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Business Travel Travel Management

Do You Know The Most Common Business Travel Expense?

What do you think is the most common expense from business travelers? They need to get to their destination, so you might think it’s airfare or maybe a car service. They also need to sleep, so hotels would be another good guess. Would you be surprised to find that it’s actually dining expenses?

That’s right, Certify recently released a study examining more than 50 million expenses on their platform. Trying to understand how business travelers spend their money, they discovered a few insights along the way. 

Common expenses for business travelers

  • Dining is not only the most common expense, but also the expense that has increased the highest in the last three years. The average meal is now $5 more than it was in 2016.
  • Within those dining expenses, Starbucks remained the most popular vendor in 2018. Not really a surprise to fellow business travelers, right? It represented 23.4% of all dining expenses.
  • Hotels and fuel have also increased in the last few years. Hotels are on average $50 more expensive.
  • Airfares and ride hailing services have declined in price. (Thanks Uber and Lyft!) Airfares are about $40 less on average.

What does this mean for your business travelers:

  • Travelers are now accustomed to convenience and getting exactly what they want, when they want it. Having a travel program with this flexibility will keep your travelers more comfortable in the long run. If you don’t it’s time to start thinking of ways to include this in your travel policy and program.
  • Understand that costs overall have increased for the travel industry. Yes, flights have decreased and the sharing economy has also helped changed the game. But overall, travel is increasing and is expected to continue that way. Though obviously one of your main objectives is to keep costs low, try to be fair to your business travelers and their needs. They shouldn’t get the short end of the stick because fuel is more expensive.
  • Understand which expenses are most important to your travelers.  See if there is a way to provide that service within the travel policy at a better price point. Negotiate with vendors if possible and don’t be afraid to get creative.
Categories
Travel Industry Travel Management

Business Travelers Increasingly Moving To Sharing Economy

The times, they are a-changin’. One of the biggest adjustments in the business travel industry in recent years is the growing trend of sharing economy options. Companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb have created an alternative from big-business hotels and car services. The results are often informal connections and saving money. So how are companies reacting to this industry change?

Sharing Economy is growing in the business travel industry

A survey by the Global Business Travel Association found that businesses are increasingly allowing the use of rides sharing services, like Uber or Lyft. This compliance has increased nearly 15% since June 2016. Over the same period, permission to book through Airbnb or other lodging services increased by 20%.

Though the compliance growth has been substantial for it’s short time, these sharing economy companies have a long way to go to gain the majority of the market. According to GBTA, half of corporate travel policies still don’t explicitly allow employees to use ride-hailing apps. 70% also make no mention of using home-rental services.

Hurdles in travel management compliance?

Let’s say your company allows sharing economy for business travel. Is the company’s internal communication strong enough to get the message out? This seems to be one of the biggest setbacks the sharing economy is facing right now. In another study by the GBTA, of 24% of companies that permit ride-hailing apps, only 12% of their employees were aware of the compliance. Begging the larger question– what good is a modern and updated travel policy if no one sees it?

Christopherson Business Travel is an award-winning Travel Management Company, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. With more than 60 years of experience, we provide travel solutions with our proprietary technology and customized account management. Contact us to learn more about our unique business model or to schedule a demo.