Airbnb gets serious about business travel with Concur deal

Summary:Airbnb is making strides to tap into what has been a relatively overlooked opportunity for the accommodations website.

With offerings ranging from spare rooms in urban apartments to tree houses in the middle of nowhere, Airbnb has grown considerably from a glorified couch-surfing network.

Now the San Francisco-based company is tapping into a slowly-but-surely growing demographic: business travelers.

Chip Conley, Airbnb’s head of global hospitality, noted in a new product announcement on Monday that nearly 10 percent of Airbnb's customer base is already made up of travelers making bookings during work trips.

“We know Airbnb isn’t for every road warrior, but for larger groups, longer stays, and relocations, Airbnb offers inspired spaces in memorable places to make the most of any type of travel,” explained Conley.

Thus, Airbnb is making strides to tap into what has been a relatively overlooked opportunity for the accommodations website through a new partnership with travel and expense management services provider Concur.

Concur will integrate Airbnbs into its Triplink platform, which captures data and reservations from flights, hotels and ground transportation booked outside a corporate travel system. The system is already employed by more than 70 percent of the Fortune 100.

Employees will be able to make bookings on Airbnb while employers will be kept in the loop about reservations and expenses. Airbnb charges will be automatically pre-populated in Concur for facilitating expense reports.

To further fuel the new initiative, Airbnb is also launching a new Business Travel portal on its website for additional business travel needs beyond just room and board. This includes listings for meeting rooms as well as listings accommodating extended stays or relocations.

Airbnb is also tapping some industry partners for collaboration here, including Salesforce.com, Evernote, Eventbrite, and Lyft.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Mobility, Tech Industry, Travel Tech

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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