FREENOW and GBTA Release Groundbreaking Report on Evolution of Business Travel Ground Transportation in Europe

Saturday, November 11, 2023


The latest report from FREENOW and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), titled “Ground Transportation in Europe,” highlights the evolving perspectives and usage patterns of ground transportation among European business travelers and travel managers. This report builds upon a previous study conducted in 2020, providing valuable insights into the current landscape.

Fabio Griemens, Director B2B Operations, FREENOW for Business mentioned that their collaboration with GBTA for the second time reflects their commitment to staying ahead of ground transportation trends and providing valuable insights to the business travel community. He adds, “These insights are not only essential to help our customers and business travel managers across Europe to manage the strategies, it helps us at FREENOW to deliver the solutions our customers need.”

Key research findings:
• Sustainability soars…sometimes. The report indicates that 40% of European travel managers prioritize sustainability in ground transportation, a significant increase from 2019. However, business travellers prioritize cost savings and comfort over sustainability when choosing transportation. Despite this, many business travellers express a willingness to adopt eco-friendly practices, such as renting smaller cars or using public transport, to reduce carbon emissions.

• More choices. European managed business travel programs are increasingly incorporating diverse ground transportation options, such as carsharing (68% vs. 54%), eScooters (58% vs. 42%), and eBikes (57% vs. 44%), compared to 2020.

• Enforcement vs. Satisfaction. Travel managers in Europe highlight policy enforcement, traveller safety, cost savings, and ease of payment as the top strengths in their ground transport programs. However, challenges include traveller satisfaction, reporting/visibility, and sustainability as key pain points.

• Amenities through technology. Business travellers highly value the convenience of ride-hailing apps, emphasizing advantages such as easy booking, shorter wait times, and cost efficiency. Exclusive features through company contracts, such as automatic receipt importation for expense reporting, are particularly appreciated.

• Public transportation on the rise. On average, travel managers note that 30% of their company’s ground transport spends goes to public transportation, while approximately 20% is allocated to traditional taxis and 14% to private hire vehicles. This reflects increased sustainability efforts compared to the 2020 study.

• Variety is preferred. Over half (53%) of travel managers express interest in partnering with companies that provide a variety of ground transport options, including rental cars, carsharing, private hire vehicles/ride-shares, eScooters, and eBikes.

• Tracking difficulty. Half of travel managers find it challenging to monitor carbon emissions from ground transportation, and a substantial number are uncertain about the percentage of electric vehicle bookings for ridesharing (40%), rental cars (24%), or limos/chauffeured cars (49%), highlighting a knowledge gap in assessing the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives.

The FREENOW and GBTA report on ground transportation in Europe, based on an online survey from June 29 to July 31, 2023, includes insights from 105 travel buyers and 740 business travelers in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Poland. The report will be presented at the GBTA Europe Conference on November 14-16, 2023, in Hamburg, Germany.

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