Airbnb, until now regarded as a platform used mainly by holidaymakers, is now preparing a tool that will identify apartments and houses which it is to classify as ‘Business Travel Ready’ and appropriate for corporate short lets.
Airbnb plans to introduce the search tool later this year according to a report on the business news service Bloomberg, which says that to qualify for a BTR listing a property must have a desk, Wi-Fi, self-check-in through a doorman or digital lock and various amenities akin to a hotel service like free toiletries, a hairdryer and iron.
“Airbnb sees expense accounts as a big opportunity” says Bloomberg.
“There were 250 companies signed up with Airbnb to book and manage business travel in 2015. Last year, the number of people using the site for business purposes tripled and is expected to quadruple this year, said David Holyoke, the head of Airbnb's business travel division” continues Bloomberg, which says companies as diverse as Domino's Pizza and Morgan Stanley are already signed up.
The target audience, according to the report, is the young professional who is happy to mix business with pleasure and may prolong their visits into weekends.
"As millennials advance in the workforce, we're seeing incredible growth ... These young business people want to feel at home on the road" an Airbnb spokesman is quoted in the report.