Every year, thousands of travel managers and suppliers from around the world meet at the Global Business Traveler Association Convention. The event wrapped up last week, and the Lyft Mobility Solutions Team is reflecting on the wide range of panel discussions, events, and booths we experienced. Travel managers brought a new sharing economy perspective to GBTA with focused conversations about “bleisure” travel, safety innovations, and sharing economy travel policies.
If you weren’t able to attend the conference or want to relive the experience, here are some of the trends we observed at GBTA:
Travelers are blending business and personal travel more than ever before.
“Bleisure” was commonly overheard on stage and behind the scenes at GBTA as a description of mixed business and leisure trips. With more consumer technology companies adapting to serve business travel, it’s commonplace for travelers to tack on a dinner with old friends after an out-of-town meeting and share business travel updates on their social media accounts.
In the current travel climate, travelers often need to switch payment methods if they use a corporate card and receive receipts in the right inbox. At GBTA, the Lyft team demonstrated how business profiles enable travelers to easily organize their expenses when riding for work and non-work trips. Travelers can create a business profile in under two minutes, and then they can switch between business and personal profiles in a tap.
Safety is (and will always be) travel managers’ top priority.
With bleisure travel on the rise, business travelers are often opting for sharing economy services like ridesharing over their predecessors. With this change in behavior, travel managers remain are evaluating how new services affect their duty of care. Several of the education panels were entirely focused on traveler safety like iJet’s “Managing Travel Risk” panel, and questions about how travel managers and suppliers can better protect business travelers were a part of almost every conversation.
The Lyft team presented ridesharing safety standards in our booth materials, and in the conversations we participated in. Following GBTA, we’re excited to introduce a new Navigating Safety for the Modern Business Traveler Guide that takes an even deeper dive on how our rigorous driver background checks, a $1M auto insurance policy, a 24 hour Critical Response Line, and other standards fit the lifestyles of modern business travelers.
Travel managers are adapting policies to fit traveler behavior.
Business travelers are regularly using newer services like AirBnB that offer affordable travel options, even if those services are not integrated in their team’s policies. On the “Managing Disruption — The Sharing Economy” panel, participants expressed that it’s now riskier for companies to not have sharing economy services covered in their travel policies.
Certify’s latest research on expense data found that business travelers are selecting ridesharing services 79% of the time — a 53% increase compared to last year. It’s clear travel managers will need to integrate TNC policies in their travel programs to adequately track traveler spend and applicable safety standards. The Lyft Mobility Solutions Team recently shared learnings from working with hundreds of travel managers to adapt policies in our How to Add Ridesharing to Your Travel Program Guide.
We hope to see you at an event soon if we missed you in Denver. If you’d like to learn more about how ridesharing can work for your team, visit Lyft Mobility Solutions.