More and more road warriors are turning to Airbnb as home sharing is increasingly seen as efficient option for business travellers

A recent report from Chrome River, a global leader in expense and invoice management solutions, had highlighted a rise in shared transportation platforms during business trips, but said that the adoption rate for shared accommodation hasn’t reached the same levels. Now, data from Airbnb suggests that business travellers are more accepting of shared accommodation, but it depends on the destinations concerned with the emerging African and Latin American markets showing the strongest growth among its users who are travelling on business.


Summary:

  • New data from Airbnb suggests that business travellers are becoming more accepting of shared accommodation;
  • Its research shows African and Latin American markets are showing the strongest growth among its users who are travelling on business;
  • The data also reinforces booking behaviour of Airbnb guests with business trips booked slightly more than 20 days in advance compared to a 35 days average.

Airbnb has revealed that the number of companies globally who have signed up to use their corporate arm, ‘Airbnb for Work’, has more than doubled in the past 12 months. Formerly known as ‘Airbnb for Business’ it is part of an aggressive strategy to broaden its reach with corporate customers after declaring ambitions to double its business customer base by 2020.

This year, Airbnb has seen the number of companies and business travellers using ‘Airbnb for Work’ grow exponentially and its internal data has delivered some insights into current trends among its guests and predictions for 2019.

Significantly it notes that while main Airbnb business travel hubs such as London, Paris, New York and Sydney remain prominent destinations, it is seeing the highest growth of business trips to locations in regions like Latin America and Africa.

Based on internal Airbnb data for business bookings made from Nov-2016 to Nov-2017 versus Nov-2017 to Nov-2018, some of the fastest-growing locations for business travellers comprise cities in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, and South Africa.

These include Mar Del Plata, Argentina (624% YoY increase in bookings); Guarujá, Brazil (594% YoY increase in bookings); Aguascalientes, Mexico (594% YoY increase in bookings); Gwangju, Korea (520% YoY increase in bookings); and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa  (465% YoY increase in bookings).

Group business trips also continue to rise, according to the Airbnb research and groups are travelling to historic and scenic hotspots. The most popular group business travel destinations around the world between Nov-2017 and Nov-2018 trend toward cities in Malaysia, Brazil, Philippines, Mexico, and the US, including: Ipoh, Malaysia; Guarujá, Brazil; Tagaytay, Philippines; Acapulco, Mexico; and Mammoth Lakes, CA, USA.

The data also reinforces the booking behaviour of Airbnb guests with business trips being booked on average slightly more than 20 days in advance, compared to the 35 days in advance average across the platform.

It says business travellers from cities in Taiwan, the US, and Germany book the furthest in advance, while business travellers from cities in France, Norway, and Mexico book with the least amount of lead time. There’s also a gender divide. Globally, those identifying as male book overall trips on average 32 days in advance, and for business trips they average 19 days in advance, while females book overall trips on average 40 days in advance, and for business trips they average 27 days in advance.

Airbnb is positioning itself to captialise on the ever blurring lines between business and leisure travel. The company estimates that more than 50% of business trips booked on its listed properties in 2016 included a Saturday night stay. It says business travellers originating from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany book the most Experiences when travelling for work.