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For Business, Corporate Travel & Meeting Buyers & Arrangers

Airbnb makes ‘business friendly’ booking changes

Airbnb has updated its search and booking tool to make it easier for travellers to find “business travel ready” listings.

Available on desktop and mobile, travellers can filter search results to only show accommodation suitable for business – hosts that supply wifi, designated workspace, 24-hour check-in and a policy of no cancellations by the host seven days prior to stay.

Airbnb has also promised more integration with corporate booking tools – following the Concur deal in 2014 – and offering easier access to amenities such as gyms and co-working spaces.

Last week, the group’s head of business travel, David Holyoke, told BBT’s sister title Business Traveller that it has started data integration with travel management companies such as Carlson Wagonlit Travel and American Express Global Business Travel.

He also claimed that companies typically saw savings of around 25 to 30 per cent when booking through Airbnb, and with hotel prices “continuing to creep up” between four and six per cent, and compliance in managed travel programmes for accommodation being around 60 per cent, there was a strong argument for travel buyers “to bring Airbnb into the managed travel programme in a responsible way that works for companies”.

Last year, the company introduced a number of changes to try and appeal more to the corporate travel market. This included a third-party booking tool so buyers can book the rooms for their travellers, expense management process and rolled out the ability to filter search results to highlight listings with self check-in.

More than 250,000 companies have signed up to use Airbnb for work and last year the number of business trips on the platform tripled. Almost 10 per cent of trips on Airbnb are for work.

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