Business travellers are opting to use Airbnb more and more, according to new research.
Concur, a travel expenses management solutions provider, has looked at customer data which represents $77 million in Airbnb spend through more than 320,000 Airbnb expenses claims over two years.
The number of business travellers expensing Airbnb accommodations grew by 44% between April and June 2016 compared to the same period a year earlier.
The number of organisations using Airbnb increased 32% which led to a 42% jump in spend by companies paying for business travel.
“While Airbnb usage is growing across all segments and industries, momentum is strongest among small and midsized businesses and in the tech and higher-education segments,” said Chris Baker, managing director of UK enterprise at Concur.
“While hotel spend still accounts for the majority of business lodging spend, there’s an increase in business travellers exploring alternative lodging, especially during major conferences and events.”
The average Airbnb expense was $242, but varied among major US cities.
Small and medium-sized businesses are among the fastest adopters, with spending on Airbnb increasing 38% at an average of $2,800.
But hotel usage – and spend – are still on the rise, the research adds, although at a slower rate than its sharing economy competitor.
Hotels continue to dominate the business expenses market, with spend 250 times greater than that on Airbnb.
London was the second most popular city for business Airbnb expenses, behind San Francisco – the company’s birthplace.
Major cities New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Austin, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Sydney were next in line and Concur suggests this shows business travellers are blending work and exploration by opting to stay in scenic neighbourhoods.
Technology companies are the main adopters of Airbnb, and major conferences are a big driver of Airbnb business, the research also found.