Business

Airbnb Adds Business Travel Search

Airbnb just made a new move to push into the business travel sector.

On the latest update of the homeshare company’s mobile app, Airbnb has added a new search function that allows users to view listings designated “business travel ready.”

To score this designation, listings need to provide homestayers with 24-hour self check-in, high-speed internet and, naturally, a desk. The Verge noted that the listing’s feedback must also include at least 60 percent five-star reviews. Business users have to register using their work email address.

“In the past, the Airbnb experience has been designed primarily for leisure travelers. Not anymore,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the new search function. “Typically, leisure travelers come to Airbnb at a point of inspiration and discovery; they spend time researching neighborhoods, browsing listings and toggling between photo after photo.”

Business travelers, on the other hand, go to Airbnb already knowing where they want to stay, valuing speed, convenience and reliability over everything else.

Through 2017, Airbnb also plans to integrate with more corporate travel booking tools as a means to offer more seamless rebooking and to offer greater access to other amenities, the company said.

Airbnb has been eyeing growth prospects in the business travel, long-term and luxury rental markets for a while now and has started making the acquisitions and rolling out the services to match.

The latest business travel push will also allow Airbnb to better compete in that market against new, niche entrants like MetroResidencies.

The frequency with which business travelers expense an item from Airbnb increased by 32 percent between 2015 and 2016. Further, Airbnb penned a deal with American Express Global Business Travel last year that sees Amex GBT referring its corporate travelers to Airbnb services. And in March of this year, Airbnb eyed a collaboration with Sabre to grow exposure to corporate travelers on the Sabre network.

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