Home-sharing for Business Travel – A Shifting Landscape

Thanks to the internet as an intermediary, the sharing economy has connected millions of individuals looking for alternatives to traditional services. The home-sharing marketplace, in particular, has evolved at such a rapid pace that some travel managers have yet to assess the benefits and risks of allowing such properties in their travel policy.

Industry leaders recently joined us for a webinar entitled Home-sharing for Business Travel – A Shifting Landscape to share their perspectives on this hot topic, as well as discuss highlights from a recent study in partnership with AccorHotels.

GBTA Foundation’s Kate Vasiloff kicked things off by highlighting a major communication issue between travel managers and their travelers. One out of every six (17 percent) travel managers allow home-sharing in their policy, while 37 percent of business travelers are under the same impression. This disconnect means travelers are staying at properties not covered by their policy, presenting serious duty of care and compliance implications.

Participants had the unique opportunity to hear from representatives from two organizations with a difference of opinion and policy when it comes to home-sharing.

When Salesforce’s business travelers expressed a desire to stay in home-sharing properties, Ryan Pierce and his team began to evaluate them as a viable option. He mentioned the importance of education around duty of care, understanding traveler tracking, recognizing the amenities business travelers want and, of course, consulting the safety, security, risk and legal teams to develop a vetting process. Overall, he noted that it has been an evolutionary process over the last four years.

On the other hand, Rita Visser walked through why the properties aren’t officially covered within Oracle’s travel policy. Her organization takes an as-needed approach and has a process in place for situations (e.g. departmental budget restrictions) in which a traveler may need to stay in these properties. In the case of unapproved usage, the company reaches out to the traveler to understand the driving factors behind their decision and determine how to modify the current program to meet traveler needs in the future.

Kate further delved into the study, sharing travel managers’ primary concerns with home-sharing properties.

When it comes to any kind of travel, constant conversation between all involved parties is crucial, but especially so for an evolving marketplace like home-sharing. Travel managers and security offices must welcome feedback and work together with business travelers to ensure their needs are being met.

GBTA members may view the webinar in full through the Hub. These sessions are just around the corner:

The full schedule of webinars is available here.

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