While Airbnb struggles in the consumer market thanks to new regulations that crack down on its on-demand bedroom rental services, the company is making headway in a different segment of the market.
Earlier this year, the company revealed that it is exploring plans to develop an interface that streamlines property managers’ operations, a B2B tool that is a far cry from the mobile app service for which Airbnb is known.
On Monday (July 20), the company announced yet another effort to strengthen its B2B accommodations service — though this time, through its room-booking app. Airbnb will be expanding its Business Travel program through a new product that facilitates employee use of Airbnb services. As a global business, Airbnb Business Travel offers employers the ability to easily book travel for their workers, to manage their itineraries and to streamline the generation of an expense report when a trip is completed.
The tool offers financial reporting data and central billing features to strengthen service for the corporate travel manager, too, the company said.
The service provides an easy-to-use interface with tabs for activity, reporting and employees, each offering a highly visible and organized status of employee travel. The activity tab organizes the itinerary, the reporting tab aggregates the necessary data to generate an expense report and the employees tab provides insight into whether employee travel is approved.
Airbnb Business Travel has some high-profile fans, including SoundCloud, Twilio and Google.
“Our employees worldwide appreciate the choice and flexibility that Airbnb listings provide them when they’re on the road — whether for conferences, meetings or team offsites,” said Google’s Global Travel Manager Darragh Ormsby in a statement. “It’s great that Googlers can easily access Airbnb’s wide range of accommodations as they make their travel plans.”
The corporate travel sector has been strengthening its use of on-demand services like Airbnb and Uber, the latter of which has officially taken over traditional taxis in popularity on the business expense report.