SAP Concur Debuts Booking Experience as Travel Costs Climb

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Travel/expense management platform SAP Concur is set to unveil a new booking experience.

According to an announcement on Thursday (Aug. 17),  the company will create an “end-to-end booking experience across air, hotel, and car rental bookings” for the online travel company Sabre, with plans to take off next quarter.

“The new booking experience aims to make everyone involved in booking and expensing business travel more productive,” the company said in a news release. 

According to the release, the platform will include improved content and imagery, and an easier time browsing, along with a streamlined booking process and improved search capabilities.

“Sustainability continues to be a major priority for our customers,” the company added. “With the new Concur Travel experience, travelers can view information and filters to help limit their carbon footprint and make sustainable choices, making it easier to comply with company policies and limit the environmental impact of business travel.” 

Meanwhile, SAP Concur says it has been working with Delta and other airlines to revamp its new airline shopping experience in Concur Travel.

After rolling out to Sabre customers, the new booking experience will be offered to users of the Amadeus travel platform next year. Also next year, SAP Concur will add connectivity to the travel retail platform Travelport.

The launch is happening at a time when business travel and meeting specialist CWT and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) are anticipating global business travel and events costs to rise through the remainder of 2023 and into next year.

But lingering economic uncertainty and a gradual easing of supply-side constraints are likely to lead to more subdued price hikes than the historic increases witnessed in 2022, the two groups said earlier this month.

Rising fuel prices, labor shortages and supply chain hurdles, coupled with consumer demand and corporate buyers having less leverage, have all caused the ticket prices for business travel to balloon.

“Looking forward, prices seem to be leveling off with much milder increases projected over the next 12 to 18 months,” CWT President and CEO Patrick Andersen said in a news release. “We could now be looking at the true new cost of travel.”

And as airlines and provider platforms deal with this situation, they are increasingly taking their cues from what consumers want to develop products that better appeal to businesses and their internal decision-makers, PYMNTS wrote recently.

“You don’t have to look much further than B2C today for the future of B2B tomorrow, when it comes to things like efficiency and digitization,” Corcentric CEO Matt Clark told PYMNTS in June. “Some of the newer generations rising up in organizations just won’t accept some of the things that have been taken for granted as status quo for decades. They’ll say this is too difficult, this needs to change.”

Clark added that “digitization is table stakes now.”

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