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Airbnb Says Business Travelers Increasingly Mix Work and Fun

January 22, 2016, 2:00 PM UTC
Airbnb MGM Grand Signature Las Vegas
An Airbnb listing at the MGM Grand Signature in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Courtesy of Airbnb

Business travelers who use Airbnb instead of staying in a hotel are increasingly turning their trips into mini-vacations, according to Airbnb.

The San Francisco company released new data on Friday about its business travel customers and their increasing habit of mixing work with pleasure. It’s a trend the company has given a name: “b-leisure” or “business-leisure.”

As evidence, Airbnb says that business travelers who book through its service stay an average of 6.8 days per trip, twice as long as typical for business travelers staying at hotels. It argued that part of the reason for the longer stay is that its service is an average of 30% cheaper than traditional accommodations like hotels and inns.

Of course, the study is self-serving for Airbnb. The company commissioned the hospitality consulting firm CWT Solutions to come up with the results.

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Six months ago, Airbnb introduced a revamped dashboard for helping company travel managers better track and manage employees’ bookings through the service. Since then, more than 50,000 employees from 5,000 companies have booked lodging through the new dashboard, the company said.

Airbnb’s findings are not surprising given overall trends in business travel. Employees are increasingly turning to non-traditional services when traveling or just to get around town. Earlier this week, expense software company Certify released a report showing that business travelers took more Uber rides than taxi rides and car rentals in the fourth quarter of 2015.

And according to Certify’s data, workers are filing far more expenses for Airbnb stays than ever before. Last year, expense filings for Airbnb accommodations grew 259%.