Airbnb’s new biz travel programme: Too close for comfort?

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 23 Jul 2015

TOO MUCH INFORMATION: Staying with colleagues in an apartment or house on a business trip could result in seeing another side of them.

Airbnb wants to reinvent the notion of business travel with the global expansion of a programme that would sleep colleagues in a private home under one roof, instead of a hotel room. 

After poaching leisure travellers from the tradition hotel market, Airbnb is now out to conquer business travel – and large corporate accounts. 

Since launching last summer, more than 250 companies have joined the company's Business Travel programme, including Google and SoundCloud. 

This week, the short-term vacation rental site announced plans to expand the programme globally through a portal that features a suite of tools designed specifically to accommodate corporate travel. 

That means the ability to search for appropriate business travel accommodations, track trips, billing, dates and expenses from Airbnb’s microsite. 

The hard sell is that private rentals will lower trip costs with bundled services such as WiFi, stocked kitchens and free parking, as well as more intimate, comfortable home-like environments for employees. 

“With large homes and villas, whole teams can comfortably stay together under one roof,” reads the pitch. 

But that could also mean sleeping in the room next door to your boss, catching an involuntary glimpse of your office wife or husband’s pyjamas, and discovering the unpalatable bathroom habits of your colleagues. 

The concept is similar to Corporate Housing by Owner, a site that specialises in corporate rentals in Canada and the US. – AFP Relaxnews

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