Airbnb for pleasure travel? So 2008.
Hotter now is the app’s extension into the corporate space, where its usefulness for business is realized in a trio of features that acknowledge the corporate traveller’s desire for leisure in their work travel.
- Among them is a link to Airbnb Experience, where locals organize activities to immerse guests in their world. These novelties, introduced in the platform’s 800 global marketsto enhance an otherwise business-constricted stay, includelocal tours and cool stuff like pastry-making classes and sailing lessons. Sooo much better than another stuffy afternoon in the boardroom.
2. For another, users can now secure Airbnb properties for corporate off-sites and meetings that are culled from some of the more inspired lodgings in the app’s portfolio. Think a Q2 briefer in a yurt or a team-builder in a treehouse. “Sterile conference rooms aren’t motivating and don’t foster creativity,” says the press release. “However, relaxing and productive environments help people open up to connect and contribute.”
3. Finally, employers can use Airbnb for Work to arrange temporary housing for employees who are having to relocate for their jobs. Here, the app appeals to uprooted workers’ sense of displacement with housing choices that are instantly integrated into the communities they’re moving their families to. “Finding a temporary home that actually feels like a home . . . can help people cope with the chaos of a relocation,” the company asserts.
These developments (which include curated “playlists” of viable meeting sites outside city centres and daypasses for local workspaces) herald the US$31-billion behemoth’s interest in enhancing business travellers’ experiences beyond the suit-and-tie standard. “In today’s hyper-competitive talent environment, once you’ve recruited great employees, you want to keep them,” says the release. “The spaces where people spend time away from the office make a big difference.”
Airbnb for Work, launched in 2014 as Airbnb for Business, now accounts for 15 percent of the app’s bookings. More than 700,000 companies use the service to plan business travel.