Businesses in France, Germany and the UK are spending millions of dollars on Airbnb accommodation for travelling employees, according to research from Concur. Data was collected by analysing nearly 50,000 expense transactions from using solutions between Q3 2014 and Q2 2016.
The results underline a growing trend to explore alternative lodging when they travel for business. In total, businesses in the three countries spent $9.2 million housing travelling staff in houses advertised on Airbnb during the period.
Concur’s research also reveals the most popular cities where businesses based in the three countries book accommodation for their staff. London, Paris and Berlin all feature, but there were more surprising destinations in the top 15. The Warwickshire market town of Rugby, for instance, is the 10th most booked destination.
Chris Baker, managing director of UK Enterprise at Concur says, ‘The way people book and the places they stay when travelling has changed dramatically over the last five years, thanks to the emergence of sharing economy accommodation sites like Airbnb. While the platform’s popularity has long been known in the leisure sector, these trends are now blurring into business based travel.’
UK businesses spent the most money in the period – over two thirds of total Airbnb spend during the last two years – followed by France and Germany
Although volume of Airbnb usage in France and Germany was much lower than the UK, year-on-year growth in spend across the board grew steadily across the period. In the most recent period, for instance, this grew by 74 per cent in France, 61 per cent in the UK and 32 per cent in Germany.
Baker continues, ‘Businesses are not necessarily moving away from booking hotel rooms for their employees, but what they are realising is there is an appetite – particularly from younger staff members to stay in less traditional accommodation, that may be in a more desirable area and offer home comforts, that large hotels cannot. The ease of booking and the favourable rates offered on Airbnb are also likely drivers for this trend and can save businesses money in the long run.’