Airbnb continues to become part of the business travel establishment, signing a partnership with Flight Centre Travel Group's (FCTG) corporate travel brands in Australia and New Zealand.
Campus Travel and Stage and Screen will be the first brands to go live with Airbnb, with the FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller next in line.
FCTG said that it has been trialling Airbnb properties with one client, and seeing satisfaction ratings of 4.76 out of 5 from travellers at an average daily rate of A$80 ($77).
Andrew Flannery, FCTG’s executive general manager of corporate travel, said Airbnb properties "will appeal to sections of our customer base...looking to experience something a little different to a traditional hotel stay" but also noted Airbnb might fill the gap in destinations where there is an under-supply of suitable hotel rooms.
And David Holyoke, global director of business travel at Airbnb, talked the talk in terms of "giving business travellers the ability to explore a city like a local."
Airbnb launched a dedicated business travel unit in 2015 and says that 10% of bookings are from people travelling on business. It has partnerships in place with a number of TMCs including American Express Global Business Travel, CWT and BCD.
It recently introduced the "Business Travel Ready" program where properties which meet certain criteria are highlighted on the search results.
Airbnb - and let's face it, every other booking site out there - has always taken a lot of business from SMEs and the unmanaged and maverick business travellers. There's a good reason why Priceline launched Booking.com for Business.
But with Flight Centre now also selling Airbnb (albeit only in Australia and New Zealand), the alternative accommodation provider is becoming increasingly mainstream.