I’ve ever adulted.— @brickchip
Business of Buying
Alaska Air Overtakes American Airlines in Annual Loyalty Program Awards: Mileage Plan from Alaska Airlines just won as the best airline loyalty program in FlyerTalk’s annual survey — largely because of its distance-based earnings. Read more at Skift
How Extended Stay Hotels Are Pivoting Towards a New Generation of Travelers: The extended stay portion of the lodging business continues to see strong demand. But are extended stay brands doing enough to keep up with travelers’ evolving tastes and needs? And what about Airbnb? Read more at Skift
New Business Hotel in London To Test Whether Lifestyle Category Can Scale: The Ned Hotel in London wants to be known as an urban resort and not a traditional business hotel. The founders hope to define the business hotel — we mean, the urban resort — of the future. Read more at Skift
What Hotels Are Doing to Win Your Loyalty: 5 Podcast Takeaways: With so many hotel mergers in recent years, loyalty is being reimagined for bigger, broader, more diverse audiences. But can any one loyalty program appeal to all travelers? Our latest podcast dives into all the changes. Read more at Skift
Trump Travel Ban Prompts Emirates to Cut U.S. Capacity: President Trump’s travel ban was bound to have an impact on demand from the affected countries, so Emirates’ decision shouldn’t come as a shock. It will be interesting to see if there is any sort of reaction from the U.S. carriers that have been so critical of the Gulf airlines. Read more at Skift
Safety and Security
IHG Reveals Second Credit Card Data Breach Occurred in 2016: This is yet another reminder for the hotel industry about the crucial importance of cyber security. Read more at Skift
U.S. May Tighten Visa Waiver Program, Homeland Security Chief Says: Terrorism is a real concern, but if the U.S. rolls back the visa waiver program, it could have major repercussions for the tourism industry. And that’s a big potential problem. Read more at Skift
What Trump’s First 100 Days Tell Us About Travel’s Next Four Years: Confusion and uncertainty have become the new reality for the U.S. travel industry, and travelers around the world, following President Trump’s first 100 days in office. Only time will tell whether his policies will inflict lasting damage on U.S. travel companies and the image of the U.S. as a preeminent international destination. Read more at Skift
Disruption + Innovation
Corporate Travel Still Doesn’t Get Homesharing Despite Business Traveler Use: Business travelers and their employers want safety, quality, and consistency; if homesharing companies can provide those things, we expect more acceptance from travel policies. Read more at Skift
Uber’s Growth Is Stalling Among U.S. Business Travelers: Even if its growth has slowed gradually, Uber still has a huge advantage over its rivals in corporate travel. Its global scale, as well, bodes well for Uber continuing to grow as an option for international business travelers. Read more at Skift
Apple to Test Self-Driving Car Software on Public Streets: Apple’s taking tentative steps to join the self-driving car melee. It’s gridlock already: On the Left Coast in California 29 other companies already have permits to hit the streets to test self-driving cars. This will be the mother of all shakeouts when things get serious — and will force travel managers to pay attention. Read more at Skift