Thursday, March 21, 2019

Seelinger EmpireCLS Chairman and CEO David Seelinger Orlando — There was a lot of takeaway value at the recent Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention, but one of the most interesting facts was a study that its education and research arm—the GBTA Foundation-released during a panel session at the event. The session featured the perceptions from business travelers and travel buyers on how the changing environment of ground transportation and the sharing economy has affected traveler decisions and corporate travel policy. The entire study is available exclusively to members of the association.

Some highlights of the 2015 Ground Transportation Study: Rental cars (36 percent) and taxis (24 percent) are the most commonly used methods of ground transportation for business trips followed by chauffeured transportation (13 percent) and ride-sharing companies (11 percent). While safety of travelers was paramount, awareness of specific aspects of duty of care is not universal. Only about one-third of business travelers are at least somewhat familiar with all aspects such as pre-employment driver certification, driver training requirements, and regulations affecting each ground transportation method. Travel buyers are more familiar with most of the duty of care aspects than business travelers, but less than a quarter are very familiar with all of them showing education is necessary to inform them of the differences between ground transportation methods.

Solombrino Dav El/BostonCoach President and CEO Scott Solombrino "Our research shows one in four (24 percent) travel buyers say their company does not allow their business travelers to use ride-sharing companies, by far the highest percentage for any form of ground transportation," said GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael McCormick. "In addition, a large number of companies still have not adopted policies around ride-sharing companies, revealing a need for education about the benefits and the risks. GBTA hopes this study is the start to closing that knowledge gap and we welcome an open and constructive dialogue on this topic."

The study, sponsored by Dav El/BostonCoach Chauffeured Transportation Network and EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services, also identified the most important factors business travelers and travel buyers consider when choosing ground transportation. Topping the list was traveler and vehicle safety, availability for a timely pick-up and convenience of payments methods with three-quarters of business travelers and eight in ten travel buyers calling these factors highly important.

"Undoubtedly, there is significant market controversy around ride sharing and we felt it was important to have impartial research to create awareness in the industry," said David Seelinger, chairman and CEO of EmpireCLS.

"In customer dealings, we find that duty of care is such a critical issue that we needed research that will help us better understand the impact of ride sharing on buyers and their corporations," said Scott Solombrino, president and CEO of Dav El/BostonCoach.

Don’t miss the September issue of Chauffeur Driven, where you’ll find an in-depth interview with Seelinger and Solombrino expounding upon the topics they addressed at their GBTA panel, such as TNCs and the future of the ground transportation industry.

Visit gbta.org for more information.

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