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UK lags in shared economy uptake

Report finds just 19 per cent of business travellers allowed to use home-sharing services, compared to global average of 35 per cent

Pictured: Just 19 per cent of business travellers say their company permits them to use Airbnb while travelling, compared to 28 per cent of business travellers worldwide

Less than a quarter of UK business travellers are permitted to use home-sharing services such as Airbnb under their company's travel policy, while one-third are allowed to use ride-sharing like Uber.

The statistics, revealed in the Global Business Travel Association's (GBTA) Business Traveller Sentiment Index Global Report, suggest UK businesses are among the slowest to adopt sharing economy practices. Just 19 per cent of UK business travellers can use home-sharing services, well below the average of 28 per cent, while the 35 per cent allowed to use ride-sharing services falls short of the 44 per cent average.

The report, carried out in partnership with American Express, also found that a high number of UK business travellers (22 per cent) aren't even sure whether shared economy options were allowed.

Those identifying as 'Millennials' were more likely than business travellers of other age groups to have used ride- or home-sharing services on work trips taken in the previous three months.

Susan Chapman-Hughes, senior vice president, American Express global commercial payments, said: "Flexibility continues to be a major priority for business travellerswhether its the flexibility to choose which business technology will best serve their needs on the road or the travel itinerary that will best meet their business objectives.

"Companies should consider how their policies can strike the right balance of providing guidelines for employees while empowering them with an appropriate level of flexibility.”

The report polled more than 3,500 business travellers from the UK, United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and Mexico. It found an American travellers were the most likely to use shared economy services, with 79 per cent of Mexican and 61 per cent of United States business travellers saying they are permitted to use Uber-style ride options.

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