The sharing economy is being used by less than one in three UK business travellers despite half of companies having a policy in place allowing them to use this platform, a study from travel management company Egencia has found.

The study Policy Vs Policing of more than 6,000 global travellers showed just 28 per cent are using businesses such as Airbnb, Lyft and Uber, despite 41 per cent of companies allowing their use and 13 per cent even pushing their employees to these sites.

The Egencia study found motivations for choosing the sharing economy experience stems from a desire for more comfort, convenience and culture. Of the travellers who do use those services, over half (59%) cite experiencing a local culture and meeting new people as a reason for using them, while 49 per cent said it’s for comfort and 40 per cent for location.

Communication

The study showed that global buyers are communicating their policies well: 64 per cent said their company has a programme that outlines policies, procedures and guidelines for employees when booking travel, 77% said their policy is clear and specific and 91 per cent said their company’s policy is fairly very well communicated.

Around half of travellers agree cost is the most important factor to their company when booking travel, however while 57 per cent need to get approval for their plans, only 21 per cent said their requests are denied. And just under half still book their favourite airline and hotel even if they are restricted by company policy.

Meetings and Events

Despite the rise of virtual meetings and video conferencing, the study showed 86 per cent of global business travellers agree that meetings conducted in person are “more effective and productive”. For board level that number jumps to 91 per cent.

Not only do in-person meetings continue to be important but 67 per cent of travellers feel they would less successful in the role if they did not travel for work.

This study was conducted on behalf of Egencia by strategic consulting firm Northstar. It was conducted among 6,057 business travelers aged 18 and older in UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, China, Australia, India, USA, Canada. Surveys were completed online in April and May 2016.

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