In a move that’s been quietly brewing for a while, Airbnb has in recent days inked deals in the U.S with Corporate Travel Management Companies (TMC’s) Carlson Waggonlit, BCD and AMEX Global Business Travel.
And it’s more bad news for the hotel industry.
The first of their kind formal partnerships will help travel managers provide additional accommodation options for their business (and bleisure) travellers while at the same time improving safety, security and duty of care.
In the first phase of the agreement, travellers will be able book their accommodation themselves directly on Airbnb.com using a corporate email address with the TMC’s integrating Airbnb’s booking info into their individual reporting platforms in the coming weeks.
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Another game changing moment for the corporate travel industry as a whole, West Bergstrom, Vice President, Global Supplier Relations, American Express Global Business Travel said in a statement; “Business travellers want the freedom to choose accommodations that align with their personal and professional tastes. At the same time, traveller safety and security are a top priority for companies”.
Airbnb’s Head of Global Payments and Business Development Lex Bayer also said about the BCD partnership in a statement;
“By partnering with BCD Travel on this initiative we expect travel managers to gain better insights into the cost savings, comprehensive global inventory and flexible travel options that Airbnb offers to their travellers”.
Whilst it won’t be every corporate traveller’s cup of English Breakfast, the Airbnb deals will give the partner TMC’s much needed scale and market advantage in extending their range of accommodation options to companies with varying travel, demographic and budgetary needs.
Indeed, in partnering with Airbnb for Business, Carlson Wagonlit’s corporate travel managers will now have around double the accommodation options in their portfolio to offer their customers.
Research by the CWT Solutions Group shows business travellers stay an average of seven nights in Airbnb accommodation, twice as long as stays in traditional hotels. The research also found that companies can save up to 37% using Airbnb in the right circumstances.
The partnerships follow on from Airbnb’s launch last year of their ‘Business Travel Ready Program’, designed for Airbnb hosts to create a better experience for welcoming their ‘corporate’ guests.
The first phase of the TMC partnership is anticipated to go live in the U.S. in the next few weeks, with a roll out to further countries later in 2016.
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