60 seconds with... Airbnb's Marc McCabe

C&IT caught up with Airbnb business travel lead Marc McCabe to hear about the room-letting phenomenon's plans to shake up the business travel sector.

Airbnb's Marc McCabe
Airbnb's Marc McCabe

How long has Airbnb been targetting business travellers?

Funnily enough, our business is based from conferences. The very first Airbnb rental was because of a design conference and we’ve seen a lot of growth around conferences like South By South West and other technology conferences where there’s a lot of awareness about us. There are a lot of different things you can do with it, like renting a house for a group and being able to represent your brand there.

How can companies use Airbnb for business travel?

We’re seeing Airbnb being used across a fairly wide range of areas. We’re seeing it used for transient travel but I think our sweet spot is areas such as extended assignments, relocations, group travel, corporate off-site events and retreats. A company can rent an inspiring property at a very affordable rate and it is a great place to bring a team to work on an idea or just to take a step back from the office. It is incredibly popular. We as Airbnb use the product for corporate use and we’ve seen a lot of companies use it for the same reasons.

How is Airbnb looking to expand its services for potential corporate clients?

We want to give data back to companies so they can understand where their employees are staying in case of an emergency or so they can understand spend patterns. We have a corporate account code system that helps us track reservations for different companies. We also have a business search that filters out some of our properties that are a bit less suitable for business travel and we’re going to be rolling out more tools.

What is Airbnb doing to grow further in the corporate market?

There isn’t a huge amount of awareness about us, what we can do and where we fit in a corporate programme. We’re talking to businesses and bringing up good case studies on how those businesses can use us.

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