Businesses are becoming Airbnb’s Big Business

Airbnb is not just for leisure travel. In 2015 there were 250 businesses using Airbnb, with that number growing exponentially by 2017. Now, the company claims that nearly 700,000 businesses have used, or is currently committed to using an Airbnb for an employee in 2018. The company also claims that more than 275,000 business are working directly with Airbnb to coordinate future travel plans.

Business travel is one place where Airbnb has a lot of room to grow. Currently, 90 percent of its bookings are for tourism or personal stays. Around 30 percent of all travel is for business, and the company has been tapping into this market by rolling out its “Airbnb for Work” program, a faction of the business that tailors itself to working travelers. Companies sign up for this program to schedule individual or group trips while Airbnb makes the accommodations.

Indeed, Airbnb has a lot more room for growth than most people realize. The hotel business in the United States makes $199.3 billion in revenue, and Airbnb made $2.9 billion globally last year. That is about half of the revenues of Hyatt Hotels, and about a tenth of InterContinental Hotels Group. Still, it has surpassed several longstanding hotel chains and has continued to grow year-over-year.

Hotels still dominate the travel-for-work market in part because of rewarding points systems and currently Airbnb does not have a similarly structured service. However, by offering a program that targets businesses, not just individual travelers, the hospitality company could see more growth in years to come. Airbnb for Work offers amenities that some hotels cannot, especially for work teams that are looking for communal areas to collaborate.

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