Business Travelers Dip a Toe in the Sharing Economy

Photo (cc) by Nick Harris1

Business travelers have been reluctant to jump into the sharing economy for transportation or lodging, but that appears to be changing, according to a new survey.

Only 12 percent of Americans have ever used Uber or Lyft while traveling on business, while just 4 percent have ever booked lodging through Airbnb on a work-related trip, says a report by On Call International, a travel risk management company.

Business travel is a $300 billion-a-year industry, and these new services are vying for a bigger portion of the spending pie.

Safety concerns may be the reason business travelers have been slow to use the new services for rides and accommodations. Just 7 percent of business travelers reported feeling safer riding with Uber rather than in a taxi, On Call says. Only 2 percent of survey respondents felt that lodging booked through Airbnb was safer than traditional hotel accommodations.

But as these services become more commonplace, a growing number of business travelers have come to believe these services are no less safe than their traditional competitors, On Call says.

Uber, with 160,000 active drivers providing ride-share services in more than 150 North American cities, is growing in acceptance. Airbnb allows travelers to book overnight accommodations in personal residences in 34,000 cities and 190 countries worldwide.

A recent survey by Certify, which processes travel expenses for thousands of businesses, says Uber in the second quarter of 2015 comprised 55 percent of ground transportation receipts, compared with taxis at 43 percent. Airbnb receipts remained small, Certify says, but grew 143 percent over the first quarter.

While the advent of sharing services offers travelers new options for comfort and savings, they also raise the possibility of different risks, according to On Call.

“Employers should absolutely have a policy in place for employees who choose to use sharing economy services like Uber and Airbnb,” said Jim Hutton, chief security officer for On Call International. “Related safety precautions need to be communicated to employees before they begin traveling, and should be reviewed as new services enter the market and current ones are updated.”

FierceCIO suggests privacy, rather than security, is an issue for ride services. To use Uber, you need an app and an account that includes your name and a credit card. Taxi drivers still take cash and don’t necessarily keep your name connected to a destination in a database.

What way do you like to go? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Marooned at Home? Earn Some Cash Playing on Your Computer
Marooned at Home? Earn Some Cash Playing on Your Computer

Earn cash by reading emails, taking surveys, playing games, shopping and signing up for offers through this website.

15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales
15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales

You can save a ton of money — especially if you spot any of these items.

The 14 Most Deadly Car Models
The 14 Most Deadly Car Models

These vehicles are involved in fatal accidents at least twice as often as the average car.

13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better
13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better

These inexpensive electronics will make your day-to-day life a little easier — and happier.

10 Places Where Social Security Offers the Best Standard of Living
10 Places Where Social Security Offers the Best Standard of Living

These U.S. counties offer retirees a chance to stretch their benefit checks while enjoying their golden years.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

Prices Are Soaring on These 7 Items
Prices Are Soaring on These 7 Items

Some surprise price jumps are making life more difficult for consumers.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021
7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021

These projects will take a bigger bite out of your budget than in the recent past.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.