Alexandria, VA, 2017-Apr-19 — /Travel PR News/ — Home-sharing properties are allowed in one out of every six travel polices (17 percent), according to a new study released today by the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association. However, more than double the number of business travelers are under the same impression (37 percent), meaning many travelers are booking and staying in properties unsupported by their travel policy – a serious duty of care issue.
The study, Home-Sharing and Travel Policies – A Shifting Landscape, conducted in partnership with AccorHotels also revealed many companies are making an effort to review home-sharing options before making a decision to include or exclude them from travel policies. At organizations deciding not to allow these options, two-thirds of travel professionals either looked at these options before deciding not to include them (52 percent) or are currently reviewing them (13 percent).
“A Travel professional must simultaneously balance his or her obligation to keep travelers safe with a need to make cost-effective decisions and select suppliers and services that foster productivity, while not compromising the well-being of the traveler,” said Kate Vasiloff, GBTA research director. “Allowing home-sharing services into a traveler program may not be the right option for every company, but it should be an informed decision.”
Travel Professionals Express Home-Sharing Concerns
Travel professionals are most worried about the safety and security of home-share properties (87 percent) as they have a responsibility to maintain duty of care for all travelers, compared to 55 percent who have this same concern for traditional hotels. Similarly, three in five (61 percent) travel professionals are very concerned about the unpredictability of home-share property conditions, while about half as many say the same about hotels (33 percent).
Concerns over financial policies and reservation stability are next in line after duty of care issues. Travel professionals expressed concerned about home-sharing properties having nonrefundable deposits (58 percent, compared to 44 percent for traditional hotels), canceling reservations at the last minute (51 percent, compared to 36 percent) and enforcing strict cancellation policies (44 percent, compared to 35 percent). Ancillary but important offerings to business travelers, like reliable Wi-Fi (33 percent), inflexibility with check-in and check-out (28 percent) and lack of amenities (18 percent), are less of a concern to travel professionals.
How Home-Sharing Companies Can Address Business Travel Concerns
Some home-sharing companies have begun tailoring their offerings to appeal to both concerns expressed by travel professionals and business traveler desires. This includes not allowing hosts listing their properties for business travel to cancel a reservation within seven days of check-in and requiring frequently-needed business travel essentials to be provided, like Wi-Fi, a laptop-friendly workspace and even an iron and hangers.
Two-thirds (61 percent) of travel professionals are very concerned about the current inability to collect traveler information during booking with home-shares. If home-sharing options were integrated into the GDS so traveler bookings could be tracked, one-half of travel managers (52 percent) say this would increase the likelihood of including these options in their travel policy
The report, Home-Sharing and Travel Policies – A Shifting Landscape, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The GBTA Foundation will host a webinar, in partnership with AccorHotels, on April 18, 2017 at 2pm ET to explore current travel policies, concerns about home-sharing inclusion, and current traveler demand as well as other alternative models to traditional hotels. Register today: Home-sharing for Business Travel– A Shifting Landscape.
Methodology: The GBTA Foundation conducted an online survey of 147 travel professionals in the United States and Canada. The survey was fielded January 31 – February 10, 2017.
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. For more information, see gbta.org and gbta.org/foundation.
AccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,100 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 3,000 of the finest private homes around the globe. Benefiting from dual expertise as an investor and operator through its HotelServices and HotelInvest divisions, AccorHotels operates in 95 countries. Its portfolio comprises internationally acclaimed luxury brands including Raffles, Sofitel Legend, SO Sofitel, Sofitel, Fairmont, onefinestay, MGallery by Sofitel, Pullman, and Swissôtel; as well as the popular midscale and boutique brands of 25hours, Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter and Adagio; the much-prized economy brands including JO&JOE, ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget and the regional brands Grand Mercure, The Sebel and hotelF1. AccorHotels provides innovative end-to-end services across the entire traveler experience, notably through the recent acquisition of John Paul, world leader in concierge services.
With an unmatched collection of brands and rich history spanning close to five decades, AccorHotels, along with its global team of more than 240,000 dedicated women and men, has a purposeful and heartfelt mission: to make every guest Feel Welcome. Guests enjoy access to one of the world’s most rewarding hotel loyalty programs – Le Club AccorHotels.
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Colleen Lerro Gallagher