Certify Releases its Annual SpendSmart™ Report on Business Travel Spending Trends for 2016

Certify Releases its Annual SpendSmart™ Report on Business Travel Spending Trends for 2016

With another exciting year of business travel now behind us, the Certify SpendSmart™ Report for fourth quarter and full year 2016 is ready for you with the latest analysis of today’s top T&E expense trends. And with millions of receipts and expenses in the Certify vault, we’ve compiled the most relevant trends of the year, including benchmark expense category spending averages, top travel vendors and more.

Taking the lead for the biggest story of 2016 was the rise of Uber and ride-hailing services among business travelers. Accounting for nearly 52% of the ground transportation category in the fourth quarter of 2016, Uber has shown itself the most popular choice for business travel. And, of notable mention: Q4 marks the first time Uber has surpassed 50% of the transportation category total; Uber also tops the list of overall most expensed vendors with 6% of all Certify expenses and receipts in 2016.

Another growing trend to watch among sharing services is homestay network, Airbnb. Having nearly doubled its transactions each year since 2014, Certify expects Airbnb to approach the top 15 most expensed hotels in the coming year. Additionally, SpendSmart™ receipts and expenses show business travelers tend to stay longer with Airbnb than in traditional hotels; 4.51 to 2.58 nights, respectively.

“Business travel got a lot more personal in 2016,” said Robert Neveu, CEO, Certify. “The growing preference for sharing economy services like Uber and, to a lesser degree, Airbnb really underscores the trend toward consumerization of traditional corporate travel. Advances in personal technologies and travel-based smartphone apps have made it easier for business travelers to choose the experiences and vendors they prefer. And the companies they work for are following suit with expanded travel policy guidelines to accommodate new services and payment methods. More than a footnote in history, it’s the kind of transformational change that will continue to shape the industry for years to come.”

Further analysis this quarter also revealed classified advertisement website, Craigslist.org, gained notable traction for the first time in SpendSmart™ history. Looking at Certify SpendSmart™ user reviews, it seems many Craigslist expenses are for recruitment and classified advertising, some in temporary and remote location employment. “[Craigslist]…allows us to increase our candidate pool and choose the best for this assignment,” claimed a user from the Certify SpendSmart™ vault. Regardless of purpose, users tend to rate the service highly overall, making Craigslist an unlikely trend to watch in business travel.

Now in its fourth year, the Certify SpendSmart™ Report tracks and analyzes the most recent business expenses and vendor ratings logged by Certify for the year. These quarterly and annual reports help to track business travel expense spending across major categories such as food, airlines, lodging and car rental. Plus, with millions of receipts and expenses per quarter, the Certify SpendSmart™ Report helps to highlight top vendors and emerging trends in the corporate travel realm.

For more “most expensed” categories, vendor ratings and average expenses from SpendSmart™ Q4 and Full Year 2016, check out the full report and infographic now.