In 2014, Concur announced a partnership with Airbnb that allowed corporate bookings from Airbnb to directly import into Concur via TripLink and integrated into Concur’s duty of care and spend visibility tools. This was at the same time Airbnb announced “Business Travel on Airbnb.”
The partnership now allows Airbnb homes to display WITHIN the SAP Concur platform – side by side with traditional hotel properties. The feature must first be activated by the company’s Concur Travel Administrator before employees will have access to the new feature (more on this below).
The Pros & Cons
My personal disclaimer here: Airbnb is not the choice for everyone. It might not fit your personal or company culture… but some people DO enjoy the benefits. Personally I like Airbnb in the right circumstances and appreciated having the flexibility to use the service when I needed it – I used Airbnb for several business trips, including a GBTA trade event and an amazing place in San Francisco (when all of the hotels were already sold out). The San Francisco host even put one of my favorite local beers in the fridge (for free) when he learned that my flight landed late at night.
- Happier travelers improves retention and reduces burnout
- Cheaper options in high cost markets like Seattle or NYC
- Cheaper options for long term project related travel
- More choices – Airbnb homes might be located closer to the meeting or in parts of the city that the traveler would like to experience in the evening
- Flexibility for work life balance – Airbnb makes longer business trips more ‘live-able’ and offers some travelers the ability to bring their family with them
- Better value in high cost markets like Seattle or NYC
I have seen some articles recently on the ‘security risks’ of Airbnb. While these risks do exist, I suggest to my clients that they ask if those same risks also exist with traditional hotels (generally yes) and then ask the client if/how they are addressing those risks? If the risks are the same and the client feels it warrants special communication then it should be applied equally.
A feature we all knew was coming
Last year, in July 2017, it was announced that Airbnb homes would soon be visible WITHIN the SAP Concur platform. The functionality was originally expected to launch ‘in the coming months‘ and then delayed to February according to The Company Dime.
Approach to Training & Corporate Communications
In order to search for Airbnb with Concur Travel, first the company’s Concur Administrator must activate the “Airbnb for Work App” feature within Concur App Center and then configure the new feature in Concur’s Travel System Admin menus. Complete instructions here.
As a traveler, searching and booking Airbnb within Concur is simple as the homes are displayed within the search results along with the traditional hotels. For internal change management communications you can use the details on this page.