ACTE UP­DATE

The Business Travel Magazine - - The Review - Gree­ley Koch Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, ACTE

I re­cently met with a San Fran­cisco startup that wants to change busi­ness travel – from book­ings through the ac­tual trip – and go head-to­head in com­pe­ti­tion with es­tab­lished providers. So far, it’s at­tracted more than US$50 mil­lion in fund­ing. Will it suc­ceed? Maybe. Will it pivot else­where? Pos­si­bly.

The point is that busi­ness travel can be cum­ber­some and some­one will al­ways be try­ing to im­prove it. Their thoughts about sim­pli­fi­ca­tion res­onate. Re­cent ACTE re­search found 72% of travel buy­ers would like to sim­plify their travel pro­grammes.

Un­bur­dened by legacy sys­tems or think­ing, star­tups are a for­mi­da­ble chal­lenger. Once they get a bead on reg­u­la­tions and the in­tri­ca­cies of the in­dus­try, they could get trac­tion.

Most ex­ist­ing travel com­pa­nies al­ready sup­port tech groups and star­tups. That’s smart. They un­der­stand the in­dus­try. Un­for­tu­nately, cor­po­rate struc­tures some­times ham­string their abil­ity to at­tract tal­ent.

To ig­nore in­no­va­tion or trav­eller pleas for sim­plic­ity is a recipe for dis­as­ter – for your com­pany, for your trav­ellers and for your ca­reers. Ev­ery­thing is hard un­til it’s ob­vi­ous.

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