Do you remember when corporate travel programs focused on discounts with a few major hotel brands? Those days are dwindling. While the most recognized names in the hotel industry will continue to attract plenty of on-the-go professionals, the peer-to-peer rental service that everyone is talking about appears to be making big strides in the business travel landscape.
Last week, Airbnb announced that it has signed 500 new companies to its Airbnb for Business program. The most impressive piece of the announcement? These 500 companies didn’t come over the course of a quarter. They came within 24 hours of the company’s launch of a new global travel management suite that makes company accounting convenient for travelers who want to spend their travel time in an Airbnb property. Translation: a wide range of corporations are encouraging their employees to jump onboard the alternative lodging bandwagon.
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With the latest addition of these new companies, Airbnb says it now has more than 1,000 businesses from over 35 countries who are making Airbnb accommodations a part of their travel programs. These companies aren’t just looking for affordable housing options for individual business travelers, either. It looks like some of them see Airbnb as a creative option during group gatherings.
“We were particularly impressed that Airbnb’s new Business Travel product suite allows you to uncover unique locations for temporary housing, team offsets and conventions where there is an opportunity to build closer working relationships by sharing accommodations in a casual and friendly environment,” Jeff Mannie, VP, Controller and CAO at online file sharing firm Box, said in a statement.
In addition to Box’s praise of Airbnb’s business offerings, the most important name in online search is giving its employees the opportunity to think outside the traditional four walls of a hotel room when traveling for conferences.
“Our employees appreciate the choice and the flexibility that Airbnb listings provide them when they’re on the road — whether for conferences, meetings or team off-sites,” Darragh Ormsby, Global Travel Manager, Google, says in a testimonial on Airbnb’s business site.
Business leaders aren’t the only ones who are turning up the volume on the alternative accommodation conversation. Earlier this summer, San Francisco Travel Association announced a new partnership with Airbnb that will help connect Airbnb “to meeting and event planners to achieve peak attendance during city-wide conventions and big events while meeting the diverse losing preferences of a wide range of delegates coming to the city.”
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How is your organization addressing Airbnb as a potential lodging option for meeting attendees? Have you had any discussions about how peer-to-peer rentals will impact your room block? Share your perspective in the comment section below.