Sabre announced it is testing integration of "out-of-program" hotel bookings through its TruTrip system.
TruTrip is being developed to manage and track bookings regardless of source and to synchronize with travel management tools. The newest phase brings off-channel hotel bookings "into the existing workflow and software solutions used by corporations and agencies." Additional features include "an intelligent rules engine that aggregates and normalizes business travel itinerary data from different sources and a new open-systems trip record that integrates an out-of-program booking directly into that trip record as a structured segment." Sabre announced TruTrip last summer
and in February combined it with the GetThere corporate booking tool and the TripCase Corporate mobile app to create its Global Corporate Solutions
Despite rising client activity, Hogg Robinson Group expects profits to fall during its current fiscal year,
according to an interim management statement. Client activity increased 5 percent year over year during the April-June reporting period while client spending dipped 3 percent (but grew 5 percent at constant currency). HRG's revenues declined 6 percent during the three months (but edged upward 1 percent at constant currency). The company cited several factors for deteriorated financial performance, including slower-than-expected trading activity with the government of Canada, an account it picked up last year
; growing client adoption of self-booking, which incurs lower transaction fees; "strong competitor pricing"; and weakness in Asia and in Continental Europe's SME market. "During the remainder of the year we will address the balance of costs versus revenues," according to a statement from HRG chief executive David Radcliffe. "It is unlikely that the associated benefits will fully offset the fall in first-half earnings, but we expect the full-year earnings impact to be significantly less than in the first half."
High-speed rail operator Eurostar reported a 6 percent increase in business travel bookings during the first half of 2014 versus the prior-year period.
Total passenger numbers rose 2 percent to 5 million while sales revenue edged upward 0.5 percent (or 2 percent at constant currency) to £456 million (US$776 million). Following a second quarter that brought challenges to leisure demand in particular, "we are now beginning to see a more benign trading environment with encouraging signs of economic stability in France as well as the U.K.," according to a statement from Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic. "These more favorable conditions have helped deliver strong growth in business travel across our markets." He added that "the return to more normal levels of growth" for the company that links the United Kingdom to Continental Europe "reflects signs of greater stability in the Eurozone economies."
Egencia announced five new alliance partners and launched online services in the Czech Republic.
New Egencia Global Alliance members added this year include Orbit Corporate Travel in New Zealand; Montevideo-based Viajes y Turismo; OK Voyage in Algiers; Giza, Egypt-based Travco Group International and Al Tayer Travel headquartered in Dubai. Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, partner Business Travel Unlimited's offline services now integrate with Egencia's online booking system.