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.