Airbnb targets the business traveller

Last updated 09:17 29/07/2014
Airbnb Landscape

AIRBNB: This crowdsourced accommodation platform allows ordinary people to put up their places, spaces and spare rooms for other users to stay in, but it doesn't always turn out well.

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This article originally appeared on Mashable.

Airbnb announced its official move into business travel with a partnership with Concur (a travel and expense management system). Its new portal is designed specifically for businesses.

Business travel has already shown promise as a lucrative source of revenue for the popular short-term rental booking site.

"We know Airbnb isn't for every road warrior, but we are increasingly seeing people turn to Airbnb as a great option for larger groups, longer stays, and relocations," Airbnb's head of global hospitality, Chip Conley, said in a statement.

Nearly 10 per cent of Airbnb's customers travel for business already and we've heard from customers that this type of offering is high on their wish list." beginning this fall, business travellers using Concur's TripLink service will be able to book Airbnb properties directly, and have their expense reports pre-populated.

"Employees clearly want Airbnb in their managed travel program and we think that trajectory will continue," said Tim MacDonald, executive vice president at Concur.

"Our goal is to support customers who want to empower their employees while ensuring that fiscal visibility and duty of care responsibilities are met."

A new portal, Business Travel on Airbnb, also provides a tool for businesses that want to book directly.

More than 35 companies are already using the new Airbnb business portal, including Facebook, Salesforce and Eventbrite.

Not all properties on Airbnb are included in the business listings. Instead, the tool shows listings that have wireless internet, are available to book immediately, and that are not single rooms in a shared apartment or house.

The news comes less than two weeks after Airbnb unveiled a new logo and design for its website. The company said the new look was meant to focus on "belonging."

It also follows recent news of a squatter who is overstaying his welcome at an Airbnb in southern California. The squatter booked a house, owned by a woman in the Bay Area, for 44 days, but stopped paying after a month and is now claiming tenant rights under California law.

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