Airbnb Adds Business Travel Search

PYMNTS just announced that Airbnb just made a new move to push into the business travel sector.

On the latest update on the company’s mobile app, Airbnb has added a new search function that allows users to view listings designated “business travel ready.” To score this designation, listings need to provide homestayers with 24-hour self check-in, high-speed internet and, naturally, a desk. The Verge noted that the listing’s feedback must also include at least 60 percent five-star reviews. Business users have to register using their work email address.

Through 2017, Airbnb also plans to integrate with more corporate travel booking tools as a means to offer more seamless rebooking and to offer greater access to other amenities, the company said.

See more here.

Report Shows Business Travel is Booming

A new report released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Travelport revealed that the business travel sector is expected to increase by 3.7 percent per year over the next decade.

“Every day we see business travel growing at a significant rate in many emerging markets with technology playing an in increasingly important role in easing the way for those on trips for their work,” Travelport CEO Gordon Wilson said in a statement. “As an industry, we need to continue to invest in the best technologies and infrastructure whilst governments need to be more business-friendly by removing burdensome visa requirements.”

The United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan remain the largest Business Travel markets, according to the WTTC report.

See more here.

Business Travel Ready to Take-Off in 2017

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky NaegelenDespite a mixed first-quarter earnings report, Delta Air Lines is forecasting a bullish year for business travel in 2017. While the carrier’s total passenger revenue dropped 1 percent year-over-year to $7.7 billion in the first-quarter, the airline predicts business demand will remain strong and plans to focus on improving domestic business yields.

Spending associated with business travel fell 0.2 percent in 2016, according to the Global Business Travel Association. This year however, the organization—like Delta—has a positive outlook for corporate travel.

The latest forecast from the GBTA projects consumers will spend 4.4 percent more on business travel in 2017, or $296.1 billion total—up from $283.6 billion in 2016.

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Strategies for More Efficient Business Travel

Entrepreneur discusses how to get the most out of your business trips. Whether you’re in sales or you’re an entrepreneur trying to make new connections, travel is a big part of your life as a professional. All these strategies can help you travel more efficiently as a young entrepreneur or professional.

1. Choose more efficient travel modes.
There are dozens of ways to travel, including land, sea and air. Before opting for one mode over the others, consider your options carefully, including any hidden advantages and disadvantages you might be neglecting — such as the ability to get more work done as a passenger.
2. Choose better travel paths and connections.
Next, you can plan your routes with more efficient connections, layovers and city-visiting orders. For example, Luggage Council rates the four best cities to connect through, all of which offer massive, resource-packed airports and streamlined service, so you don’t have to worry about getting held up. Planning a trip with better stops and transitions will save you money and give you more time to work (more on that in the next section).
3. Be picky with accommodations.
You have your choice of hotels, Airbnbs or other accommodations, so be picky. Think carefully about your wants and needs and shop around for the best possible price. You can easily save a few hundred dollars here if you know where to look.
4. Know where to cut costs.
There are some areas to cut costs and some areas to splurge. For example, if Wi-Fi is an additional cost, it’s almost always worth the upcharge to give yourself greater productivity. Renting a nice car could also serve to make a good first impression with your new clients, if that’s your main goal.
5. Keep a mobile device on you.
Most professionals do this anyway, but try to stay active and connected by having a mobile device on you at all times. Connect to available Wi-Fi when you can, keep your team organized and have a place to jot down notes as necessary throughout your trip.
6. Have an agenda of work.
According to Productivityist, scheduling your work in advance not only helps you organize your thoughts and prioritize your goals, it’s also a way of motivating yourself to get more done. Make sure you know what you need to do while on the road, as well as how, when and where you’re going to do it.
7. Catch up on communication at the right times.
You won’t be able to communicate with your team throughout the entirety of your travel, so schedule some time to “catch up” on your communications. Take a break to read your emails, listen to voicemails, and make any phone calls as necessary.
8. Maximize your trips.
If you’re going to a city, you might as well squeeze in as much as possible while you’re there. If you have multiple clients in the area, see them all. If you have an extra day, take in some sights and share the experience on your brand’s social media page. Set a long list of goals to accomplish to get the most value out of every trip.
9. Pack wisely.
As Mashable explains, how you pack can have a big impact on your mental health — and a number of other areas. Packing light means having to keep track of fewer items, remaining more mobile throughout your adventures, paying fewer baggage fees and living a minimalistic lifestyle when you’re in a new city.
10. Give yourself time to decompress.
Travel can be stressful, so make sure you have time to de-stress and relax when you have the opportunity. Take rests before big meetings and don’t over-fill your schedule with things to do or you won’t be able to do any of them efficiently.
11. Soak in your environment.
Even though you’re traveling professionally, you’ll be less stressed and feel better about the trip if you take the time to absorb your environment. Get to know the city. Visit some good restaurants. You won’t be disappointed.

Why Planners Are Choosing All-Inclusive Venues

What does the ideal meeting venue look like today? BizBash takes a look!

Today, meeting attendees want to feel at home—even at dedicated conference and meeting venues. They don’t want to limit themselves to one room, either.

“When people are sitting all day long in one space, [they] can get restless,” says Sarah Vaynerman, Offsite’s director of communications. “Your mind doesn’t have a lot of room for creativity if you’re looking at the same thing all day long, if you’re sitting in the same seat all day long.”

Meeting and event venue developer Convene asked a focus group of planners, and their answers inspired the design of the new Convene at 237 Park Avenue space in New York.

Opened in July in Midtown East, the venue encompasses 12,000 square feet, including eight meeting rooms and space for as many as 275 participants. During the conception of 237 Park Avenue, Convene’s strategic planning process included a method known as “Human Centered Design,” which resulted in innovations such as a meeting planner station outside conference rooms so planners can greet guests but still see what’s happening inside via a live video and audio feed. Similarly, the decor of 237 Park Avenue almost seems residential, with unexpected details like a fireplace and beer taps.

“Nobody wants to be in a cube-like environment,” explains Convene’s vice president of design and innovation, Joyce Bromberg. “It’s a cross between the living room that you dream of, your favorite restaurant, and the newest hotel.”

Photo: Courtesy of Offsite

Groupize Integrates with Concur to Expand Small Meetings Management

The meetings management technology provider Groupize has joined the Concur App Center. The technology focuses on small meetings and claims to bridge the gap between transient travel tools and heavier meetings management technology stacks. It offers three levels of functionality: multi-room booking, strategic sourcing and attendee registration.

Arrangers can book meetings with up to nine sleeping rooms in the app, which pulls in preferred properties and rates directly, for now, from Travelport. Sabre currently does not accommodate multi-room bookings, though Groupize has talked to the provider about the opportunity.

For larger programs, the app allows arrangers to negotiate with multiple properties for various meeting elements—including sleeping rooms, meeting spaces, food and beverage, audiovisual and special requests—via an email-based bids system that tracks all stages of the process and facilitates internal corporate approvals for budget and contract authorization.

See more here.

Domestic Business Travel Leads Positive 2016 Travel Results

According to the US Travel Association’s latest Travel Trends Index, travel to and within the US in 2016 grew 2.4 percent from December 2015. This was led by renewed strength in the domestic business travel sector.

Following a strong showing in November’s data for domestic business, the sector’s immediate growth declined slightly in December 2016. However, the forecast in the Leading Travel Index indicates that domestic business travel’s growth rate will rebound, and catch up to that of domestic leisure travel – the sector that has typically led US travel growth.

The index includes both current travel, measured the number of person-trips involving hotel stays and/or flights each month, and a future travel predictions, based on the likely average pace and direction of business and leisure travel, both domestic and international inbound.
See more from BTN’s Redline News.


Communal Rooms Coming to Marriott’s Element Hotels

Communal guest rooms are coming to the Marriott hotels. A pilot program at the company’s eco-conscious, extended-stay Element properties will give guests a new option that combines private bedrooms with a shared common area. Both business and leisure travelers stand to benefit.

Element’s bold communal guest room design will involve a shared kitchen, dining and lounge space surrounded by four guest rooms. For travelers seeking more unique lodging options, the appeal stems from an increase in not only available space, but also flexibility of use. The move addresses a growing consumer demand for unique accommodations. Marriott’s target market for communal room offerings spans a variety of customer bases, including families traveling together, athletic teams attending competitions, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and business travelers in need of private collaborative space. Marriott has not yet announced when the communal guest room inventory will debut, but 2017 is shaping up to be a significant year for the expanding Element brand.

Take a look for more here.

marriott element communal guest rooms

Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Steady Growth Is Expected for US Hotels in ‘17 and ‘18

According to STR and Tourism Economics’ forecast, the US hotel industry is projected to see slower but steady growth through 2018.

For the total year 2017, the industry is predicted to report a 0.3% decrease in occupancy to 65.3%, a 2.8% rise in average daily rate to $127.34 and a 2.5% increase in revenue per available room to $83.20. This is below the historic RevPAR growth rate of more than 3.0% for each year from 2010 to 2016. This year independent hotels are projected to see the largest increases in both ADR and RevPAR.

For 2018, US hotels are likely to report a 0.2% decrease in occupancy to 65.2% but increases in ADR (rising 2.8%) and RevPAR (increasing 2.6%). All seven Chain Scale segments are expected to see a decrease in occupancy.

“Demand has outpaced supply in terms of growth for seven consecutive years, but we expect that to change in 2017 and continue in 2018,” said Amanda Hite, STR’s president and CEO. “In an environment where occupancy is flat or slightly declining, ADR is the lone driver of RevPAR, which is why we expect RevPAR growth in 2017 and 2018 to be slower than the industry average of the past 30 years.”

See Business Travel Executive’s article here.

The World’s Biggest Passenger Plane

Last week, the Emirates airline showed off its newest plane that will soon begin to service Logan Airport- a massive A380. Massport spent $30 million renovating Terminal E to accommodate it.A private cabin on the upper level.

Made by Airbus, the wide-body A380 is the largest passenger plane in the world, with two levels, semi-private suites, shower spas, and an on-board lounge.

The A380 that’s flying into Boston is currently configured to seat 491 passengers, with 14 private suites, 76 business class seats, and 401 economy seats.

Massport had to add new jet bridges to three gates at Terminal E to accommodate the two tiers of the new A380, which is about 16 feet taller than a 747. The wingspan of the massive aircraft, which can weigh as much as 575 metric tons, is about 262 feet.

Visit The Boston Globe for more here.