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Airbnb may host 100 million guests this year, as it aims for business travelers

Just as crucially, Airbnb has a brand awareness that is about as high as major hotel and travel chains like Marriott and Expedia, with Google Search trends now almost on par with those bigger brands, Recode reports.

Airbnb’s popularity is increasing among both leisure and business travelers (which represent about 10 percent of arrivals and 15 percent of travel nights booked). Business trips tripled last year.

Just as crucially, Airbnb has a brand awareness that is about as high as major hotel and travel chains like Marriott and Expedia, with Google Search trends now almost on par with those bigger brands, Recode reports.

Airbnb hosted around 80 million guests in 2016, meaning 20 million more people will have stayed with the San Francisco company this year than the year prior.

Still, Airbnb’s efforts to add higher-end services for premium customers, coupled with a more focused approach to business travelers, gives it several areas for major growth heading into 2018. The home sharing site is currently valued at $31 billion, a fraction of the $550 billion global hotel industry’s worth, but it is gaining ground.

While half of guests who booked with Airbnb in 2016 used it instead of staying in a hotel, there is plenty of business travel left for Airbnb capture.

“This is where Airbnb’s efforts to attract business travelers — including partnering with large companies to accommodate their employee travel needs and surfacing “Business Travel Ready” listings — matter even more,” Recode reports.“Approximately 70 percent of room nights for the U.S. lodging industry are business stays.”

Source: BizJournals

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