How Airbnb Could Finally Disrupt a Business Travel Market

This past March, unfortunate for a place to stay during a noisy South by Southwest festival in Austin, TX, my co-worker and we incited to a vacation rental. We indispensable a place in that to collaborate, reason meetings and spend a evenings, and yet we finished adult profitable dearly for it, we finished adult engagement a loft right opposite a transport from a discussion venue. It was a singular resolution to a elementary problem, and we have no doubt that we’ll demeanour to a use again in a future.

Like many business travelers, we tend to bashful divided from engagement vacation rentals while out on business. The product knowledge is sundry and unreliable; it takes investigate and bid to find a right venue, arrange for keys and settle in. There is no lapse incentive; distinct a Marriott or a Starwood hotel, we don’t get points for staying and we can’t accumulate profitable advantages that so many business travelers adore.

But a business travel is an huge marketplace segment, and drumming into even a apportionment of a annual multi-billion attention could be a asset for agencies like Airbnb. Indeed, Barb Delollis, a former hotel contributor for USA Today reports that AirBnB is carefully exploring a market. “There is augmenting seductiveness for Airbnb for a corporate world,” Marc McCabe, a business growth executive during Airbnb tells her. And Concur, a widespread corporate apparatus for responsibility and transport government just reported a tiny uptick in vacation rentals now surfacing on responsibility reports.

English: Rental cabins nearby a Great Smoky Mo...

Rental cabins nearby a Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Sevier County, Tennessee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still, if a vacation let attention has grand skeleton for disrupting a hotel attention they need to broach during slightest some relation for a business traveler. One area that’s vicious for many travelers is in a unchanging smoothness of product.

“Business travelers crave coherence some-more than anything else,” Chris McGinnis, a editor of TravelSkills and a visit business traveler tells me. “They don’t wish surprises.  They adore Best Westerns or Courtyards since they know what they are going to get each time. The product might miss internal tone and experiential pleasures, yet there’s small possibility of disappointment. I’m not certain we can get that kind of coherence when staying during someone’s house.”

Airbnb counters this by indicating to a accumulation and abyss of amenities that a vacation dweller might experience.  In a form from Ms. Delollis, Marc McCabe suggests that a ability to prepare dishes and do washing on one’s possess terms provides value to a business traveler. Indeed in many cases a accumulation of offerings — from bedding a appointments — ranges into areas most nicer than a 3 or 4 star hotel. But a miss of rule and comfort drives business travelers away. If vacation rentals could yield tiered, smallest peculiarity standards for a array of exclusively possess and run properties, it might start to lean some business travelers behind into a grasp.

Another area in that vacation let agencies could woo business travelers is by a faithfulness program. Current unchanging business travelers are captivated to chosen standing and a points that come along with steady hotel stays. They can use these points for after vacations, send them to airline miles or even share them with friends — all incentives towards entrance behind to a same code and staying a few additional nights. Vacation rentals, conversely, hang to a old-fashioned idea that travelers will never lapse — so no inducement is needed. Instead, they should demeanour towards their large networks of properties to expostulate serve traffic, giving even a miniscule reward for entrance behind to a site. And they can demeanour serve to partner operators such as airlines or even hotel bondage to barter points, permitting travelers from other marketplace segments to knowledge a vacation let product.

Rental providers can also advantage by increasing formation with corporate transport systems. Many stream business travelers book transport by association portals or agents, tying carriers and products that they can search. Once far-reaching formation of let properties is accessible corporate portals — most like Hipmunk now integrates hotel and vacation let searches — some-more business travelers will be peaceful to cruise them.

Corporate-booked vacation rentals might get some-more formidable before they turn mainstream though, as some-more transport managers inspect their internal policies and pull constraints around lodging. Just final week a University of California released a matter forbidding a responsibility of vacation rentals on association transport — and afterwards quickly topsy-turvy that decision, maybe due to outcry. Cases like this will turn some-more common as vacation rentals find their balance in a business transport marketplace — yet in a end, sites like Airbnb and VRBO have most to gain.


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