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Is Airbnb the Future of Business Travel Accommodation?

Over the years, corporate travel has become an integral part of business, with Americans making more than 405 million long-distance trips every year. To put it into perspective, that’s about 1.1 million people traveling for business every day, and it costs companies $111.7 billion each year to shuttle them to and fro.

Most of these expenses go to flights, accommodation and transportation, and a travel manager who knows how to find the best deals without compromising on the quality of services offered and employee satisfaction will undoubtedly save their company a decent amount in expenses.

Enter Airbnb. It was launched in 2008, and the online platform completely revamped recreational and business travel, offering a more affordable, less official accommodation option. After becoming entrenched in the leisure travel market, Airbnb set its sights on business travelers, and it’s had a massive impact.

Airbnb debuted its Airbnb for Work program in 2014, and by the end of 2019, there were over 700,000 businesses using the platform, increasing from 250,000 users in just a year. The online platform presents a major threat to major hotel chains, especially those that rely on corporate travel for a large percentage of their revenue. How so? CrewFacilities explains why.

Prices. Airbnb is clearly the cheaper option. Hotel rooms tend to cost a fortune, especially in high priced locations. According to AirDNA, a website that tracks and analyzes the Airbnb market, an Airbnb room in New York would cost you $187 per night, $119 less than the average price for a hotel room. Whether your budget is tight or you’re looking for perfect travel policy compliance, Airbnb is the better option.

Functionality. Another advantage (or disadvantage for some) is that you get a kitchen to cook for yourself. This is especially helpful for business travelers on certain types of diets, and it’s a lot cheaper than eating out during the duration of your trip.

Flexibility is a must when you’re looking for accommodation, and Airbnb is more likely to accommodate you than a hotel would. For starters, you communicate with a single person, compared to sending official communication to a corporate entity. On top of that, they are less strict with check-in and check-out times, an aspect that’s greatly appreciated by the millennial business traveler.

Group trips. Airbnb is more convenient for group outings. Instead of booking several hotel rooms, a team can just hire an entire house, especially for extended trips. It helps team members bond and build relationships, and stronger, more cohesive teams are more focused and productive.

At the moment Airbnb’s Airbnb For Work program poses a massive threat to hotels that have made catering to the modern business traveler their bread and butter. All we can do is watch the battle unfold. However, Airbnb comes with some risks, and we at CrewFacilities.com are ready to help you implement your travel policy so that your employees don’t find themselves in situations that expose you to duty of care incidents.