The world of travel and spend management integration is getting bigger and better every day. Today, Etihad Airways, national airline of the United Arab Emirates, popular airport parking provider WallyPark, and Enterprise Holdings, the largest car rental company in the world, have joined TripLink, expanding the list of partners enabling seamless connections to their customers. At the same time, Concur also announced that over 3,500 customers have signed on to connect their managed travel programs to a connected network of partners and services by adopting TripLink – tripling the TripLink customer base in just three quarters.
The timing couldn’t be better. According to IDC, 40-50 percent of hotel bookings and 28 percent of air bookings are considered invisible spend due to direct booking with travel suppliers, “leaking” out of managed travel programs and TMCs, making it hard for companies to track spend. TripLink customers capture that invisible spend and enjoy great discounts from their favorite suppliers, the ability to better manage the policy compliance of their business travelers, increased duty of care capabilities and many other benefits. TripLink enables visibility and control by providing a network of travel suppliers connected through Concur’s platform, allowing travelers to book as they would like.
So how do we know this is what the future of business travel looks like?
It’s great for everyone involved. Business travelers get to book where and how they want, keeping their loyalty program benefits, TMCs and companies keep visibility and compliance under control, and partners are thrilled to tap into a progressive base of frequent travelers.
“We are delighted to work with Concur to offer our corporate customers a convenient, easy to use travel and expense management solution. It will allow business travelers to book travel directly on our website, and to provide an enhanced travel experience,” said James Mueller, Senior Vice President – Global Sales, Etihad Airways. David Dix, Chief Marketing Officer for WallyPark was similarly enthusiastic, “Concur has a great vision about The Perfect Trip and for many business travelers, that trip typically begins at the airport when they park their car. We want to provide our mutual customers with all the benefits they deserve like service that includes a fresh cup of coffee and a newspaper when they arrive along with corporate discounts coupled with a partnership that that removes one important step for our busy traveler by automatically integrating their parking expense and receipts with their expense report.” Travel suppliers are quickly recognizing their role in The Perfect Trip and are ready to connect their offerings to the travel ecosystem. Previously announced partners have included United Airlines, Air Canada, Avis, Airbnb, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Marriott and Starwood.
The Concur TripLink integration with Etihad will be completed by early 2016 while the WallyPark integration should be completed by July 2015.