airbnb Wants Business Travelers – Will Group Meetings and Temporary Offices Follow?

Airbnb leaps into business travel
Link to airbnb Website Business Page

From USA Today, July 28, 2014

 Accommodations service Airbnb is making a stronger play for businesses. The company announced it will expand to business travel, devoting a section of their site to professionals seeking places to stay while traveling.

Bayer says he doesn’t expect the service to fit “road warriors” who are constantly on the go. “This is really about for leisurely business travelers,” he says.

Chip Conley, head of Airbnb’s global hospitality division, says many of their current business travelers have used their service to find accommodations for relocations or larger group meetings. “Nearly ten percent of Airbnb’s customers travel for business already and we’ve heard from customers that this type of offering is high on their wish list,” says Conley. … “

  • Working business travelers value consistency and predictability. The like a 24 hour front desk, room service, secure parking, cabs at the curb. This will be a tuff sell for airbnb. My experience suggests that business travelers attending conferences and conventions are their best bet — these travelers view themselves as semi on vacation.

Using residential properties for temporary offices and hosting group meetings will likely run airbnb into problems with city government. Such “entire place” rentals are the source of many of airbnb’s problems.