With 17,000 travel professionals present in 140 countries and counselors available around the clock, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is always prepared to guide and assist our business travelers through travel disruptions and emergencies that may arise during their journeys. Once we make sure travelers are out of harm’s way and help get them back on track, it’s back to business as usual for them.

However, that’s not the case for millions of families impacted by conflict or natural disasters around the world. To expand the scope of aid that we provide to people during times of crises, we are partnering with UNICEF USA to support the most vulnerable children when an emergency happens.

UNICEF, which operates in more than 190 countries and territories, can rapidly respond to provide supplies and safe learning spaces for children to learn and play. American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) commits to support UNICEF through a monetary donation of half a million dollars from August 2019 through June 2021 to help give children access to the resources and supplies they need to continue their education in times of crisis. The partnership will be part of the flagship cause for focused giving as part of American Express GBT’s Responsible Business program.

According to UNICEF’s report, “A Future Stolen,” “In countries affected by war or natural disaster, one in three children and young people are out of school.”

Children, in particular, are vulnerable during times of crises. Emergencies represent a heightened risk to the physical and emotional security of children and may have social, psychological and economic ripple effects, particularly when these crises interfere with schooling. Being in school can keep children safe and protected from risks such as gender-based violence, trafficking, child labor and early marriage.

That’s why the work UNICEF is doing to rapidly get children back into a classroom setting after these kinds of disasters occur is critical. Not only can it help to restore their sense of security and normalcy, but it also can help shield them from the chaos around them in the aftermath of the catastrophe.

American Express GBT’s commitment can help UNICEF provide children with access to the resources and supplies they need to continue their education in times of crisis. The School-in-a-Box Kit is one way UNICEF helps children impacted by emergencies and crises. This portable kit helps at least 40 children continue their education by providing teachers with materials for an entire classroom, including exercise books, pencils and other basic school supplies, as well as a locally developed teaching curriculum, a wind-up solar radio and special paint that transforms the case lid into a blackboard.

The partnership will launch at the 2019 Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention in Chicago from Aug. 2–7. Participating social media posts tagged with #MomentsThatMatter and #GBTCares will be compiled into an art installation at GBT’s booth at GBTA 2019, where a School-in-a-Box Kit will also be on display.

“Our American Express GBT team is particularly great at shining in a crisis — from the care we provide our travelers to get them home safely during natural disasters or other disruptions to the support we give to our fellow team members and communities when they need it most. As the world’s leading partner in managed travel, we are honored to support UNICEF and the outstanding work they do around the world to educate children in times of crisis,” said Si-Yeon Kim, chief risk and compliance officer and executive champion of Responsible Business for American Express GBT.

“Evolve” is the theme of the 2019 Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention — and it has special significance for us this year, too, as the brand identity of American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), a partner company of American Express, undergoes a transformation.

Since our joint venture as a standalone enterprise five years ago, we have done a lot of introspection about our significant progress in delivering technology-enhanced experiences and where we want to go. After joining forces with HRG a year ago, we focused more intently on who we are, why we do what we do and, yes, how we will evolve. All this contemplation has led to transformation, igniting a deeper purpose for the work we do and the role we play to make sure travelers can be present when and where it matters to help drive businesses forward.

Today, American Express GBT is the world’s largest business partner for managed travel with 17,000 travel professionals in more than 140 countries. That is an integral part of what distinguishes American Express GBT, but what defines our purpose goes deeper than that.

“Our purpose as a business is to generate prosperity through presence, using face-to-face as a mechanism for growth, personal and professional,” said Evan Konwiser, vice president of marketing and product strategy at American Express GBT. “When you travel, you build connections, and when you connect with people, you create the opportunity to prosper, as an individual and as a business. And that simple concept underlies everything we do as a company and in society.”

Last year, American Express launched its own brand campaign to demonstrate the unique role it plays in backing people in life and business. Since this aligns so perfectly with our own core values and promise to clients, we are leaning into that concept.

As Konwiser said, “Now it’s our turn to pivot from services to experiences, from products to presence, and adopt American Express’ new brand campaign to benefit from all the work they’ve done on the global stage while also reasserting our own identity as American Express GBT.”

How we are there for our travelers

“A big element of how we deliver care is an increased focus on being present when and where our customers need us,” said Mark Rude, vice president of Traveler Care in the Americas at American Express GBT.

We are able to deliver a high level of care and attention because of the 8,000 travel counselors within our Traveler Care division “whose sole mission is to ensure that the experience for travelers is the best one it can be,” said Rude.

Our cutting-edge technology is another key ingredient.

“Our Traveler Care team is supported by technology that helps us ensure that it’s not just the care we provide to them in the booking experience, but it’s the 24/7 care we provide to them throughout their travels and being there to care for them when their plans change or when something unexpected happens.”

One way we are able to achieve this goal is via our Proactive Traveler Care solution, which automatically reaches out to travelers potentially impacted by a disruption, ideally before they ever contact us.

Rude said we are continually enhancing our technology to provide a better traveler experience, such as recently expanding our messaging platform to include an in-app chat function, which can be a more convenient channel during times of need.

He also pointed out how American Express GBT is enabling travel counselors to deliver a more personalized service with “an expanded set of traveler intelligence that puts our counselors in a better position to understand the traveler, their travel behaviors, their preferences, their past trips and how that will influence their future trips.”

Equally important as this traveler-focused technology, however, is a human element.

“It is important to have travel counselors who are empathetic to the plight of the traveler. That may seem obvious, but it is so crucial when delivering care to a traveler,” Rude said.

“Care represents so much of what we’re about and what we strive to achieve,” he added — so much so, in fact, that a year ago, we changed the name of the Service Delivery division to Traveler Care to emphasize and clarify this purpose to our employees and clients.

“At the end of the day,” Rude said, “business travelers want not only an easy booking experience, but the assurance that when things don’t work out as expected, you’ve got the backing of American Express GBT and its 8,000 Traveler Care professionals to be there at your side along the way. Delivering that peace of mind, that’s what we strive to do every day.”

The kind of support and quality care American Express GBT delivers isn’t just helping our clients prosper — it also is contributing to the success of our very own people.

“American Express GBT helps me achieve my purpose as a traveler by allowing me to thrive in life,” said Melissa LaPorta, vice president of global marketing brand and content. “That means getting me to where I need to go, efficiently, expertly and comfortably, so that I can have that human connection that you really just can’t get over the phone with my team and with my business partners.”

“More importantly,” she added, “American Express GBT gets me home so that I am there for those ‘can’t miss’ moments. To work for a company that is able to deliver that to our travelers is what drives me every day.”

Interested in learning more? We will be unveiling our new purpose and the evolution of our new brand identity with a video that will be aired at our booth (Booth 2021) at the GBTA Convention. If you do not get a chance to check it out there, take a look at it below. And to learn even more about our core values and how we are elevating the client experience, continue reading here.

If you have trouble seeing this video, please view it on Chrome or Internet Explorer.

Whether you are new to travel management, are seeking solutions to optimize your hotel program or simply can’t remember what “LRA” and “NS” stand for, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has put together this special glossary to decode terms and acronyms often being tossed around in the hotel industry.

ARR: average room rate (aka “average daily rate”); a widely used KPI that is calculated by dividing the total room revenue by the total number of rooms sold

BAR: best available rate (aka “best guaranteed rate”); the lowest room rate that is available for all guests to book on a given day; the rate can change several times a week, or even several times a day, depending on demand

blackout dates: a period when the corporate rates/discounts a company has with a hotel do not apply

corporate rate: a special rate extended to corporate guests, on business, under terms negotiated by their employer

dynamic pricing: under this fluid pricing model, a hotel will offer a corporate client a fixed discount/percentage off the BAR

fixed pricing: under this static pricing model, a hotel will offer a corporate client a set discounted rate that is not affected by BAR; when a company negotiates rates based on fixed pricing, it usually will need to meet a minimum volume level for the discount to apply

folio: an overview of a guest’s transactions (i.e., the charges and payments made)

GBT Property Hub: GBT’s collection of hotel properties and rates available to clients that includes GDS and non-GDS hotel content and additional inventory from key hotel partnerships

GDS: global distribution system; a computerized reservation network used to book airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel-related items by travel agents, online reservation sites and large corporations

GDS rate audit: a process that checks the application of discounted rates suppliers (i.e., hotels, airlines, rental car agencies) have extended to corporate clients have been loaded properly to the GDS

GDS rate loading: when a supplier uploads the corporate rate it is extending to a company to the GDS; sometimes issues can occur and the discounted rates are not loaded properly, which means companies may not be receiving the correct negotiated rate

hotel attachment: when a hotel booking is attached to an airline or rail reservation (as opposed to when a traveler makes a hotel reservation directly via the hotel supplier’s website or an online travel agency); for a managed travel program, a high hotel attachment rate is desirable, boosting the volume of data for supplier negotiations and risk management governance

Hotel Re-shop Expert: a GBT tool that monitors hotel prices and automatically rebooks less expensive rates as they become available

Hotel Track Expert: an automated auditing tool from GBT that identifies client-negotiated hotel rates that have been loaded incorrectly and works to resolve the issue

incidental charges: additional costs of services and amenities that are not part of the main hotel bill (e.g., parking and Wi-Fi service)

leakage: when a business traveler books a hotel outside the preferred channel as defined by the company’s travel policy that can lead to missed cost-savings opportunities and weaken duty of care capabilities

LRA: last room availability; as long as a hotel has even just one room for sale, parties with an LRA contract have the right to buy it in accordance with the contracted terms and prices

NS: no show; a hotel guest who has made a reservation or booking but neither keeps nor cancels it

occupancy: a KPI used in the industry that shows the percentage of available rooms that were sold during a certain time period; it is calculated by dividing the number of rooms sold by the rooms available

OTA: online travel agent/agency: a third party that sells inventory on behalf of the hotel, such as Expedia or Hotels.com; in a managed program, booking hotels via OTAs should be discouraged

parity: the practice of consistent rates across all distribution channels; commonly associated with rate parity, but can include room type and content parity

Preferred Extras: a GBT program offering special savings on flights, hotels and additional perks, such as complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi

rack rate: the official or advertised price of a room before any discounts or promotional rates are applied

RFP: request for proposal; a formal solicitation by a company to potential hotel suppliers for procurement of services (i.e., hotel rooms)

resort fee:  a mandatory daily charge imposed by a hotel to cover a variety of services and amenities, such as a business center, a pool, a gym or in-room coffee

ROH: run of house; a basic room type with no guaranteed specific amenities

shoulder season: time between the peak and off-peak season when hotel rates are relatively low, usually in the spring and fall

shoulder night: a night where there typically is less hotel occupancy on either side of peak nights, usually Mondays and Thursdays

Trip Recommender™: a GBT solution that automatically sends business travelers who have reserved a flight, but not a hotel, a message with booking links for up to three properties based on their corporate travel policies and past trip behaviors; includes at least one company-preferred option among the recommendations

Virtual Payment Expert (VPE): a GBT solution, powered by Conferma Pay, that creates a virtual card number that business travelers, who are not on a corporate credit card or centrally billed account, can use for hotel transactions

walk: when a hotel cannot accommodate a guest’s reservation, usually because it has oversold its rooms, and sends the guest to stay in a hotel within close proximity

yield management: aka “revenue management”; the practice of raising or lowering hotel rates based on anticipated demand to maximize hotel revenue

To help travel and procurement departments optimize their corporate lodging programs, the Global Business Consulting (GBC) team of American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) produces an annual hotel analysis with key insights about trends that will impact prices and buying strategies.

In this year’s report, GBC consultants also highlight the top technology trends that are driving change across every area of corporate lodging. They also provide tips on how travel buyers can use data insights to optimize their lodging program, a topic explored in greater detail in an accompanying white paper entitled « Putting Data to Work for Your Lodging Program. »

To access the report, fill out the form below and then click on the “Submit” button. You then will be redirected to a new screen where you will be able to download the document.

Alongside Hotel Monitor 2020, we also are publishing a price forecast for 150 key cities around the world, which buyers can use as they plan their 2020 hotel budgets.

Corporate lodging is a complex topic and we only can scratch the surface in these reports. For strategic advice configured to your travel program, please get in touch with our GBC team.

* Champs obligatoires.

To help travel buyers plan their 2020 budget of their corporate lodging program, the Global Business Consulting (GBC) team at American Express Global Business Travel has assembled hotel price predictions for 150 key cities around the globe.

Across much of the world, the hotel industry is booming with business and leisure volumes growing. You will see from our 2020 Cities Forecast that prices in most locations are expected to remain stable or see only modest rises, but a number of outlier cities may experience more pronounced fluctuations.

To access the 2020 Cities Forecast, fill out the form below and click “Submit.” You then will be redirected to a new screen where you will be able to download the report.

For an in-depth analysis of the factors impacting prices at the regional, national and city level, read our Hotel Monitor 2020 report. And for tips on how you can use data insights to optimize your hotel program, check out the accompanying white paper, « Putting Data to Work for Your Lodging Program. » Should you need more personalized, in-depth analysis and strategic advice, please get in touch with our GBC team.

* Champs obligatoires.

The world is swimming in data and there is more of it all the time.

To help travel buyers derive value from all the data that is available to them, the Global Business Consulting (GBC) team of American Express Global Business Travel has produced a white paper entitled “Putting Data to Work for Your Lodging Program.” It is intended to help buyers and travel managers understand how data can differentiate their programs and enable them to work more strategically, both within their organizations and externally with suppliers.

The report provides practical advice on how travel buyers can use data to help drive program savings, improve compliance and monitor the performance of the program as well as support other goals, such as employee productivity and well-being.

To access the paper, fill out the form below and click “Submit.” You then will be redirected to a new screen where you will be able to download it.

FYI: The “Putting Data to Work” report is being published alongside our Hotel Monitor 2020, which offers an analysis of factors impacting prices at a regional, national and city level, as well as a price forecast for 150 key cities around the world. Should you need more personalized, in-depth analysis and strategic advice, please get in touch with our GBC team.

* Champs obligatoires.

Imagine this: There’s a contractor who’s traveling for company business. Because they do not have a corporate charge card, the hotel will be paid for using some executive’s corporate credit card number — the same one that always gets passed around in this kind of circumstance.

The assistant making the booking relays the exec’s card number to a travel counselor at the travel management company, who then reaches out to the hotel to request a “card not present” authorization form, giving the hotel legal authority to charge the card even though it will not be physically presented. A daytime employee at the hotel sends the form on to the travel counselor, who then fills it out with the credit card information and faxes it back to the hotel. By this time, the hotel employee has gone for the day. When they return, the form has disappeared, buried under a pile of paperwork, and it has to be faxed again.

During the hotel stay, the contractor, who doesn’t know the company’s travel policy, goes to town, ordering room service and helping themselves to the minibar because “hey, why not? The company is paying.” Of course, the final bill is way over budget.

Post-trip, the finance team receives a credit card statement for the exec who’s always lending out their card and sees multiple hotel stays without any traveler details. They notice some irregularities and realize the card number had been misused. They then must go through the aggravation of issuing the executive a new card and settling the fraud case.

Now let’s reimagine the same scenario but if the company instead had requested a virtual card number (VCN) from American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) — which is available to GBT clients through the Virtual Payment Expert (VPE) solution and powered by Conferma Pay, a leading provider of virtual card technology.

In this case, the assistant making the booking simply informs the GBT travel counselor that a VCN, not a corporate credit card, will be used for payment. GBT makes the request to Conferma Pay, which issues the VCN in a matter of seconds. That number then seamlessly gets entered into the reservation that is sent to the hotel. Conferma Pay also handles the “card not present” authorization form through its secure email delivery system, making the form easier to send, track and receive. Because the VCN has a spending limit that the company sets, the contractor cannot get away with racking up an enormous bill during their stay.

When the card statement comes in, the finance team easily can identify who was responsible for the hotel charges because the VCN carries pertinent itinerary and traveler profile data that can be linked back to an employee, job title or department. This makes it simpler to reconcile statements line item for line item and back to specific employees.

There is little chance of fraud as well. Because the numbers issued by VPE are only valid for a specific time window and can be set to make payments only to hospitality vendors (e.g., air, hotel and car suppliers), it will be difficult for a fraudster to abuse the virtual card. And even if they do have a rare opportunity, because of the spending cap, the damage won’t be nearly as much.

With all of the great fraud controls and ease with the booking and reconciliation processes, it’s no wonder why the number of clients using VPE doubled in 2018, according to Shawna Boyce, senior product manager of VPE. She expects that number to climb significantly since the technology is getting rolled out in more countries this year.

While VPE mainly is used for hotel transactions, Boyce says more clients are asking about it in regard to air, car and rail travel as well. And although VCNs generally are reserved for travelers with looser connections to the company, such as new recruits, contractors, guest speakers and overnight drivers, Boyce says some clients now are requesting them for their steady business travelers, too.

“Some companies are looking to just replace their entire corporate card capability with virtual cards, and we do have a couple of companies today that use them exclusively for every single one of their travelers,” she says, noting that one of the benefits of doing so is that all charges appear on the one statement.

During implementation of VPE, the company will determine a spending cap for the virtual card. Boyce always recommends a tolerance level of at least 40 percent over the total base room and tax amount. This way, any additional taxes that were not noted in the original rate and incidentals are covered and the VCN won’t get declined during checkout. On top of the tolerance, some clients also add a per diem if they plan to pay for certain amenities, such as Wi-Fi and parking.

“It’s all up to the client as to what they want to allow their travelers to be able to charge on the card,” Boyce says.

During implementation, the client also will set the VCN’s activation period. Boyce recommends having VCNs expire between seven and thirty days post-checkout, which is enough time to allow hotels to close out their folios but also can help contain the risk of fraud.

Virtual card technology is quickly expanding into more areas of corporate travel as well as the corporate expense process. To learn more about VPE and how it can help to optimize your travel program, click here.

Whether you are starting from scratch or searching for a replacement, selecting a travel management company (TMC) to partner with requires thorough and thoughtful vetting — and not just because it can have a substantial impact on your travel spend (though, that’s important too). But it goes deeper than which TMC can save the company the most money. It is also about having an experienced travel partner that has your people covered every step of the journey.

After all, the firm you ultimately entrust to take care of your employees is a reflection of the kind of investment you are willing to make for the well-being of your workforce and can contribute, positively or negatively, to the organization’s reputation as an employer. That in and of itself can have a profound effect on a company’s bottom line.

So, what qualities should you look for in a TMC? To give you an idea, let’s look at some of the core values American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) stands by and what differentiates us from the pack.

Best-in-class traveler care

When we talk about traveler care, of utmost importance is the role we play to keep travelers safe and mitigate risk during their journeys. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously and why we devote so much energy to our travel risk management platform, Expert Care, build tools that nudge hotel attachment (and, thus, boost duty of care governance) and carefully screen third-party vendors.

But also wrapped up in “best-in-class traveler care” is another one of our primary objectives: providing a frictionless travel experience so that your employees can stay focused on the most important aspect of their trip — business.

Whether it’s a tool like Proactive Traveler Care that automatically contacts travelers encountering a travel disruption about rebooking assistance, utilizing artificial intelligence to handle simple tasks so that travel counselors are more available to help travelers in need or continually upgrading our mobile tools to deliver more relevant features, American Express GBT strives to go beyond the concept of “customer service” and aims to provide genuine, compassionate care.

Breakthrough technology

American Express GBT has been in the business of travel management for a long time — more than 100 years. We are proud of our heritage and longevity and what we have accomplished. But we always are looking to the future and how we can advance and enhance our clients’ experiences at all levels of the company chain. A major part of this goal is being achieved through the strategic investments we’re making in technology.

With more than 900 employees worldwide dedicated to the product and technology teams, we are developing solutions specially designed to fit our clients’ needs (and consistently soliciting their feedback to ensure we are hitting the mark).

From implementing machine learning that delivers more customized content via our prescriptive booking solutions, Neo and Trip Recommender , to exploring how cutting-edge tech like bots and blockchain can ease the workload of corporate travel departments, we are committed to transforming travel management through our innovative initiatives.

Global consistency and security

No matter where your business takes you, it’s likely we already are there.

Since acquiring HRG, American Express GBT now has more than 17,000 travel professionals in more than 140 countries across six continents. Our travel counselors, consultants and partners are stationed in all vital regions of the world and capitalize on their firsthand knowledge of the local culture and environment when advising clients.

But our global presence also is an essential ingredient in the protections we extend to clients. This applies not only to the travel risk management services that we and our partner WorldAware provide, but it also relates to our global compliance measures.

This is where American Express GBT, the most highly regulated TMC, has a true advantage over competitors.

Our privacy and information security program operates under Binding Corporate Rules, a certification privacy program that few companies in the world, much less the business travel space, have achieved, and we have rigorous internal controls and oversight of third-party vendors to mitigate compliance risk.

Whether it’s a proprietary solution or one from a third-party vendor that we’ve carefully vetted, privacy protection is built into every product we offer — which is incredibly valuable in today’s data protection and privacy landscape.

Proven savings and actionable insights

We could not end this discussion without mentioning the savings a TMC can help your company achieve — and we believe we excel in this area, too.

But don’t just take our word for it. RateGain Technologies has found that American Express GBT, when combined with our third-party listings, can return the lowest rates nearly 100 percent of the time compared to prices offered by three leading online travel agencies.

Furthermore, we help companies obtain the best deal with our air and hotel re-shopping tools that monitor rates and automatically rebook travel when lower prices are found.

In addition, we also empower clients to find new ways for them to save with our data analytics systems. For example, Premier Insights, a robust data visualization tool, clearly can demonstrate how your program can cut costs and the amounts that actually can be saved when following its recommendations.

Meanwhile, our newly launched benchmarking solution, Peer Travel Insights (PTI), can help you establish where your company’s peers are trimming costs and spur your own plan. But what may have a greater impact on the company’s bottom line: PTI’s traveler well-being dashboard, designed to measure your travelers’ satisfaction.

You can read more about how it all works here, but as we noted above, traveler well-being and satisfaction can shape the company’s reputation as an employer — and, therefore, the kind of talent the company does, or doesn’t, attract!

There still is so much more we would like to tell you about what we can do as your travel partner, so please don’t hesitate to contact us!

For many organizations today, their transient travel programmes tend to operate separately from their meetings and events programs. This indicates opportunities to significantly enhance data reporting capabilities and visibility into spend, and better drive efficiencies, global consistencies and standards.

To help firms more effectively align their transient travel and meetings programs, American Express Global Business Travel has produced a white paper that walks companies through the process, step-by-step, highlighting insights from one organization that is successfully consolidating its programs.

In this special report, we map out the essential steps towards merging the two programs and touch on important considerations, including duty of care and venue sourcing.

The report also explores strategies for collaborating with key players, including stakeholders, executive assistants, travel management companies and suppliers.

To learn more about this company’s journey and the valuable outcomes it has achieved from this undertaking, fill out the form below and click on ‘Submit’. You then will be redirected to a new screen, where you can download the report.

* Champs obligatoires.

Slowly but surely, traveling employees are starting to realize the value of booking an Airbnb-like property for their corporate trips. Alternative accommodations deliver on two key priorities employees consider when making their lodging selections for a business trip: price and experience. From a pricing standpoint, the sharing economy often offers cheaper lodging than hotels. From an experience perspective, it can be a more attractive choice for frequent travelers craving a personal touch as they often offer additional living and work space and fully equipped kitchens.

“It’s not a homey feeling — it’s not your home, it’s someone else’s — but it can help you feel a bit more comfortable than if it were any other sort of bland, beige hotel room,” Mark Haines, a consulting manager with Global Business Consulting, the advisory arm of American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), explained in an earlier Atlas article about the home-sharing experience.

For years, Airbnb has been one of the main leaders in the alternative accommodations space. While that still likely is the case (especially in light of its recent claim that the company has welcomed its 500 millionth guest), there is another option traveling employees have when seeking alternative accommodations: Booking.com.

According to a recent Skift article, Booking.com is now one of the major competitors of Airbnb, reaching more than $1 billion from its home-sharing bookings in the third quarter of 2018 alone. By comparison, Airbnb did “substantially over $1 billion” during that same quarter and $4.4 billion overall in revenue in 2018. (Airbnb also responded to the Skift report by noting it has more listings than Booking.com — 6 million as opposed to 5.7 million.)

Either way, we think some healthy competition in the home-sharing space is a positive for organizations who allow their employees to book such accommodations, as it opens up options and (hopefully) fosters competitive pricing.

It’s also fantastic news for clients of American Express GBT since we offer content with both Booking.com and Airbnb. But we should note that there are a few slight differences.

Because Booking.com has a direct partnership with American Express GBT, its property inventory (which just increased from 1 million to 2 million properties that represent more than 28 million total report listings) is available through GBT channels. So no matter if your travelers are using our online booking tool, Neo™, or contacting one of our travel counselors, all trip itinerary and expense details automatically will be captured by our systems, giving companies greater visibility into their travelers’ whereabouts and spend. (We also have begun integrating Booking.com content into Amex GBT Mobile and currently some clients have access to its home-sharing content through the app.)

Meanwhile, Airbnb has made its platform more business-friendly with its Airbnb for Work listings, which include 24-hour check-in, reliable Wi-Fi connectivity and other amenities to make corporate travelers feel comfortable. However, because Airbnb bookings are made directly on its website and not through any American Express GBT channel, our clients’ travelers do not get to enjoy the same one-stop-shop booking experience that we can offer with Booking.com content. In addition, companies have to pay an additional fee for Airbnb data integration with American Express GBT.

One final note: When incorporating home-sharing rentals into a corporate travel policy — whether it’s through Booking.com, Airbnb or another supplier — we recommend that you revisit your travel risk management plan and properly update it with guidelines specific to these alternative accommodations.

To learn more about the new content available through our partnership with Booking.com, click here.