Breaking News from GBTA Convention 2016


Every year leading travel companies from around the globe gather at GBTA Convention, and many use the event as a platform to announce their latest news, products and services. GBTA’s Media Day brings the latest breaking news into one place. Nearly 20 companies participated in the second annual Media Day to deliver their breaking news, innovations and product announcements in back-to-back press conferences.

Deem COO John Rizzo started the day by announcing additions to the Deem management team and that an agreement had been reached with American Express Global Business Travel, making Deem their travel technology of choice.

Groupize CEO Charles de Gaspe announced a partnership with Concur to streamline the booking process for small meeting rooms and groups. Travel arrangers will be able to book and manage rooms and small meetings using the newly-developed self-booking platform and app.

SkyTeam’s Ed Hollo discussed the latest enhancements to its Global Meetings product, a platform designed to make arranging travel for international meetings and events easier than ever.

ARC’s Director of Corporate Communications Peter Abzug was joined by Ovation Corporate Travel’s Shane Chapman and United Airlines’ Joe Tibble, and they discussed the importance of data in decision-making. ARC also released a detailed study on road warriors and the effects of frequent business travel as perceived by travelers.

beTravelWise Co-Founder and Director Saul Shanagher revealed a new line of innovative travel safety education eLearning products in multiple languages including U.S. English, Spanish, German and French.

Uber for Business announced their first enterprise offering, the Employee Pay Billing platform, which allows for integration with third party expense platforms. Business travelers will be able to link their expense platform to their Uber account and send any trip details directly to the expense provider.

nuTravel CSO Rich Miller shared a new booking capability in the OS mobile app and an integration with VIA Rail. Miller also announced several projects undertaken by customers that have utilized nuTravel booking technology outside of their flagship enterprise online booking tool to build solutions that increase market share and product differentiation.

Travel & Transport announced the launch of a new company named Data Visualization Intelligence, Inc. (DVI). Focused on big data solutions for the travel industry, the initial product offered through the company will be a data aggregation and visualization tool for corporate travel programs.

Avis Executive Vice President and CMO Scott Deaver announced a major overhaul to the company’s app with the addition of the new Avis Now features designed to transform the car rental process and put corporate travelers in control. Travelers will be able to manage every aspect of the car rental process, including the ability to change rented vehicles, cancel or extend reservations, and lock and unlock connected cars, all within the app.

Millennium Hotels & Resorts’ Shaun Treacy reported plans to redefine their collection of hotels and resorts, starting with renovations across North America. Treacy also teased the launch of a new socially-driven brand in the near future.

Airberlin revealed increased flight frequencies starting November 2016, including the addition of ten flights from the U.S. to Berlin and Dusseldorf, Germany. Boston and San Francisco were named as new U.S. destinations and Los Angeles flights will begin operation year round in late 2016/early 2017.

In an initiative to educate individuals about the importance of road safety, International SOS and the Global Road Safety Partnership have teamed up to include road risks in the digital Travel Risk Map. Users have the ability to view road risks at both a global and country level.

Furnished Quarters announced the launch of a customer loyalty program called Friends with Benefits for their residential hotel Q&A. Members receive special advantages, including early check-in, late check-out, free upgrades, a welcome amenity gift, a SoulCycle class and direct delivery of a Maple meal.

Marriott’s Brian King discussed the launch of a beta hotel in the next two months. King discussed Marriott’s commitment to providing seamless experiences for business travelers. In addition to offering global mobile check-in and check-out, Marriott enables guests to view Netflix on their TVs.

Christopherson Business Travel presenters released new technology enhancements to their AirPortal 360 dashboard for travel managers and Airtinerary, an intelligent itinerary for business travelers. These improvements were implemented to empower travel managers and increase efficiency.

Generali Global Assistance’s Paige Schaffer announced the launch of its new Identity Protection Services designed to detect and prevent identity theft. The services have been designed specifically for the travel industry, since international travel poses a high risk for identity theft.

McKibbon Hospitality showcased its new corporate brand identity, including a new corporate brand, logo and tagline, “Hospitality Begins With Us.” Also announced was the expansion of its corporate headquarters in Tampa, Florida. The new headquarters will be 10,000 square feet.

For more news released during GBTA Convention 2016, visit the Online Press Room and also hear from industry executives on the GBTA YouTube channel in our Industry Voices series.

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