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Airbnb Launches New Product To Attract Business Travelers

Airbnb announced an overhauled corporate division on Monday as part of a concerted effort to poach business travelers’ dollars from the hotel industry. Airbnb’s Business Travel program centers on a dashboard for corporate travel planners, as well as accounting that offers centralized billing, financial reporting data, and information on employee itineraries booked through the service.

Since an earlier version of Airbnb’s business product launched last year, the company has had more than 250 clients sign up, including Google, Vox Media, and SoundCloud. The new Airbnb dashboard appears to target corporate management, billing teams, and travel agents.

“Starting today, companies around the world can swiftly sign in to Airbnb and have access to a range of features to support business trips,” an Airbnb spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Fast Company. “The suite of tools provides visibility into employee travel itineraries booked through Airbnb, financial reporting data, and central billing to improve the business travel experience for travelers and travel managers.”

While Airbnb’s core market revolves around leisure travel and short-term housing, business travel offers innumerable money-making opportunities. Business travel spending in the U.S. topped $292 billion in 2014, according to the Global Business Travel Association. By introducing centralized billing and itinerary management similar to what hotel chains already provide, Airbnb may have a shot at attracting risk-averse corporate customers.

Read more about Airbnb’s business initiative over at Bloomberg.

NU