Airbnb look to crack the business travel sector
Worth more than $30bn Airbnb is already a company that holds a huge stake in the travel and tourism sector. But now the company are looking to branch out further and entice the business market as well as holidaymakers.
Whilst Airbnb have undoubtedly cracked the holiday rental market it’s been struggling grow its business travel sector, with business workers realising that a hotel, more often than not, offers amenities that Airbnb cannot.
Despite launching the "Business Travel Ready" feature in 2015 which allows users to search for rooms that come with particular requirements such as Wi-Fi and desk space Airbnb have not yet won over business travellers and expand their offering, until now.
Airbnb have recently announced that they will be partnering with American start-up WeWork who provide shared workspaces to offer customers a creative, efficient and comfortable workspace option when travelling.
Initially in a trail phase which launches this week Airbnb will give corporate customers the ability to use a desk or conference room at the closest WeWork workspace – thereby offering all of the amenities a travelling business person could need.
The trial is expected to cover WeWork offices in the cities of Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, London and Sydney.
David Holyoke, the global head of Airbnb for Work commented “We all know part of living includes working, so if an Airbnb guest is looking for a collaborative environment or space to host meetings while traveling for work, we want to provide them with options. Right now, we're piloting a program with WeWork to connect Airbnb travellers with WeWork spaces and amenities,"
The partnership could be hugely beneficial for both parties if successfully rolled out, allowing Airbnb to crack a market that is currently underutilised and widening the reach of WeWork by marketing their shared work space rental concept.
Airbnb has in particular flourished within a younger market of travellers who have a taste for creative, culturally authentic and community-driven travel experiences. By coupling this with the slick and innovatively designed spaces of WeWork the two start-ups have a real chance of changing the business travel sector.
Vice president of WeWork's product division, Dina Berrada added, “The way people work is changing. The way people travel for work is changing. Business travel is becoming less about being a road warrior and more about aligning professional and personal needs. We hope this partnership builds meaningful connections for our members and their guests and provides them with unique and authentic business travel experiences."