Travel search engine, KAYAK, has officially launched its free corporate travel solution, KAYAK for Business, and is promising to bring “the leisure travel experience to the outdated interface of the corporate travel world”.
Beta testing of its corporate travel tool began in November 2019, shortly before the pandemic took hold. Following a soft launch in February 2021, KAYAK for Business is now available in 60 locales and 28 languages.
KAYAK claims over 3,000 companies have signed up for the solution in the last three months.
The search tool offers the ability to book from anywhere while keeping loyalty points and for travellers to easily share trip details with colleagues and family.
New features have been added since the soft launch, including expense integration, price prediction and discounted corporate rates.
KAYAK believes its platform is a viable threat to existing corporate travel players because it can offer significant cost savings and because millions of people already use its platform for leisure, so business travellers will not have to learn how to use it.
“When travel came to nearly a full stop in 2020, it gave us an unexpected runway to think about the future of business travel,” said Steve Hafner, CEO KAYAK.
“Business travellers and their employers in a post-Covid world will demand even more flexibility, competitive prices and easy ways to blend business and leisure travel.”
The launch comes as a YouGov survey of 2169 Britons reveals 44% of Britons think business travel is back or will be back by the end of 2021, an earlier time frame than many originally predicted.
According to KAYAK’s own data, global searches during the first half of the year for mid-week travel this autumn are still down approximately 40% compared to 2019 but are up about 150% compared to 2020.
Its recent consumer survey showed one in five British workers want a job where they can travel for business and 20% would like to go on at least one business trip by year-end.
Brits also ranked visiting a new place (16%), having me-time (13%) and doing leisurely activities (13%) among the top factors they look forward to when travelling for work.
A quarter of British business travellers say they like to add a couple personal days to the beginning or end of a business trip to round out their travels, indicating “bleisure” travel is on the rise.
“Companies that support blending business with leisure travel will have a competitive advantage with talent. Many people want a change of scenery right now,” added Hafner.