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Ride sharing allowed by half of corporate policies: survey

Road warriors also find it tough to stay fit on the road, according to the survey by the GBTA Foundation and American Express


February 15, 2017
Michael Power

Alexandria, VA—Ride-sharing services are now allowed by one-half (50 percent) of all corporate travel policies, a jump from 44 percent in June 2016, according to the GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Report-January 2017, in partnership with American Express. The index examines business travellers’ feelings about their trip experience and how those feelings affect their behaviors on the road.

As policies expanded to include ride-sharing suppliers, such as Uber and Lyft, ridership among business travellers increased 21 percent. A majority of travellers anticipate using these types of services about the same amount (71 percent) or more often (18 percent) in the three months following the survey.

Use of home-sharing services, like Airbnb and HomeAway, also increased 20 percent from June 2016, despite only 30 percent of companies allowing this stay option. A majority of business travelers expect to stay at home-sharing properties about the same amount (72 percent) or more often (13 percent) 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,” said 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.”

Road warriors find It tough to stay fit
Being on the road can mean exercising less for many business travellers. Of those who work out regularly at home, 45 percent don’t exercise as often during work trips, either because they don’t have the time (71 percent), are too tired (47 percent), are out of their normal fitness routine (29 percent) or because their hotel does not have a fitness center (17 percent). Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of regular exercisers say they often consider access to fitness facilities or walkable areas when choosing business travel accommodations.

Millennials (ages 18-34) are more likely to work out every trip or almost every trip (46 percent), compared to 41 percent of GenXers (35-54) and 38 percent of Baby Boomers (55+).

Employees stay dedicated to work trips
Business travellers remain dedicated to staying on the road for work. Almost nine out of 10 (88 percent) say they would prefer to travel the same amount or more in the future and 64 percent agree their employers feel business travel is important to their organization’s overall financial performance.

“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.”

  • More Key Highlights
    Strong demand for reliable Wi-Fi continues, with more than three-quarters (77 percent) of business travellers saying it is vital to stay productive on work trips. Travellers are most satisfied with Wi-Fi offered by hotels (83 percent) and less so with service on airplanes (49 percent) or trains (48 percent).
  • Millennials are often the most active age group on social media during work-related trips, but now other generations are catching up. For the first time in the history of this survey, more than one-half (54 percent) of all business travellers 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 percent) say social sites improve their ability to reach colleagues or business contacts.
  • Business travellers continue to favor corporate cards over other payment forms for trip-related expenses. Though still in the minority, the amount of business travelers using mobile wallets tied to corporate cards increased to 14 percent from 12 percent in June 2016. Mobile wallets are especially popular in Hong Kong (20 percent) and Mexico (19 percent).

The GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ Global Report – January 2017, in partnership with American Express, is available on the GBTA or American Express websites.