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UK business travel spend on Airbnb soars

Business travel bookings on Airbnb have soared over the past two years with millions of pounds now being spent every year by companies on the sharing economy site.

Analysis of more than 50,000 transactions from travel and expense management firm Concur showed that between Q3 2014 and Q2 2016, UK spend on Airbnb grew 61 per cent.

The results underline a growing trend to explore alternative accommodation when travelling on business. In total, companies in the three analysed countries of France, Germany and UK spent $9.2 million during that period.

Chris Baker, managing director of UK Enterprise at Concur said: “The way people book and the places they stay when travelling has changed dramatically over the last five years, thanks to the emergence of sharing economy accommodation sites like Airbnb. While the platform’s popularity has long been known in the leisure sector, these trends are now blurring into business based travel.”

He added: “Businesses are not necessarily moving away from booking hotel rooms for their employees, but what they are realising is there is an appetite – particularly from younger staff members to stay in less traditional accommodation, that may be in a more desirable area and offer home comforts, that large hotels cannot. The ease of booking and the favourable rates offered on Airbnb are also likely drivers for this trend and can save businesses money in the long run.”

Concur’s research also revealed the most popular cities where businesses based in the three countries book accommodation for their staff. London, Paris and Berlin all featured, but there were more surprising destinations in the top 15. The Warwickshire market town of Rugby was the 10th most booked destination.

The top 15 cities booked by businesses in UK, France and Germany:  1. London 2. Paris 3. Cannes 4. Berlin 5. Munich 6. Edinburgh 7. Cologne 8. Hamburg 9. Belfast 10. Rugby 11. Nice 12. Oxford 13. Toulouse 14. Lyon 15. Hamburg.

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