The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry – and The Wall Street Journal have announced winners of the annual 2011 Business Traveler Innovation Awards. Business travelers nominated services, products and ideas that help to make life on the road more productive. Submissions were categorized and the public voted for their favorites.
“The votes are in and the road warriors have chosen their favorite innovations. These winners showcase the tools that help travelers on the road and make their trips easier and more productive. We’re excited to honor these products and are inspired by the innovative new ways technology continues to enhance trips and travel management,” said GBTA president Craig Banikowski, CCTE, C.P.M., CMM.
People’s Choice Award
The 2011 GBTA Business Traveler Innovation People’s Choice Award was presented to Hertz for their innovation, NeverLost Gen5. This product provides concierge-assisted routing services and pushes customized “trips on demand” directly into the navigation device in travelers’ rental cars.
Category 1: Sustainable Practice
Criteria: Outstanding and original environmental efforts in the travel industry
Innovation: Hertz On Demand
Hertz On Demand is a car-sharing service offering hybrid, electric and traditional vehicles for short-term use (hourly, daily, one-way rentals globally) all of which are SmartWay certified. This is a pay-as-you-go car membership club. It’s the luxury of having a car without the hassle of owning one. Customers only pay for the car when they use it.
Category 2: Traveler Comfort
Criteria: Products/services that focus on travelers’ ease and well being
Innovation: Seat Alerts
ExpertFlyer Seat Alerts notifies you when there is a desirable free seat on your flight, such as an aisle or window seat, when travelers are stuck in a middle seat.
Category 3: Travel Personalization
Criteria: Innovation and excellence in customizing the business travel experience for the individual
Innovation: NeverLost Gen5
Category 4: Outstanding Apps
Criteria: Applications that help business travelers organize and/or make best use of their time on the road
Innovation: In-airport tool/guide
GateGuru is the first mobile application to refine your airport experience. The app offers information to guide any trip. It provides instant access to your itinerary, security wait times, airport maps, and a structured database of airport amenities, including ratings, reviews and tips from fellow travelers.
Category 5: Travel Convenience & Efficiency
Criteria: Services that expedite the travel process
Innovation: ICE Touch on iPads
The Intelity ICE Touch provides a virtual concierge stationed on iPads in hotel rooms. Guests quickly navigate services such as housekeeping, transportation, room service, spa and flight info without ever picking up the phone.
Category 6: Travel Management
Winner: Sabre Hospitality Solutions
Innovation: Sabre Hotel RFP
The Sabre Hotel RFP is an automated service that brings corporations and agencies together with hotels. It is a GDS neutral, simple to use, affordable and extremely effective global hotels sourcing and rate negotiation tool.
Category 7: Traveler Productivity
Innovation: Flynet Transatlantic “Boundless” Broadband
The FlyNet Transatlantic “Boundless” broadband is the first of its kind, offering broadband access with no downtime over oceans.
About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings organization. Collectively, GBTA’s 5,000-plus members manage over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its network of 17,000 business and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers, with networking events, news, education & professional development, research, and advocacy. For more information, visit gbta.org