Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Mon July 27 2015

Concur, HotelTonight, Lyft Partnership Eases Business Travel Pains

Travel Technology | Ryan Rudnansky | July 27, 2015

Concur, HotelTonight, Lyft Partnership Eases Business Travel Pains

Photo courtesy of HotelTonight

Concur, HotelTonight and Lyft have partnered to make business travel easier.

Concur, which offers travel and expense management solutions and services to companies, saw an opportunity with HotelTonight and Lyft as more and more business travelers become interested in on-demand services for a life on the go.

Tim MacDonald, executive vice president of travel at Concur, said Concur noticed that an increasing amount of travelers were booking via alternative, non-traditional methods. Eventually, it became a problem for companies because it was more difficult to track employees and manage expenses through these alternative travel companies.

So Concur decided to integrate with HotelTonight—an online travel agency popular among business travelers for its last-minute booking options—and Lyft, an alternative transportation service that continues to grow. Now, when Concur customers book through HotelTonight or travel via Lyft, the booking will be sent directly to Concur, which will send the booking and traveler information directly to the appropriate company.

“We see a massive number of business travel bookings happening outside of our customers’ managed travel programs,” MacDonald said. “That trend is only accelerating. We’re going where the business travelers are going.”

“There’s a real shift to on-demand services,” said Sam Shank, co-founder and CEO of HotelTonight. “HotelTonight has always been great for business travelers, and I think this (partnership) shines a light on it.”

According to Concur, the company saw a 700 percent increase in the amount of spend by Concur customers expensing Lyft from May 2014 to May 2015. As for HotelTonight, the OTA that hangs its hat on same-day and same-night bookings sees about 40 percent of its bookings come from business travel, according to Shank.

In a 2015 survey by Carlson Wagonlit, more than 50 percent of travel managers said the booming on-demand and sharing economies are top trends impacting travel programs.

MacDonald said Concur entered the partnership with two goals in mind: 1) enable companies to better manage their travel and expense reports, and 2) enable better productivity for business travelers.

By booking with HotelTonight and Lyft, business travelers connected to Concur customers don’t have to manually fill out an expense report anymore for bookings, saving time along their journeys.

HotelTonight has recently introduced two new offerings: the ability to book quickly based on current location (“georates”), and an in-app concierge service called Aces.

Concur customers can access the HotelTonight app today in the Concur App Center.



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