Business travelers have become an increasingly important part of the Airbnb business, according to a new blog post. The company says that Airbnb for Work, which launched in 2014, has seen bookings triple from 2015 to 2016, and triple again from 2016 to 2017. In fact, Airbnb says that almost 700,000 companies have signed up for and booked with Airbnb for Work.
Interestingly, the breakdown of companies working with Airbnb for traveler lodging are pretty diverse — employees from large enterprise companies (5,000+ employees) and employees from startups and SMBs (one to 250 employees) take a 40-40 split, with the final 20 percent of Airbnb for Work bookings going to mid-sized companies.
In July of 2017, Airbnb started making its listings available via SAP Concur, a tool used by a large number of business travelers. Airbnb says that this integration has been a huge help to growing Airbnb for Work, with Concur seeing a 42 percent increase in employees expensing Airbnb stays from 2016 to 2017. Moreover, 63 percent of Concur’s Fortune 500 clients have booked a business trip on Airbnb.
One interesting trend that Airbnb has noticed is that nearly 60 percent of Airbnb for Work trips had more than one guest.
“We can offer big open areas for collaborations, while still giving employees their own private space,” said David Holyoke, global head of business travel at Airbnb. “We think this offers a more meaningful business trip and it saves the company a lot of money.”
Given the tremendous growth of the business segment, as well as the opportunity it represents, Airbnb is working on new features for business travelers. In fact, in the next week, Airbnb will be launching a new feature that lets employees search for Airbnb listings on a company-specific landing page.
So, for example, a Google employee might search for their lodging on Google.Airbnb.com, and the site would be refined to cater to Google’s preferences, including locations close to the office, budget, and other factors.
While the growth has picked up, Holyoke still sees Airbnb for Work as an opportunity to grow. He said that Airbnb for Work listings only represent 15 percent of all Airbnb trips.
But, the introduction of boutique hotels and other amenity-driven listings such as those on Airbnb Plus are paving the way for business travelers to lean toward Airbnb instead of a business hotel.
Plus, as mobility and relocation become even more important to how a business operates, Airbnb believes it can be a useful tool to help employees get started in a new town before they purchase a home.
By Jordan Crook