Inside Travel: Understanding the latest technology and industry trend insights

Find it hard to keep track with all the latest insights into business trends, new products and technology advancements in the travel sector? The Blue Swan Daily provides you with an update on some of the key stories from the past week.

  • Enterprise Holdings set to acquire full control of travel technology innovator Deem
  • New Travelstart for Business travel booking and reporting tool goes live
  • Egencia reveals the top customer focused corporate hotels from around the globe
  • Brits continue to dismiss Brexit worries and book in high numbers for some Spanish summer sun
  • FCM Travel Solutions establishes new global airline distribution team
  • Interrail launches premium version of its travel planning tool to unlock enhanced features
  • UK rail operator CrossCountry completes fleet-wide WiFi installation

Enterprise Holdings set to acquire full control of travel technology innovator Deem
Enterprise Holdings, the world’s largest car rental company, intends to acquire the San Francisco-based managed-travel technology platform Deem. It has been working with the company to deliver travel and ground transportation solutions since 2011 and has held a minority investment since 2016. Most recently, Enterprise and Deem partnered together to offer National Car and Driver in China through the National Car Rental brand. The deal will include Deem Work Fource and Deem Ground Work, a suite of online booking and travel technology products for business travellers, travel managers, travel-management companies and suppliers. More than 50,000 corporate customers and many of the world’s largest travel-management companies already use Deem’s travel and ground transportation software. Upon final acquisition, this transaction will provide Deem with an infusion of capital and resources “to help further expand its product roadmap and increase the pace of product development and enhancements,” according to a joint statement. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. Deem will continue to operate autonomously from its Silicon Valley headquarters and offer its suite of business travel technology including air and hotel as well as ground transportation options across major rental car, black car, ride-hailing and rail service providers.


New Travelstart for Business travel booking and reporting tool goes live
Travelstart has launched Travelstart for Business, a business travel booking and reporting tool offered to companies and individuals globally. It offers a secure dashboard where companies can book travel, add travellers and monitor business travel through reporting tools. It allows users to toggle between their personal and business travel accounts, separating personal and leisure bookings from those for work. In addition, business travellers can benefit from negotiated fares, corporate deals, no setup fees and round-the-clock customer support.


Egencia reveals the top customer focused corporate hotels from around the globe
Egencia, the business travel arm of Expedia Group, has revealed the annual winners of its prestigious Top 100 Preferred Corporate Hotel awards programme. The ranking aims to recognise hotels that are committed to putting the customer’s experience first, both through providing the best overall service to business travellers and overall value for corporate clients. Ranging from large hotel chains to independent hoteliers, finalists for the fourth annual awards program were selected based on satisfaction ratings, pricing, desirable amenities for corporate travellers, customer service and overall guest experience in 2018. Spanning 17 countries across five continents, the 100 top hotels collectively delivered nearly 90,000 room nights with complimentary breakfast and 75,000 room nights eligible for loyalty points to over 145,000 Egencia business travellers in 2018.


Brits continue to dismiss Brexit worries and book in high numbers for some Spanish summer sun
Traditionally, the month of January is the busiest time for booking a summer holiday, and new research highlights that despite the continued uncertainty over Brexit, Britons are happily booking breaks post the late Mar-2019 departure date. Latest figures released by the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE) show that during the first two weeks of Jan-2019, enquiries and bookings by Brits for a self-catering Spanish summer getaway are up 0.35% compared to same period last year with bookings strong going forward. Spain welcomed a record-breaking 82.6 million tourists in 2018, up 0.9% on the previous year, with one in five tourists coming from the UK.


FCM Travel Solutions establishes new global airline distribution team
FCM Travel Solutions and parent company Flight Centre Travel Group have established a global airline distribution team to spearhead industry collaboration between technology and GDS providers, TMCs and airlines in developing solutions to book and service NDC content. It will be lead by Jason Toothman, who holds the position of executive general manager – global air distribution, after joining from Sabre Travel Network. The team is already undertaking high-level workshops and meetings with Amadeus and British Airways and expects to start running several pilots in Q2 this year to search, book and service NDC content across multiple channels.


Interrail launches premium version of its travel planning tool to unlock enhanced features
Interrail Planner has launched a premium version of its Interrail travel planning tool. The basic package will remain free to use but now includes the option to upgrade for a small price. This enables users to unlock enhanced planning features like a budgeting tool to work out how much their trip will cost, as well as access to a whole range of travel perks and discounts on things like hostels, travel insurance and travel money. A huge variety of city-specific trips and tours are also available at a discounted rate for premium members, while being better able to manage their budgets and travel via the enhanced offer.


UK rail operator CrossCountry completes fleet-wide WiFi installation
The train versus aeroplane debate is one that continues to run, and for corporates especially a major benefit of rail travel is the ability to work en route to a destination. UK train operator CrossCountry, whose network stretches from the far south west of England up to north east Scotland, has now completed a year-long project to fit its 92 trains with WiFi systems to provide all passengers with free internet on-board. In our increasingly connected society this product offer is certain to help boost traffic levels, especially on some of CrossCountry’s longer routes.