Business travellers embrace Airbnb

Concur

The East Riverside in Austin, Texas. Photo: Airbnb

Corporate travellers are increasingly turning to Airbnb, with the number of organisations using the survey increasing by 32 per cent, and overall spend increasing by 42 per cent year-over-year, according to data collected by Concur.

The number of business travellers expensing Airbnb accommodation, which grew 44 per cent year-over-year to the end of Q2 2016.

The analysis examined Concur customer data representing $77 million in Airbnb spend and more than 320,000 Airbnb expenses over eight quarters.

While the average Airbnb expense was $242, small and midsized companies, as the fastest adopters, spent $2800 on Airbnb stays on average during Q2 2016.

“Concur travel and expense data shows us that while Airbnb usage is growing across all segments and industries, momentum is strongest among small and midsized businesses and in the tech and higher-ed segments,” said Tim McDonald, executive vice president of global products at Concur.

In fact, in Q2, six of the top 20 Airbnb spenders were universities, while eight in this top 20 were technology companies. San Francisco topped the list of cities for Airbnb spend by business travellers, followed by London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Austin, Seattle, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Sydney.

“While hotel spend still accounts for the majority of business lodging spend, there’s an increase in business travellers exploring alternative lodging, especially during major conferences and events,” McDonald said.

For example, Airbnb bookings in San Francisco was six times higher than average during Salesforce.com’s 2015 Dreamforce conference, while in Q1 of 2015 and 2015, Austin ranked number three in Airbnb spend globally, which corresponds with South by Southwest.

In recent years, Concur has been a supporter of the sharing economy for business travel, earlier this year expanding its relationship with Uber to make it easier for businesses to track and claim expenses for Uber rides.

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