Airbnb appears to be capitalizing on the recent influx of corporate travelers using its on-demand accommodation service.
Reports in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday (Nov. 15) revealed new services that will be available to business travelers using the service in an effort to encourage more corporate use of Airbnb. The company is said to now be offering a new feature that singles out the available short-term rentals that have amenities necessary for the business traveler, like wireless Internet and ironing boards.
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Airbnb will also introduce a new policy that says hosts of a rental space cannot cancel on a corporate traveler within seven days of the travel date, reports said.
In speaking with the publication, Global Business Travel Association Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Mike McCormick raised some of the concerns corporations hold about allowing their employees to book corporate travel through Airbnb.
“When you are traveling for pleasure with your own personal funds, that’s your business. But it’s a different situation when the company is paying the bill,” he said.
Reports noted that Airbnb did not specify how far traveler protection will go for business users of its services, including what type of liability the corporation or an Airbnb host will have should a business traveler get hurt at a space booked through the platform.
According to the Global Business Travel Association, corporate travel in the U.S. saw a 6.7 percent increase in valuation in 2014 compared to the year prior, reaching $292 billion in spending. That figure is expected to hit $310 billion, a 6.2 percent increase, by 2016, reports said.