Move over couch surfers. The business traveler and luxury jet setters want in on this sharing economy thing and they're willing to pay more for the personalized offerings and unique layouts and locations hotels can't often offer.
Airbnb, which lets people rent out their homes to travelers, is exploding onto expense reports, said Tim MacDonald, an executive vice president at Concur, which operates a travel and expense system with more than 22 million users globally.
"We're seeing Airbnb going from zero two years ago to $1 million this quarter," MacDonald said.
"It's still small, less than 1 percent," MacDonald said of the Airbnb market share. "It's the rate of growth that is eye-popping."
Hotels could soon be pressured by the loss of the business and luxury segment.
"With a multibillion-dollar valuation, Airbnb is not going anywhere and is establishing itself as a competitor for hotel demand," Jan Freitag, the senior vice president for strategic development at hotel research firm STR, wrote on the company's HotelNewsNow website.
"Once millennials, who today use Airbnb for leisure travel, move up in their companies to positions that can dictate travel policy, Airbnb is on its way to being a legitimate accommodations choice for Fortune 1,000 corporations," he wrote.
For the traditional hotels to compete, they need to make changes. "It's less about the price and more about the feel," he told CNBC.
"No. 1 it has to be about location. It has to be downtown. It's about being part of the community—with art, tasting menus, events, trying to make the lobby more of a social hub than anything ... and make you feel you're part of the town you're in," Freitag said.
The biggest business-travel opportunity for companies like Airbnb, MacDonald said, is in cities that don't have enough hotel rooms, especially during a high-demand period such as a major tech conference in San Francisco: "There's a group of us and we want a house in San Francisco during Apple's worldwide developer conference," MacDonald said as an example.
"There obviously is a real need otherwise business travelers wouldn't be going there," MacDonald said.
The Concur expense reports show not just Airbnb bookings showing up, but other businesses in the peer-to-peer sector.