The trend is aided by technology, as travelers increasingly use mobile devices to book their business trips. In companies with travel policies, more than half of all employees book their hotels on mobile devices, according to Phocuswright.
That allows travellers to book lodging and other logistics on the go, rather than dealing with travel managers or agents hundreds of miles away. Millennials are, unsurprisingly, leading the charge toward mobile bookings. (Notably, the West is far behind China in this respect, where 53% of all online travel bookings last year were made on mobile devices, compared with 25% in Britain and 21% in America.)
This is possible because companies’ policies around booking business trips tend to be quite flexible. According to the Phocuswright study, 8-10% of companies have “tightly managed” policies, meaning employees must use certain suppliers and will not be reimbursed if they use others. That suggests around 90% of firms allow workers to choose which airline to fly, which hotel to stay in, and whether to travel by taxi or Uber. And even in tightly managed companies, more than half of employees say they can use any airline, and nearly half can use any hotel or car-rental firm. That makes sense from the employer’s perspective. Why limit options when cheaper and more convenient alternatives may be out there?
Get the full story at The Economist
Read also "More business travelers to ‘rogue,’ booking on their own" at The New York Times