Airbnb Embraces the Bleisure Traveler

Airbnb Embraces the Bleisure Traveler

The combination of business and leisure travel has spawned the media to what they're calling, “bleisure.” Whether it comes in the form of tourism activities, extended travel time or even bringing along family members, bleisure is a growing trend among corporate travelers that lodging provider Airbnb is now more than happy to accommodate.

Airbnb is known for making travel and lodging easier for globetrotters in the sharing economy industry. And with the rise of bleisure travel, Airbnb has an important new reason to focus on the corporate traveler market. Its “Airbnb for Business” platform was created specifically for business travelers and their employers, and on average, saves companies 30% versus using traditional accommodations. In an interview with BusinessWire, Chip Conley, Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy at Airbnb states, “Businesses have clearly been longing for a better way to manage their employees’ travel needs, and business travellers seem eager for change from the traditional business travel accommodations.”

After the launch of the Airbnb for Business website, the company was able to analyze the trends and examine how bleisure travel is contributing to its growth among business travelers. Data from Airbnb shows:

• An increase in the average length of a business traveler’s stay (an average of 6.8 days per trip); nearly double that of traditional hotels and motels.
• Longer, more weekend-oriented trips, which indicates an increase in leisure time for business travelers.
• 35% of bookings for two or more people, insinuating the accompaniment of friends and/or family members.
• Business travelers are more frequently using the platform to explore new cities before relocating for work.
• In the six months after Airbnb for Business launched, the company noted more than 50,000 traveler bookings.

What does the bleisure trend mean for company expenses and expense management? Many businesses are now making it easier for their employees to choose their accommodation that work best for their travel plans, whether it’s exclusively for business or it includes a little something more at their own expense. Travelers on the road can easily book their bleisure accommodations while expensing the trip via any mobile device. Travel itineraries booked through Airbnb for business also provide companies visibility into their employee’s business travel arrangements, including access to financial reporting data and ease of bill processing. Certify’s SpendSmart data showed that Airbnb experienced a 261% increase in growth in 2015, and with bleisure on the rise, this trend is projected to continue.

Want to learn more about today’s top trends in business travel and expense management? Check out the latest Certify SpendSmart Report for top rated vendor expense benchmark spending averages and much more.