Airbnb for Business has announced three new partnerships with leading travel management companies - American Express Global Business Travel, BCD, and Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
The deal is viewed by the company as a significant milestone for Airbnb’s business travel programme, which has seen growing momentum in the corporate travel space.
It also comes on the heels of the program’s recently launched Business Travel Booking tool.
The partnerships are designed to continue growth in the corporate travel industry, as it will be the first time TMCs are offering Airbnb as an option to the customers, giving travel managers access to millions of additional accommodation choices around the world, while allowing the controls necessary in managed travel programs.
Airbnb for Business will be integrated as a preferred supplier among American Express Global Business Travel customers, enabling travellers to book accommodations for business trips on Airbnb and travel managers to improve the safety and security of their travellers.
During the first phase of the program, once GBT refers a customer to Airbnb, individual travellers can book accommodations directly on Airbnb.com using a corporate email address.
The first phase of this partnership is expected to go live in the coming weeks and will expand to additional markets later this year.
“Business travellers want the freedom to choose accommodations that align with their personal and professional tastes,” said Wes Bergstrom, vice president, global supplier relations, American Express Global Business Travel.
“At the same time, traveller safety and security are a top priority for companies.
“As the first travel management company to partner with Airbnb, our customers can further evolve their travel policies and offer their travellers the ability to book preferred accommodations.”
BCD Travel is working with Airbnb for Business to provide corporate travel clients with rich data in a new security and risk management offering that can track the location and trip patterns of business travellers who book Airbnb listings.
Airbnb’s data will be integrated into BCD Travel’s proprietary DecisionSource business intelligence and security solution, allowing clients to interact with maps and detailed reports in real-time and bring Airbnb accommodation bookings into view for managed travel.
By adding Airbnb for Business to its offerings, Carlson Wagonlit corporate travel managers will now be able to offer their travellers more options and more flexibility, providing a highly personalised itinerary.
There are already nearly half a million hotels available through CWT and Airbnb for Business doubles that number.
Research by the CWT Solutions Group shows business travellers stay an average of seven nights in Airbnb accommodation, twice as long as stays in traditional hotels.
The research also found that companies can save up to 37 per cent using Airbnb in the right circumstances.
“We are excited to be working with one of the leaders in the travel management space, and look forward to helping business travellers feel more at home while traveling on the road,” said Lex Bayer, head of global payments and business travel at Airbnb.
“Airbnb for Business gives business travellers access to more than two million homes around the world, and the ability to explore a city like a local, even if it’s just for one night.”