Airbnb has been a service for regular travelers up until this point. Now the startup is going after a different market, business travelers. Airbnb’s new Business Travel program is now available worldwide, and it offers companies some interesting ways to help employees manage business travel. If you’ve got a trip coming up or want to consider options for your employees outside of hotels, here’s what Aibnb Business Travel has to offer.
Business Travel with Airbnb
Airbnb has limited the options open to business travelers slightly. Instead of seeing some of those odd accommodations (a houseboat, anyone?), business travel options are limited to accommodations that provide businesspeople with the amenities that they are used to. Things like free WiFi, private home listings (no shared offerings will appear with the Business Travel option), and some additionals like private pools can be found when booking a business travel trip through the new Airbnb offering.
The business listings also include accommodations that are available immediately as opposed to regular travel options that may not be available until a future date. All of this was designed to make booking business trip accommodations through the Airbnb site simpler. The Business Travel program has been in beta mode for some time now, though it was only available to tech companies and other select companies at the start. Now, the option is available to companies of all kinds, and all it takes is a quick company sign up.
Using the System
In addition to showcasing business travel options, Airbnb has set up a dashboard for travel managers to use. This dashboard shows how a company’s employees are using the startup site, and it also keeps track of expenses. Travel managers can easily log into the dashboard to look at stats, and then keep track of travel expenses right from the dashboard. It has taken Airbnb some time to convince beta testers that the site is a legitimate way to book business travel, but so far the tests have been entirely positive.
People that are renting out accommodations have been more than helpful too, since renting a place through the Airbnb site can be a lucrative way to pay rent or even make additional income off of a rental property. It is often the case that an Airbnb accommodation is cheaper than any hotel option, and this still remains true when it comes to business travel. But Airbnb has something else going for it as well - some of the accommodations through the Airbnb site are lavish, and this is something that most corporate hotel deals don’t offer.
How to Book
It might be hard to break your travel manager of booking at the same old hotel, but if you manage to do that you can book your business travel through the Airbnb site right now. Once the site has been used successfully by travel managers from a number of companies, it’s likely that Aribnb will become an alternative to the Marriott or Hampton Inn (sorry, no points!). Check it out through the Airbnb site today.