5 years ago

The Scan: China business travel to outstrip the US and more travel tech news

HRG, Egencia, Inntopia, RateGain, Digital Alchemy, Masabi and IFE all feature in today’s news roundup of snippets from across the travel technology industry.

Business Travel

Hogg Robinson Group is betting China will become the largest business travel market, overtaking the US, within three years. The business travel giant points to figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council showing business travel expenditure was $62bn in 2010 and is expected to reach $277bn in 2020. Figures from the GBTA also show how investment in infrastructure such as airports and high-speed rail will fuel the business travel growth.

Still on corporate travel and Egencia is to continue providing business travel management to consultancy BearingPoint for a further five years. Expedia-owned Egencia has been managing the account, which is worth 10m Euros annually, for the past three years.

Meanwhile, in a content deal i:FAO has partnered with SilverRail Technologies to bring multi-country rail to its cytric business travel management software. The deal brings rail booking and ticketing capability for Amtrak, Canada’s Via Rail, Spain’s Renfe and SJ in Sweden to i:FAO’s corporate customers with further rail providers to be added in 2013.

On the Move 

Inntopia has beefed up its board with the appointment of Phocuswright founder and chairman Philip Wolf and Interhome boss Simon Lehmann. The additions come as the online reservation specialist prepares to unveil its first European customer, a second company in the Caribbean and several new resorts across the US ski destinations.

More appointment news comes from RateGain with Tim Weeks given responsibility for European operations. Weeks takes on the role of vice president of business development for the region and was previously in charge of strategic accounts for the EMEA region for Pegasus Solutions. RateGain has also announced Mallorca-based Marina Hotels is adopting its rate intelligence and online reputation management tools.
Mobile for Hotels 

Digital Alchemy has unleashed a raft of mobile CRM and e-marketing tools under what it has termed its Mobile Life suite. The cloud-based applications are designed to help hotels market to and communicate with guests via mobile. Mobile Life includes a concierge app, a microsite for tablet and smartphone users, a conference guide or customised group website for the meetings market and a guest feedback tool.

Also making noise with mobile is Masabi which is claiming a first with the launch of a rail ticketing system for smartphones. Boston MBTA is using the technology which enables travellers to purchase and display rail and ferry tickets via an application. Train conductors can then verify the tickets via their own app.

Airline Tech

Business passengers on Italy’s NEOS will get iPads to watch films, TV programmes, listen to music and play games thanks to a deal with IFE. Economy passengers will be able to view similar content via overhead screens and in-seat audio systems.

NB: China image via Shutterstock

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