Whilst many travellers have used “sharing-economy” providers such as Airbnb or Uber for their personal travel, when it comes to corporate travel and employee duty of care there are other considerations, such as corporate card usage and data privacy. Some corporates chose not to partner with these suppliers, concerned about safety of a vehicle (driver insurance) or property (key access), whereas other corporations chose to contract directly on a business account model, addressing where and how they can be used. Recognising the increase in corporate bookings, some sharing-economy providers now offer the traveller/travel manager improved distribution channels with links to expense systems, dashboards and detailed reports.
With a responsibility to seek out and identify new providers of transportation and accommodation, which will one day become mainstream for travellers, travel managers can embrace the sharing-economy and integrate them into the Duty of Care guidelines, at the same time being cautious to provide travellers with the right message and guidance.
ITM recommends that Travel managers are always careful about who you contract with, which suppliers you support in your policy and where you are happy for these suppliers to be used. The duty of care to your travellers and reputational risk should still be at the heart of what you do but opportunities to increase compliance and reduce costs should not be overlooked.
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