Airbnb has slowly been gaining traction among business travelers, with data from U.S. travel and expense management company Concur tracking its progress. Last November, Concur reported that the frequency with which business travelers expense an item from Airbnb increased by 32 percent between 2015 and 2016.
New data released from Concur Tuesday (Jan. 10) reveals new insight into where Airbnb is really taking off among corporate travelers.
According to the firm, corporate spend on Airbnb bookings increased by 61 percent in the U.K. between Q3 2014 and Q2 2016.
“The way people book and the places they stay when traveling has changed dramatically over the last five years, thanks to the emergence of sharing economy accommodation sites like Airbnb,” explained Concur Managing Director of U.K. Enterprise Chris Baker in a statement. “While the platform’s popularity has long been known in the leisure sector, these trends are now blurring into business-based travel.”
The rise in Airbnb bookings within the enterprise shouldn’t concern traditional hotels, however, the executive added.
“Businesses are not necessarily moving away from booking hotel rooms for their employees, but what they are realizing is there is an appetite — particularly from younger staff members — to stay in less traditional accommodation, that may be in a more desirable area and offer home comforts, that large hotels cannot,” Baker said. “The ease of booking at the favorable rates offered on Airbnb are also likely drivers for this trend and can save businesses money in the long run.”
A desire for less traditional accommodations that offer comforts of home are motivations that could signal differences in the way U.S. and U.K. business travelers use Airbnb. According to Concur’s earlier data, Airbnb is more likely to be booked by U.S. travelers that need a longer stay than just a day or two in a hotel.