Airbnb targets business travelers to France

PARIS (Reuters) – Business travelers to France are in a sights of online let marketplace Airbnb, according to a comparison central on Thursday during a association best famous for hosting holidaymakers.

Airbnb For Business was launched in 2015 for companies looking for new and cheaper ways to accommodate staff on business trips and for Airbnb to keep adult a fast expansion.

Business transport is flourishing faster than convenience transport and corporate business now comment for some 15 percent of let nights requisitioned on Airbnb. The idea is to lift that ratio to 30 percent by 2020.

“We consider there are really good prospects for Airbnb in business transport and France is really a marketplace we are looking at,” Jon Liebtag, Airbnb’s conduct of business transport for EMEA told Reuters, mentioning Germany and Britain too.

In France final year a series of stays requisitioned on Airbnb by business travelers grew four-fold.

With over 400,000 listings, France is Airbnb’s second largest marketplace after a United States, and Paris, a many visited city in a world, is a biggest singular market, with 65,000 homes listed.

AMBITIONS UNCHECKED

Founded in San Francisco in 2008, Airbnb, that matches people wishing to lease out all or partial of their homes to proxy guests, has turn a buttress for holidaymakers.

Liebtag, who changed from San Francisco to London in Apr to spearhead a European push, was in Paris on Thursday to accommodate intensity corporate clients.

“Right now we concentration mostly on Paris though we will enhance elsewhere in France,” he said.

Initial corporate clients embody tech-focused groups like BlablaCar, Europe’s biggest ride-sharing start-up, though Airbnb is saying incomparable some-more determined firms joining, such as Morgan Stanley and Ernst Young.

Worldwide, business transport spending reached $1.3 trillion in 2016 and is estimated to grow by 6.1 percent in 2018 and 7 percent in 2019 and 2020, according to a Global Business Travel Association.

In France, business-travel spending was $38.6 billion in 2016 and is approaching to strech $56.2 billion in 2021.

Airbnb has launched “Business Travel Ready”, by that users can name accommodation that perform mandate such as Wi-Fi, 24-hour check-in and a laptop-ready workspace.

NOT ALL PLAIN SAILING

The organisation has clashed with hoteliers and authorities in cities from New York to Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris that in some cases are tying short-term rentals. Critics credit it of exacerbating housing shortages and pushing out lower-income residents.

Its pull into business transport might attract serve madness from normal hotel groups, that see Airbnb as astray competition. Some 48 percent of bookings during hotels in France are for business transport in France. That ratio is as high as 60 percent for AccorHotel, Europe’s largest hotelier.

Liebtag played down those concerns.

“I do not demeanour during hotels as a foe for this form of travel. We are not going after a highway warriors who are roving 100 days a year,” he said.

An estimated 60 percent of Airbnb business are tech-savvy “millennials”.

“Business transport is a loneliest form of transport divided from your family and friends. You wish to feel during home and a ability to live like a local,” Liebtag said.

Privately-held Airbnb lifted $1 billion in a latest turn of appropriation in March, valuing a association during $31 billion. The association that operates in some-more than 65,000 cities worldwide incited essential in a second entertain of 2016.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; modifying by Luke Baker and Elaine Hardcastle

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