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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-- Ride-sharing services are now allowed by one-half (50%) of all corporate travel policies, a jump from 44% in June 2016, according to the 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-sharing suppliers, such as Uber and Lyft, ridership among business travelers increased 21%. 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. 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.”

Road Warriors Find It Tough to Stay Fit

Being on the road can mean exercising less for many business travelers. Of those who work out regularly at home, 45% don’t exercise as often during work trips, either because they don’t have the time (71%), are too tired (47%), are out of their normal fitness routine (29%) or because their hotel does not have a fitness center (17%). Nearly two-thirds (63%) 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%), compared to 41% of GenXers (35-54) and 38% of Baby Boomers (55+).

Employees Stay Dedicated to Work Trips

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.

“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%) of business travelers saying it is vital to stay productive on work trips. Travelers are most satisfied with Wi-Fi offered by hotels (83%) and less so with service on airplanes (49%) or trains (48%).
  • 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%) 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.
  • Business travelers 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% from 12% in June 2016. Mobile wallets are especially popular in Hong Kong (20%) and Mexico (19%).

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

Survey Methodology

Between September 6-26, 2016, the GBTA Foundation conducted an online survey of 3,220 business travelers whose primary residences are located in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States, who are employed full- or part-time, and who have taken at least four business trips in the previous 12 months.

About the Index

The GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ — January 2017, in partnership with American Express, is a proprietary, data-centered barometer based on business travelers’ attitudes toward seven key components of business-related travel. The Index Components, in order of impact on the overall Index, include:

  • Overall Trip Experience and Travel Friction: Attitudes toward air travel, hotel stays, and ground transportation
  • Expense Tracking and Management: Satisfaction with business travel expense management and tracking, and using credit or charge cards for business travel
  • Travel Management Policy Friction: Attitudes toward company travel policy management, flexibility and comprehension
  • Business Travel Safety: Attitudes toward travel safety and the extent employers, travel suppliers and security officials care about travelers’ safety
  • Corporate and Macroeconomic Environment: Feelings about the health of the economy, companies travelers work for and their industries
  • Technology for Business Travel: Opinions about technology’s impact on business travel
  • Social Media Experience: Attitudes toward using social media while traveling for work, including finding reviews of travel suppliers

About The GBTA Foundation

The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. Collectively, GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its growing network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts with world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media. The Foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA’s members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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Contact: Colleen Gallagher / +1 703-236-1133

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