When marketplace disruption occurs, it is typically related to consumer demand.
In the sharing economy, both ride and accommodation sharing has moved beyond the niche and become mainstream in the world of travel. In the case of these travel disruptors, they have established themselves by providing something to the traveler that was needed, wanted and smart.
For instance, Uber now represents over 50 percent of all ground transportation transactions.
Airbnb enjoyed a 113 percent revenue growth in 2015 – multiples ahead of any hotel brand.
Why are these and other sharing platforms so popular?
- Rideshare – Uber and Lyft are on demand. If you have a mobile device, you can quickly arrange for transportation. Everything about the transaction is handled within the app – so passengers only need to focus on their destination. The average cost tends to be lower than the traditional yellow cab or sedan service.
- Lodging – Airbnb offers a combination of flexibility, economy and comfort that may not be available with traditional hotel lodging in some areas. Small groups can share a house. Travelers can take advantage of amenities of a home or apartment that would cost additional in a hotel. For long-term assignments, having a place to “call home” is appealing to professionals at all levels.
These offerings began with an appeal to the average consumer, providing readily available transportation and flexible lodging options at competitive prices. However, these platforms have already made significant strides in the business travel environment.
- Uber for Business, which launched in 2014, is integrated with Concur Expense. This integration allows travel managers access and control of billing, reports and policy settings.
- Airbnb designed a business travel model in 2016, providing reports, central billing and certified business-ready accommodations. It is planned to integrate with Concur in early 2018.
The impact of shared transportation and lodging have been felt by both travelers and competitors. Because of the opportunity business travel offers companies such as Uber and Airbnb, they are targeting this area as a primary growth focus.
What’s next? Do you know what the opportunities are for your organization?
Fox has embraced the changes these innovations bring. Uber for Business and Lyft are integrated into the MyFoxWorld mobile app. Fox will also fully support Concur’s Airbnb integration. We welcome the opportunity to work with our clients as they review and update their travel policies to address these and other offerings that impact their travelers.