Travel Industry Roundup | October 21
This week, three stories caught our collective eye here at Rocketrip. Each sheds light on some aspect of the modern traveler experience; the brands we’re loyal to, the spending decisions we make, and the ways that corporate travel tech is trying (not always successfully) to respond to changing consumer preferences. You can read more about those topics in this week’s travel industry news roundup:
What Do Consumers Want From Travel Rewards Cards?
A new study from Points.com looks into the prevalance and influence of credit card rewards on consumer loyalty. More than 2 in 3 consumers have a credit card that allows them to collect points for their purchases, and travel is one of the most important segments for earning and redeeming these points: 35% of consumers have an airline co-branded card, 29% percent have a hotel branded co-branded card, and 33% have a general travel rewards card such as the Capital One Venture Rewards card.
Frugal Business Travelers Turn to Business Class Fares to Earn Elite Status
In the past we’ve written about how the changing structure of airline loyalty programs is making it harder for travelers to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles. Skift picks up on a similar theme in its look at evolving strategies for earning elite airline status. In the new world of revenue-based loyalty programs, “mileage runs” are out, and business class fares are in. The good news? Business class fares have fallen as of late, meaning “that it often makes sense to book the tickets for the mileage bonuses,” and “in many cases, elite status can be earned with one single flight.” This new dynamic presents challenges from the perspective of corporate travel managers, since employees now have a greater incentive to purchase costly tickets on the company dime in a bid to achieve loyalty status.
Companies Are Trying to Keep up with Consumer Tech by Upgrading T&E Tools
A survey of 500 finance managers conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of Concur finds that “travel and expense tools and capabilities must evolve to match technology and tools that employees already use in their personal lives.” Roughly three quarters of survey respondents indicated that they were in the process of updating their T&E tools, with user-experience being a top priority. The report suggests that “while the CFO is ultimately responsible for managing employee-generated spend, improving these processes can help empower individual users to better manage budgets and expenses.”