Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Wed April 08 2015

Airbnb Among Fastest-Growing Lodging Options for Business Travelers

Business Travel | Patrick Clarke | April 08, 2015

Airbnb Among Fastest-Growing Lodging Options for Business Travelers

Like its ride-sharing counterpart, Airbnb is gaining popularity among business travelers.

According to Carolyn Said of the San Francisco Chronicle, travel management company Concur reports that Airbnb's usage tripled from 2013 to 2014 based on corporate receipts, making it one of the fastest-growing lodging options despite still accounting for a relatively small percentage of the market. 

What's more, Airbnb business travel lead Marc McGabe points out that a recent survey found that about 10 percent of its bookings a year ago were for business travel. 

But that figure has likely climbed since. 

"What's been most amazing is the awareness (of Airbnb) in the corporate travel space and how it’s changed," said McGabe. 

Although Airbnb still doesn't offer a corporate discount, it does offers free tools for corporations, including codes they can use to track business-traveler use, invoicing services and a business-search site which allows users to filter properties. 

According to McGabe, nearly six dozen corporations actively use the tools. 

Concur executive vice president Mike Koetting notes that Airbnb's growth within the business travel community represents a notable shift in mentality. "Typically it was completely out of bounds for corporate travelers; it had no visibility to the corporate travel manager, who wants to know ahead what they’ll spend," said Koetting. 

Perhaps the biggest benefit for business travelers booking accommodations through Airbnb is the savings. Road warriors are able to travel together and stay together in a bigger space while splitting the bill. 

"If you put a bunch of people into a house instead of separate rooms, there’s a whole collaborative feeling about it," said VOX Media procurement manager Graig Mansfield.

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