Ride-hailing services are now allowed by one-half (50%) of all corporate travel policies, a jump from 44% in June 2016, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Report – January 2017.
In partnership with American Express, the Index examines business travelers’ feelings about their trip experience and how those feelings affect their behaviors on the road.
As policies expanded to include ride-hailing suppliers, such as Uber and Lyft, ridership among business travelers increased 21%, according to the report. A majority of travelers anticipate using these types of services about the same amount (71%) or more often (18%) in the three months following the survey.
Use of home-sharing services, like Airbnb and HomeAway, also increased 20% from June 2016, despite only 30% of companies allowing this stay option, according to the report. A majority of business travelers expect to stay at home-sharing properties about the same amount (72%) or more often (13%) in the three months following the survey.
“The sharing economy trends that have come to define personal travel are now significantly influencing business travel, as well,” says Susan Chapman Hughes, senior vice president, American Express Global Commercial Payments. “However, nearly one in five travelers are still unsure whether their employer’s policies allow for sharing-economy services; making it especially important for companies to communicate clear details about the services and amenities that their policy covers.”
Business travelers remain dedicated to staying on the road for work. Almost nine out of 10 (88%) say they would prefer to travel the same amount or more in the future, and 64% agree their employers feel business travel is important to their organization’s overall financial performance, according to the report.
“GBTA has said many times that business travel drives lasting business growth,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “It comes as no surprise that road warriors and their companies see the value in putting travelers on the road to get business done and drive results.”
Other highlights from the report include:
• Strong demand for reliable Wi-Fi continues, with more than three-quarters (77%) of business travelers saying it is vital to stay productive on work trips.
• For the first time in the history of this survey, more than one-half (54%) of all business travelers say they use social media sites at least once a day. Fifty percent believe social media improves their ability to find travel supplier reviews and almost the same amount (46%) say social sites improve their ability to reach colleagues or business contacts.
• Though still in the minority, the amount of business travelers using mobile wallets tied to corporate cards increased to 14% from 12% in June 2016.
The GBTA Foundation conducted this online survey of 3,220 business travelers between Sept. 6 and Sept. 26, 2016. The travelers are employed full- or part-time, have taken at least four business trips in the previous 12 months, and reside in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S.
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