Airbnb makes bigger pitch to business travelers

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Airbnb is partnering with three travel management companies — American Express Global Business Travel, BCD Travel and Carlson Wagonlit Travel — to grow business travel on the platform and gain market share from hotels.

Business travelers are increasingly looking for alternatives to hotels, and companies want to be able to offer employees those choices while managing costs and without compromising security and safety, said Lex Bayer, Head of Global Payments and Business Development at Airbnb in a press release.

Uber shakes up business travel

Like fellow multibillion-dollar Bay Area-based unicorn Uber, Airbnb recognizes the value of the business travel market and the company is working hard to grow its share. Business travelers make up about 10 percent of Airbnb's business and represent a lucrative and growing market for the internet company.

On average, business travelers stay seven nights in Airbnb accommodation, twice as long as stays in traditional hotels, research group CWT Solutions Group found. The research also found that companies can save up to 37 percent by using Airbnb in certain cases.

Through these new partnerships, Airbnb and its partners will integrate some of their data through the Airbnb for Business service. This will allow the travel managers to access Airbnb's global inventory and gain better insights into costs and potential savings, said Bayer in the release.

Airbnb already has 50,000 businesses using its platform to make bookings, and Airbnb for Business gives business travelers access to more than 2 million homes around the world.

Airbnb already has a similar partnership with Concur — a deal it signed two years ago — to extend its reach into business travel.

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