UK: A poll of European travel managers has revealed a significant increase in the use of sharing economy providers such as Airbnb in corporate travel programmes.
The Business Travel Show poll of 178 European
travel managers revealed that more than a quarter (28 per cent) of
travel managers now include sharing economy providers (aka
interrupters) in their travel policy, compared to eight per cent
last year - a rise of 250 per cent.
56 per cent have used Uber more in the last 12 months and 17 per cent have increased bookings through Airbnb over the same period.
Nearly half of buyers - 48 per cent - believe their travellers use 'interrupters' when booking independently, more than double last year's figure of 20 per cent. 37 per cent believe they offer a benefit to their travel programme, compared to 27 per cent previously.
A quarter of buyers still maintain the sharing economy is a threat thanks to the potential impact on traveller tracking and security.
Nikki Rogan, global travel manager at Symantec UK, said: "Business travellers who book directly are increasingly using alternative providers. As a result, buyers are now taking note and starting to include them more in policy and programmes - it's just one part of the move towards listening to our travellers and offering them a more personalised offering."
Sam Cande, group commercial director, Business Travel Show, said: "What a difference a year makes. This time last year, buyers were curious but very cautious about the sharing economy and many visited the Business Travel Show to find out more before even considering including them in their programme. This year, they have a much better understanding of what 'interrupters' can offer their travellers and organisations and - as proved by these stats - are more open-minded about how sharing economy suppliers can be incorporated into their travel programmes alongside more traditional suppliers."
Andrew Ratcliffe, sales manager, Airbnb UK & Ireland, said: "Travel managers are increasingly engaging with Airbnb to learn about the business tools we offer and the benefits their travellers enjoy with Airbnb for business. The show is a great opportunity to engage with buyers and connect again with our clients."
To download the full survey results click here.