Business travel spend on Airbnb growing faster than hotels

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Accommodations spending by corporates on Airbnb properties grew 42 per cent year-on-year in 2Q2016 to US$77 million, outstripping spending growth on hotel chains, according to a study conducted by Concur.

This growth is coming on the back of a 32 per cent climb in number of companies using Airbnb for Business over the same period.

However, on a volume basis, total business travel spend on major hotels was more than 250 times greater than business spend on Airbnb, based on an analogous data set for several major hotel chains gathered by Concur.

Corporate Airbnb stays are also mostly centred around a few hotspots in the world, the three most popular being the cities of San Francisco, London and New York.

Between 3Q2014 to 2Q2016, businesses consistently spent more money on Airbnb stays in San Francisco than in any other city in the world, with London at second place but accounting for less than one-third of the spending in San Francisco.

Reasons for Airbnb’s popularity in the Californian city could be the high average cost of hotels, plus the dominance of technology companies based there that are more open to using sharing economy accommodation options for work trips.

Major events are also major drivers. Looking at daily volume of Airbnb expenses, bookings increase dramatically in San Francisco during Salesforce.com‘s annual Dreamforce conference held in October. Airbnb usage was six times higher than average during the 2015 meet.

“Concur travel and expense data shows us that while Airbnb usage is growing across all segments and industries, momentum is strongest among small and midsized businesses and in the tech and higher-ed segments,” said Tim MacDonald, executive vice president of global products at Concur.

“While hotel spend still accounts for the majority of business lodging spend, there’s an increase in business travelers exploring alternative lodging, especially during major conferences and events.”

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