BUSINESS travel accounts for about a third of total travel spending in America, according to the U.S. Travel Association, an industry group. But Airbnb, a private firm which is probably the world’s second most valuable hospitality provider after Marriott, gets less than 10% of its business from people travelling for work. As the San Francisco-based company continues to expand, it’s pretty clear whom it will be targeting.
This week Airbnb is rolling out a new tool specifically for business travellers to book home rentals. All listings deemed “Business Travel Ready” (BTR) feature free Wi-Fi, a desk, soap, shampoo, a hairdryer, an iron and check-in with a doorman (or a digital lock). In other words, all the basic amenities of a hotel. The tool also allows companies to track their spending, receive invoices directly, and manage employees’ itineraries.
Even if it is still principally for vacationers, Airbnb has seen a surge in business travel use in the past several years. The company says that the number of business stays booked through the site tripled last year. It claims that employees of more than 250,000 companies now use Airbnb for work travel. That has spooked traditional hotels. Some have taken to imitating the […]