Business travellers in the dark over Airbnb-style stays in company policy

Almost 40% of business trippers believe that staying in an Airbnb or similar property is allowed under corporate travel policy.

But – and here’s the rub – just one in six business travellers are actually given permission to do so under the rules governing trips within their companies.

A study by the GBTA Foundation discovered the discrepancy in a study of US business travellers earlier this year, labelling it a “serious duty of care issue”.

This isn’t to say that companies are pouring cold water on the concept of home-sharing properties as a type of accommodation for their staff.

The same study found that two-thirds of travel managers had looked at alternative accommodation options for travelling members of staff but over half then decided not to include them or 13% stated their policies are currently under review.

Travel managers also stated issues such as non-refundable deposits as concerns about the use of alternative accommodation.

Despite the efforts of companies such as Airbnb to cater for business travellers, there is an ongoing issue over an inability to collect traveller information during the booking process.

Over half (52%) argue that some form of integration into the GDS would increase the likelihood of placing alternative accommodation into their existing travel policies.

GBTA research director, Kate Vasiloff, says travel professionals should balance their “obligation to keep travellers safe with a need to make cost-effective decisions and select suppliers and services that foster productivity”.

“Allowing home-sharing services into a traveller program may not be the right option for every company, but it should be an informed decision.”

NB: Property image via Airbnb website.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Lise Ezvan

    As far as I’m concerned, they should be allowed – if you have 3 people willing to share at a cost of $225/per night balanced against 750$/night at a hotel, the company is saving money.

  2. Jerry

    Regarding the inability to track traveler information goes both ways. Many Airbnb style properties need information not available through general corporate booking tools. Some places like to have somewhat of a familiarity with the person staying in their home or bnb property, that’s what makes them different than a hotel. Getting a name, date and credit card doesn’t tell the owner what time arrival is, when should they expect to hear from the traveler, no contact information is provided for the guest coming.

  3. Timothy O'Neil-Dunne

    I would like to add that Uber is exactly in the same situation. IE private cars and what is the duty of care for the Travel Arrangers in meeting compliance with company insurance for liability both for and against.


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