Business travellers avoid sharing economy, despite acceptance in corporate policy

Two-thirds of Brits travelling on business are still reluctant to use a sharing economy-type accommodation or ground transportation provider.

The survey of more than 6,000 business travellers by Egencia found that 41% of UK companies allow staff to use services such as Airbnb, Lyft, Uber and HomeAway.

But just 28% use such brands for a stay or getting around, even with 13% of companies actively encouraging their use and the wider relaxation in policies.

Those travellers that do opt for alternative options say they do so because of a need for convenience, comfort or culture, Expedia Inc-owned Egencia’s report says.

Elsewhere in the study, nearly three out of ten travellers worldwide still feel that their corporate travel policy has become more restrictive, rising to 40% in the US.

Director of customer service for Egencia in Asia-Pacific, Susan Olding, says many companies have personalised policies for their executives – but this is not enough.

“However, companies may want to consider personalising travel policies for road warriors as well.”

Another element that may be causing tension within a company that hasn’t relaxed its strategy is its insistence on signing chain-wide deals for accommodation, rather than giving their staff the opportunity to secure alternative options for a stay.

Still, Egencia is one of many travel management companies that is leaning towards opening up sharing economy-type services to the customer base but with the usual caveats.

The report says:

“While this travel segment is clearly appealing to business travelers, you may want to approach it with eyes wide open, considering the potential implications for traveler safety, insurance, and liability.”

NB: Sharing economy business travel image via Pixabay.

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