Travel Agents

Flight Centre jumps in bed with Airbnb

Hannah Edensor

Flight Centre has snagged a brand new partnership with Airbnb, using its corporate division to offer more options when travelling for business.

Over 250,000 companies around the world have signed up to use Airbnb for work, with the number of business trips on Airbnb tripling in 2016.

On top of that, over half of these trips booked for business stretched to include a Saturday night, reinforcing Flight Centre’s recent data that suggests Aussies are all over the latest bleisure trend. It comes as Airbnb recently launched even more business-friendly features, too!

With the new partnership, Flight Centre’s corporate brands – including FCm Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, Campus Travel, and Stage and Screen – will have access to Airbnb for Business and the company’s third party booking tool.

Flight Centre’s corporate clients will now have access to more than three million listings worldwide, an unrivalled accommodation pool.

Airbnb’s Business Travel Ready listings come with all the essential amenities and services business travellers need, including free Wi-Fi, laptop-friendly workspaces, and 24-hour check-in.

Along with the corporate traveller, travel agents will be able to see the trip details, make changes to the reservation, and message the Airbnb host with questions about the listing or neighbourhood.

Flight Centre has already run a trial with one of their clients in recent months, and have seen positive impacts as employees participating in the trial rated the experience a 4.76 out of five, at an average daily rate of AU$80.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, the Global Director of Business Travel at Airbnb, David Holyoke, said the partnership creates a “more seamless experience” for travellers.

“Flight Centre is the largest travel management company in Australia and operates one of the largest DMCs on a global stage,” Holyoke told TW.

“So it made perfect sense for us to work with them.

“Travel management companies are an extremely important distribution outlet, so working with Flight Centre will help with the booking experience.”

Holyoke said the transactions would offer “complete visibility”, with the ability for both parties to share transactional data down the track and develop more functional features for agents.

Holyoke said there was a great “power and value” in the ability to streamline business travel for corporates.

“We obviously need to work with travel management companies to be sustainable,” he added.

Flight Centre’s General Manager of Corporate Travel, Andrew Flannery, said the agreement would only bolster the company’s status as one of the world’s strongest agency groups.

“Customers’ needs and preferences in the corporate travel sector are constantly evolving,” Flannery said.

“This agreement will deliver interesting new accommodation options that will appeal to sections of our customer base, particularly those who are looking to experience something a little different to a traditional hotel stay.

“It will also benefit our corporate customers who are travelling to locations where there may currently be an under-supply of suitable hotel rooms.

“We are currently talking with a number of clients about the range of opportunities that Airbnb offers for travellers.”

Airbnb listings will be available to Campus Travel and Stage and Screen in the coming weeks, then progressively introduced soon after to FCm Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller.

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