Business travellers prefer to use ride-sharing apps such as Uber, with bookings at Airbnb on the rise, according to the annual Certify SpendSmart report, which tracks business-travel spending trends.
The report found that Uber accounted for 52 per cent of all ground transportation expensed by business travellers in 2016, while ride-sharing rival Lyft accounted for an additional 4 percent. Business travellers spent just 11 per cent of their ground-transport money on taxis last year, and 33 per cent on rental cars.
Uber is now the single most expensed vendor for business travel, according to the report.
Hotel spending is more diffuse, since the report breaks such expenditures down by brand. The SpendSmart report found that Airbnb accounted for 0.27 percent of all lodging expensed by business travellers last year, a fraction of the 8.82 per cent spent on the top hotel brand, Hampton Inn.
However, the number of Airbnb transactions doubled in the past year, and Certify estimates that Airbnb could move into the top 15 lodging brands if such growth continues into 2018. Airbnb stays were also significantly longer than hotel stays — 4.51 nights on average versus 2.58 nights for hotels.
“The growing preference for sharing economy services like Uber and, to a lesser degree, Airbnb really underscores the trend toward consumerisation of traditional corporate travel,” says Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify. which processes business travel expenses and receipts.
“Advances in personal technologies and travel-based smartphone apps have made it easier for business travellers to choose the experiences and vendors they prefer. And the companies they work for are following suit with expanded travel policy guidelines to accommodate new services and payment methods.”
The report also found that Starbucks was the most expensed restaurant overall, while Delta was the most-expensed airline. National was the top car-rental agency.