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Flight Centre/Airbnb pact gives average rate of $80

June 28, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Having entered into a controversial partnership agreement with Qantas last October, short-term accommodation provider Airbnb has taken another big step and partnered with the Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) to let business travellers book Airbnb houses, apartments or rooms directly though Flight Centre.

In an Australian and New Zealand first, Airbnb is working with Flight Centre’s corporate division to provide corporate customers with more options when travelling for business. A trial run has seen a client achieve an average daily rate for its employees of AUD 80.

Last October, the accommodation industry was angered when Qantas and Airbnb reached agreement to let Qantas Frequent Flyer members earn Qantas Points when they book their Airbnb accommodation through qantas.com.

That move infuriated hoteliers, who are fed up with unregulated short-term accommodation operators using Airbnb and similar platforms to undercut them, while not having to worry about the regulations that hoteliers must comply with by law, such as fire safety and much else.

With five different corporate travel brands, FCTG corporate offers the broadest range of travel management services for organisations across Australia and New Zealand. The new partnership with Airbnb will give FCTG’s corporate brands “an unrivalled pool of accommodation options to offer its corporate customers,” a Flight Centre media statement said yesterday.

FCTG’s corporate brands, including FCm Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, Campus Travel and Stage and Screen, will gain access to Airbnb for Business. The new accommodation offering will give FCTG’s corporate customers access to more than three million listings worldwide, which are available to be booked through the home-sharing platform.

Airbnb hosts have welcomed more than 180 million guests at Airbnb listings worldwide since the enterprise was founded in 2008. Some 10% of all travellers on Airbnb are business travellers, and in 2016, the number of business trips on Airbnb tripled.

Through this partnership, FCTG’s corporate travel brands will have access to Airbnb’s third-party booking tool. The travel manager and the employee who is taking the trip will be able to see trip details, make changes to the reservation, and text the Airbnb host with questions about the listing or neighbourhood.

Andrew Flannery, FCTG’s executive general manager of corporate travel, said yesterday’s agreement would bolster the company’s corporate travel offering.

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

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

David Holyoke, global director of business travel at Airbnb said Airbnb for Business gave business travellers “the ability to explore a city like a local, making

it easy to travel for work without sacrificing the comforts of home”.

FCTG has run a trial with one of its clients over the past few months. A spokesman said the client was already seeing a positive impact for its employees travelling for business using Airbnb, “with employees included in the trial rating the experience 4.76 out of 5 stars and with an average daily rate of 80 AUD”.

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

Edited by Peter Needham

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