Home-sharing services like Airbnb, Onefinestay, and HomeAway have steadily gained acceptance by corporate travel departments—but not as much as business travelers think.
A new study by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation found that 17 percent of corporate travel policies now allow business travelers to expense stays at home-share properties, and another 13 percent are currently reviewing their home-share policy.
The rub is that many more business travelers—37 percent—are under the impression that their companies allow them to use home-sharing services. That information gap could mean a large number of travelers are booking properties unsupported by their companies’ travel policies.
The study, “Home-Sharing and Travel Policies—A Shifting Landscape,” conducted in partnership with AccorHotels, which owns Onefinestay, asked business travel professionals about their biggest concerns with using home-sharing properties for business travel. The number-one concern, cited by a resounding 87 percent of respondents: safety and security. (Only 55 percent say they worry about safety and security with traditional hotels.)
Other worries included:
• the unpredictability of conditions at a home-sharing properties
• the possibility of the home-sharer canceling the traveler’s reservations at the last minute
• strict cancellation policies
• the reliability of the Wi-Fi
• inflexibility with check-in and check-out
• lack of amenities
In addition, a majority of travel professionals (61 percent) are concerned about their inability to collect traveler information for a home-sharing bookings. If home-sharing properties were part of the global distribution system and could be tracked, 52 percent of travel managers say they would be more likely to include them as an option in their travel policy.