Three global TMCs grow accommodation content with Airbnb partnership

AIRBNB’s new partnerships with global TMCs, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), BCD Travel and Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), will bring its content to a greater audience of corporate travellers while satisfying corporate duty of care requirements.

With GBT, the partnership will first allow individual travellers of GBT clients to book Airbnb accommodation on using a corporate email address. In the coming weeks, GBT and Airbnb will integrate Airbnb booking information into GBT’s reporting platform, “enabling corporate reporting and traveller tracking which supports duty of care responsibilities”, explained a GBT spokesperson.

This arrangement will go live in the US in the next few weeks, allowing all GBT clients there to book Airbnb content worldwide, before expanding it to markets elsewhere later this year.

With BCD Travel, which has an existing partnership with Airbnb, Airbnb data will be integrated into BCD Travel’s DecisionSource business intelligence and security solution. This will allow BCD Travel’s clients to interact with maps and detailed reports in real-time and bring Airbnb accommodation bookings into view for managed travel.

With CWT, Airbnb for Business content will be made available to its clients, allowing travellers more options and flexibility as well as a highly personalised itinerary.

While post-booking security measures are in place, the TMCs will not be able to guide clients in making a safe Airbnb accommodation choice – one of the concerns among corporate travel managers who have rejected sharing economy accommodation options.

In response to TTGmice e-Weekly’s question on this aspect of security measures, Suzanne Lee, spokesperson with BCD Travel, Asia-Pacific, said: “DecisionSource does not provide risk assessment for individual Airbnb properties (just as) it does not provide individual risk assessment of hotel properties. But it does help companies with travellers staying at Airbnb accommodations by tracking them and alerting them when an incident takes place in their neighbourhood so companies can communicate with them as necessary.”

The GBT spokesperson, too, explained that “travellers and their respective employers will continue to decide the type of accommodation that is most suitable for their needs, and determine their policies accordingly”.

However, he added that travellers can look out for Airbnb’s Business Travel Ready options.

Such properties have five stars for at least 60 per cent of reviews; have hosts that respond to 90 per cent of booking requests within 24 hours and do not cancel confirmed reservations within a week of the check-in date; provide 24-hour check-in; offer business amenities such as Wi-Fi, laptop-friendly workspace, etc; and are an entire home or apartment.

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